So, man's best friend took a tinkle on your beautiful hardwood floors. While you're grateful that he spared the pricey Persian rug, you've still got janitorial duties in your future -- like before he sniffs the spot and goes again. Not to worry; stains can be history, especially if you jump on them quickly.
You're Soaking in It!
You wanted to come home after work, kick off your heels and relax. But, alas, when you walked through the front door, a wall of wet doggy odor hit you square in the face. First on the agenda: grab a wad of paper towels or an old cotton towel. If your pup's "gift" is still wet, soak up the urine by placing several thicknesses of the towels on the puddle. Then, step on it for a few seconds (with shoes on, please). If your dog's been hitting the water bowl all day and you've got a small pond, repeat with clean towels, then discard as they get too wet. Continue soaking up the urine until a fresh towel comes up dry after pressing it to the area.
Urine Inspector General
Given enough time, the urine will dry by itself, but then you've got other issues to worry about. If you smell urine in general but don't see wetness, let your nose do the work to find the spot. You better believe that when you come within an inch of it, you'll wish you hadn't -- it will be that strong. For those who don't wish to get on their hands and knees with nose to the floor, a handheld black light will make the stain wildly psychedelic and more obvious than the nose on your face.
See Spot Go
Now that you've soaked up or located the offending odor, it's time to let some simple white vinegar work its magic. In a bucket, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water, stir for a few seconds, then drizzle a drop or two on an inconspicuous portion of the floor to test the finish. If all goes well, spray or pour enough of the solution to cover the stain. Let it sit for for 5 or 10 minutes, then use a clean, dry mop to wick up the solution. You'll want to rinse the stain with warm water, then use a sponge mop to clean up the water on the floor. In addition to being a fine salad dressing, vinegar is acidic and has excellent antibacterial and solvent properties. If this doesn't do the trick on the first go round, you may have to repeat the process.
No. 1 Consideration
If, heaven forbid, your pooch pittles on your wood floor two minutes before you and your dog depart a month-long, cross-country tour, you may come home to some floor damage. Not only will bacteria grow and cause quite a stink, the stain could buckle or turn grow moldy. Water is enemy No. 1 to hardwood floors -- and that includes the recycled kind left by your pet. You might want to mix up a batch of vinegar and water to keep on hand for future accidents; then again, it's not exactly brain surgery or a time-consuming recipe to make.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.