How to Remove Pet Urine From Carpets: Best Carpet Cleaning Practices

By Eric Bollmann

Pet Urine on Carpet

We all love our dogs and they can do no wrong. Or can they? Actually they can and they do it a lot! It can be a variety of scenario's: Your dog is well trained, never goes on the carpet and has a one-off accident. Or how about this one; your neighbor's dog comes over for a friendly visit and decides to put a mark on the corner of your sofa. Or your best friend brings over her lap dog, who promptly decides to sit down on your carpet behind the sofa. And you don't even notice it until a day later!

How Most People Clean Pet Urine Stains

You know the drill; a wad of paper towels gets put down and you start putting your foot on it and applying some pressure to absorb the urine into the paper. You turn the wad of paper towels to find a dry spot to absorb some more off the carpet.
For a lot of folks this will end the spot cleaning adventure and they think they're done. Some of the more ambitious amongst you will start hunting for that pet treatment product they bought six months ago at Petco.


The description on the bottle really made it sound like it would single handedly solve all the pet accident problems you'd ever face. Aha, you found it! Right where you didn't remember putting it. In the laundry room utility cabinet.

Now you get to work on phase two of your pet treatment routine: dousing the spot with your pet miracle treatment and blotting to get it back out. Repeat if necessary and you're done! Or are you? How much urine and cleaning residue have you left behind that's going to give you troubles later. Ever wonder where those mystery stains come from?

How a Dog's Gender Can Impact Carpet Cleaning

The size of your dog and the gender of your dog play a big role in your chance of a successful outcome of your DIY endeavor. Obviously the bigger your dog, the bigger the accident, the more there is to clean-up. A Chihuahua by its mere size will make smaller puddles then a Golden Retriever. Enough said.

A dog's gender will significantly affect how the urine gets onto the carpet. Typically a female dog will squat on the carpet and quite literally force the urine to deeply penetrate into the carpet. And this is where size really matters.

Envision a female Golden Retriever relieving herself on your carpet. As you can imagine it not only will get into your carpet, it will also penetrate your carpet's backing and end up in the carpet padding underneath, and possibly even onto the sub-flooring.

Male dogs on the other hand are out to mark territory. Most often they will find a piece of furniture, a door jamb or something else to lift their leg against. Which can create issues all its own but for the sake of brevity I'll digress.

Other Factors that Influence Pet Stain Difficulties

There is one additional item that I almost forgot to mention; It does make a significant difference if your dog is on medication or was dehydrated when the accident happened. In these cases there can be additional chemicals in the urine as well as the fact that it's more concentrated. In these cases the capacity of your dogs urine to permanently stain your carpet is greatly enhanced.

After all this talk about how your dog's urine got onto and into your carpet, you're probably ready to get get down to the business of actually removing it from your carpet.

Best Supplies for Cleaning Pet Stains from Carpets

Here's a short list of supplies I'd strongly suggest each dog owner have handy in the case of an unexpected accident:

  • A small (1 gallon) wet/dry or shop vacuum (readily available from various retailers to rent for about $25-$35).
  • White vinegar + Water mixed at a 1:4 ratio
  • Paper or terry-cloth towels

The Best Way to Clean Pet Urine From Carpets

You see there are two distinct challenges when it comes to dog urine.
The stain that you see that represent the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" and…..
The urine that went into your carpet and possibly into your carpet pad and that 
can and probably will smell.

Best Method for Cleaning Pet Stains from Carpets

The most important tool in your arsenal is your wet/dry vacuum to be able to vacuum up liquids off the carpet. This way you prevent pushing the urine deeper into the carpet then it already is. The most effective way is to have a cup with plain tap water that you gently pour onto the urine spot. Give it 10-15 seconds to penetrate and make sure you pour enough so it covers the size of the original stain.

Now turn on the vacuum (make sure its one designed to suck-up liquids - I don't want to be responsible for any burnt-out vacuum motors) and start sucking-up the water until you have it all recovered.

Did all the urine come out?

If not, mix-up a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water and repeat the procedure. The acidity of the vinegar may help in getting that last bit of urine out. Suck it as dry as you can and follow it up by dabbing your carpet with a paper or terry cloth towel.

Voila you're done!

Now if you found that it didn't work for you or you know you need professional help, don't hesitate to give us a call at 866-937-6739. Learn more about our professional pet spot and odor treatments from Zerorez.

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