Unfortunately, accidents happen, and almost every single dog owner will have to scrub dog poop out of a carpet at some point.
Not only are dog poop stains unsightly, but they can also even pose a health risk if they are not cleaned and sanitized properly. Whether you just brought home a new puppy and it is still learning the ropes, or you have adopted an adult dog that was not previously house trained, there is a good chance you are going to have to deal with these unpleasant incidents.
Even dogs that are house trained make mistakes, and unfortunate accidents can happen, especially if the dog is in its senior years or not feeling well.
Rather than allowing yourself to get frustrated and angry with your dog, it is better to stay calm, clean the stain properly, and focus on preventing it from happening again calmly and rationally.
To help keep your home clean and sanitary, we will go over some useful steps that you can follow to clean dog poop out of your carpets.
How to Clean Up a Dry Poop Stain from Your Carpet
Dog poop can dry surprisingly quickly, especially if your dog is in its adult years. An adult dog’s digestive system extracts as much moisture as possible from the food it eats, which is why dog feces tends to be dry and solid.
Even if your dog is sick and its feces contains more moisture than usual, it can still dry on your carpets rather quickly if it goes unnoticed for more than a few hours, which tends to happen while dog owners are away at work. The dog might have an accident on the carpet, and before you notice it, it has dried up and stained the carpet.
To clean dried dog poop from your carpets, you would go through each of the following steps:
Remove the Any Poop from the Carpet:
As you would expect, the first step in cleaning your carpets will be to remove the dried dog poop. To do so, follow the same inside-out bag technique you would use to pick up your dog’s poop while you are out for a walk.
You must remove the bulk of the poop as quickly as possible. Even if it seems like the damage is done and both the poop and the carpet stain seem dry, the feces can still smell bad and contain harmful bacteria.
If you can, consider wearing washable or disposable gloves while you pick up the excess dog poop. You can take a disposable bag or a large amount of paper towel to pick up and dispose of as much of the poop as possible.
While it may sound gross, you do not want to use too much pressure during this step, as applying pressure on the poop can drive more of it into the fibers of your carpet, which will only make the rest of the cleaning process that much more difficult. Pick up as much of the dried feces as you possibly can, but make sure you are gentle. You may also want to keep your dog out of the room at this time, as your dog might get curious over the commotion and make the whole process more difficult.
Once you have picked up as much of the dog excrement as you possibly can, dispose of it in a plastic bag by tying it up and taking it outside to wherever you keep your garbage. Get the poop out of your house as quickly as you can because it can still produce unpleasant smells, as well as contain harmful bacteria and, in some cases, even parasites.
Once you have completed this step, wash your hands thoroughly. Even if you were wearing gloves, you should still remove the gloves and wash your hands with soap.
Use a Commercial Laundry Stain Remover or a Pet-Specific Stain Remover:
Once you have removed and disposed of the dog poop, your next step is to address the actual stain. In most cases, you will want to use a commercial cleaning product, as they tend to be more effective than homemade cleaning solutions.
If you have a puppy, invest in a bottle of cleaning spray, even if your new dog has not yet had an accident in the house. Unfortunately, these things tend to be inevitable with puppies. You can usually find a reliable product at your local pet store, but products that are not specifically designed for pet stains will also work. Many chemical laundry stain removers will also work well on dog poop stains.
Once you have sprayed the stain and the surrounding areas with your commercial cleaning product, allow it to soak in for several minutes. Allowing the spray to soak into the stain will make it easier to clean, but just as importantly, letting the chemicals go to work will help disinfect the contaminated areas of your carpet.
Most commercial stain removal sprays will explain the exact directions somewhere on the bottle’s label.
Blot the Area with Cold Water and a Detergent:
Once the commercial stain remover has done its job, you can fill a small bucket with cold water and add a few drops of standard laundry detergent. You do not need to purchase a special detergent for this step, as any laundry detergent will do the trick.
Mix the cold water with the detergent until it looks bubbly and soapy. Use a sponge that has an abrasive side, as this will help you drive the soapy water into the fibers of the carpet.
Once the spot has been soaked with soapy water, you can begin to blot it with a soapy sponge. Continue to do so until you can no longer see the poop stain.
Wait for the water to dry. Afterward, if you still notice some discoloration on the carpet and some of the stains remain, you can repeat the previous two steps until you can no longer see any remnants of the stain.
If the carpet is expensive or holds sentimental value, you may want to consider having it professionally cleaned. While this is a much more expensive option, it will yield professional results and prevent the carpet from becoming damaged during the actual cleaning process.
