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Dog Pee: How to Clean Dog Urine & Urine Smells on Carpet, Floors and Outdoor Surfaces

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Wondering how to get rid all traces of dog urine out of your carpet, furniture, wood floors, concrete or tile floors  and more? Let’s talk about the steps you can take to get rid of that stain and the smell of dog pee–not just odor that you can smell but also that your dog can detect.

Dog Pee: How to Clean Dog Urine & Urine Smells on Floors, Carpets and Outdoor Surfaces

Let’s face it: dog pee happen. From puppies who aren’t quite sure where the bathroom is to the dog who refuses to potty outside to seniors whose bladders aren’t all they used to be, pet urine is just a fact of life in pet households.

A dog’s nose contains 300 million olfactory receptors–while we have a scant 6 million in our human noses. What does that mean? To us, that smell of old dog urine may be nothing more than a distant memory but, to a dog, it’s a billboard waving at him every time he enters the house.

Cleaning Pet Urine from Carpets and Rugs

If your dog pee problem is to extreme, you may have to call a professional carpet cleaner–but there are many ways to get dog urine smell out of carpet–and even dried dog pee out of carpet–on your own before calling in the pros!

Sooner or later, it will happen: you will get dog pee on your carpet or rug. 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 do do if you find fresh dog pee

  1. If you find the stain while it is still wet, soak up the dog pee with an old towel or white paper towels. Soak up all you can with paper towels. Don’t rub the urine into the carpet or upholstery–that’s just going to make your job harder–but, instead, blot and blot some more.
  2. Vacuum away any debris, from dog fur to everyday dust, around the stain.
  3. After blotting as much as you can with a rag or paper towel and cleaning around the stain, step three is to try to remove even more of the stain. Club soda, poured on the stain itself, can help bubble up more urine hiding in the rug pad.
  4. If you don’t have club soda on hand, you can soak the stain with clean, warm water then blot up the water with clean, dry towels. This helps to remove the urine as well as any cleaning products that you may have used in the past. Blot up the liquid (again, taking care not to rub it into the carpet but to gently blot).
  5. Rinse your towels and save them for later.
  6. Finally, place a clean, white towel (so you don’t transfer any dye from the towel onto the carpet) on the stain and weigh it down with a brick or other weight. Allow it to wick up as much of the liquid as it can overnight.

How to get OLD dog urine smell out of carpet

And what if you find a pee stain that has already dried? If you’ve been searching for how to get dried dog pee out of carpet, you’ll know that it’s a little different animal than cleaning up fresh pee.

The key to cleaning an OLD dog urine smell out of the carpet is that you’ll need to reactivate the urine before you begin cleaning it. (Yes, this sounds counterintuitive, but we’ve interviewed the experts about this!)

To reactivate the urine before cleaning it, use towels with clean, warm water to soak the stain and return it to a wet start before you begin the cleaning process.

How to Remove the Smell of Dog Pee

Next you’ll want to remove–not mask–the source of the odor of pet urine using an odor eliminator product.

While the stain may be gone to our noses, it no doubt remains to our pet’s super strong olfactory senses—so that’s where the next step comes in.

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.

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.

Enzyme cleaners are specially designed to destroy rather than mask organic stains. These eat up and neutralize the cause of the odor; most have little or no scent. TriNova Natural Pet Stain Remover –made from plants so it’s safe to use in your pet household — doesn’t mask pet odors but removes the SOURCE of the odor, even to your dog’s sensitive nose.

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 pet urine and remove some of the scent. (Be careful that your dog does not eat any of the salt!) The sooner you can get it on the stain, the better.

Baking soda works well to remove the scent of pet urine; 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 flashlight. 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.

Help! My whole carpet smells like dog pee!

Does your whole carpet smell like dog pee? Then imagine all the smells your dog is picking up…

Enzyme cleaners are specially designed to destroy rather than mask organic stains. These cleansers eat up and neutralize the cause of the odor; most have little or no scent.

We use TriNova Natural Pet Stain Remover –it’s made from plants so it’s safe to use in your pet household — and it doesn’t mask pet odors but removes the SOURCE of the odor, even to your dog’s sensitive nose.

