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3 Steps: How to Clean Pee Stains + Smells From Carpet

Luckily, there are several tried-and-true methods of cleaning pee out of carpets without expensive equipment or products. Here’s how to clean pee stains out of carpets with cleaning agents and tools you likely already have at home.

A dog standing on a rug in a kitchen with pee stains.
Photo credit: Envato Images.

Cleaning pee or diarrhea off of anything in your home is one of the most unpleasant tasks, almost as unpleasant as getting rid of maggots in your trash can. However, once you learn how and get the hang of it, the process will be quick and easy.

Pee stains are notoriously difficult to clean off carpets, especially if it’s your first time. Without proper treatment, urine can permanently damage the carpet fabrics, forcing you to either live with a glaring stain or replace the carpet entirely. 

If you don’t have the materials needed for these homemade solutions, they are easy to find at the grocery store or order online.

How to Clean Fresh Pee Stains Out of Carpets 

Whether you’re dealing with a toilet-training toddler, a less-than-housebroken pet, or an adult that had one too many drinks the night before, accidents happen—and carpets almost always take the brunt of it.

The secret to cleaning pee stains out of carpets is to remove them while still fresh. This is undoubtedly the best way to go for many carpet stains, including red stains and coffee stains too. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to get rid of the stain. 

Cleaning liquid, baking soda, and sponge on a table for removing stains from carpet.
Photo credit: Envato Images.

You’ll Need

  • Paper towels 
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves 
  • Cleaning brush (optional)
  • Shop vac (optional)

Step 1: Soak It Up 

Before doing anything else, your first step should be grabbing several paper towels and blot the urine from the carpet. Use as many paper towels as necessary. The goal here is to absorb as much urine as possible. 

Don’t rub the spot, as doing so will only spread the urine more. Instead, clean it with a patting motion. If you have access to a shop vac, use it to extract the remaining urine. 

Step 2: Make a Vinegar Solution 

In a small bowl, mix a solution of one part vinegar and one part water. Transfer this solution to a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the soiled area. Let the vinegar sit for five minutes, allowing it to work into the carpet’s fibers. 

If you’re dealing with a particularly bad pee stain, you’ll want to use higher concentrations, up to 100 percent vinegar. Just make sure to spot-test the vinegar in a small area of an unseen part of the carpet to ensure it’s safe to use without damaging or discoloring. 

Step 3: Add Baking Soda 

When the five minutes are up, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the affected area, then top it off with more of the vinegar solution from earlier. Mix the solution with a gloved hand or brush, rubbing it into the carpet’s fibers.

Alternatively, you can combine steps two and three and make a vinegar and baking soda carpet cleaner instead of applying them separately. Right away, you’ll notice the solution bubbling and crackling as it starts to lift the stain and urine scent from the carpet.  

Leave the solution to dry overnight. Once dry, thoroughly vacuum the carpet. 

And that’s it—you’ve successfully removed pee from your carpet! 

A bottle of cleaning spray and a pair of gloves on a wooden table, showing how to clean stains out of carpet.

How to Clean Old Pee Out of Carpets 

The vinegar and baking soda trick works just as well on old stains, though you have to use a bit of elbow grease to rub the stain out of the carpet. 

Remoisten and rinse the stained area with clean water between cleaning until the set-in stain gets visibly lighter. Blot the water away, then repeat steps two and three as necessary. You may need to do it multiple times.

If the vinegar solution doesn’t remove the carpet stains completely, you’ll have to pull out the big guns: hydrogen peroxide and a citrus enzyme cleaner. 

Like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide works wonders on a pee stain. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to clean syrup off carpets, so it’s worth having some around.

Here’s how to use it: 

Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda 

Sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the dried pee stain and let it sit for at least three hours. This step is crucial for removing the musty, ammonia-like scent of old pee. 

Baking soda neutralizes acidic odors as well as other funky smells. Unlike air fresheners and candles, baking soda absorbs the odors rather than masking them, making it the perfect cleaner for urine smells. 

Step 2: Create a Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture 

Mix together about a one-third cup (about five tablespoons) of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with two tablespoons of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Make sure the hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of no more than 6 percent to prevent it from damaging the carpet. 

