Pet Stains on Hardwood Floors
Let's face it, most of us consider our dogs and cats to be part of the family. We love them dearly but they can really take a toll on your hardwood floors. Never mind the scratches animals can leave on your hardwood floors, pet urine is actually amongst the most difficult types of stains to remove. It is possible to remove both stains and odors but it will require some special products and some hard work.
Pet urine that is wet and new will be much easier to take care of compared to old, dry pet stains. If the pet droppings are relatively fresh, always start with picking up everything you can with dry paper towel. Next, use a small amount of water and some white vinegar to remove the stain and use baking soda to remove the odor. The fresher your pet mess, the better. It is not too much work to take care of fresh cat pee. Old cat pee, on the other hand, is another story!
Old pet droppings that have sat on the wood for a long time may have absorbed into the wood. If this is the case, the floor may have to be sanded down and refinished because the odor is embedded in the wood and the stains are not only in the finish but may have penetrated into the wood. If you moved into a house that had dogs and still has odors, chances are that the previous homeowner did not take care of their floors. More than likely, your best bet is to sand down your hardwood floors.
Generally, animal feces and urine will make your wood floors appear darker. Vomit can sometimes make hardwood floors lighter or darker. The color it stains the wood floor will depend on the acidity of the vomit. There are many products on the market but they do not work equally. In fact, you will see that bleach is by far most effective at removing pet stains.
Today, there are many homeowners that have pets and there are many pet stain removing products on the market. Some of these products can do damage to your hardwood floors or simply not work effectively. A lot of products say they are good for floors but do not specify the type of floor.
On the label of Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover, it says "for use on carpets, floors, furniture & more". This does not mean that it is safe for wood floors. However, this pet cleaner company does make a product specifically designed for wood floors called Nature's Miracle Advanced Dual-Action Hard Floor Stain & Odor Remover. It does specify that it is safe for sealed wood. This product does a mediocre job removing stains on hardwood floors. If the odor is intensely strong, it will not remove it entirely. It may remove the odor relatively well but you can do that with vinegar too for a lot less money!
Planet Urine is another company that makes products for pet stains and odor elimination. They have two main products for cleaning Smells No More and No-P. These products are also said to be safe for hardwood floors. Unfortunately, they do not even get the smell out never mind the stains! They are also pretty expensive.
The best and most suitable product to use on a pet stain is wood bleach. I recommend wood bleach over and above every other pet product that is on the market. It is only designed for wood unlike a lot of products that are out there. Best of all, it works wonders. When using a wood bleach it is important to get the right stuff. There are many varieties of wood bleaches on the market. Wood bleach will take the stain out of the wood entirely.
The type of bleach that you want to use for a pet stain is a two-part peroxide bleach, commonly referred to as "A/B" bleach. This bleach is made up of hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide. This type of bleach will remove all color variations in the wood. For example, when you have a knot in the wood and the wood is darker, after it is treated with the two-part peroxide bleach, the knot will appear lighter. This is the downside to the two-part peroxide bleach.
Two-part bleach has very specific instructions. The two components are to be mixed together. It should not remove pigmented stains on your hardwood floors. Always read the manufacturer's warnings and instructions. This stuff is very strong. It is best to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to do the job. Keep your work area well ventilated.
Hopefully your pet stains are not too serious and after using some two-part peroxide bleach, you are able to remove both the stain and the odor. If you are very lucky, vinegar and baking soda will be enough. Pets make terrific companions. Just remember that when you have pets and hardwood floors, there is always going to be some work. It is a good idea to have paper towels, vinegar and baking soda on hand aways for any pet accidents.