How To Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out Of Carpet: Quick Guide

Cleaning after your beloved puppy is often one of the few downsides of dog ownership for many dog lovers. For instance, you’ll have to contend with pee cleaning accidents, which occur from time to time.

This is especially prevalent among elderly and sick dogs or puppies that are not fully housetrained.

With the above in mind, we’ll delve into how to get old dog urine smell out of carpet. Keep in mind Left unattended, the urine stain may end up staining your carpet and causing a horrible smell around the house.

With the above in mind, you must learn how to eliminate the old dog urine smell from your carpet effectively.

Main Precautions To Remember When Removing Dog Pee Smell Out Of Carpet

Main Precautions To Remember When Removing Dog Pee Smell Out Of Carpet

Ideally, you should remove the dog urine and the smell from the carpet padding before it reaches deep-seated carpet fibers or soaks underneath and gets to the subfloor. Blot the fresh urine with absorbent materials, such as paper towels or clean cloths, to help minimize the amount that soaks into the carpet.

Alternatively, wet vac the urine until dry.

Not only will it be difficult to deal with when it soaks your subfloor, but it can also cause structural damage. For instance, it can rot a wooden subfloor when left long enough, weakening the housing structure.

Likewise, you should act promptly to stop the urine from drying on your carpet. However, if you discover the pee spot when it’s already dried, do not fret. We’ve got you covered on how to get old dog urine smell out of carpet.

Besides being unsightly, urine contains bacteria that could potentially expose humans to diseases. The ammonia from dog urine can induce allergies and adversely affect home occupants struggling with sinusitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or emphysema.

Here are some precautions to keep in mind while cleaning fresh and old dog pee smell out of carpet:

  • Remember to wear protective gloves before you start cleaning and wash your hands with soap and water. You can also use hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
  • Please read and follow your carpet’s care and washing instructions to avoid damaging it. Consider consulting a professional if your carpet requires special cleaning procedures.
  • Follow the user instructions for your cleaning products to know how long you should allow the chemical cleaner to sit on your carpet.
  • To avoid staining the carpet, test your cleaning products on an inconspicuous part of the carpet before using them.

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Understanding The Problem Of Dog Urine In Carpets

Understanding The Problem Of Dog Urine In Carpets

At the heart of dealing with dog urine on your carpet is understanding the dog urine problem, particularly the various organic compounds in dog urine, and how to clean them from your carpet.

Most of these odor-producing organic compounds are not soluble in water, so ordinary cleaning procedures may not work.

Moreover, you will know why your dog is eliminating it inappropriately and what measures you can take to prevent future accidents.

What Is In Dog Urine?

Some of the compounds in dog urine that are responsible for its foul smell include:

  • Urea
  • Creatine
  • Uric acid
  • Carbohydrates
  • Enzymes
  • Fatty acids

Other components include hormones, magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium, and ammonia.

Bacteria in the urine spot break down the urea and uric acid to produce ammonia, which has a strong and choking smell.

Why Can Dog Urine Be Challenging To Eliminate?

Dog urine is challenging to clean because the uric acid in it is insoluble in water, making it difficult to remove with ordinary cleaning products.

Additionally, the uric acid salt crystals are almost invisible and challenging to see with the naked eye. You must use black or ultraviolet light. Otherwise, when exposed to even a little moisture (humidity), the uric acid salt crystals reactivate and give off an unpleasant smell.

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My Whole Carpet Smells Like Dog Pee: Locate The Precise Odor Source

Uric acid exists in the form of minute salt crystals that are typically difficult to spot with the naked eye. Here are some methods of locating dog urine stains on your carpet, including UV light or black light.

#1. Visual Inspection

Sometimes, visually inspecting the carpet is sufficient to help you locate the precise location of the soiling. Look for signs of discoloration or fading.

Also, use your sense of smell to detect where the foul smell is coming from on your carpet. Be ready to move closer to the carpet and sniff its surface when looking for the foul-smelling patch.

#2. UV Light Or Black Light

UV Light Or Black Light

UV lights cause the dog’s urine to glow in the dark. Specifically, it is traces of phosphorus and proteins in dog urine that glow when illuminated with a black light.

Therefore, switch off the lights in the room and use the black light to scan for urine stains, which should appear as whitish, yellow, or green spots. The heavily soiled parts may glow orange.

Note: UV black light may not work well on carpets with fluorescence. Also, remove the batteries when not using the black light for an extended period of time.

