How we rescued our brand new jute rug after our dog chose it to have an accident on (spoiler - it worked!).
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It must be some sort of Murphy's Law that if you get something new you've been dreaming about for awhile that some sort of trouble is going to happen, right? Well, that's the case with our new wood floor and jute throw rug that we installed just two weeks ago.
You can see above what it looked like when we finished the project, but this is what it looks like now:
Yep, the beautiful wood floor that we put in still looks great, but where is the jute and wool rug that I've been sorta in love with since we put it down? The one that was a good deal, soft to the touch, and just the look I wanted - the perfect rug for us?
When we returned home last Sunday after leaving our dog, Samson, for a few hours in the laundry room we immediately were hit with the unmistakeable smell of doggy diarrhea - and then saw they were in multiple areas ON THE NEW RUG.
Yep, not in the laundry room. So, not only were we horrified by the act and where it occurred, but also realizing that he can get out of the laundry room when he wants to, thanks to a faulty door latch we had never fixed. Sigh.
There are two things about this that are interesting to me:
- There was approximately 2,100 square feet of floor where Samson could've deposited his "gifts" and I wouldn't have cared one bit. Wood floors. Brown paper floors coated with polyurethane. Old rugs. But the one place I cared about? Bingo. Plus, he's NEVER been in the living room before- he's not allowed down the step into the room. Go figure.
- I'm sorry to admit that I cried when I saw it. Between the smell and the thought of it permeating all the fibers of the jute and wool, I just lost it. So much for "putting people above things." I mean, a dog is a living thing...surely more important than a replaceable rug, right?
Well, I couldn't see it in the moment. And I couldn't look at the rug or the dog. Thank goodness, Brian took things under control and went to work on the rug immediately.
And what he did worked!! I thought I'd share the steps we took in case you ever have something similar happen as well.
How to Clean A Jute Rug After A Dog Accident
1. After removing what we could, we rolled it up (covering the spots with old rags so they wouldn't contaminate a clean spot as we rolled) and took it outside. Spread it out on the ground where you have room.
2. Start alternating between flushing the bad areas with water from the hose (with a nozzle that creates a strong spray) and Green Works cleaner (or other type of natural cleaner and disinfectant). We really needed to disinfect the areas, but couldn't use bleach, obviously, so the Green Works we had seemed to work well.
3. After scrubbing the areas gently with a brush and the cleaner, give the rug a final blast with the water using the strongest flow you have on your nozzle.
4. Find a place for it to dry overnight. It will take a couple days, but you don't want to leave it outside if there's any chance of rain or heavy dew overnight. We took our into the garage for the night, laying it on a clean painter's cloth.
Why the garage? Well, it was going to rain...are you surprised? July in Oregon, ha!
5. The next day move the rug to a place it might get air and sun, preferably air underneath as well. We have a trampoline that we put it on to have air reach it underneath before more rain was expected. Another idea is to lay pieces of wood blocks and lay the rug on those to get some air underneath. If none of these are options, you'll have to turn the rug a couple times a day.
6. If it isn't dry, take it back inside for the night. Ours didn't dry in that time, so it went back into the garage. If you have a dry, warm day, it might dry in just one full day. If not, repeat the steps for another day or until it's dry.
We finally got sunshine and were able to leave it out for a full warm day which dried it completely so that it could be put back in the living room.
Did it work?
Yes! Well, there are slight shadows if you know where to look - and you look hard - but there is no smell at all, whew! The smell was so bad in the beginning that I didn't think we'd really be able to get it out, so I'm really thankful for that.
So on the back end of this incident, I can see that I overreacted in those first moments. Yes, it cost $200 and I love it, but it is just a rug and it may yet see a nice red-wine stain that is not going to be more important than the poor person who'll feel awful about causing it.
Plus, I can shout from the rooftops- "I love wood floors and area rugs!" Imagine if we had just spent $800 to $1000 on wall-to-wall carpeting (going rate to buy and have 300 square feet installed currently)?
Oh, yes, and I'm super thankful for my awesome husband who took over and never balked at cleaning it up!
(And, yes, we fixed the door latch, too!)
Just thought I'd leave this here to show that the rug was still looking good five years later when I took this photo to list our house for sale:
And that is after having to do this all over again from yet another accident from the dog. Sigh. Good thing we love him so much, ha!
I'm still a big believer in hard flooring and throw rugs you can clean or replace easier than wall-to-wall for this reason and for the savings over time.