Once you’ve found the stain, again, give the area a spray with TriNova Natural Pet Stain Remover. This time, however, you’ll want to make multiple applications of the stain remover. Spray the area then return in an hour to re-spray the spot.

How to Find Old Dog Urine Stains

Maybe you see your dog sniffing at a spot then, on closer inspection, you see that it’s dried urine. Or maybe you just can’t find the spot.

Dried dog pee is more difficult to find than fresh but a black light will make the task easy.

An inexpensive black light flashlight will cause urine stains to glow in the dark. Wait until dark, turn off the lights in your home–and shine the blacklight to look for purple glowing urine!

Using an extractor to remove urine from carpet

Using an extractor to remove urine from carpet

You can use an extractor to remove both fresh AND old dog urine from carpets.

An extractor (I have a SpotBot Pet from Bissell) sprays water and product on the stain, scrubs it with a brush and then extracts the liquid from the carpet.

OdorKlenz Pet Urine Eliminator is specially formulated for pet households and can be used with extraction equipment (which is the preferred method) or a vacuum.

With the extractor, I first extracted water from the pre-cleaned area until it was just slightly damp then I poured OdorKlenz (shake first) on the already soaked and prepared stained area, spread it deep into the carpet by using my fingers (you can also use a comb) to get it down into the fibers then place a towel over the treated area and apply pressure to soak up extra moisture.

Leave the treated area alone for 15 minutes to let OdorKlenz do its thing then use clean water to wet extract the treated area, adding clean water and repeating this step two or three times until all visible residue is gone.

using a pet odor eliminator with an extractor

If you don’t have an extractor, you can also use OdorKlenz Pet Urine Eliminator with your vacuum. You’ll pour the OdorKlenz on your pre-cleaned area, spread it into the carpet, saturate the stain with fresh water, then apply pressure over the area by standing on a towel over the stain.

Give OdorKlenz 15 minutes to work its magic, then get those rinsed towels out to soak up extra water, continuing this step several times to sop up all the extra water you can in order to shorten the drying time. You may need to give it 24 hours or longer to dry then, once it is dried, vacuum up the residue.

Wood, Stone and Tile Flooring

Cork Flooring

To remove dog pee from a cork floor, first blot the stain with a clean rag dipped (then wrung out) in a detergent solution of a ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in two cups of room temperature water.

Next, blot with by a bleach solution of ½ a cup of bleach in a gallon of water; dip a cloth in the bleach solution, wring out the excess and gently blot the stain.

Cork is naturally antimicrobial so you won’t need to worry about the smell of pet urine as much as you would with other flooring. Hooray!

Linoleum and Vinyl Flooring

It’s fairly easy to clean dog pee from linoleum and vinyl flooring!

As with all surfaces, first blot up all urine you can.

Next blot the stain with an all-purpose cleaner then wipe.

Is the smell lingering? HowToCleanStuff recommends scrubbing the stain with a mixture of a cup of vinegar, two teaspoons of dishwashing soap (without bleach) and a gallon of water.

How to clean plastic laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is fairly stain resistant–but that doesn’t mean that stains and even damage aren’t possible due to pet urine.

It’s extremely important to mop up pet urine ASAP before it has a chance to get down into underlayment.

How to clean dog urine from tile and stone floors

Whether you are cleaning from limestone, marble, slate, granite, tile or concrete, first blot up as much of the stain as you can.

Next, blog with a solution of vinegar (a quarter cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of water).

To remove the smell of dog urine from a tile or stone floor, you’ll next want to apply an enzyme cleaner to break down the organic compounds in the dog urine.

Wipe with a clean, damp cloth when you’re done.

Cleaning Urine Stains on Outdoor Surfaces

Whether your dog got a little too enthusiastic on his potty break and didn’t make it to the grass–or a neighborhood dog (or cat) has been paying your home a visit and marking your outdoor surfaces, you can remove those urine stains as well. The good news is that generally it’s much easier to remove outdoor urine stains–you have the option to hose or power wash everything!

