How To Get Left-Behind Litter Out Of Your Carpet

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If you're a cat owner, whether you have one or several, we both know who's the boss in your household: your kitty cats. Cats are regal, they rule with a velvet paw, and we love them whether they're snuggled in our arms purring or showing us their back to signal that they're displeased.

But depending on the cat or the circumstances, cat litter can and does suddenly show up on your carpet. If it's a small spot and you don't happen to notice it right away, a few days could pass as you unintentionally walk over that spot, grinding the cat litter deeper into your carpet pile. Although you'll need the standard equipment to lift it out, either a handheld vacuum or a standard, full-size vacuum cleaner, it may not be enough. You'll also need several strips of wide packing tape. Packing tape picks up minute dust particles whether they're on a carpet or other surface, so you can actually use it to dust other hard-to-reach areas too.

How to get cat litter out of your carpet

If the cat litter is dry and your cat deposited it simply by walking across the carpet, (or perhaps a curious small child was playing with cat litter) you'll need your vacuum cleaner or handheld vac, and have clear packing tape standing by. Vacuum first, then cut off several inches of packing tape and press the sticky side down into your carpet. As you work to lift the dust particles and clay out of each area of the carpet, you'll need several pieces of tape. When it looks finished, give the area another pass with your vacuum cleaner.

If the cat litter on your carpet is wet, the requirements are different and you'll need more than packing tape and your vacuum cleaner. Grab a paper towel to first remove as much litter as you can. If there's too much, use a dustpan and brush.

If wet litter has hardened onto your carpet fibers, your next step is to loosen it with a liquid cleaning solution, not vacuum. Soak the area with equal parts of a vinegar-water solution for several minutes and then scrub the area with a brush. If some litter is stubborn, you might also direct a hand-held steamer to the area. Brush again, and pick up any pieces by hand. After the patch of carpet has dried, use packing tape, and then vacuum. To freshen the area, this is a great opportunity to use cinnamon while vacuuming.