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How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpet (Quick & Easy)

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

dog peed on the carpet

It is bound to happen sometime – every dog will have an accident at least once in their lifetime. If you have carpet, this will leave you with the overwhelming task of removing the pee smell (and stain) out of the carpet or rug.

Luckily, with the right technique and gear, you can easily remove the smell from your carpet. We’ll discuss everything you need to know in this article, including the best products to help you tackle this smelly situation.Divider 1

How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpet

1. Remove as Much Liquid as Possible

If the spot is still damp, you should start by removing as much of the urine as possible. This will prevent it from drying and making it even smellier. You won’t be able to remove all of it, but every little bit counts.

Grab a towel or another absorbent cloth and dab the area. Don’t rub, as this will only spread it. We recommend wearing gloves for this part. The urine will likely soak through the towel, and you don’t want that all over your hands!

Also, use a towel you don’t mind ruining, as you may very well not be able to clean the towel afterward.

Press the towel down as firmly as possible to soak up as much as you can. This will make the next steps far easier.

puppy pee indoor
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Consider Using a Black Light

If the stain is older or you can’t find it, we recommend using a black light to locate the stain’s source. Black lights are surprisingly inexpensive and relatively easy to use. You can skip this step if you already know where the stain is – though you may want to consider using a black light anyway if you suspect there are stains you don’t know about.

In situations where you aren’t entirely sure where the stain begins and ends, a black light can also be helpful. This is most useful in situations where the pee was on the carpet and something else. It can be challenging to determine where precisely the urine landed on the carpet. Using a black light can ensure you get the whole stain removed.

You can find UV flashlights on nearly any large online store, as well as at some pet stores. Most department stores have black lights as well.

Using a Black Light

If you’ve decided to go ahead and use a black light to help during the clean-up process, there are a few vital points to keep in mind while using it. A black-light is relatively straightforward to use, but there are a few things that are important to discuss.

  • Vacuum the Area. You’ll need to vacuum the area before using the light. Some common debris can be illuminated underneath a black light, which can give you false-positives. For example, dog fur is often illuminated, so the area will need to be dog fur-free.
  • Darken the Room. Turn off the lights and close any curtains. You may need to wait for nighttime for apparent reasons. It can be hard to detect the color changes under the light if the sun is trickling through the window.
  • Use the UV Flashlight. Now, you can begin using the flashlight. Be sure to check the furniture and underneath chair legs. Urine can end up in strange places.
  • Check for Stains. Stains will be yellowish or greenish. They may not be very bright, but any slight color change is a positive indication. Be sure to mark the stains, or you may have trouble finding them after turning the lights back on.

3. Use an Enzyme Pet Urine Remover

person cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

You can’t use just any cleaning product to obliterate pet stains. Instead, you’ll need to use an enzyme pet urine remover. This stuff is more potent than most urine removers and uses enzymes to break down the smell and remove the stain. Usually, you’ll only need to use these sorts of cleaners once – they’re that powerful.

There are plenty of different pet urine removers on the market. Each may work in a slightly different way. However, they are all pretty similar. You can find our favorite enzyme cleaning products to remove dog urine here. These urine removers can often be used on everything from carpets to upholstery, so they should be perfect for removing smelly stains from your home.

4. Make Your Cleaner

Instead of using an enzymatic pet urine cleaner, you can use standard products you likely have lying around your house to make your own. These may not be as effective as a commercial cleaner. However, they may work in some situations, especially if you don’t have time to run out and purchase a new cleaner.

An effective cleaning solution can be made out of a cup of white vinegar and      2 cups of hot water. Put the mixture into a water bottle and spray it on the stain. Be sure to spray it before it cools down, as it won’t be as effective unless it is hot. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of essential oil to drown it out a bit. Lavender and rosemary are both familiar scents that can be added in this way.

If the stain is dry, we recommend sprinkling it with baking soda and vacuuming it up before using the vinegar-water mixture. You’d be surprised by the odor-fighting powers of baking soda.

After you have used baking soda, spray the vinegar mixture onto the stain and soak it up. You may have to do this a few times to eradicate the stain. However, it is useful in many cases.

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

5. Other Effective Cleaning Solutions

There are a few other effective cleaning solutions you may decide to use as well. Many of these are natural options to the vinegar-water mixture. If you need something a bit stronger, one of these mixtures may work.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a stain-fighting substance that can be used to clean up dog urine. We do not recommend using straight hydrogen peroxide. Instead, you’ll need to make a mixture for the highest effective cleaning rate.

While hydrogen peroxide is exceptionally safe, it becomes a bit more dangerous when mixed with vinegar. For this reason, you’ll need to wear gloves and ventilate the area. You’ll also want your pets and children to be elsewhere while you’re cleaning.

Mix ⅔ cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp of vinegar, 1 tsp of baking soda, and ½ tsp of dish soap. Put this mixture into a spray bottle and give it a shake. This will create a cleaning substance comparable to some commercial mixtures, so use the same level of caution you would when cleaning with bleach.

Let the mixture sit and dry for a few hours. Then, vacuum it away. You should keep pets and children away from the area while it dries.

  • Vodka

Strangely enough, you can also use vodka to clean up pet urine stains and remove the smell. Vodka contains a high alcohol level, which acts as a natural disinfectant and effectively removes smelly odors.

Add vodka to a spray bottle and then spray it over the spot you’re cleaning. You can dilute it with half water to make it last longer if you choose. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before you blot it up. To remove the remaining moisture, sprinkle the area with baking soda and then vacuum it up when it is dry.

Be careful not to get the vodka on wood or other finishings, as it can damage them. It is entirely harmless on the carpet, however.

Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

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How to Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out of Carpet

Many of these methods will work for old, dried dog pee as well. Vinegar, in particular, is good at removing dried dog pee, especially when mixed with water. Any mixture on this list will likely produce good results. The key is to rehydrate the pee, which will then make it easier to remove. Many cleaning solutions contain water and will therefore rehydrate it. You rarely need to do anything specific when it comes to dried dog pee.

If you decide to go for a commercial dog pee cleaner, then you should check the product’s description and uses to see if it is appropriate for dried dog urine. You may even be able to find a product specifically for your situation.

Even though it is not wet, dried dog pee can cause a fairly strong odor. It is essential to remove all of it if you wish to remove the odor from your home. When the pee is rehydrated, it will likely smell worse, so prepare for the odor to get worse before it gets better.Divider 5

Which Method Is Best for Removing Uring Smells?

Which method works best for you will depend mainly on what you have around. If you have time to purchase a cleaner, then that may be your best option. For example, if you’re getting a new puppy and merely preparing for the inevitability, we recommend purchasing a cleaner now, so you have it on hand.

If you find yourself stuck without any cleaner, you can use one of the homemade methods. Although, not everyone has hydrogen peroxide or vodka on standby.

Luckily, all of these methods are pretty effective, so you should be in luck no matter which one you choose.

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Featured image credit: Olimpik, Shutterstock

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