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How to Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of a Car: 4 Easy Steps

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

How to Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of a Car: 4 Easy Steps

Potty training your dog is an essential part of being a dog owner. At home, when properly trained, you won’t have to worry about your dog going potty where he shouldn’t. But no matter how trained a dog is, accidents may happen, especially during stressful situations, including car rides.

When your fur baby does have an accident, you want to get it cleaned as quickly as possible to get rid of the odor that may linger in your car. Here, we will go through the steps on what to do.


The 4 Steps How to Get Dog Pee Smell & Stains Out of Your Car

1. Soak Up the Liquid

First things first, you want to clean and get rid of the pee on the surface of your interior by soaking up as much liquid as possible. When soaking up the liquid, it is important to keep the car aired out by opening the doors and windows to provide ventilation for the smell.

Car seats made of cloth materials such as nylon and polyester tend to be more absorbent than leather seats, so rubbing the surface may cause the liquid to push further down the material. Blotting the surface with a towel is recommended by lightly pressing the fabric on the surface to remove excess moisture.

man cleaning car seat
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

2. Clean the Surface

After soaking as much liquid as possible, it is time to clean the affected surface. You can purchase an enzyme cleaner specific to the material of your car seat commercially, or you can simply make your own! For cloth seats, a cleaning solution can easily be made with 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and vinegar each. For leather seats, mixing water with mild detergent should do the trick.

Apply the cleaner to the affected area by lightly spraying it with a spray bottle. You can also dip a cloth in the cleaner and lightly dab the area with it.

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3. Dry the Interior

When drying the area with a cleaner, use the same strategy used when soaking up the pee in step one. With a towel, soak up any excess liquid by lightly patting the area.

You can also air dry by leaving the car with the windows open. Car seats with cloth-based materials may take longer to dry due to how porous they are compared to leather. To speed up the drying process, you can also sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the area when letting it air dry, and then later vacuum.

man cleaning car seat
Image By: peeonelove, Pixabay

4. Manage the Smell

Properly cleaning and drying the affected area should generally do the trick, especially if an enzyme cleaner is used. But for some cases, this may not be enough, and the odor may persist. Here are a few ways on how to remove the unwanted smell:

Odor Absorbers

Baking soda is a common remedy to get rid of unwanted odors in enclosed spaces such as the inside of a refrigerator or a car. Placing baking soda in a cup and leaving it overnight should absorb the odor. This may have to be repeated several times if the odor persists.

If you do not have baking soda, there are other alternatives to baking soda that can be used to absorb smell using the same procedure. These include charcoal briquets, bread on a dish towel, and coffee grounds.

Spray-Based Odor Removers

White vinegar is considered one of the best odor removers and is commonly used when managing unwanted smells. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray on the affected area. When the solution dries, the smell should be reduced or completely removed.

Another popular odor remover is the use of vodka, which acts as an air freshener. Like vinegar, mix equal parts vodka and water in a spray bottle and leave it to dry. Remember to keep the windows open when letting the spray dry for ventilation.

Other Methods

Other methods that can be used would include the use of carpet cleaners, wet and dry vacuum cleaning, and steam cleaning for a deep clean of the fabric and material inside the car.




There are ways that you can avoid or minimize the occurrence of such an accident by having your dog go potty before the car ride or maybe putting blankets or pads on the surface where your dog will sit.

When your dog has an accident like this, it’s important to understand that your dog does not mean it, and these things can be unavoidable, especially in a stressful situation such as a car ride. As a dog owner, it is important to be prepared with how to clean after your pet and to avoid your car from smelling!

Featured Photo Credit: borevina, Pixabay

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