How to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet

You love your dog, but they’ve peed in the house. Now you want to know how to get dog pee out of carpet.

We’ve got you covered. Established in 1900, Fuzzy Wuzzy is Seattle’s oldest and most trusted cleaners of rugs, carpets and all household surfaces. When it comes to dog urine stains and smells, we’re the experts.

In this guide, we will cover the following topics:
(Click to jump to section)

how to get dog pee out of carpet

Why Did Your Dog Pee on the Carpet?

Before we address how to clean dog urine, stains and smells, it’s important to identify why your dog is peeing on the carpet in the first place. Prevention is key and can save you and your family down the line.

You may have waited too long to let the dog out. The dog may be sick and in need of medical care. Maybe the dog was nervous or stressed and had an accident. Or perhaps your dog is a puppy still getting the hang of house breaking.

A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times greater than a human’s, and they use that incredible trait in many ways. Dogs can smell the odor of urine, whether that’s another dog in the park or their own in the house. That smell may draw a dog back to the same spot, signaling to them that that’s where they go pee.

This behavior is common in puppies and older dogs that can no longer hold it like they used to. If you notice that your dog is returning to the same spot over and over, it’s time for a professional cleaning — even if you think the area is already cleaned.

Removing Dog Urine

Now that you have a better understanding of why your dog is acting out, let’s look at how you get dog pee out of carpet.

First, it’s important to clean up dog urine the moment that you notice it. Fresher stains are easier to treat and get rid of, and no matter how inconvenient it may be at the time, sooner is always better than later.

After you notice the urine:

  1. Sop up as much of the urine as you can. Many dog owners use a combination of paper towels, rags, newspapers, magazines or a large, old book. Layer the paper towels and materials on the urine, making sure that the paper towels are large enough to block the magazine or newspaper from contacting the carpet directly. Apply pressure to soak up as much liquid as possible.
  2. Rinse the urine spot with clean water. Use more paper towels to soak up the rinsed water.
  3. Spray the affected urine spot with vinegar. Vinegar is very acidic and has a pH of about 2.4. That acidity means that vinegar is a natural antibacterial cleaner, as well as being antimicrobial and antiseptic and will kill mold. Vinegar, is cheap, pet safe, eco-friendly, and can loosen and lift dirt from your carpets.
  4. Pour baking soda over the vinegar mixture. The mixture will foam on contact. Cover with a paper towel for 24 hours, then rinse well and dry.

You can also use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the pet urine. These are available at most pet stores, and have many terrific benefits. Read the warnings carefully before applying to your carpet.

Removing Dog Urine Stains

Your dog has peed on your carpet and an ugly stain has set in. Now you’re wondering: How do I get old dog urine stains out of the carpet?

If money is not a consideration, you can purchase a commercial-grade pet stain remover at the store. These contain powerful enzymes that attack the stain. You could also rent or buy a carpet cleaning machine and clean the stain yourself.

There are two other good, do-it-yourself options: dish soap or vinegar/baking soda/peroxide.

Dish Soap

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup warm water. Stir until the mixture becomes sudsy.
  2. Pour the soapy water onto the stain. The stain should be soaked.
  3. Blot the area dry with a paper towel. Remove as much liquid as possible, vacuuming if necessary.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you are pleased with the results.

Vinegar, Baking Soda & Peroxide

  1. Mix one part vinegar with one part water.
  2. Blot the urine stain with a rag that is soaked with the vinegar solution. Press firmly to work deep into the stain.
  3. Pour part of the vinegar solution directly onto the stain.
  4. Scrub the solution using a scrub brush or toothbrush.
  5. Blot the stain with a paper towel until dry.
  6. Apply baking soda to the stain, leaving a thin layer over it.
  7. Mix 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon dish soap. Stir thoroughly.
  8. Pour some of the peroxide solution onto the stain and scrub with a brush.
  9. Dry the stained area. Try to leave as little solution as possible.

Use a Black Light to Find Stains

Urine stains may smell bad, but they are not always obvious to the naked eye, especially on dark carpets. But under ultraviolet light (black light), those dried urine crystals are easy to see. Here’s how to find those spots:

  1. First vacuum your carpet to remove all lint, pet fur and dirt.
  2. Then turn off the lights, close the shades and get the room as dark as possible.
  3. Put on safety goggles to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light.
  4. Scan the carpet with the black light 1-2 feet above the floor. Urine stains will be dull in color and appear green or brownish yellow.
  5. Use the smell test (yes, the smell test) to confirm that the stain is dog urine.
  6. Stick a piece of tape in the center of the stain to mark it.

If none of the above methods make a difference, it’s likely time to call a professional carpet cleaning company. These companies use a technique called hot water extraction (steam cleaning) to break down stains and dirt.

Removing Dog Urine Smells

If your whole house smells like dog urine, you will almost definitely need a professional cleaning service. Do-it-yourself methods are fine for small areas, but when an entire house is affected, it’s time for a professional.

If you’re not interested in using a professional carpet cleaner, here are a couple DIY methods on how to get dog urine smell out of carpet:

Corn Starch

  1. Apply a generous amount of cornstarch directly to the stain. Cover the entire area.
  2. Let the cornstarch sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse the stain with water.
  4. Dry the stained area with a cloth or paper towel. Press firmly to absorb all the water.

