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How To Clean Pet Stains from Wood

Unfortunately, as much as our pets love us, they can and will occasionally soil indoors due to stress, confusion, sickness, or even mischievousness. And as much as we love our pets, we certainly don't love their messes. That's why when pet soil gets on the wood surfaces of our home, such as furniture legs and floors, it's helpful to have the tools and knowledge to address the stains. Before attempting removal, begin with as clear and clean a work area as possible, and keep in mind that wood types and surface finishes can vary widely so even the simplest methods should be tested prior to use in a wider area.

Remove any bulk waste. Use paper towels to remove and dispose of solid waste, or to absorb liquid waste with a blotting motion. Newspaper is also a handy, disposable, absorbent material for disposing of pet wastes and absorbing liquid waste. Once the bulk waste has been removed, spray a healthy amount of enzymatic cleaner on a clean paper towel, and press with firm, blotting motion on the stained area. Refresh the paper towels dampened with enzymatic cleaner as necessary. Enzymatic cleaners for pet soils are readily available at pet supply stores. Read the labels carefully, and select one that is suitable for wood surfaces.

If the chemicals of the pet stains have reacted with the wood finish and/or permanently damaged the wood itself, it may be necessary to perform more drastic repairs, such as removing the affected wood, filling the gap, and refinishing the repaired area. In particular, oak will react to the ammonia in urine causing the oak to permanently darken.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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