How to Wash Out a Dog Urine Stain in Fabric

A doggie accident doesn't have to ruin your couch forever.
i funny dog sleeping on pillow with legs crossed image by Paul Retherford from

While housebreaking your pup, some accidents will likely occur along the way. If your little one has left you with a urine stain on a favorite couch, blanket, throw or other fabric item, remove it as soon as possible. Swift removal helps to prevent your dog from re-marking the area.

Step 1

Blot away any excess urine still present if the stain is wet and fresh. Use paper towels to absorb as much of the urine as possible.

Step 2

Dampen the area with lukewarm water or club soda and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot the stain with paper towels. Repeat this process a few times to remove residual urine from the stain.

For urine stains on upholstery or carpet, you may want to dampen the area with enough water to get down to the padding. Remove the water with a wet/dry vacuum instead of paper towels.

Step 3

Soak the stain with an enzymatic pet cleaner and let the fabric dry overnight. These types of cleaners, found in pet supply stores, contain enzymes that break down the chemicals in the dog urine and bacteria that digest them. The bacteria need time to digest these chemicals, which is why items need treatment overnight. Some enzymatic cleaners may require a longer drying time, so read the manufacturer's directions carefully. These natural cleaners eliminate the urine odors and, in most cases, the stain itself.

Regular detergents don't fully remove the urine and can leave behind residual odors that will attract your dog back to the spot to eliminate again.

Step 4

Clean removable, washable items in the washing machine. Add detergent and 2 cups of baking soda to the laundry and run a cycle as usual. The baking soda helps to eliminate the urine odors and scour away stains.

Sun drying the items, instead of placing them in the dryer, further eliminates urine smells, giving the items a delicious sun-dried scent. It's also useful because if you notice any residual stains, you can more easily try to remove them in a second wash. Machine-drying the fabric, however, could end up accidentally locking in the stains, making them harder to remove.

Step 5

Treat upholstery or carpeting to another round of dampening with water, blotting with paper towels or a wet/dry vacuum and dousing with an enzymatic cleaner.

While the area dries, cover it with newspaper or aluminum foil to prevent your pup from re-marking the area with urine.

the nest