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What are enzymes and why are they used for cleaning and urine removal?


The Problem

Urine is one of the most difficult to remove odors because the urine breaks down into ammonia(what you are smelling) and urine salts. The best way to remove the smell of urine is to use enzymes to further break down those odor-causing components, which can then be extracted from the carpet.

Enzymes are natural proteins that break down certain organic compounds into their component parts. Enzymes are best thought of as one step of the cleaning process. The best way to clean dishes is to scrape excess food before scrubbing because it leaves smaller, more manageable particles which are easier to remove. Using an enzymatic cleaner is similar to that first step of dish-washing: it breaks down the dirt in to more manageable, more easily removable components. The major difference is that scraping is a physical interaction and enzymes work on a molecular level.

It is because enzymes break down urine salts in to more manageable (less stinky) parts that you’ll often see them in the pet store cleaning aisle. Unfortunately for pet-owners, using a store-bought enzymatic cleaner for pet stains isn’t very effective because it is almost impossible to completely remove the urine and urine salts without the use of professional steam cleaning and extraction equipment. Without removing the actual cause of the odor you’re only masking – we discussed this in a previous blog post. For this reason, we recommend drying and tamping out urine with a dry cloth and calling a professional carpet cleaning company for a more thorough extraction.