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Removing Urine Odors from Carpet

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Dog laying on beige carpet next to a vacuum

Urine odors in carpets can be difficult to remove. With the proper method you can get your carpets looking and smelling just like new. This is a guide about removing urine odors from carpet.


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Solutions: Removing Urine Odors from Carpet

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Peroxide and Ammonia Cleaner

This cleaner is cheap and works wonders. The recipe was given to me by my daughter years ago.

  • one cup peroxide
  • 2 Tbsp ammonia
  • 1 spray bottle

I mix this up in larger amounts. I usually use at least 3 cups of peroxide and 6 Tbsp of ammonia. I have yet to find a carpet stain that it will not remove. Some spots just disappear before your eyes. Others need to be blotted with white paper towels or a white cloth. If it is a terrible stain, the paper towels may need to be weighted down overnight.

Being the owner of four cats, I keep it mixed up all the time and I would put it up against the most expensive cleaner you can buy commercially. I have also used it on spots on upholstery as well as spots on the walls. It is a multipurpose cleaner for me.

By Dink from Louisville, TN

Tip: Use Salt To Absorb Urine Accidents

If you're potty training your child or even a pet and they have an accident, immediately pour salt over the top. Watch the spot when you can see moisture on top of the pile of salt. Continue to add more salt until it remains dry on top. Leave for 10 minutes then vacuum up the salt. This draws all the moisture out of the carpet and eliminates any odor. Works great, I've used it many many times!

Source: I learned it from my Grandma

By Tiffanie from Tooele, UT

Tip: White Vinegar For Carpet Cleaning

I have a Bissell Shampoo machine, bought especially because I had 2 older dogs, that once in a while peed on my carpet. To make a long story short, I tried everything everyone suggested and happened upon a good one. Someone here on Thrifty Fun suggested white vinegar and I tried it.

Remember you have to get through the pad or it won't do any good, so do small areas. Keep going over it until the liquid is all picked up. I put about l/4 cup of white vinegar to the gallon water container in shampooer, and put the regular shampoo in the dispenser on the shampooer. I let dry for at least 2 days then put dry baking soda on the spot, and left it there until the next time I vacuum.

This took the odor out and cleaned carpet, too. Hope it does as well for whoever tries it. Remember sometimes it takes 2 times to get to the floor below the carpet and the carpet pad. If you leave it too wet, it will sour, and you have another odor to contend with.

Sometimes now when one pees, I pour the vinegar water immediately on a spot. Then I just suck up all the liquid, and let dry. It is less work, and takes care of the problem.

Source: Thrifty Fun Hints

By gbk from south GA

Tip: Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Pet Urine Odor

Many years ago a vet tech suggested using hydrogen peroxide to remove pet odors from carpet, rather than buying the all too expensive store bought cleaners. I gave it a try and have been hooked ever since. Test an area of the carpeting/upholstery first, then soak the area you're treating with peroxide. Let it dry completely. The odor won't disappear until it is completely dry so don't be impatient, give it time. If it's a stubborn/very strong odor, you may need to repeat the process, but when you're done, the odor will be completely gone and you will have saved a lot of $$.

    By kittkat [4]

    Tip: Listerine For Pet Odors

    This is how I get rid of pet urine odors. I have a lot of cats, when one pees on the carpet, the other ones do it in the same spot. I spray Listerene mouth wash on the area and the smell goes away. I've tried everything, this really works. Every morning, I lightly spray over my carpets and cloth furniture and it also makes the house smell fresh.

    By Melissa from Blytheville, AR

    Tip: Douche for Pet Stain Odor

    To remove dog/cat urine from carpets, use Masingill's Vinegar and Water Douche. Pour solution on the spot and with a towel using a circular motion (wrap towel around your fist, place fist on spot as if to punch and twist) continue doing this until liquid is dried up and the odor will be gone. My aunt had 5 pesky little wiener dogs who had weak bladders, her home never smelled bad.

