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How To Remove Urine Stains and Odours from Carpet and Furniture

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

How To Remove Urine Stains and Odours from Carpet and Furniture


Urine stains and odors in carpets and furniture can be very difficult to remove. The uric acid in urine can quickly set into fabric fibers, and bacteria feeding on urine can produce unpleasant odors. However, with the right cleaning methods and products, even old or set-in urine stains and odors can be successfully removed from carpets, sofas, mattresses, and other furnishings. This comprehensive guide will provide tips and step-by-step instructions for effectively removing urine stains and odors from carpet and upholstery.

Removing Urine Stains from Carpet

Carpets are prone to urine staining, especially in high-traffic areas and homes with pets. Here are some effective methods for removing urine stains from carpet:

Blotting and Drying

  • Immediately blot urine stains when they occur with an absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can spread the stain.
  • Cover the stain with layers of paper towels and weigh them down with books or other heavy objects. This will draw out as much urine as possible.
  • Allow the area to air dry completely before attempting other cleaning methods. Drying is key to preventing urine odors.

Vinegar and Water

  • Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water. The acetic acid in vinegar helps break down urine crystals.
  • Use a spray bottle to generously apply the solution to the stain. Avoid rubbing it in.
  • Let the solution sit for 5-10 minutes before blotting it up with a clean cloth.
  • Rinse the area with cool water and blot dry. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap

  • Combine 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 part dish soap, and 2 parts water.
  • Use a scrub brush to work the solution into the carpet fibers and lift the urine stain.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool water and blot dry.

Baking Soda

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let sit for several hours to absorb odors.
  • Vacuum up the baking soda.
  • Repeat if odors persist. The baking soda will help deodorize.

Enzymatic Cleaner

  • Spray an enzymatic cleaner formulated for pet stains directly onto the affected area.
  • Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes. These cleaners use enzymes to break down urine compounds.
  • Blot and rinse thoroughly. For old stains, repeat the process.

Renting a Carpet Cleaner

  • For large or stubborn urine stains, use a carpet cleaner rented from a hardware store.
  • Choose a carpet cleaning solution designed specifically for pet stains.
  • Use the upholstery attachment to target the stain and rinse thoroughly.
  • Extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Allow the carpet to dry fully before assessing if the stain is gone.

Removing Urine Odors from Carpet

Even after urine stains have been cleaned from carpets, odors may linger. Here are some tips for removing stubborn urine odors from carpets:

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the affected area. Let sit for 24 hours before vacuuming. The baking soda will absorb odors trapped in the carpet fibers.

  • Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Mist the area and let sit for an hour before blotting dry. Vinegar neutralizes odors.

  • Lightly spray the area with an enzymatic cleaner made specifically for pet odors. Enzymes in the cleaner help destroy odor molecules.

  • Rent an ozone generating machine from a hardware store. Follow instructions to remove occupants and pets from the home while running the ozone machine. Ozone can remove stubborn odors.

  • Replace missing carpet padding underneath the stained area. Urine can seep into padding and continue emitting odors. Replacing it will eliminate the odor source.

  • As a last resort, cut out the affected carpet padding and carpet section with an utility knife. Replace with new padding and a carpet patch. This is the only way to permanently remove urine odors in severe cases.

Removing Urine Stains from Upholstery

Pet accidents also happen on furniture and mattresses. Here are tips for removing urine from upholstery:

Blotting and Drying

  • Immediately blot wet urine stains on furniture using paper towels or rags.
  • Do not rub the stain, which can push urine deeper into the upholstery.
  • Remove any cushions or covers to expose the urine stain. Let air dry fully.

Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Dish Soap

  • In a spray bottle, mix together 1 part white vinegar, 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dish soap.
  • Lightly spray the solution onto the urine stain.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes. The vinegar neutralizes odors, peroxide lifts the stain, and soap breaks down residue.
  • Blot area with clean towel. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

Baking Soda

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda onto the wet urine stain.
  • Let sit for 24 hours to absorb odors and lift the stain.
  • Vacuum up the baking soda from the upholstery.

Enzymatic Upholstery Cleaner

  • Use an enzymatic upholstery cleaner designed for pet stains.
  • Follow the product instructions to pre-treat the stain, let sit, and blot thoroughly.
  • The enzymes will digest the compounds in urine that cause odors and stains.

Laundering Removable Upholstery Covers

  • For furniture with removable covers, remove the cover and machine wash in hot water with an enzymatic cleaner.
  • This is the most effective way to clean urine out of upholstery fabric.
  • Let covers air dry fully before replacing onto furniture.

Preventing Future Pet Urine Stains

To avoid recurring pet urine stains:

  • Restrict access if certain rooms become frequented “accident” areas. Close doors or use baby gates.

  • Watch for signs that your pet needs to urinate like pacing, whining or circling. Quickly scoop up and take outside.

  • Keep litter boxes clean and appealing to cats. Provide an adequate number of litter boxes.

  • Take dogs out for frequent bathroom breaks. Praise them for outdoor urination.

  • Have pets checked by a vet for urinary tract infections or other issues causing indoor urination.

  • Use enzymatic cleaners and odor removers after accidents to deter repeat incidents in the same areas.

When to Call in a Professional

For severe urine damage that has saturated furniture or carpet padding:

  • Professional carpet cleaning services have industrial steam cleaners and knowledge of how to treat stubborn urine stains and odors

  • Upholstery cleaning companies can thoroughly clean urine-soaked furniture and effectively remove odors.

  • In extreme cases, carpet and furniture restoration specialists can replace damaged padding, fabric and flooring affected by urine damage.

While urine stains and odors can seem impossible to remove, with persistence and the right cleaning methods, you can successfully rid carpets and upholstery of pet urine. Follow these tips and guidelines to effectively tackle urine stains and odors in your home.

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