I foster dogs in addition to owning two of my own, so I have a lot of pups going through my house. Since they’re rescues and often times come from places where they haven’t even started on potty training, I have a lot of accidents in my house. And I do mean a lot. Pretty much everything you could imagine that could come out of either end of dog has probably ended up on my carpet at some point or another. Come spring time my backyard also turns into a mud pit, and I have dogs tearing in from the backyard tracking who knows what all over the place. In short, stain removers are a must at my house, and not only do they have to get the stain, but the smell as well. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to catch on to the fact that I could make my own and that they would work just as well as the dozen or so other expensive cleaners I’d tried before. Mud, blood, number 1 or number 2, here are 3 natural DIY solutions to keeping up on pet stains and odors.
Note: Test for color-fastness on an inconspicuous area before use, and remember-this is a process, make sure to always blot up as much excess liquid before treating, and be patient. No shortcuts!
1. Vinegar-Baking Soda Spray
It doesn’t get much easier than this spray. Most of the time, this is the one I choose to use. It’s simple, inexpensive, and works a treat on blood and urine stains in particular. White vinegar is a miraculous substance that will get rid of even the old accident stains that might have been missed if a dog did a “ninja-pee” behind the bookshelves or something. Baking soda is nature’s odor remover, and teamed up with vinegar, does a great job at getting rid of odors!
You will need…
-2 cups white distilled vinegar
-2 cups of lukewarm water
-4 generous tablespoons of baking soda
-Spray bottle (optional)
Thoroughly blot up as much of whatever it is you’re cleaning up. I can’t emphasize the importance of this step enough. Fold up a rag over it, place a heavy book on it, and stand on the book to make sure you really get it all out (sounds extreme, but it does a good job!) Mix 2 cups of white distilled vinegar with 2 cups of lukewarm water in a large bowl. Add in 4 heaping tablespoons of baking soda, adding it in smaller amounts if it threatens to fizz over (and it really does fizz!) Pour into a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the area. Let sit for 5 minutes, then gently rub and blot up with a soft cloth. You can also simply pour some straight from the bowl over the stain if you don’t have a spray bottle.
*To clarify these numbers do not refer to “number 1” or “number 2”-they both work for either!
As with the first step, blot or clean up as much as possible. Mix 2 cups of lukewarm water with 2 cups of white distilled vinegar. Instead of adding the baking soda to the liquid, sprinkle it dry liberally over the area where the accident occurred. Let it break down and deodorize for about 5 minutes, then vacuum. Apply the water/vinegar solution as in the first set of directions.
Mix up your water and vinegar solution. After blotting up any excess fluid, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the soiled area. Pour the water and vinegar solution directly onto the baking soda to create a mini cleaning volcano that will actively eat away at the stain. Blot and rub gently dry with a soft cloth after letting it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Hydrogen-peroxide/baking soda mixture
Hydrogen peroxide is another great substance when it comes to breaking down the “crystals” of urine and pulling out stains. Combine it with naturally deodorizing baking soda, and you have another great solution for cleaning up stains.
You will need…
-Paper towels or rags
-A cup or so of baking soda
-1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
-1 teaspoon eco-friendly dish liquid
Cover the stain with paper towels or rags and walk lightly over or place something heavy on top to soak up any excess liquid. Sprinkle a generous handful of baking soda over the stain when no more liquid can be pulled up, and mix together ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of dish liquid. Slowly pour the solution over the stain and baking soda. Gently scrub the mixture into the carpet fibers with a scrub-brush or cloth, and then let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Vacuum the area thoroughly. For tough stains, repeat the above steps.
3. Citrus-enzyme cleaner
Popular stain removal products often have lengthy labels telling about how they use “enzymes” to digest and break down stains and odors on a molecular level. It sounds mighty fancy, but with a little time and patience you can easily make your own.
You will need…
-7 tablespoons of brown sugar
-1 ½ cups of lemon and orange peels/scraps
-1 liter of water
-a bottle or clear container large enough to hold the liquid and peels/scraps
Funnel 7 tablespoons of brown sugar into your container, and add the fruit. Next, add the water, and tightly screw on the cap, giving everything a good shake to mix it around. Loosen the cap and leave it on halfway to release the gases and ensure your bottle doesn’t explode due to the build-up. After 3 months, you’re natural enzymatic cleaner will be ready to use!
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We love our four-legged friends dearly…but not so much the stains and messes they leave behind. We can’t blame them really-they don’t come into the world knowing they have to go outdoors or in the litter box every time they have to go potty! There’s no way to avoid the mess, no matter how well trained your friend is, but by making your own cleaners you can avoid lasting stains and extra money spent on store-bought stain removers.
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By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, romping with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→
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