If you own a pet, an occasional animal-related stain is to be expected. However, urine, feces, and vomit accidents on clothing, carpet, and upholstery are inconvenient but are treatable in most cases. As always, the sooner the stain is treated, the more successful the removal will be. Accidents left untreated for long periods can permanently discolor and damage any fabric. Remember never to rub a wet stain into the affected fabric, as it can make removal more difficult. Read up on the following reliable stain-removal methods using items you likely already have in your home.
|Detergent Type||Heavy-duty laundry detergent|
|Water Temperature||Cold water|
When to Call a Professional
If a pet has stained your vintage upholstery or silk, consult a professional cleaner for stain removal. Delicate fabrics may require unique care.
Urine Stains on Clothes
- Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent
- White distilled vinegar
Feces and Vomit Stains on Clothes
- Oxygen-based bleach
- Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent
Stains on Carpet and Upholstery
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
How to Remove Urine Pet Stains From Clothes and Linens
Urine damage from pets can be very frustrating. Fortunately, there are effective, at-home measures you can take to treat the stain. Sometimes, the odor from the urine stain is worse than the stain itself.
Flush With Cold Water
Flush the stained area with cold water. Turn the fabric over and place it under a a cool, running faucet.
Machine Wash With Laundry Detergent and Vinegar
Launder your garment as you usually would, using the hottest water temperature advised by the care label. Add one cup of white distilled vinegar to the wash water to help reduce any odor that may accompany the stain.
Soak Overnight in Vinegar-Water Solution
Mix a solution of 1 gallon of cool water and 2 cups of white distilled vinegar. Completely submerge the fabric and allow it to soak overnight. In the morning, wash your garment as advised above. This is especially useful if the stain has already dried.
How to Remove Feces and Vomit Pet Stains on Clothes
Pet stains on clothes, especially feces and vomit, should be treated as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage and lasting foul odors.
Remove Solid Matter
Remove as much solid matter as possible with a dull-edged object like a butter knife or spatula. Be careful not to rub the vomit or feces with a cloth, as it will drive the stain deeper into the fabric’s fibers. If the stain is dried or old, scrape or brush off any crusted matter.
Flush Under Running Water
Hold the underside of the stained area beneath cold water from a running faucet and let the stream run through the soiled area.
Soak in Oxygen-Based Bleach Solution
Mix a solution of cool water and oxygen-based bleach according to the instructions on the back of the cleaning product. Submerge your garment and allow it to soak for at least four hours.
Machine Wash and Dry
Machine-wash your garment with heavy-duty detergent in the hottest water advised by its care label. Never place a stained item in a hot dryer. You must ensure that the stain is gone before doing so.
How to Remove Pet Stains From Carpet and Upholstery
Since you can’t flush carpets and upholstery under running water, you must modify stain-removal methods. Avoid over-wetting upholstery because excess moisture in the cushions and padding can lead to mildew.
Remove Solids and Soak up Liquids
Remove any solids with a butter knife or spatula, or dab wet urine with white paper towels or an old cloth. If using a cloth, press it firmly into the liquid, but don’t rub. You can also remove some of the moisture with a shop vacuum.
Create a Cleaning Solution
Mix a solution of one part distilled white vinegar and one part cool water. For easy use, place the solution in a spray bottle.
Saturate the Stain With Cleaning Solution
Pour or spray the mixture onto the stain. Use enough to thoroughly saturate the carpet, all the way to its backing. Use a soft-bristle brush to work it deep into the fibers.
Blot and Allow the Area to Dry
Blot the solution away using paper towels or a shop vacuum and allow the area to air-dry.
Add Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture
Sprinkle the clean, dried fabric with baking soda and a mixture of 1 half cup of hydrogen peroxide and 2 cups of cool water. Spray or pour this solution onto the carpet or upholstery and use a soft-bristled brush to work it into the fabric.
Blot and Air-Dry
Blot or use a vacuum to absorb excess moisture. Allow the fabric to air-dry away from direct heat. Repeat the steps if needed, and once the stain is removed and completely dry, vacuum again to lift the fibers.
Additional Tips for Handling Pet Stains
While there are many commercial pet stain removal products, you can easily make your solution with natural ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Try a variety of at-home methods before consulting a professional cleaner. If a dry-clean-only garment gets stained, blot away urine stains with a white cloth or paper towel before heading to the dry cleaner.
- 1 When to Call a Professional
- 2 How to Remove Urine Pet Stains From Clothes and Linens
- 3 How to Remove Feces and Vomit Pet Stains on Clothes
- 4 How to Remove Pet Stains From Carpet and Upholstery
- 5 Additional Tips for Handling Pet Stains