How to Clean Dog Urine Off of Leather

Life as a dog owner often means being ready to deal with stains, odors, or accidents, and sometimes all three happen in the same place. For instance, a puppy or a dog that suffers from separation anxiety may pee on the couch. If that couch is leather, removing the urine requires extra care to avoid damaging the material.

Closeup view of beige puppy lying on leather couch
How to Clean Dog Urine Off of Leather
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Blot that spot

If you notice dog pee on a leather couch right away, you have a chance to blot it up before it's absorbed deeper into the cushions. Blotting should be done before grabbing any type of cleaner, otherwise you''ll just spread the problem around. Fold paper towels or an absorbent white rag, then blot the urine up. Wear rubber gloves while doing this to keep your hands clean. Avoid using heavily dyed towels or rags to clean up, as the dye could transfer onto the leather if the fabric isn't colorfast. When cleaning up dog urine on a leather couch, blot straight on top of the spot to avoid spreading it. Blotting works beyond furniture, too; try it on any type of leather object subjected to pet urine.

Protect the cushion foam

If the urine is on a zippered cushion or pillow, unzip it right away. Either pull the foam and batting out, or stuff an old folded white towel inside between the affected area and the foam. This will help prevent the urine from soaking into the foam, where it will be difficult to remove. If unable to open the affected part of the furniture, keep blotting until a paper towel pressed against the area comes up dry.

Read the care tag

Whether dealing with dog pee on leather furniture, outerwear, or handbags, read the care tag after blotting up most of the moisture and before applying any type of cleaning solution. Some leather materials are more durable than others and can handle various cleaning solutions, while others may stain or crack with improper care.

Dog pee on leather furniture

If the care tag doesn't specify a particular cleaning method, first try a damp white cloth. This works especially well on minor urine spots caught right away. Wipe the spot from the outside edges toward the inside. Rinse and wring the cloth out frequently before reusing it. If the leather item looks darker in the damp spot, continue wiping the entire surface with the damp spot, again working from outside edges toward the inside, to avoid spreading the urine. For instance, wipe the entire top of a couch cushion if that's where the dog peed. Wiping the entire surface allows it to dry uniformly so there are no darker spots once completely dry.

Dealing with urine odors or stains

If the leather still smells like urine or appears a bit stained, it's time to try another cleaning method. Stir one part white vinegar into four parts cool water, then wipe the affected area with the vinegar solution, working from the outside of the affected area toward the center. Wring most of the liquid out of the cloth or sponge before applying it to the leather. Dab it with a dry white cloth after a couple minutes.

A squirt of a neutral-pH dish soap mixed into a cool bowl of water can also be used to help remove any urine residue. Dip a white cloth into the solution, wring it out, then wipe the spot from the outside in. Wipe the entire area again with a damp cloth without soap.

Restore shine to durable leather cushions, shoes, or handbags with one part vinegar mixed with two parts linseed oil. Stir vigorously to blend the ingredients, then apply a small amount of the mixture to the leather, testing it in an inconspicuous area first. The vinegar helps remove lingering odors while the oil helps recondition the leather. Wipe it off with a dry white cloth after a few hours.

Standard leather-cleaning and conditioning products may also be used after removing as much of the urine and odor as possible. Choose a product best suited for the type of leather at hand. Conditioning the leather, as recommended on the care tag, helps keep it soft and supple.