The cat keeps going in the corner instead of the litter box. The dog couldn’t wait for you five more minutes to be let out and had an accident. The baby took his diaper off before he peed. Now you need to know how to get urine smell out of carpet, ideally without spending a lot of money or affecting the carpet’s coloring.
The first step to take as soon as you realize there is a urine stain is to try to soak it up while it is still wet. You can minimize the odor even small dribbles can cause by putting a few drops of eco-friendly dish detergent on it, as long as it doesn’t contain coloring agents, and a little water on it to activate the soap. Put a towel over the stain and then press down on it to help absorb the urine while the soap gets into the carpet. Then apply more water and try to soak up the soap mix. Avoid scrubbing it, since this could spread the urine into a wider section of carpet.
What do you do if the urine stain is already starting to dry? For example, you come home to find out the pet peed in the corner during the day. The first step is to sprinkle baking soda on the stain to absorb the odor. (Hint: you can do these even if it is an old stain to help eliminate the urine odor.) Let the baking soda sit overnight. The next day, spray the area with distilled white vinegar – just don’t use the vinegar with spices mixed in that you use as part of your cooking. The baking soda and vinegar may foam, but this is normal. Then wipe up the foamy mixture. You can vacuum the area to remove any residue.
You can use dry baking soda sprinkled on carpet and vacuumed up the next day, day after day, until the odor is gone if the odor is present but the stain isn’t evident.
Another option is mixing baking soda and vinegar in the spray bottle and spraying that onto the stain. Let it foam, then try to wipe up the mixture. The best ratio is one cup of vinegar to one cup of water with two tablespoons of baking soda.
Some people use hydrogen peroxide, though this is only safe for very light colored carpets or materials that won’t discolor on exposure to it. Some dyes are affected by the hydrogen peroxide, so test the mix on a corner before you take on a stain in the middle of the room. Spray a few squirts of it on the urine stain. It will bubble up as the peroxide reacts with the ammonia in the urine. Let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then sop it up.
Hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with baking soda, again only if the carpet won’t get discolored by its application. This mixture requires one cup of baking soda, a half cup of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution and a teaspoon of dish soap that doesn’t have coloring in it. This mixture you need to scrub into the carpet. Let it sit for another fifteen minutes before vacuuming up.
If you like hydrogen peroxide but not vinegar as a homemade cleaner, you can mix hot water, hydrogen peroxide and liquid Castille soap in equal parts for a carpet cleaning solution used the same way as one with baking soda.
There are enzymatic cleaners that are supposed to break down urine stains and eliminate the smell. These cleaners don’t need to be blotted up or rinsed, but they can take days to have an effect. If you use enzymatic cleaners, just don’t use any surfactant soaps (like what is used in some carpet cleaners) or it will neutralize the enzymatic cleaner.