I have a 25 yr old satillo tile with concrete grout floor. I have always had a variety of animals in my home and for some reason this has been the place where the accidents happen. I have tried all kinds of things that appear to work but then the smell comes back. Especially in the damp winter time. I have a 23 yr old macaw that does have some respiratory deficiency in the house so I can’t use anything that will harm him.
Great article Sally, definitely covers this topic in-depth! However, we’ve got some carpets in a rental apartment that have old, and I mean really old, and now somewhat crusty, pee. What would you recommend as the best carpet cleaner for old pet urine?
Wow. All I can say is, wow! I am amazed at how well this worked. I had given up hope on ever getting the urine smell from a large, expensive wool rug in our living room. It was dreadful no matter how many times we cleaned it, even with an industrial cleaning machine.  I cannot believe how fresh it smells now.  I wish I had found this years ago! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!
Crate training seems to work with most dogs. Dogs want to sleep near you, so let them do that – put the crate right next to your bed. This will reduce whining and stress. Try to make it as positive an experience as possible – special treats or a favorite toy that they can have only in the crate. Limit water intake before bedtime.
•PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH – This is a Grade A, professional-strength odor neutralizer that binds to and absorbs odors at the molecular level! This pet odor and stain remover is commonly compared to Natures Miracle Stain Remover.
Whether you’re taking care of years of build up of dog urine or a malcontent and spraying feline’s mess you’ll be glad to know that things can be handled. Make sure to give it some time to soak and you’ll be well on your way to a cleaner and better smelling floor.
Take a brush to upholstered furniture like couches. Fill a bucket with warm water and several drops of liquid dish soap. Swirl the water to create suds. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the suds and brush the entire surface of the furniture. Wipe with a barely damp cloth and air dry.
(Explanation. Dish Soap or Dishwashing Detergent? Different countries call it different names. It is what you use to wash dishes in your sink. For example, Dawn, Palmolive, Fairy etc. Do not use Detergent that you put in your dishwasher)
Industrial urine odor and stain remover. Comes in a 4 ounce concentrate which makes 1/2 gallon of ready to use odor and stain removal solution. New technology odor remover eliminates odors immediately and permanently on contact. Remove Urine specializes in odor and stain removal. If SUN does not eliminate the odor we will refund your money. We are committed to helping you totally eliminate your unpleasant odors and stains. For 16 years, we did odor and stain removal professionally. We will provide you with professional help and information. The biggest problem pet owners face today in eliminating urine odor is effectively locating all the urine residue. Once you have located the urine you can effectively treat it with SUN solution and remove 100% of the odor. Urine creates two different problems: 1. Odors 2. Stains. Stains are easy to find because they can be seen. The odors are more difficult because they cannot be seen. There are 5 different type stains created by urine. The best way to remove each varies. How to remove the odor. Step One: Locate all the urine residue. Step Two: Treat the urine residue with SUN solution. That’s it! If you find all the urine residue and treat it with the SUN solution it will eliminate the odor immediately, completely and permanently. To locate the urine you need to find where it was deposited and determine how far it has spread and how deep it has soaked. Again, finding all the urine residue (so it can be treated) is the key to success. A small pet weighing 5 pounds will eliminate 2 ounces of urine twice a day. In a year’s time this can add up to 11 gallons of urine. 4 ounces of urine can spread to cover an area 9 inches in diameter below the carpet surface. Step One: Find The Urine. Tools to help find the urine: 1. Eyes 2. Nose 3. Black Light 4. Moisture Detector.
Pee doesn’t usually have a strong smell. But some foods — especially asparagus, which has a smelly sulfur compound — can change the odor. So can vitamin B-6 supplements. When you’re dehydrated and your pee gets very concentrated, it can smell strongly of ammonia.
As our aim is not just to wash the spot but to prevent our dog from peeing there again we should try to use some ingredients which has very strong smell. Using vodka or alcohol (as they have such a strong odor themselves) will help to avoid the future repetition of the pee smell situation. In order to eliminate the smell from the carpet surface we need to apply vodka by wetting the spot with the cloth or spraying it with the spray bottle. After applying the alcohol we should rub the surface with some force. After rubbing we should take a dry paper towel and wipe the remaining liquid from the carpet. We should again and again wipe the surface until the paper towel will remain completely dry.
I collect all my laundry water in a big plastic tub in the back yard, and it had come to stink also. I sprayed the tub with Skout’s Honor and the filthy smell was instantly gone. 2 months later, the laundry tub has developed that smell again, and I know how to get rid of it now.
Sometimes dog urine accidents have already dried because you did not notice them previously. You can find dried urine spots on your carpet with the aid of a black light. The dog urine stains will fluoresce under the ultra violet light in a darkened room. Hand held black lights are quite inexpensive usually costing between $15 – $25.
Several vacuum brands sell smaller versions of wet-vacs for home use that retail between $150 and $200. These handy machines spray, brush and remove stains on their own and sell a version of their concentrated cleaner that’s formulated specifically to treat pet stains.
While commercial products offer a lot of advantages, there are a couple of ways that you can take care of things yourself without investing in a product. They might not be quite as efficacious but it’s always good to save a bit of cash.
