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How Pet Urine Can Damage Your Rug

Accidents happen, even the most well trained pet can have an accident in the home due to any number of different causes. If you own area rugs and pets, it’s important to understand the ways that urine can damage your rugs as well as what you can do to protect your rugs from damage.

How does pet urine damage your rug?

Pet urine can cause permanent fibre damage, and this damage isn’t always visible from the top. Urine salts attract moisture to the cotton foundation of a rug, and this moist environment can cause the cotton foundation to rot and mildew. Bugs also use this environment as a food source, and if left alone this will result in a hole in the rug.

The ammonia in something like dog wee can damage dyes and the rugs ability to hold dye. This leads to bleeding colours and colour loss, especially on silk rugs. As the wee decomposes it releases an odour. We become accustomed to smells and urine odour gets worse over time, so commonly rug owners don’t even realise that the smell is as bad as it is. In order to eliminate the odour, all the urine salts and bacteria must be washed out of the foundation of the rug. Top cleaning the rug with carpet cleaning equipment won’t work because the source of the odour is in the base of the rug in the foundation.

Are all rugs damaged by pet urine?

Unfortunately pet urine is something that can damage all types of rugs from modern and contemporary rugs to antique rugs. Tufted rugs with backing can be cleaned with standard carpet cleaning equipment – these rugs are cheaper to make but they are made with a layer of latex to glue the fibres in place – but the urine can penetrate and bond with the latex in these rugs, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to completely remove the odours.

Finally, decomposing urine can stain rugs. As urine soaks into a rug it spreads out in the bottom layers of the rug. These stains are like icebergs, they’re small on top and much larger underneath and inside.

Tips to make living with pets and rugs easier:

  • 1. Have a spot removal plan: You want to clean up pet stains and other spills quickly, your rug cleaner should be a partner in this process, and we can teach you what to do if you have a problem. If you come home to a pet catastrophe, we’re just a phone call away.
  • 2. When possible, buy rugs that can be washed. This will probably mean woven rugs with colour-fast dyes. Get a busy designed to hide stains and spots better especially if you have rescue pets.
  • 3. Get pads under your rugs to protect your floor. Apply fibre protector to suspend spills and give you more time for clean-up.
  • 4. If you have pets, you should have your rugs washed every six months to a year.

If you have any questions about proper maintenance of your rugs, give us a call  on 01269 842497 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be happy to help!

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