how to clean cat piss and litter off tile floor?
May 22, 2009 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Need to clean dried cat piss and litter off of a tile floor

We use the second bathroom for the cats' litterboxes (2) and they track litter around the floor and then piss on it. I have let this go for too long and it's disgusting (why this is anon). I have tried Lysol and paper towels which gets a lot of it, but there is stuff that sticks like cement to the tile, especially in the grout areas. What can I use to scrape it up and clean it.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've had very good luck soaking cat-peed materials in cider vinegar.
posted by kdar at 7:36 AM on May 22, 2009

I've never had to deal with cat pee on grout, but have cleaned both seperately. I like bleach-based cleaners for both (like the Clorox spray cleaner). Steam cleaners are also good on grout. And you might want to try one of the enzyme cleansers that breaks down urine (there's like 50 kinds at the pet store, we usually go with Nature's Miracle). Other than that, maybe just a scrub brush and some elbow grease...
posted by LolaGeek at 7:37 AM on May 22, 2009

I thought this was anonymous because you were afraid your cat might read it.

I bought one of those steam spray things that blasts hot steam on things and it usually cleans most tile/grout stuff right up.
posted by birdherder at 7:45 AM on May 22, 2009

My eldest tends to do this from time to time. I soak the spot in soapy water for a little while, then use lots of elbow grease. She doesn't pee on the tile *unless* there's a pile of litter there, so the scent trigger doesn't seem to be an issue.

Elbow grease = heavy sponge and/or those Mr Clean scrubby pads, lots of force, and sometimes just taking paper towels and using my fingernails. It's icky.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:52 AM on May 22, 2009

For future reference, make sure that you seal your grout. This should be done every year or two. Otherwise water and other liquids can soak through the grout, penetrating the subfloor underneath. Sealing the grout also makes it more resistant to mold and mildew, and it's much easier to clean.

Get a little scrub brush, a cleaner that does not contain ammonia, and use lots of elbow grease. Old toothbrushes work nicely for cleaning the actual grout lines. Also, those little scrubby things that are meant to clean stuck-on food off of dishes work pretty well, too.
posted by Ostara at 7:58 AM on May 22, 2009

Spackle knives are good for scraping, but our tile's not incredibly worth preserving, so we've not got to be careful or gentle. Vinegar and Nature's Miracle For Cats are both very good cleansers for cat messes, in my experience (though I've seen NMFC bleed color from wool rugs). I've used borax before when I need to soak up messes or scrub around, but that's not really what you're after. Do you have one of those wiry grout brushes from Target? Could get you started.

Most of all, for the future, get one of those rubber litter mats to roll out under the boxes, or even just newspaper you pick up and replace fairly often. Preventing clay litter from gumming up the actual tile in the first place is going to be the best tactic. Litter mats can be hosed off pretty easily.

You could give scoopable Feline Pine a try, failing everything else; it clumps, but is more like sawdust than cement, when soaked. It doesn't work in our litter boxes, but I liked the natural pine scent far better than any gross scented litter. Or you could try those crystal pellet-like litters. I can't remember for sure, but I think some of those are safer than others, so be sure to google up the best brand if you go this route. That would make for a considerably less challenging mess to clean up than clay-based litter, for sure.
posted by blisskite triplicate at 7:59 AM on May 22, 2009

Uh, because the silica gel completely absorbs urine, is what I meant to add at the end there.
posted by blisskite triplicate at 8:01 AM on May 22, 2009

I swear by Comet. Make a paste with that stuff, smear it on to the problem areas, let it sit there and soak in and do its business, and then come back a while later and scrub like a mofo with one of those cheap plastic scouring pads. (I probably wouldn't use a metal one...) I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that the grout will come out clean. I have yet to find a stain that Comet can't get rid of. It is a miracle.
posted by gwenlister at 8:01 AM on May 22, 2009

Litter box with taller sides may help them stop tracking it out of the box. You can also put the litter box on top of a large plastic mat.

