Archive for category Odor Removal
just purchased home & previous owner kept 2 large dogs in garage they urinated extensively over a long period of time on the concrete floor what do you think I need to totally remove the odor ?The size is 21ft x 21ft. I'm wanting to treat area ASAP Thanks jeff
Concrete is porous. Depending on the type of concrete and the finish they put on it, it will vary as to how porous it is. So urine soaks into the concrete. Your urine neutralize will need to soak into it also to get to the urine and neutralize it. This means putting the neutralizer on wet and letting it soak in. Covering ti with plastic so the neutralizer will not evaporate will help with this. If you use an enzyme product it will need to be kept damp for up to 2-3 days so the enzymes have time to work on and digest the urine residue. If you use a product like "SUN" from www.removeurine.com it will neutralize the odor on contact so it does not need the additional time to work but it will need time to soak in. Pay particular attention to the walls also. If the urine has run under them or has been sprayed up on them including the baseboard you will want to treat those areas also. Because concrete and wood also for that matter are very porous sometimes it is not possible to remove all the odor. In these cases we recommend sealing the concrete with a good varnish, shellac or an acrylic sealer. This is to seal in any remaining odor if necessary.
So the steps are 1. Clean the floor (if it needs it or has not been cleaned). Then 2. treat the floor and then 3. seal the floor if necessary. I suggest you use "SUN" for the treatment because it is effective and is easier and faster to use than enzyme products.
Oxi Blast is a professional urine product. Previously only available to professional cleaners and odor removal technicians. It is now available to you. It works by forcing large amounts of oxygen into the urine residue breaking it down into basic elements like carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements. These compounds then leave by evaporation or are easily extracted. This product is a specific blend effective on urine not only because of the oxidation but it also contains odourcide, an odor neutralizer that attacks the dog urine neutralizing it by bonding to and encapsulating it. Oxi Blast works on eliminating the urine odor in two separate ways. The oxidation is also affective in removing the urine stains. Plus it contains additives that enhance solution penetration to improve rinsing and removal. The last item I am going to mention is that they have built into it anti-resoiling properties that keep the treated area from attracting new residue. You can order a free sample here. They do charge a shipping and handling fee.
I am continuing with my series on questions from readers with answers.
Rick writes and asks "Can you please tell me more about the odor neutralizer? I am working with concrete that has been used in a dog day care / kennel for a couple of years. So far I have tried a degreaser/cleaner, enzymes (which included covering the floor with plastic for 24 hours to keep it wet), white vinegar, a high-tech odor neutralizer, and finally bleach, both straight and diluted. I have power-washed at the start, and again after each of these treatments. The bad odor has been reduced but it is still present."
Thanks for asking. Concrete is porous so what you have is a situation where dog urine has been soaking into the porous surface (it sounds like continuously) for a couple years. At least some of the products you have used are working. The enzymes work by digesting the urine residue. The reason you keep them wet its two-fold. One: They have to be wet to be active. When they dry they do nothing. Two: To get them to soak into the concrete far enough to reach the urine, which would be in pretty deep. Bleach uses oxygen to break down the urine. It will work also if it can reach the urine in enough concentration and for a long enough time to work (which for oxygen is fast). Washing is good and it will remove the urine it can get to. You do need to be careful with power washing though because it can drive the urine even deeper into the concrete depending on how you do it. Neutralizer you asked about also has to come in contact with the urine to change the molecules. So your challenge is to get one of these (a good product) deep enough into the concrete. Where the urine is after a couple years of soaking in. One suggestion is to apply a product and keep it wet for several days. The longer it is wet the deeper it will penetrate. Also make sure that the urine smell is not coming from surrounding items. Is there wood close that might be contaminated or fabric or even dirt. Urine will wick up several inches into other materials when present. It is common not to be able to completely remove all the odor in a situation like yours. (concrete or even wood) So an option used by professionals is to seal the concrete. After you have removed the majority of the odor you can then seal the concrete with a good pigmented shellac, varnish or acrylic sealer. These sealers have microscopic holes left in them when they dry. These holes are larger than the odor molecules so odor can still get through the sealer. If you apply two coats of sealer this will help eliminate that issue. The end result is a completely satisfactory odor neutralized environment. Get back to me with any additional questions.
