When you find urine on oriental rugs, do not panic! There are 2 steps that you can take right away that can minimize the damage and perhaps avoid a permanent stain. (These steps are specifically for use on fresh, wet urine.)
Before beginning the steps, there are 2 factors that have to be considered when attempting to remove wet urine on oriental rugs (or any rugs or wall-to-wall carpet):
1. A carpet or rug fiber acts like a wick. Spots and spills that go down into the pile will wick up to the top of the fiber.
2. Permanent stains can be caused by the spots and spills wicking up to the top of the fiber and then being allowed to dry in the air.
With the above 2 factors in mind, preventing a spot or spill from becoming permanent involves allowing it to wick up into something absorbent (such as white paper or cloth towels). Follow the 2 steps below as soon as you possibly can after the incident:
Step 1: Immediately blot up the urine and keep blotting with fresh white absorbent material until you it seems you have absorbed all of it.
Alternate Step 1: Apply a drawing compound such as cornstarch or diatomaceous earth (used in swimming pool filters) to the entire area. Allow ample time for the urine to be absorbed and then vacuum thoroughly.
Step 2: Place a large amount of white absorbent material on top of the entire area and place something heavy such as a brick or large book on it and leave it there for several hours or overnight, replacing the absorbent material several times.
Do NOT use salt to remove urine on oriental rugs. Salt is a mordant and can set any dyes that may have run because of the urine.
Do NOT use ammonia on a wool, silk or rayon (natural fiber) rug. Ammonia has too high a pH level for use on natural fibers (unless it is diluted and followed by a diluted vinegar solution).
Do NOT scrub or use a brush on the soiled area. You can cause serious damage, especially to the tips of the fibers, resulting in irreversible pile distortion. ALWAYS blot from the outside to the inside of the area so as not to spread the spot.
Never pour any liquid spot cleaner or water directly onto the carpet or rug. This will only dilute the spill and spread it.
Removing urine on oriental rugs before it has a chance to dry is very important for at least 2 main reasons
1. When urine dries, microscopic urea crystals are formed that adhere to the backing of the rug. Cleaning alone will not remove the crystals. When humidity or moisture is high, the crystals are activated and become a feeding ground for bacteria. It is this bacterial action that causes the odor.
2. Urine attracts moths. Moths usually eat through a rug from the foundation or back of the rug. It may take quite a long time before you notice them and the resulting damage may require expensive repairs.
At ABC, we have a process that will completely remove urine on oriental rugs (and the odor) but it is expensive and labor intensive and you may be able to avoid this with the above 2 steps.
If the 2 steps outlined above do not successfully remove both the stain and the odor from your rug or if you have urine stains or odor from previous incidents, please bring your rug to our plant in Ithaca or call us at 272-1566 to schedule a delivery. (We can guarantee to remove all the urine odor but in the majority of instances urine stains are permanent.)