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How Do Enzymes Work On Pet Stains?

Updated on October 29, 2017
Bob Bamberg profile image

Bob has been in the pet supply business and writing about pets, livestock, and wildlife in a career that spans three decades.


Your "Go-To" Solution For Organic Stains

We love them with all our heart, we cater to them, we tend to their every need, and how do they repay us?

By peeing, pooping, up-chucking and bleeding on our carpets.

Oh, once in a while they please us by doing it on the linoleum, but that’s a rare treat, indeed.

These assaults on our eyes, and our noses, are among the most confounding issues associated with owning a pet.

Who among us doesn’t know a pet owner, including ourselves, who hasn’t been trying forever to get the “essence of Boomer” out of the living room carpet?

And if we’re not trying to get pet stains out of the carpet, we’re trying to get them out of the furniture or our clothing.

We’ve soaked, we’ve scrubbed, we’ve tried every product on the market. What’s a pet owner to do? To paraphrase W.C. Fields: “Enzymes, my little chickadee, enzymes.”

Enzymes are protein molecules; powerful little dudes that cause chemical reactions, and there are thousands of them that complete different tasks.

They can really make things happen. Digestive enzymes, for example, help break down food quickly so its nutrients can be readily absorbed.

Have you ever noticed that the chunk of meat you swallow is much smaller than the chunk you took off the fork?

True, the teeth and tongue do a good job of compressing it, but enzymes in your saliva are already breaking that meat down before you swallow it.

There are a number of stain and odor removers on the market that utilize enzymes to break down the organic residue from your pet’s gastric or digestive "episode." Cleansers lift and remove dirt, enzymes consume organic matter.

However, the agents that enable cleansers to lift and remove dirt, called surfactants, also make it more difficult for enzymes to do their jobs.

In order to lift and remove, they must first encapsulate, which means that the molecules of dirt now have a barrier around them that interferes with enzyme action.

Simply put, if you treat the spot right away with an enzymatic product, you stand a much better chance of eliminating it.

Another benefit of using enzymes is that your dog or cat is less likely to be attracted to sites of previous bladder or bowel indiscretions. There no longer is any residual urine or feces there telling them they’ve found the right place.

We can usually smell the urine stains, but we can’t always see them. There is, however, a way to get the stain to reveal itself. Urine is phosphorescent when subjected to black light.

It usually glows as a bluish light, making it possible to treat the stain directly. The black light is a handy gadget to have around the house and you can usually buy them where you get pet supplies.

There are even enzyme-based skunk odor removers that you can use right on your pet and also on your rugs and furniture. Just don’t use any shampoos or cleansers first.

How many times have you nicked or scratched yourself, leaving little blood stains on your clothing? I’ve done it often and used the enzymatic pet stain removers to successfully get the blood right out.

My wife says I’m worse than a kid at mealtime. I’m forever dribbling something on my shirt, pants or the seat cushion.

That’s when I break out the enzymatic pet stain remover and get back in her good graces again. In fact, she uses those products now.

Enzymes aren’t perfect and there are times when, for some reason, they simply don’t get the job completely done.

Or, sometimes you may have to treat the spot more than once. But, more often than not, if you use them first, you won’t need anything else.

Finally, a little addendum to this article’s first sentence…they also repay us with unconditional love, unlimited entertainment, and a subtle yet scientifically supported boost to our overall health.

© 2012 Bob Bamberg


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