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?
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.
I foster for a local rescue, so I get all kinds of dogs through my house. Some old, some young, but most of them poorly trained. Which sadly translates into lots of potty messes. Before we found SUN I tried every product on the market. I bought everything on the shelf at Petsmart and Petco, I ordered stuff online (I don’t want to add product names, I think it would be in bad taste), basically tried everything! I even watched videos for DIY odor removal and spent hours on my hands and knees with peroxide and dish soap and a scrub brush. Some of it helped, some of it didn’t. But most of it only masked the odor, it didn’t get rid of it.
In recent years, there’s been quite a market for this kind of cleaning product. A lot of people tend to think of these two problems as separate sides of the same coin but they can actually be handled quite well with a single solution if you’re careful about your selection.
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“Clean up pet accidents by first blotting up the area and then adding a white distilled vinegar-and-water solution. Blot until it is almost dry. Then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day.”
We are trying to remove cat pee smell from a couple of rooms in a house – what would you suggest to use a general cleaner – for tile floors and wiping down furnitures items (that are not cloth or carpet)… Should I spray a solution on the lower part of the walls or if I kilz the walls would that help? My son kept a couple of cats for a family member and they sprayed everywhere – we are gutting the room but have to treat the tile floor and walls and some of the furniture that we want to keep… Thanks so much !
Odor Destroyer is the most powerful odor eliminator available! Eliminate stinky carpet smells like cat urine quickly and permanently. Originally designed to eliminate nasty urine odors from public restrooms, Odor Destroyer is effective on all types of organic odors including animal feces. And because all of our odor removal products are solvent based, Odor Destroyer is safe for hardwood floors, concrete, and most other types of flooring.
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Most cleaners and odor removers work their best if you attack the problem as soon as it happens. The quicker you get to the disaster the better off you’ll be. Enzymatic solutions are particularly useful this way since fresher material will find the material more “palatable” in the immediate aftermath.
Thank you Thank you Thank you. I spent my whole weekend cleaning my family room carpet with a carpet cleaning machine, about 3-4 times. Today it STILL smelled like urine. I tried the recipe and it worked GREAT. I put the vinegar/water mixture in my machine and went over the stinky area. My carpets are pretty dry after the machine sucks all the water up so I went right to the next step and a few hours later I am crawling around on my hands and knees trying to find the urine smell but it is nowhere to be found!!!! : )
If you’re not willing to do all of the research to make sure you get the perfect pick for your own home and needs… this BISSELL DeepClean Lift-Off might be exactly the ticket and it’s sure not to disappoint if paired with the right shampoo.
I have a very sensitive nose, so just covering up a smell wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted it GONE! Finally, in desperation, I searched for severe urine removal, and the SUN products popped up. I figured, I’ve tried everything else, what the heck? I ordered it, tried it on a single spot, and almost cried in my relief. This stuff WORKS! Truly works. It does leave behind a pleasant mild scent so I gave it a few days before I was really convinced that it wasn’t just masking the odor. I think what I really was impressed with is when I sprayed it on (I diluted in a spray bottle for convenience), I could see where it would react with the urine. It made it easy to find a spot if I wasn’t really sure where it was. I would spray an area and the spots that had a reaction (it kind of foams a little) I would concentrate on.
For the most part, these can be separated into hard and soft surfaces. What works well on carpet, for instance, might not be quite as good for tile or hardwood. The latter can be particularly problematic when it comes to picking out a good cleaner but enzymatic cleaners are quite often benign enough to not affect their finish.
As not only the carpet but also the floor can become smelly when you have pets, it might be a good idea to purchase a steam mop. By using steam and fragrance discs together you can eliminate the odour on the floor as well.
Enzymes cleaner, soap and water, vinegar – none of these work. We’ve tried for years with all of these but our dog keeps going back to the same spots so obviously, the smell is attracting him. It drives me crazy.
