How To Get Urine Out Of Carpet - Diy Carpet Cleaner For Pet Stains

How to Get Urine Out of Carpet: A Detailed Cleaning Guide

Mar 08, 2021
If you’re a pet owner with a lot of carpets and rugs around the house, you must have already learned— usually the hard way— that pet urine and carpeting do not go together. Not only is it difficult to get the stains out, but the smell could be near impossible to purge.

Well, for those who are struggling with this exact problem, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get urine out of carpets.

Cute puppy lying on carpet near wet spot

Why Is Urine So Hard to Clean Up?

Acidity & Alkalinity

Urine isn’t your atypical stain that you can clean up with a mop and some household chemicals. This is all due to its chemical composition.

The urine of a healthy animal is a complex cocktail of many kinds of minerals, proteins, hormones, bacterias, uric acid, and ammonia. As a result, urine is one of the toughest kinds of stains that you can deal with at home.

Fresh urine is acidic with a fairly low pH level (around 5 to 6.) At this level, it is much easier to remove the stain with minimal damages to your carpeting. However, over time, the pH level will rise to around 10 to 12, which is in the alkaline realm.

So what starts out as an acidic stain turns into an alkaline stain in about a couple of hours. It’s very important to keep this in mind because chemicals for cleaning acidic stains are totally different from those that are used to treat alkaline stains. If you get this mixed up, your problem would get worse before it gets better.

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How Urine Can Destroy A Carpet

When it is first deposited onto your carpeting, the acidic urine will immediately oxidize and begin a destructive reaction with your carpeting. If you don’t clean it up immediately, the oxidation process would bland out the color on the carpet.

Not only that, but because urine contains ammonia, urine can also permanently damage a carpet’s dye if left untreated. That means even if the urine spot is cleaned later down the line, the stain would remain unless you re-dye your carpet.

This also means that any advice on how to get dried dog pee out of carpet (including advice in this article) would merely mean making the stain less smelly and less obvious on your carpets. It’s technically impossible to reverse the damage caused by pee stains left to dry on carpeting once it has had time to set in.

In addition to causing stains, the warm acidic environment created by the urine is highly conducive to bacterial growth. The bacteria feasts on the minerals within the urine, releasing stinky waste products that give off the distinctive “pet urine” smell.

These organic waste products, if not removed early, can seep into the absorbent carpet fiber and become ridiculously hard to remove. It’s also the reason why if urine spots are left to dry, the bad odors would still be there even if you have given the spot a thorough clean-up.

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Urine Odor And Why It’s A Big Issue

And here’s the biggest issue with cleaning urine odors, in my opinion: the minerals, salts, and organic compounds that make up the smell love water and moisture. When they come into contact with water or moisture, ammonia is released, causing a stronger smell. This explains why the stains smell worse during humid months or after you try to clean it up with a mop.

So, in order to take out the “dog pee on carpet” odor, you must use very specific chemicals that can erase these organic compounds and salts. This isn’t something that common household cleaning solutions can do for you and why it’s so hard to figure out how to get pee smell out of carpet.

Is Cleaning Human Urine the Same As Cleaning Pet Urine?

If your household has babies that haven’t been fully potty-trained, it’s almost certain that they will have an “accident” or two around the house. So for a great many parents, even if you don’t have pets, it’s crucial to learn how to clean human urine from carpets from the get-go.

Fortunately for you, human urine isn’t all that different from pets’. The principles and techniques are more or less the same. While we will be focusing primarily on the best way to clean pet urine from carpet, you can use all of these tricks on human-made urine stains, as well.

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Equipment You Will Need to Tackle Pet Urine On Carpet

Start by preparing all of the gear you need for the job before you begin learning how to clean urine from carpet (and apply the knowledge.) Fortunately, the job doesn’t require much special equipment. Hardware-wise, all you need is a good vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum Cleaner

I recommend getting the best vacuum for pet hair for no other reason than it’s a more versatile cleaner for pet owners. Once you have finished purging the urine stains, you can turn the vacuum around to sweep up shedded pet hair, too (this is one thing you can’t train your dogs to stop doing.)

