How to Clean Dog Urine with White Vinegar

When your dog soils in the house, white vinegar can help get the stain out.

When your dog soils in the house, white vinegar can help get the stain out.

White vinegar is highly alkaline, and can deodorize areas marked with dogs’ urine. Urine stains are difficult to remove because they contain organic enzymes that aren’t removed using traditional cleaning methods. Vinegar breaks down the enzymes to clean the area and remove the odors from your home.

Blot up the wet urine using old bath or paper towels. Apply pressure by standing on the towels until they come away almost dry. This helps to remove as much of the urine as possible.

Mix eight ounces of warm water with a teaspoonful of mild detergent, such as dishwashing liquid or general purpose-household cleaner. For wooden and other hard floor surfaces, wash the area with the solution using a mop or sponge. Rinse the solution off with clean water.

Clean carpeted areas by saturating a sponge with the soap solution and applying it to the area in a circular scrubbing motion. Work up a lather on top of the carpeting, then blot this up with a towel as you did the urine. Rinse by pouring clean water over the spot and blotting it up with the towels.

Combine one part white vinegar with three parts water. Pour it over the soiled area and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before drying.

Wait for hard areas to dry and then check for any remaining residual odor or marks. Allow carpet to dry completely, then vacuum thoroughly to restore the pile.

Items you will need

  • Old bath or paper towels
  • Mild detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket or jug
  • Mop or sponge
  • Vacuum (optional)


  • Clean soiled areas as soon as possible after the incident occurs, to prevent an odor from developing.
  • Use household-strength white vinegar, because industrial-strength could be harmful to your furnishing.

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About the Author

Tracey Sandilands has written professionally since 1990, covering business, home ownership and pets. She holds a professional business management qualification, a bachelor's degree in communications and a diploma in public relations and journalism. Sandilands is the former editor of an international property news portal and an experienced dog breeder and trainer.

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