October 28, 2012

Update on Cleaning my Area Rug

Back in March I wrote about how I was trying to clean a large area rug that had been soiled by our dog.  You can view the post here.  We were able to get our dog on some medication (Estrogen) and within a few weeks she had been cured of her old age incontinent issues but I had been left with a less than fresh smelling area rug.  In the post you can read about what I had tried to do to clean the rug in a frugal way. 

Well, the rug dried out completely and then the very hot weather hit our area so we rolled up the rug and stored it in the basement for the summer.

Here is a picture of a portion of the rug.  The size is 10 x 8 feet and we have two of these rugs in our living room.


Well, when we brought the rug out of the basement at the end of September I could smell the dog urine immediately.  I had my husband and son take the rug outside and drape it over the railing on our deck until I tried to figure out what I could do.  

Now when the dog was wetting on the carpet my husband told me at the time that he would buy me a new rug as he wasn't ready to put the dog to sleep.  The problem is this rug was purchased 10 years ago and was expensive - $750.00.  I knew that it was out of the question to replace this rug and I also knew that I love my husband and I was willing to wait to see if the dog got better.

So now it was September and I had a smelly rug on my back deck and I knew it was ruined and no way could it be used in our home again, at least that is what I thought.  

Sometimes the best ideas come from pondering the problem over a period of time.  I started to think about all of the spot cleaners, rug cleaners and the detergents and vinegar that I had used over the years to spot clean the carpet.  Most of those products leave a residue and end up holding the stain or smell to the carpet.  It seemed to me that I needed to get some water on the rug and see if I could just douse it enough to rinse out all of the old cleaning products and see what happened.  

I rinsed the rug one half at a time.  I just draped 1 half of the rug over the railing and using the garden hose on the jet setting I power sprayed cold water at close range on that rug.  Suds streamed off of the rug.  I took my time and fortunately I picked a very warm day to do this as I was getting soaked.  Then I took the hose to the back of the rug and did the same thing, finishing with a final rinse on the right side of the rug.  

The rug sat in the sun for a day and while still damp I poured the following product all over the rug.

Simple Solution:  Urine Destroyer
I found this product at Wal-mart and it had been recommended by the Vet.  The cost was around $6.00 for a 32 oz. bottle.  Simple Solution worked better than I ever expected.  The urine smell is completely gone.  Now, it could be that the rinsing I gave that rug probably got rid of most of it, but Simple Solution took care of the smell.  

After I applied the Simple Solution to the rug ( I saturated the rug) I left the rug on the back deck for a week to let the sun do it's magic work too.  I knew that the fresh air and sunshine would help refresh the rug.  

All in all it took a little over two weeks to complete this process as I was working with a large area rug and I could only clean one half at a time.  When we brought the rug in the house the only smell was the light scent of the Simple Solution.  I did spray the rug once with Febreze after we had brought it back in the house.

It has been 3 weeks and the rug still smells great.  Even when I sit on the carpet I can't smell any urine at all.  It truly is a clean rug.

What was the cost of the cleaners?  It took 6 bottles of the Simple Solution for a cost of around $36 plus tax.  That is a lot cheaper than buying  a new area rug.  

8 comments:

slugmama said...

You can also try plain old Hydrogen Peroxide for pet accidents.
The main ingredient in those urine products is Peroxide.

Martha said...

@Slugmama:

I have heard of others using straight peroxide but I was worried it would bleach the rug.

Lyda said...

It’s a good thing that you didn’t throw your carpet away! When we have something that precious, we really should try everything to fix the problem. And you’re so lucky for finding the solution that didn’t cost you a new carpet! So far, I’ve heard that using vinegar with the aid of baking soda, peroxide and detergent is great for pet accidents.

Lyda Tavorn

Lyda said...

It’s a good thing that you didn’t throw your carpet away! When we have something that precious, we really should try everything to fix the problem. And you’re so lucky for finding the solution that didn’t cost you a new carpet! So far, I’ve heard that using vinegar with the aid of baking soda, peroxide and detergent is great for pet accidents.

Lyda Tavorn

Martha said...

@Lyda:

I was worried that the peroxide would damage the carpet and lighten it.

Martha

Sheila Moore said...

Hiya thanks so much for the advice. We have two dogs a cat and a rabbit and want to get the smells/stains sorted! In the past I've been using a professional company to do it (carpet cleaning solihull) but I really want to learn to be a frugal mum :) Thanks again x

Deidra Schaefer said...

I was caught in the same situation as yours, Martha. Our pet’s wetting is one of the worst kinds of mess to wash away! The smell of ammonia (and even the thought of it) makes my nostrils flare! However, I guess you should not have stored your rug in the basement. You just allowed the ammonium to stick to the fiber; which is not a good idea.

Deidra @MinuteManIntl.com

Venus Smith said...

Thanks for the advice :D Just wanted to mention that I found a surprising number of professional companies actually use natural and/or non-harsh chemicals as part of their service. As a disabled person I find this a great middle ground. I can personally recommend carpet cleaning birmingham but there are plenty on Google if you're not in the area.