Don't piss just because you're pissed off.
May 14, 2008 4:24 PM   Subscribe

How does one salvage a suitcase from cat piss?

My cat pissed in my suitcase (this is the second one she has fucked up). The first time, it was a light colored suitcase, so it stained the outer fabric and I had to toss it. My present suitcase is black, so I'm wondering if there is any special way to clean it and de-stink it so that I don't have to purchase yet another one.
Specs: It has a thin nylon inner lining and a normal what-ever-it-is textured exterior. It's of a really cheap quality, considering I got it for free from my grocery store during some VIC card deal.
It's nasty, and she likes doing this to me when she knows I'm leaving town. So any suggestions are welcome.
posted by greta simone to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Chuck it - it'll never be stink free, and if it's cheap, forget it. Also, it will remain a target for more pee. Just chuck it.
posted by tristeza at 4:35 PM on May 14, 2008

yeah, it's a goner.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:36 PM on May 14, 2008

Timely question! My wife just did this today. We had a really nice carry-on type bag that the cat peed in. We were about to throw it out but she figured she'd attempt to salvage it.

You want to find a product called Nature's Miracle. You should be able to get it at any good pet store or on-line. Soak it according to the directions, then let it dry in the sun. For a suitcase you might need a large Rubbermaid type bin or kiddy pool. She did this today and I just took a whiff of the dried suitcase and... it doesn't stink anymore!

I really didn't think it would work, but it did. I feel like I should do commercials for this stuff now.
posted by bondcliff at 4:38 PM on May 14, 2008

I'm so giving Nature's Miracle a try. I can't tell you how many random pieces of clothing I've lost to cat pee (before we purchased a laundry hamper with a lid).

Greta, you may have to enact a pre-trip Plan of Action in future. Keep all luggage, carry-ons, accessories and clothes, etc. which you plan to bring with you well out of your cat's way. Increase the frequency of litter box cleanings. Take some extra tie to cuddle or play with your cat (and to respond to her when she gets all up in your fries and demands your attention) in the days leading up to your trip. Decrease her anxieties by letting her know that you're still there and she still matters.

(IANAcat psychologist)
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 4:45 PM on May 14, 2008

I had a drunk human male pee on my back pack on the third night of a 2 and a half week European tour...

I soaked in the tub with a ton of soap. Tons of soap... hot running water... after I dried it, was just like new though I did Febreze'd it like crazy just in case...

Then again this guy was no cat. And I've never dealt with cats urine.
posted by magikker at 4:48 PM on May 14, 2008

Drunk human male pee is no problem -- rinse that stuff right out. Cat pee, no way. "Nature's Miracle" is just a miraculous way to desensitize your own nostrils to the permanent scent of cat pee on your luggage. If that's what you're looking for, have at it!
posted by gum at 4:57 PM on May 14, 2008

I would suggest "Simple Solutions" over "Nature's Miracle". "Nature's Miracle" lost their license or some such nonsense to their proprietary formula, and I haven't been impressed with it since. It does more covering and less breaking down. "Simple Solutions" does seem to make the smell stronger while its working, but once its dry, you really wouldn't know there ever was a cat around.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:07 PM on May 14, 2008

123 Odor Free got cat pee out of my beloved backpack, a duffel bag, and assorted favourite clothes that had been packed in them, after Nature's Miracle proved useless even after multiple applications. The guy who mans their phone line (assuming he's still there, as the last time I ordered this stuff was a couple years ago) is a sweetheart. I called him to ask if the stuff would work on my soft-sided luggage, and he said it would and gave me very specific directions to follow. The only smell left after I finished was a faint whiff of coconut. I have no idea if 123 Odor Free would work on more structured luggage, though. You could call him and describe your luggage to find out, maybe.

Also, the suggestions in this thread might be useful.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:30 PM on May 14, 2008

Nature's Miracle is worth a try, but I would be prepared to pitch the suitcase. Cat pee is just insidious, and if you're smell-sensitive you'll probably always be able to catch a whiff of it.

I see you're in NC so I know where you got that suitcase... in fact, we have three in our attic. Maybe you could call a couple of Harris Teeters to see if they've got any extras back in a storeroom somewhere?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:11 PM on May 14, 2008

Nature's Miracle is great. I've personally rescued multiple items of luggage with it. Test a patch, spray it on. Spray it on again. Wash it, as best you can - rags, machine, whatever you can manage. Hit it again. You might have to do it three or more times, but it totally works. I use a bag every day that I was sure I'd have to wrap in multiple layers of plastic and burn that I rescued with it.

I've also recovered countless items of clothing by soaking in a pretty strong solution of NM and water, sometimes for more than a day. It's annoying to have a bucket with X article of clothing soaking lying around, but it works perfectly.

(I'm in no way connected to this company, but I'd also like to mention that their litter is the best I've ever used. And my cats, who had peed on stuff in the past, never again peed on anything after I started using it.)
posted by nevercalm at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2008

Unfixed male cat urine odor is unfixable (we had a hallway that stank for about a year), but female & neutered should respond to the mentioned products.

We use Nature's Miracle & it seems to work.
posted by hexatron at 6:39 PM on May 14, 2008

You'd be willing to risk several hundred dollars of clothes, while on the road, for a measly suitcase? Chuck it, don't look back.
posted by furtive at 7:02 PM on May 14, 2008

If you don't have Nature's Miracle (and I didn't last month!) you could try the following: dust baking soda all over the stain then vacuum it off. Douse the suitcase with vinegar and leave out in the sun. My (expensive) suitcase looks and smells just fine now.
posted by arnicae at 8:53 PM on May 14, 2008

The first thing to to with cat pee is always to soak it in vinegar. I don't know what exactly it does, but it seems to neutralize something the cats otherwise smell that says "pee here!"

I have also heard from someone that owns 20+ cats that Urine Gone "( works well. I've also found that OdoBan works well on clothes and other items, but not quite as well on carpets, to neutralize odors so that pets don't smell them.

That said, if the luggage was that cheap, the best bet may be to replace it.
posted by catatethebird at 11:22 PM on May 14, 2008

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