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How to Get Dog Pee Out of Your Carpet

dog carpet

Dogs peeing on the carpet can both damage it and create a lingering unpleasant smell in the house. Read on for the best way to get dog pee out of your carpet.

Having a dog is full of pleasant experiences, but returning to dog pee on your carpet is not one of them. If your pup hasn’t been potty-trained, you will probably come home to a number of “accidents.” Carpet stains due to urine are common stressors for new pet owners or those with new puppies.

Luckily, several homemade and commercial solutions for your dog-pee-on-the-carpet struggles are available. This article leads you on how to get dog pee out of your carpet using solutions like vinegar or commercial products.

How to Clean Pet Pee from Carpet

Even the best-trained pups can accidentally urinate in the house. Similarly, you can faithfully stick to a potty-break routine but still come across an accident or two, which is normal. Knowing what to do when you encounter the infamous and stinky pet pee is key to a happy stay with your furry friend. 

Keep in mind that cleaning the carpet is not just for your own benefit, but also because any lingering smell of pee will encourage your dog to pee there again. This is why it’s essential to never use ammonium-based products to clean dog pee. The ammonia mimics the scent of urine, and this can encourage your dog to view that spot as a “pee spot”.

With the right cleaning tools, the seemingly tough job of cleaning waste stains is made much easier. Some everyday household products like vinegar and baking soda hold the answer to urine stains. Commercial urine stain removers can work on stains that have had adequate time to sip into the carpet.

Your success in cleaning urine stains from your carpet is dependent on the time elapsed after deposit, with old stains being significantly harder to remove. Treatments and dyes applied to the carpet at the time of manufacture and the finish of the carpet also determine how urine will affect the rug.

Urine is naturally acidic, but ammonia residue forms after some time, making it alkaline. Standard cleaning solutions cannot clean these salts. In fact, cleaning agents with ammonia may even worsen the stench. These ammonia salts absorb moisture meaning urine can remain moist under your carpet for years.

Store-bought urine stain cleaners offer a quick and effective solution to pee stains. The PawSafe Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray is the best of its kind because, as a bio-enzymatic pet stain remover, it breaks down urine and ammonia. This enzymatic formula makes the product effective at cleaning both recent and older urine stains.

A black-light or ultraviolet light will come in handy if you can smell pee in your house but can’t pinpoint where the smell is coming from.  It should show where the stain is even long after it has dried. It’s important to check other soft furnishings, as once you start looking it’s likely you’ll need to remove dog urine from the couch, bedding and even your socks!

Cleaning New Dog Urine Stains on Carpet

Cleaning New Dog Urine Stains on Carpet

Suppose you’ve just caught your pup in the act; how then will you go about cleaning the recent urine from your carpet? Luckily, if the urine is still new, you are right on time because the longer pee sits on the carpet, the more it will stink. Carpets absorb urine quickly, so you must act fast to neutralize the problem in time.

Steps to get dog urine stain off a carpet:

Step 1

Soak up the urine

Use paper towels to blot the liquid once you spot the area where your pup has urinated. Paper towels are more absorbent than your typical towel. If you don’t have paper towels on hand, opt for a dish sponge, an old T-Shirt, or old newspapers instead. Blotting out as much urine as possible from the carpet causes it to lose its grip on the carpet fibers.

Soaking up as much urine as possible is essential to prevent the pee from seeping through the carpet into the padding underneath. An extracting wet vac is an effective way of blotting urine out of your carpet, so don’t hesitate to use it if you have one on hand.

Step 2

Rinse the area with cold water 

If the area has had time to dry, wetting the spot with cold water will ease the cleaning process. Rinse the recent pee stain with cold water and dry using an old T-Shirt or a wet vac. The wet T-shirts will probably stink, which is good because the pee is transferring from the carpet to them.

Step 3

Treat the affected spot

Common household products that are probably in your pantry right now will do wonders in cleaning dog urine stains. The products we’ll list below are pet-safe and are unlikely to discolor your carpet during use. Here’s what you’ll need for a homemade pee cleaning solution.

