Getting Rid of Pet Urine Odor in Carpet

Dear Home-Ec 101,

I recently officially moved out of my parents house. I was living in a condo while at school, but  got a house with my fiance, and have been moving a lot of my old stuff from their house into our new home. While I was away at college though, my sister’s cats turned my old room into a cat playground. Unfortunately, this lead to cat hair and urine all over my old clothes. I have been going through and washing everything with vinegar, which has mostly helped with the smell. The only problem I’m having now is that the carpet and the room near the hallway that I sorted through the clothes smells faintly of urine. I can smell it pretty strongly when I walk into the bathroom, though I didn’t ever bring any of those clothes into that room.

Any ideas on what to do?

I’ve vacuumed all the carpet in the area, but the smell is still there.

Catastrophe in Catawba

Heather says:

Sisters, cats, what do you do?

As far as the bathroom, if this is your first time living with a man. . . try wiping around the base of the toilet with an acidic, all-purpose cleaner. Let’s see if that doesn’t solve the urine odor in the bathroom. It’d be nice to blame the cat, but. . . I have my suspicions here. I have a part time job in a pub and yes, we all take turns cleaning the bathrooms. The women’s restrooms do not smell like urine, it’s a guy thing from splashing. Yuck, I know. Clean it up (ask him to clean it?) and carry-on with your day.

As far as the odor in the carpet, your best bet is to get an enzymatic carpet cleaner like Kids N Pets and rent a steam cleaner from the hardware or grocery store. Since the pet was not actually in your home, I doubt that any urine has wicked all the way to the padding. If that were the case, I would highly recommend hiring a professional carpet cleaner as their machines are generally in better condition, with more powerful extractors AND they often guarantee their services.

Just make sure you follow the directions on the steam cleaner AND run a fan, box or oscillating, over the carpet until it is completely dry. You do not want to remove the pet urine odor and replace it with the odor of  mildew. Bleh.

Good luck!

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  1. Kelley on December 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Where can I find Kids N Pets?

  2. Joquena on December 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I wish I’d read this article years ago. It would have saved me months of heartache. I don’t even remember everything I dumped down my couch to get rid of the pet urine smell. Kids n pets… tucking that away in my memory in case I ever allow my children to have a pet again. Given the full time job of cleaning their mess making shenanigans it isn’t looking good for them!

  3. Erin on November 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    We have a cat with a peeing problem- he likes to target my husbands dirty clothing. While I thought the answer would be to have my husband learn to use a laundry hamper, I ended up searching all over for a solution. The best thing we found was hydrogen peroxide, it gets the odor out in a snap. I have heard it can do funny things with colour, but I have never had that issue.

  4. Luna on November 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Pet urine is surely tricky. Love regular Odo-Ban. They also make a pet version. Available at the orange big box.

    • Roz on December 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

      For any cat or dog odors what works to perfection is vanilla essence. One of my small dogs wee’d on my matress while I was airing it. and I poured pure vinilla essence after mopping up what I could. By the end of the day ,no smell. A week ago a new kitten wee ‘d in my bed again. I wiped it down and poured vanilla put a towel over wet patch remade the bed and went to sleep no smell. I SWEAR BY VANILLA ESSENCS.

  5. Debi on November 27, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Yea for the Kids N Pets shout out. We’ve got 2 cats, a dog (and a kid) and that stuff is just terrific at getting out odors. We took a long weekend and thought we had everything taken care of for the cats to stay at home… but, they ended up getting locked out of their cat boxes. They used the love seat instead. YUCK. But I took the cushions to the laundromat and washed them (carefully) with Kids N Pets, then sprayed base of the love seat with it also. My husband figured the love seat was trash, but with some patience while the cushions dried, it came out just fine 🙂

    • Heather Solos on November 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Now that is a customer testimonial if I’ve ever read one. I’m glad you like their product. I’ve never heard a complaint and that’s why I feel comfortable recommending them.
      I have a feeling the door to the catbox room gets triple checked now?

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