Pew, What Is That Smell?

The question came from your friend who lives next door. Embarrassed, you answer, "Well, see..., ah....she had an accident."

And now you have a good reason to tackle that odor and get it out of your house! You attempt to clean the area and add some deodorizer, but you discover the foul smell doesn't go away! Now what?

For those of you who do not have pets, read on because there is a wealth of information in here that you may use later, or you can pass it on to a friend. But also, think about this. What if you should purchase another home? What will you do if the former owners had pets? What can you do about that? Well, keep reading!

Pet odor is a real (stinking!) problem. As a carpet cleaner I run into all kinds of situations that have to do with pet odors. Not too long ago I cleaned an entire house of carpets leaving them spotless and smelling nice. These folks had a rather large dog (he was a big one!) and within one week of the cleaning he left his deposit (some call it "his calling card") on one of the downstairs carpets. He happened to have the "runs." After the mess was cleaned up somewhat, guess who they called?

In most situations the problem is urine, but pet urine is no simple matter! Here is why:


You see, pet urine penetrates the fibers of your carpet with some of it settling at the bottom near the backing. It soon turns to urine salts and, interestingly, never fully dries out. This is why pet urine can often be located with the use of a moisture detector. But even after months, when the odor is hardly noticeable, it "revives" on a hot, humid day. It is due to the moisture in the air and temperature.

Incidentally, the older a cat becomes the stronger the odor will be. Or if a cat is in heat (obviously one that is non-neutered), the odor is much more intensified.

I had my male cat (non-neutered) do his thing in one of my shoes a while ago, and we never could get the odor out. At that time I was not in the carpet cleaning business and didn't know what could be done. Boy, was I some upset with my cat! Consequently, I had to throw the shoes away. But, now that I have been schooled on pet odor, I now know what to do.



you have a dog, especially a male. He can soak a carpet right down through to the sub floor! This poses a serious problem. You may possibly have the carpet treated by a professional, but if only the surface is treated, you will have a return of the odor in a short period of time. I'll show you how you can solve this problem without having to discard the carpet and get a new one, which may be what some carpet cleaners will suggest. That could be very costly for you.

You see, a larger dog can put as much as six ounces of fluid into your carpet during just one incident. Try pouring six ounces of warm water onto your carpet and see how wet it is! It is soaked through to the padding at least, if not all the way to the sub floor beneath.


then you've got a very serious situation. For cats, they will continue to urinate at the same spot as long as that odor is present. Other cats, when they smell the odor, will also go in the same spot compounding your problem. If you neglect to do something about this, bacteria will multiply in the carpet and now you have a health hazard.


When purchasing a home, it is not a bad idea to get the carpets cleaned before moving into it. The wet shampoo will revive the urine salts, if any, and you can then have the problem fixed before you move in. Believe me, this is a problem that occurs quite frequently. When you place an offer on a home you could ask the owners to have the carpets cleaned after they move out. This is especially necessary if you know they had pets. This way they pay for the cleaning and the odor removal if needed.


Of course, you are wondering what can be done about the problem. Here is what I would recommend you do in order to totally solve it.

1. You can, yourself, use a little white vinegar and water to reduce the odor temporarily. This is not a permanent solution. Of course, you can absorb as much as you can of the moisture if the cat or dog is seen "doing it". Put a soft, absorbent cloth on the area and step on it repeatedly until most of the urine soaks up into the cloth or towel. Then you use 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1/4 cup of water. Spray it on if possible and let it sit for ten minutes. Then use a towel to get as much of the moisture out as possible.

2. Then you can apply an enzyme treatment to the area. I carry an excellent product called, "Bottom Line Pet Odor Removal". It sells for only $10.95 per quart. Again, this may only be a temporary solution, especially if the urine has gone deeper beyond the fibers. Even so, it is still only a fast temporary solution, for example, when you are expecting company.

