How to Clean Up After Pets




Introduction: How to Clean Up After Pets

Nearly anyone who has owned a pet has had to clean up after them.When they pee in the house on your new carpet, cleaning up can be a pain. While I by no means know everything on this subject, I figured that I could put what I do know out there. So really, this is more of a collection of ideas. Anybody who would like to add ideas, just comment, and I'll try and include them.

What I have covered thus far is cleaning carpet, linoleum (or other moisture resistant surfaces), and furniture.

A good example of a mess-making pet:

Step 1: Getting the Pet Out of the Way

First thing is to get the animal somewhere that if it to throws up again, etc. it won't make a bigger mess. Outside is probably best, but if it is still in the process of making a mess, the nearest easily cleanable surface is best (AKA, linoleum, possibly tile if it's not too porous). Once the animal is safely out of the way (make sure it's not free to roam the neigborhood so you have to go find it) the cleaning begins.

Depending on the surface, you might want to skip to a certain step.
Step 2 is on Cleaning Carpet
Step 3 is on Cleaning Linoleum
Step 4 is on Cleaning Furniture

Well, at least the dog is outside:

Step 2: Cleaning Carpet

-Garbage can
-Paper towels (cloth will work, but paper is advised)
-Some kind of carpet cleaner

First thing is to take care of any solid chunks. Grab a towel of some kind (again, I advise using paper so that you can just throw it away when this is all over), and wipe up what you can and throw it right into the trash. If it was urine, grab another towel and fold it so that it just barely covers the spot so that it can absorb more moisture. Apply lots of pressure until most of the spot is gone, then spray the carpet cleaner and let it sit for about five minutes. Grab a new towel, apply more pressure to the spot and then let it finish air drying.

Although this worked fine for a darker carpet, it could be that a stain is noticable on a lighter one. First try to spray it again, maybe with a different cleaner, and if that fails then it might be necessary to rent a carpet cleaner, assuming you don't own one.

A paper towel folded too small (imagine the darker area as wet carpet, we haven't had any real problems in a long time):

Step 3: Cleaning Linoleum and Similar Surfaces

-Garbage can
-Paper towels
-Spray cleaner (like 409)

If your pet made a mess on linoleum, It should be fairly easy to clean up. After following the first step, just wipe up any solids with a paper towel, and throw it all strait into the garbage. Then spray the area down, and wipe it dry. That was easy!

If you feel the need to get it really clean, you could mop the area down, but it's probably not neccesary.

Clean linoleum:

Step 4: Cleaning Furniture

-Garbage can
-Paper towels
-Spray cleaner
-Washing machine

This one could be the hardest to clean. Again, remove any solid chunks and try to soak up any moisture. Depending on the fabric, construction, etc. this might not work very well. Spray it down thouroughly, and try to let it sit long enough that it can do some good. Again, depending on the type of fabric and cushions it may or may not work well. Put the parts that can easily go through the wash (covers, etc.) in there. Beyond that a healthy dousing in air freshener can't hurt.

A bad sofa to get messed up (the cushions don't come off):

Step 5: General Tips and Tricks

Two main things I would suggest are clean thouroughly before spraying anything down, and let it air out when everything is done. If you would rather just use air freshener to hide the scent, then thats your choice (I don't care for the way they smell). Also, an extra washing never hurt anything, and it could help it smell a lot better.

When using a spray bottle, set the bottle to stream, and spray from a distance. Why? because as the bottle gets towards half full, the straw part is no longer submerged in liquid, and won't spray (the first image shows how I would NOT advise spraying, the second one shows how I usually do it

Besides that, don't forget to empty the trash, as it could get very stinky!

As pointed out by Erik, a one to ten mixture of diluted bleach water can help get rid of stains.

This is the biggest area for people to add their ideas. Also I'd like to hear any comments/criticisms that people have.




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    16 Discussions

    Hi Zaen, You forgot rubber gloves, like playtex dishwashing gloves. At times the liquid soaks completely through the paper towel. No one wants to blot urine vomit or feces moisture up with bare hands.

