How to Get Pee Smell Out of Carpet: A Complete Guide



Having urine stains and odors in your carpet can be an unpleasant and embarrassing situation. Whether it’s caused by a new puppy, an aging pet, or even a family member, pee smells in carpets need to be dealt with quickly and effectively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain why urine smells linger, how to find soiled areas, and provide proven methods to get pee smells out of carpets permanently.

Why Urine Smells Linger in Carpets

When urine first exits the body, it has little to no odor. The distinct pee smell develops as the urea in urine decomposes through chemical reactions.

The main culprit behind lingering urine odors is uric acid. Uric acid crystals form as urine dries and stick stubbornly to carpet fibers and backing. These crystals do not dissolve in water or respond to cleaning products that only treat the carpet’s surface.

Uric acid crystals trap the urine smell within carpet fibers. This causes the odor to persist even after cleaning. The smell often returns later when humidity increases.

Traditional spot cleaning, vacuuming, carpet shampoos, and deodorizers cannot remove embedded uric acid crystals. To get rid of urine odors for good, you must use cleaners that break down uric acid crystals.

Locating Urine-Soiled Areas

To effectively remove pee smells, you first need to find all the urine-soiled areas. Here are some methods:

  • Look and smell: Visually inspect for pale yellow or greenish discolored patches. Also, sniff out areas that smell like urine.

  • Blacklight detection: In a dark room, urine stains glow under blacklight. Slowly scan the entire carpet and mark any glowing spots.

  • Pet accidents: Check along walls, behind furniture and in hidden corners. Pets often repeatedly soil the same areas.

  • Human accidents: Look near furniture like couches or beds. Also check commonly traveled pathways between bedrooms and bathrooms.

Cleaning Old Urine Smells with Commercial Products

Specialized enzymatic cleaners available at pet stores and home improvement retailers can eliminate old urine odors. Look for these features when purchasing a commercial cleaner:

  • Enzyme-based: The enzymes break down uric acid crystals into odorless components. “Bio-enzymatic” cleaners use natural enzymes or bacteria.

  • Pet and child safe: Choose non-toxic cleaners safe to use around children and pets. Avoid harsh chemicals.

  • Pleasant scent: Look for a subtle, pleasing fragrance to freshen the area after cleaning. Avoid strong perfumes that only mask odors.

Follow these steps to use a commercial cleaner:

  • Pre-test the cleaner on a small hidden area of the carpet.

  • Liberally apply the cleaner to urine-soiled areas according to label directions. Saturating the area helps the cleaner penetrate deeply.

  • Let the cleaner dwell for the recommended time, usually 10-30 minutes, so enzymes can work.

  • Blot area with clean towels to soak up excess moisture. Rinse with water if directed.

  • Allow the carpet to completely air dry, which may take a few hours. Keep people and pets away until dry.

  • Inspect the area and repeat the process if any odors or stains linger. Several applications may be required for old or heavy stains.

Removing Urine Smells with Home Remedies

For a natural approach, household products like vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove urine odors from carpets:


  • Readily available in most homes

  • Affordable compared to commercial cleaners

  • Non-toxic for children and pets


  • May be less effective than commercial enzymatic cleaners

  • Can potentially damage certain carpet material types


  • White vinegar: Spray vinegar generously on the area and let sit 10-15 minutes. Blot thoroughly with towels. Once dry, sprinkle baking soda generously over the area to deodorize. Allow to dry completely, then vacuum.

  • Hydrogen peroxide: Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on the area. Let dwell 5-10 minutes. Blot and allow to air dry. Check for colorfastness first.

  • Baking soda: Make a paste with water and thickly apply to the area. Allow to dry completely over several hours before vacuuming away. Repeated applications may be needed.

Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

For severe urine stains and odors, professional carpet cleaners using specialized equipment and commercial-grade cleaners can help. Consider professional cleaning for:

  • Large affected areas covering multiple rooms

  • Deep stains and odors not removed by home methods

  • Expensive or delicate carpet materials prone to damage

Professional carpet cleaning may involve:

  • Inspection and pre-treatment of affected areas

  • Deep cleaning using hot water extraction to flush out stains

  • Application of deodorizers and anti-stain protectants

  • Powerful equipment to deep clean and quickly dry carpets

  • Truck-mounted systems for whole-house carpet cleaning

Preventing Urine Odors in Carpet

While urine stains can be removed, prevention is always best. Here are proactive measures to avoid pet and human urine odors:

  • House train pets and be consistent with rewarding desired behaviors. Most pets can be trained with time and positive reinforcement.

  • For elderly incontinence issues, use waterproof bed pads and clothing protectants. Schedule regular bathroom breaks. Seek medical advice if needed.

  • Immediately blot fresh accidents with an absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can spread urine deeper into fibers. Rinse with cool water.

  • Clean accidents promptly with an appropriate cleaner. This prevents odors and stains from setting over time.

  • Regularly vacuum and professionally clean carpets every 12-18 months. This prevents buildup of residues that attract re-soiling.

The Best Option for Fresh, Odor-Free Carpets

Lingering urine odors in carpets can be frustrating. But with the right products and techniques, you can permanently get pee smells out of carpet fibers and backing. Focus on promptly treating affected areas and breaking down stubborn uric acid crystals.

For best results, use an enzyme-based commercial cleaner formulated to eliminate pet and human urine odors. Or call a professional carpet cleaner for a deep clean if home remedies are unsuccessful. With some effort, your carpets can look and smell fresh once again.

At Eagle’s Eye Carpet Cleaning, we specialize in removing tough urine stains and odors from carpets. Our trained technicians use professional-grade cleaners and powerful truck-mounted equipment to deep clean your carpets and eliminate embarrassing pee smells.

For a free quote on carpet urine odor removal services, please call us today at (555) 555-1234. We service homes and businesses in the local area. Our highly rated upholstery cleaning services can also get urine smells out of sofas, chairs, mattresses, and other furnishings.

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