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Will Professional Carpet Cleaning Remove Pet Odors? Is It Worth It?

person cleaning the carpet

Pet owners know that the biggest problems come in the smallest packages. If you need help dealing with foul odors from your cat or dog, a carpet cleaning professional is a worthwhile investment.

It only takes a few seconds for your four-legged friend to have an accident on the couch or carpet, but it’s enough to give you cleaning fits for days, weeks, or even months. No matter what you try, it can feel like a never-ending battle to get the stench of old pet urine out of the house.

When you’ve tried everything in your DIY arsenal, you may be considering calling in the pros. But given all of your fruitless efforts, is it likely that a cleaning service will have more success in removing odors? Is it worth the time and money to bring them in for a persistent problem? The short answer is: Most of the time it is.

We’ll help you get the most for your money if you need professional intervention for your pet odor problem. In this article, we’ll explore carpet cleaning costs and look at where carpet care experts fit in the fight against foul, infused smells.

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How Much Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost?

Carpet cleaners charge either a flat rate per room or an amount based on square footage. The cost structure sometimes depends on how much area needs to be cleaned.

Cleaning costs can range from $0.20–$0.40 per square foot. If the area is particularly small, most carpet cleaners have a flat starting rate of around $100–$150. The cost of cleaning per room is roughly $50–$75.

Many cleaners cover carpeting and upholstery, and they may charge custom rates depending on the specific areas you need to clean. Look for coupons, package deals, and membership offers to get the best value for your particular project.

Cleaning costs will increase as pet stains become more abundant and difficult to remove. If cleaners have to employ specialty pre-treatment methods that cost more time and materials, you will have to pay more for the service.

person vacuuming carpet
Image Credit: Andrey Popov, Shutterstock

Will Professional Carpet Cleaners Get Rid of Pet Odors?

Professional carpet cleaners can get rid of pet odors, even after they have been sitting for a long time. For cleaners to be effective, it’s crucial to inform them of pet stains so that they can take appropriate measures.

Pet odors, particularly urine, are challenging to remove, and standard cleaning methods can even make them worse.

Why Pet Urine Smell Is Hard to Remove

Standard carpet cleaning approaches can help with some of the pet urine smell. The ammonia-like odor of urine comes from bacteria feeding on proteins. Killing these bacteria is simple with typical professional carpet cleaning approaches such as steam cleaning.

The real challenge of eliminating the entire pet stain is in the uric acid, crystallized components of pet pee that bond with carpet fibers and release another foul stench. Uric acid and various salts can linger for years, reactivating from moisture to give off a long-lasting aroma. Steam cleaning won’t break down and remove these uric acid crystals, but they may cause them to give off an even more pungent odor.

To be effective at removing the smell, your carpet cleaning service needs to know how to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria, stuck-on uric acid, and deep-down stains from pet accidents.

cat pee at the carpet
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Benefits of Using a Professional Carpet Cleaner for Pet Odors

Some consumer products can destroy the uric acid, salts, and bacteria that create acrid odors throughout the house. An enzyme cleaning spray will break down uric acid, allowing it to evaporate out of the carpet. Unlike most carpet shampoos and cleaners that only mask the scent, these cleaners get rid of them forever, keeping the smell out of the house and dissuading your pets from having repeat accidents in the same spot.

Enzyme cleaners are often enough to handle minor accidents as they arise. But if you don’t have any luck with DIY approaches, a professional carpet cleaner may still be able to eliminate the smell for good. Thanks to their training and equipment, there are many benefits in hiring a cleaning service to manage an uncontrollable pet odor problem.

Find All of the Odor Sources

Pet stains can be hard to see with the naked eye after they have dried into the carpet. The easiest method for finding pet odor sources is using a UV blacklight flashlight. Available online, these flashlights highlight dried urine in carpets as greenish stains, making them easy to spot and clean up.

Although a UV light can point out many pet stains in the surface fibers of the carpet, set-in marks can be more difficult to find. If urine has soaked through the carpet into the pad, or even worse, the subfloor, you’ll still be able to smell it but the flashlight won’t reveal anything.

Professional carpet cleaners can find pet urine spots that UV lights can’t pick up. Along with UV, they use thermal readers and moisture meters to pinpoint stained spots below the surface of the carpet.

black light illuminating spot of cat pee
Image Credit: In The Light Photography, Shutterstock

High-Quality Treatment Processes

Carpet cleaning services have not only the technology to find deeper stains but to treat them as well. Their equipment can penetrate deep into carpets to break down waste solids and extract moisture, refreshing the carpet and pad.

Topical pre-treatments are often enough to dig the urine smell out of carpet and padding before extraction. For more advanced pet staining, your carpet cleaner may need to flood the affected area with a urine-neutralizing solution. These methods are more effective in removing stains, but they are also more time-intensive and expensive.

Keeping your house clean can be a lot of work. Luckily, our favorite enzyme cleaner, the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray, can get rid of the toughest stains and smells from your pet. Seriously — it works on everything! Click here to order a bottle.

At House Grail, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

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Final Thoughts

If you have a stubborn pet odor problem that you can’t get out on your own, a cleaning company may be the most cost-effective way to resolve the problem. Before hiring a service, it’s crucial to assess the amount of damage to the carpet. Extensive staining may require carpet replacement. It’s more expensive than hiring a cleaning service, but replacing the padding and carpet will save you from wasting money trying to clean an unsalvageable floor.

Pet odors are a tricky problem, and it can cost anywhere from $100 to over $1,000 to get them out of your house. In the long run, it’s a small price to pay to get permanent relief from the smell and peace of mind that there aren’t more serious problems developing out of sight.


Featured Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

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