How to Get Urine Smell Out of Carpet: Our Top DIY Solutions

How to Get Urine Smell Out of Carpet: Essential Cleaning Techniques

Dec 05, 2023
For pet parents, dealing with your cat or dog’s urine on carpets or area rugs can be quite a nightmare, especially if you weren’t able to detect and remove the stains soon enough. The odor of urine, especially from felines, will cause your entire room to smell awful. And the dirty yellow stains will make your carpets and area rugs a lot less appealing to say the least.

That being said, in the following articles, we’ll dive deep into the question of how to get urine smell out of carpet and provide you with all of our insight regarding this matter. Our in-depth and specific cleaning methods will make sure that you can effectively deal with dirty spots on carpets once and for all.

And most importantly, the provided instructions will be extremely easy for homeowners to follow, thanks to the accessible tools and items.

Pet urines are always tough to deal with

Pet urines are always tough to deal with

What you will need to follow this tutorial

To start the cleaning operation, there are a few things that you need to prepare. These are all items required for certain stages of the cleaning process and should allow you to freely work during the cleaning tutorial. 

Depending on your current situation and what’s available to you, the choices of what neutralizes ammonia odor can be varied. So we’ll provide both the standard and personal options on how to get dog urine smell out of carpet. Feel free to choose items and tools that are most suitable to you.

Make sure to check the items to ensure their function and features so you won’t cause any trouble while working on your cleaning tasks.

Here are what you’re going to need:

  • Lots of paper towels – you’ll need these to remove any excess urine.
  • Cat litter – it is almost always available for feline owners and is a great drying agent.
  • Broom – use this to clean up your cat litter after use.
  • Dry/Wet vacuum cleaner (not required, can be used to replace paper towel and broom) – this is great for collecting both regular pet hair or urine on carpets and floors. You can check our list of Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair for the top-rated options.
  • Urine treatments – use dedicated deodorizer and urine removing products or prepare home cleaning agents like vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.
  • Spray bottle – if you choose to use our cleaning remedy, you will need this to evenly apply the cleaning agent onto the carpet surfaces.
  • Spoon – use this to mix and further work the cleaner onto the carpets. Don’t use brushes since you can damage the carpets or smudge the spots.
  • Blow dryer – use it if you need to quickly dry the spot after cleaning.
  • Steam cleaner (not required, but handy) – the machine can be used to replace many mentioned tools, but it’s often not available for most households. So we’ll only be mentioning its uses at the end of the guide.

Prepare your stuff before the cleaning operations

Prepare your stuff before the cleaning operations

Step by step instructions


The process of removing dog urine smell from carpets, both the smell and the stains, is quite straightforward. You’ll need to treat the dirty areas with certain enzyme cleaners that are created to be effective on urine. The cleaner will work by neutralizing the smell and breaking down the crystalized urine.

It’s best to apply the cleaner on both sides of the carpets and on the surface of the bottom floor. This will allow you to effectively get rid of the annoying smell and prevent it from lingering on the under layers.

After that, you only need to leave the spot for an amount of time for the cleaning agent to take effect. Once you collect the dirty liquid, you’ll also get rid of the urine stains, together with the annoying smell.

However, in real-life situations the entire process isn’t that easy since there are many different aspects for you to consider. Your urine stains might be positioned in the middle of the carpet, which makes it really difficult to pull out and clean the bottom floor. Or the stains have been around for too long that caused them to really stick onto the piles.

That’s why you’ll need our in-depth instructions to effectively clean your spoiled carpets, in both casual and special cases.

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Pre-treat the affected area

Start by pre-treating the affected areas

Start by pre-treating the affected areas

Step 1 – Always work on the pet pees as soon as possible

The first step on how to get pee smell out of carpet would be to pre-treat the affected area as soon as possible. We highly recommend you go to work on your carpet immediately after you see your pet  pee on it or smell distinctive urine aromas.

Step 2 – Blot off the urine

In the hours just after the animal has urinated, the pee is still wet and is relatively easy to remove. So you can immediately blot it out with paper towels or use a wet vacuum. This will remove a large portion of the urine and make the stains a lot easier to deal with later on. Remember, you should only blot the spot, without rubbing it around, since the urine can easily get into the surrounding areas.

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Step 3 – Apply pre-treating agents

After that, it’s recommended to add certain pre-treating agents on the affected surface to really break down the urine and make it easier to clean up. You can use dedicated chemical products that are suitable for your carpets, or go for the good old vinegar cleaner.

But does vinegar remove urine odor? If you’re asking this, then the short answer would be no. However, the acid-based vinegar cleaner will work great to break down the crystalized ammonia particles. As a result, it can really help to loosen up urine stains, especially dried ones, and make them a lot easier to clean.

The same thing goes for other pre-treating products, so you can always use them to make your urine stains easier to clean. Simply put any of your cleaning agents in a spray bottle and apply them evenly onto the affected areas. Give the spots as many sprays as you need in order to have the carpets thoroughly treated. But don’t overdo this by applying too much vinegar, or you’ll end up with a vinegar smelling urine stain.

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Clean the urine stains and get rid of the smell

If stain removal and how to get rid of ammonia smell is your main concern, then you should definitely pay attention to the following instructions.

