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How to Clean Pet Urine and Neutralize Odor

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Behavior,Dog TrainingDoggySpace on July 23rd, 2010

Whether your pet has a problem with indoor accidents or is simply trying to mark his territory, cleaning up pet urine is imperative to preventing recurrences. Your pet enjoys a particularly strong sense of smell and can easily identify areas where it has urinated in the past. If you have other pets, the smell of the urine may cause them to urinate in the same spot – even if they typically only urinate outdoors. Thus, when cleaning up pet stains, you must clean the stain thoroughly enough to neutralize the smell to both humans and animals.

Step One: Blot Away the Urine Stain

As soon as your pet urinates on the floor, blot up as much of the stain as you can with a towel or dishcloth. Terrycloth is perfect for this job. Your goal is to clean away as much of the urine as possible before it has an opportunity to soak into your carpet’s padding and dry there.

After you’ve soaked up as much of the urine as you can with a towel, use a thin, absorbent material, such as a paper towel or napkin, to absorb any remaining pet urine. Place the paper towel or napkin over the stain and press down as hard as you can. You can even stand on the spot to ensure that you’re applying adequate pressure. Do not stop blotting until the spot appears completely dry.

Step Two: Dilute the Remaining Pet Urine

Pour club soda liberally over the pet urine stain, giving it a few seconds to soak in. Club soda dilutes pet urine both beneath your carpet and on the carpet’s surface, making it less likely to give off a noticeable smell. While club soda is ideal for this, you can also use plain water or equal parts water and white vinegar.

After the club soda has a chance to soak into the carpet, blot it away using towels and paper towels in the exact same manner that you cleaned up the initial pet stain.

Step Three: Neutralize Pet Urine Smells

Once you’ve cleaned up the pet stain and diluted the remaining urine within your carpet, you can further combat the smell using baking soda. Pour baking soda over the spot where your pet’s accident occurred. Press the baking soda into the carpet using even pressure. This can be done by stepping on the pile of baking soda several times or placing a heavy object over the spot. Let the baking soda sit on the pet stain for at least one hour before vacuuming it away. The baking soda will pull any moisture you may have missed out of the carpet while also combating the unpleasant odor of pet urine.

Step Four: De-grease the Pet Stain

Even if you begin cleaning your pet’s urine stain as soon as the accident occurs, the ammonia in an animal’s urine gives it a greasy texture that allows it to rapidly adhere to fabrics such as carpeting. The end result is that neutralizing the urine may not remove the stain. Standard carpet cleaning sprays may also be ineffective at preventing a permanent pet urine stain on your carpet. Household degreasers, however, are perfect for this job.

Spray a household degreasing product, such as Greased Lightning, directly onto the pet stain. Use a warm, wet cloth to work the degreaser into the stain, wiping vigorously. Keep a bowl of water next to you throughout the process since you’ll want to rinse the cloth out frequently. If you have concerns about degreaser staining your carpet, test it out on an out of the way area of carpeting before applying it to the pet urine stain.

Step Five: Prevent the Smell of Pet Urine

While club soda and baking soda work wonders for neutralizing pet urine odor, you can opt for additional odor prevention by purchasing one of the many specialty products available for neutralizing the smell of pet urine on carpets. Call your veterinarian for a recommendation before making a purchase, as some products work better than others.

The best cure for pet urine stains is prevention. Consider installing a doggie door or taking your dog for more frequent walks if indoor urination becomes a problem. If you have a cat that urinates on the carpet, clean its litter box more frequently. Your cat’s definition of a full litter box and yours may vary! You can also provide your cat with more than one litter box to encourage it to use the litter box rather than your carpet. Should occasional accidents still occur, however, prompt cleanup ensures that your carpet will remain pristine and pet urine odors don’t become a problem.

Photo by jaimieo

2 Comments

  1. These methods truly help neutralize odor and remove stains. My little chihuahua enjoys marking his territory around the house! Now, he won’t be able to sniff out where he went last!

    Comment by Unnamed — August 18, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  2. Especially the degreaser!

    Comment by Unnamed — August 18, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

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