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Cat Pee? — Ask Annie

Submitted by on Monday, 5 October 2009No Comment

catHi Annie,

I had a cat who sprayed repeatedly on wall to wall carpet 4 or 5 years ago. I did a lot of research on the net and elsewhere and tried 3 or 4 commercial products plus 2 professional carpet cleaners who predicted success, but alas, nothing worked (after about $1000 of expense). The odor is still very much there; do you think your vinegar/baking soda treatment would work after all this time? I have my doubts, as the urine soaked through into the under-padding and probably into the wood subfloor. We’ve been told the only remedy is the remove the carpet, treat the sub flooring and install new carpet. I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks so much,

Jeff Anderson

Dear Jeff,
The reason that alternating vinegar and baking soda work so well for cat pee is because the urine contains both alkaline and acidic components. The acid will neutralize the alkaline parts, and the baking soda the acidic.

Would this work after five years? What do you have to lose? I’d saturate the area with straight white distilled vinegar. Do this on a day when you can air out the house and the smell of vinegar will dissipate. After the smell has dissipated, sprinkle baking soda all over the area and let it set overnight. (If you can get to the padding and subfloor, all the better.) Sweep up the baking soda and then vacuum. If this helps even a bit, I’d repeat, and repeat, and repeat until all the odor is gone! Good luck.

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).


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