How to Clean Dog Urine

Dogs are notorious for marking their territories and returning to do it again. Whether your pooch has had an accident or is making sure everyone knows the house is his, you want to rid the area completely of the urine and any lingering odors that accompany it. 

You Will Need: 

  • Rubber gloves
  • Pet urine remover or vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Old cloths or towels 

Steps to Remove the Urine: 

  1. Whenever cleaning pet urine, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Start by mopping up the mess or use old towels or paper towels to soak it up.
  3. Next, you will need to treat the area for odors and stains.
  4. There are a variety of pet urine removers available. Nature’s Miracle is a well known brand with a high success rate. Kids ‘n Pets is another product designed for removing a variety of stains and odors. Both are effective removing the stains and lingering odors that come from dog urine. Some have also found simple, white vinegar to be effective in removing pet odors as well.
  5. Apply you selected cleaning product liberally to the area.
  6. For carpet or padded furniture, make sure you apply enough to reach the bottom of the stain so all of the odor is removed.
  7. Some cleaning products will recommend that the product be scrubbed and rinsed, while most are left to air dry. The extra time on the stain allows the product time to break down the urine proteins and odors to remove them completely.
  8. If cleaning a hard floor, simply apply the product and wipe the area clean with paper towels. Note that cloths or old towels can be used as well, but they will also hold the odor, even after a regular washing.
  9. Once the area is dry, vacuum carpeted areas to restore the texture of the carpet. 

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Be sure to treat the entire area to avoid a repeat occurrence. Pets are likely to return to the same spot and urinate gain if they smell any of their “markings” in the area.
  • The best indicator to determine if the smell is still there is to watch your pet. They will smell an area with a scent more intently, giving you time to move them outdoors and retreat the area.


  1. Dogs have accidents, it’s a fact of life. They sell special dog urine removal solutions at the pet store, or even in the grocery store pet food department. The solutions work like any other carpet spot cleaner, but they’re specially formulated to kill the urine smell so the dog won’t come back to that spot.

  2. Soak up as much of the urine as you can, then pour table salt all over the wet spot, lay down a good thick layer of it. The salt will soak up the rest of the urine, then you can pick up the crusted salt – use gloves – and vacuum up the rest.

  3. We found out the hard way that using an ammonia-based cleaner is an open invitation to our dogs to return to the scene of the crime. Make sure that anything you use to clean up dog urine doesn’t also smell like dog urine.

  4. You can teach a small dog, like a chihuahua, to use a litter box just like a cat. It takes a little more work, but since dogs like to go in a place they’ve gone before they catch on pretty quickly. And once the dog is used to the box, you won’t have to run for the door first thing in the morning to head off a wet spot on the rug.

  5. Get the kind that foams and has a carpet brush attached to the can. Blot up the urine, spray on the foam and wait however long it says to wait on the can before vacuuming up the dried foam. Repeat if the spot still smells.

  6. Be sure to check the baseboard next to an accident site, and clean down between the carpet and the wall as much as you can. Leftover urine isn’t just nasty, it will draw your dog back to that place to do the deed again.

  7. N. Stevens says:

    Mop up the urine until the area is as near to dry as possible. Spray white vinegar all over the area and allow it to dry. The vinegar breaks down the crystals that form. If the accident spot is on carpet, then after the vinegar has dried (once dried you cannot smell the urine or the vinegar) sprinkle Bicarbonate of Soda over the area, brush it into the carpet, leave it for a few hours then vacuum up.

  8. A professional carpet cleaner told me to use vinegar for the three “P’s,” pee, poop and puke. After picking up or blotting up as much of the offending material as possible, saturate the area with white vinegar, blot and then rub north and south and east and west to make sure that you are getting all sides of the fibers. Vinegar does not leave a residue like some cleaning products do, and it eliminates the odors too.

  9. I read on one site that Listerine works well to clean up after dog (and cat) urine. Our Lab/Chow used to be an outside dog and had trouble making the transition to living inside; consequently, we had lakes, not puddles, to clean up. We also had to deal with the long-lasting smell. After mopping the floor, I poured Listerine over the scene of the crime, let it soak in a bit, and then dried the area. The anti-bacterial forces in the mouthwash killed the smell. I’m cheap, so I bought the store-brand or generic versions of Listerine, and they worked the same.

    For really bad messes, I recommend a steam mop. I bought a Shark steam mop and have noticed that the areas where she left her mark smell better and she is less likely to return to the scene of the crime.

  10. Use pine sol and water, saturate the area well and let it dry. May take more than one application. Make sure you have good ventilation.

  11. Our golden retriever peed on a light-colored persian carpet (rug) a number of times before we realized. We had it cleaned, but they could only do a light clean, as the dye began to run. Any idea how we can remove/reduce the yellow staining, and to remove the final residue of smell? Thanks.

