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Getting Rid of Pet Urine in Carpets

Dogs Pets
Your boss asks you to stay late, you get stuck in traffic, and when you finally get home you’re smacked in the face with the smell of pet urine.   Because pet accidents happen all the time—whether you’re too late for a walk, or training a new puppy—it’s best to know how to get rid of pet urine in your carpet before you’re in full-blown panic mode.

Steps to Get Rid of Pet Urine in Your Carpet

Soak up as much urine as you can before it dries so bacteria doesn’t grow and make the odor worse. Place a combination of newspaper and paper towels over the wet area and stand on top of them. Replace with new sheets when the paper is soggy. Keep putting pressure on the paper towels or newspaper until they come up dry or the area is just slightly damp. You can rent a wet vac or an extractor from your local hardware store to make this cleanup a breeze. These machines force clean water through your carpet and push out dirty water so it can be vacuumed away. No chemicals required! But if it’s 4 a.m. and your in-laws are coming over for brunch the next day, you’ll have to use the ol’ fashioned way that requires a bit of elbow grease. However, you probably already have everything you need in your pantry. To get rid of the odor, you need to eliminate the ammonia from the urine. An acidic substance like vinegar will actually neutralize the ammonia and get rid of the smell. Adding baking soda will double the effect and absorb the odor and urine so you can vacuum it up. Here’s how you do it:
  1. Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and apply to the carpet, working the mixture deep into the fibers with a brush. Soak up the water and vinegar using the paper towel method.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the area when it’s dry.
  3. Mix ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of dish soap (i.e., Palmolive, Dawn, etc.; NOT what you use inside your dishwasher). Pour or spray this mixture on top of the baking soda.
  4. Dry the area thoroughly with paper towels. Vacuum up the baking soda, using a cleaning brush to loosen up chunks if needed.
Keep in mind that it’s a lot harder to clean urine if it’s soaked all the way down to the padding underneath your carpet, which may need to be replaced.

Stay Away From…

  • Steam cleaners: The heat will actually bond the protein from the urine into your carpet’s synthetic fibers and set the stain and odor permanently.
  • Cleaners with strong odors: Not only will these only mask the odor from your pet’s urine, but they may push your pet to mark the strange-smelling spot with his urine again.
Don’t rub your dog’s nose in the accident or use negative reinforcement. Turn this mistake into a positive sign that you need to go over your bathroom training again or schedule more walks together.

Craig Davis

Craig is a lifelong pet owner and dog advocate with a special interest in animal and human longevity. He founded Vet Organics to develop an affordable, all-natural, safe and effective ear infection remedy for his dog, Lucy, whose chronic ear problems could not be solved by the vet.

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*Results may vary based on factors such as age, size and physical condition of your pet.