Frequently Asked Questions
Pet Urine Stain & Odor Removal
Do you guarantee pet stain / odor removal?
What items can be treated for pet urine odor/stains?
Can Pet urine cuase permenant damage to carpet and fabrics?
Do you have a product to ‘repel’ or keep my pet from resoiling an area?
How do you treat spots from my dog / cat?
What should I do after you finish?
Can’t you just spray some deodorizer on the carpet and clean it to remove the odor?
Do you sell a ‘do it yourself’ product I can use for odor?
How do I prepare for pet odor removal?
Are all “deodorizers” the same?
No, most odor control formulations will utilize one as the primary component with other mechanisms blended in to broaden the scope of the product. Due to the complexity of the formulation and the costs of active ingredients you will find significant differences in the performance of products offered in the market place. Depending on the situation Referral will choose the proper product to remove odors. Here is a brief description of the primary odor control chemistries in use today.
- Biological agents, often referred to as an enzyme, eliminate odors by metabolizing (eating) the odorous material. This is the chemistry used in many ‘do it yourself’ products. Enzyme’s performance varies based on their temperature and if they get to hot they are killed. Usually their is a surfactant mixed in with them which can leave a dirt attracting residue. Enzyme’s may require up to 72 hours to be effective. Referral would use this chemistry on an installed wall to wall natural fiber carpet that can’t be immersed like a loose rug.
- Pairing agents eliminate odors by bonding to the odor molecule. Thereby altering the shape of the odorous molecule so the olfactory senses no longer recognize the odor.
- Molecular encapsulation utilizes multiple bonding mechanisms to pull the odorous molecule into the active molecule and thereby absorb the odor much like a sponge absorbing moisture.
- Physical encapsulation occurs when a film-forming agent engulfs the odorous substance and physically prevents the release of odor.
- Molecular cleaving (oxidation): Reactions that chemically change (break apart) the odorous molecule and combine with it to form different substances. This is the chemistry used in the product Referral uses to remove odor from synthetic carpet and fabric fibers.
- Odor modification is based on the Zwaardemaker Conjugates theory where two different odors will cancel each other out. In odor control, fragrances are formulated that cancel out the most common odors encountered such as urine, feces, and mold.
- Emulsification: Acid based products designed to dissolve urine salts and neutralize ammonia and suspend the contamination so it can be rinsed away. This is the chemistry we use when immersing wool area rugs to remove pet urine odor.
- Masking agents simply provide a pleasant fragrance that mutes the malodor so as to make it more tolerable.
Why does Urine Odor Return?
Humidity levels can change for a number of reasons but here are two major reasons:
- Change in Seasons. In the winter the air is very dry, but in spring and summer there is naturally more humidity. So even though nothing about the spot has changed, the change in seasonal humidity levels may cause you to not notice urine odor during the winter but in the spring and summer the odor comes back.
- Carpet Cleaning. Cleaning the carpet will change the humidity level in the house, especially if the areas affected by pet urine are cleaned only and not treated for odor. Odor from pet accidents may become more noticeable for a period of time after the cleaning because of the elevated moisture content. Generally it will return to the same pre-cleaning condition after it has dried completely. We cannot be held responsible for such odor producing deposits unless we are able to identify, treat and neutralize such odors.
What is Urine composed of?
Urine leaves the body (man or animal) in an acid state, with a pH of about 5 to 6. It is rather pure and generally contains no harmful bacteria, pathogens or microorganisms. However, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for those things as soon as it leaves the body. The main ingredient in urine is uric acid. It also contains yellow pigment, urea, cholesterol, enzymes, and small amounts of other chemicals. The uric acid begins to change immediately upon leaving the body. The warm acid state of the urine offers a friendly environment for bacteria, which begin to flourish almost immediately. In this original acid state, the urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a color change, which may become permanent if the urine is not removed from the carpet. As urine begins to dry, it changes its hydrogen content and forms crystalline salts, which take on an alkaline pH. Then The Smell Begins! When dried urine is remoistened, it gives off an ammonia gas.
Odors associated with urine come from two sources:
- The first source is bacteria that grow abundantly in dark warm places with a never ending food source (the dog feeds the bacteria daily!). This bacteria growth and breakdown of the urine creates amino acids. These complex organic compounds work deep into carpet fivers until they’re nearly part of the fiber. This can present a challenging situation. The waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine create an unpleasant odor.
- The second source of odor is chemical odor that remains even when the bacteria have been killed. This explains the reason more than disinfecting is necessary to neutralize odors from urine. Urine also presents additional odor problems when the relative humidity is high. The salts and crystals that are formed are hydrophilic and draw water to them. As the salts are reactivated by moisture, they give off a greater proportion of odorous gases.