As the old adage goes, accidents happen.
Pet owners know this better than anyone else, so naturally they’re armed with methods, tips, and the best products out there for cleaning up accidents. Omitting some of the weird outlier advice, we’ve synthesized the best that pet owners on Reddit have to offer, so you can be prepared for next time.
Fresh stains on carpet
If your pet just peed on the carpet, you have to act fast before the stain sets. Put a thick layer of paper towels or microfiber cloths over and under the stain if possible to keep it from soaking through to the pad or floor.
Once the paper towels or cloths have soaked up as much as possible, set those aside or throw them away, then rinse the area with cold water and soak it up again with more paper towels or cloths. This might also be the time to use a wet vac. There are some good cheap wet vac options, although many pet owners swear by the Bissell CrossWave and say it’s worth the investment.
The final step is to sprinkle baking soda on the damp area. This will soak up the remaining moisture and ensure that no stain or odor stays behind. Then, vacuum it up once it’s dry.
Old/dry stains on the carpet
The fact that most Redditors agreed on this counts for a lot: the best way to remove set-in stains and odor is with an enzyme-based cleaner. Most cleaning products have an ammonia base, which masks the smell, but doesn’t effectively break down the urine molecules.
“Dogs’ noses are a lot stronger than ours. So even if we can’t smell the ammonia, they usually can,” explained u/throwaway6283751963. “Using a cleaner that has ammonia on it is like saying it’s ok for [your] pup to pee there because they can still smell their scent there.”
Thankfully there are several enzyme-based cleaning products out there, but the most popular by far is Nature’s Miracle. And for good reason. “Nature’s Miracle will literally clean anything and take any odor out,” said u/Perjink. “I don’t just use it for my dog, I used it to get blueberry sauce out of the white carpet and it worked.” Talk about multi-purpose.
Another product that seems to have a cult-following is Anti-Icky Poo (yep). “Our dog threw up all over our bed while we weren’t home. It soaked the duvet all the way into the memory foam mattress, leaving it a nice bright yellow,” said u/mysled. “We sprayed Anti-Icky Poo on everything and threw it in the laundry, but we still had to deal with the mattress. Just spraying the Anti-Icky Poo a few times without even patting it dry got rid of the stain and the smell completely.”
Armed with your enzymatic cleaner, follow the instructions on the bottle and let the enzymes get to work.
Credit: Getty Images
Preventing new stains
Any pet owner will know that whenever possible, preparation is key. You can’t always stop accidents from happening, but you can do things to mitigate disastrous effects in the long run. Consider rugs and slipcovers that are machine-washable and use baby-gates to keep pets contained, especially if your puppy is still being housebroken.
“I keep a bag of baby wipes by both my front door and garden door and I wipe his feet and tushy each time he comes into the house,” said u/imitebmike. Redditor u/Neilpoleon also recommended this genius portable paw cleaner as an alternative to the wipes.
It might take some preparation, but having a pet and keeping your home clean is entirely possible.