In this case, one of the best handheld vacuums for pet hair should do the trick. They are lightweight and versatile enough to handle a variety of other purposes than just removing pet stains from carpet. Additionally, handhelds are some of the most affordable vacuums on the market so if you already got yourself a vacuum, buying one more shouldn’t put too big of a dent in your bank account.

One thing that you should take very careful notice of is that whatever model you choose make sure that it’s capable of handling liquid. Unfortunately, there aren’t many handhelds (or residential vacuums, for that matter) that can clean liquids.

To give you a head start, one of the few models that are both rated well and designed to clean liquids is the (Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1). Take it into consideration when you start your search for a new pet hair/urine vacuum.

getting urine out of carpet

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, though, you should consider upgrading to a full-fledged shop vacuum. Virtually all shop vacuum cleaners are capable of sucking up liquid, unlike your average household cleaners which are usually hit-or-miss. It would be less fussy and complicated overall to just use one of these rather than bothering yourself with searching for a rare handheld liquid-compatible vacuum.

diy carpet cleaner for pet stains

Cleaning Solutions

If the urine stain is still fresh, you can mix up a simple DIY cleaning solution to take it out. The ingredients can be found in most household kitchens.

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda and 3% Hydrogen Peroxide or oxygen bleach.

Once you have combined everything together, pour it into a spray bottle and you have a pretty impressive acidic stain-fighting solution in hand.

How this solution works is quite simple. Vinegar has been the go-to cleaner for decades and, when combined with baking soda, can lift stains and remove odors very effectively.

Hydrogen Peroxide is also a good stain remover and it is non-toxic. If you don’t have Hydrogen Peroxide at hand, you can also use oxygen bleach. Do not use chlorine bleach, as it is toxic and will ruin your carpet before it makes it better.

The true advantage to using this homemade pet stain removers like these is that all of the ingredients can be found in the kitchen, so it’s less costly and more convenient for you to make them. Additionally, they are non-toxic for your pets. So even if your pets try to roll around on the carpet or gnaw on the fiber later on, they wouldn’t be harmed.

For urine stains that have already set in (and thus alkalic,) you need to use off-the-shelf cleaners like (enzymatic stain and odor eliminators). The cleaning enzymes packed in these bottles can break down the ammonia and salts, clearing out both the unsightly stain and the odor.

how to get pee out of carpet, urine out of carpet

Other Cleaning Supplies

Other cleaning supplies like paper towels, gloves, mop (manual) are a given.

Should I Use A Steam Mop?

Though it may sound like a compelling plan, you should not use steam cleaners for this job. The moisture plus the heat from the steam mop will set the stain permanently onto your carpet. Additionally, the smelly urine compounds will also be fused into your carpet fiber.

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How to Remove Pet Urine From Carpets

How to Get Pee Out Of Carpets When You Witness the Act

If you were right there when your dog decided to do the naughty on your carpeting, spring to work immediately with something absorbent paper towels or even an old rag.

When you’re sure that all (or most) of the urine has been sufficiently sucked out of the carpets, sprinkle baking soda on top of the spot. It will soak up the smell and other chemicals, preventing them from seeping into the carpet’s structure.

Leave the baking soda on the carpet for about 20 or 30 minutes. After that, you can use your vacuum cleaner and suck up the powdery substance.

If you don’t have baking soda at hand, you can also try ordinary table salt. Pour some salt on top of the stain and watch if the urine is soaked up by it. If it does, continue to add more salt onto the same spot until no moisture is visible anymore (the top layer of the salt is dry.)

Also leave the salt to work for around 10 or 20 minutes. Use your vacuum to suck up everything from your carpet thereafter.

Check if you can still smell or see a visible stain on the carpet. If you do, proceed to the next method.