    Here's another method. Try club soda. It works pretty well for vomit, urine and feces. This will get rid of the odor, if done as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Just sprinkle the club soda on the area, completely cover but dont drench it. The club soda bubbles up on the stain. Use paper towels, blotting to soak up the club soda. You may have to repeat with the club soda. If needed spray with carpet cleaner. I use the small bottles. I get a 6 pack from Walmart.

    One final comment. (By the way, I'm separating my comments in case people want to respond to one of the suggestions.)

    Get a wet/dry shop vac! This is extremely handy for cleaning things like furniture and mattresses, where you can't use pressure to blot out the cleaning agent. Just dump a bunch of your desired cleaner on the spot, let it soak for a moment, and then vacuum it out.

    After this, you may want to optionally (if you can) take the item to sit in the sun for an afternoon. This will both dry and deodorize the item.

    1 reply

    I do this too along with the vinegar solution. I use bissel, which seems to be a real time saver.

    Cats and dogs make great pets, but they can also make even bigger messes. Pet urine stains and smells can destroy fabrics and furniture. There are several cleaners to remove stains and odors, but everyone who owns a pet know they don't always work. Genesis 950 works with water to get into the stain. When absorbed by the stain, the mixture of Genesis 950 and water actually works to alter the stain's composition and break the structural bond of the stain. Once the bond is broken, the stain can be lifted and removed. Only by breaking the bond of the stain will you remove both the actual stain and the smell. If you do not do this, you are just masking it. Genesis 950 will break the bonds of stains and remove both the stain AND the odor. In addition, Genesis 950 is a deodorizer. It also acts as an anti-bacterial cleaner and will kill any germs or bacteria associated with the stain. But the best part is that Genesis 950 does not have the harsh toxins or chemicals that other household cleaners have. There is no bleach, acid, alcohol or ammonia, so it won't harm your carpet, your pet . . . or the environment.

    CAT OWNERS: Cat's urinate instinctively in the same spot where they smell urine. If your cat is peeing on the carpet, the furniture or clothes, the chances of it continuing are very strong unless you actually completely remove any trace of previous urine. The best way to get your cat going in the litter box is by fully removing the stain and odor. There are several cleaners that claim to do this, however you are very fortunate if they work. Enzymatic cleaners are live feeding cleaners and tend to wear themselves out before they get to the heart of the stain. Anything that contains ammonia or vinegar is a MAJOR no-no for cat owners. The Humane Society even recognizes and advises against using these to remove cat urine. The reason for this is because they contain elements found in cat urine. If you use these items to clean cat urine, and they have the same elements in cat urine, you are only reinforcing your cat to urinate in the spot where you “cleaned” with it.

    The next time you have this issue, first clean the urine with a paper towel and nothing else. Take that paper towel and place it in the cat's liter box. This will redirect the cat where the odor belongs. Next you have to fully remove the stain and the odor. This can be done with Genesis 950 as follows:

    1. Clean stained area (furniture, carpet or rug) of any loose debris.
    2. In a bucket, mix 1 part Genesis 950 to 7 parts warm water
    3. Using a sponge, absorb the mixture of Genesis 950 and water
    4. Squeeze excess mixture out of the sponge
    5. With the sponge, wipe down any stained or dirtied area of the furniture, carpet or rug - do not wipe in a scrubbing manner, just gently wipe and let moisture from sponge absorb into the stain
    6. Let the area you have wiped absorb the mixture - Genesis 950 is designed to work with water to soak into the stain and break the bonds of the stain, which then lift the stain from the surface. This is what will remove the stain and the smell.
    7. After about 2 minutes the stain will be loosened and can be lifted from the surface
    8. Empty your bucket and fill with straight water once you have cleaned all the dirty spots on your furniture, carpet or rug
    9. Use a sponge with straight water to wipe off the cleaned areas
    10. Allow furniture, carpet or rug to dry.

