Sure, you’ve wiped up your dog’s last indoor accident… but is it really gone for good? Urine can soak into your hardwood and padding – you’ll need more than just soapy water to get it out.
Even well-trained pets can have an accident. Unfortunately, typical cleaning methods—spraying a mild detergent and wiping with a paper towel—don’t sanitize the mess. In fact, many sprays designed to get rid of pet odors don’t break down the urine crystals that then seep into carpets and hardwood floors. Gross. And dangerous!
According to Jotham Hatch, the home safety and allergen expert at Chem-Dry, “Accidents end up being a food source for bacteria, setting the stage for disease.” He pointed out that children spend more time on the carpet than adults do and often put things from the floor in their mouths, making them particularly susceptible to disease.
“The big thing is zoonotic diseases (illnesses that can be passed between humans and animals), diseases that can be carried in the feces of pets,” Hatch said. “The first defense is to get your floor covering and carpets cleaned regularly.”
Chem-Dry uses a proprietary technology called Pet Urine Removal Treatment, or P.U.R.T. The process starts with a black light to—yuck—show all the places in your home that have pet accidents. The Chem-Dry professional will isolate problem areas and apply a sanitizer.
“It’s an interesting dichotomy,” Hatch said. “Sanitizer is designed to kill things, designed to kill microorganisms. Then, we have to follow up with a cleaning process to pull up the sanitizers, leaving the home a safe environment.”
Because it seeps into the floor and contaminates both the carpet and the floor underneath, the longer you leave it, the more likely the urine odor is to permeate deeper – in some cases, down to the foundation! Plus, the smell from previous accidents can lead to repeat offences in the same area until it is properly taken care off. The disinfectants used in this process are EPA certified to kill bacteria. After the cleaning process, the P.U.R.T. travels down to oxidize any remaining urine crystals.
The process is so effective that, according to Hatch, it’s even been used to clean up fraternities. If it can handle those animals, the animals in your home are no problem!
The specific process is only sold through Chem-Dry franchises, so it’s not a DIY project. That means it’ll cost you more, but if you’ve had a few accidents and you’re afraid of what they can do to your floors and health, it may be worth your while to bring in a pro. Besides, it’s a free quote, so you can always “no” if it’s not in your budget right now.
Bottom line, Hatch said, “Vigilance is the key. Making sure that you clean and sanitize regularly, those are responsibilities that come with owning a pet.”
Maggie Marton is the definition of “crazy dog lady” and an award-winning writer based in Bloomington, Indiana. Obsessed with dogs, she writes for numerous pet-related publications and is active in animal welfare. Recently, she launched her first eBook, Authentic Blogging, to inspire others to write with their own voice. When she’s not reading about dogs, writing about dogs or walking dogs, she loves to hike and nap—both activities usually with her dogs. Maggie lives with her husband, John; Emmett, a pit mix; Lucas, a shepherd mix; Cooper, a pit mix; and Newt, the lone kitty (who, of course, runs the show). You can find her online at OhMyDogBlog.com, on Twitter and Instagram.