Odor Removal for Urine Soaked Sofa

Dear Home-Ec 101:
Help!! Our adorable, yet slightly dumb dog has decided to use back of our lovely microfiber couch as a toilet! We contacted the manufacturer, who suggested spot cleaning the urine stained area with diluted dish soap. This got the stains out. Unfortunately, the smell of pee still remains. I’ve (unsuccessfully) tried some pet cleaner and multiple soakings with Febreze, but it just won’t go away! Any suggestions? Needless to say, the next time we purchase furniture we will pay extra to have it Scotchgarded!
You May Want to Sit Over There, Really, I Insist

remove urine from couch

Heather says:

First, check the care tag on your couch and make sure that it has a W or W/S on the tag.

I am guessing that you did not immediately discover darling Fido had peed on the couch. I’m not picking on you, why should you expect your pet to use the couch when the floor is ever so much more convenient? If this is the case, urine probably soaked further into the couch than just blotting would fix. I would use the upholstery attachment of a carpet cleaner to apply and remove a solution of 50 /50 water and white vinegar. Yes, until the couch has thoroughly dried you will smell vinegar, but that odor dissipates quickly. Alternately, you may wish to use an enzymatic cleaner with the upholstery attachment. The goal is to make sure the cleaning solution penetrates as far as the urine.

When the couch is dry the microfiber may feel a little stiff. Use a brush, like a nail brush to gently brush the material until the fibers feel as they should.

Another possibility is that the urine dribbled down through a seam and soaked into the wood frame. I hope this is not the case as it would be very difficult to remove without some disassembly. If you believe this to be the case, contact a professional through the helpline you first used to avoid voiding your warranty.

furniture care guide
Click the picture for more tips!

Did you know that urine glows under a black light? If you’re still having trouble with a urine smell, borrow a black light from a friend who never left the 60’s. Oh come on, if you aren’t friends with someone like that, you’re related to them. When the room is as dark as possible, yeah by that I mean at night with all the lights off, turn on the black light and make sure your precious hasn’t used any other areas of the couch or carpeting. Mark those areas with chalk. There are handheld black lights sold at pet stores for this purpose  if you can’t borrow one.

Good luck!

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22 thoughts on “Odor Removal for Urine Soaked Sofa”

  1. I use kids and pets from Walmart!!! This is a great product for anything smelly!!! I used it in my car because of smoke and my daughters mattress because room mate smoked!!! No more smell!!! Also had new kitten who decided to use carpet instead of liter box and no more smell!! Great product!!!!

  2. I really looked for good advice and decided to give this a try. So far, I have high hopes! My story is that my elderly dog who is intermittently incontinent snuck up on my brand new West Elm couch. Her pee went through a down throw and into the seat which didn;t have loose pillows or a removable cover! The smell from this older girl is quite strong and stinky! I combined methods I found on youtube and this is what I did:

    I used a natural rosemary dish soap by the brand “Meyer’s Clean Day” diluted with some water for 50%, and vinegar for 50%. I used a bottle with a squirt cap and squirted the solution into the upholstery, hoping that it would saturate into the foam somewhat. Then I used my husband’s wet/dry vac to suck it back out. It is still drying but when I sniff, I smell a much BETTER scent of rosemary soap and vinegar – a huge improvement over what was there. My couch would’ve been unusable! The tweedy gray fabric was not affected. I have had success with Nature’s miracle in the past and did treat the couch with it first, but this urine was too nasty! Other people have suggested using a rental carpet cleaner, but this seemed to work out ok. I’m confident that the vinegar will fade over time and is a better alternative to urine settling in. Good luck!

    • Please can I ask the wet dry vac you used was it a hand held one, I’m looking to purchase a hand held vac for this very reason my little dog has a bad habit of wearing in my new swivel chair and need to purchase a small lightweight handheld vac that is quick and easy to use

      • My little dog does that too, I went to the pet store and bought him a male wrap, goes comfortably around his waist and over his wee, now if he pees I just throw it in the was and replace with a new one for when I’m not watching him or not home, I highly recommend them!

