How to Remove the Odor of Dog Urine From Carpets
Step by Step "how to" Guide
1. How to remove pet urine from carpet by blotting it up
2. How to find 'invisible' dried stains
3. Best homemade dog urine odor remover treatment
4. How to use a vacuum cleaner for the final step
All You Need to Know About Removing Urine Odor from Carpet!
Accidents will happen, particularly if you have a young puppy or an older dog. How to get the smell of dog wee out of carpet is big business, judging by the number of products that are on the market to do the job! But do you really need these chemicals? In this article, I am going to show you some simple tips for how to get dog urine out of carpet without chemicals, fuss or expense!
Oh and by the way, in case you are one of the many people who walk into a room and ask,"can you smell something?", when you know your dog or cat has peed but it's already dried and there is nothing left but the odor - I am going to reveal how you can find the offending area of carpet or upholstery in seconds and get it dealt with, right away!
Step 1: Blot Up The Urine
Act quickly! If you can get to the wee whilst it is still wet, the job is so much easier. If you can remove the majority of the urine right away, bacteria do not get a hold and it is the bacteria which cause the worst of the smell, not the urine itself.
The first step is to grab a length of around six sheets of kitchen roll, fold this into a six sheet thick square and press it down onto the wet area of the carpet with your foot. Repeat with fresh kitchen roll until the area is as dry as you can get it.
Cleaning Urine Stains with Dish Soap, Vinegar and Water Only
Step 2: Find Invisible Dried Urine Stains With a Black Light Flashlight
At the beginning of this article, I told you that I was going to tell you a clever way of tracking down those urine stains you can smell but you cannot see!
Pictured above is the brilliant gadget that will detect dried urine and those stains you just cannot see! It is an and is available at a big discount from Amazon. LED/UV Cat-Dog-Pet Urine Stain Blacklight Flashlight
Basically, the gadget is an Ultraviolet or 'Black' light which has an LED, low energy bulb. Just shine it over your carpet or upholstery and those little 'whoopsies' will become visible so you can deal with them.
However, nothing is absolutely foolproof and the manufacturers state that around 2% of urine stains will not show up under any UV light but for the other 98%, the investment is well worth it!
See A Demonstration of the Black Light Flashlight
Step 3: Homemade Dog Urine Odor removal Treatment
After you have used the blotting treatment above to deal with wet stains or the blacklight gadget above to locate those 'invisible; dry stains, it is time to tackle the odor! I like to keep a spray bottle handy containing a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
Put on your rubber gloves, spray from the outside edge of the stain towards the middle, working the vinegar solution into the carpet fibers with your fingers or a clean, lint-free cloth, towards the middle of the stain.
Repeat the same paper towel technique you used to blot up the wee in Step 1. (above).
The vinegar does smell a bit strong, but it does not last long and is definitely the best dog urine odor remover because it neutralizes the ammonia.
Once you have got the area as dry as you can, liberally sprinkle on ordinary baking soda, again working it into the fibers of the carpet with your fingertips (don't forget the rubber gloves!), or an old, soft toothbrush.
You need to be generous with the baking soda, give the carpet a good covering so it is completely white!
Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide?
Some DIY remedies for dog urine odor removal that I have read, advocate using hydrogen peroxide at this point but I have never found this necessary.
If you act quickly, the vinegar followed by baking soda should be sufficient. So if you want to leave out this step, go onto step 4 (below).
However, if you do want to use the hydrogen peroxide, make sure you only ever use 3% solution and that you always check for color-fastness on an inconspicuous area first as it could bleach the fibers of the carpet, leaving a permanent light patch as a reminder of the accident!
Mix around half a cup of the hydrogen peroxide with about a teaspoon of ordinary washing up liquid that you use for hand washing dishes in the sink - do NOT use dish washing machine detergent!
You will probably find it easier to put your hydrogen peroxide/washing up liquid mixture into a spray bottle for the next step to avoid over-wetting.
Spray onto the baking soda and work this into the carpet with an old, soft toothbrush.
Leave to dry completely.
Step 4: The Final Step in Dog Urine Odor Removal ...
4. Once the baking soda you put on is dry, whether or not you used the hydrogen peroxide in step 3 (above), you just need to vacuum this out of your carpet and you're done.
The best way to do this is if you have got a pet hair remover attachment on your vacuum cleaner as this breaks up any hardening of the baking soda.
If you don't have this sort of attachment, you can use a small stiff brush or the back of an old table knife blade (not the sharp edge) to break up any stubborn bits.
That, as they say, should be that! The trick is to make sure you get as much of the dog urine in the carpet blotted up before you start.
