Ooops – your dog just made a mistake and now it’s time to clean up dog urine from the carpet. Before you get too frustrated, remember that accidents happen, even with the best trained dogs. Unfortunately, when your pet has an accident on your carpet, you can’t just shampoo the carpet, because soap and water can’t eliminate the odor causing urine crystals.
Step 1 – Extract the Urine
It’s a bit trickier to clean up dog urine from carpet is than hardwood (see our article about How to Clean Dog Urine from Hardwood Floors), primarily because it’s hard to see if you absorbed all the urine as it soaks into the carpet.
For a wet urine “accident”, take some paper towels (or regular) and press them into the carpet where you think the urine is. Apply pressure to the paper towels (easiest is to step on them with your feet and use your body weight). You want to repeat this until wetness is no longer absorbed by the paper towels. Alternatively, you can also try sucking out the wet urine with a carpet cleaner. Also make sure to check the surrounding areas because if your dog was marking, you might have missed some spots.
If the urine spots have already dried, you can still find these spots with a black light. The urine stains will fluoresce under the ultra violet light in a darkened room. You can have a little fun with this and pretend you’re filming your own CSI episode. Use a sweeping motion and gradually move farther away from the generally smelly location or accident spot you’ve already discovered. The pet urine that you’re looking for should show up as a yellow/greenish color. You may be surprised to find a stain farther away than you thought. Put some tape around the spots you find so that when you put the lights back on you know where to clean.
Step 2 – Getting the Smell/Urine Out
Before you try any of the below solutions, test an inconspicuous spot on your carpet first to ensure the cleaning solution you use will not damage your carpet.
One of the best home solutions is white vinegar (do not use other types of vinegar – only use white vinegar). Some people use it straight and others dilute it with water. Pour the white vinegar over the urine spot and let it sit long enough to reach the bottom carpet fibers for fifteen minutes on a fresh stain and at least an hour on old stains. As before, soak up the white vinegar with paper towels (or regular towels) or suck out the liquid with your carpet cleaner. Make sure wetness no longer comes through the paper towels. Then allow the area to air dry.
If you can’t or prefer not to use white vinegar, then you should check out some of these store bought solutions:
Rocco & Roxie’s Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
This professional strength bio-enzymatic formula guarantees to virtually eliminate any stain and odor from urine, feces, vomit, and other organic stains. Discourages pets’ attraction to stained areas by making odors disappear while removing stains from carpeting, rugs or upholstery. It has earned the Seal of Approval from the trusted Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).
Nature’s Miracle is one of the top brands to clean up dog urine and has a large variety of pet stain and odor removal products. Check out their Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo.
American Kennel Club Gold – Carpet and Upholstery Concentrate Cleaning Solution
This AKC solution is guaranteed to eliminate tough pet stains and pet odors. It states that it is safe for use in all popular carpet cleaning machines and is safe to use on any wool, nylon and stain resistant carpet. This solution removes ground-in dirt and old dried stains and is also non-toxic, biodegradable, and cruelty free.
- Remember to always test an inconspicuous spot on your carpet first to ensure the cleaning solution you use will not damage your carpet.
- Be patient – to completely remove dog urine odor, the process may need to be repeated several times over a few days or even weeks.
- Never use Windex or ammonia to clean a urine spot. Dog urine is partially made of ammonia and thus if you clean with it, your dog will think it is ok to go back and mark the spot.
- As with all household chemical projects, you should wear rubber gloves.