How to clean pet stains from the carpet

Author picture Jessica

Can pet stains be removed from the carpet?

Yes, pet stains and smells can be removed from carpets without paying for professional cleaning. In fact, most pet stains are easy to remove with cheap ingredients from the kitchen cupboard.

Having said that, there are some tricks of the trade that will make the job easier and longer lasting! Here's how:

Move quickly and don't let the stain set

Pet stains such as pee, poop or muddy paw prints are much easier to remove if you don't let them sit there and dry out. Remove your pet to a safe location where they won't get underfoot, then get to work.

Pet-friendly cleaning products

It's important to pick cleaning products that are safe around pets, as well as effective. Fortunately, the simplest ingredients work best. Here's what you'll need:

  • Cold water
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spare towels or paper towel
  • Spray bottles
  • Gloves

If you are remotely concerned about your floors or carpets handling any of these ingredients, be sure to use a professional instead.

How to clean pet stains from the carpet

1.  Always wear gloves when cleaning pet stains. Remove anything solid and wipe away the bulk of the mess with a damp towel and cold water. 
2.  Dab at the stain with clean water and a towel. Don't scrub or saturate, or you might damage your carpet fibres. The idea is you are lifting the stain gradually out of the carpet by absorbing it with the towel.
3.  Once the worst of the stain is out and the dabbed water starts to look clear, start to use dry towels or paper towels to dry the spot. Press the dry towel down to soak up any excess liquid.
4.  Spray the spot with a little diluted vinegar (a mix of half vinegar and half water works well) and water. Alternatively, use a small splash of diluted vinegar direct from the bottle (but don't use too much!).
5.  Cover the damp area with baking soda. The baking soda will help to lift and absorb the last, microscopic particles of the stain. Doing so prevents nasty odours from sticking around. 
6.  Gently massage the baking soda into the carpet with your fingers. Leave it to dry completely. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day.
7.  Vacuum up the powder thoroughly.

What if the stain doesn't come out?

Nasty stains that have started to dry out can sometimes take a bit of extra effort to remove. If there is still a discoloured patch or outline on the spot after you vacuum, don't worry. Simply repeat the cleaning process again until the stain is gone.