How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from artificial grass 

How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from artificial grass 

Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular in dog homes as it helps to limit muddy paw prints in the house, yellow urine circles on the grass and ripped up patches from digging. But despite the benefits, excessive toiletry use on the plastic grass can cause a lingering odor in the garden. 

Your artificial grass does need a bit of maintenance and care to ensure the smell of dog urine doesn’t resurface when the temperature starts to climb. The team at WeThrift have provided tips on neutralising and cleaning dog urine from your fake outdoor grass.

  1. Mix water and baking soda  

When your furry friend uses the artificial grass as a toilet, it can leave some residue on the fibres causing the smell of dog urine to appear. One easy way to remove this smell is by mixing a solution of water or vinegar and baking soda. 

Mix the solution in a separate bowl and evenly distribute it across the artificial grass. Leave to soak for a few hours and rinse thoroughly with warm water. It’s important not to let your pets near the grass until it has been rinsed, if ingested the baking soda can be toxic. 

Top Tip from Nick Drewe at WeThrift “Start by testing the  mixture on a small area to make sure it won’t cause any damage to your artificial grass.”

  1. Use a gentle, pet-friendly disinfectant to remove any lingering odors 

Dilute your disinfectant with water, decant into a spray bottle and apply it to your fake grass. Allow the product to set for about five minutes before using a hose to rinse away the solution. It’s important that when using a disinfectant on your artificial grass, you find a product that is pet-friendly and won’t cause any harm to your pup if ingested and to rinse thoroughly to protect sensitive paws from irritation. 

Top Tip: Nick Drewe at WeThrift “A TikTok trend has surfaced of users pouring washing up powder onto their artificial grass, and while this will remove the odor, this could cause serious health problems if your dog ingests it and can cause skin irritation. So avoid using this method, instead find a cleaning product suitable for pets, for example, Zoflora.” 

  1. Introduce a bi-weekly cleaning schedule 

If your pet is regularly heading out to do their business on the fake grass, then cleaning it every week or every other week is a good idea to keep on top of it. A weekly wash doesn’t require any products and can be done using a power wash, hose or watering jug. 

Top Tip: Nick Drewe at WeThrift “Before using any cleaning products or water on your artificial grass, use an outdoor brush or hoover to remove any loose leaves, dirt or rubbish – doing so will help make the process easier and reduce mess.” 

  1. Use an enzymatic cleaning product 

To clean and remove the smell of dog urine from your home and back garden, an enzymatic cleaner is a great solution. These cleaners contain beneficial bacteria that break down the molecules found in materials like urine, feces and food that cause smells and stains.

While enzyme cleaners can be used for all stains around the home and garden, they’re most commonly found in the home of a pet parent, since they are great at odor-busting. 

“Enzyme cleaners work amazingly well at cleaning artificial grass and removing the smell of dog urine, this is because rather than simply covering bad smells, they eliminate the odor, unlike most fragrant cleaning products.” 

Nick Drewe at WeThrift
  1. Mix your own citrus spray for an eco-friendly alternative

A simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective way to reduce the odor of dog urine is to create a citrus spray.

Mixing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and four cups of water into a spray bottle and coating the artificial grass with a light layer will act as a natural deterrent.

Once the spray has been applied, let it sit and rinse with warm water to remove any leftover residue. 

  1. Create a designated toilet area

Find a part of your garden that you are happy for your dog to use as a toilet  – make sure that the area is not on the artificial grass and instead on soil, stones or other natural materials.

Start by creating a designated area using a small fence to create a perimeter,  lay down some cheap dog-safe stones or wood chips. When your dog uses the area, reward with a treat. 

Cleaning Flagstone

Do you have a flagstone patio or walkway that your dog or a neighborhood dog has used as a urinal? Outdoor flagstone can be hosed off to remove much of the urine and odor but, if the smell persists, you can try power washing.

Also, an enzyme cleaner can be a good solution to remove all organic compounds left by the urine that might be invisible to your nose—but not your dog’s!

Pee stains happen…it’s all just part of living with and loving dogs. We know it’s a small price to pay for all we get in return!

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Dog Pee: How to remove it from carpet and floors
Paris Permenter
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