At some point, every indoor dog owner will have to clean up urine. Dogs urinate to mark territory and as an accident during periods of excitement or stress. Letting your dog outside throughout the day is a good method of prevention, as your dog marks territory and becomes accustomed to urinating in specific areas.
Know Your Surface
Different methods of cleaning are required for different surfaces. In all cases, the first step is absorbing as much urine as possible. Place a towel over the urine and apply light pressure to absorb the liquid. On hard tile and laminate surfaces, wipe the towel across the surface to remove liquid. On carpet and fabric, only apply pressure and blot to soak up the urine. Rubbing the urine deeper into the material is counterproductive.
Cleaning with Household Products
Several simple household products are useful for cleaning fresh and dated urine spots. After you have absorbed most of the urine, pour white vinegar over the urine and sprinkle baking soda on the area. Let it soak for 10 minutes and continue blotting the area with a towel. Next, pour straight hydrogen peroxide on the stain and soak for 10 additional minutes. Continue blotting and wipe the area clean if the surface is hard. Use a shop vacuum to dry carpeted surfaces.
Cleaning With Commercial Products
Urine stains that are deep in a porous fabric or surface are difficult to remove. The odor is also stubborn and will not break free easily. Commercial enzymatic cleaners are effective for difficult urine spots. Many of the cleaners have a citrus base and the enzymes break down and eat through scent that other cleaners cannot access.
Bleach and ammonia are effective for sanitizing when diluted with warm water. The chemicals are harsh and only work on hard tile and laminate surfaces. They do sanitize the urine, but ammonia smells like urine to dogs and may cause additional marking. Mop the floor with this solution if desired, but the more natural methods of cleaning are preferred when possible. Natural cleaning solutions pose less risk to your pets.
Mop and Vacuum
Use a mop to clean tile and laminate flooring after the urine is removed and neutralized. Use a wet vacuum to remove moisture and cleaning products from carpet. Additional blotting is often necessary on thick carpet surfaces.
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Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.