We all love our canine friends. They’re lovely companions and make for a great addition to any family.
Of course, sometimes, they make mistakes! Smelly, staining mistakes that can be very expensive and very hard to remove.
If you’re a dog owner, you may find yourself frantically trying to figure out how to get dog pee smell out of carpet and upholstery. You’ve come to the right place!
Let’s dive into why your dog makes these mistakes, how you can prevent them, and how to remove the accident (and its smell) easily.
- 1 Why Dogs Pee Indoors
- 2 Dealing With Dog Urine on Carpets
- 3 How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpets
- 4 How to Get Pee Smell Out of Carpets With Commercial Products
- 5 Hiring Professionals
- 6 Hydrogen Peroxide
- 7 What Not to Do When Trying to Get Urine Smell Out Of Carpets
- 8 What Makes Dog Urine Smell So Bad?
- 9 Conclusion
Why Dogs Pee Indoors
For those who own trained dogs, pet urine on carpets and furniture is a rare problem. Of course, there are cases where dogs just can’t control their bladder.
Small puppies that have yet to complete their potty training may sometimes pee out of excitement or nervousness. Old dogs tend to lose control over their bladder due to medical conditions or general old age.
Occasionally, it’s not our dog’s fault at all, but rather our own. Maybe we don’t notice them whimpering by the door and asking to go outside. Maybe we’re running late at work, and no one is at home to let them out.
Whatever the reason, there are times when your dog just has to go, even indoors resulting in getting pee on the floor or even your carpet.
Dealing With Dog Urine on Carpets
Carpets are a problem because, unlike hardwood floors, carpets are thick. When there’s enough of it, dog pee can soak through the fibers, backing, and even to the floor underneath.
When left too long, it will stain your carpet and become expensive to remove. So, how exactly do you fix this problem?
Considering the number of products on the market, a few specifically made to clean up dog urine, the process can be hard and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be!
Depending on how fast you can clean up your dog’s mess, scrubbing may not be required; you can handle it with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
There are instances wherein you will have to buy cleaners or contact professionals, but that isn’t always the case.
Here are the ways to get urine smell out of carpet and upholstery, no matter how long it’s soaked in!
How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpets
For Fresh Stains
- Blot Out the Stain
If the urine is still very fresh, it may still not have soaked into the carpet. Getting as much of it out of the fibers will make cleaning up much easier.
If you notice that a stain is still wet, act fast! Grab some paper towels and press it down to the stain. Press down with your foot to get as much of it as possible. Keep blotting until your paper towels come out dry.
- Soak With Vinegar
Vinegar is a great way to remove odors so that no smells remain in your carpet. This is important for more than your own comfort; if any odors are left, your dog is more likely to pee on that spot in the future.
Other than keeping it odor-free, vinegar is also safe for dogs and humans. Add just enough vinegar to soak the spot, ensuring it’s mixed with what urine is left. Don’t leave it overly soggy!
- Sprinkle With Baking Soda
Combined with vinegar, baking soda will create a reaction that will break down the compounds in your dog’s urine.
You will notice the baking soda cracking and fizzing; this means that the chemical reaction is happening and that your solution is working.
While vinegar’s primary purpose is to get rid of odors, baking soda gets rid of moisture.
- Leave the Mixture for About a Day
Given time, the baking soda and vinegar will lift the odor and color off your carpet entirely. Your baking soda will dry out both the urine and the vinegar, leaving your carpet to look brand new.
You will have to wait for at least a day to ensure that the stain is completely dry – perhaps two days for resistant stains.
One Good Thing recommends placing a plastic dish over the stain. This will prevent people from stepping on the baking powder and tracking it all over the floor.
- Dust and Vacuum
After the vinegar and baking powder mixture has dried, you can easily vacuum away the baking powder.
For those small bits that stay lodged in the carpet, a touch of scrubbing will do the trick.
For Dried Stains
Of course, we aren’t always lucky enough to find stains that are still wet. Sometimes, we arrive home to a living room that smells slightly funky. You know that your dog has peed somewhere, possibly on the carpet, but you’re just not sure.
If you have to deal with dried urine, do not fret! There are still ways to remove the stain, and even the smell, all by yourself.
- Use a Blacklight Flashlight
A blacklight flashlight will work wonders for those times when your dog’s pee didn’t leave a stain. All you need to do is shine the flashlight on your carpet and other furniture.
The spot where your dog peed will glow in a bright shade of purple, compared to the slightly darker shade of purple that blacklights generally emit.
Of course, not every stain can be caught under blacklight, and blacklight manufacturers themselves agree on that.
However, smelly stains are very likely to show up under blacklight. As such, it’s helpful for those times when you’re left to hunt for the accident.
- Rinse With Water
Using distilled water and paper towels, soak up the stain. Begin from just outside the stain, going inwards. This will ensure that the water doesn’t push the stain outward to other parts of the carpet.
