Resources, Advice & Tips for Covid-19
Read More

How to Remove Pet Stains on Carpets Easily

Reviewed by Professional Cleaner Jennifer L. Betts
dog on carpet

Removing pet stains from the carpet is a task dog and cat owners are all too familiar with. Fortunately, removing pet stains from carpet is easy if you know the right steps to take and act quickly to keep the stains from setting.

How to Clean New Pet Urine Stains on Carpet

If your pet has just stained the carpet, moving quickly is your best line of offense when it comes to cleaning the carpet.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Clean cloth rags or paper towels (high absorbency type is best)
  • Urine absorbing sheets (optional)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Commercially made pet urine cleaner (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • Enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution
  • Vacuum

Instructions

  1. As soon as you spot a urine stain, reach for rags or absorbent paper towels to soak up the wet mess. The longer you let cat or dog urine sit on carpet, the harder it is to get it out.
  2. Repeat the process with several new layers of paper towels or plain white dry rags until there is little or no moisture left. You will need to press down on the towels or rags to get all the excess urine to be soaked up.
  3. Another option is to have a supply of urine absorbing sheets ready to go such as Zorbit-up Sheets. These can soak up urine in greater quantities than a paper towel and faster.
  4. Once you've soaked up as much urine as you can from the carpet, you want to work on cleaning the remaining stain.
  5. You can make a DIY carpet cleaner with 50% white vinegar and 50% warm (but not hot) water in an empty spray bottle. You can also add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to your solution.
  6. If you don't want to make your own cleaner, there are many excellent pet urine cleaners on the market such as Bissell Professional Pet Eliminator and Oxy Carpet Formula.
  7. Spray the cleaning solution on the stain and leave it alone for about five to 10 minutes total.
  8. Take another white cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain, soaking up all the moisture. Do not scrub the area.
  9. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process but put some baking soda onto the stain on the carpet and then spray the mixture onto it. Wait another five to 10 minutes and blot the excess liquid and baking soda residue up.
  10. Rinse the area with cool water and blot up the excess water using a paper towel or rag.

Using Dishwashing Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

Another option instead of using the vinegar and baking soda mixture is to use dishwashing soap and hydrogen peroxide. This is not recommended if you have dark or brightly colored carpets as there's a chance the colors may be ruined by the hydrogen peroxide. You can test a small area first before using this option to make sure the carpet will be safe. The mixture is made of ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup of mild dishwashing soap.

Carpet Cleaning Service

Make Sure You Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Once you've completed the cleaning process you want to end with using an enzymatic cleaner such as Simple Solution or Nature's Miracle. These cleaners are critical to keeping your pet from urinating in the same spot again. With regular cleaners, we may not be able to smell the urine anymore, but a pet's sensitive nose can pick up the residue that remains and this often will be a signal to them to keep going in the same spot, making house training more difficult. These cleaners work to break down the bacteria in the urine as part of the drying process. Just spray it on the stain and allow it to dry on its own. You may notice a strong smell from the area while it's drying which is normal and should dissipate as it dries.

Vacuuming Is the Final Step

Once you have cleaned the stain and allowed the enzymatic cleaner to dry completely, the last step is to vacuum the area. This will remove any remaining bits of residue that resides in the carpet.

How to Clean Pet Feces Stains on Carpet

Just as with pet urine, it's best to move quickly if your pet has an accident and leaves feces on the carpet.

Supplies You Will Need

  • White cloth rags
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush or a toothbrush
  • Paper towels (high absorbency type is best)
  • Gloves or dog poop bags
  • Urine absorbing sheets (optional)
  • White vinegar or dishwashing soap and hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Commercially made pet urine cleaner (optional)
  • Enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution
  • Vacuum

Instructions

  1. Remove as much of the feces with a gloved hand, scooper or paper towels. Dog poop pickup bags are also great for this part.
  2. If the feces is moist, you may have to employ a scraper or some damp paper towels to get as much of the solid matter off the carpet. Just remember to scrape at the stain gently, so you don't spread it into the carpet.
  3. Treat the stain with a commercial carpet cleaner. You can opt for one that treats all types of stains, such as Resolve Stain Remover Carpet Cleaner, or one designed specifically for pet waste such as Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover.
  4. You can also use the DIY options presented for cleaning pet urine, although you may find that the commercial cleaners are a bit stronger and more efficient at removing the feces stains as they are thicker than urine.
  5. Allow the stain remover to soak the stained area and then scrub it gently with a white rag or a soft-bristled scrub brush or tooth brush soaked in warm soapy water. Make sure you do not use hot water.
  6. After you're done, you can repeat steps 3 through 5 if you still see signs of feces stains.
  7. Use fresh cotton cloth or several layers of paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. Repeat with fresh towels until there's no excessive moisture left.
  8. Rinse the area with cool water and blot up the excess water again until the carpet is damp but not soaked.
  9. Spray the enzymatic cleaner on the stained area and allow to dry on its own.
  10. Vacuum the area when the carpet is dry.

