How to get cat urine out of your carpet

Soap, baking soda and vinegar penetrate deep and help neutralize cat urine odors in your carpet. (Photo courtesy of Eddie Whedbee)

Soap, baking soda and vinegar penetrate deep and help neutralize cat urine odors in your carpet. (Photo courtesy of Eddie Whedbee)

While you love your cat, you and your carpet don’t love the accidents it might leave behind. Cat urine can be one of the most difficult stains to remove from your carpet, and a professional might need to be called in.

Angie’s List contains ratings and reviews for more than 3,000 Los Angeles carpet cleaners who can help restore your carpet and make it seem like you live in a spotless, pet-free household. Sign in for access to member reviews of local companies. You’ll find reviews from members like Marion Chase, who has called in highly rated Niagara Carpet & Cleaning of Sun Valley, Calif., to clean his pet-stained carpet several times.

"They precisely measured the areas I wanted done and gave me a quote on the spot," he says. "They set up their equipment and paid special attention to the really soiled areas."

If you're trying to combat the stain before calling in a pro, you can try removing it using household items you may already have in your cabinets. You’ll need: baking soda, vinegar, cold water and a few cleaning rags.

If the cat urine is not yet dry, blot the area with a damp rag, soaking up as much as possible. If it is dried, dampen the area with warm water.

Next, sprinkle baking soda onto the area. Cover the stained area completely, but don't make a mound. Be sure to cover any outlying spots, as well.

Pour a small amount of vinegar onto the stain and let it soak into the carpet. Cover it with a plastic grocery bag, so that the vinegar can soak in without evaporating or being blotted up by a rag. After the vinegar has had time to soak in – usually about 20 to 30 minutes – use a clean rag soaked in cold water to scrub it up.

It may take a few applications of the solution to completely remove the smell. Be sure to vacuum the spot thoroughly to pick-up any left behind particles.

If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, get a ½ cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of dish detergent. Mix the solution and pour it onto the stain. Use a sturdy rag or scrub brush to work it into the carpet in steady circular motions for several minutes. Wipe away any excess soap suds and allow the spot to air dry. If necessary, re-apply.

The dish detergent in this solution attacks the bacteria and enzymes that cause odors, so it can be especially effective on fresh urine stains. Soap, baking soda and vinegar act as natural carpet cleaners and are most useful for spot treatment.

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My cat had an "accident" in our guest room... I tried Nature's Miracle many, many times, but the smell wasn't going away. I came across a review for Thornell Cat Odor-Off and bought ordered it from Amazon -- it works amazingly well! It's been about 30 minutes since I applied it and the urine smell is completely gone. My husband and I are so relieved. I highly recommend it!

I am a carpet cleaner that recently started with AL, and got myself a membership as well. I was browsing the site and saw a piece on removing cat urine (odor and stain) yourself. While I agree with most of what was said this part, "Use a sturdy rag or scrub brush to work it into the carpet in steady circular motions for several minutes." I would be very careful in "scrubbing" your carpet, one, you can be driving the contaminant down further and into the dye sites of the carpet, second, you can "frizz" out your carpet and you will see a worn or frizzy spot where the carpet was scrubbed. Just my 2 cents. I am a fan of lightly agitating and blotting with pressure. Dry always attracts wet, you can transfer the liquid from the carpet to a dry towel, if you feel you are at the "scrubbing stage" best call out a professional and let them flush and extract the carpet fibers.

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