How to Remove Urine Smell + Treating Severe Urine Contamination
Both pet urine and human urine leave the body as an acidic fluid. Over time, the waste products and bacteria within the fluid break down into ammonia, and the smell worsens.
The longer urine sits on carpet, hardwood, or a cement floor without being treated, the more difficult it will be to remove both the stain and pee smell completely. Urine can even cause permanent damage, such as color bleaching on carpet or swelling of wood. This is why cleaning urine stains or spots as soon as possible is critical, no matter who or what they came from.
Professional cleaning services are always recommended for the best results — especially in severe cases where urine has been left untreated for extended periods or an animal has been allowed to resoil an area.
In the following article, Jon-Don offers three separate guides for treating varying levels of urine smell and contamination on carpets and other surfaces. Plus, a few tips for less-severe cases of dog or cat urine on carpet.
Household Products to Help Reduce Minor Urine Odor
For very minor urine stains and odors, a homemade solution may temporarily remedy the situation. Keep in mind, even minor urine deposits can create lasting, lingering odors if not treated immediately.
For a quick fix, try this:
- Blot up excess urine with a clean paper towel.
- Combine 2 cups of warm water, 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a spray bottle.
- Spray the affected area and let it dwell for a few minutes.
- Blot up the solution with a clean paper towel.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary until the odor is gone.
If the odor persists, call a professional cleaner to assess the situation and provide more thorough treatment services.
How to Remove Moderate Urine Odors
For moderate urine smell problems, the experts at Jon-Don have two methods professional cleaners can follow.
Option 1: Matrix® All‑in‑One Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Matrix® All-in-One is the newest advancement in carpet cleaning technology. This single product solution eliminates both stains and odors caused by urine, feces, vomit, and even that lingering "wet dog" smell. It also eliminates odors from other organic sources, including skunk, mildew, garbage, and more!
- Shake well before use (for best results,product should be room temperature).
- Thoroughly vacuum area to remove solid waste.
- FOR NORMAL CLEANING/DEODORIZATION: Dilute 1 part Matrix® All-in-One to 4 parts warm water (160°F) into a pump-up or inline sprayer. FOR SPOT TREATMENTS OR SEVERE URINE DEPOSITS: Dilute 1:1. Pour the desired amount of All-in-One into a container, pour an equal amount of warm water on top, cover with a warm cotton towel to trap moisture. Liberally apply prepared solution to affected carpet, concentrating on areas of heaviest soiling to force product into the padding.
- Allow to dwell for 30 minutes. A warm damp towel may be placed over the area to increase product performance. For severe odors, All-in-One can dwell for longer periods of time. Product will continue working as long as it remains moist.
- Extract the area with a non-peroxide-based detergent, such as Matrix® Finish First or Matrix® Confidence. A pre-spray is generally not required; however, one may be applied prior to extraction for heavily soiled areas.
Option 2: Matrix® Urine Preconditioner + Matrix® Bottom Line + Fresh Wave IAQ
The following six-step process alternates odor control chemical application with thorough rinsing and removal of liquids. For best results, it’s important to complete all of these steps in the order they’re written:
- Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any dry debris and soil. Then completely saturate the area with Matrix® Urine Preconditioner diluted per label instructions to break down the uric acid crystals. Allow at least 10 minutes of dwell time to dissolve the salts completely.
- Thoroughly extract the area using the Water Claw. While the vacuum is running, rinse the area around the Water Claw with a bucket of clean, warm water to flush excess salt residues away.
- Fully saturate the area with Matrix® Bottom Line Odor Eliminator undiluted. Allow 45 minutes of dwell time to give the enzymes time to digest the proteins and lipids (fats and oils) within the urine deposit.
- Thoroughly extract the area using the Water Claw. While the vacuum is running, rinse the area around the Water Claw with a bucket of clean, warm water to flush away the enzymes.
- Saturate the area with Fresh Wave IAQ Air and Surface Liquid undiluted. Allow 5 minutes dwell time.
- Apply the Water Claw to the area and remove as much liquid as possible until no more moisture is visible.
Technical tip: If the urine stain is no longer visible and you’re having trouble nailing down the source of the odor, you can use a black light to more easily find the contaminated area.
How to Remove Severe Urine Contamination Odors
For severe situations where an area has been left untreated for an extended period or an animal has repeatedly soiled a particular spot, you can perform a more intensive cleaning process using Matrix® Miracle Odor and Stain Remover.
