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Information About Urine

What is urine?

Human urine and animal urine have different compositions. Human urine is an aqueous solution of greater than 95% water with urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine, other dissolved ions, inorganic and organic compounds including uric acid.


Dog urine contains urea, creatinine, uric acid, carbohydrates, enzymes, fatty acids, hormones, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and ammonia; while cat urine contains urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium and other electrolytes. Cats do not drink much water, meaning that their urine is much more concentrated and the uric acid is less diluted.


Many people confuse urea with uric acid but they are, in fact, two distinct chemical compounds. Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of all mammals. It is colourless, odourless, highly soluble in water and practically non-toxic. The body uses it in many processes, the most notable one being nitrogen excretion.


Uric acid is produced from the natural breakdown of the body's cells and the consumption of food. Most of the uric acid is removed from the body in urine and a small amount passes out of the stool. Uric acid is a compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen which forms ions and salts known as urates and acid urates including ammonium acid urate.

Why does urine smell?

After urine is eliminated from the body, it can acquire strong odours due to bacterial action and in particular, the release of ammonia. As mentioned previously, the ammonia results from the breakdown of urea and uric acid crystals which causes the strong odours.

Why is urine so difficult to remove?

Human urine is made up of 95% water and several compounds including urea and uric acid. While the water and urea is water soluble and can be cleaned up with general cleaning products, it is the uric acid that contains non-soluble salt crystals which present the biggest challenge in removing urine. Even when it appears that all traces of urine have been cleaned, the non-soluble salt crystals are left behind making it difficult, if not impossible to remove the urine effectively.


Furthermore, the crystals are invisible to the naked eye until they start to collect dirt, making them more visible to see. This is when a ultraviolet or black light can be used to detect stains. Uric acid crystals pose the biggest challenge when removing urine because any type of moisture or humidity will reactivate the crystals and allow the unpleasant odours to resurface.


What happens when urine is left untreated?

Urine odours and stains are highly unpleasant to see and smell, but are even more problematic than you may be aware. If left untreated, urine poses a hygiene risk and has the ability to damage carpet, fabrics, flooring, furniture and more. Over time, uric acid crystals will permanently change the dye structure of carpet and fabrics, and can even ‘burn’ the tannins in wood, causing black stains around the affected areas.


For people with incontinence issues, the odours can be very demoralising.  As mentioned previously, pet urine is much more concentrated than human urine and will have a very strong presence in a home or other pet areas. It also poses a behavioural risk in animals by encouraging them to repeatedly soil, spray or 'mark' the same area.


Why won’t general cleaning products or remedies remove urine?

General multi-purpose cleaning products are designed for removing grease and dirt, and although some products may have anti-bacterial properties, they are not designed to break down the uric acid crystals formed by urine. Similarly, popular remedies such as vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, ammonia and bleach are unable to remove urine effectively because they do not contain enzymes.


These non-enzyme methods have their place but their effects on urine are temporary and will only mask the odour, encapsulate the urine, or dry out the uric acid crystals. The effects will be reversed when moisture is present, meaning that your time and money have been spent in vain.


How does Urine Off work?

Bio-Pro Research uses high performance bio-enzymatic technology to develop enzyme-specific products that effectively remove all traces of urine, bodily fluids and more. All Bio Pro proucts, including Urine Off is formulated with enzymes that actually break down and ‘eat’ the uric acid crystals in urine to completely remove them.


What are enzymes?

Enzymes are a type of protein produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to create a naturally occurring biochemical reaction. An enzyme is made up of a chain of amino acids, and it is the changes to the structure of the sequence that dictates the function of the enzyme.


Some everyday products contain enzymes such as washing powders for breaking down protein or fat stains on clothes, or meat tenderizers to break down proteins into smaller molecules, making the meat easier to chew. With approximately 4000 types of enzymes, it becomes a very scientific process to find which enzyme will be the best catalyst for creating a specific bio-chemical reaction.


What about other enzyme-based cleaning products?

Enzyme-based cleaning products are not commonly available to the general public but are sometimes used by professional cleaners. While some cleaning products contain enzymes, Bio Pro products contain specific enzymes to break down odours and stains. Bio-Pro Research claims that "even competing products claiming a bio-enzymatic ingredient tend to use inexpensive, readily-available bacteria/enzyme formulas. These products may work well on common organic stains and odors like feces and vomit, but, as we know, dried urine is uncommonly tough."

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