If there’s one thing in life we enjoy doing, it’s pulling pet stains out of carpets. We’ve been writing guides on carpet treatment lately, including how to remove wine stains easily, how to decaffeinate your carpet, and most recently, how to handle your cat’s urine rebellion. Today we’re going to take a look at how to handle the adorable (but challenging!) puppy phase when your new dog has trouble remembering to pee outside the house instead of, oh, directly on your favorite rugs and carpets. We can’t promise that this guide will teach your dog the difference between your backyard and the back of your sofa, but we can guarantee that you’ll learn new ways to handle whatever your new or old four-legged friend decided to do on your low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpet. We’ll run through tips for cleaning out dog urine stains by hand, with vacuum cleaners, and of course, through carpet cleaners.
How to manually remove out dog and puppy pee stains and scents from carpet (i.e., using a natural puppy urine cleaner)
If your puppy made a mess on your carpets and you want to clean it by hand, you’ll need to practically catch him or her in the act; the sooner you find the stain and start treating it, the less time you’ll give the stain and the scent to embed themselves into the carpet, reducing your odds of needing a vacuum or carpet cleaner as outlined below.
Start by blotting the urine with a towel from the outside of the stain to the center; soak up as much as you can as quickly as you can. Once you can’t absorb any more, revisit the stain with water and a separate clean cloth, dabbing it gently. If you start this within a minute or two of the accident, you’ll typically be able to clean out all of the pee without needing to go further.
If you get there more than a few minutes later, you’ll need to add soap or detergent to the stain and massage it into the carpet fibers with your fingers. If the idea of soaking your hands in dog urine is unappealing, use gloves–we keep several boxes of nitrile gloves on hand for cleaning pretty much anything around the house–or buy a PVC pair you can wash and re-wear. Remember to massage the stain rather than pound it so you don’t embed it further. Once you’ve done so, you’ll want to rinse out the stain with more water and a clean cloth; keep checking, blotting, and rinsing to pull out the stain until it’s gone.
At this point, all that’s left is to dry the carpet by absorbing the solution via paper towels. Place a book or something heavy on the wet spot (we recommend a big bag of Purina Pro Plan for puppies). Here your goal is to minimize the water left to grow mold and mildew, as well as the odor of the urine, which will set in if the carpet stays wet. Air drying will work if you aren’t in a hurry. Once the carpet is fully dry, use a good vacuum (see below) to bring your carpet fluff and spring back; this will work whether you have low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpeting.
How to remove puppy accident stains with a vacuum cleaner
While we’ll use natural methods if we’ve got the time and if we catch the accident quickly enough, the truth is that most of us simply won’t have the time to remove pee stains or the supernatural ability to sense our puppies making them. For the rest of us mere mortals, the most effective solution is something most of us already have in the closet: a good vacuum cleaner.
Can a vacuum cleaner really take care of dog pee stains? Yes! Just as you can often clean up cat urine, wine, and coffee stains with a vacuum, you can also use one to suck out puppy pee. However, as with wine or anything else, if you want good results, you’re going to have to pay for them. When we’ve got a pee stain, we use the only vacuum we’ve found capable of tackling every carpet on the market: the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet. You’re not going to get it for discount department store prices, but if you have one, you’ll literally be able to suck stains out of carpets. This goes for high-pile, medium-pile, and low-pile carpets, as well as for handmade delicate area rugs and tapestries. If you want a buy-it-for-life vacuum, this is the one to get.
However, since it costs more than $700, it’s possible you might not be able to justify it. For families on a smaller budget, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C2 Limited; at under $400, it’s just about half the price of the C3 Soft Carpet but will clean almost as well as long as you’re using it on low- or medium-pile carpets. Similarly, if you need an all-around vacuum cleaner that can do everything the C2 Limited can on carpets but can also tackle hardwood floors and parquets with ease, you’ll want the Miele Complete C3 Calima, which we can easily call the best household vacuum under $700. These vacuums pay for themselves when you compare them to the money you’ll spend buying and replacing Sears specials every couple of years. We heartily recommend them.
Which carpet cleaners are best for removing dog and puppy urine and poop stains?
If you’ve got a pack of puppies or simply a lot of dog urine and poop to clean up around your home, the most effective way to keep your home or commercial building (e.g., an apartment complex or dormitories) clean is to buy a good carpet cleaner. Not even the Mieles will clear out stains and scents the way a heavy duty residential or commercial carpet cleaner will. If you have more than a thousand dollars in your budget, the best carpet cleaner on the market is the EDIC Galaxy 2000 and its sister models. This is the only machine we trust for high-end office, hotel, or industrial tasks. however, if you don’t a.) clean carpets for a living or b.) have a six-figure income, you’ll want something cheaper.
This is where the Bissell 86T3 Big Green comes in; it’s a better choice for 99% of families out there and most cleaning jobs. At roughly $400, you won’t notice its price nearly as much as that of the EDIC, but it will still clean most of the cat or dog stains you’ll find in a home, apartment, or condo. If you run a pet-friendly hotel, daycare, boarding-home, duplex, or apartment rental as a landlord, we’d recommend the EDIC hands down. But if your needs aren’t quite as demanding, the Bissell Big Green will keep going no matter how many times your puppies or dogs have accidents. If it’s still out of budget, we’d suggest the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner as a good compromise; it’s almost as effective while costing a bit less.
Our main recommendations for the best dog-urine-cleaning vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners below $1,000 are the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet and the Bissell Big Green. If you’re on a limited budget, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C2 Limited, and the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. If you own a million dollar home, an apartment complex, a hotel, or simply make a living from cleaning carpets, you’ll want the EDIC Galaxy 2000. We also recommend a large box of nitrile gloves or a re-usable set of heavy duty PVC gloves for hand cleaning. And if you’re looking for our recommendations for dog food, we feed our puppies Purina Pro Plan.
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