Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, December 26, 2008

Solution for Pet Stains

Pet stains are a pain in the neck and people often pour all sorts of chemicals on their carpets and floors and are still left with a smell. First lets talk a little bit about the chemistry of pet urine. Urine is mostly ammonia, which is a base meaning that it has a higher pH than the neutral of 7. Some common bases are soap, bleach and household ammonia. To rid the smell of the ammonia you need to bring the pH to the neutral of 7. The opposite of a base is an acid which has a pH lower than 7. Many people try adding commercial pet removers which don't neutralize the odor they simply mask it for a little while with heavy perfumes. Most commercial pet stain removers are bases. When you combine two bases then you move farther away from neutral and have done nothing but compound the problem. What you need is an acid. Common household acids are: vinegar, lemon juice and tomato juice. I would not recommend tomato juice for your carpets because of the red stain that will be left behind. However, soaking the area with white vinegar neutralizes the pH of the ammonia and takes away the smell. So to get rid of those pet stains, soak the area with vinegar (I recommend white), then soak up with a towel and let dry. If you still smell an odor it is because the urine got under the pad and the vinegar did not, so do it again being quite liberal with the vinegar. Always try to get to the stain while it is still wet as sometimes when it sets into the fibers of the carpet it is almost impossible to completely get rid of. Baking soda swept into your carpet will also keep odors at bay.

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