Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of Hardwood Floors: 6 Simple Steps

Written by: Chelsie Fraser

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cleaning materials on the floo

How to Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of Hardwood Floors: 6 Simple Steps


Dr. Nia Perkins  Photo


Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Nothing is quite like the smell of dog urine. As much as we try to minimize odors in our homes, one accident can lead to a lasting smell. Cleaning it can be tricky if it happens on a hardwood floor. After all, hardwood floors are expensive, and many cleaners can ruin their finish.

But that doesn’t mean you have to live with bad smells! These instructions will help you deodorize a urine smell—fresh or old—using common household ingredients. This cleaning method is gentle on floors, making it a great choice for wood flooring.

dogster face divider

Materials Needed

  • Cleaning rags and towels
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle
Cleaning supplies stored in shelf
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock


The 6 Steps to Getting Dog Urine Smells out of Hardwood Floors

1. Soak Up Liquids

If you have an old stain that still has lingering odors, you can skip this step. But if your stain is fresh, the first thing to do is to remove as much liquid as possible before cleaning. Soak up the liquid with a cleaning rag or towel and mop your floor using your usual cleaners. Sometimes catching the mess fast enough means that it won’t soak into the floor, leaving additional cleaning unnecessary, but it’s usually better to be safe than sorry.

2. Mix Cleaning Solution

Combine 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dish soap. Mix thoroughly and pour into an empty spray bottle. Urine can be acidic or basic depending on circumstances, and the vinegar will break down any basic compounds contributing to the odor. Vinegar can break down hardwood floor finishes over time, making it less than ideal for regular mopping, but it is a weak enough acid that it shouldn’t cause damage when used occasionally.

Cleaning spray
Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

3. Spray and Wipe Down Area

Spray the solution generously over the affected area. This solution is pretty easy on floors, so it’s better to spray too much than too little. Let it soak for about 15 minutes. Then use a clean cloth to wipe down the area and clean up any vinegar.

4. Add Baking Soda

The next step is to get rid of any lingering acids by using baking soda. Sprinkle it across the area you just sprayed. You can cover it with a towel to keep it from getting disturbed. Leave your baking soda overnight so that it has plenty of time to break down odors.

5. Clean Up Residue

In the morning, or after several hours, you can finish by sweeping up the baking soda and cleaning up any residue with a damp cloth. Your floor should now be odor-free and still in good condition.

6. If Needed, Repeat or Use Stronger Cleaners

Sometimes kitchen-based remedies don’t quite cut it for odor removal. Repeat cleanings can help get the last bits of odor, but even that isn’t always enough. If you’ve followed the steps above, a stronger cleaner might be needed. Hydrogen peroxide is another easy-to-get option for floor cleaning—just dampen a rag with peroxide and put it over the stain overnight.

You can also buy chemical cleaners designed for hardwood floors. These should have their instructions for how to clean your floor best. If you use a stronger cleaner than the vinegar solution above, test it in an inconspicuous spot first. Hydrogen peroxide and chemical cleaners can lighten or discolor hardwood floors.

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,...
  • FRESH, NATURAL ODOR - Our unique formulation doesn't rely on dangerous or unpleasant chemical...

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!


Preventing Future Accidents

We all hope that doggy accidents are one-off events, but sometimes they aren’t. Some dogs urinate in places they shouldn’t because of training, behavior, or even medical-related issues. Some dogs will go back to the site of an accident again and again because of the lingering smells. Figuring out why your dog is urinating on the floor will help you keep it from happening again. If you are not sure why your dog is having accidents, have them evaluated by their veterinarian to determine if there is a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

Dogs have a much keener sense of smell than humans, and they can use smell to find their restroom areas. If your dog is always going back to the same place, you might not be cleaning it well enough. Make sure that you clean the area thoroughly so that you don’t have any smells lingering.

If your dog is not completely potty trained, or they are not getting enough attention, they may have accidents. Introduce them to proper bathroom areas and give them treats for using preferred spots. Make sure that your dog is receiving proper attention and exercise.

Finally, many dogs have accidents because of a lack of opportunities to use the bathroom as well. If you are away from home for long periods, or your dog struggles to get outside in time, consider using pee pads or something similar to prevent accidents. Also consider hiring a dog walker to take your pup out when you know you will be away for a while. Your furry friend wants to make you happy—he just might need a little help getting there!

Featured Image Credit: Mariakray, Pixabay

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.