No matter how great your pet is and how much you love him, there will be times when he will mess on your floors. It doesn't matter whether you have a dog, a cat, or a hamster, and even if you've thoroughly trained them, it's going to happen once in awhile. So how do you keep your hardwood floors looking great when they get difficult pet stains?
It's especially true that older pets and those left alone for long intervals can have accidents. If these accidents happen on hardwood floors, you can have a lot of trouble removing them. If you catch the stains soon enough, they'll be relatively easy to move with the right cleaning. Old, dried-on stains are going to present a greater dilemma, although they can be removed if you're prepared for a bit of hard work.
One of an animal's basic instincts is to mark out his territory. This means that if you once had a pet that left stains on the floor, a new pet will try and follow suit. Therefore, it's essential that you remove all pet stains from floors in order to keep your new pet from smelling them.
Fresh pet stains are easier to remove, because they have not yet had time to be completely absorbed into the floor. There are special stain-removers on the market which you can buy. Just make sure that the product you select isn't one that is going to damage the finish of your floor. The other tools you'll need to eradicate the stain are paper towels, warm water, and white vinegar.
Using the materials outlined above, here is what you need to do:
* Remove all standing urine by blotting the area with a paper towel.
* Use white vinegar and scrub the entire area to reduce stain and odor.
* Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
* Blot totally dry with paper towels. Remaining liquid could cause the floor to warp.
* Apply stain and odor remover to keep your pet from going there again.
Getting Rid of Old Stains
Most likely older pet stains will have already seeped down into the wood flooring as well as the sub-flooring. What you need to do in order to see how deep it went is to sand the stained area until you get to a point where it isn't stained any longer. If the stain has gone down below the floor surface, then the entire stained section of floor will need to be removed. Depending on how much damage was done, you may have to refinish the entire hardwood floor.
A stain that has been there for a number of years has allowed urine and odors to penetrate the sub-flooring. If you're carefully you might try using commercial bleach on the area. Make sure you have gloves and know what you're doing before trying this, though. If you've had to sand stains out of the floor, resurface the area with shellac-based primer.
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