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How to Get Dog Urine Out of Area Rugs

By Karen Jackman | Updated September 26, 2017

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Items you will need

  • Paper towel

  • White vinegar

  • Water

  • Scrubbing brush

  • Baking soda

  • Wet/dry vacuum extractor (optional)

  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide

  • Liquid dishwashing detergent

  • Vacuum cleaner

After a long, hard day at work, coming home to the foul stench of dog urine emanating from your favorite area rug is pretty unpleasant. There's no need to panic, but you must act fast to remove the smell so as not to attract your dog back to the same spot. But before you pull out the cleaning products, make sure you avoid using anything ammonia-based. Dog pee actually contains ammonia, and you could inadvertently be making the situation worse.

Blot up your dog's urine, if it is still wet. Place a generous amount of paper towel over the wet area and tread on it to soak up as much urine as you can. Repeat until no more urine can be soaked up.


Mix a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water. Using liberally, work the solution in with a scrubbing brush to ensure it penetrates the rug fibers below.

Blot the area again using the paper towel. The white vinegar will neutralize the ammonia in the dog's urine.


Sprinkle a large handful of baking soda over the soiled area when it has dried or is almost dry. Speed up the drying process if you wish by vacuuming the spot with a wet/dry vacuum extractor.

Mix 1/2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Plain liquid dishwashing detergent is fine, but don’t use caustic dishwasher detergent.

Allow the area to dry completely and then vacuum thoroughly. Your rug will smell fresh and free from urine odor.


  • If you don't have hydrogen peroxide, you can swop it for a spray laundry stain remover. If the bottle says "Oxy" on the label, then it contains hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes a urine puddle has already dried by the time you find out where the smell is coming from. Find dried urine spots on your carpet with a black light. The stains will fluoresce under the ultraviolet light in a darkened room.


  • Use only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and test your area rug for colorfastness in an area that won't show. Do not use bleach on area rugs as it will in often remove the color of your rug along with the urine.

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Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images


Karen Jackman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience in print media in South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Britain. Specializing in health, environmental, social and political issues, her work has appeared in publications such as "The South China Morning Post," "Straits Times," "Hong Kong Standard," "Today," "Independent Newspapers," "News Limited" and "Expat Magazine."

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