How To Remove Pet Urine Odor From Carpets

pet odor removal

Pet odor caused from urine or feces is one of the toughest deodorizing problems you will face. The stain from the problem is only a small part of the dilemma. Unless you completely neutralize the area where the pet accident occurred, the animal, especially cats, will return to the spot.

There is NO HOME REMEDY or "natural" way to remove dog urine odor from carpet. Not vinegar or baking soda offers odor removal. 

Pet odor is a protein based problem and cannot be eliminated by normal pet spotting cleaners or deodorizers. (Consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner)

In order to remove odor, you must use an enzyme product to digest the protein, particularly in urine. If you DO NOT use the correct cleaning procedure, the cat or dog will locate the smell and likely defecate on the rug again.

Enzymatic dog pee cleaners may be purchased at pet supply's, veterinary clinics and janitorial supply stores. There are many enzyme cleaning products available. We particularly like Nature's Miracle, which can be found at Walmart or Amazon.

Do not be fooled into believing that you can spray on a pet deodorizer and the odor will magically disappear.

Ammonia, Vinegar, Natural home solutions DO NOT REMOVE SMELLS! You will waste time and money on a product that doesn't work. Now let's get to the basics of pet odor removal.

cat and dog urine odor removal carpet pad

How can I remove dog urine odor from carpet?

Steps to Get Dog or Cat Pee Out of Carpet:

• Step 1- Absorb the Pet Stains and Pee Pee

Assuming you found the pet stains and odor issues quickly and also the stain hasn't yet dried, the first thing you want to do is absorb as much of the pet urine as possible. Using old towels or paper towels blot up the liquid pee stain. Apply heavy pressure to remove as much as possible, stand on it. Repeat this process with fresh paper towels until you have removed as much dog pee as you can.

• Step 2- Water Rinse, Repeat

Next, apply a few ounces of water to the urine stain and absorb all of that as well. (Get more dry towels) Do this a few times. You want to rinse as much of the pet urine out of the carpet and pad as you can. Using a liquid Shop Vac or renting a carpet machine may be necessary to remove all the water soaked pee.

• Step 3- Urine Enzyme Treatment

Treat the pee accident with the enzymatic product, like Nature's Miracle, as described at the top. Read the directions on the cleaner carefully, following them exactly.

Do not be afraid to really saturate the carpet. Pet urine stains can soak into the pad, so the urine enzyme treatment needs to soak in just as deeply.

This is the most important step to remove odors, so be sure to saturate the entire area, covering the circumference of the stain thoroughly. Remember, the urine goes into the fibers deeply and spreads. You want to remove the pee odor from the carpet pad.

Secret Tip to Removing Dog Urine Odor is...

Cover the enzyme treated area with a plastic garbage bag or plastic painting drop cloth. Weight the plastic down to keep the enzyme cleaner from drying out until it can EAT UP ALL THE URINE, which is digesting the protein in the dog urine or cat pee. Leave the plastic in place at least 24-48 hours– The longer the better.

Which Enzymatic Cleaners Are Best For Pet Urine?

Recently, the Chicago Tribune compared Rocco & Roxie vs Nature's Miracle vs Mister Max, as part of their consumer best reviews on enzyme cleaners.

• Step 4- Allow To Dry

Uncover the carpet and allow to dry thoroughly, 7-10 days, depending on how deeply you treated the spot. Allow a fan to blow across the area to speed drying.

• Step 5- Check for Smells, Retreat

Once the area is completely dry (and only then), check for pee odor. If there is still odor, re-treat as directed above. If the urine smell is gone, clean the area with a good quality carpet spot treatment made for pet or dog pee stains.

If you have pets, keep some enzyme urine cleaner and carpet spot removers on hand for pet accident emergencies.

Still Having Pee Odor or Pet Stain Issues?

For the most significant pet stain removal replacing the pad and possibly treating the subfloor is necessary. We have been hired by many property managers to remove pet odors from apartments and rental homes in Boise and Meridian. Free inspections and cost estimates available.

  1. We pull back the stained carpet and clean both sides of the carpet – both the front side and the backing.
  2. Cut out the area of the carpet pad that is saturated in urine and replacing it with a new piece of pad.
  3. All areas are treated with odor neutralizers and special cleaning enzymes.
  4. If necessary, Kilz can be applied to the subfloor material to seal in any pet odors left from urine. Typically this is not needed for dog pee removal; however, a dog with a urinary tract infection may pass urine that has a very foul smell. For male cat pee, rabbit urine, or other small animals with smelly droppings, Kilz sealing can be neccessary.
  5. Allow the carpet to dry and then reinstall the carpet. Stretch and tuck the carpet to return to a professionally installed look.

More Resources

• Beaver, B. V., M. L. Terry, and C. L. LaSagna. "Effectiveness of products in eliminating cat urine odors from carpet." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 194.11 (1989): 1589-1591.
• "How to remove pet stains and odors" Humane Society
• Fernando, Raymond H., and Dane R. Jones. "Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Stain Blocking Specialty Primer Coating." (2011).
• Woo, Ricky Ah-Man, et al. "Method of deodorizing and/or cleaning carpet using a composition comprising odor control agent." U.S. Patent No. 6,833,342. 21 Dec. 2004.