How to Get Cat Urine Odor Out of Wood Floors
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Get Cat Urine Odor Out of Wood Floors
While you love your cat, as the owner of a home with beautiful hardwood floors, you love your floors too. But cats and wood don't mix. Cat urine has an unmistakable acrid odor, similar to ammonia, that permeates the room and can spread to the rest of the house.
Until the smell of cat urine is removed, it will be announced every time you enter the house. The porosity of older, heavily used hardwood floors makes the problem worse as urine soaks into the wood.
While removing cat urine odor from hardwood floors is not an easy task, it can be done using the right type of cleaner or, if the problem is advanced, sanding the floor.
Equipment / Tools
- Clean bucket
- Scrub brush with nylon bristles
- Liquid pet odor remover (such as Simple Stain + Odor Remover or Clorox Pet Solutions)
- Disposable cloth rags
- Disposable latex or nitrile gloves
Impermeable Wood Surfaces
Well-sealed, waterproof wood surfaces do not allow liquids to pass under the top liner. Check this by depositing a few drops of water on the floor. Wait about two hours. If the water is still dripping and stagnant, you can consider the surface waterproof.
Spot-Clean the Area
First, clean the problem area with water and a sponge to remove most of the urine stain.
Dispose of Cleaning Supplies
Discard the previously used sponge and thoroughly clean the bucket. This will ensure that the area does not become contaminated again during the remainder of the cleaning process.
Spray the odor remover directly on the problem area.
Depending on the specific product, it may be necessary to soak it in the urine area for a short period.
Wipe up the urine with a new sponge or clean cloth.
Lightly rinse the area with clean water.
Let the area dry completely.
- Factory or pre-finished hardwood floors can be more affected by cat urine than on-site finished hardwood floors. Prefinished floorboards are individually stained and sealed at the factory. After the installation in your home, seams remain that can allow urine to penetrate. Local finished flooring is unfinished wood flooring that is first installed in your home and then stained and sealed. The benefit is that the sealant impregnated and filled the seams, preventing the entry of urine.
- Before taking any drastic action, like sanding the floor, first, try cleaning your hardwood floor with a cat urine odor removal product. If your hardwood floor has a solid finish, with no seams between the boards, there is no reason why these products won't work.
- Determine if your floor is really wood, as many floors that appear to be wood are instead luxury vinyl plank, wood-look ceramic tile, or laminate flooring. All of these surfaces are impervious to liquids and can be cleaned with a urine odor remover. These products are specially formulated to eliminate odors and sometimes even to eliminate urine. They typically contain water, hydrogen peroxide, and a number of other agents, such as sodium hydroxide and alcohol ethoxylates.
Permeable Wood Surfaces
If your hardwood floor has bad stitching or a poor finish that allows liquid to seep through, you may need to sand down the cat urine.
The urine and its odor will have already penetrated the seams or porous surface. As long as you have solid wood floors, you can sand them deeply with a drum sander and a disc sander. For engineered wood floors, an only light sanding with a disc sander is possible, as the top veneer is too thin to allow deep sanding.
When sanding, keep the cat away from the project site, preferably out of the house entirely. If the cat urinates on unfinished wood, the open pores will allow the urine to penetrate deeply.
Check for Floor Thickness
Determine if the floorboards are thick enough for another sanding. Pulling a threshold is a good way to determine the thickness of your floor. If the floor was sanded at or just above the tongue and groove, it is too fine to sand.
Tape up Plastic Sheeting
Contain dust with plastic sheeting attached to doors, windows, and other avenues where dust can escape.
Rent the Correct Sander
Rent a floor sander. For minimal sanding, hire a vibratory sander or a disc sander. If you need deeper sanding, hire a drum sander.
For sanding near baseboards and finishes, rent an edge sander or you can choose to buy a random orbital sander for your home and use it instead.
Remove Quarter-Round and Baseboards
Remove a quarter turn with a flat pry bar before sanding. You will also do a better job if you can remove the baseboards. As with the square round, gently pry up the sockets with a flat pry bar.
Make sure the back of the bed rail rests on a dowel for better support. If the baseboards are heavily painted, removing them may cause further damage. In this case, leave them and sand as close to them as possible.
Run the drum sander across the floor. It's easy to cause irreparable damage to the floor with a drum sander, so be patient and never press down on the sander.
Never let any sander rest in place during operation; keep it always moving. Always start with coarser sandpaper and then work to a finer grain.
Clean up Debris and Sawdust
Thoroughly clean the floor with a broom, followed by two wet mops, with the mop pressed down so it feels almost dry to the touch.
Apply Floor Finish
Cover the floor with a water-based urethane finish.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell
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