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How to Get Dog Urine Stains Out Of Almost Anything…

Written by Anna Hollisey


black and white dog peeing against a tree

Wet patches mysteriously appear, and soon the whole place smells bad… dog pee stains are the worst! We speak from experience. Here are the best ways to remove dog pee from carpets, mattresses, hardwood, and grass…

The Dog Urine Quick Grab Kit

In most cases, the quicker you can act, the better the outcome. Don’t worry, we’ll also give some top tips on dealing with stains you didn’t notice until it was too late. 

In order to act as quickly as possible, there’s a few things you always need to make sure you’ve got to hand. Spending ten minutes turning the house upside down looking for an old towel or the white vinegar is time that urine has to soak in. Always have a ‘dog pee stain kit’ easily accessible:

  • Old towels - those old towels that have become rough or discolored? They make great dog towels
  • Microfiber cloths - although not essential, microfiber absorbs a lot more liquid much quicker than regular towels
  • Baking soda - depending on how frequent these accidents are and how large your dog's bladder is, you’ll probably want a large tub rather than something from the home baking department 
  • White vinegar - again, a larger bottle rather than the small kitchen bottle will be more economical
  • Carpet shampoo - there’s loads of these on the market that contain enzymes which break down the particles in pet urine
  • Scrubbing brush - like the towels, you’ll want a brush that’s exclusively for pee (you don’t want to get it mixed up with the vegetable scrubbing brush!) 

How to Get Dog Pee Stains Out of Carpet

Catch it fast! Your first line of defense against pee stains is to soak away the liquid. Grab paper, regular towels or microfiber cloths and press them over the wet patch to absorb as much pee as possible. 

Now, the pee’s sucked out, except for the fluid which was already absorbed by carpet fibers. To remove most of that, tip baking soda generously over the area (wait an hour, and then vacuum it all up). 

If you didn’t catch your dog in the act (it happens!) and you’re looking at an older pee stain, do not use a steam cleaner. From personal trial-and-error, we know that steam can make the stain even more determined to stick around. 

Instead, try one of these simple remedies:

  1. Make a solution of half white vinegar and half distilled water. You can add a few drops of essential oil if you like (taking care to avoid those which are toxic to pets). Spray liberally over the patch: vinegar dislodges stains and prevents odors
  2. Is your carpet bleach-resistant? If so, you can get good results by scrubbing the stained patch with a solution of bleach and warm water. Leave to dry and repeat if necessary. (If you’re not sure about your carpet, test the solution in an inconspicuous place first.)
  3. Choose a carpet shampoo (and optionally, rent a carpet shampooer). Many are specifically designed for pet stains: they contain enzymes which break down the particles in urine. 

How to Get Dog Pee Stains Out of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are different to carpet: once soaked in, the fluid can’t be persuaded back out! Urgent action is key. If your dog urinates, be ready to throw down a wad of towels as fast as possible. 

Stuck with a stain? Don’t reach for the trusty vinegar solution. It can affect the finish on your hardwood floors. Instead, apply a small amount of bleach using a toothbrush to see whether you can remove the stain. 

If that doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to sand and re-finish the floor. Trying to avoid big-budget fixes? You can sand the stained area using fine-grade sandpaper and then seal it using the original floor finisher (wax or oil). It might not blend in with the shade of the surrounding floor but, trust us, it will become less noticeable over time!

Now… your dog has peed there once. Will they return to the scene of the crime? Dogs like to repeat-urinate in one place. If this happens, try a dog urine deterrent like “Don’t Mark Here” – a floor-friendly mixture of distilled water with a scent that deters dogs.

How to Deal with Dog Pee Stains on Grass

Does dog urine kill grass? 

The occasional sprinkle won’t harm your grass, but dogs are creatures of habit and they love to pee in the same place. You’ll know where that place is when a sad, brown circle appears in your prized lawn. 

Will baking soda neutralize dog pee on grass? 

It’s a common misconception that acidic dog urine ‘burns’ grass, causing it to turn brown. While baking soda will neutralize pH level, it won’t affect the amount of nitrogen which is soaking down into the soil. And that’s the real cause of browned grass: excess nitrogen.

So… how should you deal with pee on grass? 

Just like your carpet and hardwood flooring, your grass is best protected by swift action. Throwing a can of water over your dog’s pee will dilute it and keep your grass safe. Of course, this depends on watching your dog every time they trot outside. Not always feasible. 

Our favorite way to prevent the sad browns in your grass? Proactive planning. Install a pee-post in a spot where your dog is allowed to pee. (You can even purchase fake turf-covered stations with built-in trays to catch the pee.)

How to Get Dog Pee Stains out of Your Mattress

When you brought home your new puppy, letting them sleep on your mattress seemed like a good idea…

  1. Urgent action will save you much of the work – press towels over the urine patch and repeat until you’ve soaked out as much pee as possible. 
  2. Next up: resist the urge to reach for your steam cleaner. As we mentioned earlier, this can have the effect of ‘setting’ the stain.
  3. To remove stains and odors, you have some options. 
  • The natural route: Sprinkle with baking soda and spray generously with a vinegar solution, before leaving to dry. 
  • The household-items route: Mix hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dish soap and spray this solution over the urine stain in your mattress. Hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial.
  • The professional-option route: Invest in a fabric or carpet cleaner designed to remove pet odors. These are enzyme-based, which means they break down the protein particles in dog urine. 

How to Get Rid of Dog Pee Smells

The carpet may look clean. It may even smell clean (kind of). But remember that your dog can smell 10,000 x better than you/learn/dog-lifestyle/why-does-my-dog-sniff-my-crotch – and they like to return to their original peeing place next time. 

So how can you be sure that you’re really getting rid of dog urine smells? You’ll need to use an enzyme-based cleaner. The type you want is a protease-based enzyme cleaner (the kind which is also found in biological laundry detergent). 

Choose an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle or Bissell Stain & Odor. The protease-based enzyme breaks down protein particles and stops odors from developing. 

(If the stain doesn’t come out the first time, don’t worry. It can take a few applications to vanish.)

Further Reading

Read the 9 things nobody tells you about getting a puppy./learn/dog-lifestyle/9-things-nobody-tells-you-about-getting-a-puppy On the topic of dog pee, read some of the causes of incontinence/learn/dog-health/dog-incontinence-causes-and-solutions-for-canine-bladder. Does neutering reduce urine-marking behaviors? /learn/dog-lifestyle/5-ways-neutering-will-change-your-dog