    By Teresa from Boulder City, NV

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    Here are questions related to Removing Urine Odors from Carpet.

    Question: Carpet Cleaner Product for Urine Odors

    Is there a product I can use in my carpet cleaner to remove urine odor?

    Lisa from Long Island, NY


    Best Answers

    By Nan Corpe [6]12/21/2008

    Before I put down wood floors, I used a little Woolite with a bit of Clorox 2 and some white vinegar. That usually cleaned the rug very well, didn't remove the color, and got rid of any bad smells.
    After my dog got sick and had diarrhea and vomiting both at once all over the carpet, I took them all up and replaced the floors with oak. Much better! Better to replace the floor than my precious dog. Since I live in FL, I probably should have put down ceramic tile instead of wood, but wood works fine for now.

    Best Answers

    By Cheryl [13]12/20/2008

    I have tried alot of the neutralizers from pet stores without getting good results. What I have found that works very well & cheaply is to use Tide or Gain liquid detergent mixed with water, at least a 50/50 or stronger mix, pour over stain area, scrub in , cover with towels and let dry. You may want to test a spot to make sure it doesn't discolor your carpet. I have burgundy frieze carpet & it didn't change colors. I'd much rather smell Tide or Gain than urine!

    Best Answers

    By Wanda (Guest Post)12/17/2008

    I use a few different treatments which work well. Sprinkling stain with dry washing powder with enzymes works well to remove the scent to help prevent attracting animals to re-offend. Also some spray fabric deodorizers such as Fabreeze can help too. Bi-carb of soda is a cheap & effective treatment to absorb urine odours. Sometimes it takes a few treatments to completely remove odour & do test on a hidden patch of carpet first to check carpet colour fastness.

    Question: Removing Pet Urine from Carpet

    I made my own solution to spray areas where there have been accidents, but without luck when the humidity goes up. It (the smell) just hits you in the face as soon as you come in the door. I have used my carpet cleaner with pet solution by the gallons and still no results.

    By Maggie T.

    Question: Best Cleaner for Dog Urine Odor

    I have a 4 year old dog that is constantly wetting on the floor in my bedroom. I can't stand the smell. I have used the Bissell cleaner solution for pets, but still have the same odor. Could someone please tell me the best, least expensive solution to my problem?

    By TammySue from Bladenboro, NC


    Most Recent Answer

    By wandalyn [1]01/05/2011

    I found out Kid n Pet sold at walmart for right under $5 works great for dog urine ofor and stain. Just squirt it on the spot and rub with damp cloth. I then use my little green carpet cleaner with the solution in the cleaner. Nice, clean and refreshing. Little dog can't find that spot to redo.

    Question: Urine Smell On Expensive Rug

    My brother's incontinent dog has urinated on 3 of our rugs (that I know of). The smell in the house was terrible. Two of the rugs will probably be tossed out but one is a fairly expensive item. Any suggestions on how to clean the rug and get rid of the smell?


    Most Recent Answer

    By Zuni03/13/2007

    Try making a solution of "No Rinse Body Bath", flip that rug over and spray the stained areas. Wait a day, and see if need more. If there is any strange odor still the do solution of No Rinse with food grade or technical grade hydrogen peroxide. Drugstore version might have unlisted chemicals that might affect this expensive rug. i have used this mix for years with execellent outcome

    Question: Removing Pet Urine Odor from Carpet

    I recently moved into a new place. The previous tenants didn't clean up after their dogs. I have a 9 month old and am pregnant. So I don't have very much I can spend and I'm limited on what I can use to clean with due to this being a high risk pregnancy. This smells really bad of ammonia and pee. I've tried pet carpet shampoos and other things. I've cleaned the carpet so many times I lost count. How do I get of this smell?

    By Ashley V.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Danny Arnold12/10/2014

    Our regular baking soda and the vinegar is the best solution to remove the stain and odor from the carpet.

