How to Clean Pet Urine from an Area Rug

At Rug Cleaning of Tulsa, we love our pets! Between the two families behind our company, we own 4 dogs and one cat! And we love your pets too! We like to tell people that dogs help to keep us in business. 

As much as we all love our animals – potty training them can be hard! And sometimes, even with well trained animals, accidents just happen.  So what happens when your favorite little puppy, or big puppy, decides to take a squat right in the middle of your beautiful new area rug?

Thankfully, there are several easy methods to help clean up pet urine on your own.  Just use caution when trying to clean up messes on your area rugs by yourself.  There are many things that could actually damage your area rug even more.  The best thing to do is to call professional area rug cleaners.

But for all those do it yourself types – here’s a list of common methods for removing pet urine from your area rugs.

Methods for removing pet urine stains from area rugs:


Vinegar is always a go-to when recommending ways to eliminate urine accidents.  The vinegar works on the smell too.  It attacks the urine helping to neutralize the smell.  Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it will go away too.

a picture of a good dog and a picture of vinegar and baking soda

Not only vinegar a cheaper option for cleaning up pet urine from area rugs, but there’s probably a good chance you have some at your home already. 

To use vinegar to clean up pet urine from your area rugs, you’ll need white vinegar, warm water, paper towels and baking soda.

  1. Start with a wet stain. You want to be sure to catch the accident right away.  It’s best to clean up the pet urine while it is still wet.  If you let it dry, it could soak into the rug and create an area of permanent discoloration.
  2. Mix equal parts of the white vinegar with warm water. Pour this solution onto the urine.  You can use a spray bottle to spray it on or just pour it right on.  You want the urine spot to be fully saturated with the vinegar solution. 
  3. Let it set for around ten minutes. Then soak it all up really good.  Use paper towels or clean dry towels, but be sure to soak up as much moisture as you possibly can.
  4. Let the area rug dry completely. After several hours, and once the area rug is fully dry, if there is still a lingering urine odor, you can sprinkle some baking soda over the area.  Let the baking soda sit for at least thirty minutes, then vacuum it all up. 
Hydrogen Peroxide

This is another method that is great because it uses things you likely already have at your home.  Sometimes, you don’t always catch the pet urine accident right away or you don’t find it until it is already dried into your area rug.  If that happens, you need something just a little more potent.

The Hydrogen peroxide method is also ideal for cat urine.  Cat urine has a different enzymes in it than dog urine which makes it tougher to clean up than dog urine. 

To use this method, you’ll need hydrogen peroxide, warm water, dish soap, paper towels and baking soda. 

  1. First, you are going to want to dry to re-moisten the urine-stained area. Do this by blotting the area with a paper towel, or clean towel, and warm water.  Moistening the area will help clean it up easier. 
  2. Next, pour the hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain. Don’t be afraid to saturate it through.  It’s best to test out the hydrogen peroxide on a small hidden area of your rug first.  While the hydrogen peroxide should not further discolor your area rug while treating the pet urine stain, it is possible. 
  3. Now you want to mix a very small amount of dish soap with warm water. Pour this mixture of the peroxide. 
  4. Dab the area with a clean, dry towel or paper towels. You want to absorb as much as the liquid as possible. 
  5. Then rinse the area with warm water. After rinsing, use clean, dry towels to blot up as much moisture as you can.  Too much moisture left in area rugs can damage them.  Soak up all the moisture.
  6. Now you can put fans blowing on the rug to help it dry, or hang it outside in nice weather.
  7. Just like with Method A. If there is still a lingering smell after it is completely dry, try using baking soda.
  8. Repeat these steps, if needed.

Always be careful when using dish soap in your area rugs.  While this is a method that some people have found to work – we will always recommend to NOT use dish soap.  If you do use it, you must be certain to get it all rinsed out of your area rug.  Dish soap left behind in area rugs or carpets can cause more damage and make the spot attract even more dirt to it.  This leaves your carpets or area rugs looking even worse than before you started. 


If your home remedies aren’t working on your tough pet urine stains, you can always try a cleaner specifically designed for pet stains.  Most pet stores or big chain retail stores have some type of pet urine stain cleaners. 

Cleaning up a dog pee spot

For this method, you’ll need to gather whatever pet urine stain cleaner you purchased, a clean, dry towel and warm water.

  1. If it is a new pet urine spot that is still wet, dab up as much moisture as you can using paper towels. However, if it is a dried in urine stain on your area rug, then use a damp paper towel to blot the area, re-moistening it. 
  2. Follow the directions on whatever pet urine stain remover you purchased. Most of them are very easy to use.  Typically, you will saturate the area with your cleaner, then scrub it in with a clean towel.  Repeating until the stain starts to lift. 
  3. Let the stained spot dry completely, and then repeat if necessary. 

Like with the dish soap, while there are many people who have had really good luck with store-bought products, we do not recommend trying it on your own.  Products that are left behind in carpets or area rugs can make your problems worse.  They attract more dirt and make your rugs look dirtier than they were to start. 

Carpet Cleaner

Another thing to try on your own is a store-bought or rented carpet cleaning machine.  There are some that are designed specifically for pet urine stains.  This could be a good purchase for your home if you have pets, as you never know when accidents or other stains besides pet urine could happen.  Dogs and cats get sick and vomit or have diarrhea on our rugs too!

To use this method, simply follow the instructions with whatever machine you purchased or rented. While these machines are never a total substitute for a professional cleaning, they can work in a pinch and are good for spot cleaning. 

Call Rug Cleaning of Tulsa

At Rug Cleaning of Tulsa, we have highly specialized equipment and cleaners specifically designed for professional use and professional deep cleanings of your area rugs.  When pet urine stains happen in your area rugs, your best bet is to just call us.  We can take care of your area rugs without further damage or causing more dirt to be attracted to the stain.

And for you the accidents and pet urine in your carpets at home, be sure to call our partners, Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa or Solid Ground Carpet Cleaning They have all the right equipment to professionally steam clean your pet urine stains away.