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How to Clean Up Pet Messes from Bamboo Flooring


Dealing with pet messes in an inevitable part of being a dog or cat owner.

It happens to every pet owner at least once. You’re late getting home, and your pet couldn’t wait. Or maybe they got into the trash and wound up with an upset stomach and ensuing digestive chaos. Whatever the reason, don’t despair when your nose tells you Fido or Fifi made a mess on your new bamboo floors. Bamboo flooring is resilient and more water-resistant than hardwood floors, and with these quick cleaning tips your floors will look and smell as good as new in no time.

Step One: Blot, Don’t Rub

Of course, the first step in pet accident clean-up is carefully picking up any solid waste, whether it’s vomit or excrement. Use only soft, nonabrasive materials, such as paper towels, to pick up solids; don’t use a pooper-scooper or other tool to remove the waste. Although bamboo is durable, you want to avoid scratching the surface in any way.

Once you remove solids, blot remaining liquids or moisture with paper towels. Resist the urge to rub the spot, because this will just push the mess into the grain of your bamboo floor. The best method is just to layer a few paper towels over the wet spot, and remove and replace them as they get saturated.

Step Two: Avoid Commercial Floor Cleaners

When the mess and moisture are gone, you’ll probably want to clean the area thoroughly. But avoid commercial cleaning products because they often contain harsh chemicals that can damage your bamboo floor. Definitely avoid anything alkaline or that contains floor wax, as well as anything with an oily base, because this will stain your bamboo floors. In most cases, just a simple damp mop or sponge is the best way to clean your bamboo floor.

Step Three: Deal With Odors

Let’s face it, many pet messes leave lingering smells, even after you clean them up. This is especially true if the urine has dried before you find it or get home to deal with it, or if a cat, especially a male cat, made the mess.

Believe it or not, your best weapon against nasty pet mess smells on bamboo floors is probably in your pantry right now. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and odor remover, and it can be used on bamboo floors. A one-quarter cup white vinegar per one quart of water solution is a safe and effective alternative to commercial cleaners and deodorizers; you can also use hardwood floor cleaners. Use a spray bottle to apply a thin film to the area, or rest a slightly damp sponge soaked in the vinegar solution on the stain for a few minutes, and then wipe it dry with soft paper towels.

If you have pets and bamboo floors, pet messes aren’t your only concern. Be sure to keep your dog’s or cat’s nails well-trimmed to avoid scratches, and sweep and mop your floors regularly, especially if your pet tracks in mud and dirt after a walk. A little maintenance and prevention will help keep your bamboo floors looking beautiful for years.

What steps do you take to keep your floors looking clean?

(3) Comments

  1. Hi,

    We are going to redo our townhome due to our cats spraying on the carpet. We have identified two problematic areas where they have marked in the past and they now wear shock-collars and do not go near those two areas. But even so, we want to just get rid of the carpet (and pad), take it down to the concrete, and then put new flooring over the top.

    What type of flooring would you recommend? I was thinking bamboo, but maybe something else would be better? Probably vinyl, but I want something nice for our house.

  2. BuildDirect Product Expert Team

    Hi Linda,

    Unfortunately you won’t be able to remove the stains as it sounds like they have soaked into the actual bamboo. The only way to fix that would be to replace the areas. For the scratches you can usually find a color-matched wood marker to cover the surface scratches and a color-matched wood putty for any large dents. You will not be able to sand and refinish the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. My bamboo floors have thin scratches from my Yorkie running to retreive toys. I use only Bona floor cleaner and polish. There are two urine spots that have remained for two years even though I have used paper towels and tried the vinegar mixture. I am very careful about my floors and these things are really upsetting me. I heard they cant be buffed, so what can I do?? At my wits end! Thanks!

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