Cleaning Wet and Messy Dog Poop Out of a Carpet
If the dog poop is wet and runny, as is often the case with accidents caused by puppies, you will need to follow a slightly different cleaning process.
Start by Removing as Much of the Wet Dog Poop as Possible:
While it is difficult, you should be able to remove some of the wet and runny dog poop from the carpet. To do so, use a disposable bag or some sort of utensil you do not mind throwing away. A plastic disposable spoon can work quite well.
Scoop away as much of the dog poop as possible, but try not to drive more of it into the fibers of the carpet, as this will only worsen the stain and make the rest of the cleaning process far more difficult.
Scrub the Carpet with a Bristle Brush:
After you have removed as much of the excrement as possible, you can wet the stain with soapy water. To do so, stir about three drops of laundry detergent, or mild dish soap, with a few cups of cold water.
Once the residue has been covered with soapy water, use a clean, bristled brush to scrub the stain. Use a vigorous scrubbing motion and apply a decent amount of pressure. Depending on how delicate your carpet is, you do not want to scrub so hard that you begin to damage the carpet fibers and wear them down.
As you scrub, you should start to see suds lifting from the carpet. While it may seem gross, these dirty suds are the dog poop lifting off the surface of your carpet. You should continue to scrub and add soapy water until you can no longer see the stain.
After the stain no longer looks visible, allow the carpet to air dry. To speed up the process, you can dab some of the water up with a clean sponge or a handful of bunched-up paper towels.
Apply a Stain Remover:
Now that you’ve removed the bulk of the dog waste and leftover residue, you can tackle any remaining stains. Unfortunately, wet dog feces has an increased likelihood of staining, which is usually what you get when a puppy or a sick dog has an accident on your carpet.
Here is where a commercial stain removal product can come in handy. Follow the instructions on the bottle of your stain removal spray, and be sure to douse the stained area. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes or as long as the label instructs you to.
After the stain remover has had a chance to soak into the stain, you can dab it away with a paper towel or a clean sponge. Allow the spot to dry, and repeat this step if you still notice some of the stains. Be careful about using too much stain remover, as this may cause fading and discoloration to the carpet itself.
Eliminate Any Remaining Moisture:
Making sure the area is dry after removing the stain is an important step, as it helps prevent future smells and helps to eliminate any surviving bacteria from the dog poop.
To dry the area, dab with a clean towel or a few sheets of paper towel. Absorb as much moisture as you possibly can.
If you are dealing with a floor rug rather than a permanent carpet, you should also lift it and ensure the underside is not wet. If you discover the runny dog poop or any of your cleaning products have soaked through to the other side of the rug, you can lift it and hang it in a place where it will air dry. Some people will take the rug outside and hang it over a fence or railing.
Once you believe the carpet is completely dry, you can move onto the next step in the cleaning process.
Deodorize and Sanitize:
Even though the carpet might look clean at this point, it is still important to deodorize it and make sure you sanitize it completely. As mentioned previously, dog poop can harbor dangerous bacteria and parasites, so you must eliminate these harmful organisms.
You might be surprised to learn that white vinegar can work quite well as a deodorizer and sanitizer. All you need to do is make a simple mixture of half a cup of distilled white vinegar and half a cup of warm water. Combine the two ingredients in a clean container and mix them.
Pour the mixture over the area where the dog pooped and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Once enough time has elapsed, you can rinse the area with plain water. From there, do what you can to remove any excess moisture. If the carpet smells like vinegar, allow the smell to fade or rinse the spot with water again.
The Final Drying Step:
At this point, your carpet should look just as clean as it did before your dog had its accident. Now all you need to do is sprinkle the area with some standard household baking soda to freshen up the carpet and pull any unwanted odors and moisture out of it.
You can work the baking soda into the carpet fibers by using your hand or going over the area with a bristle brush. Allow the baking soda to sit on the surface of your carpet overnight. The next morning or at least five hours later, you can go over the carpet with a vacuum.
If you want to be a dog owner, you have to come to terms with the fact that accidents happen. While it might be somewhat annoying, you need to remember that your dog is not intentionally trying to ruin your carpets.
If you have a young puppy that is in the process of being house trained, you may want to put down some inexpensive rugs in any carpeted rooms. Some dog owners will also block off areas of the house covered with expensive and light-colored carpeting.
Follow the steps listed above, and you should be able to keep your carpets looking as good as new. Remember, cleaning up dog poop is not just about removing smells and unsightly stains. Dog poop can carry various types of disease-causing bacteria and parasites, so by cleaning it, you are also protecting the health of your dog, yourself, and anyone else that lives in your home.