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How to Clean Pet Stains from Carpet

How to clean pet stains from carpet

If you own a pet, you will likely need to know what to use to get pet stain out of the carpet at some point.  Urine, vomit, hairballs, or your pet’s body oils can cause stains and odors that ruin a good carpet.

Stain Removers

Numerous commercial pet stain removers are currently available, but it’s best to use a cleaner that has uric salt in it. The enzyme-based cleaners don’t work as well as the organic ones. Several standard household solutions also work well. All stain removers need to be pre-tested, and should only be used on carpets with colorfast dyes. Here are some homemade stain removal solutions:

  • Club soda, undiluted
  • Non-bleach liquid hand dishwashing detergent; this can be ¼ to ½ teaspoon of detergent per 1 cup lukewarm water, or can be 1 tablespoon of detergent combined with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water
  • A dab of white vinegar, undiluted, or else ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar per cup of warm water
  • A small amount of undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide on a clean cloth, or else 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water, or else one eye dropper of 3% hydrogen peroxide directly applied to stain, with 1-2 drops of ammonia added afterwards
  • 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup clear ammonia combined with one cup of warm water

Basic Instructions

To remove any pet stains, you simply follow the same basic instructions for removal of most stains.

  1. Blot or absorb as much of the stain as possible, if it’s a wet stain, using paper towels or a clean, light colored absorbent towel, and use a large spoon to scrape up dried materials.
  2. Apply one of the above solutions, using either a spray bottle or putting the solution on a clean, white cloth and dabbing it onto the stain.
  3. Let the solution stand for 10-30 minutes, checking the carpet periodically for possible damage.
  4. Repeat moisture absorption and extraction.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, without over-wetting the area.
  6. Use a fan to dry the carpet thoroughly.
  7. Vacuum the carpet.
  8. Repeat the process as long as it is working, or else change cleaning solutions and repeat the process.


Expert Opinion

Quote: “As long as your pet can smell his personal scent, he’ll continue to return to the “accident zone.” Even if you can’t smell traces of urine, your pet can. Your most important chore is to follow these steps to remove (neutralize) that odor:”

Source: The Humane Society

Did You Know: Urine is highly acidic and has the potential to bleach some carpets which once this occurs cannot be corrected with any cleaning method.

Source: RugDoctor

Did You Know: Urine stains will show up under a black light even if they are not visible to the naked eye. 

Source: University of Kentucky College of Agriculture



“Homemade Cleaners.” Error Encountered. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

“Remove Urine Stain- Tampa flooring for Carpet, Wood, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, Stone, Vinyl, etc..” Tampa flooring for Carpet, Wood, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, Stone, Vinyl, etc.. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

“How to Remove Urine – Urine Removal –” Diet Plans – Healthy Recipes – Haircut Pictures – Cleaning Tips –  – N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

“The Carpet Buyers Handbook – When Your Pet Messes Make You Crazy: Battling Urine Stains.” The Carpet Buyers Handbook – Your Carpet and Flooring Resource. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

“Tips for Removing Light to Heavy Pet Urine Contamination – Feature Article – ICS: Cleaning Specialist.” ICS: Cleaning Specialist. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

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