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Natural Cleaning Solutions for Pet Stains and Odors

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Natural Cleaning Solutions for Pet Stains and Odors


As a pet owner, I know how difficult it can be to get rid of pet stains and odors around the house. Commercial pet stain and odor removers often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to pets and humans. Thankfully, there are many effective natural cleaning solutions that I can make myself using common household ingredients. These homemade cleaners are safe, economical, and powerful against set-in pet stains and foul odors.

In this article, I will share my tried and tested natural cleaning solutions for removing pet stains and odors. Whether it’s urine stains on the carpet, a smelly litter box, or even skunk spray on your pet’s fur, these remedies will come in handy for every pet owner.

Common Pet Stains and Odors

Before jumping into the natural cleaning solutions, let’s first look at some of the most common stains and odors caused by pets:

Urine Stains and Odor

  • Urine stains on carpets, floors, furniture etc. are inevitable with pets. The ammonia in urine acts as a natural dye that permanently sets into fabrics.
  • Urine also leaves behind an unpleasant ammonia odor that’s difficult to get rid of.
  • Both stains and odor get worse over time as bacteria continue to feed on urine crystals.

Feces Stains and Odor

  • Feces stains on carpets and floors, especially diarrhea stains, can be tricky to remove.
  • The bacteria and gases released from feces gives off a very pungent fecal odor.
  • This odor becomes more stubborn the longer the stain sets.

Dander and Odor

  • Pet dander (microscopic flakes of skin) can settle into fabrics.
  • As it accumulates, it leads to a typical musty, dusty odor.

Litter Box Smell

  • Litter boxes can give off an ammonia-rich urine smell, especially if not cleaned regularly.
  • Feces odor also lingers around litter boxes.

Skunk Spray Odor

  • Getting sprayed by a skunk can be a nightmare for pets and owners!
  • The signature skunk smell contains sulfurous compounds that stick persistently.

Now let’s look at some effective natural solutions for tackling each of these unpleasant pet stains and odors.

Natural Cleaning Solutions

For Urine Stains and Odor

Urine stains and odor require an acid-based cleaner to neutralize the alkaline ammonia. Here are some easy homemade cleaner options:

  • White vinegar: Mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray onto stain. Blot with towel. For tougher stains, let the vinegar solution sit for a few minutes before blotting. The acetic acid in vinegar neutralizes ammonia.

  • Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stain and let sit for 5 minutes before blotting and rinsing. Lemon juice contains citric acid which breaks down urine crystals.

  • Baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda generously on the stain and let sit overnight before vacuuming up. Baking soda absorbs and deodorizes urine smell.

For Feces Stains and Odor

Disinfecting and deodorizing are key for eliminating feces stains and smell. Try these options:

  • Hydrogen peroxide: Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water and spray onto stain. Let bubble up for 10 minutes before blotting and rinsing with vinegar. The bubbling action helps lift stain while also disinfecting.

  • Borax: Dissolve 4 tablespoons borax in 2 cups hot water and spray onto stain. Let sit for 5 minutes before blotting and rising. The alkaline borax disinfects and deodorizes feces odor.

  • Distilled white vinegar: As mentioned, vinegar is excellent for deodorizing and neutralizing foul odors.

For Pet Dander Odor

To effectively tackle dander odor in fabrics:

  • Vacuum upholstered furniture and curtains thoroughly to remove accumulated dander.

  • Steam clean carpets and rugs to lift dander from deep within the fibers.

  • Add baking soda to laundry to remove musty pet odor from bedding.

  • Use vinegar and water in a spray bottle to freshen smelly upholstery.

For Smelly Litter Boxes

Prevent and eliminate litter box odor with these tips:

  • Scoop waste daily and fully change litter weekly to prevent odor.

  • Rinse litter box weekly with diluted vinegar/water solution to neutralize ammonia smell.

-Sprinkle baking soda in bottom of litter box to absorb odors before adding fresh litter.

  • Use unscented clumping litter to prevent overpowering artificial fragrance.

  • Place litter box in well-ventilated area and away from gathering spaces.

For Skunk Spray on Pets

Skunk odor needs powerful odor-neutralizing solutions. Here are 2 options:

  • Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ?? cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap. Rinse pet with this solution outdoors. Rinse again with vinegar-water solution. The chemical reaction neutralizes skunk sulfur compounds.

  • Combine 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, ?? cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap in a spray bottle. Spray liberally over pet’s coat outdoors. Do not rinse off. The solution will oxidize and neutralize skunk smell over time. Repeat application if needed.

Tips for Preventing Pet Stains and Odors

While it’s handy to know how to remove pet stains and odors, prevention is the best policy. Here are my top tips for keeping pet stains and smell at bay:

  • Train pets to eliminate outdoors or in a designated indoor litter area. This takes time and patience but prevents soiling around the house.

  • Clean accidents ASAP – the longer urine sits, the harder to remove odor and stain.

  • Blot wet stains immediately to soak up moisture rather than rubbing it in deeper

  • Use washable rugs by entryways and food/water bowls to catch accidents.

  • Vacuum frequently – at least weekly, to remove pet hair and dander before it builds up.

  • Clean litter boxes 1-2 times per week – scoop waste daily.

  • Wash pet beds regularly to remove body oils and odor.

  • Groom pets regularly to control shedding and coat odors.


As a pet owner, dealing with occasional stains and odors comes with the territory. Thankfully, with the help of these natural cleaning solutions, I can tackle pet stains using safe, eco-friendly ingredients found around my home. While nothing fully prevents accidents, taking proactive steps through training, cleaning and grooming can go a long way towards reducing unpleasant pet stains and smells. With the right homemade cleaners on hand, I feel fully equipped to take on any pet mess!

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