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.
This is part two of “Pet Urine, Scale of Severity.” In part one we defined minor, light and moderate pet urine damage. In part two we will define severe damage.
Severe pet urine
The pet urine soaks the face fiber and the backing of the carpet and the pad and gets into the wood subfloor/floor. The buildup of dried lipids has made the carpet fibers sticky. Tack strip around the edge of the room may be rotting. Urine may have wicked up into the baseboard and wallboard.
Note: When the pet urine reaches the backing it spreads and when it reaches the pad it spreads and when it reaches the floor, you guessed it, it spreads. The area affected by the urine is usually several times larger than you can see from the top or the face of the carpet. This is not always the case. If the dog has sprayed small amounts of urine (marking his territory for example) then there is not enough volume for it to spread and the area may be no larger than what is visible.
If you have many minor or light problem areas in a single room and you are hand treating them yourself one at a time the problem may become a moderate or severe problem to you. Cleaning many light problem areas can become too big of a job. If you hire a professional carpet cleaner who deals with dog urine to come in and clean the carpets it should remain a minor or light problem to him. As long as the dog urine problem is only in the carpet face fibers, the professional can clean and treat the whole room at one time as though it was one large light issue. If you have a good carpet cleaning machine you can do it yourself. It is when the urine gets deeper into the carpet or into other areas (furniture, walls etc.) that the problem becomes moderate or severe and effective decontamination becomes more involved.
see also part one of “Pet Urine Scale of Severity“
This is part one of a 2 part “Pet Urine, Scale of Severity” article.
Let’s create a scale to help us determine how severe the pet urine contamination is. We need a couple things in order to effectively correct dog urine stain and odor problems. We need to locate each of the problem areas. We also need an idea of how extensive or severe each of the problem areas are. This scale will help determine this. We will use 4 levels in this scale. Minor, Light, Moderate and Severe. We will apply it to a carpet and pad scenario. The principles can be applied to other applications also. For example furniture, drapery, mattress’s and other fabrics. This scale will also be useful for concrete, hardwood, walls, tile and other hard surfaces. Not as useful as when applied to carpet and fabric but still useful. It is not much use for grass, lawn or plant damage.
Minor pet urine
This is where the dog has urinated only small amounts and you are able to blot (paper towels or absorbent rags) it or extract (wet/dry vac) it out before it can dry in the carpet. A small amount may have reached the backing of the carpet but it has not reached the pad or the sub floor. However it does get into the face fibers of the carpet and it has not dried in the carpet.
Light pet urine
This is when there is a little more urine and you are not able to clean it up quickly. It soaks deeper into the face fibers and reaches the backing. But not into the carpet pad. If many deposits occurred in the same location the urine would likely have reached the pad and the floor below. In this case the contamination would no longer be described as light. Urine may or may not have dried in the carpet.
Moderate pet urine
Urine has soaked through the back of the carpet. Urine stains and/or alkaline salt crystals are apparent on the backing of the carpet. The carpet pad is contaminated and very possibly the subfloor/floor under the carpet. If the Tack strip (the strip used around the outer edged of the room to hold the carpet down) has been affected it is stained only but still in good condition. The lipids (animal fats in urine) left in the carpet are not enough to make the carpet fibers sticky.
continue with “Pet Urine Scale of Severity” part two