What Is Best to Use for Set-In Dog Pee Stains?

Puppies often leave their mark throughout your home.
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Whether you're potty training a new puppy or dealing with a reliable old companion, accidents happen. In this situation, it's best to clean the soiled area as soon as it occurs. But if dog pee sets in and causes a stain, don’t worry -- there are steps you can take.

Extractor or Wet Vac

Rent or buy an extractor or wet vac to remove heavily stained areas on your carpet. If you rent one, you can find them at a grocery or hardware store. There are special chemical solutions for pet odors and stains you can put in these machines, but the Humane Society suggests using plain water at this stage of the stain-removal process. They also suggest avoiding steam cleaners, as the heat can set the stain and odor into the carpet and bond the proteins into the carpet fibers, making it hard if not impossible to remove.

Pet Odor Neutralizer

Pet odor neutralizers are used after the soiled carpet area is cleaned with a wet vac or extractor. This will help eliminate any odor that remains. It's vital you clean the carpet with an extractor or wet vac first; if you don’t, the neutralizer will have to punch through any previous cleaners you may have used on the area before getting to work on the fibers themselves. Odor-neutralizing products can be found at a pet supply store.

Carpet Stain Remover

If the stain is still noticeable after cleaning, drying and neutralizing the area, look into using a carpet stain remover. Again, only use this type of product after cleaning and neutralizing. If you just skip to this step, your misguided pal may end up just re-marking that territory.

Enzymatic Cleaners

Products that contain live bacteria and enzymes work well on urine stains, basically digesting the odor-causing bacteria. The best part is that these enzymes will get down deep into carpets and the padding below and continue to do their job until the work is done.

Varnish or Paint

Urine often discolors the wood in furniture, walls, baseboards and floors. If this is the case, you will have to sand down the damaged areas and apply a new layer of paint or varnish. Consult your local home improvement store to get an exact color match and a pet-friendly product.


In drastically damaged areas, you may have to completely remove a stained section of fabric or carpet and replace it with a new piece.


Read all instructions and warnings on any machines and products before use.

Avoid cleaning agents such as vinegar and ammonia on set-in stains as these may actually encourage your pet to re-mark the area instead of being deterred.

Clean up new pee accidents as soon as you can so they do not set into the surface.

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