Extract moisture to remove pet stains
Cannin Collera, owner
AAA Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Plant City, Fla.
Cannin Collera started working in the cleaning industry 15 years ago, but soon found himself dissatisfied. “I didn’t care for the way other companies took care of the customers,” he says. “They seemed to be more interested in how much they could clean from your bank account rather than the carpet. I went out on my own more than 10 years ago to make customers happy and do the job right.”
What should a homeowner do with a pet stain on upholstery?
Cannin Collera: "Many people are under the impression that wetter is better. But that actually chases the stain through the material into the cushion underneath the upholstery, and that's extremely difficult to clean.
"If you have a pet stain on your furniture, the best thing to do is try and clean up as much of the solid waste as possible and blot out as much of the liquid as possible before they put anything on it. Use a shop-vac that can extract dampness or moisture.
"You don't ever want to smear the stain into material, which obviously creates more problems.
"We use color-safe cleaning solutions designed to neutralize the high-pH and high-alkaline stains. Our goal is to bring it back to neutral. A lot of the over-the-counter solutions can cause color bleeding or fading.
"The biggest messes tend to be in the living room. Cats and dogs get up on the couch and tend to go closer to a window. If they're going to have an accident, they're going to go to a window or where another pet has previously stained the carpet. Animals are very territorial.
"Cats are relatively more clean than dogs because they groom themselves, but pet hair can still be an issue when the dander comes off their skin.
"Dogs don't perspire; they secrete body oil. That oil will get on furniture or carpet, wherever the pet tends to lounge around, and that oil will attract dirt. So your dog's favorite hangout spot will get dirty faster.
"We recommend that people with pets get their carpets cleaned every six to eight months. Over the course of years, the damage can become irreversible.
"When we're dealing with a fine material, we use a burn test. We take two or three strands from where it'll never be seen and burn the sample. The color and type of flame, ash and odor tell us exactly what kind of material we're dealing with and how aggressive we can get."