If you have a dog or a cat that spends a lot of time indoors, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to come home to an unpleasant surprise waiting for you on the carpet. This is a task you probably are all too familiar with and dread the most if you have a sick or upset pet. If you have indeed found this unwanted gift on your carpet, do not punish your pet, and don’t wait too long to clean your carpet. For these are the stains that will wash away easier if they are removed earlier and won’t leave a rude reminder for you to ponder upon later.
This is not a job you have been looking forward to, but removing poop from the carpet is a very useful skill. What you would be relieved to know, is that it is a protein-based stain and would remove easily if your wash temperature is low.
Getting on with It
You will need:
- A brush with soft bristles
- Safety work gloves (these are entirely optional, but are recommended)
- A dust mask/odour respirator (not necessary, but use them if you are allergic or are the queasy type)
- A small bucket of warm water pre-mixed with some detergent
- A pre-wash disinfectant/commercial carpet stain remover
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Paper towels
- Clean rags or absorbent cloth
- A good pet vacuum cleaner
- A dollop of patience
Finding the mess shouldn’t be difficult for you as the smell would certainly lead you to it. What you will need to do is to remove as much solid poop as you can with a gloved hand or a sheet of plastic or the best of all, a scooper, and flush it down the toilet. You may have to use other tools if the faeces is a little on the softer side. You will need to be gentle about this because your goal is to clean the carpet and not spread the stain and make it bigger.
For the rest of the stain, please follow these instructions carefully:
- You will need a pre-wash disinfectant that has “oxi-action” or “oxi-clean” or a similar term. The keyword here is “oxi” because it would be an oxygen-based multipurpose stain remover. Let this soak for 10-15 minutes or the time prescribed on the bottle. Alternatively, you can use commercial carpet cleaners such as Vanish, Bissel or Dr Beckman. These products are easily available online or at the laundry aisle at your grocery store or supermarket.
- After waiting for 10-15 minutes, scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush with a mixture of a light detergent and warm water gently. You can also use a clean rag for this purpose if you want to go gentle on your carpet. In that case, you may want to rinse out the cloth regularly so as to not spread the stain on the carpet.
- Once you have done the scrubbing, use a piece of absorbent cloth over the area where you have been cleaning and let it sit there for a few minutes. This will let the cloth all the moisture in the carpet. You may want to use multiple clothes for this purpose because the goal here is to soak the moisture as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
- Once all the moisture is gone, you will have to repeat the soaking/scrubbing/drying routing until the stain is completely gone. This process may take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on how long was the poop on your carpet, what was the consistency of it and when you discovered it.
- You will need a lot of paper towels now to soak up all the moisture in the carpet.
- Once the stain is removed, you will have to remove the lingering after smell as well, and that is easy enough. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and wet the affected area (avoid soaking it). Now take common baking soda and sprinkle it all over the area. Let it dry overnight, and vacuum it off in the morning.
Congratulations! You have not only removed poop stains from your carpet but have also successfully gotten rid of that funky smell!
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Tips for Efficiency
Here are a few quick tips to remember before you set out to clean:
- Try and deal with the stain as quickly as possible. The longer it stays, the more difficult it will become to remove. Now you really cannot help it if you were out all day and discovered it only late at night, but you know what I mean.
- If you have cats that use a litter box, try to remove as much of the litter from the carpet as possible before cleaning. Non-clumping cat litter is generally a better choice as there is less chance of your cat flicking it all over the floor, and it reduces the chance of your kitty spreading poop on the carpet.
- Don’t rub it in. I mean that literally. You must take off as much dry/semi-dry poop off the carpet and soak the residual in paper towels. The more you rub it in, the faster the stain will become a part of your carpet.
- Before you get down on all fours and start scrubbing away, use a pre-clean solution. This is not just a gimmick but actually helps breaks down the most obstinate stains before you start cleaning. Some of these products come in an easy-to-use spray container, while others are available in pour-it-on bottles.
- Make sure the carpet is absolutely dry before you sprinkle the baking soda on to it because it will react with the vinegar and then it will be another mess for you to clean.
- Use parallel strokes while scrubbing the carpet. If you are scrubbing the area in a zig-zag and random manner, chances are that you are rubbing the minuscule poop particles back in the carpet instead of scrubbing them.
- Remember to test the cleaning area on an inconspicuous corner of your carpet before you put it on the actual stain. This is to check if the product is not leaving a stain of itself on your carpet because it would not be productive at all if you have two large permanent stains instead of one.
So don’t lose your poop the next time you are late from work and are greeted by the unwelcome sight on your carpet! Use the technique and the tips I mentioned and get to work on that poop stain. And with a little patience, you will get rid of the stain and smell off your carpet. Once you have cleaned the stain, you would need to remind your pet that the carpet is not the appropriate pooping place, or consult a trainer if the problem persists.