If you have the budget, you can rent a wet vac. A wet vac is a great way to clean out just one spot of your carpet, since it can soak a spot in clean water and suck up that dirty water again.
At this point, you can continue cleaning the spot with the ‘wet’ method above. Blot out the extra water, and then add vinegar and baking powder.
Baking Powder and Vinegar Solution
For those who are constantly dealing with pee stains, you can turn the vinegar and baking powder technique into your own handy cleaner.
With the solution in a convenient spray bottle, you don’t have to go to the kitchen and fetch two things every time your pet makes an accident. A bottle is also a great way to ensure you’re acting on the stain immediately; just leave it near the problem area for easy access.
To make your baking powder and vinegar solution, simply mix a cup of distilled, white vinegar with one cup of distilled water, followed by two heaping tablespoons of baking powder. This mixture will be good for a few months, so you can easily keep it on hand.
However, some stains are just so dried that vinegar and baking soda aren’t enough. For these situations, it’s wise to use commercial products to help your cleaning efforts.
This video shows another home solution for removing urine from carpets.
How to Get Pee Smell Out of Carpets With Commercial Products
Commercial cleaners are made specifically to remove both odor and stains. Some of them are composed of natural ingredients, so you can be certain they aren’t harmful to you and your pets.
Just make sure to stay away from cleaners that have ammonia, chlorine, and sodium lauryl sulfate, as they can be harmful to the coloring of your carpet, your health, and your pets’ wellbeing.
Some cleaners are just to remove stains or neutralize odors. Of course, there are brands which do both! If a stain is proving especially tough, look for an enzymatic cleaner.
Enzymatic cleaners do not need to be blotted, diluted, or rinsed off. All that’s necessary is to apply it directly to the stain, and then wait for it to work.
How fast a cleaner acts will depend on its brand; some can work in a day, but others can take weeks to completely remove the stain!
The Canine Journal has a list of dual-action stain removers and odor neutralizers for you to try. Check them out here!
However, if commercial cleaners still can’t do the job, you may need to seek help from the professionals. Carpet cleaning services can be expensive, but they will ensure that your carpet returns to being spick and span.
They will use UV blacklights and glasses to scan for stains, and then treat the stains with specialized formulas.
Professionals can also recommend ways on how to get pee smell out of carpet for accidents in the future.
Of course, the vinegar and baking soda technique isn’t the only way to clean out dog urine. If that method isn’t sufficient for your needs, you can always turn to a secondary at-home solution: hydrogen peroxide.
While not as readily available in most kitchens, hydrogen peroxide is a great way to remove stains. Despite its name, it’s completely safe for dogs and humans, so long as it isn’t ingested.
Before using hydrogen peroxide, make sure that it won’t lift the color from your carpet. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach some dyes and fibers, so test it on a spot in your carpet before applying any further solution.
Additionally, make sure that you’re using a 3% solution; this should be indicated on the bottle.
To clean out your carpet with hydrogen peroxide, do the following:
- Mix half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dish soap.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto the stain.
- Lightly brush the spot with an old toothbrush to work in the mixture.
- Leave it to dry completely.
What Not to Do When Trying to Get Urine Smell Out Of Carpets
When we’re getting desperate, it may seem like a good idea to try out everything that can remove a stain.
What about bleach? What about bathroom cleaners? What about perfume to mask the smell?
While it may seem counter-intuitive, some methods actually make things worse! Here’s what you should never do when cleaning out urine stains and smells.
- Use Detergents With Cleaners
You can use detergents if you want to completely avoid cleaners, but you shouldn’t use them together.
Detergents will make enzymatic cleaners lose their ability to clean, rendering the ingredients useless.
- Use a Steam Cleaner
It may be great for other stains, but urine reacts badly to heat. If you use hot steam, the heat will seal in the odor and color permanently to your carpet.
A professional cleaning may remove the stain, but otherwise, you’ll be stuck with it until it fades naturally on its own.
What Makes Dog Urine Smell So Bad?
Dog urine naturally has a bad odor, at least to us humans. To dogs, they’re a helpful way to convey information to other animals.
This information includes territory marking; dogs will use their scent to signal to other dogs that this territory is theirs. Territory marking is more common in dogs with strong territorial personalities.
Other than marking, scent is also used to convey information such as health status, sex, and identification. This is the same reason why dogs sniff butts when meeting each other; it’s a way to determine who is who, along with other handy info.
While dog urine naturally smells bad, it shouldn’t be too overpowering. Other than it being very distracting to you and other people around, strong-smelling urine could indicate a medical problem with your dog.
If you notice that your dog’s urine is a different color than usual, or has a stronger smell than before, you contact your vet.
This video shows how to get pee smell out of carpet.
Urine stains and smells can be a massive pain in the neck, but there are still ways for you to save your carpet.
Whether it’s through removing the stain yourself or calling a professional to do it, your carpet can again be returned to pristine condition.