How To Get Cat Poop Out Of Clothes: Proven Methods For Clean Clothes

As a cat owner, it’s common to deal with accidents from time to time. One of the most unpleasant ones is when your cat poops on your clothes, leaving a lingering smell that’s hard to eliminate.

However, you can successfully remove the smell and salvage your clothes with the right approach. In this post, we’ll explore how to get cat poop out of clothes, as well as the oftentimes stubborn cat poop smell.

As is the case with all pet stains, do not allow the poop stains to sit on your clothes any longer after you have found them, as this will only exacerbate the stain and odor removal process.

Remember to wear protective gloves when handling cat poop to safeguard yourself from parasites and bacteria, and wash your hands meticulously after cleaning off the stain.

How To Get Cat Poop Out Of Clothes In 5 Simple Steps

The best approach to getting cat poop out of clothes is to quickly stop the poop stain from setting in the clothes’ fibers and make the task more challenging.

How To Clean Cat Poop Stain Off Fabrics

Clean cat stain

Step #1: Start by removing any solid feces from the garment and disposing of the waste appropriately. This step is necessary to prevent the poop stain from setting deeper into the fabric’s fibers.

Wearing a pair of disposable gloves at this stage will come in handy. If the feces is still wet, use a spoon or a paper towel to scoop up as much as possible without spreading it further.

Avoid rubbing the wet stain with a towel, which only pushes the debris deeper into the fabric. Instead, try blotting as much liquid waste as possible.

For dried poop, use a soft-bristled brush to remove the feces from the surface gently. You can also use a disposable knife, fork, or cardboard to scrape off the dried stain before you move forward.

Soak the soiled clothes

Step #2: Soak the soiled clothes in cold water for 30 minutes. This step aims to help loosen the cat poop stains and odors. You can rinse the garment under running water to wash off the excess waste before moving forward.

Apply detergent on visible stains

Step #3: If the stain is still visible, apply a small amount of laundry detergent directly onto the stain and work it into the fabric with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush.

Consider using a laundry detergent with biological enzymes to break down the poop stain, which is crucial in completely removing the odor and the stain from the fabric.

Once you apply the enzymatic cleaner, allow it to sit on the stain for at least thirty minutes.

Also, depending on the sternness of the stain, you may need to repeat this step once or twice to ensure it has been fully removed. In addition, you can wash the stain using white vinegar, which may help to neutralize the poop odor.

Step #4: Thoroughly cold-wash the affected clothes in the washing machine using a suitable laundry detergent. We recommend using a detergent containing enzymes to break down any remaining organic compounds in cat poop.

You can also use an effective oxy-type cleaner like Bissell PET PRO OXY Stain Destroyer or Shout for pets Turbo Oxy Urine Remover.

Please note that you must always read the care label on your clothes to confirm the best way of washing and drying your clothes. For example, are they machine-washable?

Air dry the clothes

Step #5: Air-dry your clothes completely by hanging them on a clothesline; using a dryer, even on a low-heat setting, may cause the stain to set in the fabric.

Step #6: Finally, you can deal with any lingering cat poop smell. Apply a suitable pet odor remover like enzymatic cleaners or other commercial pet odor removers like Febreze on the poop spot after the clothes dry.

Alternatively, you can make your cleaning solution using baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide to help you eliminate the awful smell.

How To Remove Cat Fecal Stains From Leather Clothes

Clean cat poop off leather

Unlike regular fabric, you have to leather differently. After all, you shouldn’t soak your favorite leather jacket (or anything made of leather) in water overnight. Doing so will destroy the item.

As such, you’ll need to tweak the cat poop cleaning and deodorization process a little bit.

Step #1: The first step is removing as much excess cat poop as possible and discarding it properly. Again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not allowing the poop to sit in place.

The faster you act to remove the poop, the lower the risk of the cat poop odor setting in and becoming a permanent feature of your leather item.

Step #2: If the poop was wet, blot as much of the wetness with a paper towel. Thereafter, cover the spot where the poop was with baking soda and leave it in place for 3 to 4 hours.

The baking soda will absorb any remaining liquid from the leather surface and pores. It will also absorb the odor, removing the poop smell.

Wipe the baking soda off the leather jacket and discard it properly.

Step #3: Finally, clean the surface of the leather to leave it clean and fresh. Mix about a cupful of your favorite saddle soap in warm water until it dissolves to create a soapy solution.

With a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub the patch that was soiled. Rinse the toothbrush in the water as often as possible. Be gentle but thorough in cleaning the poop patch.

