Removing old pet urine stains and smells from carpet can be quite a challenge. In the first place, it can be hard to know how to find them. One of the best things you can do in locating the source of old smells is to use a UV flashlight. This tool will make quick work of locating old, dried urine in the carpet.
Once you've located the source of the odor, you should re-wet the spot thoroughly with clean water. Don't use strong smelling products such as vinegar, ammonia or Pine-Sol because the strong smells may actually spur your pet to mark the area again.
Use a wet vac to suck up the dirty water. Repeat this process as many times as you need to thoroughly remove the stain from the carpet.
Once the stain is completely removed, you may wish to use a carpet cleaning machine or steam cleaner to clean the entire carpet. Don't do this until after you have completely removed the urine from the carpet, though. Use of these machines will set the stain rather than removing it.
Once the carpet is completely dry, look to see if the stain is still visible. If it is, you may wish to use a commercial carpet stain remover.
Use An Odor Neutralizing Powder
If there is still a lingering odor, use a pet odor neutralizer over the entire carpet. Plain baking soda or a powdered product formulated especially for neutralizing pet odors can be sprinkled over the whole carpet and left to sit for at least half an hour.
If it's possible to leave it overnight without any pets or kids walking or crawling on the carpet, do so. Follow up with a thorough vacuuming to remove the product and the odors along with it.
Avoid future problems by keeping the carpet well vacuumed and by using baking soda or a powdered pet odor neutralizer about once a month. If your pet does have an accident on the carpet, be sure to clean it up right away.
How To Clean Up New Urine Stains
Use a thick layer of newspaper or an old towel to soak up the urine thoroughly. Do this by laying the towel or newspaper over the spot and stepping on it to be sure that as much urine as possible is soaked up. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times.
Once you've soaked up as much of the urine as possible, pour clean water over the area and blot it up with newspaper or old clean towels or by sucking it up with a wet dry vac.
When the carpet is dry, vacuum it thoroughly, apply a powdered, pet odor neutralizer over the entire carpet, allow it to stand and vacuum again.
What About Dog Poop?
Most of the time, dog poop can just be picked up with a plastic bag over your hand and disposed of without leaving much of a mess. Sweep up any small bits with a whisk broom, apply carpet freshener and vacuum thoroughly.
If your dog is getting a poor diet or for some other reason has messy stool, cleaning up dog poop may be more of a challenge. When this is the case, you'll need to cleanup carefully using loosely wadded up dry newspaper or an old, dry towel to gently wipe up the mess as much is you can without grinding it into the carpet.
Follow up by wetting the area thoroughly with a solution of water and a stain and odor eliminator using natural enzymatic bacteria. Follow packaging instructions carefully both when mixing the solution and when applying it.
Finish up by sucking up the mess with a wet dry vac and/or cleaning the carpet with a carpet cleaning machine. If you have a small puppy or an old dog who is incontinent, you may wish to invest in a small, hand-held carpet cleaning machine.
What About Very Old Stains?
The best way to deal with pet stains on your carpet is to be vigilant and take care of them as quickly as possible. If urine is allowed to stay on the carpet, it will soak through to the padding and even into the sub-floor. When this happens, no amount of cleaning will eliminate the odor. In this case, you may simply have to replace the carpet.