Mission of removing urine smell from the carpet can be accomplished within few hours and we do not necessarily need to carry the rug to dry cleaner. The time needed to get rid of the dog pee smell out of carpet depends on the thickness and material of the carpet.
You don’t have to accept this as part of your adventure with your favorite furry friends. Get a cleaner, get the right shampoo, and you’ll be glad to know that there is an end in sight to what some consider the primary disadvantage of pet ownership. Just make sure you do your research and you’re good to go and well on your way to an odor and stain free home that you thought was an impossibility since you brought Fido home from the pound.
I have had this for a couple years and have had nothing but problems with it since I got it! Bissell is cheaply priced for a reason! I swore their vacuums off long ago, I should of never caved and got a rug scrubber made by them. This thing has been nothing but a pain, it does not clean at all! when my carpets were damp they appeared clean, once fully dried all stains were still there! And I used their expensive cleaning solutions! Then the dirty water started mixing with the clean water no fix there unless you want to buy a new water tank/bladder I wasn’t looking to spend more money on a piece of junk . Then it stopped spraying – fixed that issue by watching YouTube videos, now it leaks water out from some where that I can’t figure out, during use, and then when I shut it off I get a huge amount coming out from behind a wheel and end up with a puddle on the floor! Do not waste your money on any Bissell product! I know I won’t ever do it again, I’ll stick with Hoover & Eureka!
UTIs tend to affect women and girls more, but men and boys can also develop UTIs. These infections are the result of bacteria entering the urinary tract. The bacteria make urine smell unpleasant and cause it to be cloudy or bloody.
People with incontinence tend to drink less liquid, causing their urine to become very concentrated and strong-smelling. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day will dilute your urine and reduce or eliminate its odor.

I have 2 older poms, Bear is 10 and had a bad time for several months of drinking every drop of water, several times a day and then constantly having accidents all over the house. And every time I took them out, he went a lot! First vet visit I was told that his urine was too watered to tell if he had any infection. Then told they wanted him brought back for expensive testing to check for cushings disease. Since I couldn’t afford $500-$1000 in testing medications, I decided to change their dry food to something more reputable. Since taking them off just 6 and on to nature’s balance then blue wilderness (slightly more affordable) Bear is doing great! Maybe 2-3 accidents in last 5 months! (That may have been my fault for not getting them outside for too long) I am not trying to talk bad about any vets or food labels, I just want to share this experience because it may be helpful to someone.
Clean furniture. Pet smells love to hide in furniture. Your cat’s special chair may be host to all sorts of irksome smells. The type of furniture will dictate the best cleaning method, but you should always check the care labels before cleaning to make sure the piece isn’t dry clean only. Care labels marked with an S mean don’t clean with water, and X means dry clean only.
When urine dries, it leaves behind crystals in the carpet fibre which attract water – so wee stains in carpet tend to always be a bit damp from the moisture in the air.. which means that they always pong a bit.
I have tried everything to house train my puppy and nothing is working he has peed on my carpet and the smell of ammonia is making me sick! I bought a shampooer and have tried everything to get out the smell even vineger and baking soda the smell is still here ,please someone help!
Commercial cleaners offer a ready-made solution and generally, when they don’t work properly it can be attributed to user error in some fashion. Make sure you read the instructions and if you have to take multiple runs at the mess then switch up tactics a little bit until you’re able to take care of it.
Find old stains. You might have a general idea of where old stains might be from the odor. If you think there might be old stains in an area, explore using a sweeping motion, gradually moving farther away from the generally smelly location. The pet urine that you’re looking for should show up as a yellow or greenish color. Try looking in the following areas:
Put a washable cover on furniture. Your pet may have proudly claimed an armchair or a spot on the couch as their own. This special space, or any other furniture where your pet lounges, will need frequent washing to keep the odors at bay. If your pets spend a lot of time on your furniture, it’s a good idea to invest in washable covers like slip covers. That way, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of vacuuming and scrubbing your furniture. Instead, just throw the cover in the wash.
