7 Steps to Get Dog Urine Smell Out of Carpet

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Coming home after a hard day’s work, the last thing we want to do is clean the carpet because our dog couldn’t hold it. It may seem that dogs do things they know are wrong, but it was just an accident.

But that still leaves the fact that we need to clean the accident up quickly or run the risk of the whole house smelling like dog pee. Some surfaces are easier to clean than others.

Floorswipe easily, but when your dog goes on the carpet, time is of the essence. If the urine is left to soak in, your carpet will need deep cleaning and possibly even replacement.

With puppies and recent additions, potty training is a must. Knowing the trick of how to get them from peeing inside is just a click away. Watch this for more information:

How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing Indoors

But even the most well-behaved canine can have an accident. So knowing how you can get the urine smell out of the carpet is a good skill to have.

First things first, if you want the odor gone, sterilize and clean the area properly. Otherwise, both the smell and the stain can set in. The longer the urine remains uncleaned, the more difficult it is to remove it. If concrete flooring cannot escape its effects, then your rug doesn’t stand a chance.

Below, we lay down the steps to get the dog urine smell out of carpeting. Depending on how recently the accident happened, you might need a UV flashlight. But before that, here’s your shopping list for the job:

Shopping List

  • UV flashlight — in case of hidden smudges of dried up urine
  • A pack of kitchen towels — for messes that are recent and still wet
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Pet odor neutralizer
  • Carpet stain remover — for stubborn pee stains

Find the Offending, Stained Spot

Before you can go to work on it, you’d need to find the whole stain. A UV flashlight will be of immense help for this. Get a UV light specifically for finding biological stains. The LED low-energy bulb in the flashlight is a source of UV.

When you shine it on the upholstery, the urine should become evident. UVis auseful tool to have, but it isn’tfoolproof. According to most UV light manufacturers, UV light is effective 98% of the time.

To find the stain, turn the lights off and shine the flashlight where you suspect the accident happened. It’s best to keep the blacklight at least a couple of feet from the carpet. Pee stains look like dull green or yellow stains under that flashlight.

Once you have the location, sniff to confirm whether the stain is urine and if it is, mark it using tape.

See the Urine? Blot It!

If the accident was a recent one, then you won’t require the flashlight. But you need to act quickly! Your job gets easier if you can get to the puddle of pee before it starts to dry. If the liquid soaks down into carpets padding, you may have no choice but to replace that section of carpet and padding!

Furthermore, removing the urine before it dries prevents the bacteria from taking hold. The microbes are the reason why pee smells so bad — not the liquid itself! So, get your paper towels ready to go:

  1. A length of six sheets or so should be enough for an average-sized pee puddle.
  2. Fold them, so you have a six-sheet thick square in your hands.
  3. Press the bunch on the wet area of the carpet. Use gloves if you will be blotting with hands. And keep the wastebin close by, so you can dispose of the wet much immediately.
  4. If some urine remains, make another bundle, and blot the area dry.

In other words, remove as much liquid as you can before moving to the next step.

Start with Water

Next, rinse that part of the carpet with water. If you have a carpet cleaner, use it saturate that area, and then suck it back up. Don’t use the steam cleaner at this stage, because it could cause the stain and odor to set in permanently.

Now, apply a pet odor neutralizer to your carpet. Be warned that some products can stain the carpet. Therefore, test the one you have — in a hidden area. Should that work out, allow the wet part to dry completely. Check it in good light to determine if your carpet still looks stained. In that case, you’ll need a high-quality stain remover.

Say, that piece of your rug doesn’t look stained. However, you still get a whiff of dog pee when you step in that area. Should that be true, it would be time to bring out the big guns, i.e., vinegar and baking soda.

The Big Guns

Before that, here are some additional items you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda

White Vinger Spray

Tackle the dog pee odor with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Mix them in 1:1 and pour into a spray bottle for easy application. The acidic scent will be a bit strong at first, but it doesn’t last long. Oh, and it neutralizes the strong ammonia-like smell wafting from pee puddles. Hence, the use of white vinegar as a natural pet odor neutralizer.

Put your rubber gloves on and follow these steps during application:

  1. Begin spraying from the outside edge of the stain until you have covered all of it.
  2. Use a lint-free piece of cloth — or your gloved hands — to work the liquid into the carpet fiber.
  3. Blot up any leftover liquid with a paper towel.
  4. Wait for the vinegar to evaporate.

Baking Soda Sprinkle

On the now-dry pee spot, sprinkle baking soda liberally. Again, use your gloved hands to work the powder into the fibers of the carpet. Or, grab an old and soft-bristled toothbrush for this part. Don’t be stingy with the soda or be alarmed when that area looks completely white. Next, let the powder work its magic for a half hour or so.

We hope that the baking soda and vinegar trick works for you. Should it not, there are other things you can try. That situation would call for:

The Even Bigger Guns

Before we do that, make these quick edits to your shopping list:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap
  • Facial mask

Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap

Hydrogen peroxide behaves like any other extremely weak acid would killing any bacteria in the vicinity of the pee puddle. The dish soap helps to remove any dirt, germs, grease/oils that are present. Picture the dish soap molecule having two ends. One will bind water-soluble chemicals while the other goes after the grease and oil.

Mixing peroxide with the vinegar produces peracetic acid, a chemical agent much stronger and corrosive acid than its constituents. Its fumes can irritate the throat, nose, and eyes, and you should wear a mask and gloves while mixing and using it. Finally, open the windows of the room after spraying the vinegar-peroxide mixture. Proper ventilation is necessary to make the place both pet-friendly and safe for you.

