How to Clean Your Rug When Your Dog Doesn’t Make it Outside

Accidents happen. Even to the best of dogs. Whether it’s due to illness, old age or he’s been in the house just a little too long, every dog has an accident once in a while (at least in my experience). And there is no mistaking the smell of dog urine on a rug – ugh. The key to getting rid of the smell – and the stain – is to take care of it as soon as possible. If you miss it immediately for some reason, you can definitely use your nose to locate the spot – this is an odor that does not go away.

In the past I had used a rug cleaner that I bought at the store or white vinegar, but the smell lingered. I came across this stain/odor removal method online and I have implemented it twice recently (unfortunately) – it works like a charm. Odor gone, the room smells fresh and clean. Plus, the dog won’t go back to the spot as the vinegar neutralizes the urine’s odor.

Here are the steps to remove dog urine from a rug (NOTE: always test a small area of your carpet before diving in to this project to make sure your rug won’t discolor – I haven’t had a problem but you never know):

1. If the area is still wet you should first attempt to absorb the dog urine. Leaving it there to dry out will only encourage bacterial growth which causes the smell. Place several layers of paper towel over the wet urine area and tread on it so as to soak up as much of the dog urine as you possibly can. You may have to repeat this several times until no more dog urine can be soaked up.

2. Mix a solution of fifty percent white vinegar and fifty percent water. You must use a liberal amount of this solution to reach the carpet fibers deep down. Work the solution into the carpet with a soft brush (or your fingers) to ensure it penetrates the carpet fibers below. Then blot the area using the paper towel method above to absorb the vinegar mixture. The vinegar will neutralize the ammonia in the dog urine.

3. When the area has dried or almost dried sprinkle a good handful of baking soda over the soiled area.

4. Mix half a cup of liquid Oxy Clean with a teaspoon of plain dish soap. Adjust quantities according to how large an area of carpet you are dealing with. Slowly pour over the baking soda and work the mixture well into the carpet with your fingers (put on some rubber gloves) or use a brush.

5. Allow the area to dry completely. Once the area is thoroughly dry, vacuum up the baking soda. A fan or heater can assist drying. Use a hard bristled brush to loosen up the baking soda if necessary.

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Rachael Ray