Learn How to Clean Cat Poop on your Shoes

Learn How To Stop Cats From Peeing On Your Clothes

Does Poop Smell Stick to Clothes?

Does poop smell stick to clothes

The short answer is yes, poop smell can stick to clothes, especially when not removed well during washing. This is because feces contain bacteria and other organic matter like ammonia and sulfur that can attach firmly to the fabric fibers, leading to a persistent odor.

The type of fabric can also impact how easily the smell sticks to the clothes. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon retain odors more than natural fibers like cotton or wool.

Not only does synthetic material hold onto the foul odor, but the material also holds more stench-producing bacteria than natural materials.

However, in all cases, the longer the poop sits on the clothes, the more difficult it can be to remove the smell. With the above in mind, you must use the right cleaning products and techniques to eliminate the odor-causing stain.

Learn How to Clean Cat Poop From your Carpet

How to Get Poop Smell Out of Clothes

You may still have a lingering odor even after successfully removing the visible poop stains from your clothes. There are several ways to get poop smell out of clothes, including:

Using Vinegar

Vinegar and baking soda

Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine to neutralize the odor. Alternatively, for about thirty minutes, you can soak the affected clothes in a solution of three parts water and one part vinegar.

Then, rinse the fabric with enough water to wash off the vinegar. If the cloth is machine-washable, you can clean the clothing in a washing machine on a normal cycle. If the stain or odor persists, repeat these steps to achieve the intended outcome.

Besides its affordability, vinegar is an effective and popular cleaning agent as it is acidic and breaks down the bonds holding together the odor-producing molecules in the stain.

It is also an eco-friendly disinfectant that kills harmful bacteria and parasites commonly found in cat poop.

Using Baking Soda

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the clothes, focusing on the affected patch. Ensure you use sufficient baking soda to cover the stain and let it sit for several hours or overnight before washing.

Afterward, dust off, vacuum, and wash the clothes using a suitable laundry detergent to remove the excess baking soda.

If the clothing is machine-washable, clean it on a normal cycle and air-dry it until it is completely moisture-free. You may have to repeat this process until the entire stain is gone.

Baking soda is a safe, natural deodorizer and a mild abrasive that can remove cat poop stains and odors from your clothes.

Using Enzyme Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaner

While you might have plenty of options regarding how to get feces smell out of clothes, cleaning the poop spot with enzymatic cleaner is undoubtedly one of the best solutions. The enzyme-based cleaner is designed to break down the organic matter in the fabric.

Apply or spray the enzyme cleaner on the poop stain and allow it to sit on the cloth for at least thirty minutes. For severe stains, you should wait for longer.

Later on, you can wash the cloth to remove the remaining enzymatic cleaner. If the clothing is machine-washable, clean it on a normal cycle and air-dry it until completely dry.

Enzymatic cleaning products contain biological agents that help to hasten the decay process of the odor-causing organic compounds in cat poop. Eventually, these compounds are converted into carbon dioxide and water byproducts, which are far easier to remove from fabric.

Examples of Enzymatic cleaners you can use include Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover or the trusty Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover.

How to Get Poop Smell Out of Jeans

How to get cat poop odor from denim jeans

Jeans can be tricky to get poop smell out of, as they’re often made of thick, heavy denim. The good news is that the above methods can also be effective for jeans.

However, you may need to repeat the process a few times to remove the odor completely.

In addition, try soaking the jeans in cold water and vinegar for several hours before washing them.

Learn How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor In Clothes

Clothes Smell Like Poop After Washing: What to Do

Steps Of How to Get Cat Urine Smell Out of Clothes

If your clothes still smell like poop after washing and deodorizing, don’t fret or throw away your clothes in frustration. There are a few other things you can do to remedy the situation.

If the clothes are particularly smelly, consider rewashing them with a cup of white vinegar added to the rinse cycle.

You can also use an odor-eliminating spray designed for fabrics. Spray the affected areas and let them air dry. Thereafter, try the deodorization methods below.

Use Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal Odor Eliminator

Place a few pieces of activated charcoal in a breathable bag and hang them near the clothes to absorb the foul odor. Alternatively, you can put the dirty fabric in a plastic bag with a sufficient amount of activated charcoal to absorb the odor and other impurities.

For the best result, leave overnight for the effect to take place fully. Also, be ready to repeat this step if the smell remains.

Activated charcoal is a type of carbon treated with oxygen to enhance its porosity and ability to trap and absorb impurities and odors.

The activated charcoal will effectively remove the cat poop and odor from the dirty fabric by trapping these impurities and lifting them from your garment.

