Few carpet stains are more disgusting than dog urine. Not only is a urine stain glaring, but its foul odor actually encourages your dog to urinate in that same spot again. Completely cleaning a urine stain requires breaking down and removing the urine from each level of your carpet.
Soak up any remaining urine by placing dry paper towels over the stain. For area rugs, place paper towels beneath the carpet padding to absorb urine from both sides of the stain. If the carpeting is wall-to-wall, continue replacing the paper towels until the stain feels damp, but not saturated.
Pour cool water over the stain, but immediately remove the water with an extractor or wet vacuum. Cool water dilutes the urine, but unless you remove it immediately, you'll actually expand the area of the stain. For urine stains on area rugs or carpet runners, flip the carpet over and repeat the saturation-extraction process on the underside. Blot the stain dry with paper towels until the carpet feels slightly damp.
Saturate the entire stained area with an enzymatic cleaner, available at any major pet store. Enzymatic cleaners break down the stain-causing compounds in urine, making the stain easier to remove from your carpet. For especially deep stains, often caused by large dogs, begin saturating the carpet a few inches outside the stain perimeter. Let the enzymatic cleaner sit according to the age of the urine stain. On a fresh stain, the enzymatic cleaner can break down the urine in 10 to 15 minutes, while an older stain could require up to an hour of saturation time.
Blot the remaining cleaner with paper towels, and allow the carpet to dry completely. Older, deeper stains often require you to repeat this stain-removal process several times.
- For especially plush carpets, use a clean, stiff bristle brush to work the enzymatic cleaner deep into the fibers.
- Use a black light to identify older stains that have dried.
- Always use an enzymatic cleaner as your first cleaning option. Many cleaning products work well on other stains, but will actually set the urine in your carpet.
- Never use hot water or a steam cleaner to remove a urine stain on your carpet. The hot water fuses the stain-causing compounds together, which makes the urine even more difficult to clean.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.