There are two types of reactions that can take place between the chemistry in an animal’s urine and those in the dyes and fibers of textile furnishings. The first type of reaction is immediately noticeable. The yellow color of the urine can change the color (s) of the fiber or fabric (especially light colors) as soon as it comes in contact with them.
The other reactions develop slowly over several days to several months and can result in permanent changes to the dyes and fiber. Not only can the dyes change but some fibers may become weakened or destroyed by the aged urine. The decomposing urine can also produce an objectionable odor. After cleaning, these areas are more obvious because the soils that hid the changed color and damaged fibers have been removed. Also, dyes weakened by urine may bleed especially on your fine wool rugs so if you see color transfer as you’re blotting up the urine, take the wool rug to a professional cleaner in your area as soon as possible.
The next time you encounter wet urine follow these simple steps:
1.Absorb as much liquid as possible with several layers of white terry or paper toweling.
2. Treat the area with a neutral detergent solution (one teaspoon neutral white or colorless laundry detergent in a cup of lukewarm water). Make sure the detergent is free of bleaching agents (no chlorine or peroxide).Blot (don’t rub or scrub) that liquid with several layers of white terry or paper towel. Note: always test the solutions first by applying a small amount in an inconspicuous area to determine its effect on the fiber and dye. Wait thirty minutes to an hour to see if any color changes or other problems may arise.
3. apply the mild ammonia solution (1/2 teaspoon clear or sudsy, uncolored household ammonia in one cup of water ). Blot again.
4. apply the vinegar solution (one part white vinegar to two parts water). Blot.
5. finally place several clean, dry, white terry or paper towels over the area and weigh down with a plastic bucket or jug filled with water.
6. allow the area to dry a minimum of six hours. Repeat if necessary.