Cleaning Dog Stains from Your Carpet

Sooner or later, it will happen: you will get a dog stain on your carpet. Whether it’s a puppy accident or a senior moment (or, let’s face it, you walk it in on your own feet), you will have a dog stain to clean off your carpet or rug.

What to do? Don’t reach for the regular carpet cleaner; you want to remove the stain, not mask it with perfumes. If the stain and its accompanying odor isn’t totally removed, your dog will be able to smell it and will return again and again.

First, pick up and blot up as much of the stain–whether solid or liquid– as possible without rubbing it into the carpet.

Next, get out an enzyme cleaner; these destroy rather than mask the organic material that’s causing the odor. Use the product according to the directions on the bottle. Most of these products have little or no scent and will not stain your carpet. (Check out the Clean+Green product we reviewed recently.)

No enzyme cleaner? Reach for some common household products. Don’t use ammonia. (Urine contains ammonia, so the chemical will keep attracting your dog to the spot.) White vinegar is a good odor remover; use one-quarter cup to a quarter of water. Start out conservatively and add more if needed.

Another idea? Salt will absorb fresh urine and remove some of the scent. The sooner you can get it on the stain, the better. Baking soda works well, too; just rub it into a urine stain. Rubbing the area with a dryer sheet can also remove some of the odor.

If you can smell odors but can’t find the stains, try a black light. Turn off all your lights and turn on the black light; stains will glow under the light.

Of course, if the stains are too bad and nothing seems to help, there’s always the professional carpet cleaner. They have the heavy-duty cleaning machinery needed to really dig into the stain and extract as much of it as possible.

All in all, stains happen…it’s all just part of living with and loving a dog. It’s a small price to pay for all you get in return!

Do you have a favorite way to clean up dog stains? Please leave your tips in the comment box below!

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.