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4 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dog Urine Smells

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

akita inu puppy peed in the carpet

No matter how well-trained a dog is, they will have at least one accident in their life. House-training always comes with an accident or two (or more), and older canines may lose control of their bladder function.

Either way, when your dog does have an accident, getting the smell out is paramount. No one wants their house to smell like dog urine. But it’s also essential to prevent your dog from continuing to use that same spot as a bathroom.

Unless the smell is obliterated, your dog will still be able to smell it and may choose to re-mark it, even if they are thoroughly potty trained.

Luckily, there are many ways to remove dog urine smells with common household ingredients.

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The 4 Homemade Ways to Get Rid of Dog Pee Smell

1. Soak Up as Much Urine as Possible

The key to removing urine smell is to remove as much of the urine as possible. Plan on going through quite a few paper towels!

No matter what home remedies you decide to use next, this step is crucial to your success.

If you don’t notice the spot until after it dries, this will be a bit more complicated. Luckily, many of these methods will work on dried urine too. You may need to spend more time scrubbing or even try multiple techniques.

person cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

2. Use Water and Dish Soap

Water and dish soap can work wonders. Besides cleaning your dishes, they can also be beneficial when you need to remove urine.

The water can help rehydrate dried urine while also diluting it. The soap helps remove the bacteria that are the cause of the smell. Together, they can remove both dried and wet urine easily. In some cases, they may be all that you need to remove the smell.

You should use very little soap. It is much more difficult to rinse flooring than dishes. You can’t exactly pick up the floor and wash it off in the sink. Therefore, you want to use as little soap as you can. This will make rinsing much more manageable.

Once you’re ready to rinse, pour more water on the spot and soak it up. You’ll likely have to do this multiple times to remove all the soap. Of course, the less soap you use, the fewer times that you’ll have to rinse.

dishwashing detergent dispenser on a woman's hand
Image Credit: ViDI Studio, Shutterstock

3. Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a great cleaning agent, and most people have it in their house.

If the odor persists after using water and dish soap, we recommend trying vinegar on the spot next. It’s great at removing dog urine odors, and it shouldn’t leave your floor smelling like vinegar for too long.

Dilute the vinegar with equal amounts of water. You don’t have to be precise, though measuring can be helpful if you don’t want to eyeball it. Put this mixture into a spray bottle. If you’re trying to move fast, you can fill up half a spray bottle with water and then fill it the rest of the way with vinegar. Give it a good shake to mix everything up.

Spray the area, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Don’t leave it on there for any longer than that, though, because you don’t want the vinegar to start drying on your floor.

Next, soak up the excess with paper towels. If you’re cleaning a carpet or upholstery, drying the backside can be helpful as well. Blot the area until it is only slightly damp. You’re never going to get it completely dry – close enough is fine in this case.

Recheck the spot after it dries completely. The smell can be a bit misleading when it is wet.

vinegar cleaner hand with glove
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda can remove most bad smells quickly. If you have something smelly, baking soda can probably help! It is beneficial when it comes to dog urine too, and it’s probably the easiest method on this list.

Sprinkle baking soda on the spot when it is slightly damp. This works best after you’ve done one of the previous methods. You don’t want to sprinkle it on a pool of dog urine!

Then, wait for the spot to dry completely. The baking soda should stay visible on top of the carpet or wood. The point isn’t for the baking soda to dissolve into the urine.

When the spot and baking soda are completely dry, vacuum everything up! It’s that simple.

This method doesn’t work unless the spot is at least a little wet, though. Therefore, you’ll need to re-wet dried spots, preferably with one of the previous mixtures.

baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

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Are Home Remedies as Good as Commercial Cleaners?

It depends on the commercial cleaners. In many cases, you can use home remedies with the same level of success as commercial cleaners. Vinegar, in particular, is great at removing dog urine smells. When it’s combined with baking soda, you aren’t going to find a more powerful cleaner.

Plus, home remedies are often cheaper. You probably already have these things lying around your house. The cost of vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap is probably only a few dollars.

Of course, it does depend on what commercial cleaner you’re comparing these options to. Some of them are quite robust. However, others aren’t much better (or even as good) as home remedies.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Home Remedy?

Unless you have a trusted dog urine cleaner lying around the house, we highly recommend using a home remedy.

There are a few different reasons for this:
  • Most home remedies are pet safe. Vinegar isn’t going to harm your dog in small amounts, for instance. Many commercial cleaners can potentially be hazardous.
  • Home remedies are often cheaper than commercial options. Using a cup of vinegar will cost you less than a dollar. A cleaner at the store might cost you $10.
  • They’re effective. While they may not be made in a lab or specifically designed for dog urine, home remedies are typically highly effective. For instance, the acidic nature of vinegar kills the bacteria responsible for the smell of dog pee. It’s just as effective as an enzymatic cleaner, which does the same thing.

In many cases, there is little reason to choose a commercial cleaner over a home remedy. When you can use the cheaper and safer option, you should!

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Conclusion

There are four main DIY methods to removing dog urine odors. First, you need to remove as much of the dog’s urine as possible. This is only applicable if it is still wet. If the spot is dry, you’ll need to use another method.

Then, use either dish soap or vinegar to remove much of the smell. Follow the exact outlined steps to get the measurements correct — both liquids need to be diluted before use. You can use dish soap and vinegar together, but this is usually unnecessary.

Once you’ve cleaned the spot with one of these solutions, sprinkle baking soda on the spot as it dries. When it dries completely, vacuum it up.

This method of combining multiple home remedies is a sure way to remove practically any dog urine smell, and it is incredibly inexpensive and easy.

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Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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