There are proper ways to remove urine stains and odors from your carpet, tile, hardwood, plywood and OSB substrates, but also plenty of ways to worsen the situation. In order to learn how to get dog urine smell out of carpet, you first need to know that it is not recommended to use soap and water, regular cleaning solutions or scented sprays to clean the stains and cover the odors.
Dogs’ sense of smell is very well developed and hundreds of times more sensitive than humans’ sense of smell, so they can detect the smell of their own urine regardless of the type or amount of detergent you use. The unfortunate part of this aspect is that the smell of urine stimulates the excretion process of dogs. This means that without you knowing it, you encourage your dog to pee in the same place again even if it would usually wait for you to take it out. However, if your dog pees more than usual, our piece on frequent dog urination can give you more insight on the problem.
Dogs’ urine composition and how not to clean it
In order to come out victorious from this confrontation, you must know the chemical composition of dog urine. Comprised of organic amines, sulfur, ammonia and methanethiol, which is a gas that smells like rotten cabbage, dog urine is rich in carbon and nitrogen that attract bacteria from your home. The pungent smell of dog urine becomes even more upsetting if you use certain regular detergents because of the unwanted volatile byproducts generated by normal bacterial processes.
If you try to remove the mess made by your dog with household detergents or home-prepared solutions, ammonia based or vinegar, you can further intensify the stench and the stain will still not go away.
The smell of ammonia will attract your dog in the same place because it is a byproduct of urine and using it will only intensify the smell instead of removing it. Vinegar acts primarily as a disinfectant and often does nothing but reduce the urine odor temporarily due to bacteria in the environment. Another way that will not help you find out how to get rid of dog urine smell is to use a steam machine trying to remove the odor from carpets, furniture or floors.
Steam appliances are excellent for usual dirt removal, but the heat helps organic stains settle through the carpet fibers, leaving a permanent odor. If you can, it would be essential to act immediately and remove the fresh traces of urine. If you do not want to replace your carpet or refurbish, then you should pick a product that is especially designed to remove dog urine smell. Even if you have special products, the process is not easy and you might need other accessories, such as a UV lantern and ultra-absorbent cloths.
Traditional vs. modern solutions
Dogs can bring happiness in every family. However, there are a few unpleasant situations they might create, such as peeing inside the house and leaving it smelling quite repulsive. This situation is often generated by their innate behavior to mark their territory. If your dog has marked a certain area, it will often return to the same place and pee again regardless of your actions. This situation could degenerate in case you own more than one dog.
Peeing in different corners of your home might become a competition. Although urine dries, the smell remains. Fortunately there are quick and effective solutions that can help you get rid of such unpleasant smell without using dangerous chemicals or ineffective odorants. Have you read about professional dog toilets? Our piece on the topic will give you more information and options for your dog.
For example, Nok-Out is a modern and efficient solution for removing the odor of dog urine. Like any modern solution, Nok-Out works quickly, is easy to use, non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-flammable and environmentally friendly. It removes the smell of urine in record time if it is sprayed directly on the source of odor. It can also be sprayed in the air for a more rapid elimination of odor.
Avoid traditional solutions such as:
- Washing the area with classic detergents. Uric acid is extremely insoluble and tends to remain soaked in any type of surface. By washing it with classic detergents, you will only get rid of the problem temporary. In no time, the smell will reactivate and seem to be more disturbing than it was before because the smelly crystals were not dissolved.
- Using paper towels. If you pile a few paper towels and apply them on the stained area, they will inhibit the evaporation of urine odor, but this is not a permanent solution. They are absorbent, but not as absorbent as cloths. Sometimes, dogs find these paper towels attractive and they tend to urinate all over them when you are not paying attention.
- Using Listerine. Believe it or not, some people use this mouthwash solution in order to remove the smell of dog pee. However, even if it works temporarily, the smell returns just like in the case of the other regular cleaning products.
- Using corn flour. Known as a great absorbent of moisture and odors, corn flour is used as a measure of last resort. However, no one would like to turn their home into a pastry-looking kitchen.
- Using chlorine. Chlorine is quite efficient, but it cannot be used all over the house. Its usage excludes carpets, clothes, floors, chairs and so on.
Considerations for an efficient use of special solutions
There is a large variety of special solutions that would help you remove dog urine stains and odors, such as the one mentioned above and Urine-Off.
