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How to Get Dog Urine Smell & Stains Out of Hardwood Floors: Quick & Easy

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dog pee on wooden floor

We all love our pups, but the cute look doesn’t always cover the piddle stain on your hardwood floors. Pee stains can quickly get out of hand if it’s not taken care of right away. It’s not just the stain you have to worry about either. The smell can seep into your wood and be hard to remove.

If you are dealing with some leftover scents, this is the article for you. We have outlined some easy and effective ways to clean up the mess and remove the smell. Whether you have a new problem or you are dealing with someone else’s old mess, we have outlined the answer.

Keep scrolling below for the easy clean-up tips, plus some extra pointers on keeping your four-legged friend from claiming your hardwood floors as their potty-property.
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How to Get Dog Pee Out of Wood Floors

What to Do Right Away

When the worst (and grossest) happens, it’s important to act quickly, especially if you have hardwood floors. Wood is very porous, and liquid can seep into it in a matter of minutes. Not only that, but it can cause discoloration.

Take a look at the steps you should take right away:
  • Step One—Clean Up: The first thing to do is clean up the mess as soon as possible. Wipe the liquid with absorbent paper towels or an old towel. Make sure all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Step Two—Spray: Spray the site with a mixture of water and a small amount of dish soap.
  • Step Three—Dry Thoroughly: Wipe up the area thoroughly. Make sure all moisture is removed so it can’t seep into the wood.

How to Get New Odors Out of Wood

The above cleaning tip is great for a mistake that happens infrequently. Chances are, however, when an odor has taken hold, a reoccurring issue is at hand. In this case, you have to be more proactive to ensure the smell is gone for good.

baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup mild dish soap
  • Spray bottle
  • 2 clean cloths

Before you start, you want to spot clean an unobtrusive area of your floor. If any discoloration appears, you may want to try another procedure below.

1. Soak

First, soak up any moisture with paper towels or an old cloth. Combined water, vinegar, baking soda, and dish detergent in a spray bottle. Shake well to ensure all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

blue and pink spray bottle
Image Credit: SeKimseng, Pixabay

2. Spray

Spray area that was affected. Liberally spray any discoloration. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, then rub it in lightly with a clean cloth. Make sure you don’t use a brush or any item with bristles that could cause damage to your floor. A microfiber cloth works well, but any type of towel will do. Once you have rubbed the solution into the floor, let it sit for 15 minutes.

3. Wait & Water

After waiting 15 minutes, wet a new cloth with clean water. Ring it out until it’s damp and rinse the floor. Continue to rinse the floor until the cloth comes up clean. If the odor persists, you may need to do these steps again to fully get rid of the smell.

Male hand cleaning and rubbing an hardwood floor with a microfiber cloth.
Image Credit: Stokkete, Shutteerstock

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Removing Lingering Odors From Wood

Unfortunately, it could take a few pet piddles before you notice a smell. Although it was likely there from the first puddle, you may not have been able to smell it. If this is the case, you can try the steps below.

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Grapefruit oil
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 old and 1 new cloth or towel

1. Spot Clean

Spot clean before starting. In the spray bottle, combine one part water and one part vinegar. Add a few drops of grapefruit oil to the bottle as well to help with the smell. Before spraying, wipe up as much liquid as possible then liberally spray the floor.

close up of hand in concept hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance
Image Credit: cunaplus, Shutterstock

2. Let Spray Sit

Let the spray sit for about 15 minutes before thoroughly wiping up the solution with a clean, damp cloth. Again, you may have to make several passes before the cloth comes back clean.

3. Baking Soda

Once the area is fairly dry, sprinkle baking soda on the floor in the affected area. The baking soda will absorb any leftover moisture that could be hiding in the wood. Let the baking soda sit overnight or for at least 8 hours.

woman holding a jar of baking soda
Image Credit: Dragon Images, Shutterstock

4. Vacuum

Sweep or vacuum up the leftover baking soda. We recommend vacuuming if possible to make sure that all the soda is removed.

