Whether it is a brick driveway or a brick wall, getting the dog urine smell out of brick can seem impossible! Bricks are quite hard, which makes them difficult to clean. But they are also porous, so they tend to soak up smells very well.
When a dog takes to peeing on your bricks, this is the last thing that you want!
Scrubbing and spraying often do nothing to remove the urine smell from bricks. Luckily, you aren’t stuck with the smell forever. With the proper technique, you can easily obliterate it.
Prepare the Area
Before you begin, you’ll need to prepare the area for cleaning.
First, you’ll want to remove any dirt and debris on the brick. These can cover up the urine smell and make it more difficult to remove. There mustn’t be any mud or grime built up on the bricks, in order for the cleaning process to work as efficiently as possible.
You don’t want to create a muddy, chemical mess later!
You may need to use a power washer or a similar method to obliterate the dirt and grime. Whatever method that you usually use to clean your bricks will likely work fine!
Once the bricks look clean, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Find All the Urine
You need to find the urine to remove it. While our noses can be helpful in this regard, they often can’t find all the urine in an area. It’s easy to miss a spot or two if you only rely on your senses. Washing the surface will often remove only the visible signs of urine.
The sure way to find all the urine in an area is to use a blacklight. Since you’re likely outside, you’ll need to wait until nighttime to do this.
Hold the UV light about 3 feet from the bricks. The stain may look green, blue, or yellow underneath the light. Next, use a piece of chalk to mark the spot. It works best if you have two people for this job: one to hold the light and one to mark the spot.
Even though you’ve marked the spot, we recommend treating a wider area than what showed up under the light. The urine smell may spread while you’re cleaning if you only focus on the spot.
1. Use an Enzymatic Cleaning Solution
Now that the bricks are completely clean, you can use an enzymatic cleaning solution to remove the urine from the surface of the bricks. Urine contains uric acid crystals, which is one reason that it is so smelly. These bond tightly to whatever surface they’re on, which is why you can’t just wipe them away.
Regular soap isn’t designed to remove these crystals from the surface, so thoroughly cleaning your bricks won’t remove the smell. The smell may seem like it’s gone for a little while, but the presence of water will start to release the uric acid crystals as a gas, which will flood the area with a foul smell.
However, enzymatic cleaners are designed to break down these crystals directly. They don’t need to remove them because the enzymes break them down. After using an enzymatic cleaner, you don’t have to worry about the smell coming back!
Which enzymatic cleaner you choose is essential, though. They aren’t all made equal. Some work wonders in one use, while others hardly work at all! Shop around, and plan on spending a bit more on a cleaner to ensure that it works.
2. Use Trisodium Phosphate
This heavy-duty cleaner removes everything from the surface of bricks. It can get rid of bacteria and uric acid crystals, completely removing the smell from the bricks.
However, this cleaning product is also a bit harsh. It can potentially harm the surface of the bricks, your skin, and the environment. Therefore, we don’t recommend it as your first option. This solution will work, but the cost may be a bit high!
If the bricks are outside, the surrounding environment can be seriously harmed by this cleaner. It will kill grass and other plants, as well as potentially cause serious issues if it ends up in a local stream.
3. Use Vinegar
Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution for dog urine, and it’s completely safe. Most people have vinegar lying around their house, so you don’t need to spend much money purchasing an expensive cleaning solution.
To use vinegar, mix it at a one-to-one ratio with water in a spray bottle. Then, spray it on the spot that you marked earlier. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and rinse it well with water. You don’t want to let the vinegar dry, as then the spot will smell like both vinegar and urine.
Since vinegar is quite harmless, this method shouldn’t hurt the surrounding grass. It is safe for animals as well, especially in a heavily diluted form.
The spot will likely smell like vinegar for a few days, but the smell will go away over time. Plus, it’s far better than urine smell!
4. Use a Shop Vac
Alternatively, you can use a shop vac alongside any previous methods to give them a bit of a boost. If you use a cleaner and then rinse the spot, you may end up just spreading the smell around.
Shop vacs and wet vacuums can prevent this from happening. They soak up the infected water entirely and remove it from the area. Therefore, the smell is much less likely to stick around.
5. Use a Commercial Product
You can use a commercial product specifically designed to get dog urine out of hard surfaces. Often, these are designed explicitly for concrete, but they also work on brick.
Simply Green is one of the most popular cleaning products designed for rugged outdoor surfaces.
Using these solutions is often easy. They’re designed specifically for this purpose, so many of them are extremely simple to use without any prep.
They work best in cooler weather. You can always use them in the morning if your area is quite hot or after the sun goes down. Otherwise, they may evaporate too fast and not work correctly. You’ll often need a power washer to use these cleaners properly. Sometimes, the cleaners are designed to be used with a hose, though. If you don’t have a power washer, be sure to find a cleaner that fits into the latter category.
After you’ve sprayed down the area, you usually allow it to sit for a few minutes and then wash it away. You may need to lightly mist the area to keep it moist while it works. This extra step is why we recommend using it in cooler weather. It’s often simply easier than standing above the solution with a spray bottle for 10 minutes.
Of course, each cleaner has slightly different directions. Be sure to read them and follow them closely. If you don’t follow the directions, the product may not work as well as it could otherwise!
Getting dog urine out of brick often requires more than the usual soap. However, if you use the right products, removing the smell is much easier.
Which method you use is entirely up to you. You may want to use the vinegar option first, as it is straightforward and doesn’t require buying a special cleaner. However, if that doesn’t work, you may have to upgrade and use something stronger!
If you regularly clean your bricks, you may find that buying a commercial product designed for that purpose is helpful. We don’t necessarily recommend purchasing a product only for cleaning a single spot.
You shouldn’t need to use more than one method. They all work well at removing the smell.
Featured Image Credit: Charlie Goodall, Shutterstock