How to Make Sure Your Enzyme Cleaner Actually Does the Job

cat-clean Enzyme cleaners, also called enzymatic cleaners, are among of the most effective products you can use to get rid of cat urine odor and stains.

Or at least, they have the potential to be effective when you use them right. The problem is using these cleaners is a little bit tricky.

Why Your Enzyme Cleaner Might not Work

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as pouring the cleaner onto the cat urine stain and waiting for it to do its thing. That’s because enzyme cleaners rely on natural, biological processes that are sensitive to a lot of different factors. If anything interferes with the biological process, the cleaner won’t work and you’ll be left with that lovely kitty piddle stain and smell.

Enzymes are biological molecules (most often proteins) that speed up a biological reaction. Usually, they break things down. The enzyme rennin, also called “rennet,” is what turns milk into cheese. The enzymes alpha-amylase and beta-amylase, among others, are used to brew beer. Human stomachs also produce many enzymes that allow us to digest food.

In cat urine cleaning products, you’ll find enzymes that break down uric acid (the stuff that makes the stain and odor stick around) into carbon dioxide and ammonia. These byproducts evaporate and –voila! — a clean carpet, sofa or other surface.

But when you’re using enzymes to clean cat urine, there are two things you need to know:

  1. Each enzyme has a very specific function. Just like you can’t use rennet to make beer, you can’t use just any old enzyme to break down cat urine stains.
  2. Enzymes are highly sensitive to their environment. The wrong temperature, moisture level or pH level, or the presence of certain chemicals can prevent them from working.

How Get the Most Out of Your Enzyme Cleaner

Look for a product with a label that specifically states it works on cat urine. Products formulated for grass stains on clothes or even for dog urine might not work. They might, but your chances are better if you choose one that mentions cat urine. A few good ones are:

  • Anti Icky Poo by MisterMax
  • Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats by Nature’s Miracle 
  • Out! Stain and Odor Remover by Out! International

Some cleaners shouldn’t be used on wood floors or certain other surfaces, so read the label carefully before you buy.

Once you have your product, follow the directions to the letter. Each product has its own requirements in terms of moisture, temperature, and other factors. Think of the precision involved in the process of making cheese or brewing beer. That’s basically what you’re doing here.

In general, covering the area with a sheet of plastic to keep it warm and humid will help the enzymes work. After the period of time suggested in the product instructions, however, you’ll want to let the area air dry so the byproducts can be released.

But there’s one more thing you need to look out for. There are certain molecules act as inhibitors. These bind to an enzyme and prevent it from working effectively. When you’re using enzymes to clean, inhibitors are generally going to come from other cleaners.

For this reason, make sure the stained area is free from any other chemicals. Don’t use any soap, detergent, or even vinegar to clean the stain before you apply the enzyme cleaner. If you’ve already used some cleaning product on the stain, thoroughly rinse the area with pure water.

Another potential problem is the chemical composition of your cat’s urine itself. If your cat is on any medication, including simple flea or worm meds, or she’s eating a specially formulated diet, this alters the chemical composition of her urine. The chemists who formulated the enzyme cleaners didn’t account for these variations. In this case, you may need either a different enzyme cleaner or a different type of cleaner entirely.

Getting rid of the cat pee smell and stains is just half the battle, of course. You’ll also need to know how to get your cat back to using the litter box and not the carpet. To learn how to do that, check out Cat Urine Problems Eliminated.

Cleaning Cat Urine the Easy and Effective Way

cat-litter-aliens Cleaning cat urine and getting rid of all the lingering odor can be a tough job, as just about any cat care-taker can tell you. Part of the reason it seems so difficult is that cat urine really is more tenacious than dog or human urine.

What works to remove your dog’s or your child’s “little accident” won’t work on kitty’s pool of piddle. With the right tools, though, getting rid of cat urine odor and stains can be remarkably easy and fast. Sorry, though, aliens aren’t going to do it for you.

Finding the Cat Urine

Sure, it’s easy enough to find the general area of the stain–your eyes and nose are a good enough detectors for that. The problem is that while you may find most of the urine, you’re unlikely to find it all. Cats tend to scatter urine onto walls and furniture when the scratch around to “bury” their leavings. These little droplets may not leave a strong odor or visible smell, but they can attract your cat back to the same area to strike again. So unless you want to be cleaning that area repeatedly, you’ll need to eliminate all traces of urine.

Fortunately, there’s a very easy way to find all the cat urine in a particular area. Just turn the lights off and shine a black light (UV light) on the area where you want to find the cat urine. The cat pee will glow a dull yellow or white. Be forewarned, though, that this method also turns up any remnants of other organic stains, such as blood, vomit or other animal or human urine. You may not like what you find. 🙂

Eliminating the Cat Urine

Once you’ve identified all the stained areas, you’ll need an effective cleaner that eliminates all the odor and hopefully does so the first time around. Both homemade cleaners and store-bought cleaners can be equally effective. With the homemade cleaner, of course, you’ll need to collect the ingredients and proper containers and mix up the cleaner yourself. This isn’t difficult and will probably save you some money, but if you’re in a hurry, you may prefer to buy store-bought cleaner.

If you’ve already tried a few basic carpet cleaners or pet urine removers and they haven’t worked, don’t give up! There are products that work well. General cleaners and cleaners designed for dog urine won’t do it, though. What you want is a cleaner that mentions removing cat urine specifically, such as Dumb Cat Anti-Marking & Cat Spray by Life’s Great Products.

Not all of these products work the same way, so carefully read the instructions and follow them as precisely as possible. If you just dump the cleaner on the stain and scrub, you may be wasting your time. For instance, with enzymatic cleaners, you’ll need to make sure there’s no soap or detergent residue, such as carpet cleaner, on the stained area because this residue could kill the live enzymes, making the enzymatic cleaner useless.

By using the UV light method to find all the lingering cat urine stains and applying a proven-effective cleaner, you could be rid of all your cat pee problems in one day. With a particularly deep or wide-spread stain, you may need more than one application even of the best product, but as long as you’re working with a highly recommended product, don’t give up too soon.

You can solve your cat’s inappropriate urination problems and get your home completely free of cat urine odors, but the solutions may not always be obvious. Instead of wasting time learning by trial and error, read the book Cat Urine Problems Eliminated to discover proven-effective ways to retrain your cat and regain your home.