Most of us have a dog or cat, or even both, and they are loved, pampered and treated like human members of the family. However, no matter how much we see our pets as one of the family, there are times when their habits may pose a problem.
Such a problem was recently brought to my attention by a reader whose elderly cat was defecating in the home. To make the problem worse, it has been defecating in the same spot, resulting in an unsightly brown stain on the carpet.
When a problem like this occurs it is imperative that you deal with it straight away, especially the removal of excreta and urine stains. Excreta should be removed from carpet with a spatula or cardboard, ensuring that you don't push any of it into the pile. Next mop up moisture with an old cloth or paper towels, then sponge with a cloth rung out in warm water and clean the pile with the following eucalyptus mixture: blend together two cups of soap flakes, half a cup of methylated spirits and 30 millilitres of eucalyptus oil, and then store it in an airtight glass jar for future use. To use this mixture, dissolve two tablespoons in four litres of warm water, or proportionately more or less to suit your needs.
Aged stains can usually be removed with the following carpet soap. Put half a cake of grated, pure soap in a saucepan, with enough water to cover, and melt over a medium heat, stirring constantly until it is well blended. At the same time, blend 12 grams of Fullers' earth, 28 grams of turpentine and 224 grams of potassium carbonate in a ceramic bowl, then add enough of the soap, stirring to make a paste. Store the mixture in a suitable container and use as needed. It is important to remember the removal of any stubborn stain is likely to remove colour from the carpet. Fullers' earth and potassium carbonate are available from most chemists.
To eliminate urine stains, mop quickly to prevent as much urine as possible from soaking into carpet, then sponge with the following solution: dissolve one tablespoon of cloudy ammonia with one cup of warm water. Normally urine is acidic, however, if this mixture is not successful the urine could be alkaline and should be sponged with equal amounts of white vinegar and warm water. Stubborn stains can be removed using the eucalyptus mixture. To eliminate any after odour, add 12 drops of lavender oil to a cup of bicarbonate of soda, mixing well with your hands. If the scent is not strong enough, add more of the oil, until sufficiently scented. Sprinkle with a sifter, leave for two hours and vacuum.
Territorial claims around doorways should be washed with warm soapy water, then liberally wiped over with disinfectant: dissolve 40 drops of lavender oil in 10 millilitres of methylated spirits and blend with a litre of tepid water. Use immediately, wiping liberally over the area.