    Question: Removing Dog Urine Odor from Carpet

    I had an older dog with a weak bladder and a Shepherd puppy that after 4 months I had to return to the shelter because she would not pee outside. I've tried the vinegar and water mixture. I even let it set for an hour before suctioning it up with carpet cleaner machine. I have tried baking soda, carpet fresheners, Febreze, Lysol, plain hot water, plain cold water, and carpet shampooing products for pet urine. My house still smells like dog urine. Please help! I won't even allow company over I'm on a very tight budget and completely desperate to get rid of the smell.

    By ST from Luther, OK

    Most Recent Answer

    By mego05/25/2015

    After rescuing a very sick dog and her litter of puppies, we had some odor problems. This is what I used:

    1. Hoover carpet cleaning machine (buy it. you need it for long enough it isn't worth renting one.)
    2. Hot water.
    3. Time.
    4. Enzyme cleaner (optional)

    Fill the machine with hot water. Wet a three by three foot or so area. Let sit for 15 minutes. Run the machine over it over and over again flushing large amounts of water through until it appears the area is clean (water that is sucked up isn't foaming or yellow, no fresh odors float out.) Repeat in the next 3 x 3 area. Return to the original area to clean up what has "wicked" up in the interim. Repeat again and again and again. It will take forever and use a lot of water. I think the first time I did it it took about 30-35 hours and well over 75 gallons of hot water for about 250 sq ft.

    After you feel fairly confident it is clean, you can go over it again with a very dilute enzyme cleaner.

    You probably will need to repeat, not requiring quite as much time, after it has dried and some of the deep smells have worked there way up in the drying process. I thought I was going to have to replace my carpet until I did it is all about how much you can afford, because time wise, it takes a lot of effort and a new carpet might be a better value for you. I did it during a week that dh was out of town and work was slow, so I could spend the time.

    Question: Cleaning Dog Urine from Carpet

    How do I clean dog urine on carpet? There is no stain but an awful urine odor.

    By rb

    Most Recent Answer

    By sue gregory09/27/2011

    I have 4 dogs and 4 cats, all inside pets. So yes we do get mishaps. I have used with great success Mr. Clean either the lavender scent or the aqua blue kind. Both work great. After soaking up an liquid, then I mix some up in a bottle and spray on generously. Let sit for 5 minutes and then use a heavy towel and a heavy weight to soak up any liquid. Usually I step in it until it's all pulled up into the towel. I have a carpet shampooer, in which I mix up Mr. Clean and shampoo the spot up. It works for me.

    Sometimes I even add Mr. Clean to my laundry when a cat has messed on a throw rug or something that can be laundered in my machine. No bad scent or odor remains. It is the only thing that I have found that works and is cheaper than buying other products that are made for such problems. Good Luck.

    Question: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    How do I get dog urine smell out of my carpet?

    By Cheryl

    Most Recent Answer

    By DonnaT06/25/2011

    I found out the hard way. Never ever use a mixture of vinegar to clean carpeting of dog urine. The vinegar reacts with the urine and produces more ammonia than there was originally. I thought I'd pass out from the stink. I had to go to a pet store to get their advice and they informed me it's a very BIG mistake to put vinegar (white mixed with water) on dog urine for the very same reason I mentioned above. I bought an enzyme at $30 a gallon. Used it as instructed on the container and got rid of the stink. Unfortunately it took the entire gallon, and alot of work, for a small area but it was worth it in the end.

    Question: Removing Dog Urine Odor from Carpet

    Anybody have a good home remedy for spraying areas that have been cleaned of pet urine so dogs will not start to pee in the same areas again? I've heard of vinegar solutions. Does anything else work?

    By Tammy

    Most Recent Answer

    By Sandra W.03/02/2014

    I use cider vinegar and with Dawn dish soap.I let it dry then put baking soda sweep it in the area.wait 45 minutes then use sweeper.Please let me know if it works for you.


