3 Steps to Removing Pet Stains and Odor from Your Carpet

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Guest Author

 This is a guest post by Jeff Matthews who is a fellow cat lover  who owns his own carpet cleaning business, so he has experience getting stains and odors out of carpets!

Pet Stain and Odor on Carpet

Firstly, I’d like to thank Diane for allowing me to publish this post on her website. Remember, if you like what you read be sure to subscribe to her blog, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Today I am writing about what I did to get bothersome pet urine stains and odours out of my carpets and furniture without using harsh chemicals around my cats. This method really works, so pass it on if you have any animal lovers that you know with this all too familiar problem.

If you are like me then you don’t just have one cat, you have a few (I have 3 Russian Blues), so that they can keep each other company. One of the most joyous (and most difficult) times is when you introduce a new kitten into your home. If you have dealt with this issue yourself then you know what I am talking about.

The Problem: Getting a New Cat

I have two beautiful older cats that are wonderfully behaved, but when I was recently blessed to adopt a rescue kitten a few months ago, things went a little haywire with regards to where everyone was using the bathroom. As you have probably already guessed, the two older cats wouldn’t let the little one into the litter box.

This left the little one (not knowing any better) to go where it could. Sometimes it would be on the carpet and even the furniture, poor little thing. I came home one day from a long weekend and it was then that I realized how bad the smell had gotten and also noticed the stains left behind were a few more than I had noticed before.

The bathroom problem was eventually resolved with two litter boxes, but the odors and stains still remained. Now, luckily I actually own a carpet cleaning company so knew exactly what to do. Here are the three things I did to get rid of the odours and stains that ultimately worked the best. Feel free to add ideas of your own if you have them!

The Solution: 3 Steps to Getting Your Carpets Clean Again

Step 1. The first thing you have to do is to find all of the stains. Once a pet has urinated somewhere, they will keep going back if you haven’t cleaned the spot thoroughly. In the case of cats, they can go anywhere. So I went online and found a black light urine detector for about $20 (Amazon.com sells a great one here
). You have to use it in the dark, but once you do, you will be amazed at all of the places your pets have gone and you didn’t even know! As you find the places, you need to mark them with a piece of tape or something so you can find them later when you go to clean.

Step 2. Once you have indentified all of the places your pet has gone, you have to start cleaning. Washable items like sheets and pillows that can go in the washer, but you need to put them in with one small box of baking soda per load. You can also buy enzymatic cleaner (you can find some examples at this link) at the pet store which does the same thing. Remember, you have to completely neutralize the odour from the stain or the pet will keep going in the same place. In the case of cats, your other cats will go there as well to mark their territory. The same can be true of dogs too.

For carpets and upholstery: If the urine is still wet, get as much out as you can with paper towels, and put the wet paper towels next t the litter box. In my case, the urine smell from the paper towels gave the two older cats the message that it was okay for the kitten to urinate there and they didn’t bully him as much. This also helped to get the kitten to start using the litter box.

Rinse the affected area with cool water and mop that up with paper towels as well. Avoid the temptation to use cleaners right away because this will set the stain in even more. Get as much urine out as you can with water before you use any cleaner. If you have to use a wet vac to get the extra water up, then do so.

Even if the stain is already dried on, try to get it out with water first. Home cleaners leave residue, and then this residue will bond the urine to the carpet or upholstery, which makes it even more difficult to get out.

Step 3. Finally, use a high quality pet neutralizing cleaner from the pet store. This cleaner will work best if it goes directly on the stain. If you jump the gun and use carpet/upholstery cleaners that leave a residue, then the residue will block the neutralizer from getting to the urine that is left on the carpet or upholstery.

Use your black light to go over the status of the stains again before you use any detergents. Repeat the rinsing until your carpet passes the black light test. Once the odour is neutralized and gone, then it is okay to use detergents and stain removers to give your carpets a final and thorough cleaning.

It seems like a lot of work but it’s really very easy once you get into a rhythm. I know this is a very common problem among cat lovers. So I’m interested to hear your methods. How do you go about getting pet urine stains and smell out of your carpet and furnishings?



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14 thoughts on “3 Steps to Removing Pet Stains and Odor from Your Carpet

    1. Jeff Matthews

      Thats right jeanbe – the cleaning principal is exactly the same. Id say the main difference with dogs is that they take a little longer to train. Cats tend to learn pretty quickly so you wont have too many repeats of the problem.

  1. Erin(P)G

    This is some good information to have. I’m sure we’ll put it to use before moving out of our current house, seeing as how we had an older cat that turned 2 top floor rooms she lived in into her personal litter box. There’s plenty to clean in those rooms I’m sure! Great helpful info! Thanks a bunch! I’ve even pinned this onto Pinterest so I can easily find the info so can anyone else!

    1. Diane

      The black light lets you see everything! We had so many stains on our rugs that we couldn’t even see with the naked eye. Only a few were from the kitty!

  2. Diana C

    These are great tips. Our dog likes to love on every home we move into since we got him a few years ago. Not sure if he’s nervous, wants to mark his territory, or both. We have moved around a bit since we met, then got married.

    Diana C

  3. Adam

    Great idea about the black light. I didn’t know that you can find all the spots that way. Excellent information about the neutralizers, I’ve always wondered which cleanser I should use.


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