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How To Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out Of Carpet: Preparations

How To Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out Of Carpet

Before attempting to remove the old dog urine smell, it is essential to prepare the soiled area to make it easier for the stain to come off. Here are some tips to help you prepare your carpet for cleaning:

  • Step #1: Start by locating the precise soiled area that needs cleaning using a black light or sense of smell. You can use chalk or place objects on top of the spot to make remembering easier.
  • Step #2: Remove any solid waste using an appropriate tool like a vacuum or pooper scooper and dispose of the waste appropriately.
  • Step #3: If the urine spot is fresh, use paper towels to blot up as much wetness as possible. Repeat until the paper towel comes up dry. Consider acquiring a compact wet vacuum, as it proves a valuable investment, especially if you have multiple dogs. Small and compact wet vacuums offer convenient storage and maneuverability, allowing you to reach any area where accidents happen. When dealing with recent urine accidents, effectively remove the moisture by repeatedly vacuuming over the spot using the wet vac until no further dampness remains.
  • Step #4: Apply baking soda and spread it over the soiled spot. Allow it to sit for several hours or overnight to soak up and lift the foul odors from your carpet.
  • Step #5: Vacuum up the baking soda, and the spot is ready for more detailed cleaning.

How To Get Dog Pee Out Of Carpet: Removing Fresh Dog Urine Stains

How To Get Dog Pee Out Of Carpet

There are different methods for removing old dog urine stains from your carpet. The methods are more or less effective, depending on the severity of the urine stain on your carpet. Here are some methods for removing dog urine stains:

How To Get Rid Of Dog Pee Smell In Carpet Using Vinegar

Using Vinegar And Water Cleaning Solutions

Wet vacuum as much of the urine as possible

Step #1: Wet vacuum as much of the urine as possible or blot it with paper towels for fresh urine stains. Avoid rubbing the stain; instead, dab on the stain until the paper towels come up dry.

Step #2: Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water and spray the affected area. Ensure you saturate the soiled spot properly for effective results.

Step #3: Allow the solution to sit for 10–15 minutes, then blot or wet vac the excess liquid with paper towels.

Step #4: Rinse the area with water and wet vacuum or blot dry. Keep the room well-ventilated by opening windows or bringing in circulating fans to quicken drying.

Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

White vinegar can be effectively used as a natural disinfectant to remove old and wet dog urine stains from your carpet. The baking soda will help neutralize the smell.

Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

Step #1: Apply a generous amount of baking soda to the soiled spot, and spread it evenly across the urine stain.

Step #2: Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and vacuum it with a soft brush attachment.

Step #3: Put one part water and one part white vinegar in a clean spray bottle and gently shake the solution to mix it thoroughly.

Step #4: Apply a generous solution to the stain until it is fully saturated, and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. The best technique when spot cleaning is to start from the outer edges of the urine spot and work toward the center. That way, you avoid spreading the urine outward.

Step #5: Use paper towels, cloths, or an old dry sponge or towel to press onto the spot and blot away the cleaning solution. If you have a wet vacuum machine, use it instead. Continue patting the stain until the paper towels or cloths come up dry. Ensure you do not rub the stained spot to avoid pushing the urine into the carpet.

Step #6: Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on the spot and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to lift the urine stains from the carpet.

Step #7: Once the baking soda is completely dry, vacuum it up and confirm if the smell is gone. Rinse with cold water to remove the remaining vinegar solution. You may need to repeat this procedure to remove all the odors and stains.

Keep the room well-ventilated by opening windows or bringing in circulating fans to quicken drying.

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How To Get Rid Of Dog Urine Smell In Carpet Without Using Vinegar

Using Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are specially formulated to disintegrate the chemical bonds holding together the proteins and organic molecules in dog urine and make cleaning easier.

Enzymatic cleaners decompose the uric acid in dog urine using bacteria and other ingredients, thereby removing the urine odor. Moreover, it also kills the bacteria in the urine that promote urine decomposition and the subsequent release of the nasty smell. 

We recommend using a cleaning agent specifically formulated for pet stains, like an enzymatic cleaner for dog urine. Examples of enzymatic cleaners you can use are:

It is best to carefully read and follow the instructions on the commercial cleaner you use. Generally, here is how you use an enzymatic cleaner to remove dog urine stains from your carpet:

Step #1: Apply the cleaning product to the stain and allow it to sit on your carpet according to the instructions on its label.

Step #2: Rinse the spot with cold water and blot it with paper towels or a clean old towel. Repeat if necessary.

Step #3: Keep the room well-ventilated by opening windows or bringing circulating fans to quicken drying.

How To Get Old And Dried Urine Stains Out Of Carpets

To remove old and dried urine stains from your carpet, rinse the stain with cold, clean water to remove it and make it easier to come off.

Apply baking soda and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it. Alternatively, you can apply an enzymatic cleaner specially formulated for dog urine to the stain and rinse it with cold, clean water.

You may need to rinse and repeat a few times to remove the stain and lingering odor.