    Question: Removing Old Dog Pee in Large Carpets

    Does anybody know what I can use in a carpet cleaner (shampooer) to get old dog pee smell out of 3 very large carpets? When I got my first dog and I live in a upper and it was very hard for me to get out of the house to get him outside to pee. I found out about pee pads and use them, but now I want to train him the right way to go outside and my house stinks of dog pee. I have used the vinegar and water in the carpet cleaner and that didnt work. My landlord put really cheap carpet in my place, but I really can't afford to replace it. I have too large of carpeting to use the blacklight and the towels. So can any body help me out on a solution to use in carpet cleaning machines? Help please.

    By Melody S from Milwaukee, WI

    Most Recent Answer

    By carol [1]05/29/2012

    I love this recipe: just be sure to test an area first, preferably where it won't be seen.

    First soak up any pee that you can with rags or paper towels.
    Then use this recipe.

    2 cups hydrogen peroxide
    2 drops (not squirts) liquid dish soap
    2 teaspoons baking soda.

    Mix thoroughly and pour onto carpet. Remember, pee sprays! So make sure you cover not just the spot, but the surrounding area. I doubled the area each time I used it. Let it sit for 24 hours. Do not soak it up with paper towels or rags: it needs to be left alone. Do not cover the area, let it air dry.

    I have doubled and tripled this recipe and used it on carpets, walls, furniture and once a brand new bed! The formula needs to reach all the pee, so with the bed I had to triple the recipe because the pee had sunk deep into the mattress.

    Do not store any leftover mixture; get rid of it. It apparently cannot be covered or bottled up because it works just like those volcano/lava experiments kids do at school! Make sure you test product first on an inconspicuous area. I love this recipe and it has not failed me. I have had people tell me it didn't work but then when they made sure they covered a larger area then they thought they needed, or doubled the recipe it always worked for them.

    Good luck! I have had many puppies and one cat (peed on the bed when frightened) and this has saved many items in my home.

    Question: Removing Urine Odor from Carpet

    My carpet does not have stains it has been cleaned twice, but the urine smell keeps coming back.

    By Mary

    Most Recent Answer

    By Judy Dreyer [4]05/17/2011

    Sorry to tell you this, but it may not be your carpet. We just had to tear up all the carpet in our church paronage (not that old) because the urine had penetrated the wood floor beneath. We had to sand and revarnish.


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    On a humid day, does your house smell like a zoo? Why spend big bucks on carpet cleaning, and enzymatic cleaners when trying to remove pet urine smells from carpet?

    Mix one gallon of white vinegar with one gallon of water. Pour it straight on the area with urine and let is soak the carpet, pad, and sub floor. After letting it sit for about 30 minutes, use a carpet machine to pull out as much solution as you can. Your house may smell like vinegar for a few days, but it will dissipate over time. The vinegar neutralizes the urine smell and your house will smell so clean. Enzymatic cleaners cost approximately $12 - $15 per 8oz. 1 gallon of vinegar is $2.50. What a savings and just as effective!

    By Meari

    RE: Removing Urine Smell from Carpet, pad and base flooring.

    If you have the dog or other pets you will need to use an enzyme based cleaner, available at most pet stores; even WalMart carries a good one called Pet Out. White vinegar will remove the smell as far as a human is concerned, but will leave enough scent to continue attracting animals to the area. Treat the carpet according to the product directions. If you can get to the under-layment, then you can coat that with any shellac based primer to seal in any remaining scent. It has to be shellac, don't settle for Kilz. (07/07/2004)

    By Patticat

    RE: Removing Urine Smell from Carpet, pad and base flooring.

    I agree with Patticat. Once it gets to the under-layment, you will need to use shellac to seal in the smell. If it is in one place, pull up the rug in that area and treat the rug, pad and floor with Pet Out, Nature's Miracle or another enzyme type cleaner. Once the under-layment is dry, coat it with shellac, making sure to go outside the edges of the stain.

