How to Remove Dog Urine
Although dogs are wonderful companions, accidental urination is one of the most common issues owners have with their dogs. The effects of constant accidents can be quite distracting and frustrating. Luckily, there are many well-tested strategies for removing pet urine and odor from many different areas of your home and life.
Removing Wet Dog Urine from Carpet and Upholstery
1. Soak up the urine. Place a thick layer of paper towels and newspapers on the soiled area. Press or stand on the paper for a few minutes, allowing the liquid to be pulled out of the carpet.
- After you’ve soaked up as much urine as possible, leave the soiled papers in your dog’s bathroom area. For example, place the papers right outside in an area of your yard that your dog normally urinates. This will reinforce the expectation of their bathroom habits.
2. Pour small amounts of cool water on the soiled area. Fill up a drinking glass with water. Pour a quarter of the water on the area at a time. Allow each pour of water to seep into the carpet before pouring more.
3. Add a few drops of dish detergent to the wet area. Be sure to add the soap to the area in very small drops. Evenly disperse the drops throughout the wet area.
4. Soak up the soapy water with fresh paper towels. Do not reuse any paper towels from earlier in the process. Doing so will replace the urine you’ve already removed from the area.
5. Spray the area with a vinegar mixture if the odor persists. To create the mixture, mix 2 cups of warm water, 2 cups white vinegar, and four tablespoons of baking soda into a spray bottle or bowl and disperse on the wet area. Let it sit for five minutes.
6. Blot the area with new paper towels. This will remove excess water from the fabric and prevent mold from forming underneath it. Blot the area until the area is only slightly damp.
7. Dry the damp area with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a carpet cleaner to suck up excess water from the fabric. Alternatively, you can direct air from a fan on the fabric to speed up the drying process.
Removing Dry Dog Urine from Carpet and Upholstery
1. Rent or buy a wet vacuum or carpet cleaner from a local retailer. Note that a steam cleaner should not be used for this clean-up. It will set the odor and stain into your carpet or furniture.
- If you don’t want to use a wet vac, cover the stained area with baking soda. Then, mix equal parts warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the baking soda-covered area with the mixture.
2. Use the vacuum on the soiled carpet or upholstery. Be sure to follow the instructions for use of the wet vacuum or carpet cleaner. This will allow clean water to cycle through the affected area, taking the urine with it.
- If you are using baking soda, warm water, and vinegar instead of a wet vac, use a regular vacuum to vacuum the area once the solution has dried.
3. Apply a pet odor neutralizer to the area. There are many store-bought options, but regular baking soda sprinkled on the area is an effective, low-cost option as well. Simply sprinkle dry baking soda in the area, let it sit for 5 minutes, and vacuum up the remaining powder.
- If you used the alternative method with baking soda, vinegar, and water and there’s still baking soda on the area after vacuuming it, spritz the area again with the vinegar and water solution. Cover it with an old towel, then vacuum the area again once the solution dries.
4. Reapply and remove the baking soda periodically if the odor persists. If the smell does not disperse, you may have to replace the carpet or upholstery.
Removing Dog Urine from Hard Surfaces
1. Soak up any excess urine immediately. Use clean paper towels or sponges. If the urine sits too long, it can seep into materials permanently or discolor your surfaces. If there is discoloration, wood surfaces can be re-stained after clean-up.
- Make sure to wear gloves while cleaning up the urine. This will prevent your hands from smelling like urine after cleaning.
2. Apply an enzyme cleaner to the affected area. This will safely breakdown the materials that will cause long-term odor in your home.
- Surfaces and finishes react differently to products. Test a hidden area of your surface before applying to the affected area if it is in a high-traffic area. This will let you see if the solution reacts poorly to your surface in a place that others will not see it.
- Avoid trying any other type of cleaner on the area before using an enzyme cleaner, or it may not work properly.
3. Let the enzyme cleaner sit on the affected area for a few minutes. Enzyme cleaners continue cleaning long after application, so make sure to keep pets and family members away from the area for a few hours to allow the cleaner to take full effect.
4. Blot the excess cleaner away and allow the damp area to air dry. Make sure to dispose of the used towels or rags in a place your pet will not retrieve them. If your pet smells remnants of urine in another area, they may think it is acceptable to urinate in that area.
Removing Dog Urine from Personal Items
1. Place your item in a washing machine. Make sure you wash this item alone and not with other clothing or household items. It could potentially transfer the odor to the other fabrics.
2. Add 1 pound (0.45 kg) of baking soda to your regular detergent. Once you’ve added the detergent to the washing machine, sprinkle the baking soda in the machine over the item and added detergent.
3. Assess the item after the first wash. Smell the item to see if the urine smell persists. Take the item into a space with good lighting to inspect if there are any stains present after the first wash.
4. Repeat the wash process with an enzyme cleaner if necessary. Follow the directions on the enzyme cleaner very closely. Not doing so could result in more unwanted stains on the item.
5. Allow your item to air dry. If you machine dry the item, it will slow the cleaning process of the enzyme cleaner and set in the odor and stain of the urine further. Set the item out of reach of your pet so they aren’t tempted to urinate on it again.
- Baking soda is a helpful product for removing odors from fabrics. Just sprinkle baking soda on the offending area and let it absorb the odor for up to 24 hours. Then, brush away or vacuum up the excess baking soda.
- It is important to eliminate all remnants of your pet’s odors. Your dog, or another animal in your home, may smell the urine and feel an inclination to mark the area with another urination, perpetuating the problem.
- If your dog has a specific problem peeing on your bed, try washing your sheets more often. The main reason your pet pees on your bed is because it smells like you.
- Dogs that are spayed or neutered as puppies generally display less indoor marking behavior than dogs that are unaltered or are spayed or neutered later in life.
- It is always a good idea to keep the room ventilated when cleaning.
- Avoid using a product that contains ammonia to remove dog urine.
- Don't use large amounts of bleach to clean dog urine. Dog urine contains ammonia and the combination that results from using lots of bleach can create a toxic gas. To err on the safe side, try using an enzyme cleaner or a disinfectant that doesn't contain bleach or ammonia.