Wool is a natural fiber derived from animal hairs and is very resilient if cared for properly. Many steam cleaners will use excessively high heat, harsh agitation, and/or alkaline products to clean these spills. This type of treatment will cause the wool to curl creating shrinkage, shedding, and tightening of the weave. Most dyes on wool are stable but it’s always best to test for colorfastness before proceeding with any stain removal; especially in the case of urine.
Before you begin, please know that urine is a two-phase monster that can create pH nightmares when left untreated. When it’s fresh, urine is acid in nature, but later turns to an alkaline as it sets in the fibers. This type of stain can cause both odors and permanent fiber damage. We always recommend having your rugs sealed with a quality protective finish available from Simply Rug Cleaning.
In a hidden or inconspicuous area test the fibers for colorfastness. To do this, you’ll use a white towel to apply your spotting solution (cool water) and blot the area. Check the towel for color transfer.
Cool water, directly from the kitchen sink, is a great solution for dealing with fresh urine spots and other food-based stains. Generally, water is safe for most materials and colors; always check the tag to ensure your rug is colorfast.
- Blot up as much of the liquid as possible and do not reuse this towl for cleaning.
- Apply a small amount of cool water directly onto the urine stain; encompassing the stain starting from the outside in.
- Let it rest for a few minutes.
- Blot off with a moist white towel followed by another dry white towel.
- If the urine stain does not dissipate completely, you will then use the white distilled vinegar method highlighted in the “wine stain” treatment; let it rest a few more minutes.
- Blot off all moisture with a fresh moist white towel followed by a dry white towel.
If you are not achieving complete stain removal, then it’s time to call the professionals before any potentially harmful damage is incurred. Many enzyme-based stain removers are great stain removers but come at a higher risk of dye migration or bleeding. Stay away from store bought products that contain surfactants or oxidizers.
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