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Cleaning And Getting Rid Of The Urine Smell

Updated on September 12, 2014

What You Need To Know

First, I must be frank with you - urine is not the easiest thing to get rid of, let alone the smell. But the good news is, if you are determined, you can do it!

Many of the store bought products promise to do the trick, but honestly, some do it - many don't. What they will do is attempt to cover up the smell, but if you have a pet, this will not prevent them from going back and marking their territory - because they can still smell their mark. so you need a cleaner and odor eliminator. Moving on...

3 Natural Ingredients To Getting Rid Of Urine

3 Items you probably already have around your house, that you can use to clean up and eliminate urine and its odor are:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Peroxide

I usually use each of them separately, with warm water and a fan. And if you read my other hub, you know I use these regularly.

If you have a steam cleaner, or a wet vacuum for furniture, great. Lets do this!

First Things First...

Now I'm sure there are many other ways to do this, but here is mine. I am very impatient when it comes to these things and I want immediete results. If that is not possible (and in this case it is not) I want to know that what I am doing will work. So I use all of these methods, separately, but at once. I want to walk away from the task at hand knowing I wont have to do it again. i know, I know, I am inpatient!

Before you do anything, if the urine is still damp, get as much as you can up with dry paper towels or washcloths. Soak up all that you can before putting anything on it. Once you have done this, move on to the next steps. You can use them in any order you wish.

If the urine is already dry, I suggest spraying it damp with warm water and trying to absorb as much of the urine as you can just as mentioned above. This will help take some of the stink away.

In Your Opinion

Have Any Of These Methods Worked For You?

See results

Vinegar For Cleaning Urine

How Vinegar Works:

Vinegar helps gets rid of the odor by killing some of the odor causing bacteria, and neutralizing the smell.

Vinegar Does Not remove the urine, it basically just breaks it apart, loosens it up so you can can get it up. I use this full strength. Spray it on as a light mist, then scrub.Let it sit for a little while. If you apply it full strength, it works faster than if you apply it diluted. I get a clean towel or paper towel, soak up as much as I can, and repeat the process. After i am done I sprinkle baking soda over the damp part and let it dry. Then I clean up the baking soda.

Vinegar is strong, and some cannot tolerate it. but the good news is, the smell dissipates as it dries! And hopefully the urine smell will too.

Baking Soda For Cleaning Urine

I apply this as a paste and scrub, scrub, scrub. Afterwards i let the remaining paste stay on and let it dry overnight, or put a fan on the area to dry. Once it has dried the next day I vacuum it up or sweep it up.

Peroxide for Cleaning Urine

Beware when using on visible surfaces - this can lighten your fabrics! so use at your discretion or dilute heavily and still use at your discretion.

I use this full strength. Pour it on a towel or lightly spray on the affected area, then scrub. i usually rinse my towel with warm water, ring it out good, and scrub again - or I get another dry towel/washcloth/paper towel.

You have the option to dilute this or use it full strength.

I must state that it is not recommended that you spray it on the area because then it absorbs in the material and sinks into it, but I feel if you do it lightly what is the difference? Plus it never worked for me when I applied it to a towel and scrubbed. I am 130 pounds soaking wet with clothes on so maybe it's because there is not as much power behind my scrubs as it may be with others. Like I said, your choice.

Update: Just A Couple More

Rubbing Alcohol - Wintergreen scented (use just a capful on the spot - depending on the size and soak it back up with a towel)

Listerine - the alcohol in this acts the same as the one mentioned above.  This method takes longer though - you have to let it sit a wile before soaking it back up.

Thats All Folks!

In the end, I hope this works for you like it does for me. There are so many ways you can use the three above, and if you want to know more specifically about what each one does and how it works, I'm sure you can find more detailed explanations somewhere online. I was just sharing what has worked for me over the years and through trial and error. Good luck to you!

If you liked this hub or want more information on getting rid of bad smells in your house, whether you can find them or not, I suggest you check out an ebook called "No More Smelly House" by Alexis Dawes. It even has more ways and a further detailed explanation on how you can get rid of urine.


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    • profile image

      kristian sartin 

      24 months ago

      The problem is I don't know where the cat did it's dirty deed some where in a bedroom. But one good thing is i have a area rug in the room,but can't be washed. I've tried spraying vinegar on just about everything bare floor too. Tried using the carpet shampooer on the area rug. Then tried wintergreen alcohol spraying on just about everything. I'm not sure what else to do? Unless I pull the area rug out of room to see if the smell gets any better. I do keep the door shut now so the kitten can't go in or my other older cat either,but i think it was the kitten that did it, not 100% sure but pretty sure.