How can I tell if the odor removal product I am using works? I recently had a neighbor (Kim) ask me this question. He was trying to help his friend (Larry) that is handicapped and happens to be in a wheelchair with a dog urine odor problem. Larry has two or three dogs. He has many urine spots from his dogs on his carpets and floors. Possibly on the furniture and baseboard and walls if one or more of the dogs is a male that is lifting its leg when urinating. Kim was attempting to eliminate the stains and odor for Larry. Especially the odor. Kim realized even if the odor removal product he was using worked he would never know because there were other spots that continued to smell and he could not tell if he was doing any good for Larry. Kim asked me how do you know if these products are any good? There is no way to know if they do anything. I recommended a test he could use to know if the odor removal products he was using were working. It is the same test you use when you want to find out if a particular spot in the carpet is urine or something else. Take a spray bottle of water and paper towels. Spray the spot with the water to dampen it. Place the paper towel on the moistened area and apply a little pressure to the paper towel. When the paper towel becomes moist put it in a plastic cup or container. A container with a lid works well. Cover the container and let it sit for a short time but not long enough for the paper towel to dry. Now uncover the container and place your nose near it and smell. You want a good strong urine smell apparent for this test. Now apply the odor removal product to the paper towel in the container according to the instructions on the product. If it totally removes or eliminates the odor then you know it is working. Some products work immediately and others take time to work so follow the directions that come with the product before you decide it is not working. You can cover the container and leave it for a while, then come back and check it again to see it the odor returns. If the paper towel is completely dry re-moisten it again to be sure the odor is gone.
Does sealing the odor out work? I found the following statement that I will quote and then post a response to it.
"WHY SEALING OR PAINTING WILL NOT STOP ODOR
Sealing or painting a surface to stop odor may seem like a good idea with one coating company in paticular promoting the idea. However, the idea is really bad and will not work. Once the science of odor is understood, sealing or painting a surface to stop odor is just physically impossible.
This has to do with the size of the molecule your nose detects as odor and how paints and sealers dry.
The odor molecule is a gas molecule produced by the odor causing bacteria eating urine residue deposits. It's size is in the 2-5 micron size range. A very small particle.
However, when a coating such as a sealer or paint is applied, the solvent in the coating (water or oil based) needs to evaporate for the coating to dry. The evaporation process leaves very small holes in the coating usually in the 25-45 micron size range. This also is a very small hole (cannot be seen by the naked eye), but compared to the 2-5 size micron odor molecule, it is indeed, very large.
Consequently, when the odor causing bacteria (eating the urine residue under the coating) release the odor molecule, it finds its way through the holes in the coating to your nose. And thereby telling you, you just wasted your time and money coating the floor or wall."
I agree in part with the statement. There are indeed some openings in any sealer that will allow gas to pass through. This gas can include odor molecules. I would never suggest sealing as a total or stand alone treatment for odor. However, there are coating designed to greatly control emissions of odor. These are best used following cleaning or some other process to remove the source of odor.
If the cleaning removes 90 or 95% of the odor and the coating allows only 10% of what remains to escape, you have reduced potential odors by 99% or more. Usually to a degree that cannot be perceived by most people. If you had only applied the coating, it would still be 10% of the original odor.
Another chemical that is affective as a urine odor remover. I previously wrote an article about the types of chemicals used as urine odor removers. Today I am going to add one more that is also used effectively at removing urine. These chemicals are useful for removing or eliminating many types of odors but we are specifically dealing with dog urine here so that is what I will address. I talk about 4 different types of chemicals in the other post. In this post I will describe a 5th type. It is an oxidizing agent. Many people ask me is there anything that really works on dog urine. The answer is yes. I want to point out three keys that will make the difference as to whether it does or does not work for you.
First: Use one of the types of chemicals that are effective at doing the job. There are many products being sold that are not even designed to remove the smell of urine. For example masking agents.
Second: Get a quality chemical. There are many chemicals designed to do the job but are of inferior quality. We all know about these.
Third: Use the chemical properly. This can be the biggest problem. For the job of urine odor removal you need to use the chemical as it was designed to be used or you will at best, only get partial urine odor removal. These chemicals must come in contact with the urine to be able to work on it. Some of them need a minimum amount of time in contact with the urine residue to work. They must be kept moist during that time. Some have temperature requirements to get results from them. These factors can vary some and you can still get partial results. But you need to keep these factors within the tolerances of the chemical you are using to get the complete results you want.