Pour the mixture right on top of the baking soda and scrub it into the carpet with a gloved hand or brush. Rub it into the carpet fibers. Do this several times until you see the stain lift from the carpet. Leave the solution to dry for a minimum of 15 minutes, then vacuum the area.

This is a good remedy against the stinky smell of pet urine odors and any general pee smell.

Alternatively: Use a Citrus-enzyme Cleaner 

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide to hand, don’t fret: a homemade citrus-enzyme cleaner works just as well. To do this, you’ll need brown sugar, lemon or orange peels, and water.

When you’re done reading, scroll down to the printable how-to tutorial card I include below for your convenience.

Start with a large bottle, mix in five tablespoons of brown sugar and add about 1½ cups of citrus peels. Then, add roughly one liter of water, screw on the cap, and shake it well. 

The problem with this method is that you can’t use the cleaner right away. The mixture takes at least three to four weeks to be ready. Moreover, the bottle cap needs to be opened and stirred at least once a day to prevent gas buildup.

Once the mixture is ready, dilute the solution with water to the desired strength and apply it to various surfaces for a natural, effective, and pleasantly fragrant cleaning experience.

However, a cleaner with natural enzymes can effectively remove stains caused by urine, vomit, odor, waste, and mold. If you have the foresight to make it ahead of time, it’s an excellent go-to cleaning product for particularly rowdy homes. 

If you don’t have a month to create a DIY enzyme cleaner, you can instead purchase a commercial enzymatic cleaner like Biokleen Bac-Out. If you’re dealing with dog or cat urine, be sure to use an enzyme-based cleanser made specifically for pet owners.  

Wrapping Up 

It’s important to learn how to deal with different kinds of stains around your household, whether it’s oil stains on the driveway or coffee stains on clothes. Knowing how to clean pee stains out of carpets is a skill anyone with young children or pets should have. Regardless of whether it’s caused by a pet or a human, the best results happen when you act fast. The sooner you tackle the stain, the more likely you’ll remove all traces of the unpleasant odor and avoid nasty stains.

Vinegar and baking soda work wonders on a fresh stain, neutralizing the odor and sterilizing the affected surface. For dried or old urine stains, hydrogen peroxide or a dedicated enzyme cleaner is the way to go because they are far more powerful than vinegar and baking soda.

When treated properly, it’s unlikely that urine deposits will cause permanent damage.

More Carpet Cleaning Tips

A small dog sitting on a rug in front of a white kitchen, potentially with pee stains that require cleaning.
5 from 4 votes

How to Make Homemade Citrus-Enzyme Cleaner

Unlock the power of natural cleaning a homemade citrus-enzyme cleaner. This simple and cost-effective recipe transforms kitchen scraps into a mighty cleaning solution. Your space can be sparkling clean and also have a refreshing aroma. Apply this cleaner to various surfaces around the home for a natural, effective, and pleasant cleaning experience.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time5 minutes
Additional Time21 days
Total Time21 days 10 minutes
Course: Cleaning
Keyword: DIY citrus-enzyme cleaner, homemade citrus-enzyme cleaner
Yield: 1 liter
Author: Jessica Haggard
Cost: $0.50


  • 1 Large bottle or container with lid
  • 1 Cheesecloth
  • 1 Funnel
  • 1 Liter bottle with lid
  • 1 Spray bottle


  • cups citrus peels
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 quart water


  • Combine all the materials in a large bottle or container with a lid.
  • Secure the lid tightly and shake well.
  • Open and stir everyday for three to four weeks.
  • Strain through a cheesecloth into a funnel inserted in a one liter bottle with lid. Label the concentrate clearly and keep out of direct sunlight under the sink or in a cleaning cabinet.
  • To use, dilute the solution with water to the desired strength in a spray bottle. Apply it to various surfaces for a natural, effective, and pleasantly fragrant cleaning experience.
Tried this recipe?Please consider Leaving a Review!
Recipe Rating


Friday 22nd of September 2023

I have so many dogs, and I've always used a vinegar solution, but adding the step with the baking soda has been a game changer! Thanks :)

Easy Homemade Life

Monday 25th of September 2023

Yes, really helps with the smells...


Tuesday 19th of September 2023

I'm making a batch of this TODAY. I have a toddler, 3 dogs and 2 cats so I know I'm going to need it!