  12. I cleaned the spot that my dog had an accident on during the night, when it dried, it looked very bad. It is a round spot that looks dirty. How can I clean this and make my carpet look the same? Thanks.

  13. I’ve tried everything and ended up putting 1/4 water and 3/4 white vinegar in a spray bottle. I have only used this on tile, pergola, and linoleum. It works great. Spray, let sit for just a minute, and wipe up with a towel. Works great!

  14. I will be sticking to a vinegar solution from now on. In a pinch, I have used ammonia and water to clean an accident. Now I understand that it may attract a repeat performance. Thanks!

  15. Windex with ammonia D is very effective for blood stains and dog accident stains, if you use it before anything else. Soak it in slightly watered-down Windex for large areas, or spray out of the bottle and saturate. Let it sit or soak for a 1/2 hr. or so. Use carpet cleaner, a washing machine or just scrub and blot. Very good on clothing for blood from fishing, hunting etc.

  16. My dog continuously pees everywhere in the house. Her favorite spot is the kitchen. The smell seems to never disappear, even when I clean it up. My house smells like dog pee (also, she’s a puppy so the urine is strong). How can I remove the smell from my home?

  17. I have a rescue Papillon who has had an extremely difficult life. Her favorite place to urinate when she cannot make it outside is on the tile floor in the kitchen. Her urine would get down in the grout and leave a foul smell. I have found “Urine Gone” stain and odor eliminator with enzyme action will completely wipe out the smell.

  18. What will remove the stain and odors from dog pee on the cement patio? It is killing me. Thanks.

  19. I have the same problem with my mix. She pees on the kitchen floor by the back door every time she cannot wait to go outside. It goes into the grout, and into the wood on the side. I know for a fact that vinegar brings her right back to that area. Windex, after cleaning the ceramic, will draw her like steak. I have used ammonia with lemon scent. Nope, though I did clean that up, after. I am puzzled. I will try Urine Gone.

  20. What is the best thing to do when it comes to disciplining our puppy. . .some people say put her nose it it and others say never to do that. This is my first puppy. What should I do?

  21. Kim,
    Dogs are a generally clean species; they prefer not to defecate in the same place that they eat or sleep. Dogs are also incredibly perceptive and eager to communicate with their human. That is likely where the practice of “rubbing their nose in it” comes from – dogs are civilized enough to be disgusted by it and perceptive enough to understand the emotions that you express when doing that – anger, hatred, dominance, etc. Essentially, this method teaches your dog to fear you (and humans in general), which often leads to behavioral problems. Hence, this practice has fallen into disrepute with the advancement of basic rights, knowledge, legality, etc.
    A better way to train your dog is to build trust. Your need is for your pet not to soil the house. Your pet’s need is to relieve themselves. Learn more about the dietary system of puppies (ie. taking a puppy outside immediately before and after a nap or meal, providing your puppy with the necessary number of outings for their development stage and breed size, etc.) to be sure you are meeting their needs. Listen for the tell-tale yip that is a request for a bathroom break or consider using a dog doorbell to train your puppy. Also, reward your puppy with praise or treats when they properly relieve themselves outside.
    I have trained a number of puppies and I have never rubbed their nose in it. Positive reinforcement works wonders. Make your own treats or use Cheerios if you can’t afford commercial dog treats with all the other puppy start-up costs. Taking the puppy out every few hours is definitely a hassle, but the training is valuable and the bonding is sweet – waking up in the middle of the night to take your puppy outside, etc.
    Positive reinforcement is basically the opposite principle of nose-rubbing; giving your puppy praise for doing things right instead of discipline for doing things wrong. Be extremely expressive with the praise; give a big smile and do a little dance and cheer for your puppy – really sell it. :) Be patient and consistent. The more times they repeat an action, the more ingrained it will become.
    Lastly, make sure that you thoroughly clean the scent from the area where your puppy had an accident. Their nose is stronger than ours, so be sure to follow-up your cleaning with an odor-removing treatment, such as diluted vinegar or baking soda.

    Source: wikiHow – 5 Ways to House Train a Puppy
    Source: wikiHow – How to House Train Your Dog in Ten Days
    Source: Pets Adviser – Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Pee Does Not Work!
    Source: American Humane Association – Housetraining Puppies and Dogs
    Source: Cesar’s Way – Dog Problem: Puppy Soiling Crate
    Source: – Ribbon Dog Doorbell

  22. I would like to know how to get rid of a pee smell on laminate floor and stop them from peeing there again.

  23. Gail wants to know says:

    I would like to know how to get rid of a pee smell on laminate floor and stop them from peeing there again. What works best: a vinegar solution or an enzyme product for urine accidents. It cannot just be poured onto the laminate, it would ruin it. What do I do?

