Help me triage basement odor cleanup! Guests coming soon!

theresasJune 27, 2011

My in-laws are coming. In my 15 years of marriage, I've always had cats but not had a house that smelled like I have cats. While we were away visiting on Memorial Day, our basement took in a little water in the usual places and then we had a LitterGenie mishap. One of my friends was selling her automated flushing water-works cat pan and I tried it. It leaked cat urine smell in our laundry room. Twice.

So here's my dilemna--I have 3 potential nasty places and limited time to do it right. Which spots would you rank in order of rank (haha), thus helping me direct my cleaning?

1. The abandoned sump pump pit. This is in the finished part of my family room. Previous owners yanked out the pump and cut the pipes and filled them in (they went through external wall) with Quik-Crete. The water level rises sometimes and it soaks the carpet. It has been a source of reek in the past, alleviated by pouring 7 lbs of baking soda on the carpet.

2. The concrete laundry room floor. This is where the litter pan leaked. I had a load of towels in front of the washer waiting to go in and they got soaked and sat for a day before I realized what had happened.

3. The basement window well. When we flash flood, this leaks into the finished family room, again carpeting is involved.

We've been airing the house out and running the dehumidifier alternately (kinda pointless to run it when we let humid air into the windows). It will be nearly 100 here when the in-laws arrive and no chance of getting away with opening the windows. When the house is closed up, the smell starts within an hour. Tonight I spot tested some carpet for peroxide-fastness and I soaked the affected laundry room concrete and scrubbed it by hand after reading tips in the Flooring forum. It will take awhile to air dry even with fans and I'd rather do the whole laundry room then seal the concrete with the proper sealer. This was basically a big spot treatment until I can move the machines and really scrub. We want to try to put another pump in that inactive STAGNANT sump pit. Imagine my horror when we lifted the carpet after living here awhile and finding that! Ugh. Sometimes we use our portable pump and garden hose to lower the level. We will do the work to make all this right, but I just need a band-aid for visitors.

Any advice?

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Go to the pet store and buy the enzymes for getting cat urine odor out of the floor. This will help.

Not sure what to do with the other floor. Ripping out carpet would be a start and definitely correcting the REAL problem.

Who knows the enzyme might help the other carpet/floor problem too.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Fresh Wave odor absorbing gel crystals. Check out the reviews of it on I have 2 kitties and won't be without the fresh wave by the litter box! I bought the biggest refill container they have--might seem expensive, but so far it looks like it'll last the better part of a year.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:21PM
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There are many cat urine cleaners on the market. Most cat urine cleaners contain bacteria and enzymes which react chemically with the urine and remove the odor making it easier to clean. A product created specifically for removing cat urine should be used. These can be found at most pet stores or on the internet in online shops.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:12AM
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I have a cat/ have had as many as three, and I can recommend both Natures Miracle and Odoban. Both work equally well, IMO. But you need to use a lot, really saturate tHe area(s) and let it dry naturALLY (use fans). Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 8:03AM
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I have used with great success "Out" pet stain and odor remover spray purchased at WalMart. It's a milky liquid that has no smell but removes the odor of whatever you spray it on. I have used it at our hunting cabin on tough odors (mice) and mustiness as well and a few hunters along the way... Saturate your problems areas carpet and all. It's an enzyme like others have suggested. Works on stinky drains and refrigerators, too.

Also, Oil of Wintergreen in a 3 to one mix with water can be sprayed on your concrete and carpet, recommendation from a carpet installer years ago. The former owners of our house had a dog that urinated frequently indoors. The Oil of Wintergreen neutralized the concrete odor with amazing results.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Nature's Miracle saved my brand new mattress when my male cat decided to pee on it not once, but TWICE! Still have that mattress 10 years later, and no cat odor or stains since I used it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:59PM
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Green products are now in the market for almost anything that we need, including housecleaning. This is such good news for all of us and I do hope that more people will opt for eco-friendly cleaning products when they go shopping next time.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 11:20PM
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