Most every cat owner will have to deal with detecting the location of and cleaning of urine stains in the home.
In most cases, it is simply a matter of following your nose to the offending spot on the rug or carpet and finding the stain. Sometimes the odor is noticeable, but it seems no amount of olfactory or visual sleuthing allows you to isolate exactly where it emanates from.
When the odor is observed but no spot is immediately visible, one of the best methods to determine which area needs cleaning is a black light. Black lights cause certain chemical residues from urine to fluoresce (glow) yellow or green when illuminated in a dark room.
Black lights are available at most local home or hardware stores and online. There is no reason to buy the most expensive model. However, something larger than the flashlight version will make it much easier to locate stains.
When searching with your black light make sure that the room is completely dark. It is much simpler to locate stains at night rather than try to darken a room by drawing the curtains. In a room that is dim rather than dark you run the risk of not noticing stains that exist but won’t glow brightly enough.
Once you have located the offending stains there are several good methods for cleaning. Cleaning must be very thorough. There is no point in removing the visible stain but not the odor!
Three components or urine are; urochrome, urea, and uric acid crystals. The first two elements make up the color and the gummy, stickiness of the stain. They are easily taken away with a soapy solution.
The uric acid crystals are invisible and are the cause of the recurring urine odor. They are not removed by soap and must be dealt with using other methods.
A simple answer for carpet stains that uses common items you probably have on hand works very well for the removal of the uric acid crystals. Mix one part water to three parts of white vinegar and thoroughly wet the area. Don’t blot or rub in. In order to encourage the solution to soak and not simply evaporate, place a heavy object on top of the stain. You can place magazines or a book on top of plastic wrap and leave it for 24 hours or so.
After the solution is mostly dry use your vinegar and water again, this time mixed with three or four parts water and one part vinegar and repeat the procedure.
Once the area is dry, clean the area with a light soapy solution and blot it dry. The vinegar odor will dispel in three or four days.
For urine stains on tile use a simple solution of one drop liquid dish detergent, one cup of vinegar, and a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix the solution until the baking soda is fully dissolved and pour the solution on the stain. Allow the solution to set for 20 minutes and using a scrub or tooth brush scour the area until the stain is gone.
For urine stains on wood floors, a light solution of white vinegar applied sparingly can be effective if the stain is not too deep. If the stain is deeper, light buffing or sanding and refinishing may be indicated and in extremely deep stain situations it may be best to replace the wood. Consult your hardwood-flooring contractor prior for more information.
There are many wonderful products on the market that work well for odor and stain removal on many surfaces. “Urine Off” is effective and can be purchased in a cat formula. “Nature’s Miracle” and “Nature’s Miracle Advanced” are also effective and the “Advanced” formula has the added benefit of removing cat pheromones that may be left behind and prompt your cat to mark in the same spot.
“Zero Odor” attacks odors at the molecular source and is a highly recommended product for urine stains and other cat scents.