Tuesday, 20 August 2013

What to do if you get urine on your fine rugs

Fine furniture and pets can sometimes be a bad combination. An example of this is when we were recently asked to clean a fine handmade rug at our rug cleaning plant in Cambridge, after a pet had urinated on it.The owner had tried every type of cleaner to try and remove the stain herself, even resorting to oven cleaner, which had finished off the rug for good. Unfortunately in this case by the time we had received the rug the colours had already run and the design of the oriental rug had already been destroyed.

So what happens when ammonia gets into your rugs, carpets or soft furnishings?

When urine firsts exits a body it comes out in a sterile and acidic state, and it contains urea, creatine, uric acid, carbohydrates, enzymes, fatty acids, hormones, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and ammonia.

When urine comes into contact with a rug or fabric it can cause staining (a yellow colour), and after a few hours bacteria in the environment will start breaking down the elements of the urine. This then sets off highly alkaline gases, these cause the real damage. In the case of the oriental rug these highly alkaline gasses will destabilise the colours making them migrate onto the rest of the rug.

If the ammonia gets to this stage it’s nearly impossible to stabilise the colours again, as by this stage the colours will run when the rug is cleaned, even if you stabilise it will a strong stabiliser.

So what do you need to do if a pet urinates on one of precious soft furnishings?

Dilute the urine as quickly as possible by diluting it, you can do this by creating a mixture of white wine vinegar, 10% (make sure this is white so that it doesn’t stain the area further) and tap water.

You will need to pour over roughly double the about of solution compared to the amount of urine. This can be difficult to ascertain, but a small dog will produce about 50-100ml of urine and a larger dog will produce about 200-400ml of urine. So for example if you think the amount is about 200ml you will need to use 400ml of cleaning solution.

Pour some of the solution onto the stained area and use an old cotton towel to soak it up, repeat the process until the area is dry, changing the towel if necessary. If you do this quickly you will probably not have a stain. Then apply a cleaning solution suitable for carpets and dab the area and towel dry. Be careful not to rub but gently press into the stained area.

Once you have done this try and ventilate the area by opening the windows or using a fan to dry it out. If in doubt then call our team and we will be able to guide you through the steps needed to ensure your soft furnishings do not have irreparable damage.