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Understanding Urine Odor Problems
Despite commonly available information on the web and media, urine is normally sterile unless the depositor is ill, and even if that is the case, the odor is not a result of the pathogens in the urine. What really causes the majority of the odor is urea salt which is produced as urine dries and decomposes. It goes through several transformations during the drying process.
- In the first stage, as the water is evaporating from the raw urine the naturally occurring uric acid becomes more concentrated and begins to decompose. This process produces ammonia gas and urea salt (urea salt
that has no odor when it is dry) and other chemical compounds that we need not be concerned with.
- As the water continues to evaporate from the urine, the urea salt (produced by the decomposition of the uric acid) becomes a saturated solution and begins to precipitate on what ever surfaces and materials are available. If there is no urea salt already in the area it will chemically bond to what ever is available. Subsequent precipitant will crystallize on the bonded or crystallized salt already there. The crystalline urea salt continues to be water soluble and can be easily dissolved in water, but if it is not removed from the area, when the water evaporates, it will bond or re-crystallize on other urea salt in the area. The bonded salt is not soluble and can not be removed easily.
- Once all the water has evaporated, any living
organisms that might have been in the urine (which is normally sterile) die for lack of a hospitable environment in which to live.
- In the final stage, further decomposition occurs when the urea salt is again exposed to water (or 50% or more RH water vapor)
and materials containing hydrogen and sulfur or hydrogen sulfide, (dust mite bodies, dirt, etc.). This
combination produces mercaptan gas (the same basic stuff put into
propane and natural gas as an odorant to alert users of a gas leak) that smell really bad and what we recognize as urine odor.
OdorXit Concentrate solution works on all forms and sources of urine and its residue to completely block the production of the
undesirable gasses provided that OdorXit solution comes in direct contact with the
urea salt. Diluting OdorXit Concentrate with water is essential to successful use of Concentrate. The normal dilution rate is 1 part OdorXit Concentrate and 30 parts of water. Less water will still work especially on vertical surfaces, more water (up to 150 parts) works very well on dirt, grass, gravel, ETC.
Adding small amounts of surfactant (carpet cleaners that contain surfactant work great) will improve OdorXit's Concentrates performance on any masonry application by reducing the surface tension of the OdorXit Concentrate solution so that it can more easily penetrate the masonry's tiny capillaries like the urine did. The solution rate for surfactant as found in carpet cleaner solutions is 3 parts of carpet cleaner to 1 part of OdorXit Concentrate and 30 to 100 parts of water.
More information regarding treating specific materials is available in this document under the specific material being treated.