How to Remove Pet Urine (and Odor) from Carpet

How to remove pet urine stains from carpet

Having pets indoors has this inevitability – urine on carpet. There’s no going around it unless you train your pets to do their business in a specific area this will be a cycle.

The key here is not only cleaning up urine but also removing odor. If your pet still picks up the odor, chances are they’ll take a piss on that same area over and over again. It’s their way of “marking their territory”, a little animal psychology is in play here.

For fresh pet urine stains

  1. When you spot fresh urine, remove it as quickly as possible. This will lessen the odor and stain afterward.
  2. Use a stack of paper towels to absorb urine. Experts recommend that you stand on this stack for around a minute so that it absorbs as much as possible.
  3. Repeat the process until the area is dry.
  4. Take the urine-soaked paper towel and take it to the designated “pee zone” or “bathroom zone” – the area where you want them to pee.
  5. Use an enzyme cleaner like the Out! Pet Stain and Odor Remover (available in Amazon). Just in case you don’t have an enzyme cleaner, use clean, cool water, then blot dry afterward.

Why not use a towel instead?

You can use a cloth towel but the purpose of a paper towel is two-fold. First obviously is to absorb urine and the second purpose is potty training.

It’s an understanding of pet behavior. Dogs, in particular, will pee on the same area over and over, until the odor is removed.

So to prevent this from happening, the pee scent has to be eliminated.

One way of doing so is throwing the pee-soaked paper towel on a designated “pee” or “potty” zone – preferably an area in your home that they don’t hang out.

In the book “Good Owners, Great Dogs“, Brian McKimmon explains that dogs do not like to poo or pee in places they spend their time. With this knowledge, identify areas in your home that your dog doesn’t hang out and set it as a designated potty zone.

Clean those rugs

  1. Put rugs and other washable items in a washing machine. Add around a pound of baking soda to the detergent mixture to help remove odor then air-dry outdoors.
  2. After a cleaning cycle in a washing machine, smell the items for traces of pee odor.
  3. If you can still smell it, throw them back in the washing machine for another cycle.
  4. This time wash them with an enzymatic cleaner that is available in pet stores. It will help break down the pet-waste odor.

For pet stains that have set

  1. To spot urine stains on carpets, turn off the lights then use an Ultraviolet blacklight like this available in Amazon to spot all soiled areas. Mark those areas down with chalk.
  2. Clean the soiled areas with a carpet cleaner (avoid using steam cleaners as heat permanently bonds the proteins of urine to any man-made fiber causing the odor and stain to set).
  3. After cleaning the stains, treat these areas using a pet odor neutralizer available in pet stores.
  4. Make sure to follow instructions and test it in a small inconspicuous area first to see if it’ll stain the carpet.
  5. If stains are still present, then try using a carpet stain remover.

Here are some homemade remedies for urine stains

For people who don’t want to spend on ready-made items and want to go the DIY route, there are several homemade remedies for urine stains available.

But before going further a warning, humansociety.org warns against using strong products like ammonia and vinegar on urine as it may encourage your pet to reinforce the urine scent mark in the area [source].

Vinegar + Baking Soda

To use this effectively pour in vinegar FIRST before adding baking soda. If you do the reverse order, you’ll have a bubbly mess in your hands.

Vinegar acts as the cleaner and baking soda absorbs the stains. Miraculously stains are gone! Check these photos by Jillee (thank you for sharing this!).

Removing Pet Stains

Before and After

Image source: One Good Thing by Jillee

Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up all that dirty baking soda.

Now it does not say if this technique removes the urine odor. You’ll have to get down on all fours to smell.

Vinegar + Water + Baking Soda + Liquid Dishwashing Detergent + Hydrogen Peroxide

These are actually two homemade recipes that I found here.

The first one includes a 50% mixture of water and vinegar. Treat the stained area with this mixture then blot dry with a white towel or paper towel. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess moisture.

The next step is applying baking soda over the affected area.

Then mix one cup hydrogen peroxide (use only 3% max or it’ll stain) and one teaspoon of liquid detergent. Apply this mixture using your hands (wear gloves) on the carpet and allow it to dry. Once it is dry use a vacuum cleaner to clean up.

This will remove both stain and odor based on testimonials that are written.

If you’ve tried any of these techniques or have any of you’re own to share, please comment below.