The longer you wait to remove a pet accident, the greater the chance of permanent damage to your carpet.
Work as quickly as possible, as the natural acids in the feces can have a disastrous effect on some carpet fibers. Stifle the gag factor by covering your nose with a bandana, put on some rubber or vinyl gloves, and get to work. A strong piece of cardboard or plastic dustpan comes in handy when scraping up the mess.
Things You'll Need
Cardboard or plastic dustpan
Plastic trash bag
Spring or distilled water
2 tablespoons liquid laundry detergent
Pretreatment laundry product
Safe-for-wool stain remover and absorbent products
Carpets are made from wool, nylon, polyester, polypropylene and acrylic. All except wool can handle hot water on their fibers, but wool requires cold water to avoid damaging the fibers.
Use the following method to remove diarrhea pet stains from all all carpets except wool.
Step 1: Remove Solids First
Gather some paper towels and scrape the mess onto the cardboard or a plastic dustpan you can clean later. Toss away the cleaned-up mess in a plastic sealable trash bag. Do not blot the stained area until you clean it, as you can force the excrement into the fibers of the carpet. Keep the trash bag handy for other dirtied towels. After you've removed the majority of the mess from the carpet, all that remains is to sanitize and clean it. For dried feces, use a dull knife to lift the material from the carpet.
Step 2: Pre-Treatment Spray
Spray the stained area of the carpet with a pre-treatment laundry product that contains an oxygen bleach; let it sit as you mix up the new cleaning solution.
Step 3: Soak the Stain
Add heated spring or distilled water to a gallon bucket and mix in 2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent to make suds. Soak the area with the solution, letting it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Step 4: Scrub It
Dip a soft bristle brush in the sudsy water and apply it to the carpet, scrubbing the stain repeatedly until it is gone, working from the outer area of the stain to the inside.
Step 5: Rinse It
Rinse the bucket to remove soapy residue and refill with cool distilled or spring water. Rinse the cleaned area on the carpet to get rid of any remaining detergent in the carpet. Once the detergent is gone, blot the rinsed area with paper towels or a soft cloth to remove excess moisture.
Test an inconspicuous place on your carpet for color fastness to ensure the laundry detergent or other cleaners don’t cause fading.
Step 6: Odor Remover
Add 1 part vinegar to 1 part spring or mineral water to use as an odor-removing agent. Combine the ingredients in a bucket and pour some of the mixture directly onto the formerly stained area of the carpet. Pat the area with paper towels to remove the excess and let the area thoroughly dry.
Step 7: A Touch of Baking Soda
Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit for at least 24 hours to remove any lingering odor. Vacuum the baking soda the next day. Avoid using brand-name odor neutralizers, as these can be fatal to dogs if ingested.
You can also use an odor remover with the Carpet and Rug Institute seal of approval to rid the spot of smells only your pet can detect. Products with the Institute’s seal are certified not to damage your carpet, as they have been tested in independent laboratories. Once an area of your carpet is marked by your pet – even accidentally – the pet’s scent marker makes it a likely spot for future accidents.
Wool Carpets or Oriental Rugs
Step 1: Remove the Solids
Scoop up the solids using a plastic spatula into a trash bag.
Step 2: White Vinegar Cleaning
Combine 2/3 cup of cool distilled water and 1/3 cup of white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the affected area and blot with a white paper towel or cloth without rubbing or scrubbing the spot. Continue patting the area until the stain has thoroughly been lifted from the rug.
Step 3: Safe-for-Wool Spot Remover
Apply a spot cleaner approved for use on wool to a clean white cloth and continue blotting the area. As a final measure, set a clean cloth over the wet area of the carpet and stand on it to soak up any remaining residue.
Step 4: Odor Absorbent
Sprinkle baking soda or an approved-for-wool absorbent product on the wet area of the rug and let it dry overnight. Once dry, vacuum the area thoroughly.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.