We all know that accidents happen — and though it’s not fun to discuss accidental (or even worse, intentional) pet urine, vomit, and feces on your Oriental rugs, the truth is it's a common issue that many Oriental rug owners face.
These “accidents,” if not treated immediately and/or professionally, can result in lingering stains and odors within the fibers of your Oriental rug.
Although all Oriental rugs (most of which are made from wool or a cotton/wool blend) are vulnerable to permanent damage from pet stains, Oriental rugs that include silk fibers are especially at risk when it comes to damage from pet accidents.
Check out RugKnots' tips for how to help prevent your dog or cat from staining your Oriental rug in the first place — and to help in cleaning oriental rug pet stains if they do happen.
How do you prevent a stain in the first place?
1. (Try to) Discipline Your Pet
The best and most surefire way to help your pet learn to avoid using your Oriental rug as a bathroom is to discipline him/her accordingly. If your pet tends to act up when you’re not home, consider crating or baby gating him/her away from the Oriental rug. Worried about it? Learn how to crate train your dog here.
Many homeowners use spray bottles filled with water to discipline cats and dogs who try to urinate on their Oriental rug; “shakers” that make loud and unpleasant noises can also be used to deter your pet from visiting the Oriental rug. When all else fails, pet “belly bands” can be used as a short-term solution for accidental urination.
2. Make Your Pet’s Designated Bathroom Area Stand Out
Sometimes the issue (especially with cats) behind your pet’s urge to urinate on your rug doesn’t stem from the fact that he/she likes to urinate on your Oriental rug; it’s that he/she doesn’t like the bathroom spot you’ve designated for them to use. If you have a cat, try to make the litter box as attractive as possible by making sure it’s located in a quiet, dark, and private area, with fresh litter provided regularly.
For dogs, try rewarding them for using the bathroom outside and allowing them ample time to find and mark their outdoor spot. By making your pet’s appropriate bathroom area more enjoyable, you can help draw him/her away from the Oriental rug and toward his/her designated area.
3. Make Your Oriental Rug Unappealing to Your Pet
Certain odors and textures are disliked by cats and dogs. By placing these elements around and beside your Oriental rug, you can help your cat or dog stay away from your rug.
For dogs, try spraying the area around your Oriental rug with white vinegar; for cats, try spraying the area around your Oriental rug with a citrus-based fragrance or cleaning product. It’s important to not spray the rug itself (to avoid risking damage to the rug). A “scat mat” can also serve as a short-term solution for pets to avoid your Oriental rug.
Remove Pet Stains & Odors on Oriental Rugs
1. Warm Water
The safest method you can use when a pet urinates or vomits on your Oriental rug is to remove the material with a towel and warm water. Immediately after the accident happens (note the longer you wait, the more likely the acidic features of your pet’s urine or vomit will damage your rug’s fibers), blot/dab the area with a warm, wet towel.
Make sure not to rub the area, which helps set the urine or vomit into the rug fibers. Blot the area with an up-and-down motion, helping absorb the material into the towel.
2. Warm Water + White Vinegar
If warm water doesn’t absorb and remove your pet’s accident, try adding a small amount (a few tablespoons, depending on the size of the stain) of white vinegar to warm water, and using this to blot the stain. Don’t try adding any other cleaning products (NO bleach or strong ammonia) to your solution, as these will likely make the stain worse and permanently discolor your Oriental rug.
3. Professional Cleaning
The most trusted method for removing any stain from an Oriental rug is professional cleaning. Professional Oriental rug cleaners have trusted, efficient cleaning methods (similar to dry cleaners), which remove dangerous stains without further damaging your rug.
Make sure you take your Oriental rug to a trusted and certified Oriental rug cleaner. Since pet stains are a common issue among many Oriental rug owners, most professional rug cleaners should be able to easily remove the stain.
If pet urination continues to be a problem and you can’t afford professional cleaning regularly, a less-preferred option could be investing in a professional cleaning system (such as the rug badger) yourself.
Feel free to contact RugKnots at 240-452-4602 for questions about how to help prevent and remove pet stains from your Oriental rug. We’d love to help!