– 1 cup of water
– One cup of white vinegar
= 1/4 cup of baking soda

Once you mix 1:1 water to vinegar in a spray bottle, spray the solution to the area with the pee stain. Work the solution into the carpet with your fingers if you have gloves on or with a brush, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Blot the solution dry once you are content with the time elapsed.

Vinegar is effective at lifting the urine from the carpet fibers which reduces the severity of the pee stain. On the other hand, baking soda is an excellent anti-odor ingredient that will combat the foul smell of urine. Sprinkle 1/4 a cup of baking soda and let it sit on the urine spot for some time, then vacuum the carpet until it feels clean to the touch.  

However, while DIY treatments can work in a pinch, it’s better to have something specifically built for the task on hand. If you have a problem with a dog peeing on a carpet, invest in a natural enzyme-based cleaner that will break down the ammonia urine particles without damaging the fabric. This will help keep your carpet intact for longer and you’ll be able to use it to clean fabrics in your car from dog fur and stains.

Dried Dog Urine on the carpet

Dried Dog Urine (set-in stains) on the carpet

If the urine on your carpet eludes you and significant time elapses, the stains may be a bit more challenging to get rid of. Old urine stains that have had the time to set in can haunt pet owners; the smell lingers even if you can’t see it. Still, there are ways to deal with old urine stains.

Old urine stains have had the time to soak into the carpet or even the floor underneath. Urine gets smellier with time because the ammonia becomes more concentrated as the liquid evaporates, converting into mercaptan. The pungent gas, mercaptan, also known as methanethiol, gives pee its distinct odor.

On top of how old urine stains are, it’s important to consider how often the spot gets peed on by your pups. If you don’t clean an area your pup had previously peed on well, they will probably urinate there repeatedly. Repeated urination in one place makes the urine more concentrated and smellier.

Steps to remove dried dog urine:

Step 1

Find the spot with urine

Old urine is particularly smelly because it has had time to release methanethiol gas. Still, it may be hard to spot the old and dry urine stain even though the stench is unmistakable. If you’re having difficulties identifying urine stains, consider using a blacklight to see where dried urine is located.

Turn off all the lights in the room while using a backlight. Urine glows pale yellow under a backlight, majorly because it contains phosphorus. If you locate the urine stains on your couch, we have you covered.

Step 2

Rewet the area

Old urine stains have had the time to dry up on your carpet. Wet the stain first to make treating the urine spot more effective. A wet-dry vac will do the job perfectly, so use one if it’s readily on hand. Avoid using a steamer to wet urine stains because it may permanently set the stain and odor on the carpet.

Step 3

Use household products to treat the spot

Just as with fresh stains, white vinegar and baking soda can work magic on urine stains by making them disappear. Mix water and white vinegar in a ratio of 1:1 and spray the solution on the stain. After leaving the mixture for a few minutes, blot the area dry with paper towels or an old T-shirt and let it dry.

After the vinegar treatment, sprinkle 1/4 a cup of baking soda on the affected area. Baking soda is an excellent anti-odor substance. It will eliminate the smell of both the white vinegar and the pee. Vacuum the baking soda from the carpet thoroughly after leaving it overnight.

Step 4

Use commercial pet stain removers to clean the area

Old stains that have set into your carpet are more resilient to the natural products you find in your pantry. You may have to include a store-bought stain eliminator in your cleaning regimen to remove the stains. The PawSafe stain remover will effectively neutralize urine odor by breaking down the pee particles.

To use a commercial urine remover, spray the product on the problem area and work it in with a brush. Next, you can leave the spot to air dry or use paper towels to slightly dry the area. These enzymatic cleaners will leave your carpet stain-free.

Final Words

Pet owners deal with pee stains on the carpet at some point in their dogs’ lives. You can remove most urine stains effectively using homemade products like vinegar and baking soda. Commercial bio-enzymatic cleaners can remove stubborn stains, such as the old ones. Old urine stains stink more and are harder to find because of the ammonia buildup that happens as time passes.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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