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No matter how well trained your dog is, and how diligently you keep to your potty-break schedule, sometimes pee happens. Whether on the carpet, hardwood floor, or anywhere else, prompt action is the best way to make sure that dog urine won’t leave a lasting impression (and smell). Even if you come upon a dried urine puddle or stain, there are still things you can do to remove the smell.

New Urine Stains on Carpet or Fabric

Your dog just peed on the carpet. Now what? Luckily, you probably have the cleaning tools for the job right at hand. Place a thick layer of paper towels over the wet spot, and, if possible, under it, as well. Cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. You can stand on the paper for a few minutes to help it absorb the urine more quickly, or just leave the paper until most of the urine is soaked up. Then remove all the paper and rinse the area with cool water. Blot up all the water, either with towels or a wet vacuum.

Fair warning: the soggy towels are probably going to stink, but it’s a good thing. Smelly towels means you’re drawing out as much of the urine and its odor as possible.

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Once you have most of the liquid blotted up, the next step is to remove the odor. Dog urine stain remover can help remove stains and odor from accidents. It also often contains ingredients that you’d find at home, like vinegar or baking soda.

At-Home Carpet Stain Removal for Dog Pee

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have dog stain remover, you can spread baking soda thinly and evenly across the damp spot. Be careful not to overdo it: about 1/4 cup or less is enough for most stains. Let the baking soda sit overnight, and then vacuum thoroughly. You may have to go over the area several times to vacuum up all the powder, until the area feels clean to the touch.

Labrador Retriever puppy with urine puddle on carpet
©Africa Studio -

Another method adds one more household staple, vinegar. In a clean spray bottle, mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Shake it up to mix the ingredients, and then spray on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot with towels until clean.

Dried Dog Urine on Fabric and Carpets

Your dog isn’t always going to pee in front of you. Your dog could also have an accident in another room or when you’re not home, and you may not even know that they did it. How do you clean a spot you didn’t notice until it’s dried out? While it’s harder to remove the smell from dried urine stains, there are several effective methods to try.

Start by rinsing the area thoroughly with plain water. Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner and keep saturating and vacuuming the area until clean. Do not use a steam cleaner, since the heat will set the odor and the stain permanently. If you don’t own a wet-dry vacuum, you can try wetting and blotting the spot repeatedly, using warm water and clean towels.

If this doesn’t get the smell out, use an enzymatic cleanser. These bio-based cleansers work on a molecular level to break down and remove odors and stains. Be sure to choose an enzyme-based cleanser made specifically for pet stains.

New Urine Stains on Hardwood

You dog just took a piddle on your hardwood floor. For hardwood, you should try to act fast. Place a thick wad of paper towels or dish towels on the puddle. You can stand on the towels for a few minutes to speed up absorption. Continue using fresh towels to soak up the urine, until a towel comes up dry. You can also use a specific hardwood urine stain remover. These specifically target hardwood floors or hard surfaces, which can help ensure there’s no mark on your floor.

©Olesya Pogosskaya -

Removing Odor From Hardwood

It’s difficult to remove odors from hardwood floors because urine can saturate the wood. However, you have a few methods to try. There are specific dog urine stain removers for hard surfaces, which can get soak urine out of the wood.

At-Home Hardwood Stain Removal for Dog Pee

The first is similar to what you’d use on carpet. Mix a one-to-one solution of white vinegar and water. Using a sponge, rub the solution onto the stain. Let it sit for 5-to-10 minutes, and then wipe it up with a clean, dry towel. Some experts advise using a more diluted formulation of 1/2-cup vinegar to one gallon of warm water. If you’re nervous about the effects of vinegar on your floors, try this more diluted version. Either way, test the solution on a small inconspicuous section of floor first.

If the odor lingers, sprinkle baking soda on the floor while it’s still damp, and let it sit for at least several hours or overnight. Then vacuum it up with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. As a final step, use an enzyme-based stain remover that’s safe for hardwood floors. Test it in a small area first, and then follow directions on the product’s package. When the urine and its odor are completely removed, clean the floor with whatever you usually use on it.

Cleaning Dog Pee From Other Surfaces

If your dog pees in your home, they may not limit themselves to the carpet or hardwood floor. Your dog could have accidents in the car, on their dog bed, or on other furniture. Some of these dog pee stain removers will work on these surfaces as well. Others might require a deeper clean. If your dog’s bed has a removable cover, or if they have an accident in their crate, you could wash the cover with hot water.

potty train
©alexsokolov -

Regardless of what your dog has peed on, your best course of action is to act fast. The sooner you get to it, the more likely you’ll be able to remove all traces of urine odor. Aside from wanting your home to smell fresh and clean, you don’t want to leave any lingering traces of his accident for your dog to find, since they may decide it’s their new favorite spot to pee. If the urine smell still lingers, air purifiers could help mask the scent.

Finding Urine Spots

A good number of times, dogs will pee in more secluded or hidden parts of the home, so it may not always be easy to locate where your dog peed if you didn’t see them do it. But often times, you’ll be able to smell it, even if you don’t see it. You may want to use a urine stain detector to help you find which areas need cleaning.

Urine stain detectors help identify spots where your dog has peed, even if it’s not wet anymore. Most use LED UV light to detect urine stains on different surfaces. Once you find them, it can make cleaning easier.

Using Cleaning Services

If you have multiple dogs, or frequent accidents, you might consider using a cleaning service to do a deep clean of your carpet or floor. If you’ve moved to a new place and discovered that the carpet smells of dog urine, you may consider using a cleaning service.

If your dog has peed in the car, this could also be a good option to get the deeper urine stains and odors out of the fabric. You may also consider using a steam cleaner or heavy-duty floor cleaner if you want to do it yourself.

Preventing Future Accidents

Accidents happen, no matter how old your dog is. Sometimes, they just can’t hold it. It’s important to properly potty train your puppy, so that they know how to control their bladder and can alert you when they need to go outside.

When potty training, things like dog crates and puppy pee pads can be helpful in created a schedule. Puppy pee pads can also help dogs go when they need to, with much easier cleanup.

If your dog is housetrained, they could also be marking instead of peeing. Dog marking is not the same as peeing. It’s smaller amounts of urine, used to mark their territory for other dogs, or due to anxiety. If you think your dog is marking around the house, talk to a dog behaviorist.

If your dog can’t control their bladder after being housetrained, it could also be a sign of a medical condition. If the problem persists, talk to your veterinarian.
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