How To Find Pet Stains With an Ultraviolet Flashlight

Dogs and cats make great family pets and today have become cherished family members. While most dogs and cats are very conscientious and rarely make a mess in the house, there are times when accidents occur and there are some pets who are chronic offenders.

guilty dogA pet stain is simply a biological stain from urine, vomit, poop or even drool. Areas where vomit or poop occurs are easy to spot, but urine stains can be particularly difficult to find because you usually cannot see them after they dry. Frequently, the only way that you know about a urine stain occurrence is when your nose detects the pungent smell.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to detect areas where urine stains have occurred. Biological stains on carpet or furniture upholstery will glow under ultraviolet (UV) light, which is also known as blacklight or black light. This phenomenon is known as fluorescence.

The best ways to detect these stains is with an ultraviolet LED flashlight. Select a UV flashlight model with at least 14 LEDs. You can find these flashlights at pet stores, hardware stores and on eBay. Be careful when using an blacklight flashlight. Never allow children to play with them and never shine the light in your eyes or anyone else’ eyes. The ultraviolet light is much stronger than it appears and eye damage can result if the UV flashlight is not used properly.

The room must be completely dark. Stand in the center of the room as scan all around the room with the UV flashlight. Then check all corners and behind furniture. Biological stains will look white and will stand out in the darkened room.

If you find biological stains, identify each with a small piece of paper (Post-Its work great) or a small object so that you can find them after the lights have been turned on. You can remove biological stains using any of several pet stain removal products. White vinegar and water also works well. Pour the vinegar directly on the stain and flush it with water. Soak up the wet spot using towels. White vinegar works particularly well for neutralizing pet stain odors. After the areas have dried, check them one again with the blacklight flashlight or cap light in a dark room.

If vinegar fails to remove the smell, pet stores sell special sprays that break down the organic compounds to eliminate the odor.