How to Get the Smell of Pet Urine out of Carpet

When your dog accidentally pees on the carpet, follow these steps to get out the odor.

When your dog accidentally pees on the carpet, follow these steps to get out the odor.

Dog lovers know the benefits that a pet brings to their lives. But, as all pet owners know, accidents happen from time to time.

Some of our furry friends only occasionally slip, whereas others urinate on the carpet more frequently — especially older pets. These smells contain a strong ammonia odor that can stink up the entire home.

So, how can you go about removing dog urine odor from your carpets? Try these proven methods for cleaning up stains and salvaging the carpet.

Act promptly

Clean up any urine that's still wet. If the urine dries, it stains the carpet and increases bacteria growth. To best remove the stain, place a layer of several paper towels over the wet area of the carpet. Walk on the paper towels so that they absorb as much of the pet pee as possible. Removing wet urine reduces the smell.

Neutralize the odor

For new or set-in stains, create a cleaning solution consisting of one part white vinegar to one part water. Vinegar neutralizes the ammonia smell of urine without fading carpet fibers, making it a good choice for cleaning and protecting your carpet.

Slowly pour the solution on the stained area of the carpet. The solution needs to reach the lower fibers in the carpet to completely neutralize the area. After allowing the carpet to absorb the solution for 10 minutes, use a layer of paper towels to soak up the liquid.

Learn more at the Angie's List Guide to Carpet Cleaning.

Once the carpet is almost dry — which could be several hours later — sprinkle a little baking soda on the area to absorb the odor. Allow the baking soda to settle into the carpet fibers for about 15 minutes, then vacuum the area. This should remove pet urine odor from the carpet.

Use commercial pet stain removers

The market is filled with commercial pet stain removers, deodorizers and air fresheners. Turn to these products if using vinegar and baking soda fails to remove the urine smell from your home.

Some products work better than others depending on the type of carpet you have, such as natural versus synthetic fibers. Read the label on these products to find the one that can best removes pet odor from carpet.

Hire a carpet cleaning service

If the carpet odors are longstanding and accompany urine stains that you can't remove, contact a professional carpet cleaner. These experts have a wide range of machines and solvents at their disposal to clean your carpet, remove odors and make it look good as new.

Editor's note: This is an edited version of a story originally posted on Oct. 4, 2012.


I have 3 dogs. ..2 pit bull & Yorkie mix.... this little dog keeps sneaking off and using it in the house. .. after being outside with the other dogs... I keep smelling urine.... I can't stand it..I tried vinegar. there such a thing to detour them from using it in the house. .??????

Have you tried Genesis 950? It's the only thing I have found that gets the smell out. I would use it in a machine as the urine is likely in the padding.

One possible cause that i haven't seen here is that you dog/puppy may have diabetes. My puppy was not getting house trained so i took her to the vet to only find you she was very sick. If you still have problems contact a vet/trainer for help.

How can I get urine stain out my tile floors which has a yellow discoloration. Thanks

Our dog is potty trained. But now, she is peeing in the hallway, dining room and master bedroom now. We've been using baby gates to keep her from going in that part of the house. But we're getting frustrated with having to climb over baby gates now. What can we do or use to get her to stop peeing in these areas of our home?

If your dog was fully potty trained and is now having accidents please see your vet. Chances are she has a bladder or urinary tract infection or another underlying cause. Dogs don't choose to potty inside, but if medically they can't hold it or they are left alone too long without being able to go outside and relieve themselves accidents will happen. Please check with your vet, antibiotics and approx 10-14 days will cure a urinary track or bladder infection

I have stains on my carpet from my previous dog. I have tried everything to remove them with no luck. I am considering using bleach on the carpet. It is just on the landing in my upstairs hallway. Has anyone ever tried this? The carpet is light beige.

Please do not use bleach! You will strip the carpet fibers of the color dye. If you would like to learn how to remove pet odors and stains please call a professional Like Benchmark Restoration & Cleaning

Hydrogen peroxide breaks down the compounds in urine. It will remove the stains and odor.

NOOOOOO. Do not use bleach - use the Genesis 950 cleaner. It will remove the odors.

Bleach may take the color out of your carpet. Before using any carpet cleaning product, it's recommended to do a test spot first in an inconspicuous area before using the product on the entire carpet. A carpet cleaning professional might be the best option for dealing with tough, set-in stains.

