How to Clean Dog Pee from Your Carpet in 4 Steps

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If you're looking for an easy solution for dog pee on a carpet, urine luck

Most dog owners have been there: You come home from being out, and you find a big, stinky yellow puddle of urine on your carpet. Sure, it happens during puppy training, but it can happen with dogs of all ages too (like when you forget about walk time, which is a mistake every dog owner makes). But the issue begs the question, not only how to clean your carpet, but how do you clean dog pee from a carpet?

The good news is that dogs and carpets can coexist peacefully, and the stains are fairly easy to get out, according to Brandon Plashek, cleaning expert at Clean That Up—and we’ll show you exactly how. Once you’ve located the problem area (try this pet urine detector), you can get to work. Make sure you have the best carpet cleaners for pets and the best products for getting pet urine out of carpet, and if Fido aimed a little higher, here are the best pet stain removers too. While you’re getting the rest of your house in tip-top shape, here are some additional spring cleaning tips to add to your cleaning schedule too. Happy cleaning!

Carpet cleaning supplies

Before you begin

You’d hate to let this situation ruin your carpet completely. Before you do anything with your cleaning products, test your carpet for colorfastness. Plashek suggests trying out your cleaner in a small, inconspicuous place before spraying it all over the place. Plus, “the label is the law of your cleaner,” he says. “Make sure to read it and use as directed.”

“The first step is always getting up as much of the urine as possible,” Plashek says. “You can do this with a towel or paper towel. Apply pressure and soak up as much as possible.”

How to clean dog pee from your carpet

Remember that you’re not just cleaning urine from the top of the carpet, you’re also trying to get all the way through the fibers, backing, padding and, unfortunately, the sub-floor (depending on how much pee there is). These methods should help you get rid of the stain, but if they don’t, you may need to call in a pro.

How to clean dog pee from your carpet using pet urine cleaner

  1. After removing your pet from the scene of the crime, use a towel or paper towel to blot up as much of the fresh urine as possible.
  2. Apply your cleaner to the spot and gently agitate with a towel. Make sure you read the label first and let it sit for the suggested time, because enzymatic cleaners often take at least a few minutes to work in their chemical magic.
  3. After you’ve let your cleaner sit for the recommended amount of time, you’ll want to flush and extract. Pour a little warm water over the spot, then dab with a towel. Repeat this process until the spot and your mixture are totally rinsed out of the carpet.
  4. Allow the spot to dry completely.

How to clean dog pee from your carpet using DIY solution

  1. If you’re into homemade carpet cleaners, mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the spot on the rug thoroughly until it’s saturated, then let it sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Blot up the stain plus the cleaning liquid using a dish towel or paper towel.
  4. Allow the spot to dry completely.

How to clean dog pee from your carpet using a carpet cleaning machine

  1. Pretreat spots that need extra attention by spraying your favorite pet stain cleaner directly onto the carpet.
  2. Next, it’s time to get your engine going. Fill your carpet cleaning machine (like the Bissell Little Green Machine or the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser) with a cleaning formula and water, however your specific machine specifies.
  3. Turn it on, and push it back and forth over the stain. Do two passes with the spray button pressed and two “dry passes” with the button off. Continue to make those dry passes until the area is just a bit damp.
  4. Pick up your machine and pour any excess formula back into the bottle. Fill the machine’s tank with plain warm water.
  5. Turn it on, and repeat the process with the warm water, pushing it back and forth over the stain, first with the spray button on, then off.
  6. Allow the spot to dry completely.

How to clean old urine stains from your carpet

Believe it or not, Plashek suggests using the same process for fresh or old stains. If you’ve thoroughly cleaned your carpet but the urine smell still remains (dried or fresh), here’s how to get rid of pet odor.

  1. Create a 50-50 mix of enzymatic cleaner and water, and pour it all over that area of the carpet, saturating it completely.
  2. Let it sit for 35 minutes to an hour. “The key here is to let the enzymes work,” Plashek says.
  3. Suck the cleaner out of the carpet using a carpet cleaning machine (Plashek recommends the StainOut System Extraction Tool, which can be attached to your shop vac or other machine and sucks up liquid all the way through the pile).
  4. Once the carpet is rinsed and the water is running clear through your machine, you’re set.
  5. Allow the spot to dry completely.

Why is my dog peeing on the carpet?

Sometimes, they’ve just really got to go. Even if you stick to a strict routine of potty breaks, your dog may slip every once in a while (if you’re wondering how long it’s OK to leave a dog at home, read more here).

The other reason? Marking. Marking is what it’s called when dogs leave small amounts of pee on items to claim them. As the American Kennel Club says, it’s their calling card. Dogs often do this if they’re feeling anxious or possessive.

To stop this behavior, you’ll want to keep an eye on the dog. Block access to places they typically like to mark, and if they do get away with it, clean the spot with an enzymatic cleaner to completely remove the smell. Then, use a pet urine deterrent to keep them from coming back to that spot.

Sources:

Erica Finamore
Home and decor enthusiast with work published in Real Simple, InStyle, Food Network Magazine and others. I love Parks & Rec-- my dog's name is Leslie Knope.