“ Brand: Bissell / Type: Stain and Odour Remover „
~~ Introduction ~~
We have an adorable cat who, at the age of 13 years, has become less reliable in her use of the litter tray than she was when she was younger. This is partly because she is rather portly and sometimes 'misses' a bit. More often, though, I think it's because of her coat, which although short is incredibly thick, and as she can't clean herself as effectively as when she was more flexible there are sometimes small clumps of faeces stuck to her bottom. If these either fall off, or she sits on the carpet with them attached, it results in annoying stains on the carpet. On the other hand, like most cats she is very fastidious, and if the tray doesn't meet with her approval - if there's a smell of urine, for instance, she very occasionally gives the tray a miss altogether and goes on the carpet instead. While this is annoying, it's not hard for us to clean up as we have a machine that shampoos carpets. However, this sometimes seems a bit of a palaver if the area stained is only small, and then we'd rather use a product that does spot treatments effectively.
There was one product that we bought in a local garden centre, as it had a pet section. Unfortunately when it ran out we threw the container away, and then when we wanted to replace it, of course, we couldn't find it and couldn't really remember what it was called or we would have shopped online, as we liked its performance. Then, just as we were about to give it up, we came across this Bissell product which said it 'removed tough cat stains'. We decided to give it a go because it seemed to specifically designed for cat problems, whereas anything else we'd seen seemed to be for pets in general. I don't remember what we paid for it about 3 months ago but I see you can purchase it directly from the Bissell site at £7.95, on offer at buy 3 for the price of 2.
~~ The Container ~~
This product comes in a container that holds 22fl.oz. or 651 ml. of liquid. It's mainly made of a dark purple-coloured plastic, with orange on the nozzle and the screw part at the top.
The front label has an appealing picture of a cat lying down and, as it were, looking directly at you - he's called Phelps, by the way, and he has a sensitive stomach! Underneath the picture are the words 'cat stain & odor remover'. A blue band below this says that it's oxygen-active, removes tough cat stains, even those caused by the dyes in cat foods. Now my cat is fed exclusively on dried food as she's on a low calorie mix, so this seemed quite relevant to me. The rest of the label tells me that the product is non-toxic but may be an yeye irritant, so please read the back panel carefully!
The back label repeats some of this, but gives more detailed information, including that it contains Pherobloc technology which apparently deters the cat from resoiling the same spot - I have noticed that they will tend to do this. It claims to remove stains & odours leaving a fresh, clean scent. It is fast acting to remove stains caused by the dyes in pet food, but it can also be used to clean up other stains such as red wine, coffee & juice - I don't think we can blame poor puss for those! It claims to treat old satins as well as new ones, and to be safe to use on upholstery, litter trays, concrete etc, in fact anything that is water-safe.
An inset box gives instructions on how to use the spray. I read that I should test a small, hidden area first, for colour-fastness, and check when dry. I have to admit that I haven't done this - if there's been a stain I have treated it pretty much straight away, but then our carpets are getting on a bit & I'm not concerned about possible damage. There hasn't been any problem though. I also read that I shouldn't use it on velvet, silk, vinyl or leather, but that doesn't really apply to me. There is mention of some fabric codes that I'm not familiar with and I think might relate to the U.S.A. as I see that is where this product is made - hence the spelling 'odor'. You remove any solid particles or excess liquid first, shake the container well, turn the nozzle to the spray position and saturate the stained area & the bit around it. You are supposed to leave it for 5 -10 minutes to penetrate the stain, but I have to admit I don't always have patience or time to wait that long. Then you blot it with a dry cloth to remove the stain & absorb as much liquid as you can. You rinse and repeat as necessary, and keep off the treated area until it's dry & been vacuumed.
There's another, white label stuck onto the main one which say that it's made in the U.S.A. It's distributed in the U.K. in Berkshire, and there's a contact number. The contents are listed but don't mean much to me as a non-chemist; I recognise hydrogen peroxide, which I thought was a bleach, but it clearly says it doesn't contain bleach or phosphates and is non-caustic. You should, of course, keep out of reach of children & it should not be mixed with bleach or other household products. Its shelf-life is given as 2 years from the production date, which is at the bottom of the container. The container itself can be recycled - in the U.S.A. at least, and probably where I live. Finally, Bissell say that they are pet lovers, just like their customers, and their products are inspired by their pets.
~~ Does It Work? ~~
I've said above that I haven't always used it exactly as instructed, but, having said that, I have been impressed with its performance. It does indeed get the dye colour out; our cat's food is dark brown in colour, & therefore so are many of the stains! When I spray this product on & then clean it off, the carpet underneath, which is a light mushroom/heather colour, is slightly lighter than the surrounding carpet, not because it's been bleached but simply because it's a bit cleaner! I'm not particularly aware of any scent arising from the cleansed area, but more importantly I'm not aware of any unwanted odours, and the cat certainly does not seem at all attracted to that area to 're-offend!' As far as I'm concerned, that's all I ask for in a product like this. It does what it says it does. I suppose some might say it's expensive at the price quoted, but so is a new carpet. Also a little seems to go a long way - you don't need much to spot treat stains of the kind I've described. The American terminology is the only thing I'm not totally comfortable with & I'm not quite sure why; I think it's simply that I'm not sure I totally understand what it's saying, but that's a minor point. I do intend to continue to use it and will purchase on-line if necessary. I would recommend it to anyone who needs to use a similar product as I think it works better than the product we used before. Five stars from me!