May 12th, 2023 | Carpet
To achieve the best result, it is critical to understand pH in relation to cleaning. We recently held an in-depth training webinar this topic and recommend you watch the webinar recording. It will enhance your knowledge of cleaning and give you more confidence in your decisions. Thus, saving you time and money on processes that didn’t work.
In short, the soiling needs to be neutralized (i.e., clean an acidic soil with an alkaline) for it to be effectively eradicated, as detail in the image below.
To effectively eradicate urine from carpet, we must understand its complex pH nature. When fresh, urine is acidic around 5-6 ph. (Hence the etching and permanent staining on marble floors around toilets and urinals). As it dries, it changes to an alkaline crystal and omits the well-recognized ammonia odour. The pH changes to over 11+, enough to damage natural fibers.
In most cases, urine remediation involves the removal of the uric crystal, an extremely resilient formation. When drying, the uric crystal encases and locks in the odour causing bacteria. If the crystal becomes absolutely dry, it can become odorless. However, as soon as it comes in contact with moisture the mal odour will resume. Bactericides on their own, have little effect on these crystals and the odour causing bacteria is not eliminated.
1. Fresh urine & bacteria
2. Urine Drying
3. Crystalized urine encasing bacteria
Eradicating urine doesn’t involve any special equipment, rather the right chemistry and process.
There are three parts to tackling urine: the decontamination, odour neutralisation and the stain. Sometimes they can be conquered in the same step, and often the stain is removed during the decontamination step.
2. Odour Replacement
3. Stain Removal
To dissolve the uric crystal, you can either use an organic acid such as Pet & Flood or use a bio-enzyme like Deozyme. The treatment breaks down the uric crystal which exposes the encapsulated bacteria to be eradicated by a bactericide or bio-enzyme. The dissolved crystal can no longer emit the ammonia-like odour and can be extracted. For severe cases more than one treatment may be necessary. Simply apply the chemical as directed on the label.
By using odour neutralising technology, residual mal odour can be eliminated, and a clean, fresh fragrance provided. The Actichem Elimotech chemistry include this technology, which neutralises mal odours at a molecular level. Decontamination solutions such as Pet & Flood and Deozyme include this Elimotech technology.
Tip: We highly recommend doing this step, as often the client will say they can still smell urine even though there is no urine left in the carpet. This is because the olfactory senses in the brain keep telling the person that the room smells like urine. The easiest way to overcome this is to replace the smell with new, clean fragrance.
If the urine stain is still present after the decontamination process, the use of hydrogen peroxide is normally successful. Hydrogen Peroxide oxidizes the urine colouring called urochrome. This oxidisation results in harmless residual elements and does not require rinsing. A 3-5% solution of hydrogen peroxide is generally sufficient. The formulated hydrogen peroxide solutions, Spotaway U and Conquer O2 are ideal for this application.
For more information on using hydrogen peroxide, please see the appendix at the bottom on this blog.
Depending on the situation will depend on what type of product you use. The chart below outlines the different strengths each product has in the urine eradication situation.
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