I have 3 dogs been having them for 2 years 1 is trained but the other two they go back and forward with the accidents and ive had enough withh the ammonia smell making me sick.i do everything thats possible take them on walks but sometimes they just rather come home and do their business here.Please help any suggestions are well appreciated .thank you

My dog took a long time to potty train - almost 9 months! I took her to training school, but you could consider bringing a dog trainer into your home to provide individualized attention and training. Also, if you're not dealing well with chemical carpet cleaners, you could consider a natural-based product. But it's always recommended to test a carpet cleaning product on an area that's not visible to make sure it works with your carpet and doesn't discolor or damage it. Good luck!

I have a puppy who has had accidents in the house. I steam cleaned the carpets and now I am really smelling pet odor. Ideas

Chances are you were using a store bought cleaner that was a brand name in conjunction with a cleaning machine. These cleaners are soap based and as a result, do not remove the odor. Instead, what happens with these types of cleaners is that they attract dirt. They also do not have anything in them that works as an antibacterial agent to break down and remove the odor. You need to use a cleaner that will destroy and kill germs and bacteria that cause the odor. Genesis 950 is my go to cleaner. It is by far the best pet stain remover I have ever found.

My landlord had previous tenants that had dogs that used this one particular area and I have 2 chihuahuas and my female keeps going there. I just split the cost on a carpet cleaner and my landlord himself cleaned it. I don't have the heart to tell him 2 days later it' still smells bad. Where can I get this Genesis 950?

I just read this on the Humane Society's website: Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers. They suggest getting a wet vac and rinse the area with water until thoroughly rinsed through. Not using any chemicals or deodorizers because those can attract the pet to the area again. But to rinse it as well as possible with just water until the stain is gone.

You can use the 950. It doesn't have the chemicals that set into. It's a surfactant so it uses water to break down the stains. Then you flush them out with water

Just don't use the heater. Most machines have settings where you can heat the water up or use it as it. Just use as is and that won't happen, however I always use mine on the heated setting and it always gets the stains out.

I ran into a problem with my one dog going pee in the house and I knew something was wrong because I let her out every hour. So I ended up taking a urine sample to the vet and she had crystals in her urine which causes great pain in their bladder. The vet said it was like little pieces of glass in her bladder. I am treating her with Crananidin and Cosequin every other day because when so took it every day her poop was like soft serve ice cream. Works great no more pee in the house. Consult you vet for proper dosage. Nutramax pharm. make the products. Hope this helps.

you said that you are treating your dog with Crananidin and Cosequin every other day. And that "Nutramax pharm. makes the products. Is this a mail order pharm. And did your vet come up with this solution on taking this or did you research on the internet. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions I really appreciate it.

Have two dogs, when we go out and be gone couple of hrs, they piss and poop on the carpet.It is in the smae spot everytime. I have scrubbed an did evrything to get rid of this smell. How do I keep them from using the bathroom and in the same spot?

Nature's miracle! Hands down the only thing that gets rid of the smell completely. You can find it at most pet stores. And for the record; don't come on here to bash people for their animal's actions. Accidents can happen no matter what. (i.e. alison; find somewhere else to complain).

what works for me....I have a a hoover steamvac carpet cleaner worth it... I soak up original area ...poor vinegar solution over allow to sit then do the whole rugs with the cleaner and the solution you buy to go over it. Then I fill it with the vinegar mixture then add 100 percent pure essential oils (lemongrass, tea-tree,bergamot maybe 10 drops per gallon of each or just until im satisfied with smell) then i do the rugs with that mixture...the oils are antimicrobial, antibacterial,anti-fungal and anti viral...oh the antiseptic qualities among other things!! smells great..i will be adding the baking soda Thanks guys

u may have to remove that carpeting...carpets only last 5-7 years anyways...put in tile or linoleum.

I have no problems with my dog and cats we take them out every 3-4 hrs and feed them 2- 3 times per day, our floors don't stink, maybe you can try that good luck

Allison we dont need your smart remarks. If your not having this kind of problem with your pets then theres no reason for you to even be on this site, now is there?

Nobodys perfect! Wait until your dogs are older, then you'll be greaful for this site and everyones opinions. Another thing if your dogs are perfect, why are you on this site then??