Baking Soda

  1. Combine baking soda and water in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the baking soda paste to the stained area. Use gloves to avoid the urine.
  3. Pour distilled vinegar to the area, covering the stain.
  4. Press firmly to blot up the liquid.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 as needed.

Carpet Cleaner Rental

These rentals typically cost about $30 a day, and you can rent the machines from most large retailers (Walmart, Home Depot, etc.). But if you’re really looking for the best carpet cleaner for old pet urine, it’s best to contact a professional service.

If you are renting a machine, will also need to purchase a cleaning solution to treat the pet stain/smell, which costs about $20 per bottle. Make sure you find out in advance if the solution you buy can remove dog urine smells.

Most people rent a carpet cleaner for a day, and make the cleanup process a weekend project. These portable machines aren’t small, and it will take several hours for you to clean a large sized area (or less time for minor dog pee smell). You must also factor in drying time.

The effectiveness of these methods varies. Learning how to get dog pee smell out of carpet can be a difficult and frustrating process. Persistence and correcting your dog’s behavior is the key.

How to Stop Dog from Peeing on Carpet

Obviously the best way to stop your dog from peeing on your carpet is to train it to urinate outdoors. But in the meantime, there are commercial repellents and home remedies that can deter your dog from peeing indoors.

Make sure that you test your solution on a small, out-of-the-way area before applying.

Commercial Repellents

These items are available in spray form and contain chemicals or natural compounds that discourage dogs from peeing in a spot. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses, and the smell of something that make a dog avoid an area.

Cayenne Pepper Spray

Mix one part cayenne pepper with 10 parts water and apply the spray to the area. Do not go overboard with the pepper — it can hurt your dog’s nose.

Essential Oils

Mix a few drops of cinnamon, eucalyptus or sour apple essential oil with water and apply near the stain.

Vinegar & Lime Juice

Soak cotton balls in vinegar and place near the area you’d like your dog to avoid. If that smell is too powerful for you, mix with lemon or lime juice and spray it on.

Other Potential Remedies

  • Mustard Oil
  • Chili Powder
  • Ammonia Scent
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus Scents

Side Effects of Dog Urine

Many people rightly have concerns about dog urine and it’s effects. We’re here to answer some of the most common questions regarding this potentially dangerous problem.

Why does dog urine smell like ammonia?

Dog urine is made up of a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones and uric acid. As urine breaks down — in your carpets, for example — the ammonia concentration increases and sulfur-containing chemical substances known as thiols or mercaptans are produced.

Mercaptans in the air, even at low concentrations, are noticeable and pungent.

Is dog urine harmful to humans?

Like any animal or human waste, dog urine carries bacteria that could cause illness. Some domestic dogs have Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection caused by several closely related bacterial strains. This bacteria is found all over the world, and most prevalent in warm, humid climates. Infected dogs may pass the infection to humans, which can cause kidney or liver disease.

Besides a bacterial infection, dog urine odors are often problematic for everyone in the home. Those with a healthy immune system may suffer watery eyes, allergies and inflammation of the lungs. More vulnerable groups (young children, elderly, etc.) may suffer more serious side effects.

Veterinarians recommend that dog owners clean up all urine as soon as possible and wear disposable gloves while doing so.

Can dog urine cause mold?

While one or two pet urine incidents are no cause for concern, a pattern of behavior over weeks or months can cause the urine to soak through the carpet and into the padding. That urine attracts moisture, and over time, mold will begin to grow under the carpet.

There are many different mold varieties, but the most common types associated with pet urine are penicillium (can cause respiratory symptoms) and aspergillus (can cause long-term lung problems).

What if the dog urine soaked into the hardwood floor?

If dog urine has soaked through the carpet, through the carpet padding and onto hardwood flooring, you are likely in for a massive headache. Over time, that subfloor becomes more and more saturated with the urine and will begin to rot. Fixing the problem may require that you remove the carpet and replace sections of the hardwood underneath.

About Fuzzy Wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere cleaners of area rugs, carpets, furniture, hardwood floors, air ducts, stone and tile, and more. Our knowledge, experience and resources make us the go-to source for residential and commercial cleaning.

Don’t take our word for it. Since 1900, Fuzzy Wuzzy has provided excellent service and to customers in Seattle and across western Washington. Click here to see why so many choose us to clean their carpets, rugs and more.

If you have any questions about how we can help you with your cleaning needs, contact us online or give us a call at 206-525-0058. Or stop by one of our eight Puget Sound locations during business hours.

4 thoughts on “How to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet”

  1. I like that you mentioned how you can remove the smell of dog urine from your carpet with a carpet cleaner. I am in the process of house-training my new puppy, and she tends to have a few accidents on occasion, but I want to make sure that the carpet isn’t damaged if I clean it incorrectly. It may be a good idea for me to hire a carpet cleaning service who has the right equipment needed for the job.

  2. I’ve recently read that you should use cold water only and not steam to clean urine issues. I’ve already made the mistake of using steam by hiring professionals and also using a Bissell rug cleaner. Now I’m dealing with stronger odors and how to get rid of them. Still learning as I go but wish I had known this several years ago.

  3. How do I know if the urine has seeped through the carpet pad and onto the hard flooring underneath, without tearing out the carpet? Thanks!

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