How to Get Old Dog Poop Stains Out of Carpet

Sometimes you just aren't able to get to a feces stain in time and it dries in place.

  1. In this case, you can use a brush to break off any dried poop on top of the carpet and vacuum it away.
  2. Then take either the water/baking soda/vinegar mixture or one of the commercial cleaners and spray the area.
  3. Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Take a soft bristled brush or toothbrush and gently scrub the area and blot up the excess liquid with a clean, white cloth or paper towel.
  5. If you still see signs of the stain, repeat steps 2 to 4.
  6. Once the stain is completely gone, spray with the enzymatic cleaner, and allow to dry.
  7. Vacuum the area once it is fully dry.

How to Remove Pet Vomit From Carpet

The process to remove pet vomit is basically the same as that of feces. You will need to remove as much of the solid pieces as you can and then work on cleaning the remaining stained area using the procedures for cleaning poop.

Tips for Removing Pet Stains From Carpet

There are some good tips to follow when cleaning pet stains from a carpet. If you're a pet owner, it's wise to know these ahead of time and keep a supply of cleaning products on hand as sooner or later, you'll need to clean up after your pet.

Carpet Cleaning Service

Never Steam Clean

Do not use steam cleaning when removing pet stains from your carpet. The heat from the steam cleaner can actually permanently set the stain and the odor by adhering the protein to the carpet's man-made fibers.

Do Not Use Ammonia

Avoid using any cleaner that has ammonia in it. They can actually smell like urine to a dog or cat, and this may make them want to urinate again on the stain.

Avoid Scrubbing Too Hard

The gentler the method for removing the stain, the easier it will be for the health of your carpet. If you can remove the stain by blotting the area with a towel or rag, that's the best option. If you need to apply more pressure and scrub, always scrub carefully and gently and use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. Another gentle option to use instead of scrubbing is to wear rubber gloves and use your fingers to work the soap into the carpet fibers,

Get a Black Light

If you have a pet that continues to urinate in the same spot, it may be that they can smell the residue, even if you cannot. Dogs and cats have a much more sophisticated sense of smell than people do. One way to see if there are stains that you may have missed is to get a black light flashlight, which are sold in many pet supply stores. Turn off all the lights in your home so it's good and dark and then shine the black light over the area where your pet is urinating. If you see spots on the carpet that look a shade of brown, green or yellow, these are urine spots. You can retreat these areas and clean them and then finish off with a good dose of the enzymatic cleaners.

Stubborn Stains Need Professional Help

If you've followed all the steps and still can't get rid of the odor and stains, your next step is either professional tools or help. You can rent a carpet cleaning machine at most home goods stores like Lowe's and Home Depot, and most of these allow you to purchase pet-specific cleaners to go with it. Or you can contact a carpet cleaning company and have them clean the carpets professionally for you.

Replace the Padding

Some stains may soak all the way into the carpet's padding, making getting rid of them difficult. If you have stains that you have continued to treat and have had professionals clean to no avail, you may need to replace the padding and even part of the carpet.

Prevent Future Stains

The best way to clean stains is by not having to clean them at all. If you have a dog you are house training, using a crate to train them is a great way to help them learn quickly about where they can and can't go while protecting your floors. If your dog or cat is urinating or pooping on the carpet unexpectedly, it may be either a medical or behavioral issue. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away to rule out a medical cause such as a painful urinary infection. If the reason is not related to a physical condition, you can then work with a behavior professional to understand why your dog or cat is going on the carpet and provide them with a better alternative.

Easily Clean Pet Carpet Stains

Cleaning pet stains doesn't have to be hard. The easiest way to clean is to make sure you have all the supplies necessary beforehand so you're ready to move quickly to remove the stain while it's still fresh. If you're new to dog or cat ownership, consider keeping cleaning supplies as a "must do" because you will most likely deal with cleaning urine, feces or vomit at some point in your pet's life.

How to Remove Pet Stains on Carpets Easily