Small brown and white dog

Among the more common things we hear at MSS Cleaning is some variation of the phrase “I shampooed my carpet and now it smells like urine”. We’re going to break down the reasons why this common phenomenon occurs. Then we’re going to give you some tips on what to do about it.

Did your carpet smell like urine before you shampooed it?

The first question to ask is did the carpet already smell like urine before you shampooed it, or only afterwards? Many times, someone may not even realize there is urine in the carpet until an effort has been made to clean it. That’s because during the cleaning process, hot water is typically used (or at least it should be if the job is being done right).

Reactivating the urine odor in carpet

Hot water reactivates the bacteria and urea that give urine it’s foul odor. Many times, if urine has been sitting in the carpet for a long time (perhaps even years) it has been dormant and the smell has gone away. Other times, a home’s occupants have just become accustomed to the faint odor. Lastly, a deodorizing agent is being used to disguise the odor.

Urine is in the carpet pad, not just the carpet    

Many people don’t realize that carpet pad acts kind of like a giant sponge. Many carpet cleaning methods, such a shampooing or encapsulation only clean the carpet surface. They don’t address problems with the underlying pad.

Even certain “professional” carpet cleaning companies do nothing to treat the pad. Store bought pet urine shampoos and sprays don’t remove that urine from the carpet. However, they can mask it’s odor with deodorizers.

Pet urine on the underside of carpet and in the carpet pad

Shampooing the carpet only cleans the surface

Within the carpet cleaning world, shampooing a carpet is considered an ineffective, old school method. The reason for this is twofold: it leaves behind a soapy residue. Also, it only really cleans the carpet surface, not what lies beneath.

Similarly, a Rug Doctor or other store rented machine doesn’t really apply enough solution to clean beyond the carpet and into the pad.

What To Do About The Pet Urine and Odor

How do you find urine spots?

You probably would prefer not to have to crawl around on the floor and use your nose to smell for pet odor and urine. We understand.

Use a Black Light

Instead, a black light is going to be your first tool in identifying where the urine is. Shine a powerful black light on the carpet and urine will light up. This is most effective at night but can be done during the day by pulling the shades or using a powerful enough black light.

Pulling back the carpet

Most carpet cleaning companies won’t pull back the carpet to truly identify the severity of the pet urine issues. This, however, is the best way to find out just how bad the problem really is. All of the technicians at MSS Cleaning frequently use this method to identify the severity of the problem. When they are done, they stretch the carpet back into place.

Removing the urine odor

Hot water extraction to the rescue

Since shampooing pet odor is ineffective, and store bought products mostly just deodorize the urine, what can be done to actually solve the problem? The answer is truck mounted carpet cleaning using a hot water extraction machine.

This powerful machine, coupled with the correct solutions can usually fully rinse and extract the urine from the carpet and the pad.

Depending on the severity of the urine issue, we treat each pet urine case differently. Dog pee and cat pee also require different treatments. 

Hot water extraction carpet cleaning truck mount effective in removing pet urine
advanced pet odor removal with a flood extractor
Basic pet odor treatment

Sometimes a topical solution applied broadly over an area, followed by hot water extraction will be enough to take care of pet odor and stains.

Advanced flooding pet odor treatment

In areas that are more saturated in urine, we will have to “flood” an area in solution. Then we extract it with a flood extractor before completing the cleaning.

Carpet pad replacement

Lastly, in really bad cases, it can make more sense for us to pull up the carpet, replace the carpet pad, then clean the front and back of the carpet. Once that is completed, we can reinstall the carpet again.

Hiring a professional

In our area, the sad truth is that there are a lot of Denver carpet cleaners. Many of them don’t know the first thing about properly treating pet urine. They may still even be using the old school carpet shampoo machines to try and remove pet urine odor. Similarly many people want an easy DIY carpet cleaning solution.

The truth of the matter is that unless you’re talking about a small, really minor pet urine spot or two, you’re going to want to get professional help.

We have effectively cleaned pet urine out of countless homes throughout the Denver area. If you need carpet cleaning services in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Centennial, or anywhere in the Greater Denver Area, give MSS Cleaning a call. We’re experts that won’t just deodorize pet urine, we’ll remove it.