For an efficient use of such solutions that eliminate dog urine stains and odors thereof, you should take into consideration the following steps:
- The solution must come into contact with the dog urine or the surface in which it is soaked, no matter how deeply it penetrated the area. Different surfaces require different cleaning techniques. In addition, you should always check the materials specifications regarding their discoloration resistance
- The solution must remain in contact with the affected area long enough in order to act on the bio-enzymatic uric acid crystals and the other components of urine. Some manufacturers recommend a period of 24 hours.
- In some cases, more than one application might be necessary. Old stains or areas previously cleaned with other solutions are more difficult to clean. Also, areas where a dog peed more than once will require the usage of more product and more patience.
- Soak the stain well and leave the solution dry slowly. Do not force the drying process. Repeat if necessary.
- The more absorbing a surface is, the more solution you will be required to use.
- Do not spray on dogs or people. These special solutions are not harmful to the environment, but they are not designed for such use.
- These solutions are safe to use on water resistant areas, but it is always safer to check before use.
- Never use more than one cleaning solution at once. This would reduce the effectiveness of the chosen solution. If other chemicals were previously used, you should remove the residues by rinsing them with water, let them get dry completely and then use another solution.
Remove urine stains and odor from carpets and upholstery
If you want your tapestries and carpets to be cleaned properly, you should remove urine stains and odor by using special solutions especially made to be used for this purpose. In case the urine stains are dry, you should use a UV lantern in order to locate them and clean them thoroughly. Most urine stains are not visible to the naked eye until dust accumulates over them, thus making them easier to detect. If you cannot see all the stains, you will not be able to remove the smell entirely.
The UV lanterns are made using a LED technology that highlights the uric acid. Urine has a fluorescent yellow color in contact with the UV light. For maximum effect, you should use this UV lantern with the lights off or when there is dark in the room. You will easily recognize the urine stains by their fluorescent yellow color. In addition, you can identify urine deposits on any surfaces, such as floors, walls, carpet, furniture, textiles and do on. As soon as you identify a urine stain, you can mark the area with adhesive paper or anything else you have in mind.
In case of fresh urine deposits, you should try to absorb as much of the quantity of urine as you can. You could use an ultra-absorbent cloth or paper towels. However, the ultra-absorbent cloths that use a technology which transforms liquid into gel are the most recommended ones because they are able to absorb up to 100 times their own weight. Within minutes, these cloths can solidify dog urine and prevent it from spreading into fabrics, floors or other types of surfaces.
In order to eliminate odors, these cloths contain a solution that does not just mask odors. They can be safely used on hardwood floors, marble, laminate floors and other surfaces too.
Moreover, if you are not sure on the efficacy of the clothes, then you should pour a significant amount from the solution that you decided to use on the affected area. If you think the effects are serious, then you should cover that area with a plastic layer and leave the solution to take action for 24 hours. After the urine odor and the stains are removed, you can rinse with water and let the surface dry naturally.
In case of old urine deposits, you should soak the affected area thoroughly with a special solution of your choice and cover it with a plastic wrap for 24 hours. After the first application of the chosen solution the smell of urine may intensify, but this is a normal reaction that indicates that older residues were activated and they are in the process of being removed.
In case just one application is not enough, you should repeat the action during the following days until the smell and the stain are completely eliminated. After the urine odor and stains were removed, you can rinse the affected surface with a small amount of water and then dry it with a paper towel.
Remove urine stains and odor from furniture and mattresses
In order to treat delicate surfaces such as leather, you should first check with the manufacturer’s representative or the retailer where you purchased the product. As a general rule, these dog urine cleaning solutions do not damage leather or other surface more than water does.
Furthermore, in case of fresh dog urine stains do not use other cleaning products or other chemicals except special removal solutions on the affected area. Absorb as much of the stain as you can with a paper towel or an ultra-absorbent cloth. Then, pour removal product in a quantity large enough to permeate all layers that came into contact with dog urine. You can use a UV flashlight to identify all the areas contaminated with urine.
Next, leave the surface dry naturally. Cleansing with water is also an option after you are certain that the smell and the stain are gone. If there are dry stains of urine in your furniture or mattresses, then you must proceed following the steps described above that included waiting for 24 hours after applying the solution and covering it with a plastic wrap. This procedure can be repeated as needed.
Remove urine stains and odor from parquet
Parquet dog urine stains are probably the most difficult to remove, especially if due to repeated contamination, the affected area turns black. The occurrence of the black color indicates the accumulation of large amounts of uric acid and its salts. It is also a sign that the dog urine destroyed the tannins contained by the wood. There are multiple solutions that eliminate the dog urine stains and odors from parquet. The damage of the wood fibers is irreversible, but the majority of the black stains can be removed.
