Having a dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s nothing like coming home from a long day at work and seeing a wagging tail and getting plenty of dog kisses. It can be especially comforting to have a dog during your time as an apartment dweller, which can often feel a little too nomadic and temporary otherwise.
Many landlords don’t allow pets at all, but if you’re one of the lucky few who has been approved to have a dog, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking good care of the unit so that your landlord doesn’t grow to regret his or her decision. In addition to ensuring that your dog is well-trained and that you regularly vacuum up their hair, you’ll also need to clean up any messes that they make.
But accidents do happen, and sometimes your dog just won’t be able to make it to the park or the back patio before relieving itself. Here’s what to do when the inevitable happens and your dog accidentally poops on the carpet.
It’s More than Just Picking it Up
Dog poop can easily cause stains and spread odors and harmful bacteria into your living space— not exactly a warm and comforting feeling. Unfortunately, if you’ve got wall-to-wall carpeting like many apartment dwellers, you’ll need to make sure you follow the proper procedure to a T.
Remove the Excess
The first step to removing the dog poop smell and bacteria from your carpet is, of course, carefully getting rid of the excess. Wearing washable or disposable gloves, take a large paper towel and pick up as much of the poop with the paper towel as you can. If you have dog poop sacks that you use on walks, those would be a good option as well.
Be careful not to dig too deep into the pile, as it can drive the feces into the fibers and make the rest of the job that much more difficult. If the waste is a little old, it may be dry, and this part may be more difficult, but you should still try and get the excess away. Start keeping an old spatula or paint scraper in your apartment expressly for this purpose.
Dispose of the waste in a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw out the bag. If possible, take it directly to the dumpster outside so you don’t have to keep worrying about the scent inside your apartment.
Use a Laundry/Pet Stain Remover
Once you’ve removed the poo, your next step will be to spray the stain with either a laundry stain remover or a product made expressly for getting pet stains off of the carpet (you can pick these up at your local grocery or pet store). The laundry stain removers with oxi-action work especially well on dog poop.
Once you’ve sprayed the spot on the carpet, let the stain soak for a couple of minutes, or as long as directed on the back of the bottle.
Blot with Cold Water and Detergent
After the stain remover has soaked for the required number of minutes, fill a small tub or bucket with cold water, add in three to four teaspoons of laundry detergent, and stir. The mixture should be soapy. You’ll need to soak a non-abrasive sponge in it and ring out the excess. Carefully blot the stain with the soapy sponge.
Scrubbing the Stain and Removing the Moisture
Scrub with a Bristle Brush
After you’ve blotted the stain with the sponge, take a bristle brush and scrub the stain vigorously, but be careful not to wear the carpet down. You should see soap suds lifting from the carpet as you do this. If you don’t, blot the stain again with the soapy sponge. Continue using the brush and sponge until you can no longer see the dog poop stain.
Remove the Excess Moisture
The last steps in this process are all about eliminating the odor and bacteria. Use a towel or paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture in the carpet as possible. Don’t skip this step — once carpet is wet, it can pick up really bad odors that are really hard to get rid of.
Deodorize with Vinegar
Next, make a mixture of half-cup distilled white vinegar and half-cup warm water. Carefully pour the mixture over the area where the stain was and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Then rinse the area with cold water and again remove the excess moisture with a towel.
Soak with Baking Soda
Once the stain is completely dry, sprinkle it liberally with baking soda to freshen the carpet. You may choose to use another bristle brush to work the soda into the carpet fibers. Allow the baking soda to soak into the carpet overnight. In the morning, vacuum it up.
Removing dog poop from carpets is simple once you know how to do it correctly. When you have a new puppy who still needs some training, or your dog has had the inevitable occasional accident, you’ll be ready to step into action right away.