Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yes to the Urine Finder, no thanks on Urine Off

I suppose this blog must be picking up some steam (thank you, readers!), because I’ve been getting inundated with requests to review products.
Among the first products I agreed to review was a new cleaner called Urine Off.
I agreed to review it for one reason: It is super-important to be using an enzyme cleaner when cleaning up dog and cat messes. If you don’t, the dog or cat will continue to smell its scent in those areas and return to use them again. So, I wanted to find out if Urine Off was indeed an enzyme cleaner, and if it wasn’t, I wanted to make that clear to the public.
I’d have done more research into that topic if the product had actually worked in the first place.
But it didn’t.
My dog doesn’t have potty accidents inside the house anymore, so I couldn’t exactly test this product out myself. However, a coworker of mine was having some issues with her aging cat and suspected the cat had begun urinating in her closet.
When the Urine Off product arrived, it came with a special black light that “is essential to finding all the deposits.” Called the Urine Off Urine Finder, this product is available for $10 on my favorite dog-product Web site, www.jbpet.com.
The finder worked. It found urine stains in my coworker’s closet, in her bedroom and in other parts of the house. She was mortified when she came into work the next day.
“I just feel gross,” she said to me. “I can’t believe this was happening and, except for in the closet, I had no idea.”
She tried to follow the instructions to clean up the mess, but they were a bit complicated. The directions say: “Apply liberally to the deposit ... to wet the carpet, padding and subfloor. Cover with plastic overnight. Using a spot cleaning/extraction machine, rinse and extract the nap.”
My friend was a little flabbergasted at the elaborate instructions. What the heck is a nap, anyhow? She poured on the Urine Off, used a plastic bag to cover the spot and some heavy shoes to try and pin the plastic to the carpet as best she could.
“But, what do they mean by using a spot cleaning/extraction machine?” my friend asked me the next day. “I’m assuming they mean a steam cleaner, but I don’t have one and I can’t rent one every time I need to clean up like this.”
I told her I’d check into it and I did. However, the company never got back with me to clarify the instructions.
Most disappointing, though, was that after several attempts of using the product, putting the plastic on it and letting it soak overnight, the stains never went away. Every time she turned on that black light, the stains were there in their original form.
On the jbpet.com site, the Urine Off products themselves start at $8.99 for the smaller bottles.
My determination on this one? Buy the urine finder for $10 if you really want to know what secrets your carpet holds, but skip on the actual Urine Off cleaning solution.
One last note, it appears the company sells different lines of products — one for dogs, one for cats, etc. I was worried that perhaps I was using a dog product on a cat problem, so before I published this, I checked the bottle to see what I had received and it said “Multi-Pet” and bore the images of both a dog and a cat on its label.
So, my determination will remain the same.

What to use instead
Funnel your funds toward a local company that makes a similar product which has earned the stamp of approval of my favorite dog trainers, Nicole and Brian Herr of Herr Pet Training.
It’s called, Naturally It’s Clean and has a local business branch in Bloomfield Hills. Not only this is a natural product, but it’s also an effective enzyme cleaner.
Nicole said she recommends the carpet cleaner from the product line up because it has the highest concentration of enzymes.

Be wary of citrus smelling cleaners
While I chatted with Nicole Herr, she asked if the Urine Off had a strong citrus smell. It does. Apparently, this smell tends to drive dogs and cats away, so cleaners with a strong citrus smell can give the appearance that the product is working because the animals won’t return to the spot.
However, they’ll probably just move a foot or two away from the citrus scented spot and go potty there. Even worse, if you use a citrus product to clean your cat’s litter box, you run the risk of driving your cat away from its litter box all together, she said.
One last thing I don’t like about Urine Off? There’s no ingredients on the label. Being that I have a very allergic dog, I read the ingredients on all products I bring into my house. For me, no ingredients equals no purchase.

I found it odd that ...
... on the multi-pet Urine Off solution, pictured between the dog and cat were also the images of an iguana and a turtle. Really?
I imagine it could be a problem for some reptile lovers.
Of course, it’s also a problem for some parents potty training their toddlers. And I’m sure it’s a problem at college frat houses where too much beer consumption is the norm.
Perhaps they should’ve stuck a human on there too!

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