Dog sitting on carpet

Help! I Can’t Get Dog Urine Smell Out of My Carpet

Here’s why you, and the carpet cleaner you already hired, can’t get the dog urine smell in your carpet to go away

Or Call: 1-720-233-0761

DIY Dog Urine Carpet Cleaning vs. Professional Carpet Cleaning 

When it comes to removing dog urine from carpet, the deciding factor on whether you can tackle the problem yourself or if you should call in a professional carpet cleaner comes down to the severity of the dog urine issue. 

For isolated incidents, especially with small dogs, removing the stain and smell can likely be done with the right know-how. For larger problems like numerous pet urine accidents or badly saturated areas, fully removing the smell and stain is likely not possible without professional help.

Internet Pet Urine Remedies

The internet is full of ideas on how to remove dog urine from carpet. Vinegar solution, ammonia, various pet enzymes, consumer “steam cleaners”. Often times, these are promises of DIY solutions that just don’t work as well as you’d like.

Perhaps you’ve tried some of these techniques. If you have, and they haven’t worked, you’re looking for a better solution. This may involve bringing in a professional carpet cleaner. But, before we get there, let’s explore what you can do yourself vs. what a professional can do.

Different Types of Consumer Dog Urine Treatments

Dog urine odor treatments usually fall into two categories: Enzymatic pet treatments and deodorizers. Enzymatic treatments work reasonably well.

Enzymes can actually consume the pet urine and help to remedy the issue, while deodorizers simply hide the smell. In either case, often times once it gets warm and sunny and the house heats up, the smell of dog urine increases.

MSS Cleaning dog, Steve, who was responsible for many dog urine stains

My Dog Urine Story – Why MSS Cleaning Exists

Years ago my wife and I went away on a trip and left our dogs in the care of a friend. We came home to find the carpet covered in dog urine spots. At 100 lbs, our dog is not small. We tried everything we could to clean the dog urine from the carpet.

We tried: home remedies and Pinterest solutions, renting a rug doctor, dousing the spots beyond liberally with Nature’s Miracle and even then renting the rug doctor again and trying a different detergent. It didn’t work. It got a bit better, but it was still driving us crazy.

We Hired a Carpet Cleaner to Help

Failing to remove the dog urine ourselves, we hired a company to clean the carpets. They really didn’t know what they were doing, in retrospect. That carpet cleaning didn’t work either.

So, we hired them to come back and replace portions of the carpet pad. That helped, but it didn’t fully solve the problem. 

Feeling out of options, we lived with the dog urine odor until… I bought a carpet cleaning company. Yes, this experience actually helped lead me to buy a carpet cleaning business. 

Recommendations on DIY Dog Urine Removal

Smaller Isolated Dog Urine Spots

  1. If the dog urine spot is still wet, use a portable extractor and warm water to rinse and extract as much of the urine as possible. If the spot is dry, wet it and extract as much urine as possible with the portable extractor. Our go-to is the Bissell Spot Clean Pro.
  2. Apply a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% warm water. If you have a portable extractor, you can put this right in the tank and apply with the sprayer. Thoroughly wet the area then extract as much as you can.
  3. Use a towel or a bunch of paper towels and press firmly into the area to try and draw out as much remaining liquid as possible.
  4. Liberally sprinkle baking soda on to the pet urine stain
  5. Let dry, then vacuum.
  6. If odor is still present, we’ve found Nature’s Miracle to be the best consumer enzymatic product. Apply and let dry per the instructions on the container.

Large Area or Multiple Dog Urine Spots

Realistically now it’s time to call a professional carpet cleaning company that specializes in pet odor and stain removal. Like my story above, you’re really going to be better off calling a professional here. If you try and DIY major dog urine issues, you’ll likely spend a bunch of time and money on products only to be back where you started and then have to hire a carpet cleaning company.

Nothing beats a powerful truck mounted machine, like the ones we use. Our equipment generates far more suction, pressure and heat than anything not purpose-built, and it’s necessary to remove major dog urine issues properly.

How Do Professionals Remove Significant Dog Urine Odor From Carpet?

When dealing with major pet urine issues, cleaning the carpet isn’t the big problem. Pet urine can be cleaned from most standard carpet relatively easily. The issue is actually the carpet pad and the subfloor beneath it.

Carpet pad is basically a giant sponge that traps and holds on to dog urine until it dries, leaving a nasty, stinky mess.

Identifying Dog Urine Spots in Carpet

The first thing you need to do is to identify the dog urine spots either with the naked eye, by using a black light, or by pulling the carpet back and looking at the underside.

When feasible, we prefer to pull back the carpet. It really allows you to look at the carpet pad and very obviously shows the dog urine stains on the backing of the carpet.

Dog urine stains showing through on the back of a piece of pulled back carpet

3 Options To Properly Cleaning Dog Urine From Carpet

Depending on the severity of the dog urine issue, a quality carpet cleaning professional will usually perform one of the three following options.


Applying topical dog urine treatment to carpet with a power sprayer

1.) Basic Pet Urine Treatment

If the spots are not too severe, a professional grade topical treatment can be applied. This will break down the dog urine and allow for extraction.

The carpet and the pad can both be treated topically. Topical pet treatment does an OK (but still far better than you could do yourself) job of cleaning the carpet, but there are certainly more advanced options.

If a topical treatment isn’t going to cut it, the carpet is going to need either a flood treatment or it’s going to need a carpet pad replacement.

Advanced dog urine removal treatment using a carpet flood extractor

2.) Advanced Pet Urine Treatment – Carpet Flooding

This more serious extraction technique is referred to as “flooding”. The idea is to apply a literal bucket full of a specialized pet urine neutralizing solution to the affected urine area. 

This solution saturates the pet urine stain, breaking down the urea and urine salts in the carpet and the carpet pad. Once it’s allowed to work for 30 minutes or so, it can then be extracted using the body weight of the user standing on the tool.

This technique removes as much urine as possible from the carpet pad which is particularly important because carpet pad is basically a big foam sponge and it holds liquid (hint: dog urine).

The vast majority of time, flooding works great for smaller areas that have been urine saturated. 

Replacing carpet pad in an area affected by dog urine

3.) Carpet Pad Replacement

We recommend carpet pad replacement in the affected areas when dog and cat urine damage is so widespread that it would end up costing our pet owners more to flood many spots than to just replace the carpet pad in the room.

A good carpet cleaning company should have a pretty good feel for when this is going to be necessary. We’ve done more than enough of these jobs to know before we even begin the work what we should recommend to our customers.

How to Replace the Damaged Carpet Pad

First all the furniture must be removed, then the carpet must be taken off the pad and set aside. The old carpet pad is thrown out. If the subfloor is damaged by urine, we strongly recommend sealing the subfloor with Kilz or an odor blocking oil-based paint.

New pad is then installed as well as new tack strip in any areas where the tack strip has been compromised by the dog urine.

Finally, the carpet needs to be cleaned, both on the front of the carpet fibers as well as the backing of the carpet. Once all of this has been completed, we stretch the carpet back in to reinstall.

Is This Approach to Removing Dog Urine from Carpet Foolproof?

The only method for removing dog urine from carpet that’s truly foolproof is going to be a carpet pad replacement and floor sealing. We do many dog urine carpet cleaning jobs and have very rarely ever been called back for an odor that returns.

We Hope This Helped!

We know that removing pet urine odors and stains from carpet is not an easy task. Hopefully this information has been helpful for you. If you live in the Denver area and would like to hire us to help you with your dog urine carpet cleaning issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to working with you!

Or Call: 1-720-233-0761