How to Get Urine Smell Out of Carpet

Having pets can be an absolute joy, though inevitably brings all sorts of everyday challenges into the mix. How to get urine smell out of carpets being a prime example, as even the best-trained pets are prone to the occasional accident.

Maintaining domestic bliss with pets about the place isn’t easy at the best of times. The best robot vacuum for pet hair can help, as can ensuring you’ve a ready supply of the best carpet cleaning solution for your specific type of floor covering. But even then, dealing with unexpected ‘issues’ along the way calls for a little specialist knowledge.

Read on for all the insights you’ll need into getting urine out of carpets and banishing problematic pet odors in carpets, once and for all.

What You’ll Need

One thing to note at this point – most of the following tips, techniques and products can be used for a wide variety of spills, stains and smells. Whether it’s getting soda out of carpet courtesy of your kids or getting beer out of carpet after a wilder night that you anticipated, you can more or less use the same solutions and techniques.

In terms of basic supplies, you’ll need no more than a few everyday staples to successfully remove pet urine and odor from your carpets: 

  • A dish sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Toothbrush
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Store-bought cleaners
  • Vodka (maybe) 

There are various different methods for eliminating pee smell in carpets, so feel free to try as many of them as you like.

Steps to Get Urine Out of Carpet Naturally

If your preferred approach is the all-natural type, there are several different methods that can prove surprisingly effective. Again, typically calling for nothing more than you already have around the home. Here’s how to get urine smell out of a carpet naturally, using a few basic household staples.

1. Identify the stain with a UV flashlight

If the stain has already dried-in and disappeared, it may be difficult to locate.  This is where a basic UV flashlight can help (available online for next to nothing), which can be used to scan the carpet and identify the problem area. You may also come across a few additional spots that could do with being spruced up along the way. 

2. Soak up the stain

If the area is still wet, the first thing to do is take some paper towels and gently soak up as much of the liquid as you can. Don’t make the mistake of pressing too firmly onto the surface of the carpet, as to do so will drive the liquid even deeper into the pile. Blot gently to remove as much as you can.

3. Apply an enzymatic cleaner or vinegar

A simple DIY preparation that comprises one part water to one part vinegar is usually all you need. Mix them together, pour into a spray bottle and spray liberally over the area. Give it a gentle scrub and leave it to dry naturally.

4. Use baking soda to remove odor

There will most likely be some residual odor left at this stage, which is where baking soda can help. It’s as easy as sprinkling a liberal quantity of baking soda over the affected area and leaving it in place for 24 hours to do its job. It can sometimes be even more effective to lightly moisten the area first, with a quick spray of clean water.

5. Vacuum it up

After which, reach for the best carpet cleaning vacuum (or whatever vacuum you have to hand) and give the whole thing a seriously good going-over. Ensure every trace of the baking soda is removed, after which you could use any generic powder-based freshener (all-natural, of course) to add a touch of fragrance to the area.

6. Potty train your pets

At the risk of stating the obvious, this is also the point in the process where you might want to think about training or retraining your pets. The key to successful potty training lying in rewarding good behavior – punishing bad behavior and the odd mistake here and there never works. You’ll find plenty of pro tips and tutorials online, if unsure how to get started.

Other materials you can use

The technique outlined above will usually work, but there are also several other supplies you can use to clean stains and remove odors. Try this standard approach first, after which you can always get the following a go, if you’re still not happy with the result:

Dish-washing soap

After ensuring that the area is completely dry, a simple solution comprising warm water and dish soap can be surprisingly effective. A good scrub, followed by a rinse, time to dry and a sprinkling of baking soda to remove residual odors can work a treat.

Hydrogen peroxide

This is only advisable to try out if your carpet isn’t going to be discolored by the solution. It’s a case of mixing ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of colorless dish soap. Test the solution in a hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t bleach the color out of your carpet, before scrubbing it into the affected area and leaving it for 15 minutes. Vacuum away once dried. 


Cheap vodka can be a surprisingly effective household cleaner – just don’t go wasting the good stuff! Add a liberal amount to the affected area once it is dry, give it around 15 minutes to work its magic and blot the excess away. Again, you can also add a layer of baking soda to the patch after 15 minutes or so and give it a couple of hours, before vacuuming away.


Don’t despair if none of the above have done the job to a standard you’re happy with – there are still various options to explore. The two most obvious of which being the specialist cleaning solution and pro-cleaning options, which in both instances have their own pros and cons.

Carpet cleaning solution for pet stains

For example, a specialist carpet cleaning solution for pet stains will have been designed specifically to deliver superb results. Whether designed to be used manually or in conjunction with a carpet cleaner, a high-end carpet cleaning solution will almost always get the job done.

The only downside being that many of these products contain synthetic compounds and chemicals, which may not be particularly friendly to you or your pets. Something to be wary of and precisely why you need to read the label carefully, before buying.

Hire a professional

If nothing else works (or you’ve neither the time nor the energy to tackle the problem yourself), you can always hire a professional. This will usually involve one or more commercial cleaners visiting your home, armed with an arsenal of high-end cleaning products and a seriously powerful carpet cleaner.

They’ll have your carpet looking and smelling good as new in no time, but you’ll probably pay a pretty price for the privilege. Still, it’ll save you the trouble of doing it yourself, which is always a bonus!


As with most spills and messes around the home, the key to dealing with urine smells in carpets lies in tackling them as quickly as possible. If you work on the spot the moment the accident occurs, it’s relatively easy to prevent stink from setting in at all. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to clean and refresh your carpets.

In any case, it’s always worth trying your hand with a few all-natural DIY methods, before opting for anything else. And if you find yourself dealing with problems like this on a regular basis, picking up the best carpet cleaning vacuum you can afford could save you time, effort and even money in the long term. 

Tiffany Wong

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