How to Remove Cat Urine with Vinegar

Keep your cat's litter box clean to encourage its use.

Keep your cat's litter box clean to encourage its use.

If the smells wafting from your cat's litter box aren't enough to make your guests turn tail and head out the front door, any accidents on floors, mattresses or upholstery surely will. There are products that promise to remove cat urine odor, but use vinegar and save your pennies.

On Linoleum or Tile Floors

Place several layers of paper towels or terry cloth towels on the cat urine.

Soak a mop in soapy water, then wipe up the urine. The key is to catch the stain immediately after it happens.

Rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water.

Create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Wipe the floor with a sponge saturated with vinegar and water. Let the floor air-dry.


Use a wet/dry vacuum to soak up the urine on the mattress. Alternatively use rags and apply firm pressure to the mattress, soaking up the urine with a rocking motion.

Add the solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mattress generously with the liquid and blot the mattress as in Step 1.

Sprinkle baking soda over the wet area to lightly coat the stain, and work it into the mattress with your fingers.

Mix 1/4 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Lightly drizzle or spray over the baking soda solution.

Allow the mattress to dry completely, then vacuum the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide from the mattress.

Carpeting and Upholstery

Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 quart of water.

Soak a rag in the solution, then blot the carpeting several times, applying firm pressure to the stain.

Sprinkle baking soda over the stain.

Apply the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap solution to the baking soda, and work it in with your fingers.

Blot again with a clean, dry towel. Let air-dry. Vacuum when thoroughly dry.


Machine-wash your laundry or washables by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the load. Omit laundry detergent.

Repeat the laundry cycle again once the first cycle is complete, this time adding only your regular detergent to the washer.

Dry on high heat.

Items you will need

  • Paper towels or terry cloth towels
  • Mop
  • Soap
  • White vinegar
  • Wet / dry vacuum
  • Water bottle
  • Baking soda
  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Sponge


  • Place a bowl of white vinegar out overnight to help remove odors.

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About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.

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