puppy dog on carpet

4 Foolproof (and Natural) Ways to Remove Pet Odors from Antique Rugs

Fluffy and Fido might be cherished members of the family, but the little “presents” they sometimes leave on your antique rugs aren’t so loveable.

Pet urine and waste can make your expensive antique rugs both smell bad and leave a lingering odor throughout your home. Even worse: They’re attracted to the smell, meaning it’s likely they’ll mark the same spot again… and again.

The good news? You can reduce — or even — eliminate pet odors from your antique rugs without resorting to expensive and damaging chemicals. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a few all-natural ingredients.

Find the Source of the Odors

You can’t get rid of pet odors on your antique rugs if you can’t find them. Luckily, the enzymes from pet urine are easily noticeable underneath the glow of ultraviolet or black lights found in many home improvement stores.

To use the black lights, make the room as dark as possible and shine it a foot or two above your antique rug. Look for pea green or dark yellow marks — those are the tell-tale signs of a urine stain. Mark each stain with a piece of masking tape so you’ll know where to clean once the black light is turned off.

Dab the Stains With Cold Water

Sometimes just removing excess urine or remnants of waste is enough to eliminate odors. Dampen each stain with enough cold water to cover it, Let the water soak in for a couple of minutes and then place paper towels on top to absorb the water. Pressure helps, so step on the paper towels to help sop up the water and urine — just make sure you’re wearing shoes!

Break Out the Vinegar and Baking Soda

Commercial cleaners often contain ingredients that can damage the delicate fibers in antique rugs. Instead, treat pet odors with an all-natural mixture of vinegar and baking soda. First, pour enough white vinegar to completely cover the stain. Use a rug brush and vigorously rub the vinegar into the stain, then pour baking soda on top. You’ll hear some fizzing and popping — that’s how you know it’s working. Brush the baking soda into the stain and let it dry completely (this could take several hours or even a day).

Once dry, vacuum the rug to lift the excess baking soda — and hopefully the smell, too. You might have to repeat the process several times to completely get the smell out.

Pour Some Vodka Onto Your Rug

Vodka is another great antidote to pet urine and odor. Simply spray some vodka (the cheaper the better) onto the stain. Let it soak in for 10 to 15 minutes and then use paper towels to absorb the alcohol and the odor.

You can also add baking soda on top of the vodka to further deodorize your antique rugs. Simply follow the same process as the vinegar and baking soda treatment.

When All Else Fails, Seek Professional Help

So, you’ve tried everything and the smells still linger. Now what? Don’t throw your antique rugs away! Instead, invest in the expertise of a professional rug cleaner.

At Cunningham’s, we use green cleaners — and an expert touch — to safely remove pet odors. We might not be able to keep your furry friends from leaving their mark on your antique rugs, but we can help remove those markings and return your rugs to their original beauty.