Skip Seal, a cleaning industry consultant, is a firm believer in the job that nonpathogenic bacteria and synthetic detergent can do on urine. Years ago, when Seal was working for a janitorial supply company, he was called to a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a male cat got sick in a room during a cat show.

“The odor was so bad, you could smell it when you got off the elevator,” says Seal, CEO of Seal 360 Consulting in Fort Myers, Florida. “They called me there because they said they were going to replace the carpet and (they wanted) to know what to use to treat the concrete (underneath) so the odors will not permeate the new carpet.”

Seal mixed a nonpathogenic bacteria and synthetic detergent product with warm water to “wake up” the bacteria spores and applied a liberal amount to each spot in the room.

“The next day, they called and said all they had to do was extract the carpet,” says Seal. “All of the odors and all of the stains were gone.”
If the urine is noticed soon after the accident, Seal says a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner, which will neutralize the urine, can be sprayed on the spot and then allowed to set. He then suggests extracting the entire carpet with the same product, which should be film-free, so it does not leave any residue.

“Another advantage to a [hydrogen] peroxide product on carpet is it neutralizes any past detergent residue that would build up in the carpet,” says Seal. “So you have a secondary benefit in that you will restore the soft, luxurious feel to the carpet and brighten the colors while getting rid of the urine odor.”

One of the keys to picking a product for urine spots in carpet is determining whether the product can be utilized to clean other areas of the facility, says Seal. If it is a hydrogen peroxide-based product, then it can be used to deep-clean restroom grout and in laundry to pre-treat bed mats before washing.

“If [custodians] choose the right product, they can use it in other areas,” says Seal. “Urine is organic. What about the organic in the restroom? It works there. What about the organic in the kitchen? It works there, also.”

A benefit of hydrogen peroxide-based or “oxygen” cleaning products is that they are effective in other situations that involve other bodily fluids, which are common in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, day care centers and preschools.

These products are safe to be used around those who are asthmatic or have other types of respiratory illnesses, which are common among the elderly and children.

“The beautiful thing is the oxygen products are truly green. They are hypoallergenic and they are safe,” says Craig Jasper, an IICRC approved instructor.

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