Step 1 – Blot off the excess treating agents

After the pre-treatments have taken place, it’s time to blot out the excess moisture with your paper towel or wet vacuum. Make sure to work evenly and thoroughly to get everything that you can. This will ensure that the spot is properly cleaned and you can also save time on the next cleaning steps.

Step 2 - Dry and deodorize the stain with cat litter

Cat litter can also be used for cleaning

Cat litter can also be used for cleaning

Take your regular bag of cat litter and scatter the particles over the treated areas. Gently smooth the litter onto the surface and never scrub on it to avoid making things worse. Once you have enough cat litter on it, simply press your palms to the spot to speed up the blotting effects.

The litter will quickly collect the excess urine and pre-treating products. Not to mention that it also gives your carpet a gentle smell, depending on your choice of cat litter. After about 30 minutes, you can start cleaning up the carpet with your broom, or use the prepared vacuum to pick things up.

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Step 3 - Treat the spots with urine cleaners

After everything is done, you can start treating the carpet with any suitable pet urine removal products, which will clean up any remaining stains and lingering odours. Or if you’re going for our DIY home remedy, simply mix one cup of baking soda with a teaspoon of your regular dish cleaner. Stir the mixture until it’s thick and fully combined.

Apply the cleaning agent onto the carpet surfaces and start working on the piles using the prepared spoon. Remember to only press the carpets with your spoon. At this stage you can scrub the bottom of the spoon on to the stains, but be careful to not smudge it around. Leave the mixture to soak into the stain for about 5 minutes before you come back for the final steps.

Clean your carpet and finish things up

With the pet urine neutralizer for carpets being applied thoroughly and have taken full effects on the targeted surface, you can clean things up and dry your carpet.

Step 1 - Clean up the excess cleaning agent

Start by applying a new layer of cat litter, just like when working with the pre-treating agent, to quickly collect the excess moisture from your carpet. Then clean it up with ar broom and finish things up with your carpet vacuum. Feel free to use the best vacuum for pet hair to achieve the best cleaning results.

Step 2 – Dry your carpet

After you finish cleaning, you can simply let the carpet air dry or use a blow dryer to speed up the process. Make sure to open the window so that the air can have better ventilation. And don’t use too much heat if you’re working with a blow dryer.

You can use the blow drier to quickly dry your carpet

You can use the blow drier to quickly dry your carpet

Clean urine smell with a steam cleaner

Having a steam cleaner would make your job a lot easier, especially if you’re working with a commercial-grade machine. The effective steam cleaning method will speed up the breakdown of crystalized urine particles while allowing you to effectively clean the stains and make them dry faster. In the following article, we’ll show you how you can use the machine in the mentioned steps.

When pretreating the affected areas

Regardless of the stain being wet  dry, working the steam cleaner onto the surface will help to break down urine from the piles, thus, allowing you to blot it up more effectively. Also, the drying action from the machine can help you quickly collect any excess urine before continuing to the next steps.

When working with the cleaning agent

With the cleaning agent being thoroughly applied onto the carpet, you can simply run your steam cleaner over the surface multiple times. This will allow you to collect all the dirty liquid without having to work with the cat litter, paper towels, or the best vacuum for pet hair.

When finalizing the process

And when finishing the spot cleaning process, you can make use of the drying feature on the machine to effectively dry up the spot after just a few runs.

Things to avoid

Together with following the provided instructions, there are also a few notices that you need to keep in mind if you wish to learn how to get urine smell out of carpet.

The steam cleaner is a real game changer

The steam cleaner is a real game changer

Washing your carpets and area rugs with the wrong treatments

While using a washing machine is certainly a great way for you to clean up your entire carpet or area rug, having the wrong treatment will cause more harm than good. Hence, there have been cases when people wondered “I just shampooed my carpet and now it smells like urine”.

This can be easily explained because they’ve used the wrong cleaner agent for the process. Unlike normal dirt, urine contains ammonia smells and will need an effective enzyme-based cleaner to deal with. Hence, you won’t be able to clean it effectively with the wrong product. And this is definitely not how to clean area rugs or pet urine.

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Always get the right product for the carpets

So, you may ask how can I remove dog urine odor from carpet? The answer is always to find the right product for the carpet and give it the right treatment. You can easily find the treating instructions in the guides above. And make sure to always get the right product by considering the instruction manuals and the nature of your carpets.

If it’s colored, you will not want cleaning agents that have a strong bleaching effect. Otherwise, you’ll have a nasty spot of white in your colored carpets. In addition, the certain carpet materials will require different amounts of cleaner so you can achieve the best cleaning result without damaging the surface.

Don’t let your baby on the carpet without a diaper

Unless you want to learn how to get human urine smell out of carpet, we highly recommend you to put a diaper on your baby so he or she can play comfortably on the carpet. This will make sure that you won’t have to worry about urine cleaning later on.

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For those of you who are wondering how to get the dog pee smell out of my carpet, or any kinds of urine-based stains in general, you can definitely enjoy working with the provided tutorials. Make sure to read them carefully so you can effectively deal with urine stains and smells as soon as you notice them. Also consider our useful insights on how to get urine smell out of carpet so you can enjoy more cleaning comfort in the future.

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