How to Clean Dog Urine from Area Rug

How to Clean Dog Urine from Area Rug

You love your pet. But, what happens when your canine companion decides to squat right in the middle of your beautiful new area rug?

Or when that adorable puppy takes weeks (or longer) to really get the hang of potty training?

Thankfully, there are several easy methods for cleaning dog urine from an area rug or carpet. Here are several methods to help you remove these stains.

Related: How to Take Care of Different Types of Rugs

Method #1: Using Vinegar

White vinegar

Good old-fashioned white vinegar is perhaps the easiest way to get pet urine out of any soft surface such as carpets or rugs.

Not only is it cheaper compared to some expensive cleaners, but there’s also probably a good chance that you already have some around the house.

For this method, you’ll need white vinegar, warm water, paper towels, and baking soda.

  1. Start with a Wet Stain: You want to start by cleaning up the stain while it is still wet. If you let it dry, it could soak into the carpet and create a permanent area where the rug is discolored.
  2. Mix the Solution: Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a small cup. Stir it around with a spoon to make sure it is mixed. A standard coffee mug size amount of liquid should be enough for this task.
  3. Add the Vinegar Mixture: Pour the solution directly onto the stain. Don’t be afraid to get the area totally saturated.
  4. Soak It Up: After ten minutes or so, use paper towels to soak up as much moisture as you possibly can.
  5. Baking Soda and Vacuum: Leave the stain to set for several hours. Sprinkle on baking soda, leave it for thirty minutes, then vacuum it up to help prevent any lingering odors from sticking around.

Don’t use a cheap bagless vacuum when removing baking soda residue as these products lack filtration. Particles of baking soda will exit through the exhaust. I would suggest going for a bagged vacuum or a more premium stick vacuum like the Dyson V10 or V11 that has a sealed system.

Method #2: Hydrogen Peroxide, Dish Soap, and Water

Hydrogen Peroxide

Sometimes, you don’t always see the stain or get to it before it dries on your area rug. In that case, you’ll need something a little more potent.

This method is also ideal for cat urine, which has different enzymatic properties and can be a little bit tougher to clean than dog urine.

With this method, you’ll need hydrogen peroxide, warm water, dish soap, paper towels, and baking soda.

  1. Blot the Stain: Use a paper towel and warm water to blot at the stain vigorously. This will help remoisten the dog urine and make it easier to clean up.
  2. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide: Next, apply the hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain. Don’t be afraid to saturate it thoroughly. (Note: In most cases, you should not see any discoloration on the rug itself, but it’s best to test this in a small hidden area first before attempting it.)
  3. Mix Dish Soap and Water: Use a small cup to mix a tiny bit of dish soap with warm water thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the peroxide.
  4. Dab with Paper Towels: Dab the area with paper towels to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. If the weather permits, hang the rug outdoors to dry thoroughly.
  5. Add Baking Soda: Just like with the method before this one, apply a generous amount of baking soda to the rug. Leave it for about a half-hour to absorb odors and use a sealed stick or upright vacuum to remove any residue afterward.

One of the best ways to detect pet urine on carpets or rugs is by using a blacklight. Unfortunately, not everyone has this tool, but the good news is there are alternative techniques in detecting pet urine without a blacklight.

Method #3: Using Enzym Cleaners

If the home remedy methods aren’t working, you can always purchase an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet stains. You can buy these cleaners from a pet store, hardware or on Amazon, and are very easy to use.

For this method, you’ll need a special enzymatic cleaner for pet stains, paper towels, and a small dish towel.

  1. Dab the Stain: If the stain is new, use dry paper towels to absorb as much of the dog urine as possible. However, if it is older, use a damp paper towel and rub the stain thoroughly to reactivate it.
  2. Saturate the Stain with Cleaner: Each enzymatic pet stain cleaner has a different set of instructions for use, so this step likely depends on the particular brand you’re using. But most want you to thoroughly saturate the stain with cleaner and scrub vigorously with a dishtowel. Keep repeating this process until the stain starts to lift.
  3. Let the Stain Dry Fully: Leave the stain to dry thoroughly. In some cases or homes that keep a moderate interior climate temperature, this could take a couple of hours to a few days.
  4. Repeat the Process: If it still looks as though there’s a stain on the area rug where your pet urinated, then repeat the process.

One of the better options is the Rocc Roxie Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator. It’s a best-selling product in Amazon (over 20,000 reviews!) and works not just on the carpet, but also on a variety of other surfaces like hardwood and tile.

The process is simple using it – mist a liberal amount of the stain, wait for an hour then blot dry with a clean towel. Make sure to test if it discolors carpet on a small area first.

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Method #4: Using a Carpet Cleaner

Portable carpet cleaner

Finally, you can use a carpet cleaner to remove the stain. There are many great home models designed just for pet care, and it is usually a good idea to have access to one if you own a dog.

After all, you never know when vomit, diarrhea, or urine will strike, and it is always a great idea to be prepared.

While this is never a total substitute for professional cleaning, it is a great option to use in a pinch.

To utilize this method, you’ll need a small handheld carpet cleaner, warm water, carpet cleaner soap, and a towel.

  1. Mix the Soap: While you want to follow the directions that come with your carpet cleaner, most being with you, mixing the carpet cleaner solution and clean water in the appropriate reservoir. Some manufacturers like Bissel carpet solutions for pets. I suggest you look for these for the best results in taking out the stain and odor.
  2. Plug and Use the Unit: Next, plug and use it according to manufacturer directions. Again, this will vary on your model, so make sure to review your manual for details.
  3. Dry Fully: Once you washed the area and sucked up the excess water, clean your unit. Let the stain dry thoroughly before determining if a second round is necessary. Open the window and doors so air can circulate or use an industrial fan to speed up the drying process.

There are many options available – full-sized or portable alternatives. A full-sized upright carpet cleaner is an excellent option if you’re looking for something to clean a large area. It’s something to ponder upon if you own a lot of pets for maintenance cleanups.

Portable carpet cleaners are great for tidying up small stains or areas a full-sized cleaner cannot reach such as upholstery or stairs.