Dear Home-Ec 101,
My daughter has a grass stain on her pretty little, made with love by Grandma, Easter dress. How can I get it out before we see Grandma again?
My 13 year old dog has recently urinated on our carpet, for reasons unknown to us. How can I get that horrible odor out before I go and purchase some doggy Depends?
Stink and Stains in Smyrna
First of all, I totally read that as “My 13 year old urinated on our carpet”. I was totally about to suggest counseling, but when it’s a 13 year old dog, I understand. But let’s get to the grass stains question first, shall we?
The very best grass stain getter-outer, I have found, is automatic dishwashing detergent. My personal fave is Cascade, but you can use any brand, probably. Dishwasher detergent has bleach-like powers, so be sure you spot test first.
What I do is get the item and soak it in a bucket with a couple of gallons of the hottest water the garment can stand and about a half cup of dishwasher detergent overnight. I doubt you really have to soak it that long, but that’s how I do it. Then you just toss the garment in the washing machine as usual, and the grass stains will be gone just like that.
Now for the doggy odor problem. It’s very important to get the smell entirely out of the carpet. When the dog has an accident, you want to take a towel, and soak up the urine. Press down hard to make sure you get as much as possible. Blot! Don’t rub!!
Once you’ve soaked up as much pee as possible, use an enzymatic cleaner like Kids N Pets on the spot. If you have a carpet steam cleaner, you can use that on the spot. If you don’t, it might be a good time to rent a Rug Doctor. I find the Rug Doctors work quite well for getting your carpet really clean- be sure you are using an enzymatic cleaner in the Rug Doctor.
If you find you have tried everything and the odor is still there, you may need to take drastic steps and rip up the carpet. There’s a good tutorial on cleaning urine stains from subflooring on my Curbly blog.
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