    DOG OWNERS: Dogs are also instinctive in marking their territory and urinating. They develop a routine when going to the bathroom and every dog owner knows that dogs prefer to relieve themselves in the same spot. Even if they are going outside, they generally prefer to do their business in a familiar spot. If they begin to mark spots in the home, it is very important that you act immediately to remove the stain and odor to prevent repeated behavior. By removing the smell they have created in your carpeting, you are controlling the urge for the dog to repeat the unwanted behavior. This holds very true for puppy training as well. Genesis 950 is the perfect aid in training puppies not to urinate inside your home. By eliminating the smell from previous accidents, you are redirecting the instinct to go in that same spot. For spot cleaning, use the above mentioned instructions.

    For larger stains, and a more professional look, clean your entire carpet using Genesis 950 in any steam cleaner. Use the amount recommended by the steam cleaner manufacturer as you would any other cleaner they suggest. Steam cleaning carpeting with Genesis 950 will make your entire carpet look and smell professionally cleaned. As the mixture of water and Genesis 950 are absorbed by the carpet, any stains, dirt or grime will be loosened. Germs and bacteria will be destroyed. Your carpet will be completely deodorized. After cleaning the carpet using a steam cleaner and Genesis 950, be sure to go over the area a second time with straight water. When you do this, you will see all the dirt and grim that the previously applied Genesis 950 loosened from the carpet.

    You can get info on Genesis 950 at

    Another pointer for the smell... Vinegar. Heavily saturate the area once you soaked up the original mess in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Urine stains can be MUCH larger than the spot you see, because it soaks into the padding under the carpet and spreads there. After saturating the stain in the vinegar and water solution, use the same method as described to soak up that mixture. Vinegar helps because it has enzymes in it that break down the urine. The same solution also works in a spray bottle for furniture.

    I used the product whiffwacker i found on the internet it worked great. it is all natural and has no smell. the place i found it was and they have a bunch of neat stuff on their site. i never knew just how bad bleach was to use around your pets.

    If you have protein (urine) stains on hardwood floors (for whatever reason!) , hydrogen peroxide in copious quantities can help immensely. This is only for stripped, bare wood prior to refinishing.

    I went to pet stores to find a product that would eliminate the smell of pet urine. In two different stores, the salesperson told me to just use vinegar! I was skeptical about how well it would work, but I have to say, they were right. After the "vinegar" smell evaporated, you can't smell anything there.

    My second-best choice for treating urine and feces stains is an enzyme-based cleaner (you can get this by the gallon at pet stores).

    My first choice is this, which is a fantastic deodorizer (thanks to extremely high oxygen content):

    1 quart 3% hydrogen pyroxide
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1 tsp liquid dish soap (like Dawn)

    Use immediately after mixing. For other quantities, just use 16 parts hydrogen pyroxide : 1 part baking soda.

    NOTE: Do NOT scrub the stain with a stiff-bristled brush! On many carpets, this can cause more damage than the stain. You can gently knead the carpet (with a very soft brush, or your fingertips).

    I had a pee stain on my carpet that was pretty old and I read somewhere online about using shaving cream. I rubbed it into the carpet and then let it sit for as long as I could (before it dried out) and then I used a lot of water to sponge it out of the carpet. It worked really well and the stain isn't gone yet, but I think another treatment will get rid of it.

    Go to lumberyard, buy Capture, a dry powder to rub into carpets, then vacuum out. It got out old dog pee stains that were treated by numerous other things that failed and i have used it on white carpet/pet stains at a friend's home. Inexpensive and works very well. Also good for getting out soda pop stains by humans.

    You may want to fix this, aiming straight down was the thing you don't want to do if logic serves me right. You also said stuff about the straw and liquid, I think you just mislabeled your pictures.

    1 reply

    You are right. I had meant to swap the pictures around to match the description, but got tired and forgot. Thanks for pointing that out.

    On a white carpet, a bleach solution (heavy on the water and light on the bleach, maybe 1/10 bleach) in a spray bottle is very good for lightly bleaching the carpet to remove the mess's color.