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How to Remove Pet Odor and Stains

How to Remove Pet Odor and Stains

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Pet ownership is filled with joys, but it’s also filled with plenty of smells. Having a dog or cat can mean pee and poop on the carpet, muddy paw prints on your sofa and a variety of other stains and odors. Unfortunately, removing these unsightly messes can be tricky too. And in the case of bathroom accidents, not removing them properly can mean these messes will happen again. Here’s how to remove pet odor and stains!

Carpet and Upholstery

If the stain is new and still wet, soak up as much urine possible. Do this by placing a thick layer of paper towels on the mess and then put a hefty layer of newspaper on top of the paper towels. If you can, also put newspaper under the mess too. Then stand on the top layer of newspaper for approximately one minute and repeat this step until the wet spot is hardly damp. Put the urine-soaked paper towels and newspapers where your pet is supposed to normally go to the bathroom. This will encourage them to urinate in the proper place. Lastly, rinse the soiled mess with cool clean water and blot dry.

Stains that have already set will require a different course of action. Use a carpet cleaner and high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Get a carpet stain remover if the area still looks dirty after you’ve completely extracted, neutralized and dried the mess. Don’t use a steam cleaner to remove urine odors from fabric or carpet. The heat from the steam will permanently set the stain and smell by fusing the protein into the man-made fabric. Also avoid using ammonia or vinegar as these products may encourage your pet to pee in the same area again.

Machine-Washable Articles

Thank goodness for washing machines! If your pet has soiled something that you can just throw in the washing machine, first add a one-pound package of baking soda to your detergent. Then wash the dirty item as you would normally and air-dry it if you can. Afterward, check to see if you can still see or smell the stain. If it’s still not completely clean, wash the article again with an enzymatic cleaner. Enzymes break down the odor and stain.

If the soiled item is bed sheets or blankets, cover your bed with a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth. This will protect your mattress while you trail your pet not to leave accidents. The tablecloth is cheap, washable and will help prevent your animal from repeating any accidents.

Hardwood and Paint

Sometimes wood, varnish or paint reacts to acid in urine. In cases like these, you might need to replace the varnish or paint entirely. If you choose this route, make sure you choose a new paint or varnish that is pet-safe. If you have washable paint or wallpaper, try simply using an enzymatic cleaner.


If the mess consists of poop or pee, only use an enzymatic cleaner. However, if the mess is simply drool or muddy paw prints, feel free to use a steam mop or vinegar. While these products set urine and poop stains and encourage further messes, they are fine to use on drool and mud.