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In this answer, I was directed to use an enzyme treatment like "Natures Miracle" on my rabbit's pee stains. To date, I've always used vinegar, which seemed to work well. Enzyme treatments are more expensive than vinegar.

Are enzyme treatments more effective at cleaning than vinegar? Are they effective enough to justify the cost differential?

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    I swear by Nature's Miracle for dog urine stains. – Alex A. Apr 18 '14 at 19:44
  • @AlexA. - I hear the enzyme formula changed since 2003. – JoshDM Apr 6 '15 at 20:17
  • @JoshDM: Interesting, didn't know. Thanks for the info. I didn't use it prior to 2003 though so I can only speak to the quality of the more recent formulation. – Alex A. Apr 6 '15 at 20:19
  • You have been using Petastic® for the last 23 years... we created and manufactured the original formula for Natures Miracle®. In 2003 our relationship with Natures Miracle® came to an end. Soon after we launched Petastic®, to ensure that you could still get the original Natures Miracle® formula. – JoshDM Apr 6 '15 at 20:39
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Per this Cat Centric article on removing feline urine, treating with enzymes is more effective than vinegar alone. Vinegar provides the perception of cleanliness; proper enzymatic cleaning provides the complete removal of waste.

The intent of saturating with enzymes is to break down the uric acid salts into gases. It is these residual uric acid salts that we cannot smell, but which generate uric acid crystals that create smells enticing pets to re-use the spot. Unfortunately, the conditions for enzymes to be effective is not necessarily existent in every scenario.

Per this NTS Blog article from a cleaning contractor, most pet owners are told to saturate carpets with the cleaner and blot. This can create an area that will attract dirt. The blogger does not typically use enzymes to clean carpets, preferring a more acidic chemical that liquefies the urine, allowing it to be extracted, and then applies a deodorizer to eliminate future smell. The process involved for enzymatic cleaning is more than a typical carpet cleaning contractor wants to stay in your house for, requiring at least 4 hours of "dwell time" and later extraction, so enzymes are generally reserved for carpet restorations (where the pad will be replaced) or rugs; "not a quick topical treatment". Treating rugs includes rolling and heating the rug to active enzymes for several hours, followed with a professional steam cleaning.

In both cases, enzymes are more effective than general cleaning with vinegar, which could leave a residue that might inhibit future cleaning attempts with enzymes.

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  • I haven't marked this as an answer because clearly, rabbit pee is different than cat pee as cat pee doesn't bubble and fizz when you pour vinegar on it. This type of reaction means that the rabbit pee has a very basic pH. Enzymes tend to be very sensitive to pH, thus I'm reluctant to believe cat enzyme treat will work well for rabbit urine. – virtualxtc Apr 14 '15 at 2:43

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