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

By Elle Di Jensen

When your pooch leaves a puddle on the carpet, he also leaves behind an obvious stain. The soiled area might be less noticeable on a darker rug, but you'll still be able to see it and even smell it if it's not thoroughly cleaned. Vinegar is useful for removing dried dog urine stains from carpets because it kills bacteria and is a natural deodorizer. While vinegar alone isn't effective when the stains are dried, teaming baking soda and water up with vinegar will get the job done.

Things you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Scrub brush
  • Vacuum

Removing Dry Stains

Mix the Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water and place them in the spray bottle. For example, use 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water.

Test the solution on an out-of-the-way place on your carpet, such as in the corner or under an end table, if you're concerned that it will affect the color of your carpet.

Sprinkle on the Soda

Cover the stained area of your carpet with a generous layer of baking soda. Use enough baking soda so that the color and pattern of the carpet is covered and can't be seen.

Spritz on the Vinegar Solution

Spray the baking soda with the vinegar and water solution using the spray bottle. Don't saturate the soda until it's soggy, but do spray on enough to make a paste.

Give it Time to Work

Allow the vinegar and baking soda paste to sit for at least two hours or up to overnight.

Scrub the Stain

Use the scrub brush to loosen the dried paste and the stain.

Vacuum it Up

Run the vacuum cleaner over the area to clean away the dried vinegar and soda paste.

Mist Again

If some stubborn soda still remains after you vacuum once, spay a light mist of vinegar and water over it to re-wet the baking soda, and place a dry rag over the area for another hour or two until it dries again. Then vacuum a second time.

Vinegar won't neutralize the odor in dried urine stains, so your dog may return to the spot and re-stain it. To keep that from happening, author and dog trainer Kathy Diamond Davis recommends using a commercial bacterial enzyme product. Use it alone to remove the stain and the smell, or use it after you've removed the stain with vinegar and soda to eliminate the odor.

Removing a Recent Stain

Blot it Up

Place dry rags or paper towels over the fresh stain and press down to remove as much liquid as you can.

Saturate the Stain

Pour undiluted vinegar over the stain. Use enough to soak into the pad below.

Blot Again

Place fresh rags over the stain and blot again, pressing down or stepping on them to draw excess moisture from the carpet.

If there's still a bit of a stain after the carpet is dry, repeat the steps again but take more care in how you blot up the vinegar. Work from the outside in and in a smaller area at a time.

Allow the area to air dry for a few hours or overnight before walking on it. Tracking dirt onto the carpet while it's still damp could cause another, different type of stain.