We have nice hardwood floors throughout our house (well, they're nice downstairs, upstairs they're just plain and painted). We have a big area rug in the living room and one in the kitchen. We also have three dogs (two of whom are recent puppy mill rescues, after our elderly and incontinent dachshund passed away) and three cats (all of whom are jerks).
Everyone, of course, prefers to pee and puke on carpet.
We have constantly been hosing the rugs down with enzyme cleaner and steam-cleaning them a couple times a year, but they still just stink, and I just pulled them out last night because I couldn't take it and threw them in the basement. But they were decent rugs--"really tied the room together."
Are they salvageable? Is there ever a possibility of cleaning them to use once the puppy-mill dogs have learned better bladder control? Or should I just stick them in the trash tomorrow?
I would get them professionally cleaned at least once before giving up on them. Pretty much any company that advertizes carpet cleaning will do area rugs too. I can do a good job with my steam cleaner, but I was shocked by how much more dirt and gunk the pros got out.
I ended up throwing mine away, but they were super cheap rugs to begin with, and a couple rounds of pro cleaning cost more than the rugs did. Until my old grandma cat passes - she pukes, pees, and sometimes pees on top of where she's puked - I'm sticking with cheap rugs I don't mind trashing and replacing every 6mo or so.
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I found I could salvage rugs after a few incidents of peeing, puking and pooping, but, eventually, they became hopeless. SOAKING them in Nature's Miracle or something similar and then putting them out in the sunshine to dry helped for a while.
I resorted to putting one of these in a favorite pee spot:
They come in all kinds of sizes and you can just take them outside and hose them down. Rubber backing, so it doesn't soak through to the wood floor. Not the most lovely rugs, but if the animals mostly pee in one area, it can fill a gap.
Which is why I buy the cheapest area rugs possible, so they can be tossed when they become too stinky. I'm pretty sure I've tried everything known to man to get pee smells out, so far no luck. If the rugs are expensive, try a professional cleaner before tossing them. Otherwise, replace them with inexpensive replacements that you won't feel bad about throwing out when the time comes. Lowes sometimes has 5x7 rugs for $19.95 in nice patterns and colors, also try Big Lots, or other discount places for cheaper large rugs.
"My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."
I'd let a pro try cleaning them & mention you specifically need animal stains addressed.
As for pets returning to the scene, a no-kill shelter once told me about using commercial pre-packaged douche to remove the smell. Any "flavor" except vinegar & water.
Test a spot on the rug for colorfast first, of course.
Then you saturate the spot & blot dry with a cloth or paper towels.
The enzymes in the douche remove the attracting smell that makes animals reuse that spot.
Worked for me removing male cat spray from a wall-to-wall bathroom carpet.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015