It happens to every pet owner at least once. You’re late getting home, and your pet couldn’t wait. Or maybe they got into the trash and wound up with an upset stomach and ensuing digestive chaos. Whatever the reason, don’t despair when your nose tells you Fido or Fifi made a mess on your new bamboo floors. Bamboo flooring is resilient and more water-resistant than hardwood floors, and with these quick cleaning tips your floors will look and smell as good as new in no time.
Step One: Blot, Don’t Rub
Of course, the first step in pet accident clean-up is carefully picking up any solid waste, whether it’s vomit or excrement. Use only soft, nonabrasive materials, such as paper towels, to pick up solids; don’t use a pooper-scooper or other tool to remove the waste. Although bamboo is durable, you want to avoid scratching the surface in any way.
Once you remove solids, blot remaining liquids or moisture with paper towels. Resist the urge to rub the spot, because this will just push the mess into the grain of your bamboo floor. The best method is just to layer a few paper towels over the wet spot, and remove and replace them as they get saturated.
Step Two: Avoid Commercial Floor Cleaners
When the mess and moisture are gone, you’ll probably want to clean the area thoroughly. But avoid commercial cleaning products because they often contain harsh chemicals that can damage your bamboo floor. Definitely avoid anything alkaline or that contains floor wax, as well as anything with an oily base, because this will stain your bamboo floors. In most cases, just a simple damp mop or sponge is the best way to clean your bamboo floor.
Step Three: Deal With Odors
Let’s face it, many pet messes leave lingering smells, even after you clean them up. This is especially true if the urine has dried before you find it or get home to deal with it, or if a cat, especially a male cat, made the mess.
Believe it or not, your best weapon against nasty pet mess smells on bamboo floors is probably in your pantry right now. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and odor remover, and it can be used on bamboo floors. A one-quarter cup white vinegar per one quart of water solution is a safe and effective alternative to commercial cleaners and deodorizers; you can also use hardwood floor cleaners. Use a spray bottle to apply a thin film to the area, or rest a slightly damp sponge soaked in the vinegar solution on the stain for a few minutes, and then wipe it dry with soft paper towels.
If you have pets and bamboo floors, pet messes aren’t your only concern. Be sure to keep your dog’s or cat’s nails well-trimmed to avoid scratches, and sweep and mop your floors regularly, especially if your pet tracks in mud and dirt after a walk. A little maintenance and prevention will help keep your bamboo floors looking beautiful for years.
What steps do you take to keep your floors looking clean?