Welcome to my article about how to clean dried cat urine from carpets!
Cats make terrific pets, but when they pee on the carpet, they may be working your last nerve.
Cat urine isn’t easy to get out when it’s wet and when it’s dry, it’s even harder.
But while removal isn’t easy, it is possible.
Below I’ll go through my top 5 methods for removing dried cat urine from your carpet, along with reasons why cats may pee on the carpet to begin with, and ways to prevent this.
But first, let’s discuss why cat urine smells so bad to begin with, and how you can locate the mess in order to clean it.
Table of Contents
Why Does Cat Urine Smell So Bad?
Cat urine may fade in time, but it can smell terrible for months. Why is this?
Well, cat urine is a metabolic waste that contains urea and other substances.
After a while, bacteria breaks down the urea releasing mercaptans which further contribute to the odor.
Urine coming from male cats will smell even worse due to steroids.
Older cat’s urine will also be smelly due to possible sickness and an accumulation of elements in the body.
How to Spot Cat Urine
Say you went away for the day and when you come back, the house smells of urine.
You know the cat peed on your carpet, but where?
Most of the time you will be able to figure out where the urine is by tracing the smell.
In other instances, you may notice a discoloration on your carpet. It will usually be lighter where the cat went.
Another solution is to open the curtains and let the sunlight in.
The rays will produce a flash of pollution which leaves no doubt as to where the urine is located.
You can also darken the room and scan the carpet with a flashlight.
If you see shiny particles, you will have located the stain.
Why Is It So Hard to Clean Cat Urine From Carpet?
Your carpet is thick and consists of many layers.
The first is the fiber that makes up the top part, but there is also padding and a mat.
Since urine is liquid, it immediately starts absorbing into the layers.
It’s essential that you get all layers clean to get rid of the odor.
Can Cat Urine Ruin the Carpet?
Yes. If cat pee is left on the carpet, it can do permanent damage.
It can get to the subflooring and cause the floorboards to rot.
Is Cat Urine Bad for Your Health?
Cat urine may be harmful to people who have allergies or respiratory issues.
The smell alone may be enough to affect health, but it will be even more hazardous if bacteria grows on the urine, which could happen.
The urine can also sink into the floorboards and cause mold to develop and produce an unhealthy environment in the home.
How to Clean Dried Cat Urine From A Carpet
If you catch the urine early enough, you may be able to absorb it with a towel right away.
Then you can use a vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner to work out the rest.
But if the urine is already dry, getting it out can be challenging.
Thankfully, there are still a few different methods you can try to remove it. Here are some of the best I recommend.
Note: Before trying any of these methods, make sure you spot test them on a small, inconspicuous piece of carpet first to ensure your carpet isn’t damaged by them.
Vinegar and Water
Mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply it to the stain until it is wet, but not soaked.
Wait about 30 minutes, then use a cloth to remove as much of the urine as possible.
The vinegar will eliminate the odor, but you may need to repeat the process a few times before it is effective.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
This process will work well as a standalone method, and it can also be used as a follow up to a vinegar and water treatment.
Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the stain.
Then mix a solution of ¼ cup peroxide with 1 tsp dish detergent and spray or spread it over the baking soda.
Scrub it in with a toothbrush and let it dry. Then remove the residue.
Carbonated water will work on very fresh stains only.
It makes a good alternative to vinegar as it will not fill the house with a vinegar-y smell.
To use it, just pour it over the stain and rub it with a towel. Repeat if necessary.
There are several commercial products that are designed to get rid of cat urine.
They cause an enzymic reaction speeding up the chemical process of breaking up urea.
It’s important to note that enzymes lose their effectiveness in time so you will have to act quickly when using these products.
Here are some suggestions for the commercial products you can use:
- Enzyme treatments will neutralize cat urine odors and stains. Use according to package directions. Repeat if necessary.
- Combined products which contain enzymes and genetically modified bacteria. These are among the most effective products you can buy.
- Oxygen cleaners will also be effective. Test them on a small portion of the carpet before proceeding with treatment.
- Deep cleaning which will require shampoos, special vacuums, and steam cleaners. You may want to call in an expert if you decide to go this route.
A Washing Machine
If the carpet is small enough, such as an area rug, you may be able to wash it in the washing machine.
Add vinegar to the softener to ensure stains and odors are removed.
How To Keep Your Cat From Urinating On The Carpet
Being able to clean up the mess is good, but the best way to avoid cat urine on your carpet is to prevent your cat from peeing there in the first place.
There are a few ways you can keep this from happening. Here are some suggestions.
- Identify the Cause: Figure out why your cat urinated on the carpet in the first place. If it was caused by a medical issue, the right treatment may prevent your cat from doing it again. It will also boost their wellbeing.
- Associate the Area with Something Else: Once your cat urinates on the carpet, they may begin to see it as their new litter box. You can change this way of thinking by having them associate the area with something else. For example, if you put a play toy or their food in the place they urinated, they may not want to pee there anymore.
- Special Training: In some cases, you may need to bring in a specialist to train your cat not to pee on the carpet.
- Make Sure Your Litter Box is Set Up Properly: Place the litter box in a tranquil area of the home. Make sure it’s not too small for your cat and clean it regularly.
How To Clean Dried Cat Urine From Carpet: Conclusion
Unfortunately every cat owner may experience cat urine on their carpet at some time or another.
It’s important to remember that cats never mean any ill-will when they urinate on the carpet, they’re just carrying out their natural functions without realising it’s in a bad place.
However with the methods above, you should now be able to deal with any messes your cat may leave quickly and effectively, enabling you to enjoy having your cat around at all times.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article! Here are some related articles you may also like to read:
About The Author: Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Mom of 2 and I love DIY hacks, home decor ideas and non-toxic cleaning tips. I created this website to share my knowledge with a community of like-minded people who love simple, easy and safe ways to keep their home clean and inspiring. I hope you enjoy!