How to Remove Cat Hairball Stains from Carpet
Every cat owner knows well the sound of a cat coughing up a hairball. Part of cat ownership is dealing with the aftermath and cleaning up hairballs. Often times these hairballs can leave pesky stains that aren't easy to remove. Fortunately, you don't have to live with stains all over your carpet. A variety of methods can be used to help get rid of stains.
Getting Rid of New Stains
Use carpet cleaner to remove hairball stains.Start by picking up the hairball with a clump of paper towels. Blot the area with clean water and then pat it dry with a cloth. Spray the affected area with a good carpet cleaner, especially one designed for pet stains, and blot it with a cloth. Finally, rinse the area with water and blot it dry.
- Your urge may be to remove the hairball right away, but it's best to let the hairball firm up a bit before removal.
- Blot the area lightly; do not apply too much pressure, as this may cause the stain to penetrate deeper into the carpeting.
Use a mixture of vinegar and water to remove the stain.This is a natural alternative if you don't like using chemical carpet cleaning agents. Blend together two tablespoons of white vinegar with a pint of water into an empty spray container.
- Remove the hairball using a paper towel. Spray the area generously, then blot the area with with a clean towel. Repeat as necessary until the stain is fully removed.
Try shaving cream or club soda.These can be used as they come and do not need to be diluted like vinegar. Simply remove the hairball, dry the stain and then apply a generous amount of either shaving cream or club soda to the problem spot. Dry it by blotting. Repeat as necessary.
Get rid of a hairball stain using salt.Pick up any solid material with a paper towel. Cover the moist area with a layer of salt about inch (0.6 cm) thick. If the hairball is already dry, spray it with water to wet it down thoroughly, then apply salt.
- Wait for the salt to dry, which may take 12-24 hours, maybe longer if it's cold or damp. Step on the salt and grind it up with your foot to break it up.
- Brush it into a dustpan using a stiff scrub brush or vacuum it up. You may need to pick some particles out of the carpet.
Removing Old Hairball Stains
Try a vinegar baking soda mix.Pour baking soda over the old stain. Combine a tablespoon of clear dish washing liquid, a tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water. Dab the mixture onto a brush and scrub the spot for a few minutes. Let it sit for an hour, then blot the spot to remove the stain.
- Repeat the process if the stain remains after the spot has dried.
- You can let the mixture sit on the stain overnight for older stains.
Apply stain-removing detergent.If residue remains where your cat left a hairball, you can use a laundry stain remover product to get rid of it. Generously apply the stain remover product to the spot, scrub it with a clean towel, and dab it dry.
Rent a carpet shampooer.Most hardware or grocery stores will rent out carpet shampooers. Buy a steaming soap that specializes in pet stains and follow the directions to the afflicted spot.
- Choose the machine size based on the area you need to cover. If it is only a small stain, you can rent a small cleaning machine but may want more with a wider cleaning area if you anticipate doing your entire floor.
Using Heat to Remove a Stain
Heat up a clothing iron.For some very old stains, it might be difficult to remove them using a cleaning solution. Applying heat from an iron can help loosen the stain. Make sure the iron is filled with water and heat it to warm on a low setting.
- Take precautions to avoid burning the carpet. Do not heat the iron to a medium or high setting, as this could melt the fibers in your carpet.
Treat the stain with a stain remover solution.You can use carpet cleaner, stain remover, or a simple mixture of dish soap and water. Saturate the stain before applying the iron.
Heat the stain.To protect the carpet, you can fold a towel in half and place it over the spot. Place the iron on top of the towel. Keep the heat setting on low and do not press on the carpet like you would clothes, as this could burn your carpet.
- Check on it often. Keep the heat low and do not make direct contact with the carpet.
- Keep the iron in place for one minute.
Remove the iron and towel.The idea is that the iron and moisture should be able to pull the stain up into the towel. Check under the towel to make sure the iron is working or whether it needs more time. Once the stain appears to be gone, you can remove the towel and iron.
- You may want to dry the spot thoroughly with a paper towel, but you shouldn't need to do anything else to remove the stain.
QuestionWhen my cat throws up a hairball some food comes up, too. How do I get stain from the food out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use any of the listed stain removal techniques to help with this. Use a stain remover or any of the techniques aimed at getting rid of stains. You can also try switching to an all natural food that doesn't contain anything that'll stain your carpet.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get rid of massive mats on a Maine Coon?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf the mats are really bad, it's probably best to take your Maine Coon to a professional groomer.Thanks!
- The salt method doesn't leave a light spot on the carpet like you get with stain removers.
- Many times it's the dye in the cat food that can be leaving stains. Try switching to an all natural food that doesn't contain dyes.
Video: How to Remove Cat Hairball Stains from Carpet - Removing Old Hairball Stains
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