Vacuum up loose debris from the area to be treated. Remove other debris by blotting the area with a wet towel.Soak treatment area with clean, warm water. Rinse the towel and soak up any excess water leaving the area damp.Pour OdorKlenz Pet Urine Eliminator on the prepared area.Spread the OdorKlenz Pet Urine Eliminator into the area gently working it into the carpet. Pour Freshwater over the treated area. Apply pressure to the area by standing or walking on it. Allow the formulation to have at least 10 minutes of contact time before removing.Use a clean absorbent towel to dry or soak up excess water. Allow to dry and vacuum up the visible residual.
Blot. Then sprinkle kind of a lot of baking soda. Then pour vinegar. It will fizz. Let dry. 24 hours probably. Vacuum. Only set back: your carpet will have a “clean” spot”. Dog will just pee another spot, tho.
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Hi Emily, great question! I recommend looking into crate training your dog. It’s not easy leaving your dog in a crate while you’re away, but it can help with training. Crate training has been proven to help dogs get potty trained. Check out the article and let me know if you have any questions, and good luck! https://www.caninejournal.com/crate-training-puppy/
Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow color. While the odor of urine can vary somewhat, in most cases, it does not have a strong smell. With dehydration, the urine is more concentrated and may have a stronger ammonia scent than normal. Consumption of certain foods, such as asparagus (which can impart a characteristic odor to urine), and taking some medications may be causes for changes in the odor of urine. The presence of bacteria in the urine, such as with a urinary tract infection (UTI), can affect the appearance and smell of urine. When there is an infection in the urinary tract, the urine may take on a foul-smelling odor as well as appear cloudy or bloody. A burning sensation during urination may be a symptom of a UTI. The urine may also have an abnormally sweet odor in uncontrolled diabetes, and some rare genetic conditions can also cause the urine to have an abnormal or strange odor.
In the absence of other symptoms, such as pain with urination, cloudy or dark urine color, or unusual frequency of urination, there is usually little reason for concern. But reccurring ammonia odor in pregnancy should still be brought to a doctor’s attention.
Where do I begin to sing the praises on this one? I had to order it separately from Bissell.com, BUT it was well worth it. I think it only cost around $20 with s/h but you can double check that at the site. I used it on the hardwood with the solution that is also sold on the site. Didn’t notice much difference. But then I moved to my tile which is knobbly and has lots of crevices that have made me rethink my decision to get “non-slippery” tile for my kitchen. I set up the machine, using the solution and followed the directions on the bottle. I then began working that dingy, nasty tile floor over. Let me start by letting you know that this tile floor is over 10 years old, has NEVER been completely clean UNLESS I have gotten on my hands and knees and scrubbed it tile by tile, inch by inch with a brush and Clorox Clean up. Yes, you know I am doing that every weekend. Just kidding. I do it Spring and Fall. That is it. The rest of the time I am mopping with bleach water, just to keep the grout looking semi decent. Never works. This machine DOES NOT get into my deep/recessed grout, BUT it leaves the tile floor the cleanest feeling it has ever been. Even brand new! My daughter and I are barefoot people who HATE to have the feeling of dirt on our feet. This cleaner makes the tile floor clean and non-sticky. One thing I have to mention is I cannot attest to streaks as my tile is porous and does not have a glaze on it. I take an old towel once I am done with the entire floor and drag the towel with my feet. The machine will get up the water for the most parts, but often leaves a scant line of water on either side of the head. I usually can get it by just going back over with the machine, but if I miss parts, I simply use the towel. The entire kitchen would NORMALLY take me 30 minutes to mop (large kitchen/dining area) and now I am done in less than 15 minutes with the cleanest kitchen floor ever!
What I like most about this product over all the others is it does not have an overwhelming scent that competes with the urine. Instead, it has a clean almost non-existent smell and really seems to get rid of King PeeALots odor. My nose couldn’t be happier and for now the tiny murder machine is confused as to why his carpet doesn’t smell like contempt anymore.