I have a dog door in my house. Although my dogs use it regularly, one of my dogs is afraid to go out when it is raining heavily, and has peed on the carpet a few times at night without my knowledge. I didn't know about it until it had dried. Please don't judge. Nobody wants their pet to pee in the house. It's so frustrating and embarrassing.

It is very frustrating. My puppy is about 15-16 weeks old (she just started losing her teeth) and we live in a two story house. Since we share the house, we keep her upstairs and she is puppy pad trained...or so we thought. The pads will be down and she will go right on the edge of the pad. Sometimes she will go on the floor no where near the padding. I am not judging because everyone's situation is different. You'll find a way to get through this; that's why you came here in the first place. :)

After doing the obvious--soaking up the wet urine, using a wet vac to dilute it and suck it back up, after shampooing, etc. and finding that some of the odor was still there, I let the carpet dry thoroughly, then used a plastic bottle with a nozzle tip and "injected" a pet odor treatment solution deep into the affected area and let it soak into the carpet padding and slab underneath the carpet--then let it dry thoroughly. I can't smell any urine anymore--even when I get down on the floor and try! I do smell some of the nice-smelling treatment solution, though, but don't mind that. Good luck!

Thanks so much for sharing. What was the brand of pet odor treatment you used? I have a big problem and need to know! thank you so much!

Don't get rid of your pets! If your pets are having problems, YOU are the cause. Animals don't purposely pee in your house to upset you. 1)Not potty trained? Consult a behaviorist, (lots of SPCAs and Humane Society's have FREE consulting departments to help you solve your pets problems and KEEP YOUR PETS). 2)Incontinent? Consult your vet. There are medications to stop this problem. Dont blame your pets people. They don't want to live in a stinky house any more than you do.

If your dog and cat is peeing all over your carpet and you can't stop them. You have a few options. 1) Get rid of cats/dogs. Not an option? 2) Install tile. Very expensive and not a diy for most people. 3) Install indoor/outdoor carpet. There are very nice indoor/outdoor carpets for very cheap. Less than a hundred dollars to do any room in your house and even if your animals are horrible, they don't soak up smell like regular carpet. I did my movie theater in black because it was the only black I could find. I found out very quickly that almost any kind of stain can be scrubbed out and since it has a rubber backing the stain doesn't soak through. There is no padding, just rubber on the back of the carpet. Double sided tape holds it down and installation is really easy. The weiner dog took to using my theater as a bathroom, and I didn't realize it for over a week. Needless to say I was very angry. It came right up and never smelled again. 6 years of slumber parties with kids, me drinking too much, and being used as a base of construction when I was tearing out the bathroom didn't even phase the carpet. My wife even spilled a 5 gallon bucket of red paint on it once and then tried to be helpful by drying it up while I was at work. That came up too. She is afraid of rain and storms, and even if I let her out she will not go to the bathroom. She has had some accidents in the dining room. If you suffer from the dog/cat pee problem and don't have the ability or money to install tile, then buy indoor/outdoor carpet. The new stuff at Lowes feels like real carpet without the problems of it.

I have tried the Baking soda and Vinegar mixture, because the smell was horrid.... I let it dry several hours and i can still smell the urine.... Is there anything else i can do? i need a shampooer but do not have one at the moment... Please Help!

Blot. Then sprinkle kind of a lot of baking soda. Then pour vinegar. It will fizz. Let dry. 24 hours probably. Vacuum. Only set back: your carpet will have a "clean" spot". Dog will just pee another spot, tho.

If the vinegar mixture is not working, you need to have a professional come out to clean. The problem is not the carpet, it is the padding underneath the carpet. If a spill or accident is not blotted up immediately, it soaks through the carpet and into the pad. When you spot clean, it does not clean down to the pad. The carpet may smell nice & look good, but if it gets wet or warm enough then the stuff left in the pad will come back up into the carpet. You really need to call a professional carpet cleaner with a truck mounted unit to come clean it. Their systems use very hot water & have a strong suction unit. They can get deep down to the pad & then extract all that water so it does not deteriorate the backing on your carpet.

I have tried everything to house train my puppy and nothing is working he has peed on my carpet and the smell of ammonia is making me sick! I bought a shampooer and have tried everything to get out the smell even vineger and baking soda the smell is still here ,please someone help!

I had tried everything except for calling professional help.I can't get this ordor out my room.

the smell is crazy ive had my carpet clean about 6mo ago and now that iam using the heat, its smells very bad ,, Help

Add comment


What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 3 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!