  24. My dog urinates and defecates in my basement while I’m gone. I have a gas water heater and furnace near where he goes. Is it safe to use the products you mention because of the flame from the pilot light? There is no ventilation and I don’t really want to blow myself up. Thank you.

  25. This will not work. I own a carpet cleaning service. Everyone tries these methods, then calls me. Call a professional. You need to treat the bacteria, then deal with the urine and you need a truck mount carpet cleaning unit.

  26. We have Shaw laminate flooring in our house, and our dog peed on it, leaving a residue. I tried my 50/50 vinegar and water mist, then plain water mist, using my Leiber mop. The residue remained, and became very tacky to walk on, and we actually spread the residue over a larger space by foot traffic. I called Shaw, and they recommended 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol applied with a clean
    cloth (no fabric softener in it). Wipe it on affected areas, turn the cloth often to keep a clean application surface going, and let it dry. Works like a charm!! Thought I was going to have to replace a lot of flooring, but the rubbing alcohol took care of the problem.

  27. I have two dogs. They do their business outside, but they also go on wee-wee pads in the house. I can’t get rid of the urine smell. I have used cleaners, vinegar, etc.; nothing seems to get rid of the smell! Any suggestions?

  28. Melanie says:

    Not just any cleaner will work. Vinegar does sometimes work, but since it’s not working for you, you need to pull out the big guns: pet enzyme cleaners. Get a pet urine remover that is an enzyme digester, such as Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer. These cleaners contain live specialty bacteria eat the target material (urine, etc.) until it is gone. Just make sure that you get a cleaner that is intended for the type of surface, such as a hard surface cleaner for a wood floor or a carpet cleaner for carpet; it does matter. You can look for one that specifically says it removes odor; that would be ideal. However, even with the enzyme digesters, sometimes you need to clean the spot several times. Follow the directions on the label of your selected cleaner.

  29. I suspect my dog has a bladder infection. We have to get an appointment lined up. But, he is peeing in the house during the day and sometimes at night. Because we are either not home or asleep, it starts to dry and leaves our floor sticky after mopping. What can we mop our floor with to get rid of the sticky film that’s left?

  30. Tracie,
    Many people complain of having a sticky film on the floor after cleaning, so the stickiness may not be caused by the urine, but rather by the cleaner. When residue from a cleaning solution remains on the floor, it creates stickiness. After mopping with cleaning solution, try mopping again with plain water. Once you have removed the residue, use only a small amount of a plain cleaning solution in the future, such as either isopropyl alcohol or white vinegar. Just add half a cup of one or the other to a bucket of water. White vinegar kills 99% of bacteria and is also a deodorizer, which can help to remove the smell of the urine, which can help stop your dog from marking the area in the future. Just double-check that the cleaner you select is safe for your specific type of floor. Also, if you know where the spots are that your dog is marking, clean those spots with just some paper towels prior to mopping the floor. The less residue in the mop water, the more clean the floor will end up.
    Source: – How to Wash Laminate Floors
    Source: – How to Clean Wood Floors

  31. Hi. We just got a dog and this is the first time we got a pet. My entire yard is tarred and he urinates and defecates all over the yard. The urine has left stains and there is a terrible odour as well. How can I remove the urine stains and odour from the tar, and how can I train my dog to pass urine and stools in one specific area. Please assist me. Thank you.

  32. Marlene,
    If possible, start by pressure washing the yard, or at least spraying it down with a hose and scrubbing it with a bristle broom. That will remove most of the residue that is causing the odor. Pressure washers can usually be rented from large hardware stores that rent equiptment. If needed after that, use a pet stain and odor remover that is an enzyme digester, such as Nature’s Miracle. The more residue there is, the more treatments with the enzyme digester will be needed.
    Once the yard is clean, start taking your dog out to go to the bathroom on a leash and always bring them to the same location to go to the bathroom. Here is a guide on teaching your dog to eliminate on command.
    One easy way to help train a dog to go to the bathroom in one area is to make them a designated bathroom, often called a “patio potty.” You can buy one online or make a DIY one. Once your dog knows exactly where to go to the bathroom, you can try letting them go out alone again.
    Keep in mind though that you will need to regularly clean the patio potty. To do that, just put a bag over your hand and pick up the poop. If you have a draining patio potty, you would need to empty the drain tray regularly. If you get a real grass one, you would need to give your dog special treats that will prevent it’s urine from killing the grass, such as Lawn Aid or GrassSaver, or simply replace the grass every month or two with new pieces of sod. Another option is to use mulch or rocks instead of grass.
    Source: – DIY Draining Dog Patio Potty
    Source: – Boot Tray Dog Bathroom
    Source: – Storage Bin Dog Potty
    Source: – DIY Mulch Patio Dog Potty
    Source: – DIY Dog Rock Bathroom

Leave a Comment