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Removing Old Odors From Wood

Older stains and odors can be harder to get rid of but not impossible. If you have inherited a floor that has acted as a pooch’s potty, there are some steps you can take that will have your wood floors smelling as they should.

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Grapefruit oil
  • Baking soda
  • Clean cloth
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Large towel
  • Books, rocks, or other heavy objects
Hydrogen Peroxide
Image Credit: pedphoto36pm, Shutterstock

1. Spot Test Solution

Start by adding one part water and one part vinegar to a spray bottle along with a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of grapefruit oil. Mix thoroughly and liberally spray the solution over the entire area where the odor is coming from. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Rub Mixture

Use a clean cloth to rub the cleaning mixture into the wood. Wipe up the solution with a clean cloth that has been run under warm water. At a minimum, you will have to make at least two passes to ensure all the solution is wiped up. Let the area dry.

3. Wet Towel

Lay the large towel over the portion of the wood that has the most odor coming from it. Douce the towel with hydrogen peroxide until it’s soaked. Use books, rocks, or other heavy objects to press the towel down onto the wood. The hydrogen peroxide will seep into the floor killing any odor-inducing bacteria.

Wiping Hardwood
Image Credit: FotoDuets, Shutterstock

4. Remove Towel

Leave the towel overnight to ensure the liquid is doing its job. Remove the towel in the morning and wipe the floor down with clean water.

  • Note: The hydrogen peroxide is more likely to dull or discolor your floors which can be hard to fix depending on your finish. Ensure that you have a plan in place in case of any marks as you may not see any difference during a spot test.

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Use a Cleaner to Remove Dog Urine Smell

The above at-home remedies are great for ridding odors in a natural way that will be safe for you and your pets. That doesn’t mean that store-bought cleaners are all bad, however. There are many options available that not only remove odors, but it can also get rid of stains and help keep your pup from reusing the spot.

One thing we suggest is using an enzyme-based formula to combat odors. They break down proteins in the urine that creates a foul smell. Most bacteria-based solutions are great for all organic stains and odors and often leave behind a light citrus scent. Just make sure they are also safe for hardwood floors before using them.

Our top pick for cleaning up pet messes is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

Yes, it’s our product, but we love it so much, we have to share! Not only does it permanently remove the very worst smells and stains (yes, everything you can imagine!), but we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...

See Also:

Preventing Odors From Dog Pee

One of the best ways to keep dog pee smells at bay is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Take a look at some of the prevention tips below:
  • Health Issues: If urinating on the floor is a new occurrence for your pet, you should have them checked out by a vet. Many times, peeing in the house can be a health issue, though it may not be serious. Regardless, you should have them checked out by a professional to rule out anything serious.
  • Frequent Bathroom Breaks: If nothing health-related is at the cause, your pooch likely needs more frequent bathroom breaks. Try adding one or two more outings to see if it eases the issue.
  • Water Intake: Dogs should have easy access to water throughout the day, but you can pick it up overnight. If you find the accidents happening while everyone is asleep, allow your dog a drink before picking up the bowl. Also, be sure to take them out before going to sleep.
  • Pee Pads: Chances are you’re dealing with a puppy who hasn’t quite got the “going out” procedure. A quick fix to help you and your wood floors is pee pads. You can pick them up at any pet store, and they will absorb any liquid that “accidentally” ends up on your hardwood.
  • Crate Training: Crate training is another way to keep your floors clean. This is easily done when they are puppies, but even older dogs can be create-trained. Dogs won’t use the bathroom inside their crate, though you want to make sure you have a crate that is the right size.
  • Spot Sprays: Another option is to use a spray that will keep your pet away from specific areas. This is helpful for pets that continue to go in the same spot. The deterrent spray will keep them away from the area.

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Having a dog in the family doesn’t mean you can’t have nice floors. There is no need to deal with smells or odors either. Taking advantage of the tips above will help you rid your home of any unpleasant smells while also keep you and your pooch happy.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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