Why You Should Avoid Using Windex To Clean Up Pet Urine Around The House

Having indoor pets gives you an extra companion to hang out with and watch movies when you're home alone. You become best friends with your furry pet and get to teach them so many tricks. However, one downside to keeping your pets indoors is risking the chance of them urinating in the house. While you might train your pet to give you a heads up when they're ready to go outside, sometimes it's an emergency, and they can't make it. Accidents will always happen, and they'll need to be cleaned up. When looking for something to clean the carpet with, you may be tempted to grab the bottle of Windex from your cleaning supplies, but there are a few reasons that would be a bad idea.

Pet urine has ammonia, a natural waste product, that gives the urine an unpleasant smell. When your pet doesn't drink enough water, the ammonia could be more intense than if it drank more water. Windex has the same ammonia properties in some of their products, so when you clean urine with Windex, it leaves behind the lingering smell of ammonia for pets to let them know they can urinate in the spot again. Instead of using Windex and other ammonia-based products, here are a few ways to clean up pet urine in your home that don't involve Windex.

Extract the urine immediately

One item that will guarantee ammonia-free scents is cold water and carbonated water. Before applying any cleaning products, it's best to extract as much urine liquid from the carpet as possible. Add cold water to the area and soak it up with paper towels. The water will mix with the urine, making it effortless to soak up. It should get rid of the smell, too, but if there's a lingering smell, then adding a small amount of baking soda can help neutralize the odor. However, using water will only work on fresh dog urine stains. Once the urine sets, it can be more challenging to clean up. If your pet urinates on hardwood floors, you can easily clean it with paper towels and apply a cleaning product without ammonia, such as Pine-Sol.

A few ammonia-based products to avoid are Windex (as mentioned), Pledge wood cleaner, Lysol disinfectant spray, etc. In addition to using ammonia-free items and cold water, use a wet vacuum instead of a steamer to help remove urine that made its way deep into the carpet. The vacuum will help eliminate extra moisture. Allow the carpet to dry before applying a solution to the lingering smell.

Cleaning solutions that are better than Windex

Whether your dog or cat has urinated once or twice around the house, it can be challenging to eliminate the lingering smell even after scrubbing the carpet and floor. Instead of using random items around the house, it's best to have powerful cleaning agents that will work to eliminate the foul odors. 

Enzyme-based solutions are the best cleaning products for urine stains and odors because they break down the chemicals in the urine that create the smell. You and your pet won't be able to smell anything, meaning your pet won't go back and urinate again in the same area. Nature's Miracle Simply Pet Stain and Odor Remover is an excellent enzyme cleaner for $12.70 at Petco. It has a five-star rating; customers rave about how well it removes stains and odors.

If you can't run to the store to buy a cleaning product immediately, mixing detergent with club soda can also help eliminate odors. According to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, detergent and club soda work wonders for cat urine smells. Simply mix a couple of drops of detergent with water and let it sit on the urine spot for two hours without scrubbing. Then, blot the area, add club soda, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, allow the area to dry overnight and apply an enzyme cleaner the following day. The smell will be long gone.