3. You can call me. I will come out and inspect the problem and offer you a permanent solution. It could mean only as much as $20.00 out of your pocket if it is a small area. I can treat it with professional products that work. I can also remove most of the urine out of the carpet with my extractor. Usually after my treatments there is no further problem. However, if the urine did penetrate the pad or even the sub-floor, we have a more complex problem/solution. The carpet must be pulled back and the contaminated padding cut out. The sub-floor must be properly sealed and dried, and then the back of the carpet treated. We must then put a new piece of padding in where we cut it out. Then, the carpet is stretched back into place. This can cost toward $200.00, but it is far better than purchasing a brand new carpet.

There is one more helpful preventive solution--


You should have your carpets treated with a protective coating such as Scotchguard TM Carpet and Upholstery Protector. This keeps liquids from being absorbed into the carpets and upholstery, thus providing easier removal of the urine salts when "accidents" happen. A carpet protectant is excellent for prevention of colored drink spills which can actually dye the fibers of your carpet and upholstery. Some of you have experienced this already where the stain could not be removed.

The average investment, and it is an investment, is around $15.00/20.00 per room. This is a small price to pay compared to carpet replacement.

Have you ever considered having your car or van treated with Scotchguard TM Carpet and Upholstery Protector? I am a licensed applicator and can provide that service for you if you want it.

The next time I come and clean your carpets or upholstery, ask me about protection and possibly purchasing a quart of "Bottom Line Pet Odor Removal". (if you have pets).

Well that's it for February. Hope the information is helpful. It is still a good time to call now and have your carpets and upholstery cleaned. As I said in the January newsletter, with the house all closed up, the chances for more germs to collect and harbor in your carpets, (not to mention the millions of dustmites), greatly increases.

Next month we are going to look at why it is important to choose a good carpet cleaner. I want to give you information on how to be sure he will do a thorough job. Until then, see how well you do on this quiz. It is true or false. I'll give you the answers next time.

1. "Bait and Switch" tactics have to do with effective uses of fishing lures.

2. When a carpet cleaner tells you he uses the "best" method for cleaning carpets, it is a signal that he is a good carpet cleaner.

3. All carpet cleaners use the correct cleaning agents for your carpets and upholstery since they are trained technicians.

4. Ammonia mixed with chlorine bleach (used in cleaning) is deadly! It releases FATAL gasses.

5. Hot water damages your carpet.

6. The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.

7. A company that is well known, but doesn't offer a money-back guarantee is still a good company to choose.

8. Asking a carpet cleaner to give you some references is a wise thing to do.

9. Rental machines do a fairly good job in cleaning your carpets.

10. Carpet cleaners should be well-groomed and wear uniforms.

*Important Note: In the January issue, I mentioned to you that if you had your carpets cleaned in January or February, I would take $50.00 off the invoice. Well, you could get two rooms cleaned for nothing that way! However, what I meant was that I would take $50.00 off the invoice if you did the entire house. Sorry about any misunderstanding. Additionally, this discount does not apply to cleaning furniture. But, the other discounts do apply.

I also have vacuum cleaners that are exceptional in getting out the dustmites, pollens, dirt, and dust. It gets all those pet hairs out of the carpet that conventional vacuums won't. They are super light in weight and built for commercial use. They cannot be purchased in any store. They are exclusively sold to carpet cleaners. They are called "Powr-Flite Enviro-Clean Upright Vacuums"

If you would like more information and prices, call me and I will promptly send you the free information.

I'll come over and demonstrate one for you, and if you like it, I'll make a risk-free offer to you that you can't refuse. You will be able to see the dirt come out right before your eyes when I use my "dirt meter."


And remember, I give $10.00 in cash to the one who provides me with a referral. You could save up this money and get a couple of rooms done free! It isn't difficult to get four or more folks to call me, or for you to give me their names and phone numbers. I'll simply call them, introduce myself, and offer them my 100% money back guarantee. You will be making them happy and I will, of course, be happy. That's why I want to reward you for providing me new clients. For every $100.00 in business that I get, I will send you $10.00. That is a promise! Try me and see!

Happy house cleaning!

Ron Stonis
Stonemark Carpet Cleaners
7004 Church St.
Loudon, NH. 03301