How to Remove Pet (Dog or Cat) Urine Odors From Carpet
LAST UPDATED: JUNE 4, 2023
In this post, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to effectively eliminate pet urine odors from your carpet. This method is based on a technique that is used by professional carpet cleaners but has been simplified and adapted so that absolutely anyone can use it to achieve great results!
When your pet has an accident and pees on your carpet, the urine will seep down into the carpet backing and disperse into the padding beneath the carpet. These areas, hidden beneath the carpet's surface, are virtually impossible to clean using conventional carpet cleaning methods.
Cleaning the surface of the carpet will do very little in terms of removing the urine odor because the primary odor source is caused by the urine that has migrated below the surface of the carpet.
Since the areas beneath the carpet cannot be easily cleaned, the most effective odor eliminating solution is to use a urine neutralizing agent specifically designed to break down and decompose the odor-causing molecules that have migrated down into the carpet backing and padding.
In this post, I will show you how to make a urine neutralizing agent using simple and inexpensive raw ingredients. I will show you how to use that urine neutralizing agent to eliminate pet urine odors. If the urine stains you are working with are invisible, I will show you how to locate the exact source of the urine odor using a UV flashlight.
Urine Neutralizing Agent Ingredients
My preferred urine neutralizing agent is made of 6% hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia cleaner.
My favorite things about these two raw ingredients are they are cheap, highly effective at eliminating pet urine odors, and they completely evaporate as soon as the carpet dries, leaving zero residue in the carpet.
There are several different types of hydrogen peroxide available on the market - food grade hydrogen peroxide, salon grade hydrogen peroxide, swimming pool grade, medical grade, etc. Any of these types can be used for urine odor removal, as long as it is 6% (20 volume) concentration.
If you purchase 12% (40 volume) hydrogen peroxide, dilute it half and half with water before using it.
I typically use 6% (20 volume) salon grade hydrogen peroxide for carpet cleaning purposes. I've posted product links below, for my readers to make purchases online. However, hydrogen peroxide seems to be more expensive than it should be when purchased online.
If you live in the USA or Canada, consider purchasing 6% hydrogen peroxide, know as 20 volume clear developer, at Sally’s Beauty. 1 gallon of 20 Volume Clear Developer at Sally’s should cost about $15 to $20.
For urine odor removal, it's best to use clear ammonia, or household ammonia cleaner. I do not recommend using cleaning products that contain both soap and ammonia, as they will leave a residue in the carpet.
Urine Neutralizing Agent Recipe
To break down ALL the odor causing molecules in the carpet, carpet backing, and padding, the urine neutralizing agent must fully soak the area that was contaminated with urine. This means that the volume of neutralizing agent that we use on one pet stain must be greater than the maximum size of your pet’s bladder.
The table below will show you how much 6% hydrogen peroxide and ammonia is needed to treat one pet urine stain, based on your pets weight.
As an example, my dog weighs 15kg.
The table shows me that I need to mix 300mL of 6% hydrogen peroxide and 30mL of ammonia to make 330mL of urine neutralizing agent. This is enough to treat one urine stain that was caused by my 15kg pet.
Use this simple table to determine how much urine neutralizing agent is needed to treat one of your pets urine stains.
Locate Invisible Urine Stains
When our pets pee on the carpet, it’s not always accompanied by a noticeable yellow stain. Sometimes, the color of the urine blends seamlessly with the carpet, making it difficult to locate the affected area. Additionally, if the urine is not concentrated enough, it may not result in a visible stain at all.
Even without a visible stain, you can still detect the odor source. In such cases, a UV flashlight can be an invaluable tool in pinpointing the exact location of the pet urine accident. By illuminating the carpet with a UV light, the presence of phosphorus in the urine causes the affected area to glow, allowing you to identify and target the specific spot that requires treatment.
To use a UV flashlight, simply shine it on the carpet and look for any glowing stains. Once you identify a stain that glows under the UV light, bring your nose close to the area to check for the presence of a urine odor. If the stain emits a urine odor, the stain should be treated with a urine neutralizing agent which will decompose the odor causing molecules.
Urine Odor Removal Instructions
In this demo, I will show you step-by-step instructions on how to remove pet urine odors from carpet. The dog that caused this particular pet stain weighs 15kg.
The required amount of urine neutralizing agent depends on the weight of the pet that caused the accident. Refer to the table above to determine how much neutralizing agent you need to treat one of your pets accidents.
You will need:
1) Prepare enough urine odor neutralizing agent to treat one pet urine stain. The required amount of neutralizing agent is based on your pets weight (table above).
This stain was caused by a 15kg dog so the table tells us we need 300mL of 6% hydrogen peroxide and 30mL of household ammonia.
2) Slowly pour all of the urine neutralizing agent onto the urine stain. Allow the liquid to settle into the carpet and disperse into the carpet backing. This measured volume is designed to be larger than your pets bladder. Therefore, it should engulf and neutralize all of the urine in the carpet backing and carpet padding.
If the urine stain that you are treating is invisible, use a UV flashlight to locate the urine stain(s) in your carpet.
3) Cover the urine stain with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will prevent the ammonia from evaporating.
4) Fill a pot with hot tap water. Place the pot on top of the plastic wrap and allow the neutralizing agent to dwell for 2 hours. During this time, the neutralizing agent will be slowly breaking down the odor causing molecules and the yellow pigments in the urine.
5) Remove the pot and plastic wrap from the carpet. You will notice that the yellow stain has vanished.
6) Using dry white towels, absorb as much liquid from the carpet as possible. The more pressure you apply, the more liquid will be absorbed by the towel. Repeat with dry towels until the towels stop absorbing liquid from the carpet.
7) Allow the carpet to dry naturally. Any remaining ammonia will quickly evaporate (the ammonia odor will also disappear quickly). As the carpet dries, the remaining hydrogen peroxide will break down into water and oxygen.
By the time the carpet fully dries, there will be zero hydrogen peroxide or ammonia residue left in the carpet, as it all will have evaporated. The urine stain and odors that were previously present will have vanished before your eyes and nose!
Remove Pet Urine Odors From Carpet Video Instructions
Be sure to watch the video instructions before trying this at home!