Oxidation happens to be one of the fastest methods of treatment. It is also excellent because it deals with all three aspects of urine deposits – odor, stain and contamination. The oxidation process releases large amounts of oxygen causing the urine to break down to more basic components like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other components. This process decontaminates the urine residue. In addition it removes the stain and neutralizes the odor. These basic components that are left then either leave as gases or are easily extracted and removed.
This is a continuation from odor remover part one.
BACTERIA AND ENZYMES (BIO/ENZYMES) as Odor Removers
Bio/enzymes have been used successfully for many years in the stain and odor removal industry. And in other industries also. They have proven effective to remove the greasy build-up that occurs in the drains of restaurants. Bio/enzymes are the primary organism used to break down sewage in treatment plants, returning the water to a clean, non-hazardous condition. Some laundry detergents contain enzymes. Enzymes were first used in the carpet cleaning industry as spotters for breaking down organic and protein based stains.
The names of each enzyme help identify the natural product they are best at breaking down. Protease is an enzyme that digests protein. Lipase works on fat or lipids (animal fats in urine). Amylase breaks down starches. Cellulase digests cellulose and so forth. Enzymes are produced by bacteria.
The bacteria are unable to absorb and digest food internally. So, they use enzymes to breakdown or pre-digest this waste matter outside the cell. To accomplish this the bacteria produce the enzymes which act as catalysts to speed the decomposition. The enzymes convert the contamination into simpler substances that can be absorbed by the cell.
The bacteria are packaged for use in a dormant form, that is activated in the presence of moisture and an organic food source. Once activated, they grow and multiply until the food source is consumed. Under ideal conditions, the number of bacteria will double every 20 minutes. Each cell could add over 16,000,000 additional waste and odor digesting bacteria in eight hours. But when the food source is completely gone, the bacteria die and enzyme production stops.
A previous limitation to using bacteria and enzyme products was the conditions they worked under. Too high or too low a pH could stop or slow the action of the enzymes. The presence of other cleaning agents could interfere with the process. Previously used disinfectants would kill or reduce the number of active bacteria. Because biological breakdown was a slow process it was necessary to treat with enzymes and return at a later time to clean. The technology used today allows you to over-come these limitations. Cleaning and treatment can usually be accomplished on the same day.
See also part one odor remover where we discuss Masking Agents, Encapsulation products and Neutralization products as odor removers. One more that is effective that I neglected to mention is an oxidizing chemical.
This is part one of odor remover
4 types of Chemicals being used in Odor removal
There are 4 types of chemicals used to eliminate dog urine odors that I will cover. The names they have been given are Encapsulation, Enzyme and a fairly new one that is called Neutralization. The fourth is a Masking Agent. There are quality chemicals available in each of these categories that if used correctly will do an excellent job. There are many more chemicals on the market in each category that are just not very good. The good quality chemicals work well when used correctly.
Masking agent/ not an odor remover
The masking agent in dealing with dog urine is, in my opinion almost useless. It comes in many different scents and what it does is add a scent to the air that covers other less appealing fragrances. The urine odor for example. When it wears off the old odors returns. We are all familiar with masking agents. One way they come is in spray cans and you give a little squirt from the can when you want the fresh smell they give in the air. These are great for many uses but not for removing dog urine odor.
Encapsulation as an odor remover
Encapsulation chemicals are chemicals that envelop and completely seal off the urine odor. It then dries to a crystalline form making the urine molecules odorless.
Neutralization odor remover
Neutralization is newer technology. It is an amazing new odor counteractant. It does not fit into the traditional categories of odor control agents. Its special designed molecular structure has an expanse of surface area that absorbs, binds to and counteracts odors. It is very effective on dog urine. Neutralization works immediately on contact with odors to make your cleaning job more pleasant. Neutralization contains no bleaches, no bacteria, no enzymes, no oxidizers nor chemical de-sensitizers. It is safe to use even when children or pets are in the home. Neutralization chemicals can be used on carpet, upholstery, mattresses and a variety of hard surfaces.
See part two of odor remover where we explain enzymes.