It is normal for your pet to soil your laundry or bedding occasionally with urine. The odor of a cat’s urine does not only smell awful but is also quite hard to remove especially if it has dried. However, it is not impossible to eliminate the stain as well as the odor if you act immediately and use the proper cleaning products.
Even litter trained cats sometimes instead of urinating in the litter box, target a bunch of clothes in the laundry basket or laying around in your room. Sometimes they do it to mark their territory or to warn other animals of their presence.
The act of spraying could also be due to an underlying health issue that your cat might be suffering from, for example, a host, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or a urinary tract infection. In order to rule out these possibilities, you must concern with a veterinarian.
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Why is it Important to Remove Cat Spray Quickly?
If your cat urinates on the hardwood floor or on the carpet and it is not cleaned immediately, the urine gets soaked into the wood and the underlying padding of the carpet which hardens with time and makes it almost impossible to be removed after that.
If it’s not cleaned properly and the odor still lingers, there is a high chance that your cat will pee again in the same spot. So, it is not only necessary to get rid of the stain but to make sure that it is cleaned thoroughly with no odor remaining behind.
How to Remove Cat Spray from Clothes?
The stain of the cat’s urine and its awful smell is however removable with the help of the right cleaning products and proper techniques. After taking care of this issue, you must also take notice of your pet’s health or behavioral issues that might be the reason behind him soiling the laundry this way instead of his litter box.
Following is a list of things that you will be requiring in order to get through the process:
- Paper towels
- Oxygen bleach
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Enzyme detergent
Step 1: Pretreating the Spot
Treating the urine spot first instead of throwing it in the washing machine is necessary because the odor of cat’s urine is very strong and once it’s settled, it will contaminate the rest of the clothes present in the washing machine as well and instead of getting the smell out of one fabric, you’ll have an awfully smelling load of laundry. So, it’s always best to treat the contaminated fabric first before you proceed further into the process.
First rinse out the spot on the fabric with cool and clean water. Dab the wet area gently with paper towels in order to dry it out. Do not rub the towel against the fabric as it would help the stain to penetrate deeper. The main target here is to remove the urine stain as much as possible before you proceed to cleaning.
After that add half a cup of oxygen bleach in a sink filled with water. Use of chlorine bleach instead of oxygen bleach must be avoided as it may damage the clothing. After you have mixed the bleach thoroughly in water, add the stained clothing in there and let it soak for at least one to four hours.
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Step 2: Vinegar Wash
In order to get the optimum results, you should perform a process of two parts of cleaning, in which part one comprises the vinegar wash.
Take white vinegar and water in the ratio of (1:3), which means if you’re taking 1 cup of white vinegar, mix it in 3 cups of water. Apply this solution on the urine-stained fabric and let it sit for a span of few minutes.
After a couple of minutes, apply baking soda over the stained area; this is optional. Baking soda helps to neutralize the odor along with vinegar.
Wash the stained clothes in a washing machine with either cold or slightly warm water. Do not use hot or warm water as it may help in the settling of the stain as well as the odor. Also, make sure you don’t use detergent at this point.
After washing, air-dry the clothes instead of putting them in a clothes dryer because any amount of heat would make the odor set in the fabric permanently.
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Step 3: Laundering
At this point, a good amount of stain, as well as the odor, has been removed from the fabric, and now you can proceed to the general washing.
Wash the stained clothes now in cool water using an enzyme-based detergent. Enzyme-based detergents are used to cut out the organic stains on clothes. The enzymes apparently eat the organic substances, which includes cat urine as well. Make sure to read the label of the detergent as it is mentioned there if the detergent contains enzymes or not.
Once again air dry the items instead of the clothes dryer. After they are dried completely, sniff them carefully for any persisting odors. If the stain was dried completely and the smell still lingers, you may have to repeat the final step.
Some Importance Tips
The normal cleaning techniques don’t usually work when it comes to removing the awful odor and stain left behind by a cat’s urine. It requires special care and steps to be followed in order to completely get rid of it. The above-mentioned steps are essential in this cleaning process, however, there are some tips that can come in handy while going through the process.
1. Keep away from heat: Application of heat sets the smell in the contaminated item permanently. Avoid using any source of heat while washing the stained fabrics. All items must be washed with cool or lukewarm water.
Similarly, air-dry the clothes that you have washed instead of putting them in the clothes dryer unless you’re using a no-heat cycle. Never use a steam cleaner on a carpet as it would help the smell to penetrate in the underlying padding of the carpet, making it impossible to be removed afterward.
2. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners and chlorine bleach: Ammonia-based cleaners and bleach have a smell similar to that of urine. Hence, if you treat your item with these agents, there is a high chance that your cat would pee in the same spot again because of the familiar smell. Chlorine bleach also damages the fabric so oxygen bleach is preferred.
3. Never wash items contaminated with cat urine along with other clothes: Washing the clothes or items that contain cat pee along with other items will contaminate the rest of the load as well with the awful smell. Hence it is always advised to wash the stained items separately.
4. Do not rub the stain: During the first steps of removing the cat’s urine from the fabric, it is necessary that you gently dab a dry paper towel on the stain instead of running it and creating friction. Blotting is the correct way to absorb as much urine as possible in the paper towel because once you start rubbing it, the stain and smell will further penetrate into the fabric/item, leaving behind that God-awful smell.
5. Repetition of the process: The smell of cat urine is most likely to still linger on your fabric if the stain was dried out completely before you washed it off. Sniff your fabric carefully after going through the steps of cleaning, if there is still any trace of odor left, then you might have to repeat the process.
There are a number of reasons behind your cat urinating in the places it is not supposed to which include stress, an underlying health condition, an unsuitable litter box or it might be just them marking their territory from other animals. In either of the cases, it is most undesirable to have your room smell of cat pee.
Immediate and proper cleaning steps which require a number of steps are proven to be most helpful in removing not only the stain but also the odor completely from the contaminated item.
After you’re done with the cleaning, make sure to check in with your veterinarian in order to find out if there is any health issue like urinary tract infection or any behavioral change that is making your cat urinate in unusual places.