Have Pet, Will Travel: How To Clean Pet Stains From Carpet In Hotels

For pet owners who love to travel, there’s good news. Many hotels now accommodate furry friends, making it easier to enjoy some rest and relaxation with a beloved pet in tow. Nearly 75% of luxury, mid-scale and economy hotels allow pets to stay in their rooms, according to a 2016 American Hotel & Lodging Association survey. From national chains like Best Western to Kimpton boutique hotels, booking a pet-friendly room has never been simpler.

Consequently, a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association found that the percentage of pet owners bringing their animals along on their travels has increased from 19% to 37% in the past 10 years. The rise of pets in hotels, however, can lead to an increase of pet stains in hotels. Leaving home for a new environment can prove to be a stressful adjustment for an animal, and even under the watchful eye of a careful owner pet stains are occasionally unavoidable.

Common Pet Stains

Identifying what type of stain a pet has left in a hotel room is the first step towards treating and removing it. Once properly identified, it’s crucial to work as fast as possible to eliminate the stain and prevent it from setting further into the carpet fibers.

Here are a few different common stains animals tend to leave behind:

  • Urine stains – These kinds of stains can sink deep into carpet fibers and permeate far beyond what the naked eye can see. Under the stain is a ring of stain saturation that must be addressed quickly.
  • Feces stains – Similar to urine, feces stains are tough in strength and odor depending on how long they have had to set into the carpet.
  • Vomit stains – The acid found in pet vomit can damage hotel carpet if not treated properly, and food particles can become lodged into the carpet fibers.
  • Dirt and grass stains – Pet paws covered in dirt and wet grass can impact the appearance of carpet in hotel lobbies, hallways and rooms. While pet owners are encouraged to keep their animal’s paws clean, it’s impossible to avoid all stains.

Best Practices for Pet Stain Removal

Carpet in the hospitality industry can last for many years with the proper care. If a four-legged companion has an accident in a hotel room, quick and efficient pet stain removal is crucial.

Housekeeping staff should consider the following best practices for cleaning pet stains from carpet:

  • Fresh stains – Acting quickly is the best way to prevent pet stains from setting into the carpet.
  • Soak up the stain – Use a white rag to remove excess solids or liquids. Blot until no more soil or moisture transfers.
  • Apply a ready-to-use carpet spotter– Spray a spotting agent on the spot and six inches out from its perimeter to ensure it is thoroughly covered.
  • Agitate – Use an ergonomic spotting tool with an adjustable handle and firm and soft bristles to adequately agitate any type of stain.
  • Vacuum – Vacuum when the carpet has dried.

Stains that have already set 

Difficult to remove pet stains require a bit more effort to remove but incorporating these steps should leave carpet looking spotless.

  1. Invest in a high-quality pet odor neutralizer – There’s nothing worse than effectively removing a stain but failing to eliminate its lingering odor. An odor and protein spotter is the perfect organic stain removal option for urine and vomit, as its digestive enzymes erase odor-causing compounds to leave carpet looking and smelling fresh.
  2. Harness the power of low-moisture encapsulation – This technique involves a combination of crystalizing polymers and detergent components that binds soils in 30 minutes. To use, dilute the cleaning agent with the odor and protein spotter. Spray it onto the dry affected area with a two- or three-brush encapsulation machine that effectively lifts the carpet pile and agitates the cleaning solution.
  3. Vacuum – Once the encapsulation cleaning process is complete, vacuuming returns carpet to its clean appearance without fear of spots reemerging. In general, this cleaning method can remove 95% of spots before they become permanent carpet stains.

Many of today’s hotels understand the value of being pet-inclusive properties. To limit the occurrence of pet stains, hotels can encourage pet owners to create a comfortable living environment for their pet during their stay. For example, a crate can prevent a pet from leaving messes on carpet while helping it feel at home when at a hotel. The installation of dedicated outdoor areas for dogs and signage about ensuring animals do their business outside can further help ensure carpet remains clean.

As much as hotels try to keep pet accidents from occurring, they are sometimes inevitable. In the event of a pet-related carpet stain, housekeeping teams should follow the how-to steps outlined above to guarantee that carpet in lobbies, hallways and guest rooms looks as spotless as it did upon a guest and pet’s arrival.



With over 30 years of experience and the pioneers of the first commercial encapsulation carpet cleaning system, Whittaker has the expertise required to help customers maintain a consistently cleaner carpet. For more information contact us at 800.422.7686 or [email protected]whittakersystem.com.