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Using Blacklights To Find Urine - Proceed With Caution

Christy Evans on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

Stop. Take a deep breath. Chances are that your cat or dog did not, in fact, baptize your home in urine. When you turned on the blacklight, did you see bright white spots literally all over your carpet or furniture? Did you begin to think that little Tiger or Muffin must have been secretly sneaking around your home urinating every chance he/she got?

If you take nothing else away from this article, remember this:

Urine is NOT bright white under a blacklight.

It is popular belief--propagated by paranoid landlords waving around the all-seeing blacklight in the faces of their tenants--that urine will reveal itself as a bright white stain under a blacklight. This is simply not true. Urine is actually rather difficult to see because it appears as a very pale yellow color under a blacklight.

Any stain that appears bright white is typically another substance such as a carpet cleaner or a spilled drink. The residue from these substances fluoresces brightly under a blacklight.

Urine fluoresces as a pale yellow color. The best way to see urine under a blacklight is to wait until evening when it is dark. Turn off all interior lighting. Take the blacklight and hold it 1-2 inches above the carpet (or furniture, mattress, etc.). Slowly sweep over the area with the blacklight to identify any light yellow stains.

Once you find the yellow stains, you'll be able to treat with your favorite urine remover. Be aware, though, that while many cleaners will remove the yellow stain, they may leave behind a residue that will fluoresce bright white. This is not a problem in and of itself, but if you have a uneducated landlord, be sure to remove the cleaner residue. Residue can be removed by vacuuming first and then rinsing with water or gently rubbing the area with a wet washcloth.

In a Nutshell

* Urine does not appear bright white under a blacklight.

 

* Urine appears as a pale yellow color under a blacklight.

* Urine can be difficult to see under a blacklight during the day or in artificial light. Wait until dark and then turn off all the lights before trying to see urine with a blacklight.

* Hold the blacklight 1-2 inches above the carpet/furniture/mattress.

* If necessary, remove the residue from your urine cleaner so that no stain--yellow or white--will show up under a blacklight.

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