Can Vinegar Take Out Pet Stains?

Ah, the joys of owning a pet. The happy cuddle time on the couch. The playful frolic in the park. The praise when your pet does something on command. The stains of pet accidents. Wait. What? We all love our pets, there’s no doubt about it. There can be many happy times that a pet can give you. But, they have their accidents, in one form or another. It’s a normal part of pet ownership. Dogs and cats alike have their fair share of accidents. If not dealt with right away, the accidents can leave stains on your carpet. In any type of accident, it’s best to rid the stain right away, and do a thorough job of it. If the stain and odor are not completely eliminated, this can cause your pet to have another “accident” in that same spot. There’s an easy remedy to getting out pets stains, and you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get it. Vinegar. But is it true? Can vinegar take out pet stains?

Can Vinegar take out pet stainsThere’s some debate on using vinegar to take out pets stains. Some people say that the vinegar will leave an odor that is similar to the scent of urine. Thus, the dog or cat might have an accident there again in the future. Other people say that vinegar is wonderful for taking care of pet stains. Vinegar is used in many household cleaning products and is safe to use on most fabrics.

To make the vinegar cleaning solution, you’ll need a jug, old milk carton, or a spray bottle to store it in. The mixture is a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar. You’ll want to test out the solution on a portion of the carpet that is normally out of sight. This is to see if the mixture will produce a large discoloration. You don’t want a spot of your carpet to be much lighter than the rest. If the discoloration of the test spot is OK, then use the mixture. If it ends up being too light, you may need to use less vinegar.

After you do a quick pre-clean of the mess, spray the water and vinegar mixture over the area of the stain. Soak the stain thoroughly with the mixture. You want to basically saturate it. Let it sit for about five minutes. By letting it sit, the vinegar will take out the smell of urine, feces, or vomit. It also removes the residue of these accidents the longer it sits. After about five minutes or so, grab some paper towels, or regular towels, to soak up the moisture. It’s best to lay down the towels, and walk over them a few times. Using your body weight can help the towels absorb more. It’s also a good idea to run your vacuum over the spot, as this could suck up any excess moisture. This is best done with a vacuum that uses a water basin, not a bag for debris collection.

If you have old stains that you haven’t been able to get out in the past, vinegar may also help with those. Add one tablespoon of mild detergent to one cup of warm water. Spray or drizzle this mixture onto the stain. Blot the area dry with a clean towel. Next, make a mixture of 1/3 cup white vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Again, drizzle this over the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot it dry with a towel. Make up one more mixture of mild detergent and warm water, and repeat that step. Once you blot that dry, drizzle clean pure water over the spot. Blot it dry, and the stain should be gone.

So, can vinegar take out pet stains? I would say the answer is yes. As for the debate on whether the vinegar will actually invite more accidents in the future? Well, it’s up to the particular owner. If there’s any doubt that might happen, it may be best to use a carpet powder once a month to mask any hidden odors your pets may be able to smell that you don’t.

Photo by Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore)


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