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Does Carpet Cleaning Remove Pet Urine?

September 7, 2023

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Having a pet can be one of life’s greatest joys. Coming home to your furry friend’s smiling face and wagging tail can instantly lift your mood after a long day. However, our four-legged companions aren’t always the neatest housemates. 

So, does carpet cleaning remove pet urine? Carpet cleaning, either professionally or through vigorous do-it-yourself methods, can effectively remove pet urine stains and odors if the right techniques and products are used.

Accidents happen, and pet urine on carpeting and rugs is an inevitable part of pet ownership. But don’t despair! With the right carpet cleaning methods, you can banish those pesky pet stains and odors for good.

Why Pet Urine is So Tricky to Remove

Pet urine poses some unique challenges when it comes to cleaning carpets. First, it contains urea, which breaks down into ammonia. This gives urine that characteristic potent, pungent smell. Ammonia can be very difficult to fully remove from carpeting, and any residue left behind will continue emitting odors. 

Second, pet urine often soaks down deep into the carpet padding and backing. This provides a reservoir for the urine that can wick back up to the surface over time. So, you need cleaning methods that can penetrate down into the carpeting to eliminate all traces of urine. Lastly, bacteria and enzymes in the urine can cause staining and accelerate carpet fiber breakdown. Thorough cleaning is required to remove the bacteria and prevent permanent damage.

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Does Carpet Cleaning Remove Pet Urine? Here Are Some Helpful Tips:

Taking a few simple steps before cleaning can help maximize the urine removal process:

  • Blot up fresh urine immediately with an absorbent cloth. The less time it has to set in, the easier it will be to remove.
  • Use paper towels to gently press and lift as much urine out of the carpet fibers as possible. Avoid excessive rubbing, which can spread the urine deeper into the carpet backing.
  • Sprinkle baking soda generously over the affected area. The baking soda will help absorb and neutralize odors. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming up.
  • Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar and spray over the area to help break down the urine crystals. Let it sit briefly before blotting with a cloth.

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Professional Carpet Cleaning

The most effective way to thoroughly remove pet urine from carpeting is to hire a professional carpet cleaning service. Professionals have industrial-strength equipment and chemicals specifically designed to combat pet urine.

Steam Cleaning

Truck-mounted steam cleaning units can heat water up to boiling temperatures under high pressure. This breaks down the crystalline structure of dried urine and lifts it out of the carpet pads and backing. The high heat also effectively kills bacteria, enzymes, and odors.

Subsurface Extraction

Many professional cleaners also use subsurface extraction methods after steam cleaning. This process uses special tools to draw out any remaining moisture and urine residues from deep in the carpet layers. Subsurface extraction helps prevent wicking and future odors.

Urine-Specific Cleaning Agents

Professional carpet cleaners have access to heavy-duty urine removal solutions. These are formulated with enzymes that break down uric acid crystals. They also contain antibacterial agents and odor-neutralizers. The solutions are worked into the carpeting and rinsed away along with the dissolved urine residues.

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DIY Cleaning Methods

If hiring a professional is not feasible, you can still achieve decent urine removal results at home. It will take more effort, and you may need to do multiple treatments, but homeowners can be successful DIY urine cleaners. Here are some effective methods:

DIY Carpet Cleaner Rentals

Most home improvement stores rent out heavy-duty carpet-cleaning machines. These utilitize hot water and vacuum suction to deep clean carpets. Use a pet urine remover solution and make sure to focus extensively on the affected areas. Rinse and repeat as needed.

White Vinegar and Water

Combine 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on urine stains and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Blot with clean towels until no more moisture transfers. The vinegar neutralizes odors and breaks down uric acid crystals.

Enzyme Cleaner

Look for an enzyme-based pet urine cleaner. The enzymes will digest the compounds in urine the same way they would be broken down outside in nature. This helps remove odors at the source. Allow the enzyme cleaner to soak in for at least 10 minutes before blotting.

Baking Soda

Baking soda does double duty when cleaning cat or dog urine. First, sprinkle it generously on the area and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will help draw out and absorb urine in the carpet fibers. The next day, vacuum up the baking soda. Next, mix 3 parts cool water to 1 part baking soda. Apply the paste to the area and let it dry fully before vacuuming again.

does carpet cleaning remove pet urine

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely applies to pet urine stains. While it’s certainly possible to remove dog or cat pee from carpets, it’s much easier to prevent those accidents in the first place:

  • Provide plenty of opportunities for potty breaks outdoors on a consistent schedule. Reward them every time to reinforce the behavior.
  • Look for early signs they need to go, like circling, sniffing, or squatting. Intercept with a prompt trip outside.
  • Consider washable throw rugs in high-traffic areas. These are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpets if accidents occur.
  • Use repellent sprays formulated to deter pets from soiling in unwanted areas. Test in an inconspicuous spot first.

While the occasional accident is inevitable, following these tips will help keep your carpets urine-free and your pets healthy and happy. And isn’t that what really matters most? After all, carpets are just things – but our pets are family!

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About Watertown Carpet Cleaners

Watertown Carpet Cleaners is a family-owned and operated carpet cleaning company. With over 20 years of experience, they specialize in pet stain and odor removal. Their team uses powerful truck-mounted systems and high-quality cleaning agents to deep clean carpets and upholstery. Give them a call at (860) 406-7706 for a free quote.


Can old dog pee stains be removed?

Yes, even old, set-in dog urine stains can be removed from carpets and flooring with the right combination of professional strength cleaners, thorough extraction methods, patience, and repeated applications.

Why does my carpet still smell like dog pee after shampooing?

If your carpet still smells like dog urine even after cleaning, it’s likely because not all of the pee residues have been fully removed from deep within the carpet fibers, backing, and padding.

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