Because Accidents Happen!



Yellow stains caused by urine accidents have several components that must be addressed in order to produce satisfactory stain removal results.


  • Ammonia Volatilization: Urea present in the urine volatilizes to form ammonia. The resulting increase in pH burns natural carpet fibers. In addition it destabilizes carpet dye, resulting in color loss.
  • Pigments: Urine contains several pigments capable of producing staining, the most noteworthy of which is the yellow pigment urochrome. In addition, natural fibers contain a staining compound known as lignin. Lignin contains a multitude of pigment, some of which are shown in the wavelength graph above.
  • Medicines: Many pet accidents can be attributed to illness. When illness is present, pets may be on oral antibiotic treatment. These medicines may contain dyes that have the potential to stain carpets.


Synergistic Performance


In order to effectively remove stains caused by urine accidents, Kleenco has taken a synergistic approach with its Urine Stain Neutralizer formulation. Synergism is the interaction of two or more agents so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Meout Urine Stain Neutralizer combines three active ingredients to provide an enhanced stain removal result that is not possible with conventional formulations.


  • Surfactant: Many carpet and fabric fibers such as nylon are water resistant. To overcome this resistance and allow the neutralizer and active oxygen to rapidly reach all areas of the stain, we have incorporated a wetting agent.
  • Neutralizer: Carpet damage from urine stains is the result of the volatilization or urea into ammonia. The resulting high pH breaks down the cellular components of natural fibers, releasing the natural chromophores present and producing a characteristically yellow or brown stain on the carpet. To prevent further staining and carpet damage, this high pH must be safely neutralized.


The neutralizer used in Urine Stain Neutralizer is a low molecular weight organic acid derived from sugar cane. Most people associate the word "acid" with potent and dangerous acids like hydrochloric and sulfuric. These acids are called mineral acids and are indeed potent and dangerous. Most are strong enough to dissolve metals. An organic acid, however, differs greatly from a mineral acid. Organic acids are much, much milder than mineral acids and occur quite commonly in everyday life. Examples of common organic acids are those found in lemon juice and vinegar.

Fabric Safe


The Carpet & Rug Institute recommends low pH solutions for the safe cleaning of carpet fibers. In addition, all manufacturers of nylon carpets recommend pH levels lower than 9.0. Urine Stain Neutralizer has a pH of 2.0 – 2.5.


Completely Biodegradable


Summarized below are results from various research reports dealing with the biodegradability of the components found in Urine Stain Neutralizer:


  • Kleenco has replaced commonly used Alkylphenol Ethoxylates in its Meout line of products. Choosing instead to use an alcohol ethoxylate a safe, readily biodegradable alternative to nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). This alcohol ethoxylate is an environmentally friendly product with 0% VOC, specially developed to meet the demands of tomorrow. It is listed on CleanGredients and is acceptable for use in Safer Choice cleaning formulations.
  • Glycolic Acid – “These polymers erode at different rates, and, in addition to phosphate and ammonia, yield biologically compatible hydrolysis products such as glycine, lactic acid, glycolic acid, glycerol or glucose” (The H.R. Allcock Research Group, Chandlee Laboratory, the Pennsylvania State University).


pH Stabilizer


Carpet manufacturers use many different techniques to dye carpets. However, they can essentially be divided into two methods… solution dyeing and piece dyeing.


Solution dyeing produces the most colorfast carpets. With this method, pigment is added to the molten polymer from which the filaments are made during the manufacturing process. The fiber is extruded in colored form. The carpet manufacturer is limited in his choice of colors to those that the fiber manufacturer produces. All solution-dyed stain-resist carpets receive a fluorochemical treatment.


Piece dyeing allows greater variety in carpet colors. With this method, the carpet manufacturer orders (colorless) filaments which are dyed during the carpet manufacturing process. The dye must be chemically bonded to the carpet filament. All piece-dyed stain-resist carpets receive a fluorochemical treatment.


High pH causes problems with both solution-dyed and piece-dyed carpets.  The problem is more severe with piece-dyed carpets. Alkaline salts that build up with the use of many carpet-cleaning chemicals have the potential to cleave the molecular bond between the dye and the carpet filament,  as well as volatilizing urea to produce ammonia. When this happens, the carpet may fade or lose all color. In addition, a high pH solution may also soften the stain-blocker treatment, rendering it ineffective. With solution-dyed carpets, color loss does not appear to be a problem. However, as is the case with piece-dyed carpets, high alkalinity may soften the stain blocker.


Urine Stain Neutralizer lowers the carpet pH to a neutral environment, thereby stabilizing the dye and stain-blocker treatments.


Broad Spectrum Stain Remover


The synergistic combination of ingredients incorporated into the Urine Stain Neutralizer formula have been found effective in removing stains caused by delignification of plant fibers, seeds and leafs. Delignification stains are associated with alkaline damage to jute and other natural fibers as well as the releasing of tannins from hot drinks such as coffee and tea. In addition, Urine Stain Neutralizer removes the tannins associated with wine and other alcoholic beverages.


Neutralizes Detergent Residue


Alkaline shampoos degrade carpet fibers, both natural and synthetic. This process, known as chemical pulping, involves delignification of the fiber. This is known in the carpet industry as a “brown-out” or carpet burn. This process releases plant lignins, producing a yellow or brownish cast to the carpet.


In addition to burning the carpet, excessive alkalinity also disrupts the “hand” or feel of the carpet. This change is noticed when a soft carpet becomes stiff and less resilient. To reverse carpet burn, the alkaline pH of the shampoo must be neutralized.


Urine Stain Neutralizer according to the Bronsted-Lowery pH concept (Hal Bender Clackamas Community College) reacts with proton-accepting alkaline detergents by donating a proton. This reaction results in pH neutralization,  reversing of the carpet burn, and elimination of the brown-out.


Bronsted-Lowery pH Concept:

acid: Anything that donates a [H+] (proton donor)

base:  Anything that accepts a [H+] (proton acceptor)

normal Bronsted-Lowery equation: acid + base <---> acid + base

example:  HNO2 + H2O <---> NO2- + H3O+


Each acid has a conjugate base and each base has a conjugate acid. These conjugate pairs differ only by a single proton. In this example: HNO2 is the acid, H2O is the base, NO2- is the conjugate  base, and H3O+ is the conjugate acid.


Neutralizes Detergent Residue: See label directions.


Easy-to-Use: See label directions.

No Harsh Odors: Kleenco uses a low-sodium polyacid that has a mild odor resembling burnt sugar in Urine Stain Neutralizer.


References & Sources


1. Dimitris Argyropoulos, Solid State Bleaching, Pulp and Paper Research Centre/Dept of Chemistry, McGill University

2. Susan Wright, Getting Clothes Clean, Guide C-503, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, New Mexico State University

3. Roy M. Adams, Boron, Metallo-Boron Compounds, and Boranes, Interscience Publishers, New York, 1964