Even a well-behaved and housetrained dog or cat has the occasional accident. Pet stains are just a part of owning an animal, but the good news is the stain on your stone floor may not be as bad as it looks. As with any other stain, it’s important to take action, clean up the mess as soon as possible, and use the right cleaning product to prevent damaging your floors. Here’s how to handle pet stains on granite, travertine, marble, and other types of natural stone flooring.
Pet Urine Can Damage Stone Flooring
Natural stone is incredibly strong and durable. It’s hard to imagine a puddle left by a dog or cat could damage stone, but pet urine is actually very damaging to natural stone because it becomes a very strong alkaline salt as it dries. If allowed to sit, the urine could etch the surface of the stone and absorb into the stone. The softer the stone, the worse the damage. Softer stones like marble and travertine have a higher percentage of calcium carbonate that makes them more vulnerable to acidic compounds like pet urine and citric acid, but granite can also be damaged. The best way to prevent damage to your floors is to clean up any spills or messes right away, especially pet urine.
How to Clean Up Pet Accidents
If your pet has an accident on your stone floors, contain it and clean it up quickly. Use a terrycloth or paper towels to blot up the urine and keep it from being absorbed into the natural stone. Care for your floors properly by not using any corrosive or acidic cleaning products on the stone, as this will only make the problem worse. Avoid rubbing because it can spread the urine.
Removing Pet Stains
If you didn’t catch an accident right away and it dried or caused a stain, it’s not too late to save your granite floors. Organic stains like pet urine can be safely treated with liquid bleach as long as your floor is properly sealed. Place a clean white terrycloth towel or paper towel over the stain and soak it with bleach. Allow the bleach to sit for 24 hours, then rinse with water. Avoid using bleach regularly on stone, but it is safe to treat the occasional stubborn pet stain.
Seal Your Floors Regularly
Sealing stone regularly is important because it creates a barrier that prevents water and other substances from being absorbed by the stone and causing stains. If you have pets, sealing is even more important. It isn’t hard to seal stone floors yourself as long as you use a stone-safe sealer as directed. To seal your stone floors, start by making sure the surface is swept of all debris and cleaned with a granite cleaner. Spray the sealer on the surface and immediately buff it into the stone using a lint-free cloth. Work in three-foot sections to make sure the sealer does not dry on the surface and cause hazing.
If you want to take proper care of your floors, make sure you have a high-quality granite stone and tile floor cleaner on hand. At Granite Gold®, we offer a wide array of specially formulated products that are safe to use on stone floors and other surfaces made of natural stone. To learn more about caring for stone flooring, give us a call at 1-800-475-STONE today.