How to Neutralize Dog Urine Odors
If your puppy or dog has accidentally gone to the bathroom on your brand new carpet, you’ll need to know how to remove the urine so that it doesn’t make your house smell. You can use household supplies to clean up the mess, make your own odor-neutralizing products, or use products bought at the store.
Using Household Supplies to Neutralize Odor
1. Run a wet and dry vacuum cleaner over the affected spot. Using the vacuum, suction all of the urine from the carpet or flooring. Doing this will help to prevent the urine from getting absorbed into the carpet or flooring’s deeper layers. Urine that has been absorbed into the deeper layer will create an odor that will be very hard to get rid of.
- If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, lay several sheets of newspaper or paper towels down on the spot. This is best to do right after the dog has urinated. Remove the soaked paper and replace with new sheets until it seems like the paper is not soaking up anymore urine. This will help to keep the urine from sinking deep down into the carpet.
2. Use a UV light to detect any dried urine spots. If you were unable to soak up the urine right when it happened, and you’re not sure where the smell is coming from, you can use a cheap UV blacklight to find the spots where your dog has urinated. Once you’ve found the spots, mark them by placing an object next to them so you don’t lose them again.
- Cheap UV lights can generally be bought at your local home goods or hardware store.
3. Create a vinegar-water solution. The solution should be 50% vinegar and 50% water. For instance, if you use two cups of water, you should mix it with two cups of vinegar. The amount of liquid you use will depend on how large the spot where your dog urinated is.
4. Apply a generous amount of solution to the urine spot. You will want to use a generous amount to make sure that the solution absorbs into the deeper layers of the carpet, eradicating the urine odor along the way. The solution will help to soften and neutralize the hardened, deeper layers of the urine spot.
5. Scrub the spot gently. Use a new sponge or washcloth to scrub in the vinegar mixture. Doing this will help to remove the hardened layers of urine in both the superficial fibers of the carpet (the surface of the carpet), as well as the deeper layers of the carpet or flooring.
6. Run your vacuum over the urine spot again. Once you have scrubbed in the vinegar, run your vacuum over the spot again to pull up the vinegar mixture and the urine that is has broken up and neutralized.
- Again, if you don’t have a vacuum, use paper towels or newspaper to soak up the vinegar and broken up urine.
7. Sprinkle baking soda over the urine spot. Once you have dried the area, pour baking soda over the entire affected area. Make sure that the baking soda covers all of the affected carpet or flooring. The baking soda will help to ensure that the urine gets neutralized.
8. Mix hydrogen peroxide with dishwashing liquid. Mix 250 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 5 ml of plain dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Make sure that the hydrogen peroxide you use is 3%. Anything higher may damage your carpet or flooring. You should also make sure that the dishwashing liquid you use does not contain any bleach, as this may also stain your carpet.
9. Spray the hydrogen peroxide mixture on the urine spot. Lightly spritz the area covered in baking soda. Once you have sprayed the mixture on to the spot, put cleaning gloves on and give the spot a good scrub with a new sponge or a brush that you don’t plan on using again (unless it is for this same activity).
10. Allow the area to dry completely. This may take several hours. Once the spot it no longer damp to the touch, run your vacuum over it again to pick up any excess baking soda that may not have gotten mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide mixture.
- Be aware that old urine spots most likely discolored your carpet.
Making Your Own Odor Neutralizing Product
1. Purchase epsom salt or potassium alum. Both of the products can be found at your local grocery store or pharmacy. The product you use is up to you--both epsom salt and potash alum have the same effect on dog urine--the get rid of bacteria in the urine spot that can be increasing the bad smell, and they absorb any leftover liquid.
2. Make your cleaning mixture. Dissolve 200 grams of Epsom salt or potassium alum in 800 ml of water to make a liter of solution. Transfer the solution in a spray bottle to make applying the solution to the affected area easier.
3. Combat urine spots. If the urine is fresh, soak up the urine with paper towels, newspapers, or a wet/dry vacuum. After you’ve soaked up as much urine as you can, spray the cleaning mixture on to the affected area. Let it soak into the urine spot for several minutes.
- If the urine spot is old, spray the affected area and then let the solution soak into the spot for 30 or more minutes. The longer you let the solution sit, the more effective it will be in breaking up and dissolving the urine that has dried in the carpet.
4. Soak up the mixture. Once three or four minutes have passed, wipe it off and soak it up with paper towels or a wet/dry vacuum. This will ensure that you remove all of the dissolved urine that the mixture broke up. Once you have gotten the spot relatively dry, spray the solution on the spot again. This time, let it dry. The dried solution will continue to fight against bacteria in the affected spot.
Using Odor Neutralizing Products
1. Try enzyme products.These products contain enzymes that decompose urine into molecules that can be eaten by specific non-odor causing bacteria present in their products. Examples of these products are:
- 100% Natural Pet-Dog-Cat Urine and Stain Odor Remover by Nature’s Secret Weapon ™, Stink-Free ™ Urine Odor Remover, Roco & Roxie Supply™ Pet Stain and Odor Remover, Best Carpet Enzyme Cleaner by Bubba’s Rowdy Friends Pet Supply Inc., and Urine-Off™
2. Give oxidizing products a try. These products can be directly sprayed on areas with remnant urine odors. These products neutralize odors by killing odor-causing bacteria, and can prevent remarking. They also contain substances that remain after application that continue to neutralize odors, bind to waste products, and prevent bacterial and mold growth.
- Examples of these products include Oxyfresh Pet Deodorizer with Oxygen and Shout Turbo Oxy Stain & Odor Remover.
3. Make sure you use the right amount of neutralizer. When using either enzyme or oxidizing products, it is important to use more product than the amount of urine that your dog expelled. A medium-sized dog can usually pass half a cup of urine, so in that case, you would use a cup of neutralizing agent.
4. Apply the neutralizer. For this step, it is best to read the instructions on the bottle or package that the neutralizer came in. However, most neutralizers need to be applied to the spot and then let to soak for a certain amount of time. When they have soaked into the carpet, it is best to vacuum the spot or soak the liquid up with paper towels, newspaper, or old fabric towels.
- When washing urine off of concrete, use three times the amount of neutralizer. For instance, if your dog passed roughly one-fourth a cup of urine, you would use three-fourths cup of neutralizer.
- When treating carpets that have been heavily soiled with urine on multiple occasions, it is best to lift the carpet up and clean the floor as well. If you do not, there is a good chance that the odor will continue to linger.
- If you are treating a car seat, use double the amount of neutralizer to account for the fact that the foam in car seats is much more absorbent that most carpets and floorings.
- The strong ammoniacal odors we smell in our dogs’ urine come from waste products generated from Protein metabolism. You can reduce the protein you feed in your dog (after consulting a veterinarian) by feeding homemade dog food recipes.
- If urine has been left to soak into a carpet for a long period of time, the discoloration caused by the urine may be permanent.