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How to Clean up the Most Common Dog Stains


Dogs bring a lot of joy into our lives, but they also bring messes.  Cleaning up dog stains can be a chore, especially if the stain isn’t discovered immediately.  Listed here is a comprehensive guide to the removal of pet stains.

When you are potty training your dog it is important that you use an enzymatic cleaner to clean up any urine accidents in the house.  There are certain proteins within dog urine that serve as a “calling card” for your pet that will keep him or her coming back to the area.  An enzymatic cleaner uses biochemical action to destroy those proteins so that your dog cannot sniff them out with his or her super-sensitive nose.  Enzymatic cleaners such as Nature’s Miracle do a great job.

If you are in a pinch and don’t have an enzymatic cleaner on hand, another option is baking soda.  This technique only works if you find a fresh puddle, and not a dried stain.  First, wipe up as much of the urine as you can.  Next, cover the area with a liberal amount of baking soda.  Not only will the baking soda absorb moisture, but it will also remove the odor.  Once the baking soda has dried, simply vacuum the remains.

For older stains, a vinegar/baking soda mixture can do the trick.  Not only will this solution remove the stain, but the odor as well.  Simply mix 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup lukewarm water, and 2 tablespoons baking soda in a bowl.  Be careful to add the baking soda in small amounts, as this solution will fizz.  Then, pour the mixture from the bowl onto the stain or into a spray bottle and liberally spray directly onto the stain.  After 5 minutes, wipe away excess vinegar/baking soda solution.

Dogs, like children, occasionally vomit for no apparent reason.  They could have eaten their food too quickly, played too hard, or simply wagged their tail too much in excitement.  Unfortunately for us humans, cleaning up after dog vomit is no easy task.

First, if the mess is fresh scoop away as much as possible.  For older, dried stains, use a spoon or putty knife to scrape away as much of the stain as you can.  Next, spot treat the stain with a mixture containing powdered Oxiclean.  For this cleaner, simply combine 1 cup lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon Oxiclean, and ½ teaspoon Dawn Original dish detergent.  If you do not have Oxiclean on hand, you can combine 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon washing soda, 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and ½ teaspoon Dawn Original dish detergent.  Dab this mixture onto the stain and use a scrub brush to work the cleanser into the area.  Dab the stain with a dry cloth to transfer as much of the stain as possible onto the rag.

If the stain remains despite your hard work, you can use an iron to lift the stain.  First, fill your iron with water and set it to the steam option.  For wool carpets, use the “high” setting; for nylon carpets, set the iron to “low.”  Next, mix two tablespoons of household ammonia with 1 cup of very hot water and spray the mixture liberally onto the stain.  Scrub this ammonia mixture into the carpet with a stiff brush and then cover the stain with a white rag.  Now, iron the rag with a constant back and forth motion for 20 seconds.  The stain will transfer from the carpet and onto the rag.  Finally, remove the ammonia smell by neutralizing it with a 50/50 white vinegar and water mixture and then vacuum the area after the carpet has dried.

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At least once in your dog’s life you will come home to find a “present” waiting for you.  These stains can be the most difficult to remove, and often require a little bit of elbow grease.

First, you must remove as much of the feces as possible from the carpet.  This step is important; otherwise, stain removal will be significantly more difficult.  Use a pet waste bag and pick up the droppings the same way you would as though you were outdoors.  Next, use one of the two mixtures described above (the baking/soda vinegar solution or the Oxiclean solution) and apply the mixture liberally to the stain.  Use a stiff brush to work the cleanser into the carpet.  Next, use a clean cloth to dab and transfer as much of the stain to the rag as possible.  Continue this process until the stain is removed.

Once the area has dried, the next step is to neutralize the odor.  There are a number of options here.  You can sprinkle the carpet with baking soda, particularly one that is formulated for pet odors.  Another option is to use a scented formula of Nature’s Miracle, such as lavender.  Alternatively, you can use the 50/50 water and white vinegar solution described above.

Finally, once the area has dried, vacuum the carpet.  This step will ensure that any debris is completely removed.  If the stain returns, this is a sign that fecal matter has soaked deep into the carpet fibers, and potentially into the carpet padding.  In this case, you will have to repeat the entire process again or use a carpet shampooer.

Depending on your dog’s breed, saliva stains might be an issue.  Particularly if you have a large dog such as a Saint Bernard, drool can become a way of life.

To remove the crusty remnants of drool, there are a number of tools you can use.  Magic erasers work well on walls, ceilings, floors, and other hard surfaces.  A second option is the 50/50 water and white vinegar solution already described.  The vinegar can easily cut through grime and dried saliva.  This mixture also works well on upholstery.

For saliva stains on microfiber couches, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle combined with a non-colored sponge is the way to go.  After the stain is removed and the area is dry, a soft bristle brush can be used to fluff the fabric to its original softness.

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Anna Weber

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