If you can still smell the odor once the area is dry, you may have to repeat the process - which is a bit of a pain, but is still the best method for how to get pet urine smell out of carpet in your home.
When You Want To Clean The Whole Carpet
However effective you are at spot cleaning those 'little accidents', there is always going to be a time when you want to clean the whole carpet. This could also be the case if you have moved into a new home where pets lived previously.
Try this super product from Nature's Miracle that contains no phosphates and is designed for use with any brand of machine you have for cleaning your rugs and carpets, provided that it is of the water-based type.
This product will really deep clean your carpet and is particularly good at getting rid of lingering odors and old stains. Nature's Miracle call this 'odor lock technology' and it really does seem to break down the molecules that cause the smell and this results in a permanent solution to any difficult to remove smells. It is also very good for removal of allergens.
Many happy customers on Amazon report on its effectiveness and how gentle it is on their rugs and carpets, leaving them soft, bright and fresh smelling.
A Reader's Personal Experience with Carpets That Smelled of Dog Urine
I am often contacted by readers of my articles. This is the story of one reader, Sophia. She told me about her experience with carpets that smelled of dog urine in a house that her family has recently moved into.
Sophia emailed me about her problem and has given her permission for me to publish our email conversation here.
Sophia: I really need to do something about this problem in the house we just moved into 3 weeks ago. Before we moved into this house we had the entire carpet professionally steam cleaned. The carpet cleaner could smell dog urine as soon as he came into the house (it was a rainy day). It has been three weeks and we still smell it in a couple of the rooms.
I have very, very lightly sprinkled baking soda over the entire house without working the powder into the fibers, and vacuumed it the next day. The smell has improved some but when I get down on the floor I still smell it. I don't know how long the urine has been there.
Do you think it is worthwhile to buy a light and treat as you suggest in this article? Thank you very much for your help!
Me: I'm so sorry that you have this problem and having read the following advice on the website of the Humane Society of the United States -
"Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers."
You could certainly try my method but I'm not sure how effective it would be after steam cleaning. However, the black light would definitely help in identifying an individual area you could treat and see how successful it was.
I do hope you have success in resolving your problem - I am in the UK and we have the NCCA here (National Carpet Cleaners' Association) - but if you are in the USA, you could try contacting the trade association for professional carpet cleaners in your area to see if you were given bad advice by the carpet cleaner who steam cleaned your floor. He was evidently aware of the dog urine problem as soon as he arrived to clean your carpet. If this is the case and he belongs to a professional body, you may have some comeback about this.
Please let me know how you get on!
Sophia: Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me! I really appreciate it.
Well, after the black light arrived, we went around the house and found white patches showing up EVERYWHERE! I read that the bright white can be from left-over carpet cleaners, that urine should be dull and yellowish. Anyhow, in our case, the black light did not help us identify urine spots, because most of the white spots did not smell like urine, and there was so much "white" that we cannot tell "yellow". We gave up the idea of "spot-cleaning" except for one spot that I definitely smelled urine.
What I finally did was to purchase this baking soda based + fragrance carpet deodorizer (Arm & Hammer brand with oxy-clean which pulls up 25% more dirt), sprinkled all over, brush the carpet with a broom to spread out the powder, then vacuum in 30 mins. I am quite pleased as I no longer smell urine in the house.
We also plan to purchase a carpet cleaning machine as soon as it is on-sale, and we will clean our carpet ourselves every three months. We trust that after a few cleans, we will get most of the stuff out. In the meantime, we vacuum our house very frequently. Every cleaning helps!
Me: Thank you for the update - sounds as though you have really got on top of the problem and it's great that you can no longer smell the urine after using the Arm & Hammer brand cleaner.
It's a good idea to wait until the cleaner is on sale - we have a Vax cleaner which dries the carpet as well - you can use detergent, then a rinse and then do 'dry' passes until you are happy that as much water as possible has been removed. We have had this machine for some years and have found it very good.
I would definitely recommend a machine that has this 'drying' action as the carpets are nearly dry to walk on right afterwards - here in the UK this is especially appreciated during winter months when it's not ideal if you have to have the windows open to help dry the carpet!
A Final Word
I hope that you have found this article useful and now know how to remove the odor of dog urine from your carpets and eliminate the evidence of those little accidents that are bound to happen from time to time! I use only ingredients from my store cupboard and have never found it necessary to use hydrogen peroxide.
With younger or very elderly dogs who are likely to have more frequent accidents, the blacklight gadget for detecting those dried on stains could be your best friend in keeping your carpets smelling fresh and looking clean - dog urine odor removal could be much more of a breeze than you thought!