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How to Get Urine Out Of Carpet After It’s Soaked In

If you’re too late to the rescue of your carpeting and the urine has had some time to soak into the carpet fiber, you will need to whip out some of the bigger guns.

To begin with, you will need to do some first-aid to your carpets. Use paper towels or similarly absorbent materials to soak up as much urine as you can to prevent further damage. Once that’s done and dealt with, prepare the DIY cleaning solution that I have told you about earlier in the article.

Spritz the solution onto the stain and work it into the carpet using a brush. Because the chemicals can be pretty irritating to the skin, you should also be wearing gloves while doing this.

Let the solution soak the carpet for around 10 to 20 minutes before using some towels to blot it dry. When the spot has become totally dry, sprinkle pure baking soda onto the same spot to fight off the smell. You can use your vacuum to suck up the baking soda after around 20 to 30 minutes.

how to clean dog pee from carpet

How Do You Get Old Pet Urine Stains Out Of Carpet?

As great as learning how to clean dog urine from carpet with vinegar and baking soda is, though, in the worst case scenario of the urine completely setting into the carpet, DIY solutions and light-handed techniques won’t get you anywhere. At this stage, you will have to enlist the help of some specialized cleaners like enzymatic stain and odor eliminating solutions.

Like previously discussed, they’re more potent and have higher efficiency against such stubborn stains than whatever we can mix up at home.

Spritz the solution onto your carpet and let it dry for about 30 to 60 minutes. After that, just blot with a paper towel or cloth and you’re finished.

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What If None Of These Steps Work?

If you have tried everything and neither the stain nor the smell go away, consider getting some commercial-grade urine stain remover like the (Clorox Commercial Urine Remover).

pet stains

Such products are made for cleaning facilities like public bathrooms, so their ability to fight stain and odor are quite literally top-class. Other than packing a large amount of Hydrogen Peroxide, they also contain a long list of other cleaning chemicals to remove stain and eliminate the pungent scent of ammonia.

The neat thing about Clorox Urine Remover is that, beside being pet friendly, it makes detecting dried-out urine simple. When the liquid comes into contact with urine, it foams up. If the stain is not very visible on your carpet, you can take advantage of this ability to find where the carpeting needs cleaning the most.

After you have treated your carpeting with pro-grade cleaning solutions but still don’t have good results, maybe it’s time to call in professional help. Though professional cleaning services may be expensive, they’re equipped with all of the equipment and tools needed to remove stains and everything else from your carpeting. Their knowledge on how to clean pee out of carpet is certainly more advanced than any guides can help you, too.

This avenue is especially recommended if you have a stain on an area of carpeting that would either be too costly or too inconvenient to replace.

On the other hand, if the stain is on your small rugs or carpets, just replace them.

But in most cases, though, it shouldn’t come to this. Unless the urine stain is several days old, it’s very unlikely that off-the-shelf cleaners wouldn’t be able to get rid of them.

How to Get Pets to Stop Peeing On Carpets

As you can see, removing pet stains from carpets can be a very tedious and complicated process. That’s why it’s better to just train your dogs not to urinate everywhere in the first place.

urine stains on carpet

If you haven’t potty trained your dog just yet, begin immediately. It’s not going to be easy, but it will save you a lot of problems later on. For pets that have already been trained, you should make sure that they get as many chances as possible freeing their bladder. Schedule a lot of walks and let them go outside more!

What If My Dog’s Pee Smells Worse Than Usual?

Urine is a very good indication of your dog’s health. If, while you’re cleaning, the smell of urine is worse than usual or has a strange scent, it could be a none too subtle hint that your pet may have some health problems. In that case, you should take him/her to the vet for a check-up just to be sure.


Though they are certainly excellent companions, cleaning after our pets can be a huge chore, especially if it’s done on carpeting as you can see! I hope this guide on how to get urine out of carpet has given you the info you need to clean out that pee stain on your lush carpets.

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