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      2 years ago

      Update: odoBan aso works great!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Anyone have an answer for LaTricia's problem? My autistic son started peeing down the a/c heating vent in his room. Is there anything we can safely put down the vents to kill the smell, it goes throughout the house when it cuts on. And his room smells awful, even after cleaning carpet, raising windows, burning candles, spraying disinfect! HELP!

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      4 years ago

      Hi Sasha! Vinegar does not remove the smell, it helps to break apart the urine allowing you to soak it up with a washcloth, or baking soda, etc. If done correctly when finished you should not smell any trace of vinegar after it dries. Sorry if the way I wrote that was misleading.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have wood floors, used the vinegar let it sit took a sponge with hot water cleaned that up, then Murphy's wood floor cleaner after no more smell amazing thank you!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Ok vinager helped for a few hours. Once it started drying smell came back. I guess there is NO magic solution for urine odor.

    • profile image

      kelley esposito 

      5 years ago

      I have a son with Autism. He has had several accidents in his room. I tried all the expensive odor removers but nothing worked. I steam cleaned several times but could still smell it.Today I just happened to look up "killing urine odor" and came upon this site. I happened to have a bottle of vinager so I sprayed it all over his carpet and mattress. I went back about 10 minutes later and noticed the smell was not as bad,before it was very sickening. I started steam cleaning and again before the smell coming up was sickening now not that bad. This REALLY worked his room smells so much better. I am shocked that a $2 bottle of vinager worked 10x better than a $20 dollar bottle of odor killing steam cleaner solution. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How do you get rid of the human urine odor from an air heat/air duct???? I had a child get mad at me and he went upstairs to my bedroom and peed in my vent.... I've done everything that I can think of to the kill the odor, but so far nothing at all.... PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME :(

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      DON't USE VINEGAR. This article is misleading. While it may remove the stain, it will increase marking. Vinegar & urine have some of the same chemical compounds and using vinegar will cause your dog to smell the spot where you cleaned with it and mark there again.

      I personally use Genesis 950, but there are lots of other things you can use. Just DON'T use vinegar . . . or ammonia for that matter (it has the same compounds)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How do i get it out of my couch.

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      6 years ago

      Try putting some baking soda back there. leave it for about a day and try vacuuming it up using a vacuum that has a long piece you can use to reach back there.

    • ricoramiro profile image

      Ramiro Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      How do I get rid of urine smell in my basement? It's coming from behind my washer and dryer and the space is so small I can't get behind it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Also, try pure or diluted bleach. I use it diluted in hot water and detergent.

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      7 years ago

      Are you able to scrub it a little without ruining it, or power wash it? Some natural soap called miracle ii might help .

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      7 years ago

      You know, I'll have to look into that one. Have you heard of a product called @LA's Totally Awesome?" that works for a lot of things but I can't say I've personally tried that on leather that's been urinated on. I tried it on suede and it worked great!

    • Faith Walking profile imageAUTHOR

      Faith Walking 

      7 years ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How about in a leather purse? I have used vinagerbut the smell is still lingering. Not as strong but def still there. This cat has a very equisite taste when it comes to potty. :(

    • Dubuquedogtrainer profile image


      7 years ago from Dubuque, Iowa

      Good information - voted up! I have used both baking soda and vinegar to eliminate pet odors.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wht about the urine smell on a very samll patio yard? Is there anything that can be watered in or sprayed on the carpet grass to tone down the smell?

    • Mico Sam profile image

      Mico Sam 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Useful information, great help for households with kids.Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      GetRidOf smell 

      8 years ago

      Also, you can improve odor removal with these recommendations:

      - Use a steam extractor for cleaning carpets

      - Clothing may need to be washed several times

      - Take care of the air circulation

      - Take all the drawers out of your cabinets and open all the cupboard doors, wash inside and out paying attention to the drawer slides and around the hinges.

      - Unplug and wash your stove and refrigerator inside

      Learn more information here,

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks, I used your method for an oriental type carpet my cat wee-weed on and it worked because I could lift up the carpet and go to work on it. I dunked the fringe in a bowl of peroxide and used old towels to press the peroxide out and then got a fan to dry it. I also spread an entire box of baking soda over the stain (on the oak floor) after it was cleaned and dried and put a cover of heavy brown paper over it and then laid the carpet back down. Oh, and I cut away the carpet pad as well that had the urine on it.

      So far, so good--no odor. But this method did not work for a room-to-room carpet because it's tacked down and I believe the oak floor under the carpet and pad is the problem. I may pull up that corner and try this method and cut out the pad where the urine is. Getting rid of any pads where the cat urinates on I think, is really helpful.


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