It can be sold in powder, briquettes, or granules, and selecting the right form of activated charcoal must be premised on your precise cleaning tasks. In this case, the granular form is more suited for removing cat poop odor from your clothing.

Activated charcoal is easily available and affordable for getting rid of removing cat feces smell from your clothes and general fabric.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils

Essential oils can remove cat poop smell from fabric due to their strong deodorizing, antifungal and antimicrobial abilities. For example, tea tree oil has terpinene-4-ol, which may kill fungi and bacteria in cat poop.

Also, lavender oil has linalool and linalyl acetate with strong antimicrobial properties.

Soak the dirty clothes in a sink or basin with cold water and add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, lemon, or tea tree to eliminate the poop smell. Usually, you must soak the clothing for at least thirty minutes to absorb the sweet smell of essential oils.

Allow the fabric to air-dry and confirm if the smell is gone – if not, you may need to soak it some more or buy an essential oil spray like Victoria’s Lavender Pillow and Linen Spray.

Remember to select the essential oil based on its smell profile. For example, lavender has a pleasant and floral smell, and peppermint has a fresh minty aroma.

Read our How to Use Essential Oils to Deter Cats From Scratching and Learn how to Use Essential Oil Safely Around Cats.

Use Sunlight

Use sunlight

Sunlight can help remove the cat poop smell on your clothes thanks to its natural deodorizing and bleaching properties. It has UV radiation, a natural bleaching agent that helps disintegrate the bonds of odor-causing organic molecules on your clothing.

In addition, sunlight can be a great natural disinfectant, with the heat sufficient to kill fungi and bacteria on your fabric.

However, sustained exposure of clothes to direct sunlight can cause them to lose color or become distorted, especially if it is a delicate or bright-colored fabric.

Ensure you hang the clothes outside in direct sunlight and in a way that exposes the fabric to maximum sunlight to help break down the organic matter and remove the odor.

You need to leave the clothing in the sun for several hours to enable the sunlight to bleach and deodorize the fabric, eliminating the poop smell.

Remove Poop Smell from Clothes: Dos and Don’ts

Clean cat poop on clothes

When it comes to removing poop smell from clothes, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.


  • Act quickly to remove the poop from the garment.
  • Use cold water when rinsing and washing the clothes.
  • Use a laundry detergent designed for removing tough pet stains and odors.


  • Use hot water, as this can set the stain and odor.
  • Use bleach, as this can damage the fabric and make the smell worse.
  • Dry the clothes in the dryer until the odor is completely gone.
  • Avoid using cleaning products that contain ammonia, which is likely to attract the cat to poop on your clothes.
  • Do not mix any two or more commercial cleaning agents, or vinegar and bleach.

How To Get Cat Poop Out Of Clothes: Conclusion

In conclusion, getting cat poop smell out of clothes is not impossible. With the right approach and patience, you can successfully remove feces odor and salvage your clothes. Remember to act quickly to remove any solid feces, use cold water when rinsing and washing, and avoid using bleach or hot water.

If the smell persists, try one of the methods listed above, and don’t give up until the odor is completely gone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use bleach to remove the poop smell on clothes?

A: No, bleach can make the odor worse. Avoid using bleach or hot water, as heat can set the odor into the fabric.

Q: How to get poop smell out of clothes?

A: You can start by soaking the dirty clothing in a solution of water and vinegar or baking soda for 30 minutes (better yet, overnight) before washing the stain using a strong detergent or enzymatic cleaner. You may have to repeat this step to make the clothing smell great.

Q: Should I use fabric softener to remove the poop smell from clothes?

A: No, fabric softener can make the smell worse. Instead, try using an odor-eliminating cleaner designed for fabrics.

Q: Can I use baking soda to remove the poop smell on clothes?

A: Yes, baking soda can effectively remove odors from clothes. Add a cup of baking soda to your washing machine during the rinse cycle.

Q: How often do I wash my clothes to remove the poop smell?

A: It depends on the severity of the smell. You may need to wash your clothes a few times or use one of the above methods to remove the odor completely.

Q: How to get the poop smell out of clothes after washing?

A: If you find your clothes smelling like cat poop even after washing, you must wash them again using a more effective detergent or enzymatic cleaner. Also, consider soaking them in water and baking soda before washing them again.

Q: Can I use vinegar to remove the poop smell on clothes?

A: Yes, vinegar can be effective in removing odors from clothes. Add a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle, or soak the clothes in a mixture of cold water and vinegar before washing.

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