LARGER IMAGE - of this source of Cat dander and dog dander from pets living indoors can be a problem for people with allergies and asthma. How to Remove Pet & Other Animal or Human Odors, & Smells Inside or At Buildings

  • ANIMAL or URINE ODOR REMOVAL - CONTENTS: How to remove animal odors, pet urine odors, or human urine odors from building interiors or exteriors. How to remove human urine odors from buildings or clothes. Cleaning Suggestions for Removal of Pet Odors & Pet Urine Indoors
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about about how to remove pet, other animal, or human urine & other odors & smells inside or outside buildings

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How to remove or clean off animal smells, urine, stains inside or outside of buildings: this article provides suggestions for cleaning off or removing animal or human odor removal from building interiors, building exterior surfaces, from soils around buildings or from urine-odor smelly clothing, bedding, and other soft goods.

This article series explains how to stop, get rid of & prevent future pet or other animal odors from buildings due to pet urine, pet feces, wild animal urine, or even human urine on and around buildings or on clothing and other soft materials.

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Cleaning Suggestions for Removal of Pet Odors & Pet Urine Indoors

Exploring below stained smelly carpeting (C) Daniel FriedmanHere we describe how to remove smells & odors traced to human or animal urine.

  • Wash or dry-clean soft goods that are not going to be disposed-of.
    See Urine Odor Enzymes, Detergents & Odor Removers below.
  • Couches and wall to wall carpets are very difficult to fully clean; try steam cleaning; inspect carpet padding below carpets and replace it if it's stained or smelly;
  • Concrete surfaces such as basement or garage floors where a pet peed or pooped will need to be cleaned, perhaps disinfected, dried, and probably sealed.
  • Inspect wood flooring or sub-flooring below pet-stained carpets - the wood surfaces may also have absorbed urine and will need cleaning and possibly sealing with a clear sealant. we have found it nearly impossible to sand-out serious pet stains on finished wood flooring - sometimes the stains and dark oxidized wood has penetrated too deeply. Such badly stained flooring would need to be replaced or sealed.
  • Drywall that has been peed-on by a pet is very difficult to clean successfully unless the urine was minimal. If minimal, cleaning with a pet odor remover and painting with an odor-sealing paint might work. Otherwise you'll need to cut and remove the drywall and replace it.
  • Floor or wall cavities, including ceilings below a pet-peed-on floor above, may contain building insulation which has become wet with urine. If you cannot remove animal odor from a wall or floor or from a room below a pet-stained floor, it may be useful to cut a test opening through drywall closest to the stained area to inspect for odors or urine penetration. Remove any smelly or stained insulation, clean and seal the building cavity before installing new insulation and finish surfaces.
  • Deodorizer powders and bags of "odor absorbing" materials may help a bit, but in our opinion it makes a lot more sense to find the source of an odor and remove it - urine, dead animals, feces, dirty litter box, than to leave the source and try to absorb the odor.
  • Odor eliminating chemicals and washes for dog or cat urine: we've experimented with odor eliminating sprays and cleaners to remove pet urine odors from floors and carpets with mixed success. Often we could remove the odor enough that humans did not detect any remaining unpleasant smells. But in some cases the dog or cat returned to the same location again.
  • Pet repelling chemicals: in that case products that include an odorizer that discourages an animal from urinating in the same spot may help.
  • Some sources recommend baking soda alone as an odor removal treatment for dog or cat pee. We have rarely found this material sufficient for animal urine; more serious cleaners and in cases pet odor removers and neutralizers were needed.
  • Free dog or cat urine deodorization formula: several pet owners have written to describe versions of a simple do-it-yourself procedure that they report often has good results. The procedure may work for treating urine from other animals as well.
    • If the urine spot is on carpeting, lift the carpeting to determine if urine has soaked through the padding and onto the floor below. If so, we recommend discarding the urine-soaked area of carpet padding and cleaning the floor surface. The steps below might permit you to save the carpeting - you'll need to buy, cut, and install a new square of carpet padding to replace the padding you removed. If you try these steps without exploring below the carpeting you may not be as successful as urine may have soaked deeply into the padding and even the subflooring
    • Blot up as much of the urine as you can - we just use paper towels
    • Soak the urine spot with a dilute vinegar solution ( 3 parts water to one part household vinegar)
    • Blot up the vinegar mixture and let the spot dry
    • Baking soda: sprinkle baking soda on the urine-spot

