From kittenhood excitement to senior dog incontinence, you’re bound to encounter some accidental pet stains. Discovering your furball standing proudly over a patch of pee may inspire dread and frustration, but acting calmly and quickly is your best route forward. Here’s how to remove pet stains and persistent odours caused by well-meaning pets. 

cleaning pet stains

Carpet or Furniture Upholstery

You’ve heard it from your mother and now you’re going to hear it from us: dab, don’t rub! Soak up excess urine with a microfiber or absorbent cloth and be careful to pat the stain lightly, as pressure will cause the liquid to spread. If you have one, a wet-dry vacuum is a good tool for sucking up the remaining moisture. 

Clean the stain with plain, cool water. Use an enzymatic cleaner to break the waste down on a molecular level. If you don’t have a specialized cleaner on hand, vinegar mixed into a spray bottle of water will do the trick. Although a 1:1 ratio is often suggested, attempt a more diluted solution if you’re worried about damaging fragile upholstery. Repeat the first step, blotting with water, to cleanse the surface of the cleaner or solution. 

If still the smell persists, a ¼ cup of baking soda left on the stain overnight can soak up the remaining odour. Vacuum the baking soda the following day.

Purr Tip: If you are potty-training, leave urine-soaked cleaning cloths in the desired bathroom area/litter box.

cleaning pet stains

Machine Washable Fabrics

A blanket or your favourite t-shirt are good candidates for this method. 

Wash the stain under cold, running water. Although hot may feel instinctually correct, it’s important to start with cold water because heat can set the stain, rendering it more difficult to remove. 

Run your items through the laundry machine with no detergent, keeping the temperature cool. Instead, add either vinegar or baking soda to the wash load. We’ve all done the grade school science project involving a volcanic result from vinegar and baking soda. Both are effective options, but make a choice and use only one. 

Launder your items a second time with a heavy-duty detergent, now using the highest temperature allowable for the garment. 

cleaning pet stains


Whether your leather’s for lounging on or looking cool on a bike, don’t lose hope if your pet stains it. 

Blot remaining moisture with an absorbent cloth. As always, stay nimble and don’t press the stain further into the fabric. 

Mix a DIY solution of mild soap and water, then shake the bottle to generate suds. Do not spray or pour the solution directly on the spot. Instead, apply a thin layer of only soap suds. Use a sponge to pat the area with your bubbly cleanser and lift pet waste. Wash with a clean, damp towel to remove soap and wipe it dry. This method will clean undesirable pet stains but it will also strip moisture, so decide if treating your item with a leather conditioner is necessary to restore natural oils. 

cleaning pet stains


Your pup has had an accident right on your beautiful hardwood floors. While a baking soda-vinegar mix may erupt in your washing machine, the combination proves efficient on wood. Sprinkle baking soda directly on the damp spot and use a sponge to lightly dab it. Once excess urine has been absorbed, spritz your trusty vinegar-water solution onto the area. Wood is porous and can be finicky, so a very diluted solution is recommended to avoid damaging your flooring with the acidic vinegar. Promptly wipe up the foam to prevent water-logging the surface. 

A natural enzymatic cleaner could be a great option in this instance, but make sure the label specifies being safe on wood.

cleaning pet stains

Lingering Odour, Invisible Stain

Weeks later, the unpleasant smell still hits you like a brick wall when you enter the room. Unsure of the source? Try keeping a UV flashlight on hand. The UV light will illuminate the phosphorus in urine, and unveil hard-to-find stains. Turn off your lights and check high-traffic areas. 

Suns Out Smells Out

Weather permitting, consider line drying your items (with the exception of leather). The sun is naturally bacteria-killing and deodorizing, perfect for any last lingering smells and less damaging than hot and hardy machine dryers. 

Check out more cleaning Tips on how to keep your home tidy under a fur and flea occupation.