Whether you are potty-training a puppy or caring for an older dog, bladder accidents are bound to happen. Don't panic! There are several simple things you can do to remove dog urine odor from wood.
Effects of Urine Stains
Some houses you can walk into and, without even looking, know the homeowners have a dog. In many cases, this is a result of dog urine that has set into the wood on floors or furniture. Not only can dog urine leave behind an unpleasant odor that may be hard to lift, but it can also leave stains. Urine stains often turn wood dark, almost black, as a result of the uric acid eating away at the tannins that color the wood. Even after you remove the odor, you may need to refinish the wood to completely remove the stain.
Clean the Spill
Before you can combat the odor of dog urine, you'll need to clean up the liquid that remains. The sooner after the dog eliminates that you get to the stain, the more likely you will be to have success in preventing a stain and eliminating the odor. Use a sponge or paper towels to sop up the liquid, then scrub the area well with a disinfectant cleaner. If the wood surface you are cleaning has a finish on it, be sure to use a cleaner that is safe for hardwood floors so you'll avoid scrubbing away the finish.
Some of the most effective commercial cleaners designed to remove dog urine stains and odors contain enzymes. These cleaners may come in either liquid or powder form, so you can choose the type that is most convenient for you. The enzymes contained in these cleaners actually digest the uric acid in the stain, effectively removing the stain and neutralizing the odor. You can typically use these products to clean up fresh urine spots before they stain and to repair the damage done by set-in stains.
If you prefer not to use chemical-based cleaners in your home, or if you want to tackle the stain quickly and don't have an enzyme cleaner on hand, you can whip up a homemade cleaner using a few ingredients you already have around the house. Simply combine 1 cup of water with 1/3 cup each of vinegar, baking soda and dish soap. Combine the ingredients in an empty squirt bottle and shake it vigorously just before using. After you blot the stain, apply a small amount of the cleaner and scrub at it with a sponge. Homemade cleaners like this are usually more effective on carpet than hardwood, but if you tackle the stain early enough you may help prevent odor from seeping into the wood.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.