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The Zerorez® guide on how to clean a couch, cat pee

Chloe the cat has been at it again. It was one thing when you watched her pee outside of her litter box on your carpet. You got to the stain right away, getting as much liquid as you could get by blotting and using a shop vac. Then you applied some of our ZeroStink™(our proprietary pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner that works as both a carpet odor remover and a pet smell remover) and you were able to reach all the enzymes in her urine before they stained and left that smell you can never seem to get away from. But, then a thunderstorm came up or the dog scared her while she was lying on the couch Aunt Mary left to you or the chair that’s become your favorite reading spot, and before she could run, Chloe peed. 

Let’s face it, pet odor removal from upholstery is not as easy as pet odor removal from carpet. It’s not impossible, but it’s going to take some work. This is Zerorez®’s How to Clean a Couch: Cat Pee Edition – a do it yourself upholstery cleaning guide straight from our upholstery cleaning professionals.

Step 1: Remove the Urine Using the Right Pet Smell Remover

When it comes to do-it-yourself upholstery cleaning, there is a misconception that when you’re treating a pee stain (or other pet odor removal), you’re focused on the surface. The discoloration, the odor, the dampness is all on the surface of the upholstery. Watch this brief video to see what happens when Chloe squats outside her litter box and pees on the floor. Eventually, the “bloom” of urine stops seeping. It will spread out when it comes across a hard surface, like a floor underneath the carpet and padding. 

Similarly with a couch, if you don’t catch the pee while it’s still on the surface, it could seep as deep as your couch cushions will let it and spread out at the same time – which can cause a cleaning and disinfecting nightmare for pet owners. Getting the liquid up before it has a chance to sink in is your first line of defense – and can help curb the need for a professional upholstery cleaning service or disinfection services. The blot method that we advise our customers to use for carpets (so you don’t need a carpet odor remover), you are going to have to get to the heart of the problem, and you’re going to have to act quickly for the best result. 

Use a white, dry towel to blot the area, so you can see the urine is coming up. Blot, instead of rub, to avoid damaging the fabric fibers or spreading the smell. But for a cushion, you must go deeper – using a pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner – to remove the bacteria in cat urine that leads to the horrible odor if left untreated. Blot deeply into the affected area to draw out as much as you can. Before you attempt to treat it with anything else, read the following warning.

WARNING: Do Not Use Soap and Water

A pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner (a natural pet smell remover) is the only thing that is going to truly treat the bacteria that exists in cat urine and gives it that distinctive, acrid, and persistent smell. The only way for an enzyme cleaner to do its job is for the enzymes to be present, which means DO NOT USE SOAP AND WATER FIRST. Soap and water actually deactivate the enzymes, rendering the pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner useless for pet odor removal. We sell the ultimate pet odor eliminator, ZeroStink™, which is a specialized enzyme deodorizer formulated by Zerorez® for treating pet stains and other odors caused by organic material in the home. It not only neutralizes the pet odor, it prevents Chloe from returning to the spot in the future. It’s also safe to use around animals and children. Be sure to have some ZeroStink™ in the house (give us a call to get a bottle for your home). 

If you don’t have ZeroStink™ handy, be sure to pick some up, but it’s important to treat the spot immediately with the pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner, before the bacteria has a chance to set in.

Step 2: Soak the Cushion

Sounds like the wrong direction, right? The key to pet odor removal is to treat the entire area where the urine is. What you see on the surface is seldom what lurks beneath. If your couch has removable cushions, you are in luck. Pull the offending cushion up and remove the cover as quickly as possible. If the cover can be washed in the washing machine, drop it in with some of our ZeroStink™ to ensure that the bacteria is treated, eliminating the odor and preventing your cat from returning to the spot again in the future – just make sure to hang the cover to dry rather than throwing covers in the dryer so they don’t shrink. 

If the cushions aren’t removable or the covers can’t be removed, you’ll need to treat the cover and the cushion together. Either way, you’ll still need to treat the couch cushion itself, you’ll need to saturate the foam to be sure you treat it all with the pet stain & odor enzyme cleaner. We recommend you treat the area with our ZeroStink™ pet stain cleaner, then let it sit for an hour to see how well the pet stain and odor have dissipated.

Step 3: Bring On the Shop Vac  

The next part is a lot of work, but necessary if you want to remove the pet odor and stains from your couch. After about an hour, rinse the ZeroStink™from the cushion and cover. Use a shop vac to suck as much of the moisture from the urine, ZeroStink™ and water, as you can. And then do it again. Continue to repeat this process until the smell and the stain are gone. If the urine isn’t gone, you’ll know.  

All of these steps are for treating a fresh spot. For spots that are older, that have set in, or if what was just described sounds like more work than you have time for, call Zerorez® and ask for our professional pet odor removal and disinfection services. We promise that the professional couch cleaning cost will be worth it. 

Finally, if your cat is not only urinating on that spot, but is going elsewhere in the house, she may be dealing with health issues. Be sure to call your vet and describe what’s happening. As all cat lovers will attest, we want Chloe happy AND healthy so none of us have to deal with pet odor removal (or the looks only an angry kitty can give).

Need More Information? 

If do it yourself upholstery cleaning is not for you, or if the pet smell remover you’ve tried doesn’t work, give us a call for a free professional couch cleaning cost estimate for your home.  You can also contact us to find out about our current Monthly Specials on Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services. Call Zerorez® DC Metro at 703-382-1221 — or book a carpet cleaning appointment online. Does Zerorez® really work? Check out our Zerorez® reviews and you’ll find the answer is a resounding yes!

We invite you to connect with Zerorez® DC on Facebook to find the latest Zerorez® carpet cleaning specials or to see examples of our upholstery cleaning service! We can also be found on LinkedIn for business and commercial accounts — and get all our great cleaning tips on our blog, The Residue Chronicles!
Locally owned and operated Zerorez® DC and Fredericksburg“The Right Way To Clean” in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, Stafford County (including Fredericksburg, Garrisonville, Berea, and North Stafford), Maryland (including Potomac, Bethesda and Aspen Hill) and the Northern Virginia Region (including Chantilly, Centreville and South Riding) since 2015.