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How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpet Without Vinegar? 5 Methods

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

labrador puppy lying near wet spot

How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpet Without Vinegar? 5 Methods

There are a lot of ways to tackle dog urine odors. One of the most common ways is with vinegar, which overpowers the smell and destroys the bacteria that cause the odor. However, vinegar also smells very strong, so it makes sense that some people may not want to use it.

Also, you may simply not have any vinegar on hand, which may also make you look around for different ideas.

Luckily, we’ve found other ways that you can remove this odor without utilizing vinegar. Keep reading for some of our suggestions!

The 5 Ways to Get Dog Pee Out of Carpet Without Vinegar

1. Baking Soda

woman holding baking soda
Image Credit: Dragon Images, Shutterstock

Baking soda is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the bacteria that cause odors. However, it does work best if the stain is still wet when you do this method as the baking soda requires liquid to work.

Baking soda works by sucking up the liquid which allows it to stop the odor, but without any liquid, it doesn’t do much.

You can rehydrate the stains with warm water and then use baking soda, though. We recommend vacuuming up as much of the residue as possible, rehydrating it, and then pouring on the baking soda. While the baking soda soaks up the liquid around it, it will fight the bacteria as well.

Wait for the baking soda to soak up the liquid and then dry. Then, you can vacuum up the baking soda and the odor that goes with it.

You don’t want to overdo the baking soda. Just spread it over the spot in a thin layer. You can always add more later, but too much baking soda may interfere with the pile’s ability to soak up the liquid. Therefore, you want to use just a little. If it doesn’t seem to be soaking everything up, then you can add more later.

Preferably, leave the baking soda to soak up the liquid overnight as it can take quite a few hours for the liquid to be soaked up completely.

2. Use a Wet-Dry Vacuum

person vacuuming carpet
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

You can soak up quite a bit of the water and other liquids with the vacuum. While you can always blot the liquid with a paper towel, it is best that you utilize a vacuum when you can. A vacuum has tons of suction power which will help you suck up as much of the bacteria and odor-causing liquids as you can.

With that said, a wet-dry vacuum isn’t something that everyone just has lying around. If the smell is particularly bad (or you have a lot of space to cover), you can always rent a vacuum, which usually doesn’t cost too much money.

If you don’t want to use vinegar, utilizing one of these vacuums is usually your next best option.

3. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Spray cleaner
Image Credit:, Unsplash

Most cleaners don’t work directly on odors because they don’t fight the bacteria that cause them. While they may remove much of the stain they don’t necessarily fight the odor.

If you want a cleaner that fights the odor directly, you’ll need to purchase an enzymatic cleaner. This sort of cleaner is best for odors, as it contains enzymes that eat the bacteria. These enzymes go a long way to remove the bad odor.

You can find these cleaners online and at most pet stores. They are extremely inexpensive in most cases, costing about the same as other cleaners even though they have extra enzymes added.

We recommend that all pet owners have these cleaning products on standby as you’ll often need these special cleaners as soon as your dog has an accident.

When shopping for pet cleaners, be sure that the ones you purchase are enzymatic. Not all cleaners are designed for pets, so you must make sure.

If you are interested in an all-natural ezyme cleaner, our favorite is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. It does an excellent job of successfully lifting set-in stains and odors the first time without odor masking. It's available in 3 light scent options - Neutral, Citrus Splash, and Floral Fresh. Best of all, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee - click here to learn more. 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
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At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!

4. Soak Up as Much as Possible

Cleaning Carpet
Image Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

While the exact type of cleaning process you perform is very important, soaking up as much of the urine as possible is vital too. After all, if it sits there it can cause the area to stink, even if you use other cleaners. A cleaner’s job is to remove the bacteria that are left behind. To make the cleaner’s job as easy as possible, you want to remove as much of the bacteria as possible.

Therefore, we highly recommend adding extra water to soak up the urine before attacking it with a cleaner. The more urine you soak up, the easier it will be for the cleaner to work.

If you come upon a new accident, this process is quite easy. Just soak it up with paper towels or with a vacuum. However, if the accident is already dry by the time you come across it, then you should rehydrate it with warm water and soak up as much of the urine as you can.

5. Use a Blacklight

ultraviolet light uv lamp on a table
Image Credit: Andrey Sukhachev, Shutterstock

Utilizing a blacklight is essential if you don’t know exactly where the odor comes from. If you don’t clean the correct spot, then the smell isn’t going to go away – even if you use the best cleaning products out there!

Luckily, a blacklight can be extremely helpful in this situation, as it will show you exactly where the odor is. It isn’t unusual for dogs to “splatter” their urine around, which can leave stains in multiple places. Even if you clean the largest stain, the smaller stains around it can continue to smell unless they are cleaned too.

If you can, use a blacklight to help you find all of the urine and to help ensure that you’ve cleaned it properly.

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There are quite a few ways to get rid of urine odors without using vinegar.

One of the most important parts of getting rid of urine smells is to clean up all of the pee. Therefore, you may need to blot the area with a paper towel, rewetting it if necessary. If you have a wet-dry vacuum, then this can be a huge help as vacuums can remove way more urine than a paper towel can.

To ensure that you’re finding all of the urine, we recommend utilizing a blacklight. This can make locating the stains much easier and ensure that you’re hitting all the spots.

After you’ve removed as much urine as possible and used a blacklight, you can use baking soda to help resolve any odors left behind. An enzymatic cleaner also works well at this stage.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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