Homemade Pet Urine Odor and Stain Removal
Unfortunately, pet accidents (and stains) happen.
There's nothing like walking in bare feet and stepping into that cold, wet spot on the carpet. Usually it’s when you have to be somewhere in five minutes. And let's not forget the smell...
You could go out and buy a pet odor remover but those sometimes just mask the problem. You need to neutralize the odor, otherwise you might as well announce to guests “Yes, our dog/cat pees on the carpet!"
Urine odor clean-up can be a messy job, but it's important not to just mask the smell. Until you completely remove all traces of urine, the odor will continue to resurface once the masking agent has evaporated or worn off.
Pet urine (all urine actually) starts to smell like ammonia very quickly. Bacteria start breaking urine down as soon as it's excreted, and because urine contains nitrates, it's the essential building blocks of ammonia.
Ammonia is a very pungent smell that is difficult to get rid of. Whether it came from a human or pet, the smell lingers. Unless you take care of completely- that is to remove all the urine and its residue, its foul odor will eventually return. Incomplete cleaning may also attract cats and dogs back to the same soiled spot because they can still smell the urine odor.
Not to worry though.. I have the secret to cleaning up pet stains so there will be virtually no evidence of an unfortunate accident. Here's a tried and true recipe and step to take to remove urine stains and odor. Not only cheaper, but more effectively using everyday ingredients you probably have in your house already.
Locate the Odor Source:
The first step is finding where the smell is coming from. If you can smell urine odor, but do not know where it's coming from, watch your pet (or ask your children) to see where Fido or Fluffy have been sneaking off to do their business.
If you have just moved into a new house or apartment and are noticing a strong (or faint) scent of urine from the last inhabitants, finding where it’s coming from may take a little investigative work. Unless you want to get down on your hands and knees and start sniffing (uggh!), the best way to find dried urine in a carpet is to use a black light. Turn off all the light and close windows shades and turn on the black light and begin sweeping it across the floors. Any urine or other biological material in the rugs should glow.
Homemade Cleaning and Deodorizing Solution:
Here's what you’ll need to get started. Get your ingredients right out of your cabinets and get your tools together and we are all set. How much easier can this be? Well, at least this part of it!
Get Your Tools Ready:
- Paper towels or other absorbent material to absorb liquid
- Rubber gloves
To Remove The Urine:
Combine the water and vinegar solution mixed in a bowl
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
To Neutralize and Deodorize:
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda
To Lift Any Remaining Set-in Stain:
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup household strength (3%) hydrogen peroxide
Remove Urine, Neutralize, Deodorize and Removing the Stain:
- Blot up as much of the urine as possible by using the paper towels.
- Mix together the water and vinegar and pour or spray it on the spot. You really want to work it down into the carpet so this is not a time to be stingy.
- Work the mixture into the carpet with your fingers (or a scrub brush or toothbrush), but be careful not to scrub too hard- heavy scrubbing will damage the carpet fibers.
- Blot up all the vinegar and water until it’s as dry as possible. A wet/dry vac or steam cleaner does a good job extracting liquid too.
- When the spot is very close to being dry, sprinkle the baking soda on the stain.
- With your rubber gloves on, work some of the peroxide into the stain with your fingers. The baking soda and peroxide will be foaming like mad.
- Again blot up all the liquid possible with a paper towel or other absorbent material.
- Let the spot dry completely.
- Vacuum thoroughly to remove any residue.
Voila ~~ No more stinky pee spot or stain.
Homemade Carpet Freshener:
Here's a great way to freshen any room, especially a room where you've cleaned up after pets.
This is a powdered carpet freshener that's easy to make and doesn't take much to make. The baking soda will help to remove old odors and the rest will add a nice scent to the room.
- 3 cups baking soda
- 20 drops of your favorite essential oil like lavender, jasmine, or vanilla
- Shaker jar to disperse
- Pour the baking soda in a medium size bowl and break up any clumps with a fork.
- Use your favorite essential oil like lavender, jasmine, or vanilla and sprinkle in the baking soda, stirring well to reduce lumps.
- Put the mixture in a shaker jar and sprinkle lightly on the carpet. Don't overdo it. Just a light sprinkle is enough.
- Let sit on the carpet for 15 minutes or so and vacuum up.
Simple Odor Control Tips for Pet Owners:
To help keep pet odors at bay, be sure to follow these simple odor-reducing tips:
- Wash pet bedding weekly. Pet dander is a big odor inducer, so be sure to wash your pet’s bedding at least once a week to keep the odor down.
- Vacuum daily to remove pet hair and dander. Keeping up with pet odors means eliminating their source: pet hair and dander. One way to accomplish this is to vacuum daily, especially in areas where your pet sleeps.
- Use absorbents in high traffic areas and anyplace where your pet may have had an accident
- Clean pet accidents completely. One of the stinkiest and longest lasting pet odors to deal with are urine smells. Do your best to prevent repeat accidents by walking your pet regularly; changing litter boxes and keeping pets away from areas where they may be tempted to urinate on the same spot again.
Homemade Room Deodorizers and Sprays:
For a quick and cheap way to freshen the air in a room, add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle of clean filtered water and spritz around your house (especially on curtains and upholstery).
A great way to add a pleasant scent to the room when vacuuming is to add a scented dryer sheet in your vacuum canister or bag to help keep odors from escaping the vacuum.
For some jobs, a commercial product is needed to neutralize the smell. When buying an odor eliminator, be sure to look for one with enzymes designed to break down the ammonia from urine stains and get rid of the odors for good.
Image courtesy of Emmanuel_D.Photography, CC BY Flickr.