The Rug and Carpet Cleaning Expert's Blog

The Effects of Pet Urine on Your Rug

Posted by Paul Iskyan on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

prettydoginlivingroom.jpgOwners of even the best-trained pets will occasionally encounter pet urine accidents. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident. It is best to address these stains as soon as possible. Here are the most concerning effects of pet urine on your area rug:


If not treated properly, the odor from pet accidents can travel through the entire home and impact your health, happiness, and comfort. As the urine dries, the liquid evaporates but the urine crystals become even more concentrated and will be more pungent when reactivated with moisture. You have probably observed urine odor return stronger when the area is rewet or on a humid day.

Because animals are enticed to continue urinating in the same area over and over, the smell emitted from an accident area will often lead to repeat incidents in the same area until it is properly eliminated.

Dye Bleeding & Fiber Damage

Urine can affect the dyes used in rugs by creating a break in the dye bond to the wool and can make colorfast rugs bleed - a darker color on the rug bleed onto a lighter area. Urine can also cause the dyes to react and go through a chemical change resulting in a change in color - usually a red, orange, or yellowing color. Success of removing these discolorations by a professional rug cleaner is dependent upon the content of the urine, the type of dyes, the  fiber type of the rug, and the time elapsed after the accident.

Some of these reactions may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. Long term or repeat urine exposure can lead to mildew and dry rot of the rug.

To avoid damage and repeat accidents, tackle the accident as quickly as possible. Blot the area with white towels until no more moisture can be soaked up. Then apply a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar to the area with another clean white towel. Continue to apply then blot until you are no longer blotting up urine. Your rug may still require specialized professional cleaning well beyond just a simple cleaning and treating to avert permanent damage.