      Up to this point it's unlikely that any bleaching or discoloration problems will have arisen from these steps. But the next step, because it includes an oxidant, could whiten or bleach the surface, so try the remaining steps first on a small inconspicuous area:
    • Deodorizing solution: Mix ¾ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide together with 1 teaspoon of detergent (dish detergent or liquid laundry detergent will be fine), and apply this solution on top of the urine area that already has been powdered with baking soda.
    • Scrub: If the area being treated is carpeting use a soft brush to scrub the carpet lightly to work the solution into the carpet.
    • Dry & Vacuum: Let the solution dry and vacuum up the dust and debris from the urine-area
  • In buildings where pets are still resident:
    • Walk your dog: pets left alone for too long are the most likely to become habituated to relieving themselves indoors.
    • Careful management of cat litter boxes is important for both odor and sanitation; people who change the litter too infrequently can become inured to cat odors coming from the litter box - a smell source that will be more noticed by visitors. If your cat has stopped using the litter box it may be due to smelly cat litter that the cat just can't stand. When we were late changing our litter our cat would stand on the edge of the litter box to pee - she didn't want to set foot in the litter box unless it was clean. Peeing from the edge of the litter box was inaccurate.
    • Pet cages, including bird cages and dog crates need to be kept clean for the same reasons.
      Crate your dog during a training period, taking the dog outside frequently until you and the pet both know the schedule - most dogs will not urinate in their own crate unless they have been left alone for far too long, or perhaps if the animal is sick and incontinent (discuss this with your vet).
    • Dogs and cats will continue to re-visit and urinate on a building surface where the urine odor remains from previous crimes. If surface cleaners and pet odor removers prove inadequate to discourage the pet from urinating in the same spot, you'll need to combine use of a pet repellant chemical in that location with diligent toilet training and (in the case of cats) a clean litter box.
    • Other special deodorizing products may suit your less common pet, such as ferret waste odor removing chemicals and skunk odor removers.
  • Cleaning odors off of your pet itself: can require simple shampooing - use a pet shampoo or in an emergency, baby shampoo - keep soap out of pet eyes and away from delicate tissues such as a female animal's vagina. Special products are available from pet suppliers and from veterinarians if you need to remove skunk odors from your cat or dog. (We used to wash our skunked-dog in tomato juice - which was marginally effective.

This website provides articles on to diagnose, test, identify, and cure or remove a wide range of obnoxious or even toxic odors in buildings and in building water supply.

We discuss odors from a variety of sources including animals including pets, dogs, cats, or unwanted animals or dead animals, formaldehyde odors in buildings from building products or furnishings, plumbing drains, plastic or vinyl odors from building products, flue gases, oil tanks or oil spills, pesticides, septic odors, sewer gases, and even abandoned chemicals at properties. Thanks to reader Cathye Bunthoff for odor tracking suggestions.


Continue reading at URINE ODOR REMOVAL at BUILDING EXTERIOR or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

Or see

URINE ODOR REMOVAL in CLOTHING This article describes bacterial/enzyme based cleaners that may be extra effective in removing human or animal urine odors from clothing, diapers, bedding, towels, etc.

ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION for advice on finding the source of urine or animal smells at or in buildings, we give advice concerning the detection and removal of animal smells & odors from dogs, cats, or other pets.

Suggested citation for this web page

ANIMAL or URINE ODOR REMOVAL at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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