Dear Mary: I saw in your column a long while back an article about the carpet scrubber (was it Bissell?) and I poopood it at the time. Now I am ready to cry UNCLE since I discovered to my horror that one of my cats got shut in a bedroom and peed on the carpet. The smell is so bad my eyes are watering. I have Nok-Out (I’m huge fan of that stuff—even though it is a bit pricey it is worth every penny) but I feel a deep cleaning is needed as well. I want to get the carpet cleaning machine you recommend so I don’t waste money on an inferior one. Help! Laurie

stinky woman holding nose

Dear Laurie: My eyes are starting to water just thinking about what you’re dealing with. But not to worry! You are certainly on the right track starting with Nok-Out. It really is the only product I know of that will neutralize and eliminate that pungent odor—provided you follow specific instructions for how to use it (don’t forget to use code DPL at checkout for 10% off). And I agree you need to power clean the carpet.

My Hoover SteamVac really is The Best Thing I Ever Bought. I use it rather unconventionally, which you can read about in the original column. My machine is quite a few years old now, but it works as well as ever. The current model, which is even better, has a “clean surge” feature. I suggest that you make full use of that feature as you undue your poor kittie’s unfortunate accident.

Start by saturating the exact area with Nok-Out. Spray it on and be liberal with it. Nok-Out needs to come in direct contact with the offending urine, even if it has dried. Use your hand or a cloth to rub the Nok-Out in. Don’t be gentle. You want to make sure that Nok-Out penetrates all of the fibers of the carpet, going through to penetrate the fibers of the padding and then also reaches all the way down to the floor. Err on the side of over-saturating and even treating an area much larger than necessary.

You want the Nok-Out to soak into all of the layers, in the same way the urine has. Nok-Out will not damage the carpet, pad or flooring, so don’t worry about that. If you’re going to worry, worry that you will miss the source of the odor.

Step away from the scene of the crime and let Nok-Out do its job. The folks at Nok-Out suggest a minimum 10-minute waiting period once you are confident Nok-Out has reached source.

You can also use Nok-Out in your Hoover SteamVac: Place 8 to 10 ounces of  Nok-Out in the container of the cleaner, and fill with hot water. Saturate, allowing Nok-Out to be absorbed into the carpet before suctioning back into the tank. It is always prudent to check for color-fastness before applying Nok-Out. Although Nok-Out is non-staining, different dye lots may cause a color change.

If you are unsure of the exact location of the pet problem, I suggest you give Hoover a good workout and clean the entire carpet with Nok-Out. It can’t hurt and you’ll know that you’ve killed all the bacteria and eliminated any other odors, too. And remember to use that code I mentioned above (DPL) for 10% off at checkout.

Dear Mary: I really enjoy the useful ideas in your tip column. I lost the recent column explaining how to clean a Keurig coffee maker. Could you please forward or give me instructions on how to get this past column? Thanks. Frank

Dear Frank: You can always find anything from past columns at When you get there, look at the upper right and you’ll see a search box that says: Search my blog. You can type a keyword or phrase in that box. In your case I would type Keurig then hit “enter” or “return” on your keyboard. Give it some time to search through the thousands of posts archived there, and you’ll get every column in which I have mentioned that word.

Try it! I’m confident you’ll find what you are looking for and maybe a whole lot more.  Thanks for being such loyal reader.