A while ago we published a blog post on how to keep your home clean with pets. It was great advice and something every pet owner or pet sitter should check out. That article did a great job of providing pre-emptive strategies for keeping the home clean. What it didn't cover is what to do in the event of an 'accident' occurring. Specifically, it didn't talk about how to clean pet stains that occur on the carpet while you're house sitting. In nearly all cases this is caused by the pet peeing where they shouldn't be (oh the horror). Believe me, while there are many smells that make houses more appealing pet urine isn't one of them.
Pet setting is one of the most fun parts of house sitting but pets can do some strange things when their owners are away. While typically they'll be well behaved because they're in their home environment this isn't always the case. As a sitter you may have different disciplinary techniques or be more relaxed than the owners. This is to say that, even a well trained cat or dog might cause a stain. Even if they've never done it before.
Never fear though because we asked Michael Brooke, owner of Carpet Cleaning Sydney for his advice on the topic. Below is an outline for cleaning these particularly stubborn stains. There's no need to hire machines or start freaking out if this happens to you. Simply follow the guide below and you'll be free to return to house sitting bliss.
What You'll Need
The good news is the equipment and products you'll need aren't expensive. You may even have access to them already if you're sitting a fully furnished home. Here's the list:
1) Rubber Gloves
2) A Cleaning Cloth
3) White Vinegar
4) Baking Soda
5) Vacuum Cleaner
6) Persistence :)
What To Do When You Notice The Stain
9 times out of 10 you'll catch the pet in the act or shortly after. This is a good thing as a stain attacked quickly has the highest rate of success. Firstly, take the pet outside or move them to a tiled area like the bathroom. They may be anxious and likely to go again as you're in the process of cleaning. Obviously you don't want that.
Get To Cleaning ASAP
Stick on your rubber gloves and roll up your sleeves because it's time to get cleaning. (I should point out the rubber gloves are optional, but who are we kidding you'd be gross not to use them :) ).
Next, take the cleaning cloth and soak it using cold water. This part is actually important. Avoid any hot water as this will only make the marks and odour more extreme which you want to avoid. Gently pat at the stain softly, don't scrub too hard. You are aiming to lift the stain rather than push it into the depths of the carpet.
Add just a splash of white vinegar (make sure it's white and this won't leave any additional marks). This assists in neutralizing the stain and eradicating the odour. Keep repeating the process as necessary until you're certain the visible signs of the stain are gone.
Now it's time to use the baking soda. Cover the entire area of the stain and a little extra to each side. Be certain that you do this while the area is still damp. The whole point of the baking soda is to lift the moisture and any nasties from the carpet. Push it into the carpet a little with your fingers but do the gently. Then go and watch TV or take the dog for a walk for an hour.
By the time you come back it'll be time for some vacuum action. Use it to get rid of all the baking soda that should now be dried. Take a close look and admire your work. If you are house sitting with a friend or partner give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.
If you're looking down and still see a few marks don't fret. This is where you have to pull on your persistence (you saved some hopefully). Go back to the start and repeat the process again. It might seem pointless but I assure you persistence goes a long way and will eventually lead to a stain free carpet. They say nothing worth doing is easy right?
Don't let a pets unfortunately mistake cause you too much stress. With a little time and effort combined with following the steps outlined in this article you'll save the carpet, your house sit and possibly a grumpy return from the owners.
Article contributed by Michael Brooke https://www.carpetcleaningsydney.com.au/