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How to Remove Pet Urine Odors and Save Your Sanity

Trey Collamer

While many cleaners on the market mask the pet urine smell to our human noses, they don't work well for the sensitive and more finely tuned animal nose. It's important to use a cleaning product that can both clean the stain and neutralize the pet urine smell. If a smell isn't properly neutralized, you may end up frustrated when your pet repeats an unwanted performance on your carpet.

Prevent Pet Urine Smell: Starting Off On The Right Paw

The secret to housebreaking any animal is to reward the pet for eliminating on the right surfaces (i.e. yard, litter box, etc.) and to discourage repeat elimination on the carpet. If your pet does have an accident, it is important to get rid of the pet urine smell completely so that the animal isn't likely to use the same spot again. When housebreaking a new pet, make sure that the location that you choose for them to do his or her business is clean and previous pet urine odors are neutralized.

Easy Homemade Solutions for Pet Odors

  • Vinegar: Some people disagree about this one, but in my experiences, equal amounts of white vinegar and water creates a great homemade solution for removing pet urine and getting rid of the smell permanently. Apply liberally and blot using a sponge or towel.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is extremely effective for both cleaning the stain and combating the strong pet urine odor. To clean a fresh urine stain, sprinkle baking soda on the stain. With a damp towel or sponge, blot up the soda and urine until both have been completely removed. For odors, sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and leave for 15-20 minutes. Vacuum up the baking soda.
  • Peroxide: Good ol' hydrogen peroxide from your medicine cabinet can help in neutralizing pet odors. However, peroxide has been known to cause discoloration in some carpets. It's best to check for staining or bleaching in a discrete area before trying this method.
  • Dish Soap: Some people have also had success with regular dish soap and water to remove pet odors. Apply with a sponge, and allow the area to completely dry to get rid of the urine odor in the carpet.

Use caution when using ammonia or ammonia-based commercial products. The smell is very powerful to an animal and can deter a pet from using a litter box or other designated potty spot.

Steam Cleaning Pet Urine Stains

Steam cleaning can also be effective in permanently cleaning a surface; however, proper pre-treatment must be done. If not pre-treated, the pet urine stain may not be neutralized. Note that there is a difference of opinion on steam cleaning, some people believe that steam cleaning will bond the urine to your carpet.
Though prevention is always a good measure, accidents happen. When they happen on your carpet, try these homemade solutions for removing pet urine stains and odors.

About the Author
Trey Collamer is a former animal behaviorist and dog trainer. She currently enjoys companionship from her three furry babies Buffy, Ginger, and Sammy.

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