Accidents happen, especially if your dog is young, aging, or left alone longer than he's used to. There are many reasons dogs pee indoors, and sometimes, health issues are one of them. If it's a one-time accident, you can clean pet urine from a carpet several ways. If it's happening frequently with an adult dog, health or behavior issues could be a factor, in which case you should consult with a veterinarian.
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Will steam cleaning remove dog urine from the rug? You should not attempt to do this because it will create other issues. Instead, you should blot the stain and/or use a carpet cleaner that soaks the carpet with water and sucks it back up. Carpet cleaner water requires a cleaning additive formulated for pets. Using vinegar to clean dog urine is also not recommended.
Does steam cleaning remove dog urine?
Steam cleaning it is not the best way to remove dog urine from a carpet, rug, or couch upholstery. Do not steam clean pet urine. The heat from the steam can permanently bond urine proteins into the synthetic fibers of the carpet or couch, setting the stain and odor. Steam cleaning and dog urine don't mix. There's a better way.
Removing dog urine from carpets
Instead, use a carpet cleaner that soaks the carpet with water and extracts it out again. No heat is applied. Major vacuum companies, like Bissell and Shark, manufacture compact carpet cleaners, also called wet/dry vacs, for home use. Only water and carpet cleaner solution is needed for these machines. If you have several pets or an aging dog, owning your own carpet cleaner will come in handy because you can respond to accidents quickly.
Otherwise, renting a carpet cleaner or hiring a professional carpet cleaning service are the best ways to remove a pet stain, especially if that stain has dried or set into the carpet. If you can still see a mark after the urine has evaporated, a carpet cleaner along with stain remover formulated for pet stains is the most effective solution. This type of cleaner is essentially a wet vac, though it first puts liquid into the carpet before it pulls it out again, extracting the stain along with the water.
How to remove wet stains
If the stain is still wet and hasn't yet set, simply soaking it up with paper towels and newspaper is possible. Layer paper towels and then newspaper over the stain and press or even stand on it. Keep absorbing the liquid, repeating with more paper if necessary until all the liquid is absorbed.
Don't clean the area with vinegar or any cleaning products containing ammonia because that might reinforce the smell for your dog. You might inadvertently create a "pee area," attracting the dog back to the scene of the crime. Soaking the area with water can help if you have a wet vac that can pull the water out of the carpet. You can also use towels to dab out the liquid, though this is harder to do.
Removing dog urine odor
Whether you use a carpet cleaner or the paper towel method to pull the dog urine out of the carpet, add one more step to prevent long-term odor. After cleaning, sprinkle the area with baking soda and leave it overnight. Vacuum the baking soda out of the carpet. If the baking soda is a little discolored, that means you didn't get all the urine out using the first method.
If baking soda doesn't work to remove dog pee odor, try an enzymatic cleaner. This type of cleaner or spray breaks down odors and stains on a molecular level. This last step should complete the task, leaving your carpet stain-free.