How to Remove Pet Stains from Hardwood Floors
Pet stains! Agh! The bane of everyone that finds them in their hardwood floors. When we talk about dog, cat, and other animal urine stains and how to remove pet stains from hardwood floors, there are two categories. First are the fresh urine stains that have recently happened. You come home to find a puddle of fresh dog or cat pee in the corner of a room. The second is the older, set-in stains that have been there for years. These are usually found under old ripped-up carpets, removed to restore the wood flooring underneath. Pet stain removal is important to get right if you want fresh, urine-free floors. For fresh stains, you'll need to take care of them as soon as possible to get on top of the potential damage. For long-term stains, understanding the various options to repair them is vital to get your floors back to looking and smelling great. So below, we'll explore 1) the best methods to clean up fresh pet urine stains. 2) How to identify and best ways of removing deep existing stains from hardwood floors. 3) preventative measures to protect against future pee episodes on your wood floors. Let's start with the first category of pet stains…
Fresh Urine and Pet Stain Removal from Hardwood FloorsSo, you've found a puddle of pet pee on your wood floors. Now what? 1. Act Fast to Clean up the Urine The best thing you can do is act fast and clean it up asap. The longer the urine sits on the floor, the deeper it can penetrate into the wood. Making it harder to remove and causing more damage. Of course, that's not always possible. If you're out or don't notice the pee puddle straight away, it's going to sit there for some time. But... as soon as you do notice the urine stain, grab some paper towels or a clean cloth and blot up as much of it as fast as possible. Grab as many cloths or dry towels as needed. How easy it will be to clean up depends on whether your floor is well-sealed or has a worn-out finish and gaps. If you have gaps, then using a wet/dry vacuum will help suck the urine up easier. Use it along with the cloths until the floor is as dry as possible. 2. Use Baking Soda If you're having trouble getting all the liquid out of the gaps, try sprinkling baking soda on them. It will absorb the urine, as well as help with the nasty pet odors. You can then use a knife and vacuum to dig out the soaked baking soda and vacuum it up. 3. Finish with a Neutral Cleaning Solution After you've wiped up or vacuumed up most of the urine, mix up a bucket of warm water with a neutral cleaning agent. Regular dish soap or a professional hardwood floor cleaner can work. Dip your clean cloth into the solution and gently scrub the pee-affected area. Make sure to have dry towels or the wet/dry vacuum handy to soak up the excess solution. Also, make sure you don't saturate the floor with water. If you get the floor even wetter than it already is, you can cause the wood to warp or buckle. If that happens, you'll have no option but to sand the floor down to remove them.
How to Remove Existing Long-Term Pet Stains from Hardwood FloorsWhile you can clean fresh pee puddles relatively easily and quickly (if caught in time). Long-term, set-in pet stains are a whole other issue. Most pet stains have penetrated deep into the floor by the time you find them. Pets tend to pee in the same spots repeatedly. These areas get soaked with urine over and over again. They're going to take some work to fix. First, let's take a quick look to see exactly what kind of stain you're dealing with. Below is a list of three common characteristics of pet stains vs water stains from pot plants:
- Pet stains smell, a lot. Really bad. Water stains don't.
- Water stains have a dark grey shade. Pet stains are a dark black/green color.
- Pet stains are in irregular shapes with undefined edges in the stained area. Pot plant stains are usually in ring/circle shapes.
- DIY: If you choose to go down this route, make sure you have proper tools. You'll need a pry bar. A hammer. A chisel. Circular and table saws. And nails suitable for hardwood flooring. Make sure to ask your floor sander for some tips before attempting the repair.
- Hiring Professionals: Some homeowners may feel confident enough to tackle board replacement themselves. Others won't. Hiring professionals like Dans Custom Hardwood Floors will save time and ensure quality results. Professional flooring contractors have experience working with various types of wood species. Experience with professional installation and repair methods. That will ensure seamless integration between existing and new boards.
- True Black: A very dark, intense black. Much darker than all the above. A very good pet stain color choice if you really want to hide them.
- Royal Mahogany: This is a nice deep shade with deep red undertones that works really well with most wood species.
- Jacobean: This color is a rich, warm-toned brown that really complements traditional styled interiors.
- Ebony: An almost-black shade. The original dark choice! It’s perfect for creating dramatic contrast in modern designed homes.