If you own a domesticated animal–a dog or a cat in particular–you know that they can be wonderful companions as well as terrific mess makers. But we’re not here to talk about them getting into the garbage or tearing up your favorite shoes. Instead, the topic we’ll be discussing is the steps you can take to remove pesky pet stains from your expensive Oriental rug.
We want to focus on Oriental rugs because their sensitive composition makes them especially vulnerable to permanent damage caused by pet stains. Most rugs are primarily made from wool and cotton but some also include silk fibers that are especially vulnerable to damage. Urine and fecal stains are among the hardest to eliminate, particularly if they aren’t remedied immediately. Besides the smell and discoloration to the rug itself, pet stains can make the textile fabric stiff and rough to the touch. As a result, they can do substantial damage to the soft and supple fibers of your Oriental rug unless immediate action is taken.
With that in mind, we’ll focus on practical tips you can use to prevent and eliminate the effects of urine, feces, vomit and other pet stains that your “best friend” left for you.
Tip #1. Understand your pet’s behavior so you can correct it.
Dogs and cats tend to urinate or defecate in the same spot or spots, primarily to mark their territory. They do this to reinforce their smell or to cover up the odor of another animal. Of course, they don’t realize they’re “marking” all over your favorite Oriental rug and upsetting you. If you can help it, you want to prevent your dog or cat from staining your Oriental rug in the first place. One way to discipline your pets not to soil your rug is crate training. This time-tested method will condition the animal to use the bathroom outside and discourage it from doing so inside your home. Another option is creating a designated area in your house where your pet can do his or her “business” without ruining your Oriental rug.
Of course, as we already said, they know how to make a mess. So if, despite your best efforts, your dog or cat causes a pet stain, you’d then want to move on to Tip #2.
Tip #2. Use a spot-clean solution to handle the toughest pet stains.
The first thing you want to do if you see your animal urinating on your Oriental rug is to blot the spot immediately with paper towels or a cloth. Blotting removes the liquid from your rug, which is key because you don’t want the stain to set. For this reason, performing a rubbing motion isn’t recommended. In the case of solid waste such as feces, you’ll want to pick up as much as possible before cleaning the spot with a warm water solution. Because most Oriental rug dyes are acid-fast, it’s recommended that the solution include some white vinegar; the vinegar makes the wash water more acidic, which in turn helps prevent the colors in your rug from running.
Tip #3. Stop your pet from marking the same spot twice.
To prevent a recurrence of pet stains, use a pet stain remover immediately after detecting a wee or poo spot. The deodorizing smell masks the smell and discourages your animal from marking the same spot twice. You can purchase a commercial pet stain remover or make one using one of these three natural homemade cleaners using common items like vinegar and baking soda.
Tip #4. Start taking preventative measures.
You may already ask guests to your home to take off their shoes before entering; perhaps you do so because of societal custom or because you don’t want to track dirt, mud, and other debris that collects in and around the soles of shoes. You may also consider taking a similar approach with any dogs you may own (or cats, we don’t want to be speciest here). While they may not have shoes to take off, dogs can still bring “the outside world” in with them after their walk. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to wipe their paws gently using a light washcloth with soap and water.
Despite all of the good tips mentioned above, it’s inevitable that your rug will become dirty. To get out those impossible pet stains, trust the professional rug cleaners at Bagdad Oriental Rugs!