Pet Accidents & Rugs

iStock_000005200884Small - Adjusted for WebThose of us with pets understand that accidents happen occasionally.  This is a serious enough problem on synthetic wall to wall carpet, but on rugs it becomes far more problematic.  Here’s why:

  1. Like attracts like.  Wool is a protein fiber and pet stains are protein stains.  They really like each other.
  2. The dyes used on wool are acid based and applied hot.  Urine goes down in an acid state and is warm.  This means the urine essentially can re-dye the fibers yellow.
  3. Wool and cotton are highly absorbent.
  4. Old pet stains, (7+ days) due to bacterial action, turn highly alkaline in pH.  Being the opposite of acid, this actually destroys the dyes leading to color loss and localized dye migration.  High alkalinity also destroys the cuticle of the wool fiber resulting in texture change.
  5. Cotton is a cellulose fiber (made from plants) and is a perfect food source for the bacteria.  As the bacteria attacks the cotton backing, the cotton looses its strength.  This is the cause of dry rot.  The rug will eventually fall apart.

Centrifuge---AdobeFor these reasons, pet accidents on Oriental and other fine wool rugs need to be properly addressed quickly.  Total submersion and soaking in a pH balancing acidic (vinegar) bath dissolves the urine.  The rug is then flushed and extracted in the centrifuge repeatedly until the urine is rinsed out. The ability to so thoroughly remove water from a rug in the centrifuge is key to the success of our urine deodorization.  This is followed by our complete standard washing procedure.

This soaking and double washing takes more time but we feel it is important to remove urine odor by removing the urine rather than to rely on a concoction of odor masking agents.