    When the shellac is dry, put the rug back down and shampoo the carpet in that area. Hopefully that will remove all of the smell. If it is all over the place, it may be necessary to replace the rug. It is easy to tell where the under-layment is ruined once the carpet is up. If the under-layment is warped, you may need to replace it, too. Nasty job but sometimes it's necessary. (07/07/2004)

    By Susan from ThriftyFun

    RE: Removing Urine Smell from Carpet, pad and base flooring.

    Go to your local Dollar General Store, and, on the laundry aisle, get a bottle of DG Fabric Refresher Super Strength - $1.50. It's the same as Febreze. Spray liberally on every layer of carpet, pad and floor. Leave to dry. It will lift the odor out; there will be no smell when the spray dries. (I'm sure that Family Dollar has a similar product, also.) (12/12/2004)

    By Janet45101

    RE: Removing Urine Smell from Carpet, pad and base flooring.

    Get a steam cleaner solution made for pet odors. Steam clean repeatedly. The scent will indeed come up again so this is why it is necessary to steam clean three, four times in the area. In-between efforts use arm and hammer carpet powder for pets and also vacuum the area before steam cleaning. If the smell remains try febreeze (or alternative) and spray liberally every day for a week. This is what I always try to do but is very time consuming as you can see. I personally will be trying the vinegar! (01/23/2005)

    By Melody

    RE: Removing Urine Smell from Carpet, pad and base flooring.

    Use white vinegar and then spray the Stay Off Training aid to help keep the pet from going to the bathroom on the carpet again. (03/10/2005)

    By Michelle


    Sprinkle borax on the area, rub in, vacuum it up or shampoo, but let borax work for at least a half hour! (08/10/2005)

    By Zorrosbabe

    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    How do I remove dog urine smell from carpet. My 13 year old lab has had a few accidents. I use a carpet cleaner, but the smell is still there. Thank you!

    Maria from Sterling Heights, MI

    RE: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    What I use is baking soda, sprinkle on carpet, leave overnight, then vacuum. It might take a few goes, but it does work. We are looking after a baby lamb inside with our 14 year old maltese. (08/23/2006)

    By nimwe

    RE: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    I owe you folks my LIFE!

    I moved into an apartment that is fully carpeted and had been inhabited by a "bunch of guys" and who knows what animals. When I steam cleaned the carpet it pulled up intense old urine odor in the living room and bedroom. A friend gave me some of a commercial concentrate that she swears by. Oh dear... the odor got worse. I was desperate, no only because I could not bear to come home to the odor, but my cats would soon start adding their contributions if I didn't solve the problem.

    I found this site via google. I have soaked everything in cidar vinegar and the odor went mostly away immediately. Just to be sure, I sprinkled arm and hammer powder when the carpet was dry and vacuumed after an hour or so. So far so good. If something shows up again in a day or a week I can always try borax and other suggestions. (09/10/2006)

    By choosenow

    RE: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    My house had 6 cats and 2 dogs previously living in it. I have already ripped out the carpet and pads and I applied enzymes to eat the urine (WARNING: Don't use any cleaners! The enzymes won't work if you attempt to clean the urine!). Unfortunately, we tried cleaning with bleach before using the enzymes so they didn't work as well. I'm waiting for the enzymes to dry then I will pressure wash the floors. After the water dries again, I will put 3 coats of a shellac primer down to seal the smell. I will never have any pets or even any carpets in my house for the rest of my life. (09/29/2006)

    By Mark

    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    I have pet stains on my carpet. What will clean stains and kill urine odor?


    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    Hello to all you wonderful people out there I need your help. My dog decided to go pee pee where I couldn't see her and of course she left a yellow stain on my new beige rug and of course it also smells of urine.


    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    How do I get the smell of pet urine out of the carpet? The whole room smells. I've had a shitzu for about 3 months. She is house trained.


    Archive: Removing Pet Urine Smell From Carpet

    I am going insane with the odor in my house. Vinegar doesn't work and I clean my carpets with a carpet cleaner using Tide in it and nothing seems to be doing anything.