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How to remove pet odor from your house
How To Remove Pet Odor From Your Couch

TLDR: By using some common household items you can remove odor and stains from your furniture, but utilizing an enzymatic cleaning solution will always provide the best results. 

Having a household full of your loved ones is an amazing experience but also takes a lot of work, especially if you have pets. From dogs to cats to hedgehogs, our furry little friends make the family happy but can also leave some pretty serious messes. But, you can stay ahead of the mess and remove pet odors from your couch or furniture with these simple techniques. 

Why Do Urine Stains & Odor Stick Around?

There are a couple of main reasons for this! Urine breaks down surface tension in fabric so it can soak through into the padding of your furniture. This gets even worse if your pet has had multiple accidents in the same place. 

Once the urine soaks below the padding and deep into the furniture fabric topical treatments become less effective. That’s why it is imperative that you clean up pet stains and odors as quickly as possible. 

Pet urine also contains uric acid, which when left alone forms uric salts that collect and cause scaling to build up around the fibers.

Protip: Normal cleaning methods cannot break down this scaling which is why you should use an enzymatic cleaning solution. 

How To Remove Pet Stains & Odor

The process for removing stains is simple and utilizes household items that almost everyone has! What you will need is: 

  • A washcloth or paper towels
  • Either an enzymatic cleaner OR a simple solution of 1 parts vinegar to 3 parts water
  • Baking Soda

That’s it! With these tools in hand, you are ready to tackle any pet stains or odor!

Protip: Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your couch. Some fabrics are able to be cleaned with just water while others may need specific cleaners. 

Here are the steps for treating your couch!

  1. Isolate the affected area. If it is a cushion, remove the cushion if you are able to and set it somewhere that you can safely spray your cleaning solution.
  2. If the stain is fresh the best thing to do is blot the area with a paper towel as much as possible. If it is older you will need to wet it first in order to extract any liquid. 
  3. Test the chosen cleaning solution on a hidden part of your couch’s fabric. That way you can make sure whatever you are using to clean your furniture will not damage it or make an additional stain. 
  4. Spray the area generously with your solution OR if using an enzymatic cleaner follow the instructions on the bottle. Scrub lightly before letting dry with your washcloth. If you opted for the vinegar/water solution you can rest assured that the vinegar’s disinfecting properties will target the bacteria in the urine as well.
  5. Wait for the cushion or affected area to dry. If you use the Vinegar spray, once the cushion is dry sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the area to help remove any lingering odors. Leave the baking soda in the area for a few hours.
  6. Vacuum up any remaining baking soda or particulates and check the area for any remaining stains or smells. 

Protip: Enzymatic cleaners are the only guaranteed method other than hiring a professional for getting urine crystals and scaling out of your furniture. You can re-apply the vinegar/water solution multiple times until you find the best results, however.  

Our beloved pets will occasionally pee where they shouldn’t, but it needn’t spell disaster for your upholstery or furniture. We also understand that it isn’t very pleasant. But ultimately, pet odor and stains are something you can use simple methods to remove if you get to them quickly. The biggest risk with pet urine is the lingering smell, so any cleaning formulation you concoct must contain antibacterial agents like vinegar.

Protip: If you decide to experiment by making your own cleaning solutions, make sure that you avoid using any chemicals containing bleach! You risk discoloring the material or permanently damaging your seating and may accidently combine something with it that creates noxious gasses. 

New urine stains are easy to find and clean because they smell. However, older ones can be more difficult. If you’re struggling to identify the source of smells emanating from your sofa, you can use a UV light or in most cases, it may be best to contact a professional.

Key Takeaways:

Keeping your couches and other upholstery furniture free from pet odor and stains might seem like a losing battle, but by acting quickly with these tips you can keep your home smelling great! Always opt for an enzymatic cleaner, or create your own solution with vinegar and water per your furniture manufacturer’s recommendations. Test a hidden area to make sure it won’t ruin the fabric. Allow it to dry and apply baking soda if using vinegar. Vacuum whatever remains and you are good to go!


Logan Allen Baker
Logan is a home-service enthusiast that uses, promotes, and helps connect consumers with carpet cleaning companies across the globe.

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