- Dilute 8 oz (4 scoops) of Matrix® Miracle per gallon of the hottest water possible. Solution can be mixed into a 1- or 5-gallon bucket.
- Saturate the area by pouring the Matrix Miracle solution directly on the stained area. Remember, the urine stain below is typically twice the size as it appears on the surface, so thorough saturation is essential. Be mindful of the amount of solution that’s added to the carpet on the second floor of a home or wood subfloor. In these situations, only use enough solution to saturate the carpet padding and extract it after 15 minutes before reapplying.
- Agitate the area using a groomer or wand (with no solution or vacuum) to ensure penetration. Allow 30 minutes of dwell time.
Note: To use your time wisely, we recommend performing this procedure before any other task on a cleaning job (e.g., applying pre-spray, running hoses, removing a urine spot, making repairs, etc.) By the time those other tasks have been completed, the Miracle solution will have had enough dwell time.
- Without rinsing, thoroughly extract the area using a sub-surface/flood extraction tool.
- Dry the area thoroughly using an air mover, such as the Dri-Eaz Dri-Pod Floor Dryer.
How to Treat the Most Extreme Urine Contamination Odors
In some situations, the padding below the carpet has become so saturated with urine, that it must be removed and replaced. Be sure to follow IICRC guidelines for carpet and pad reinstallation when dealing with heavy and extreme urine contamination. Need training? Check out our IICRC carpet cleaning and restoration training courses.
- Begin by pulling back the carpet to expose the contaminated pad. Technician tip: Gently place the new carpet padding over the old pad and cut through both at the same time. This will ensure the replacement pad is the exact size needed. Don’t worry; a few moments of contact won’t contaminate the replacement pad.
- If the subfloor is contaminated, you will need to seal it to prevent odors from continually releasing. Here’s how:
- Apply Matrix® Urine Preconditioner diluted per label instructions to the subfloor. Rinse and wipe the area. Allow to dry completely.
- Seal the area using either a white or clear sealer.
- Add one to four ounces of Unsmoke Air Neutralizer to the seal.
Note: Stay away from water-based seals, as odor vapors can easily penetrate them and be released into the air.
- Create a temporary “bath” for the contaminated carpet using 6 mil plastic sheeting and painter's tape. Be sure to overlap the uncontaminated carpet padding by at least 6" to keep it from getting wet.
- Lay the carpet back over the plastic and prepare the Miracle solution described in the previous section.
- Apply the Miracle solution to the affected area. The average coverage for Miracle in this situation (no pad under the carpet) is 5 sq ft per gallon of ready-to-use solution.
- Use an unattached carpet wand like a squeegee to move the Miracle solution around and ensure proper coverage. Once it’s spread out, allow it to dwell for 30 minutes.
- Extract the front and back of the carpet using your wand or sub-surface/flood extraction tool to remove as much moisture from the carpet as possible.
- Now that decontamination is complete, cut the plastic sheeting to the same size as the carpet padding being replaced.
- Insert the new pad over the plastic sheeting and secure it in place with pad tape, then reinstall the carpet. Remember that the carpet backing is much weaker while it is wet and can be damaged easily during the reinstallation process.
After treating heavy or extreme urine contamination, the carpet may feel a bit stiff after it dries. To remedy this, thoroughly dry vacuum the affected area. If the carpet appears to be lighter in the shade where it was treated with Miracle, that indicates not enough solution was removed from the fibers and urine residue is still present. If that’s the case, lightly rinse the area with either clean water or acid rinse to fix the problem.
Check Out this Helpful Video:
How to Remove Pet Odor Stains with Matrix Miracle
Warning: Always test materials for colorfastness, follow label directions and never mix products unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.
The Best Products for Urine Odor Removal
For urine odor elimination and heavy to extreme contamination, try these recommended products and tools from the experts at Jon-Don:
Odor remover solutions:
- Matrix® Urine Pre‑Conditioner
- Matrix Bottom Line Pet Odor Eliminator
- Matrix® Miracle Odor and Stain Remover.
- Fresh Wave IAQ Air & Surface Spray
- Prochem Urine Rescue
- Unsmoke Air Neutralizer
Urine Odor and Contamination
Jon-Don offers a 1-day IICRC Odor Control Technician certification that covers a wide variety of odor removal challenges, from sewage and urine to smoke and dead animal odors. For available courses and schedules, visit our course page.