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How To Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of Clothes and Fabrics: Tips & Prevention Tricks

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

How To Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of Clothes and Fabrics: Tips & Prevention Tricks

Keeping your home clean with a new dog in the house can be challenging, and some canines take several weeks or longer to adapt to potty training. What do you do when your pet urinates on clothing or fabrics?

Luckily, you do not have to seek professional help unless the soiled garment is silk or another dry-cleaned fabric. Most of the chemicals used to eliminate uric acid from dog pee are probably part of your standard household supplies.

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Before You Start

Depending on the age of the stain, you may have to treat the soiled garment several times. You can purchase additional items already stocked at your home to ensure the cleaning projects do not drain your household supplies. Although DIY treatments are much cheaper than professional cleaning, the enzymatic cleaners cost much more than baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.

We suggest trying the inexpensive methods using ordinary products before purchasing the enzymatic products. However, enzymatic cleaners typically require fewer applications than hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

Here is what you’ll need to battle dog urine:
  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Microfiber towel
  • Paper towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Enzymatic detergent
  • Enzymatic fabric cleaner
  • 16-ounce spray bottle
  • Wet/dry vacuum

When shopping for vinegar, avoid buying red wine products or ones with added seasoning or flavors. White distilled vinegar will not stain fabric like other types, and it’s one of the cheapest varieties on the market.

Removing Urine from Clothes

These methods remove urine odors, but we suggest using the vinegar and water treatment for fresh stains and trying the hydrogen peroxide solution or enzymatic cleaner on dried stains.

1. Vinegar and Detergent

Photo Credit By: NatureFriend, Pixabay

If you have other clothes to wash, it’s better to wait until you’ve finished cleaning the soiled garments to prevent uric acid from seeping into other items. First, set your washer to the cold water setting and add the soaked clothes. Add 1 cup of vinegar and wash on the spin cycle.

When the cycle ends, add laundry detergent to the washer and use the hottest water setting to allow the detergent to saturate the garments thoroughly. If you still detect an odor, you can soak the clothes in ½ cup of vinegar mixed with ½ cup of water and let them soak overnight. Wash the clothes the next day with only detergent and hot water. Although vinegar can eliminate the urine smell, you may have to repeat the process several times until the odor is gone.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Selective focus of hydrogen peroxide solution in brown amber bottle
Photo Credit By:, Shutterstock

Dried stains often require a more reactive substance to remove urine odors, and you can mix 1 ¼ cups of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent and 2 tablespoons of baking soda for a potent urine remover. However, this solution can stain clothes if it sits too long, and it helps to set a 60-minute timer to prevent color changes.

Place the dirty clothes in a plastic tub or container and saturate them with the hydrogen peroxide mixture. You can check if the smell is gone before the 1-hour mark; minor accidents take less time to sanitize than large urine stains. If the odor is gone, rinse the garments in cold water immediately. Wash the clothes in cold water on the spin cycle and dry accordingly.

3. Enzymatic Detergent

laundry detergent
Photo Credit By: New Africa, Shutterstock

Enzymatic detergent is a few dollars more than premium laundry detergents like Tide, but it’s more effective than previous techniques. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for using the correct portion and wash the clothes in cold water. If any smell remains, you can repeat the process, but most premium detergents will remove the urine proteins and odors in a single wash.

The only drawback of enzymatic products is the shelf life. Unlike hydrogen peroxide, enzymatic chemicals lose their effectiveness after 6 months.

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Removing Urine from Fabric

Washable fabrics like dog bed covers and blankets can be cleaned in the washer with the same chemicals used for washing clothes, but non-washable materials require another approach. Although the steps seem identical to those for clothes, the third step uses enzymatic cleaner rather than detergent. Try not to get the two mixed up because the cleaner may be too powerful for delicate garments.

1. Vinegar and Detergent

white vinegar on the wooden table top
Image By: focal point, Shutterstock

This technique works best on wet stains. First, use the wet vac to remove the liquid. If you do not have a wet vac, you can use paper towels or a microfiber towel to absorb the urine. With a towel, you should only apply light pressure and blot the stain. Scrubbing the stain will force the uric acid particles deeper into the fabric.

Next, mix 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Dip a towel in the mixture and carefully blot the stain. Wait for 10 minutes, then clean the area with a wet towel. Check for scents and repeat the process if any smell remains.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Baking Soda
Image By: Monfocus, Pixabay

For dried stains, mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 ¼ cups hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

You may have to test the solution on a small piece of fabric to ensure it will not affect the color. Spray the site and let it sit for 1 hour. Then, rinse the stain by blotting it with a wet towel until all the detergent is removed. Let it air dry and repeat if any smell remains.

3. Enzymatic Cleaner

Spray bottle
Image By: Squirrel_Photos, Pixabay

Enzymatic products remove odors by eliminating the proteins that cause them. Most cleaners do not require you to rinse the stain with water, but some take several minutes or hours to treat the stain and remove the smell. Follow the company’s directions closely and repeat if you detect a trace of urine.

If you're looking for an all-in-one enzyme cleaner, we highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
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It eliminates tough stains and odors easily. Plus, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order now.

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Preventing Your Pet from Marking Your Home

Minor accidents are likely to occur with a new pup in your family, but your clothes and other belongings can take a beating if your pet frequently marks them with urine.

1. Spend More Time Outdoors

A pee-soaked garment is not a welcome sight, but it may mean that your dog needs to spend more time outside. Most dogs are fine with a morning or evening walk, but new dogs often experience anxiety until they get used to your routines. Let your dog play outside for longer, or add a nightly walk before bed, ensuring that they have time to urinate outside before coming indoors.

a beagle dog peeing on grass
Image By: kolokoso, Shutterstock

2. Have Your Dog Fixed

Getting your pet neutered or spayed can reduce the likelihood of indoor accidents. Males are more likely to mark their territory indoors than females, but ladies in heat tend to urinate inside more than spayed dogs. Neutering and spaying also minimize escapes and keep your pet from chasing after other unfixed canines in your neighborhood.

3. Use Enzymatic Products

If you used vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solutions to clean a urine stain, you could use an enzymatic product to sanitize the area. Unlike standard fabric and garment cleaners, enzymatic formulas do not contain ammonia. Ammonia-based products will only mask an odor, and the ammonia may convince your canine to mark the fabric again.

4. Visit the Doctor

If your pet urinates inside frequently, the problem may be related to a medical issue. When you speak to a veterinarian, mention how many times your dog urinates and any issues they have with appetite, exercise, or sleep. Possible causes of excessive urination include diabetes, urinary infections, kidney disease, or bladder stones.

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Final Thoughts

Dogs provide us with infinite love and companionship, but sometimes their bathroom etiquette makes us dash for the cleaning supplies. Cleaning up after our pets is an unfortunate part of being a devoted pet parent, but it’s much easier when you rely on the practical methods we discussed.

Random accidents are likely to occur occasionally, but a complete veterinary checkup and urinalysis are required when your dog urinates multiple times indoors.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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