Hardwood Floors & flooring

How to Remove Pet Stains From Wood Floors

by Carol Ruth Weber

pet stains on wood floors

Pet-lovers understand that, at times, they may be faced with the question of how to remove pet stains. Pets are family members, but much like a child, they can also cause a mess. Whether you're training a young puppy or caring for an aging dog or cat, accidents happen and you can suddenly find yourself with a stinky urine stain on your beautiful wood floor.

Along with a strong odor, pet mess can leave unsightly black marks that warrant a quick response. There are a few ways to tackle this cleaning job, but most important is cleaning as close to the time the event occurs as possible to prevent the mess from having more time to set. Before any treatment, start by blotting up excess urine still on the surface.

White Vinegar and Grapefruit Oil

Known as natural disinfectant and deodorant, ordinary white vinegar you have in the kitchen is a great tool for removing these stains. Mix one cup of vinegar into a warm water-filled bucket and the add some drops of grapefruit oil to the solution to get rid of the odor. Scrub the floor with this safe cleaning solution, concentrating on the most prominent spots. As you scrub, the odor and stains should be disappearing.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Depending on the deepness of the stain, you may have to actually soak the spots with hydrogen peroxide. First, scrub the spots with a peroxide-soaked cloth and let them dry. If the stains and odor are not sufficiently removed, cover the stain with a paper towel or soft wipe saturated with peroxide. Leave each towel on each blemished spot for a few hours, and check repeatedly every hour to see if the stain is coming up. Once you've removed the stain, keep in mind that your floor color will probably show mild discoloration, and as a result, require some refinishing.

Baking Soda

When figuring out how to remove pet stains, know that you can complete the vinegar or peroxide cleaning process using baking soda to soak up any dampness or residue, and deodorize as well. Sprinkle the baking soda in a thick coat over the area. Vacuum after about an hour. If it's still damp, repeat the procedure.

Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are non-toxic and particularly effective in breaking down urine stains and odors, according to Animal Planet. Several enzyme cleaners are made specifically to tackle pet odors. Using natural enzymes, these cleaners neutralize and thus eliminate the urine completely, but follow your cleaner's instructions and apply it directly on the spot it's soaking up.

Be aware that for tough stains and odors, any of these processes may need to be repeated until both the stain and odor are completely removed. With a little elbow grease, however, the mess is no threat to the integrity of your home. Nonetheless, understand that the stain and cleaning process may affect the wood, requiring a small sanding or touch-up. Clean and nourish the wood frequently using dusting cloths and a brushless vacuum, as well.

Nature calls for pets constantly, so taking out the dogs or changing the kitty litter frequently can avoid unnecessary inside mess. And as always, be aware of a pet having unusual accidents and bring them to the vet, who may have additional tips to keep the waste in the right place.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.