How To Get Dried Dog Pee Out Of Carpet DIY

Rinsing the old pee stains with cold water helps to loosen the stains, making them easier to remove.

Then, apply your preferred cleaning solution to the soiled spot and consider rubbing it off with a soft-bristled brush to remove the persistent stains. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Using White Vinegar And Water Solution

Since vinegar is acidic, you can use it to neutralize the bacteria in dog urine, thereby halting further uric acid decomposition and releasing the pungent dog urine smell.

In addition, white vinegar is safe to use around dogs, and it’s affordable and eco-friendly. White vinegar is preferred for this work as it does not discolor the carpet, especially when mixed with clean water.

Mix one part water and one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Saturate the soiled spot with the cleaning solution and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Rinse and repeat until you have removed the entire odor.

How To Get Dried Dog Pee Out Of Carpet Without Vinegar

Using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide And Water 

3% hydrogen peroxide can disintegrate the chemical bonds holding the stain together and can be considered one of the best homemade cleaning solutions for light-colored carpets. It is effective in turning the urine stain transparent and can neutralize the smell.

However, be careful when applying hydrogen peroxide with a 6% concentration or more (like Food-grade hydrogen peroxide) on dark carpets to avoid bleaching the carpet, especially when cleaning old dog urine from wool rugs. You can also add suitable dishwashing soap to the cleaning solution to enhance its cleaning potency.

Here is how you can use a hydrogen peroxide solution to remove dried urine stains:

Step #1: Put four tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and add water to mix thoroughly. Add a few drops of mild dishwashing soap to the solution.

Step #2: Apply the solution to the stain from the outside to the center and let it sit for 10–15 minutes. You may use an old spoon to spread the solution over the dry urine stains, sporadically pressing it down gently to ensure it penetrates deeper into the carpet.

Step #3: Blot up/wet vacuum the excess liquid with paper towels and rinse the area with clean water to remove the cleaning agent and any remaining stains. Rinse and repeat until the odor is gone.

Step #4: Blot the area dry using a wet cloth to dry the patch, and keep the room well-ventilated to speed up drying.

Using An Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzyme cleaners are designed to break down the uric acid crystals into odorless carbon dioxide and water, thus eliminating the odor. The ideal enzymatic cleaner can retain its potency against organic compounds in dog urine for up to two weeks.

For old urine stains, apply a commercial enzyme cleaner to the affected area of your carpet and rinse away the cleaning solution with cold, clean water. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Look for a product specially manufactured for pet odors.

How To Clean Dog Pee From Wool Rug

How To Clean Dog Pee From Wool Rug

Rugs and carpets made of natural wool are expensive and, in some cases, family heirlooms with more sentimental value than the market value of the carpet.

Unfortunately, your furry friend does not know or understand these facts and might even view your carpet as the perfect surface for accidental relief.’ Dog pee on wool rugs is a common accident in many households.

On the other hand, wool as a material is naturally resilient and resistant to water and dirt. It can withstand accidental dog urination better than most other materials.

However, you still need to work quickly to get the dog pee stain out of the wool carpet to negate the damage it may cause to the dye and fibers. If left long enough, the ammonia, urea, and other minerals in the urine may affect the colorfastness of your carpet.

Aside from acting fast, you need to choose your cleaner carefully. Generally, the DIY cleaning methods explored above are safe to use on wool.

However, there are no universal manufacturing standards. Some manufacturers blend wool with other materials, while others use dyes that may fade when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or enzyme cleaners.

As such, you must test the cleaners on an inconspicuous part of your area rug, whether you use a DIY or store-bought cleaner safe for wool before you get urine out of the wool rug.

And when getting dried dog urine out of wool rugs, consider using more diluted cleaning solutions repeatedly rather than concentrated cleaning solutions to hasten the cleaning process.

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How To Get Rid Of Dog Pee Smell In Carpet

How To Get Rid Of Dog Pee Smell In Carpet

My whole carpet smells like dog pee, even after a thorough cleaning. How do I solve the pungent dog urine odor issue?

After removing the urine stain, your spot-cleaning task is not over yet. It is vital to neutralize the odor completely to stop the dog from returning to soil the spot again. Here are some methods to neutralize the odor of dog urine if it still lingers on the carpet or rug:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum the baking soda away.
  • Mix water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes, then blot the excess liquid with paper towels. Rinse the area with water and blot it dry.
  • Place bowls of activated charcoal around the room to absorb any lingering odors.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional carpet cleaner or replace the carpet entirely if a large section of the carpet has been heavily soiled beyond redemption.

