image of Grove stain remover next to cloth on stained carpet

How to get urine out of carpet, mattresses, and more.

Last Updated: August 23, 2021

Dogs, cats, kids — why do the cute things in life always end up peeing on your carpet? We’re here to help with this guide on how to get urine stains out of everything.

Bodily fluids are always the hardest to clean up. But, when the inevitable happens and you’re stuck with a big, smelly stain, don’t panic. Since we already have poop on the carpet covered, we’re moving on to address pee stains and smells and how to get them out of your carpets, clothes, mattresses, furniture, and more.

These natural solutions for urine removal will make clean-up a cinch. Have a look!

Illustration of three water droplets.

But first, why does urine smell bad?

Pee is metabolic waste made up of uric acid and urea, among other things, and when it sits around for a while, bacteria begin to decompose the urea and give off that tell-tale ammonia odor.

You’ve probably noticed that human pee doesn’t have much of a scent, dog pee is a little worse, and cat pee is the be-all-end-all of disgusting smells. That’s because human and dog pee smells are more diluted than cat pee, so there’s not as much urea for the bacteria to decompose.


How do you neutralize pet urine smell?

Vinegar and baking soda are great at neutralizing the smell of pee. Vinegar stops the decomposition process and offsets urine odors because its acidity neutralizes the bacteria.

Baking soda is a fantastic odor-eater that absorbs and removes pungent scents and loathsome stains.

Learn more about the magic of baking soda from Grove writers who tried it out on nasty stains.

How to get urine smells out of clothes

How to do it:

  1. Spray the stain with a stain removing spray and let sit for five minutes.
  2. In a sink or bathtub, mix 1 box of baking soda with enough warm water to cover your items, then agitate to make sure the baking soda is evenly dispersed.
  3. Toss in your stinky items and make sure the stains are fully submerged, then let them soak for 15 minutes so the baking soda has enough time to break down the uric acid.
  4. Rinse the items thoroughly.
  5. Put your clothes in the washing machine with a good laundry detergent and wash as usual.

You’ve got more stains, we’ve got more solutions. Read up on how to remove lipstick marks, paint spatters, and deodorant stains from your clothes too.

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How to get urine smells out of carpet and upholstery

How to do it:

  1. Soak up any wet spots with a cloth as soon as you notice the mess.
  2. Spray the stain with a carpet and upholstery stain remover until it’s fully saturated, then gently blot with a damp cloth.
  3. Add 1 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup mild dish soap in a spray bottle and shake to mix.
  4. Spray the solution onto the stain, rubbing it in gently with a clean cloth.
  5. Soak the stain for 15 minutes, then dab with a wet cloth and let dry. If the odor still isn’t gone, move onto the next step.
  6. For extra tough odors that won’t go away: Whip out the hydrogen peroxide. Pour enough to cover the stain, then lay a washcloth that’s been soaked in hydrogen peroxide over it and let it sit overnight. Hydrogen peroxide can have a lightening effect, so test an inconspicuous spot before soaking larger surfaces.

How to clean urine up from hardwood floors

How to do it:

  1. Immediately wipe up any wet spots with an absorbent cloth.
  2. Add 2 cups vinegar to a bucket of water or mix 1/2 cup vinegar floor cleaner with 2 gallons of water.
  3. Soak your mop head in the solution, wring it, and mop the soiled area.
  4. If the odor lingers, soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide and lay it on the stain overnight. Hydrogen peroxide could lighten your hardwood, so spot test a hidden area before soaking your entire floor.

How to get urine out of your mattress

Image of a woman playing with a baby on a bed.

It’s a huge bummer when you realize your animal or kid peed the bed, but cleaning up the mess isn’t as intimidating as you’d think.

Follow our guide on how to clean your mattress for steps on urine clean-up and more.

Got a memory foam mattress? We have a guide for that, too!


How to find older, dried up pee accidents

Do you have a sneaking suspicion that someone in your house relieved themselves a few days ago? Sniff out dried-up messes and examine the area closely to locate the stain.

Or dig out the black light you use for Halloween to make quick work of urine identification. Lightly outline the stain in chalk, then clean.

How to prevent future pet accidents

Once an animal has marked a spot with their scent, they’ll continue to use the space as their personal toilet. After you’ve cleaned the mess, try these steps to prevent future accidents.

Visit the vet

Make a vet appointment to rule out any medical condition that could be causing your pet to pee inside the house.

Did you know pets can get urinary tract infections (UTI)? Learn more about UTI causes and remedies here.

Spay and neuter your pets

The longer an animal goes without being spayed or neutered, the harder it’ll be to train them not to mark inside the house. Spaying and neutering should stop marking completely.

Use a targeted odor eliminator

Enzymatic cleaners designed to eliminate urine odor break down uric acid crystals, aka the source of the odor. Once your pet no longer smells their scent, the accidents should stop.

Need a little extra help? Check out this video on how to stop your pet from peeing in the house.

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