Your Rugs and Pet Urine

There are five important facts you should know about your rugs and pet urine.


Accidents happen. Any well-trained pet can have an accident in the home due to any number of different causes. If you own wool rugs and pets, it’s important to understand the four ways pet urine can damage your rugs, as well as what you can do to protect your rugs from damage.

1. Pet urine can cause permanent fiber damage.

This damage isn’t always visible from the top.

2. Urine salts attract moisture to the cotton foundation of a rug.

This moist environment can cause the cotton foundation to rot and mildew.

3. Rug Bugs also use this environment as a food source.

If left alone this will result in a hole in the rug. The ammonia in urine can damage dyes and damage the rug’s ability to hold the dye. This leads to bleeding colors and color loss, especially on silk rugs.

4. As the urine decomposes it releases an odor.

We become accustomed to smells, and urine odor gets worse over time. Rug owners don’t even realize that the odor is as bad as it is.

In order to eliminate the odor, all of the urine salts and bacteria must be washed out of the foundation of the rug. Top cleaning the rug with carpet cleaning equipment won’t work, because the source of the odor is in the base of the rug, in the foundation.

Tufted rugs are area rugs with a cloth backing which can be cleaned with standard carpet cleaning equipment as long as there is no pet urine in it. These rugs are cheaper to make, but they are made with a layer of latex to glue the fibers in place. Urine can penetrate and bond with the latex in these rugs. They can be very difficult, if not impossible to completely remove the odors.

5. Decomposing urine can stain rugs.

As urine soaks into a rug, it spreads out into the bottom layers of the rug. These stains are like icebergs, they’re small on top and much larger underneath and inside.

Here are five things you can do to make living with pets and rugs easier:

1. Have a spot removal plan:

You’ll want to clean up pet stains, and other spills quickly. Your rug cleaner should be a partner in this process. We can teach you what to do if you have a problem. If you come home to a pet catastrophe, we are just a phone call away.

2. Buy rugs that can be washed.

This will probably mean woven rugs with colorfast dyes.

3. Buy rugs with a busy design.

To hide stains and spots better, especially if you have rescue pets.

4. Use pads under your rugs.

To protect your floor and help keep bugs out of your rugs.

5. Apply fiber rug protector.

To suspend spills and give yourself more time for clean-up. If you have pets, you should have your rugs washed every 1 to 3 years.

Professional wool rug cleaning should be the only way to clean your wool rugs. If you have any questions about the proper maintenance of your rugs, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.

 

This article was written in collaboration with Lisa Wagner “The Rug Chick” and Mark Kennedy.
 

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