Lay down paper towel, wet thoroughly w/ water, cover w/ newspaper. After a couple hours, the litter should be soft enough to scrape off easily. It takes some scrubbing with the clumping litters.

Spray any smelly, pee-stained areas w/ bleach:water 1:4 solution. You may even want to put down paper towels, soak w/ bleach-y water and leave overnight. (Note: NEVER mix bleach & ammonia.) Not a bad idea to do this twice. If the pee has soaked through to the underlayment, you want the bleach to soak through to the underlayment. Let it dry out.

Now spray any pee-stained areas w/ white vinegar. Again, put down paper towels, soak w/ vinegar and leave overnight. Not a bad idea to do this several times. If the pee has soaked through to the underlayment, you want the vinegar to soak through to the underlayment.

Cat pee has an extremely strong odor, and it's hard to get out of wood, so you may need to repeat this process more than once.
posted by theora55 at 8:22 AM on May 22, 2009

As I usually do in any cat-litter questions, I'll recommend pine litter. It's an entirely different experience that solves a lot of problems with traditional litter. In your case it will be infinitely easier to clean up any litter that gets out of the box and on your floor because contains no clumping chemicals. Just sweep up the sawdusty bits every now and then.

Add a scruffy mat at the entrance of the box to collect larger pieces from the paws.
posted by odinsdream at 8:26 AM on May 22, 2009

I'm going to make a suggestion which will make me sound like a crazy person at first, but bear with me.

You've got dried cat urine. You want it gone. And you want a solvent to get those chemicals composing the dried cat urine "free" so they can be removed physically (as well as chemically bound or broken down). So, what's the best solvent for the job?

What's in cat urine, that's what! Ammonia and water. If you put ammonia and some water on the area, yeah, it will smell, but it will put all of those other chemicals which were in solution but are now dried back into solution for mopping up. Do this a few times (and I mean on a daily cycle for a few days), after suitable airing and drying, hit it with the other stuff. After cycles with water and drying, the ammonia will be gone and you can hit anything remaining with bleach, etc.
posted by adipocere at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2009

We have used Kaboom to good effect for for cat-pee issues.
posted by LN at 8:45 AM on May 22, 2009

For scraping, I would try a Scotch Brite pad (just the flat green ones), and SOS pad, and a Magic Eraser. One of those should work.
posted by peep at 9:18 AM on May 22, 2009

Soak that shit (or piss, I guess) in Nature's Miracle.
posted by sickinthehead at 9:56 AM on May 22, 2009

Murphy's Oil Soap, a mop, a bucket, elbow grease.

I have a horrible hellbeast of a cat (she is better now) who was abused prior to her adoption and peed all over any smooth surface and refused to use a litterbox or go outside for YEARS. This included hardwood and tiled surfaces. Luckily she had a predilection for the bathtub in our previous apartment but in the new place she really liked using the tiled hallway between the stairs and our laundry machines.

Combined with my laziness, complete disgust, and emotional distress, often things would dry up or sometimes she would start using her boxes and I wouldn't notice she had also peed on the tile again, and things dried for ages, doing that disturbing crystallization thing that cat pee does. ::shudder::

The only thing that works, quickly and effectively, that actually breaks down that crystal structure and makes the surface something that you can clean with lysol or Dumb Cat or whatever, is Murphy's Oil Soap and hot water. Believe me, I know from a LOT of experience.
posted by Mizu at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2009

I recently had good luck getting up a terrible amount of cat pee off a tile floor with vinegar and baking soda. Supposedly Nature's Miracle does a cat urine specific product which I haven't tried but I used a ton of the regular stuff and could still smell the pee. With the vinegar, I rubbed the whole area down (after cleaning with water) focusing on ground and edges (blech) and then sprinkled baking soda and let it bubble up. I used an old toothbrush to scrub at the grout then I left it for about six hours. Cleaned it up with water and the smell is gone.
posted by amanda at 2:22 PM on May 22, 2009

that should read: "...focusing on grout and edges..."
posted by amanda at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2009

« Older Extended Stay around Mountain View, CA   |   Help me name my English-Spanish translation... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.