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How to Remove Pet Pee Smell Out of Carpet

Pets can be wonderful companions, but they can also cause some unsightly and smelly accidents on carpets. Pet urine can leave behind tough odours and stains that seem impossible to remove. However, there are several effective methods to eliminate pet pee smells from carpets.

Act Quickly

It's crucial to act as soon as possible when a pet has an accident on the carpet. The longer the urine sits, the more it will soak into the carpet fibres and padding underneath.

As soon as you notice the accident,

  • Blot up as much urine as possible with paper towels or clean rags. Apply pressure to absorb as much liquid as you can.
  • If the urine has already dried, pour water over the spot to re-wet it before blotting.
  • Dispose of the paper towels or rags in an outdoor garbage can to avoid spreading the odour inside.

Acting quickly helps prevent the urine from drying and the smell from setting into the carpet. It also stops pets from detecting left-behind odours and repeating accidents in the same area.

Clean with an Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are extremely effective at eliminating pet urine odours. They contain active enzymes that break down the compounds in urine that cause unpleasant smells.

Look for an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet stains, such as Nature's Miracle. Avoid using cleaners with strong smells like ammonia or vinegar, as these can encourage pets to mark the area again.

To use an enzymatic cleaner:

  • Following the packaging directions, generously apply the cleaner to the affected area. Using more is better.
  • Let the cleaner soak in for 5–10 minutes.
  • Blot thoroughly with clean paper towels or rags.
  • Allow the area to fully dry.
  • Vacuum up any residue once it is dry.
  • Repeat as needed for stubborn odours. Old or dried stains may require multiple applications.

The enzymes will continue working long after the area appears clean, breaking down any remaining urine compounds.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For severe pet urine odours, use a baking soda and vinegar treatment:

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the affected area. Use enough to completely coat the spot.
  • Let the baking soda sit for a few hours, up to 24 hours, so it can absorb odours.
  • Make a cleaning solution of one part white vinegar and one part water. Pour this over the baking soda.
  • When the vinegar and baking soda react, it will bubble and fizz on the carpet. This helps release and lift urine odours from deep within the carpet fibres.
  • Blot thoroughly with clean rags or paper towels once the fizzing stops.
  • Allow the area to completely dry.
  • Vacuum up the baking soda residue.

The vinegar neutralises odours, while the baking soda draws out and absorbs smells from the carpet. This duo works together to attack urine odours.

Rent a Carpet Cleaner

For old or stubborn urine stains and smells, rent a specialised carpet cleaner from a hardware store. Choose a cleaner designed specifically for pet stains.

Before operating the cleaner, check the manufacturer's instructions. Some models require pre-treating stains with an enzymatic cleaner before using the machine.

To use a carpet cleaner:

  • Pre-treat old stains with an enzymatic cleaner if needed. Let it soak in.
  • Fill the cleaner with very hot water and a pet-friendly detergent. Use a cleaner formulated for pets.
  • Work the solution into the affected areas with repeated forward and backwards passes.
  • Go over the area a few times, re-applying the solution as needed.
  • Rinse by making a few passes with just hot water in the machine.
  • Allow the area to fully dry. Place fans nearby to speed up drying.

The hot water and suction lift stains, while the chemicals break down stubborn odours. Renting a powerful carpet cleaner removes odours that other methods cannot.

Blot, Sprinkle, Blot

For quick odour removal between deeper cleanings:

  • Blot up any fresh urine immediately
  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the area. Use an entire box if needed to coat the spot.
  • Let baking soda sit for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more odour it will absorb.
  • Blot and lightly scrub the area to remove the baking soda.
  • Vacuum thoroughly.

The blotting lifts urine to the surface, while the baking soda absorbs odours. This simple method keeps smells at bay between deep cleanings with spray cleaners or carpet machines.

Replace Padding

If pet urine has soaked all the way through the carpet into the padding, odours may persist no matter how much you clean the surface. When this happens, replacing the padding is necessary to fully get rid of smells.

Signs that urine has reached the padding include:

  • Dark stains reappear shortly after cleaning
  • You can still detect odours after multiple cleanings
  • The underside of carpet feels wet when pressing a rag to it

Before replacing padding:

  • Pull up the affected section of carpet and air out the floor underneath for 1–2 sunny days. Direct sunlight naturally deodorises.
  • Use an oscillating fan to completely dry the floor and bottom of the carpet.

Then replace the old padding with new, pet-friendly padding. Some padding contains antimicrobial substances to resist odours.

Replacing padding eliminates odours that cleaning alone cannot. It also gives you fresh padding that resists future pet accidents.

Prevent Future Accidents

While cleaning up after the fact is important, preventing future accidents is ideal.

Here are some tips:

Restrict access: block off rooms or areas where your pet has had frequent accidents. Close doors or use baby gates. Only allow access when you can directly supervise.

Potty train: If your pet is still learning appropriate potty habits, vigorously reinforce training. Reward going potty in designated areas, and clean up accidents without scolding.

Exercise: Make sure your pet gets adequate exercise to empty their bladder and bowels. Take them out frequently.

Consider crate training: When you cannot watch your pet, temporarily confine them to a properly sized crate to avoid indoor potty mistakes.

See a vet: Rule out medical issues like UTIs or incontinence that could contribute to accidents. Your vet can also suggest products to reduce urges.

With vigilance and commitment to both cleaning and prevention, you can keep your carpets fresh and odor-free. Do not lose hope if pet urine odours seem impossible to conquer. With the right techniques and products, even severe smells can eventually be permanently eliminated.

Harry Virk

Harry Virk is the director of CleaningPro Auckland. He has years of experience in the cleaning industry and his company is expert at providing exceptional cleaning services in Auckland. He has a passion for helping people and making sure that their homes are clean, tidy, and ready for visitors.

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