Does it have a good look? Sure. But that’s about it. I bought this from Walmart not much over a year ago. Worked good for the first few months…not great, had time to time issues with the system drawing the liquids from the chambers. Got worse and worse over time. Not long after a years worth of use, which just so happens to be just beyond the warranty, it’s not drawing liquids from either chamber, the main suction area doesn’t work any longer…and the attachment suction barely works. On top of that…it comes with one of those power cords that tangles extremely easy upon itself. And where the power cord comes out of the machine is terrible placement. You have to fight wrapping and unwrapping the extension suction around the power cord for each use. Still not done. Small carpet fibers easily get pulled into the suction areas of the machine, to places where it’s impossible to remove the carpet fibers without breaking it open. Poor design…poor machine. STAY AWAY FROM THIS MODEL!!!
The product can be used concentrated or diluted. Depending on the severity of the odor and amount of source present, use more concentrated product on heavy/concentrated source and diluted product on mild or odors. We have a best practices sheet that goes into more detail on different situations that we can provide.
I haven’t had an issue, but everyone’s floors are a little different, so I’d suggest trying a small inconspicuous area just to be sure 🙂 Honestly, if it’s a smooth, hard, surface, I usually just mop up and liquids/pick up any solids and then use vinegar with some essential oil in it to clean.
Pet urine in the carpet not only leaves an unsightly stain and an unpleasant odor, but it penetrates the fibers and contaminates both the carpet and the floor underneath. That’s why it can require specialized cleaning, well beyond just a simple cleaning and treating. The longer an incident goes untreated, the more likely the urine odor is to permeate deeper and deeper into floors, walls and even the framework and foundation of the home. As the urine dries, the liquid evaporates but the urine crystals become even more concentrated and pungent. Simple cleaning will not remove this odor. To help rid your home of the smells caused by pet urine, Chem-Dry applies P.U.R.T. – specially designed to eliminate pet urine odors at their source. While most cleanings only masks the odor, Chem-Dry’s revolutionary Pet Urine Removal Treatment works at the molecular level and destroys the urine crystals to fully eliminate the odor. With P.U.R.T., your most severe pet urine odors can be solved and your carpets, rugs and upholstery can be saved.
We have an apartment also and I’ve wondered about what they’re going to do with this carpet when we move out, because our pet deposit is too small to be enough to replace all the carpet… BUT we do use baking soda/vinegar mixture on it to clean then vinegar sprayed on top out of a spray bottle. Seems to work well, and she doesn’t go to the same spots every time, it seems pretty random.
I’ve used the vinegar/water cleaner, followed by hydrogen peroxide/baking soda procedure for the last several years. We have three labs, and had two cats (one of whom is no longer with us). The process worked well for stains AND odor. Actually, doing the carpet AGAIN as we speak!
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 recently acquired two dogs. My worries about having the dogs was the mess they would leave on my carpet. I purchased many carpet cleaning formulas but they did nothing but temporarily covered the stain. Once the formula dried, the stains would reappear. I decided that the only way I could get rid of the stains would be to get rid of the dogs (which I have already grown attached to….so this was not an option), replace the carpet (too costly and not at all practical), or invest in a carpet steam cleaner. I borrowed a friend’s Bissell steam cleaner and it did wonders. It was a different model but it worked well. I knew I wanted to stay within the Bissell family of products. So I researched the different Bissell machines and saw that the reviews for this machine were great. It was affordable, which was very important to me as a single homeowner. I purchased the product and it did wonders for my carpet. I am so happy that I invested in this machine. I would definitely recommend it to others.
Search at night or in complete darkness. Pet urine can be difficult to see, especially when old, so maximize your search efforts by taking advantage of darkness. Either wait for night, or make the room as dark as possible.

The stain trapper is helpful in removing tough pet stains. Cleanshot Trigger technology is a function that directs the formula straight to the stains, which means that it will be easier to clean tough stains.
Yes, the product is safe to use on wood and tile. We recommend you try it in a small area first to check ease of removal first. Surfaces with tiny cracks and crevasses or a texture can be more difficult to remove the product from.
3. The “hair trap” (a small red square “tray”) doesn’t work so well. Is it a big deal? I don’t know. It may be for some. It is a hassle to have to scoop hairs off the top of the bladder when you are going to reuse it right away rather than just emptying the little trap. Does it affect performance? It hasn’t so far that I know of. I know that it is more hassle to clean the tank with loose hair in the tank and stuck to the bladder. You have to watch it going down your drain so you aren’t dumping pet hair and carpet fuzzies down the drain. It just means that I have to lift the bladder that holds the soap/clean water and shift it when I rinse when I am cleaning it to put it away. I don’t know if that means it gets into any part of the machine’s motor or not though. Someone more technical than me can possibly answer that question.
With younger or very elderly dogs who are likely to have more frequent accidents, the blacklight gadget for detecting those dried on stains could be your best friend in keeping your carpets smelling fresh and looking clean – dog urine odor removal could be much more of a breeze than you thought!
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!
The Bissell Big Green is probably the most effective carpet cleaner we have reviewed. It has a large following amongst pet owners because of its extremely efficient cleaning of pet urine, pet vomit and pet stains.
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.
Once the paper towel becomes somewhat dry (instead of “drenched”), spray on vinegar and water. Place another clean paper towel on top, then get a heavy object such as a book or a suitcase (depending on how big the pee was!) and lay it over the towel; let set to absorb for 1/2 hour or so. Then you can spray on hydrogen peroxide and wipe with a clean wet rag. Set the book on the spot again and let set another 1/2 hour. You can sprinkle baking soda on later once you think the spot is pretty removed. SOMETIMES YOU MUST REPEAT THIS APPLICATION. You can also use carpet freshener too.