Mix the following and apply to the stinky spot on your carpet:

  • 1/2 a tsp of dish soap
  • 2/3 cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • A tsp of vinegar
  • A tsp of baking soda

Let the solution dry on its own, and it will leave the area free of pee smells. Dish soap and vinegar make a pretty good team for another pet-related issue.

Back to the shopping list:

  • Vodka

Disinfect with a Splash of Vodka

Vodka is 40% ethanol, which means it will evaporate without a trace. It also has its own aroma, which is why you can use it to remove the odor of pet urine. Ethanol is also a good chemical to use when you want to get rid of oil-based stains. Moreover, vodka acts as a disinfectant, so it will also do away with any bacteria or fungus suspended in your pup’s pee.

To use vodka for stain removal:

  1. Add water and vodka in a 1:1 ratio to a spray bottle.
  2. Spray that mixture on the stained area.
  3. Leave it be for at least 10-15 minutes.

Vacuum the Area

After the vodka evaporates, you can remove all traces of baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, and vodka by vacuuming the whole rug. We’d recommend attaching a pet hair removing tool to yours. That way, any clumped up baking soda will get sucked in, as well. Don’t worry if your vacuum cleaner’s missing one. Even a small, stiff-bristled brush or the back of a table knife blade can do that part.

Lather and Repeat if Necessary

Even after all this hard work, you might find some of the pee scent lingering in that area. In that case, repeat the whole thing. Sure, going through all that will be a pain, but its better than the alternative.

More tips on this subject here.

FAQs

How can I tackle the reason for the pee stains?

Teach your furbaby that they need to urinate outside. Use the tricks from the video for guidance. However, it may take them some time to catch on. In the meantime, what dog owners can do is to deter them from going within the house.

To do that, first, figure out the spot where your dog prefers to go. Usually, canines will stick to a particular area. If you aren’t clearing away all the signs of previous mishaps, they’re likely to go in the same place again.

Several solutions can keep that from happening. These substances are known as canine-repellants. But before they end up on your carpet, do a patch test. You wouldn’t want to save the rug from the dog only to end up with other stains!

Commercial Repellents

If you’re okay with synthetic, then buy commercial repellants for this. Usually, those come in the form of sprays. When you apply the commercial repellant somewhere, the dog should avoid the area.

Cayenne Pepper Spray

Know that going overboard with this ingredient could hurt your dog’s nose. So, only mix 1 part of the cayenne pepper into ten parts water. Pour it into a spray bottle and let loose on the area your dog considers to be their indoor toilet!

Essential Oils

Most dogs don’t like strong scents, which is why you can use essential oils for this purpose. Any potent smelling oil will do. Try adding some drops of sour apple, eucalyptus, or cinnamon to water. Spray on their favorite spot.

Vinegar & Lime Juice

As mentioned, canines don’t like strong aromas since those can mess up their sense of smell. Therefore, you can forego the oils and soak cotton balls in vinegar. If you find the scent too strong, mix in a few drops of lime or lemon juice. Leave the balls in the area of pee preference.

Why does my pooch’s pee smell like ammonia?

Ammonia is one of the main components of urine. Aside from that, you’ll find uric acid, bacteria, and hormones in your dog’s pee. The longer the urine puddle remains unwiped, the more uric acid the bacteria will decompose. Consequently, smell and concentration will grow stronger. In addition to ammonia, those microbes will also be making sulfur-containing chemical substances. Called thiols/mercaptans, they smell even worse.

Can dog pee be harmful to my health?

Human waste is full of illness-causing microbes. Dog pee isn’t any different. For instance, a bacterial infection, Leptospirosis, is common amongst domestic dogs. The culprits behind this infection can be from more than one closely-related strain. They are found almost everywhere in the globe. But leptospirosis-causing microbes especially love warm, humid climates. If your dog has this infection, they can pass it on to you. In humans, this can progress to kidney or liver disease.

Of course, it’s not even about the infection. The odor of dog urine can be problematic on its own. The following side effects are related to the smell:

  1. Watery eyes
  2. Lung inflammation
  3. Allergies

Your younger kids and older family members are more at risk. So, clean the urine as soon as you stumble on to a puddle and potty train your pup:

Puppy Potty Training - How To Stop Your Puppy From Peeing Indoors - Professional Dog Training Tips

What else could dog urine be doing to my home?

A pattern of urine incidents within the home can also be bad for your carpet’s padding. Over the weeks, such messes will soak through. If you let the padding remain wet, you’ll invite mold. Additionally, pet urine stains can often be breeding grounds for different varieties of mold. One of them is Penicillium, which can cause you to develop respiratory symptoms. Another is aspergillus, a bacterium that causes long-term lung problems.

Could my fur baby be sick?

If your troubles with potty training just won’t quit, you might have a sick pup on your hands! Chronic leaking or frequent urination, for instance, could turn out as urinary tract infections. On the behavioral side, your dog might be guilty of submissive urination. To correct that, you’ll need professional dog training help. Another issue that may be causing you so much worry is urinary incontinence.

For chronic problems, reach out to your furbaby’s vet. They will run the right tests and suggest the treatment plan to set things right. In case they rule out medical concerns, call in a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) for consultation. These professionals know how to address canine behavior modification issues.

Conclusion

If you’ve been a dog parent for some time, you may already have a secret dog urine smell-ridding method. Share that secret with us and how well it works for you!

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