Common Causes Of Inappropriate Urination In Dogs

The reasons for inappropriate urination in dogs can be categorized mainly between behavioral and medical reasons:

Medical Reasons

It is always helpful to begin by ruling out medical reasons as the cause of the problem. Look for telltale signs such as wailing or vocalization during urination, frequent bathroom visits, excessive water drinking, licking of genitalia, or bloody or cloudy urine, and consult a qualified vet accordingly.

Some of the medical conditions to be concerned about include:

  • Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control.
  • Fever
  • Urinary or bladder stones
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease

Behavioral Reasons

Some of the expected behaviors that can lead your dog to urinate inappropriately include:

  • Marking territory or looking for a mating partner.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Excitement urination.
  • Stress or submission urination.
  • Radical changes in the routine or living environment.

We conclude this article by showing how you can control behavior-related urination, including by spaying or neutering your dog.

Tips for Preventing Future Stains

Tips for Preventing Future Stains

It is best to seek effective ways to discourage your dog from peeing on your carpet. Here are some tips to prevent your dog from making a mess on your carpet:

#1. Potty-training. Train your dog to go outside when they need to use the bathroom. With sufficient time and regimented potty, crate, or obedience training, the dog can learn and master the appropriate bathroom behavior.

#2. Use a crate or designated area for your dog when you are not home. Consider tethering the dog with a leash whenever you cannot monitor the dog’s peeing habits; use a short leash.

#3. Positive reinforcement can help train your dog to urinate in the right place by giving it treats and petting it whenever it has behaved appropriately.

#4. Sticking to a schedule. Provide your dog with routine potty breaks after every one or two hours. Stick to the schedule religiously.

#5. Placing a rug, furniture, or an improvised covering on your carpet can be ideal and sufficient to deter the dog from soiling the carpet area again.

#6. Dog diapers. You can buy dog diapers for your male or female dog if it struggles with urine control problems. They are designed with an absorbent liner and waterproof outer covering, which can help keep urine away from your carpet.

Look for dog diapers that are leakproof and have super absorbent qualities. Also, consider getting washable, reusable, disposable, and easy-to-use dog diapers to help you manage urinary incontinence in your dog. They come in different sizes according to the dog’s waist and weight.

#7. Professional help: If your dog is elderly and suffering from incontinence, the vet may recommend minor surgery to solve the problem or prescribe bladder supplements. Other professional interventions include spaying or neutering the dog.

What To Avoid

  • Avoid punishing your dog.
  • Avoid using steam cleaners to clean the urine stain from the carpet or similar fabric, as the heat from the equipment can permanently set the stain on the carpet. The heat strengthens the bond between the protein in dog urine and the artificial carpet fibers. In addition, applying heat can make finding the urine stain more challenging.
  • Do not use ammonia bleach cleaning agents, which may smell like dog urine and attract the dog to pee on the spot again.

Conclusion: How To Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out Of Carpet

In conclusion, removing the old dog urine smell from the carpet can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By acting quickly, using the right cleaning products, and addressing the underlying cause of the problem, you can eliminate odors and restore your carpet to its original condition.

Prevention is critical, so train your dog to take preventative measures to minimize accidents. By following these tips and taking proactive steps, you can keep your home smelling fresh and clean, even with a furry friend around.


Q: Does Dog Pee Ruin Carpet?

A: Yes. Dog urine stains can cause discoloration on your carpet. However, you can prevent the damage by cleaning the stain as soon as possible and stopping it from setting in the carpet.

Q: Can I use regular household cleaners to remove dog urine from the carpet?

A: While regular household cleaners may effectively clean up dog urine, they often don’t eliminate the odor completely. It’s best to use cleaners specifically designed for pet urine, as they contain enzymes that break down the proteins in the urine and neutralize the odor.

Q: What is the best way to clean up fresh dog urine from the carpet?

A: The best way to clean up fresh dog urine is to use paper towels or a clean cloth to blot up as much urine as possible. Then, apply an enzymatic cleaner to the affected area and follow the product’s instructions for cleaning and deodorizing the carpet.

Q: How long does it take for the smell of old dog urine to go away?

A: The time it takes for the old dog urine smell to go away depends on the severity of the odor and the cleaning method used. In some cases, the odor may be eliminated completely after one cleaning, while multiple cleanings may be necessary in other cases.

Q: Can I use vinegar to remove dog urine from carpet?

A: While vinegar can effectively clean up dog urine, it’s not always the best solution for removing the odor. Vinegar can leave behind a strong smell that may be unpleasant for some people. Enzymatic cleaners are generally better for removing dog urine odor from carpets.

Q: How can I prevent my dog from peeing on the carpet?

A: There are several steps you can take to prevent your dog from peeing on the carpet, including providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor potty breaks, using positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior, and using crate training to limit access to the carpet when you’re not home. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist can also help address any underlying behavioral issues contributing to the problem.

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