How to Find Animal Urine Stains in Carpet

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It's no wonder that pet urine on carpet is high on the list of housekeeping issues for many homeowners—the smell is repulsive and even it isn't very strong at the time, it will get worse in hot, humid weather. So if you have a urine smell in your carpet, it is important to find and address the problem as soon as possible. You must completely eliminate the smell to discourage your pet from urinating on the carpet again.

Things You'll Need

  • Black light
  • Tape

Do a quick smell test. Most fresh urine or spraying marks will be odorous. Get close to the ground and sniff to detect the presence of urine.

Focus on the areas of your carpet that are close to the sides of your furniture. An animal that sprays urine to mark his territory will usually do so up against furniture, like couches or dresser drawers.

Look for hiding places in your home where the animal might have gone to the bathroom. Animals, especially cats, do not like their urine scent to be found as a matter of instinct, so they will go to obscure locations.

Check under potted plants for urine stains. Some animals see the dirt in plants as a pseudo-litter box—cats and dogs who used to live outdoors use to go to the bathroom in the dirt. Over time, and much use, the urine can leak down to the carpet.

Turn off the lights and close your windows. Use a black light to scan the surface of your carpet for urine stains. Urine will show as a bright white mark on the carpet fibers.

Use colored tape to mark the areas where you find urine. Mark the boundaries of the stain so that you know exactly where to apply special treatments.

Tips & Warnings

  • When cleaning up animal urine, do not use products that contain ammonia. Ammonia based cleaners will bring out the urine smell and encourage the animal to keep going to the bathroom there. Use an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of urine stains and odors.
  • When you have a professional come in to clean your carpets, be sure to notify him that you believe there are animal urine stains in your carpet. Point him to the specific areas of the carpet where there may be stains. Don't be shy or embarrassed---tell him the whole story because if you do not he may use a product on the spots that will further ruin the carpet or bring out the smell.

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