July 20, 2008

Cat Tear Stain Removal: It's Weird, I Know

The internet is a magical tool for some things--finding step-by-step instructions for opening a port in your firewall, for instance, getting an up-to-date exchange rate from Euros to Fijian dollars, or locating biological relatives--that sort of thing. You would think that there would be a page somewhere on removing even the most obscure stains, but alas, it's just the same five or six stains over and over again.

But at my house, one of the stains that bothers me the most is cat tears. That sounds really weird, as if I'm torturing my cat, or she has emotional problems, but that isn't it. Diana just has tear ducts which are blocked and don't reabsorb the overflow, so lacrimal excretions accumulate on her little face. I've tried getting them unblocked, but the only way a cat will really let you cannulate the ducts is under anesthesia, and even then, the expensive procedure often doesn't work. According to my research, the tears start out clear, but the normal bacteria and red yeast on animals' skin causes the tears to turn reddish brown. And because Diana likes to hang out with me at night, those reddish-brown tears end up as spots on my sheets and my clothes, especially in winter, when she likes to get under the covers with me. I have had some disasters with stains. I tried using Oxyclean on linen to get out the teeny flea-"dirt" bloodstains that the cats left behind. Catastrophe. It ate huge holes in the beautiful Italian linen; luckily, my mom is an artist and a genius, and she mended the holes by embroidering beautiful flowers over them.

Now, there are products made for removing the tear stains from your pet's face, but nothing for removing them from fabric. Except for a couple of pillowcases, all my sheets are colored, so bleach just won't do. It was rather late to go to the pet store and try buying a pet product to use on the laundry, so I looked for other household remedies for removing the stain from the pet's fur, and hoped it might do the trick on cotton. I tried wetting the area, spraying on hydrogen peroxide, and then rubbing the stain with a lump of baking soda so that it formed a pasty layer. I let it sit for an hour or so while I fiddled with downloading an audio book. When I returned, the nice chambray duvet cover was back to light blue, with no brown circles. Hooray. I treated the rest of the pillowcases the same way, and between the soap, the peroxide, and the baking soda, pretty much everything came out.

Maybe this post will now show up if someone searches for "pet tear stain removal." Perhaps it will work for you.


Anonymous said...

~ Oh my, finally somebody with the same problem as me. Ugh, it is so annoying. Who wants brown spots all over their sheets. My dogs are the culprits though. I will defin. take your advice and try it! Thanks so much!!

pet stain remover said...

I had no idea that cats make tear stains.... very interesting. thanks for the info! If I ever come across this problem, I now know what to do

About me said...

Hi there, thanks for posting this! I am curious to find out how the cat can get rid of the red tears...my cat has the same problem but does not only stain the sheets, she also the walls when she shakes out her head (the tears go fly everywhere). should the yeast be treated and what is an effective method?

Yorkshire House Removals said...

That is very weird