Do-It-Yourself Household Cleaners for Fur Rug Urine Stains
Clean a urine stain on a fur rug by first blotting up as much of the mess as possible. Do not rub the spot or it could spread. Afterwards, apply a small amount of vinegar and water, blot it up, then sprinkle with baking soda. Vacuum once dry.
While fur or sheepskin rugs add a comfortable look and feel to the floor of any room, they're not impervious to stains. For spots such as urine that also add an unpleasant odor, harsh cleaners made for synthetic rugs or carpets aren't a viable option. Instead, make your own spot removers from natural, fur-safe household products.
Fresh Spot Maintenance
It's easiest to deal with a urine stain on a fur rug while the spot is still fresh. Blot up as much as possible with folded paper towels. Wear rubber gloves for hand protection. Dab the spot on the top of the rug with layers of folded paper towels without rubbing the spot, as rubbing could expand the spot.
Check the area beneath the spot as well, just in case it soaked through. To test the area without touching it directly, flip the wet portion of the rug over, placing the wet spot over a piece of cardboard. This protects other areas of the rug from getting wet. Press folded paper towels over the area beneath the spot, on the rug's bottom side. If they are still dry after a few seconds, the urine hasn't soaked through.
If the wet area is large, fold an old, absorbent cotton towel to blot up the mess instead of paper towels.
Vinegar and Water Solution
A mix of equal parts water and white vinegar can help remove fresh or old urine stains from a fur rug. Spray a small urine spot with the mixture, or pour some of the vinegar blend directly on a larger area and allow it to soak in for 30 seconds or so, after blotting up as much urine as possible. Do not soak the area, as moisture isn't good for a fur rug. Keep folded cotton rags under the problem spot while working to prevent soaking the floor. Wipe the treated area with an absorbent cotton rag while wearing gloves, working from the outer edges of the spot toward the center to avoid spreading the problem. A soft-bristled scrub brush may also be used. Vinegar will neutralize the odor and the acidity of the urine. Afterwards, blot up the remaining liquid once again. If the area still smells or looks less than fresh after the rug dries, apply the vinegar treatment again.
Baking Soda Sprinkle
Sprinkle the cleaned area with baking soda to help remove any remaining odor once the vinegar solution dries. Baking soda serves as a natural way to clean fibers and remove odors from all sorts of carpets. Vacuum the baking soda after allowing it to sit for at least 30 minutes.
Fresh air is a great way to get rid of any remaining urine odor after blotting, rinsing and otherwise cleaning the problem area. Hang the rug outside on a clothesline on a dry, non-humid day. An ideal location is in an area that isn't prone to direct summertime mid-day sun. Direct, bright sunlight could dry out the leather or may affect the color of the rug. A gentle breeze and indirect sunlight team up to remove odors while helping kill bacteria.
- If the entire rug is extremely dirty, you may be able to clean it in the washing machine. Some furs, like sheepskin, hold up well to the wear of the washer. Use a fur shampoo like Cloud Nine Sheepskin Shampoo instead of detergent. Adding a half cup of vinegar will help soften the fur and remove stains. Lay it over a rack to dry, then brush the rug back into its proper shape.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Landlordology, SFGate and others.