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2 Ways to Clean Cat or Dog Pee- Homemade vs. Commercial Cleaners

Updated on August 5, 2015

Pet Urine - A Universal Pet Owner Problem

If you've ever owned a dog or a cat then you have almost certainly been faced with the trial of cleaning up cat or dog pee on your carpet. I'm not quite sure what is worse, the copious volume of dog pee (especially larger dogs), or the soul-crushing, ever-lasting smell of cat pee. As the owner of three dogs and one cat I have definitely had my share of pet urine to clean up. I have tried vinegar and baking soda, Oxyclean, carpet machines, you name it! In my ten years of pet ownership I've come to a couple of different workable solutions, depending on the type of mess and how much money I want to spend on any given day. Below I'll share my experiences with home made pet urine cleaners and commercial cleaners.

My Byron

Homemade Dog/Cat Pee Cleaner

Sometimes, either because the budget is strapped or simply because I have run out of commercial cleaner and I live out in the boonies, I make my own homemade pet urine cleaner. For a while all I was using was a mix of baking soda and vinegar and it halfway worked- it was a truly half baked measure. It kinda got the smell and stain out a little but I think it soaked into the carpet pad more than anything.

The link on the right is a new and improved homemade recipe that I used recently. For exact instructions definitely follow the the link and follow the instructions of the nice folks at How to Clean Things.

Basically this is a souped-up version of the baking soda and vinegar trick and adds on dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. It is important to do the steps in order and not just mix it all together and throw it down! When I tried my initial run with the mixture the final combination started to bubble and puff up, and as it did it turned the most sickly color of yellow. So I guess that's plenty of testament as to how it worked and what it was doing! It really worked on the cat urine that had been in the corner. With this method you are supposed to let the mixture dry (the baking soda absorbs the liquid) and then vacuum it up. I used my carpet cleaning machine on the first go-around to suck up the wet mess because it was so awful and filled with displaced pee.

I did use the homemade brew for a second time on the same spot and it truly did help the smell. I vacuumed up the dried mixture after about 24 hours. Unfortunately the cat pee had been there for some time because we previously hadn't been able to locate the marking area. Ultimately while it did do some heavy lifting on the stain and the saturation on the carpet it did not totally get rid of the smell. Though I do have total faith that it would work better with dog pee or fresher accidents.

My Thor as a Puppy

Commercial Cleaners

There are a wide variety of commercial pet urine cleaners on the market- each promising to forever banish the smell of Sparky's accident from your home. In my experience not many have really met the full promise.

For many years I used either OxyClean or Bissel brand cleaners in my home carpet cleaning machine. It's not a full power steam machine. For the most part they seemed to help the problem but many times I was still left with a faint stain and an odor. Plus the carpet would get really wet in the process helping the urine spread and sink further into the carpet. It worked-but just barely.

Recently- when confronted with the hellish cat pee I mentioned above in the Homemade Cleaner section- I decided to try some specialty cleaners. These are the expensive bottles that cost around $19.00 for 32 ozs of products. But at this point I was willing to try anything. I splurged on a bottle of Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Elminator based on the reviews on Amazon. It claims to be a natural, bio-enzymatic formula and most people genuinely seemed to think it worked. Apparently you need the "enzymes" to continue to break down the pee over a long period or time.

I thoroughly sprayed the small area I had previously treat with the home brew. At first sniff Rocco & Roxie had a faintly herbal, almost licorice like smell. Better than cat pee! I let it soak in and lightly dabbed it up after a half hour. The room smelled pleasant, and clean. Not just perfumed like a lot of other cleaners where you can still catch a hint of urine underneath. There was not cat pee smell left- even when I put my nose to the carper.

Some users said this stopped their pets from marking ever again. Unfortunately that was not my experience but at least I had the tools to completely remove the smell! Other enzymatic cleaners people seem to like include Bio-Kleen's Bac Out and Simple Solution Stain and Odor Eliminator.

How do You Clean Pet Pee?

What is your preferred method of dealing with cat/dog pee?

See results

So What Will I be Using?

In the future I think I will continue to use both homemade and commercial pet urine cleaners. Each has their place. Plus, I know at some point I am going to run out of Rocco and Roxie and I don't know if I will be able to swallow spending another $20 on a small bottle of cleaner- no matter how fabulous.

Of course, I could get replace my pets with a dwarf banana tree. It's been tempting.

But ultimately I think we'll probably keep them and nurture them for as long as we're given time with them. I know for a fact we'll miss them when they're gone. But that inevitably means more messes. All I know is- I'm willing to try pretty much anything to get rid of the pet urine as long as it works.


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    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Our husky has been ill and peeing on the carpet over the last couple of weeks. Of course, she chooses to pee right in front of hubby's recliner! Sometimes I think hubby has a nose like a dog, he can smell things I can't. We have tried several different things, to little avail. She has stopped peeing on the carpet now, so I am going to give your home-made recipe a try before I go and spend a fortune on the expensive stuff. Great hub, thank you!

    • CennyWenny profile image

      CennyWenny 2 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping by! The cat urine for me was definitely the worst! I have no idea why she did it just in that one spot.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      First of all, your dogs are adorable. Now, I thought this was a well written, interesting hub. I have had the problem of getting rid of dog pee smell, I tried what I thought was everything to make it go away. I will definitely try Rocco & Roxie or Bac Out the next time I need to eradicate the odor.