  3. Smell wet very difficultly to deduce from furniture. In this case I recommend to make repair of your sofa and to change the spoiled upholstery on new. In my practice it was necessary to collide with such situations and the best way to eliminate a smell to replace a fabric on a sofa. I wish you successes.

  4. I have used the water/vinegar solution on our couch and think it has fixed the problem but now we have a vinegar smell on the couch, is it possibly because the cushion is not completely dry?

    • Did your vinegar smell ever go away? I used the same method and the urine smell is gone. Two weeks later my cushions are definitely dry but still smell like vinegar! I know the smell is coming from the cushion inside because my couch is synthetic leather and the urine had to have gotten in at the zipper or stitching. I removed the cushions from the casings to do the treatment.
      Any help would be great, but vinegar is much more tolerable than urine!

    • Actually I tried the strongest Nature’s Miracle product and it didn’t take out the smell on a portion of my couch. I also used the Bissell Little Green Proheat vaccuum with pet cleaner and still doesn’t work. It’s looking as though vinegar and baking soda with water is my best bet? I don’t know the different between Genesis 950 and Spot Shot but both of them have been suggested to me as well. Hoping that one of these solutions works!

  5. Pingback: Dog Urine Odor Removal
  6. Heather's advice is very sound. I second the recommendation to make sure you look at the tag on the couch before you apply any stain removal or odor removal products, because otherwise you may discolor or ruin the upholstery. If you have lost or removed the tag (until I understood the importance of these tags I always did) you should test, in an inconspicuous place, whatever solution you decide to apply to make sure it will not harm the upholstery. I also, like Heather, would suggest vinegar since it is a deodorizer, but does not harm most (notice I don't say all) upholstery fabric.

  7. We had the same issue with our cat. Both the cat and the sofa are now gone but I discovered that there are fiber (paper) supports inside the upholstry to stiffen the seams. Even after all the cleaning, the fabric was clean but the fiber supports still held the smell. You may need some assistance in removing and replacing those pieces. Let me just say that regardless of the actions we took, once the pet started this behavior, nothing would stop it.

  8. We had the same issue with our cat. Both the cat and the sofa are now gone but I discovered that there are fiber (paper) supports inside the upholstry to stiffen the seams. Even after all the cleaning, the fabric was clean but the fiber supports still held the smell. You may need some assistance in removing and replacing those pieces. Let me just say that regardless of the actions we took, once the pet started this behavior, nothing would stop it.

  9. With 2 Beagles and 2 cats, I've been down this road many times.
    The best cleaner that's available at any pet store: NATURE'S MIRACLE
    It works every time and is safe for pets.

    • spot test it first, I love nature's miracle but it made the colors in my mom's oriental rug run when she used it. Apparently it doesn't react well with natural dyes.

  10. I love Kids n' Pets cleaner, you can buy it at Walmart. Squirt it on and let it soak into all the areas the urine could have soaked into. Dogs pee a lot so don't be afraid to use a lot! Repeat but this time, blot it out with a white rag.

  11. Get a carpet scubber with an upholstry attachment and use it with Nature's Miracle in the washing thing-ee instead of cleaning solution.

  12. Ooh, I'm going to try the black light trick – every once in a while I'm sure I get a whiff of cat urine in one of our rooms, but it's not all the time and I've never been able to find it. Possible downside: I live in an older house and I'm kind of scared of what I might see. 🙂

  13. I had a cat urine odor problem in my basement. Yes, I know that concrete isn't the same thing as upholstery, but the solution might be a good last resort. The mixture really worked. Now to deal with the cats…
    Mix 1 quart of Hydrogen peroxide with 1/3 cup of Baking Soda and a dash of dish detergent. Apply to smelly area and let dry.
    The peroxide might have a bleaching effect on your sofa, but like I said, a good last resort. Now to deal with the dog…

  14. If all else fails and the configuration of the sofa will allow try placing a couple of cans of that gel
    odor remover (Ican't remember the name…..a dry cleaners should be able to give you the name or a commercial cleaning service) under the sofa…….or try puting a couple of open boxes of
    baking soda under it.


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