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How To Get Cat Urine Smells and Stains Out of Concrete

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cat near wet spot

Concrete is a sturdy material that can take a lot of abuse, but an unsealed concrete floor in a garage or basement is no match for cat urine. Although concrete is solid, it’s a porous material that absorbs liquids like urine. Wet stains are simple to remove and clean, but when urine dries on concrete, the uric acid becomes trapped in the concrete until it’s released with an enzymatic cleaner, trisodium phosphate, or a positive ion treatment.

Professional cleaning services can remove the stain, but you can save a few dollars by treating and removing the stain yourself. If you want to learn how to get cat urine smells and stains from concrete, read on!

Before You Start

Cleaning concrete is a messy process that can create strong odors when the cleaners react with the urine, and your family and pets are better off staying in your home during the cleaning. Although some products like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are not particularly hazardous to your skin, you should always protect your eyes and skin to avoid irritation.

woman cleaning the floor
Image Credit: Piqsels

Here are some of the everyday items you’ll need for the projects:

  • Water hose with a sprayer attachment
  • Water bucket
  • Scrub brush or deck brush
  • Heavy-duty disposable gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Long-sleeve shirt and pants
  • Ultraviolet lamp or flashlight
  • Paper towels
  • Chalk

If rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days, leave your garage windows and doors open while cleaning for ventilation. If you keep the doors and windows closed because of rain, the treatment process will take longer while the concrete dries.

The 4 Ways to Clean Fresh Cat Urine Out of Concrete

When you discover a pool of cat urine in your garage, you can treat the stain and remove the odor much faster than a dry accident.

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

1. Vinegar

Using vinegar is an inexpensive method for cleaning concrete, but it may take multiple applications to remove the stain, and you have to follow it up with an enzymatic cleaner. Food-grade vinegar will work for this project, but a cleaning-grade vinegar is more acidic and works faster.

First, soak up the urine with paper towels and spray the area with a high-pressure water hose to remove all traces of urine. Then, mix 2 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of hot water and pour the mixture over the stain. Gently scrub the stain with a brush and rinse with a bucket of hot water. Use a wet vac to remove the moisture and allow 24 hours for the spot to dry.


2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaner, but it takes longer to react and dry than other cleaners. However, it’s one of the cheapest ways to clean your floor if you’re patient. After removing the urine with paper towels and water, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide.

Pour the mixture over the area and allow 24 hours to dry. This method does not require scrubbing, but you may have to repeat the process for 3 to 5 days before the smell disappears.

Hydrogen Peroxide in glass and clean white cotton
Image Credit: pedphoto36pm, Shutterstock

3. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)

Trisodium phosphate is a strong chemical that requires adequate ventilation and safety gear. If you do not have windows in your garage, you can use a respirator to avoid toxic fumes. After using paper towels to soak up the urine, spray off the area with a hose. Next, mix ½ cup of TSP with a gallon of hot water and pour it on the stain.

Scrub gently with a brush and allow it to dry for 5 minutes. While the chemical is drying, you may notice the urine smell becoming more potent. That’s ok because the smell indicates the chemical is reacting to the uric acid. Next, saturate the stain with hot water and dry it with the shop vac. Repeat the rinse and dry steps two more times and allow the spot to dry overnight.


4. Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners work wonders on pet stains, but they’re a bit more expensive than the previous chemicals. After removing the excess urine with paper towels and water, mix the enzymatic cleaner according to the manufacturer’s directions and pour the solution on the stain. Scrub lightly with a brush for 10 minutes and cover the spot with a tarp to allow the solution to break down the uric acid for 24 hours. Check the area after it dried and repeat the process if any staining or smell remains.

blue Cleaning spray
Image Credit: Polina tankilevitch, Pexels

The 2 Ways to Clean Dried Cat Urine Stains From Concrete

Most stains will show up on the concrete, but you can ensure you treat the entire area by checking the spot with ultraviolet light. The stain will look bright yellow in the blacklight, and you can mark the stained zone with chalk or a large piece of string. If the stain has formed a dried crust, remove the solid material with a dull knife and sweep away the remnants. Dried-up stains take longer to treat, and you have to use one of the previous cleaners (vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, TSP, or an enzymatic cleaner) as a pre-treatment solution. After following one of the methods discussed above, you’re ready to deep clean the stain and knock out the odor permanently.

1. Enzymatic Cleaner

Follow the product’s mixing instructions to ensure you have the right proportion of water and cleaner, pour the formula over the stain. Scrub the area with a brush for ten minutes and reapply the solution if you notice it bubbling in highly stained areas. Enzymatic cleaners do not need to be rinsed after treating the stain. After covering the area with a tarp, allow it to dry for 24 hours. Check the spot for odors and staining and repeat the entire process if any odors linger.


2. Positive Ion Treatment

Positive ion cleaners are one of the newest products on the market, and they’re more expensive than the other chemicals discussed. However, positive ion chemicals have a longer shelf life than enzymatic cleaners. Unlike other methods, the positive ion kit comprises three separate solutions that you apply in steps.

First, pour the step 1 cleaner on the stain and allow it to sit for 8 hours. Next, sprinkle the step 2 powder on the area and wait 4 hours before vacuuming the solids. The step 3 treatment is another fine powder that you sprinkle on the spot and wait 4 to 6 minutes before vacuuming or sweeping. It’s unlikely that you’ll have to repeat the process, but you can check the area in the dark with a blacklight to ensure the stain is eliminated.

black light illuminating spot
Image Credit: In The Light Photography, Shutterstock

Using a Concrete Sealer

Cleaning urine stains is a lengthy process, but you can avoid a repeat occurrence by applying a concrete sealant to the floor. With a sealed surface, you’ll only have to wipe up the stain and clean it with soap and water. Sealants create an impenetrable layer on the concrete’s surface that is no longer porous. You can complete the job yourself to save money, but it’s an uphill task that often takes several days to complete. An experienced crew is less likely to make mistakes during the application, and most companies offer warranty protection for their sealant projects.

Final Thoughts

Cat urine can create a strong odor and stubborn stain when absorbed by concrete, but luckily, the cleaners we discussed are effective treatments. However, you may have to treat the stain several times if you’re using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Positive ion products and enzymatic cleaners offer quicker results, but they’re pricier than standard household products. If cat accidents are common occurrences in your garage or basement, you can seal the concrete with a durable coating that protects the structure from spills and impacts.

You might also be interested in: How to Remove Black Urine Stains from Hardwood Floors (8 Potential Methods)


Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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