How Do I Remove Dried Dog Urine Stains From Carpet With Vinegar?

You may have seen it before — discolored urine spots on carpeting that you just can't seem to budge. Some may still carry odors, while others may simply be unsightly. Whatever the case, though, sharing your space with urine stains isn't ideal. Luckily, you can get those spots out and it may not require a visit from a professional cleaner. Whether you just moved into a new place with old, stained carpeting or you have a few spots around the house that you didn't get to in time, you can easily remove dried urine stains with an inexpensive household ingredient: vinegar.

Brown Puppy
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Understand how vinegar works

In addition to its uses in edible recipes, like salad dressings, vinegar is known for its naturally effective ability to disinfect surfaces and eliminate odors. Unlike air fresheners that simply cover up bad smells, vinegar breaks down odors and sends them packing. How? Acidity! According to Homelover Cleaning, vinegar is composed of 95 percent water and 5 percent acetic acid. This may not sound like a lot, but that little bit of acid is enough to tackle what many cleansers can't: It breaks down the ammonia that gives urine its signature smell.

Learn how to use vinegar

The best time to lift messes from a carpet is immediately after they're made. Sometimes, however, it's just not possible to get to it right away — you may not even be at home when your dog does the deed. If that's the case, Spot Removal Guide recommends tackling pee spots as soon as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria, which can exacerbate unwanted odors.

Once you're ready to treat the urine spot, lightly blot it with a clean cotton towel or paper towels, even if the stain is old, to soak up any remaining wetness. Then mix 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar in a large bowl. Mix up a good amount of the solution so you have enough to reach deep down into the carpet fibers. Once the stain is completely soaked, use a scrub brush to attack it vigorously. When the stain appears to have been lifted, blot it with a clean towel or paper towels and allow it to dry completely before tossing a handful of baking soda on the area, which will absorb any remaining odors.

Because the ingredients are all natural, you can repeat this process as often as you need to, especially if stain is stubborn or very old. If the smell of vinegar is too off-putting for you even after diluting it with water, you can reduce the scent by adding a bit of baking soda to your solution. You can also try adding a few drops of aromatic essential oils, like tea tree, sweet orange, or lemongrass, all of which will reduce the pungent odor of vinegar.

Try other stain-removal methods

If you don't have vinegar on hand or are hesitant to soak your carpet or furniture upholstery in a vinegar solution, Today recommends an alternative recipe for removing old stains. Start by mixing 10 ounces of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a few tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients and spray the affected area until it's completely soaked. Let it sit for about an hour or until it looks as if the stain has been lifted. Then dab the area clean with a damp towel. When it's all cleaned up, blot the area thoroughly with a dry towel.

If you have very stubborn, ancient carpet stains and can make a trip to the pet-supply store, Today goes on to suggest seeking out an oxygen-activated enzyme cleaner, which removes old stains as well as odors.