How to Get Pet Stains Out of Carpet

How to Get Pet Stains Out of Carpet

Owning a pet is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. It is also hard work and requires dedication. Toilet training can be one of the hardest aspects of owning a pet. It doesn’t matter how well trained your pet is, there will always be accidents. These little accidents can leave nasty stains and smells in different areas of your home. While they may be easy to deal with on hard floors, pet stains on carpets are another matter altogether.

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Not only do puppy accidents leave stains, but they also leave smells that only get worse over time. The main cause of the smell that comes from urine is ammonia. Even if you cannot smell it to begin with, your pet can and will return to the same site to leave further messes. Over time, ammonia left untreated can make a room unbearable. It can leave your eyes stinging and your throat burning. So, if you are wondering how to get pet poop stains out of carpet or need to know how to deal with urine stains and the lingering smell, then read on.

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Cute cat lying on carpet

Timing Is Key

The longer you leave a pet stain on carpet, the harder it is to remove, and the greater the risk that your pet will consider that spot on the carpet as their new toilet area. Always pick poop up immediately and deal with pet urine stains as soon as you find them to avoid this from happening. Where you cannot clean it up straight away, try to keep your pet away from it. Not only will this help stop any reinforcement of the area as a new toilet, but it will also help stop them from spreading the stain by walking through it.

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Blot Don’t Scrub

As frustrating as it is when you find a pet poop or urine stain, it is important that you do not scrub at it. Doing this can spread the stain further and push it deeper into the carpet fibers. One of the keys to successful stain removal is blotting. Use a paper towel to cover the stain and press down. Once the paper towels are no longer absorbing the pet urine, replace them with fresh pieces. Keep going until the area is as dry as you can make it.

Dog leaving muddy paw prints on carpet

Use a Suitable Stain Cleaner

Typical household stain cleaners are not designed for removing pet stains from carpets. They will often mask rather than remove the smell. While you may no longer be able to smell the urine, your pet’s more sensitive nose will still track it down. Many stain removers are actually ammonia-based. These will reinforce, rather than remove the smell and can confuse young puppies and kittens while they are toilet training. General stain cleaners may also contain chemicals that are unsafe for use around your pets. Remember that the chemicals can remain even after the stains are gone. Choose a pet stain cleaner to avoid this issue. High-quality pet stain cleaners include enzymes that are designed to break down the stain and the smell and remove it completely. For best results, use as soon as you can after finding the mess and always follow the instructions on the bottle. If you are using a stain remover for the first time, ensure that you complete a patch test somewhere it won’t be seen. This allows you to check whether the product is color-safe on your carpet.

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Avoid Steam Cleaning

A steam carpet cleaner is a great way to keep your carpets clean and to kill the bacteria that are often found living in the carpet pile. However, they are not recommended for pet stain removal. Steam cleaners can enhance the smell of the urine spreading it around the room and potentially throughout your home. The steam can also bond the proteins that cause the smell and make it a permanent feature. Deal with the stain effectively first with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a store brought pet stain remover, and then steam clean your carpet to deal with everyday dirt.

Woman cleaning carpet at home

Home Made Cleaners

If you find fresh pet stains and are all out of your favorite pet stain cleaner, do not reach for your general cleaner as an alternative. It is much better to gather a few general household ingredients and make your own pet stain cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean your carpet and get any remaining residue out of the fibers. Ensure that you keep your pet clear of the area while you are cleaning. Alternatively, gather together white vinegar, baking soda, paper towels, and something to cover the stain to stop people and animals walking over it.

Start by blotting the area to remove as much of the urine as possible. Next, pour or spray vinegar over the affected area. You want to make it wet again, but not soggy. Now shake baking soda over the top. You should hear fizzing or crackling sounds, this is the vinegar and baking soda reacting to each other and getting to work. Now you need to leave the concoction to dry. This usually takes about a day. If the stain is in a high-volume area cover it with a plate or something similar. This will stop people and pets from disturbing the baking soda.

Once the baking soda is dry, simply sweep or vacuum the excess and enjoy the fresh smell and stain-free carpet. If you are trying this for the first time patch test on an area of carpet that is not generally visible. If you are worried about the vinegar leeching the color out of your carpet, you can dilute it in a spray bottle with water to create a half and half solution.

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Of course, the best way to eliminate pet carpet stains and odor is to avoid them in the first place. Early toilet training is vital for puppies and kittens. Ensure that they know exactly where they are supposed to go to the toilet. Take puppies out regularly to their space and ensure that kittens can access their litter boxes easily. Accidents will still happen and when they do it is important to deal with them calmly and quickly. Follow the cleaning tips above and you should be able to reduce repeat offending and keep your home clean, smelling pleasant, and stain free.

You may also like our guide on: 8 Ways To Get Dog Hair Out Of Your Car


  1. How to Get Rid of Dog Urine in Carpet, HowStuffWorks
  2. How to Remove Pet Stains From Carpet, WebMD
  3. Amy Sinatra Ayres, Experts and Readers Share Surefire Tips for Getting Pet Stains Out of Carpet, Vetstreet
  4. How To Remove Pet Stains And Odors, The Humane Society

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