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Dog Urine Cleaning 101

Dog urine cleaning chores are a fact of life if you have a puppy. Even if you follow all the housebreaking rules, AND use a crate, there's still bound to be a couple of 'accidents' at some point.

Leonberger puppy with chewed up puppy pee pad

So, how do you deal with the little puddles of dog urine that will inevitably end up on your carpet/floor/rug/bed etc?

Luckily this very common, but nonetheless frustrating, dilemma can be taken care of quickly and effectively when you know how.

On this page I've set out six easy steps that will get your floor/carpet clean and remove all traces of the odors that draw your pup back to areas he's soiled previously.

Six Step Dog Urine Clean-Up Guide

Before we get into the actual cleaning part, there's a couple of things I'd like to mention!

Firstly, if you actually catch little Fido in the act of piddling on your Persian rug, startle him with a loud "NO" and scoop him up immediately. Take him straight outside to his potty spot and let him 'finish up his business' there.

Then put him in his crate/puppy play-pen/confine him to 'his room' or generally put him somewhere where he can't get into any more trouble while you clean up the mess.

If you're too late, and the 'accident' happened several hours, minutes, or even seconds ago (puppies have very short attention spans!) don't waste your time scolding the little rugrat. He'll have absolutely no idea what he did wrong. Instead confine him somewhere safe and get to work on making his mess disappear!

Step One

Start by picking up any solid waste if your pup has done a #2! This is pretty straightforward if his poop is firm, but if he has loose stools it can be a bit tricky.

For sloppy poop, a D-I-Y option to reduce the mess, try sprinkling cat litter or sawdust on it first. Or try a moisture-absorbing product like Big D Granular Deodorant.

Obviously if the mistake has happened on tile, wood or an easy-to-clean surface you're ahead of the game. If it's on carpet then the clean up will be a bit more time consuming!

Step Two

Blot up the urine as quickly as you can. It's important to soak up as much of your pup's pee-pee as you can if it's on carpet. Do this by covering the area with a thick layer of white paper towels and standing or stamping heavily on them for several minutes.

If you have a medium to large breed puppy you may need an additional layer of newpaper on top (the ink in it will stain your carpet if you put it underneath) the paper towels.

Repeat with fresh towels and paper until all liquid has been absorbed.

For hard floors just mopping it up with kitchen towels is the quickest and easiest option.

Baby diapers (unused!) for puppy pee clean-up

Clean, unused baby diapers work well for absorbing puppy pee! Use one first to soak up the majority of the urine, then go over the area again with clean, white paper towels to make sure you get it all.

Step Three

CARPET: Sponge the soiled area with COOL, clean water. Don't use hot water, that will only set the stain into the carpet. Or you can use club soda instead if the area is very stained.

I often dissolve a little Oxyclene powder in the cold water and use that. It really helps to lift any stain right out. BUT, it can fade or discolor a colored carpet, so if you want to use this, patch-test a small area first.

HARD FLOOR:  Wash the area with warm, soapy water or a solution of enzymatic cleaner and water. Wash and dry the whole area, then repeat the process.

Step Four

CARPET ONLY: Blot carpet again. You'll have to go over the whole area several times to make sure all the water is soaked up. Use a clean, white towel or white paper towels.

At this point, depending on how bad the soiling was, you may want to repeat Steps 3 & 4 again, until you're sure that you've got every single bit of stain/odor out that you can.

Step Five

Use an enzymatic cleaner/odor neutralizer on entire treated area!

It's the best way to make sure all traces of odor are totally eliminated. In my experience a trigger spray bottle works best on carpets, and I like a bottle that's easy to pour for hard floors as I mix it with water or apply direct to the mop.

If you just want one product, it's less expensive to buy a bottle (if you have a puppy you'll be using a LOT of this!) and a cheap dollar-store spray bottle.

These types of cleaners are also perfect for cleaning crates.

CARPET: Apply the product generously, letting it soak right down into the carpet. Leave for approx. 10 - 20 minutes and then blot up any excess the same way as before.

HARD FLOORS: Apply product directly to floor using a mop or sponge. I let it dry for 10 mins or so and then blot up any excess. For wood floors don't soak them or you might warp the wood.

Step Six

Allow the area to dry completely, and keep little Fido well away from it for at least 24 hours.

Although the stain will be gone and you won't be able to smell the dog urine, it will be detectable to a sensitive canine nose until the carpet is totally dry.

And There's More........

If the 'puddle' is no longer a puddle (because you only just noticed it and it's almost, or even completely, dry) then you need to start the cleaning process at the water and sponge stage. You'll probably need to repeat the sponging more than once to remove the stain in this case.

Illustration of lower portion of a woman holding floor mop and cleaning supplies

black light can find dog urine stains

Did you know that you can use a 'black-light' to detect hidden "oops" spots that you didn't notice when they happened? It can be quite revealing!

Puppies and dogs can be devious about their indoor pee habits, sneaking off into unused rooms or hidden corners. Using a black light can help you find those areas.

you may need to clean the carpet pad too

If you have a pad under your carpet, the dog urine will most likely have seeped down into that too. So, if you can, pull up the carpet and repeat the whole process on that also.

If it's not possible to pull up the pad, apply enough product to soak the pad as well as the carpet, and be extra vigilant about absorbing ALL the liquids.

Cleaning cushions, pillows, bedding etc.

Need to know how to clean dog urine on bedding, cushions or clothing? Well, that's pretty straightforward...

You can remove the smell of dog urine by washing the items in your washing machine (using cold water) and adding some of the same cleaner/odor neutralizer to the wash cycle.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to the correct amount to use. It's possible you'll need to run them through the wash cycle more than once though, especially if the 'accident' happened a while ago.

Although the Nature's Miracle brand is my favorite and the one I always have at home, there are loads of other great products for cleaning up dog urine stains, eliminating odors, and dealing with other messy, smelly situations.

Some are perfect for carpets, others are designed for hard floors and there are formulas for upholstery and even yard surfaces such as concrete. Check out my Dog Urine Cleaning Products page to see some of the best choices

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