Urine usually has a distinct odor, but under normal circumstances, the odor is relatively mild and not too noticeable. Certain conditions, however, may cause your urine to have an unusual or unpleasant odor, which may raise concerns about a problem or abnormality.
We have old (like several months old) spots where our puppies have gone pee on the carpet. We have used a steam cleaner. The stains are gone, but the smell is still there in some spots. Any advice on how to get rid of the smell?
I purchased this product last year, and it really does do a nice job at removing the odor from the cat urine. I have wood floors, and I’ve used it plenty of times directly on the wood floor with no negative consequences to the wood.
A baking soda paste with some essential oils (baking soda, a few drops of essential oil, enough water to form a paste) gently spread/rubbed over the surface and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, wiped up, and then followed by a vinegar spritz, is useful if none of the above work for you (all the above can be used on old or fresh stains/odors.)
A rare genetic condition, maple syrup urine disease causes problems with breaking down some amino acids in the proteins you consume. The result is your pee smells like maple syrup as the chemical buildup from undigested leucine, isoleucine, and valine changes how your urine smells. Due to the risk of brain damage in instances of fever, infection, or other physical stress, timely diagnosis is important. Lethargy, seizures, vomiting, and feeding difficulties are warning signs. It could even cause a person to go into a coma.12
I that’s a little drastic and not fair to the dog/puppy. You don’t have to cut the sub floor out, if you do it right and there is no visible stain on carpet you can replace the area of stained padding for the sub-floor paint over affected area with kills paint, available at Walmart and lumber stores return carpet to use.
Since getting my first pup, I have encountered her peeing everywhere. My solution to get odor out is to spray the spot with a bug spray, not only does it stop her from going back to the spot it also takes the odor out. Seems the bug spray is stronger than urine, the smell goes away in a couple of minutes but, stays longer enough for her to smell and leave it alone, I used Hot Shot flying insect spray. It’s harmful because the dog won’t go near it.
If not treated properly, the odor from pet accidents can travel through the entire home and impact your health and your happiness. The smell emitted from an accident area also often leads to repeat incidents in the same area until it is properly eliminated.
I have come across a flash light like device that emits a “black light ” that when shined onto an area that has urine stains the light will illuminate with a bright light color making it possible to detect urine srains. This light is available on Amazon for about $7:00. Using in a darkened room will help spotting the stains easier.
As with the first step, blot or clean up as much as possible. Mix 2 cups of lukewarm water with 2 cups of white distilled vinegar. Instead of adding the baking soda to the liquid, sprinkle it dry liberally over the area where the accident occurred. Let it break down and deodorize for about 5 minutes, then vacuum. Apply the water/vinegar solution as in the first set of directions.
That’s a great question Gary. Regarding how to remove dog urine from carpet that has set in, we recommend the same products and techniques. People really rave about Nature’s Miracle and some members of our team have used it as well. We’ve read that it performs well for urine that has dried up, so I would recommend purchasing it and seeing how it works. Best of luck!
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This spot cleaning unit fits away quite easily, and you’ll find that you can store it just about anywhere. Small cleaning closet? You’ll be good. You’ll have to put in the work, the bristles aren’t exactly fantastic and it’s not the best option for pet hair, but for some people, it will be the perfect fit.
There are two behaviors stimulated by pet odors remaining in the carpet dogs/cats both perform territorial “marking” with urine and, being creatures of habit, they tend to revisit spots they’ve used before. They can detect the very slightest aroma remaining in the carpet, which prompts them to “re-pee” in that spot. Your pet’s extraordinary sense of smell, combined with behavioral programming, can make managing pet stains a big problem. Enzymatic cleaners are organic compounds containing microscopic enzymes that destroy bacteria that cause pet stain odors. Thorough destruction of the bacteria is the only way to eliminate odors so that your pets can’t smell where they’ve (literally) pee’d before. If pet stains are a persistent problem, you’ll need to use a professional carpet cleaning machine that can apply the enzyme cleaner to the carpet and then suction it out sufficiently to prevent moisture accumulations beneath the carpet. Follow the product directions carefully.
Foamy: No matter what color it is, you should check in with your doctor if it consistently looks foamy and frothy. It may be a sign you have protein in your urine, which may mean you have issues with your kidneys.
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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?

Once the area is clean, make it unattractive and/or unavailable to your pet and the appropriate bathroom area attractive. As long as your pet can smell their personal scent, they will continue to return to the “accident zone.”
The only way to get rid of urine odor is to use a product that has an active enzyme in it. Vinegar will only temporarily get rid of the odor. If the urine gets into the pad of the carpet, you’re sunk. If you replace your carpet, it may be worth while to get a pad that has the plastic cover to prevent it from getting wet. I’ve done this and am happy I spent the few extra dollars.
For set-in pet stains on carpeting or rugs, simple spray cleaners may not suffice. You can rent a carpet cleaner from your local grocery or hardware store, or hire professional carpet cleaners to come attack the stains.
anything with enzymes will work in a spray bottle also , i have same issue ! going to have to replace carpet and not sure what to put back down ! have you tried some pee pads ? just lay a couple down at night !
Thanks Dreamhowl, I hope Murdoch, my JRT is not embarrassed that his picture is being shared across the Internet, portraying him as a slightly incontinent elderly terrier! It will do his street cred no good at all!
Many of the cheaper cleaners simply won’t work on set in stains and odors. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll need to make sure that you get it with something strong, soak it, and leave it for a considerable period of time.
Try using a carpet shampooer. Fill the shampooer’s reservoir with water, and add the liquid cleaner to the compartment. Press the lever and vacuum the entire carpet. Allow the carpet to dry for at least 24 hours, and then vacuum.
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.
The enzymatic action of this cleaner makes short work of even crystallized urine. Keep in mind that “short work” in this instance isn’t an instant solution, but if you’ve got to deal with truly nasty build up an overnight soak can often take care of things.
Urine that is normal and healthy shouldn’t have a strong smell. However, sometimes you may find it does have a strong odor or that it smells of ammonia. Sometimes, it could even smell very sweet. All of these could be symptoms of an underlying medical condition that needs treating.1
Leather and leather-like fabrics are a little more delicate, but can still be cleaned. Make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Soak a cloth and wring out as much liquid as you can, so the cloth is barely damp. Then, wipe the surface of the fabric to remove any troublesome smells that are lurking.[4]
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Whether it be from pet urine or a spill, once you have thoroughly removed all residue and think you have it all, place several layers of white paper towel on the freshly cleaned wet area. Next, weight the paper towel down. I use a large piece of ceramic/porcelain tile, and let it sit for about 48 hours. You will be amazed at what dries up into the paper towel instead of drying in the top fibers of your carpet.
Citrus fruits contain enzymes that help break down odors. You can make a powerful enzymatic cleaner that removes most pet odors, but you need to be patient. These solutions have to brew for a few months.
Clean old pet messes with an enzyme cleaner. Hidden or improperly cleaned messes are often the culprits behind pet odor. If there are areas where there have been recent pet messes, spray the area with an enzyme cleaner. Let the cleaner soak in for 30 minutes, and then blot it dry with a clean cloth. You may find that the pesky pet odor has disappeared.
Add a one-pound box of baking soda to your regular detergent and wash as usual, air-drying if possible. If you can still see or smell the soiling, wash again with an enzymatic cleaner — these break down pet-waste odors.
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