Even if you are planning to recondition the floors, you should still use a special solution to remove as much of the dirt, odor and stain from the parquet as you can. Sometimes the smell can still remain even after a full reconditioning. Considering how much it would cost you, this is not a risk you should take. Do not be afraid to reapply the solution if the results are not satisfactory.
A badly stained piece of parquet usually requires a laborious cleaning process. Use a solution that comes as a spray and apply on the entire discolored area. Then, cover the floor with a plastic layer. You must to this because the plastic layer slows down the evaporation process and allows the product to work longer. Remember that it is normal for the smell to intensify during this stage because the urine crystals are reactivated, but on the way to be completely removed.
You can remove the plastic wrap after 30 minutes and wipe the excess liquid with a paper towel or an ultra-absorbent cloth. Repeat this process as many times as you see fit and leave the floor dry naturally. Each repetition should improve the condition of the wood. The stains should become smaller and softer until the entire residue is removed. After the final treatment, rinse the floor with clean water and rub it dry with a mop. After doing this, your floors might not need reconditioning after all.
Remove urine stains and odor from concrete floors, marble and unglazed tiles
Because unsealed concrete is a porous material, dog urine can be absorbed deep inside it. This makes it really hard to remove, but its removal is not impossible. In order to achieve the desired result, you should follow the next steps:
- Make sure the concrete floor, marble or unglazed tiles are dry and sweep the surface well to remove any dirt.
- Use an UV lantern in order to locate all the contaminated areas with dog urine.
- Spray a special solution of your choice on the entire affected area thoroughly. For large areas you can use a garden sprayer.
- Cover the area with plastic sheets and leave them there for 1 to 2 hours. This process slows evaporation down and allows the product to work longer and penetrate deep into the layers of concrete, marble or unglazed tiles.
- Remove the foil and wipe the excess liquid with a paper towel or an ultra-absorbent cloth.
- Reapply the solution if needed and allow it to get dry for 1 to 2 hours. In a humid climate, without heating, this process can take longer.
- When the unpleasant odor is completely removed, wash the concrete surfaces with water to remove debris.
Remove urine stains and odor from plywood and OSB substrates
In case of massive contamination with dog urine of carpets or floors, the floors beneath them are most likely affected as well. If you want to replace a carpet or the parquet, then you should also clean the plywood. Otherwise, the unpleasant odor will still be released after you replace the parquet. In order to remove the old buildup of dog urine before installing new flooring, follow these steps:
- Make sure the floor is dry.
- Pick just one special solution meant to remove dog urine. Do not use 2 or more because their effect might be diminished if they are combined.
- Sweep the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt.
- Optional, use a UV flashlight to identify the stains that you cannot see.
- Do not panic if the smell becomes pungent and some of the areas darken. The uric acid crystals are in the process of dissolving, so that would be normal.
- After the first application, the stains will become smaller and softer. After the second treatment, the stains will darker again, but they will gradually disappear, along with the smell.
Although removing dog urine stains and odor from plywood and OSB substrates is not something common or something you might ever have to do, it is important to know that the process is quite similar with the other cases and that it does not involve the need of a specialist in order to do it.
Many of these processes are easy enough to do by anyone and do not require strenuous work or high costs. They only require patience, perseverance and sometimes time. You do not have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get rid of dog urine stains and odors.
Conclusions for dog urine smell and spots removal
As shown, removing dog urine smell and the inevitable stains that come with it, is not a complicated process. Theoretically, the first thing you need to do is to find a special solution that is effective. There are numerous solutions known to remove dog urine smell and stains on the market.
Some of them can be found online, just like the 2 examples mentioned above, while some of them can be bought from different stores. They are accessible to anyone and they are especially made to be used whenever necessary without having a damaging effect on the surfaces that need cleaning.
When your dog starts peeing in a place where it should not, you should think of methods of training that will stop it from doing that again. However, before you start the training, you must remove the smell of its urine completely because it is simply drawn back to it and almost compelled to pee again in the same spot. Sometimes, health problems may be the reason for frequent urination, so check our article on dog incontinence to learn more.
Although this dog logic might not make much sense to you, you can adapt to its needs more than it can adapt to yours. It goes without saying that applying a correction to a dog that started peeing in a wrong place is useless. It will not understand what it did wrong, so it will not learn anything out of it. Try to focus on avoiding such situations by taking your dog outdoors more often or by training it to ask to go outdoors in case it needs to pee and it cannot wait any longer. Our article on training pads for your dogs will help you.