How To Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet
When my husband and I moved into our rental home, we quickly realized that the previous tenant’s dog had had more than a few accidents on the carpet and that it hadn’t been properly cleaned.
We quickly did some research to figure out how to get the urine stains and odor out of the carpet, and then once we got a puppy of our own, we read up on how to clean up fresh accidents so that we wouldn’t start the stinky cycle over again.
So, how do I get rid of dog urine out of the carpet? For fresh stains, you’ll need some paper towels or old rags and a pet odor and stain removing spray. For more stubborn or older stains, you’ll need to use a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water.
The secret to getting dog urine out of your carpet is to act as quickly as possible and not give up, as there are a variety of steps you can take to restore your floors to their former cleanliness.
Cleaning Dog Urine Out of Your Carpet
Anyone who’s owned a pet knows that they’re messy, and anyone who’s raised a puppy knows that accidents are inevitable. When they do happen, there are several steps to take to clean up the urine.
1. Blot the Urine
The first thing that you’ll need to do when dealing with dog urine out of carpet is to blot it up with paper towels or rags. Do not rub, as this will only push the urine deeper down into your carpet.
Try to get as much up as possible as quickly as you can to prevent it from soaking deep into your carpet and carpet pad. It might take multiple rags or paper towels to get it all up.
2. Treat the Spot
Once you have the majority of the urine removed, it’s time to treat the stain. The best way to do this is with a store-bought or homemade pet stain and odor remover.
If you choose to purchase a spray, look for one with non-toxic ingredients so it won’t harm your pet and enzymes so that you know it will fully break down the urine and remove the odor. Follow the instructions on the packaging, noting the potential differences in directions for old and new stains.
If you want to make a homemade remover, mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray the spot generously and then sprinkle some baking soda on top. Let it rest for at least an hour until the spot dries and then vacuum up the baking soda.
The remaining urine will be absorbed by the baking soda and then sucked up into your vacuum, so make sure you empty the canister immediately so that that doesn’t start to stink as well.
3. Treat the Spot Again
If you notice a little bit of a smell or staining lingering after your spot dries, there’s no need to worry. Just repeat the process, this time letting your spray or vinegar and baking soda treatment sit longer.
If you want to keep your carpets from smelling like a dog, you’ll need to be vigilant about working on cleaning all urine accidents until the smell is completely gone.
In addition to your comfort, when dogs can smell their urine, they think that that’s where they’re supposed to go to the bathroom, which can result in multiple accidents occurring in the same place on your carpet.
It’s best to not let your dog or your kids near the stain until it and the treatment have dried to avoid them ingesting any of it or accidentally tracking it throughout the rest of the house.
Treating Stubborn Stains
For more stubborn or older stains, you may need to use a few different strategies to remove them. If the stain has set in, you’ll want to soak it with white vinegar and then use an enzymatic cleaner to finish it off.
The vinegar will smell strong for a day or two, but it will fade away on its own and take away the smell of dog urine with it. The enzymatic cleaner will then finish breaking down any remaining odor or stain.
Before you do this, remember that pure vinegar can be hard on some surfaces, so test it in an inconspicuous area of your carpet first. (And don’t use apple cider vinegar, as this can stain your carpet.)
Once you’ve determined that the white vinegar won’t affect your flooring, don’t be afraid to spray or even pour it liberally onto the spot so that it can soak deep down into the carpet. Let it dry on its own to give it plenty of time to neutralize smells and stains.
After it dries, use an enzymatic pet stain cleaner to finish the cleaning process. Follow the instructions on the bottle, and keep in mind that you may need to do this a few times.
You also can complete the whole process with an enzymatic cleaner, but usually, these products are significantly more expensive than plain white vinegar is, and you’ll need to use more of the cleaner if you don’t use vinegar as well.
If all of these efforts fail, you can also get your carpet cleaned by a local professional. Just make sure you ask for pet stain cleaning, as regular steam cleaning will only set the stain and odor.
In the end, if the urine has soaked down to the floor below, no amount of cleaning will be able to completely remove it. When this is the case, the best course of action is to rip up the carpet and replace the pad below it.
How To Prevent Dog Urine Stains in Carpet
A few accidents in the house are unavoidable when raising a new puppy, but there are ways to prevent your carpet from becoming stained and smelly from your fluffy friend’s urine.
- Clean up the urine immediately. When an accident does happen, blot it up and treat the spot as quickly as you can to avoid the stain and odor setting in your carpet.
- Don’t let young pets wander around carpeted areas unattended. While your puppy is learning your house rules (including where it’s appropriate to go potty), it’s a good idea to limit his roaming ability until you can trust him to not soil your carpet. Close doors, set up a playpen with a waterproof mat, or install baby gates to keep him in tiled areas during those times when you aren’t able to keep a close eye on him. This way you won’t find a smelly surprise behind the couch or in the guest room a few days or weeks after an accident occurs.
At the end of the day, remember that the best defense is a good offense. By putting in the effort to train your dog and treat stains early on the front end, you’ll save yourself a significant amount of money, discomfort, and frustration on the back end.
What Not To Do When Getting Dog Urine Out of Carpet
There are a few things that will make your dog’s urine problem worse for your carpet.
1. Using Ammonia
Ammonia smells like urine to dogs and will encourage them to go again in the same spot.
If you must use something scented, make sure it’s not too strong or perfumy. You want your home to smell fresh, but dog odors are very distinct and most humans won’t be able to tell that your dog might be causing a scent.
2. Scrubbing or Agitating the Carpet
These motions will only push the urine further down into the carpet fibers and make it harder to remove. It also increases your risk of ending up with a permanent stain on your carpet, especially if you’re using a harsher cleaner without knowing for sure how well it will remove the stain.
3. Steam Cleaning Urine Spots
Steam cleaners only work when they’re allowed to penetrate deep into fibers, which you can’t do with a urine stain that still has moisture in it. You’ll just end up pushing the urine into the padding and subfloor, where it will cause more damage over time.
Instead, start by using a white vinegar solution, allowing it to sit overnight and dry completely before you attempt any steam cleaning. When you do break out the steam cleaner, use a cleaning solution designed to get dog urine out of the carpet so that you don’t accidentally set the stain or odor further.
If you hire a service, make sure you let them know that you have some areas with dog urine so that they can treat it properly. We hope these DIY tips help you remove the dog during odor from your carpet!
Why is it important to thoroughly clean dog urine out of carpet? When urine is left untreated on the carpet, it can cause strong, funky smells and create yellow or brown stains. It can also damage the padding underneath your carpet, which may mean replacing the whole floor if the urine has sunk in too far. In addition, if dogs can smell their urine on the floor, they think that that’s where they’re supposed to relieve themselves, making the problem even worse.
Where can I buy pet odor and stain removal spray? You can buy this spray in supermarkets, box stores, and pet shops. Ask your vet or an experienced pet owner which brands they recommend, as there are a wide variety of treatments available.