Pet accidents are inevitable, whether you have a new puppy who is in the process of being house trained or your already house-trained dog has an accident while you’re away. When pet accidents occur, it can leave your home with unsightly stains, not to mention a pungent smell, especially if your home has carpeting, which can be both embarrassing and frustrating. If the stain is left untreated, it can also create the perfect environment for bacteria growth, which can be harmful to your health. However, if you’re like most pet owners, you are at a loss when it comes to how to effectively remove dog urine from your carpet.
There are various ways to remove urine odor from your carpet. In fact, the next time your pet has an accident, or to remove pet stains and odors that have already set, use the following steps to help restore your home back to a sanitary, odor-free environment.
How to Remove fresh Pet Urine Stains from Carpet
Luckily for you, if the urine stain is fresh, meaning the spot is still wet, then it will be much easier to remove the urine before it sets in and becomes odorous.
Use Paper Towels or a Thick Cloth to Blot Fresh Urine
To remove a fresh urine spot, liberally pile a stack of paper towels over the accident, or if you have a thick cloth, use that.
With the paper towels or cloth placed over the spot, firmly press down on it to sop up the liquid. Continue this process, using fresh towels if needed, until the spot is nearly dry.
Rinse the Spot with Water
Once the urine has been mostly removed, next rinse the area with fresh, cool water to help dilute any remaining urine, and then gently blot the area with paper towels or cloth until it is dry.
Follow up with a Pet Odor Neutralizer
After thoroughly rinsing and drying the area, follow up with a good, pet odor neutralizer available at the store to help counteract any remaining odor in the carpet that may cause your home to smell later.
Pet odor neutralizer contains active enzymes that effectively remove pet urine stains and odors from carpet. These active enzymes are natural proteins that connect themselves to the molecules that produce the bacteria that causes the pungent odor and accelerates their breakdown.
Store-bought pet odor neutralizer products do not require rinsing, and they are also not harmful to pets, provided you select a product that is free of ammonia, chlorine, and sodium lauryl sulfate. However, some products may take as long as two weeks to absorb the stain and odor completely. It is also not uncommon during this time for the odor to worsen before it finally improves, so be aware.
Also, when purchasing a pet odor neutralizer product from the store, be sure to select one that is compatible with your carpet type in order to avoid damaging the floor.
Or, for a more natural solution, try using baking soda to help prevent the smell of urine in your carpet. Baking soda has a high pH, which makes it effective for neutralizing various odors, including dog urine. And, since it is all-natural, there is little chance it will ruin your carpet like harsh chemicals, which can fade the carpet fibers and cause further discoloration.
To neutralize the spot, you will need to thoroughly combine one-half cup of baking soda with one cup of water.
Slowly apply the solution onto the spot, using a fine mist spray bottle, and then allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes, or overnight, to absorb deep into the carpet layers where the urine has most likely traveled down and soaked into the padding.
After the solution has been able to deeply penetrate the carpet, use another layer of paper towels to blot up the solution, and then follow up with a vacuum to remove any remaining baking soda residue along with any odor-causing bacteria that may have been left behind.
You could also shake a bit of baking soda onto the spot and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, or overnight, to absorb any odor, then vacuum the area to remove the baking soda residue.
Repeat the steps until the odor is completely dissolved.
Though vinegar is also a natural odor neutralizer, The Humane Society recommends not using it to treat pet stains on your carpet as it has a strong odor, which may actually encourage your pet to urinate again in that area.
Use a Carpet Deodorizer That Includes Baking Soda
There are various carpet deodorizer powders available in the store that include baking soda as an ingredient. Therefore, instead of just using plain baking soda to neutralize the odors in your carpet, you could opt for a store-bought carpet deodorizer powder in its place, and some also include added scents to freshen your space further. Various odor-neutralizing sprays work to eliminate odors in the air, which can be used in conjunction with the carpet deodorizer for added power.
How to Remove Set-In Pet Urine Odors from Carpet
Unfortunately, once the urine stain has sat a while, it can penetrate deep into the carpet fibers as well as into the padding where it can be difficult to remove on your own; therefore, you may require professional help to restore your carpet. However, before hiring a professional carpet specialist, first, try the following steps to see if they help.
Use a Commercial Carpet Stain Remover
If you find that the carpet still looks stained and wreaks of urine even after taking the proper steps to clean it, try using a commercial carpet stain remover to address the stain. However, be sure to select a stain remover that is specially formulated for your type of carpet, as using the wrong product can damage your carpet.
Use a Wet VAC or Rent a Carpet Cleaner
To remove embedded pet urine stains, you could also try thoroughly cleaning the area using a carpet cleaner, such as a small wet-vac, which is designed to remove tough stains and bacteria from the carpet using a high-powered vacuum that forces water into the carpet and then removes the dirty fluid with powerful suction. However, steer clear of using a steam cleaner to remove the stain as the heat can permanently set the stain as well as the odor into the fibers of the carpet, especially if it is synthetic carpet.
Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company
If after trying everything, the urine odor still persists, you may consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to successfully remove the stain.
Professional carpet cleaners have extensive knowledge in various modes of stain removal, including pet urine stains, to restore your carpet to like-new condition. They also have the right cleaning solutions and spot treatments to safely treat your specific type of carpet to prevent damage.
Successfully treating tough, embedded stains in your carpet also requires the right equipment, which professional carpet cleaners use. Though most store-bought and rental carpet cleaners are good for removing surface layer stains, they are just not powerful enough to tackle deep, embedded odors and stains that plague your carpet. Professional carpet cleaners also utilize professional-strength sanitizing and deodorizing solutions to prevent bacteria growth and odors further.
If your carpet is seriously stained, you may even need to replace the carpet in that area to remove the odor. However, once the carpet and padding have been taken up, it is possible to apply an oil-based stain blocker to the floor to help protect against future stains.
You might also consider adding a carpet protector to your carpet, especially if your carpet is more than 3 years old, which will help repel stains and odors caused by pets and more. Most newer carpets already come with their own carpet protection, so check with your manufacturer to see if your carpet has already been treated.
Carpet protection can be added yourself, or consult your professional carpet cleaner about their professional carpet protection services.
More Tips for Getting Pet Urine Odor out of Your Carpet
If you notice a urine odor coming from your carpet but see no signs of a stain, it’s possible that it’s an old urine stain that has gone unnoticed because it has dried practically clear, or the stain could be in an unnoticeable spot. Therefore, you’ll need to do some serious investigating to locate the stain, and then remove it accordingly to address your odor issue.
Furthermore, when using chemical-based products, it’s important to perform a patch test on the carpet, somewhere in an area that is out of sight, to see if it will negatively affect the carpet. Once the product tests suitable for the carpet, then add the cleaner to the spot, preferably in the same ratio as the odorous liquid to ensure it soaks deep into the stain. Once the carpet has been thoroughly treated, and the stain has been removed, you could position a fan in the area to allow it to dry.
Lastly, if the accident occurred on a small rug, then try putting the rug in the washer to remove the stain, unless the instructions on the rug state otherwise. You can also add a bit of baking soda to the wash to add extra deodorizing to the rug.