How to Clean Dried Urine

Updated February 21, 2017

Accidents happen, including your pet urinating on your carpet, sofa, chair or bed. Cat, dog, human and other animal urine not only smells, it also leaves a stain once it is dry. You may or may not see the stain, but it is there. Removing dried urine from furnishings and other surfaces is possible, but soap and water won't remove the smell. A neutralising agent must be used after the dried urine is removed to eliminate the urine smell.

Mix 3 cups of white vinegar and 3 cups of warm water in a bucket. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands getting wet.

Stir the vinegar mixture with a cloth or rag. Wring out excess mixture.

Blot the dried urine stain with the mixture-soaked cloth or rag from the outside of the stain to the inside of the stain. Do not wipe the stain--this will spread the urine.

If cleaning carpet, use a scrub brush instead of a cloth or rag to apply and use the vinegar mixture on the carpet. Scrub from the outside of the stain to the inside of the stain.

Re-dip the cloth or rag in the mixture. Wring out excess. Continue blotting/scrubing the urine stain until it is gone.

Place a large towel on top of the area you just cleaned. Press down on the towel to absorb as much water as possible from the area.

Cover the wet area with 3 cups of baking soda to neutralise the urine odour. Spread the baking soda evenly over the area.

Let the baking soda sit on the area overnight.

Vacuum the baking soda from the area the next day.

Place a large towel on top of the area, if the area is still damp. Press down on the towel to absorb as much water as possible from the area.

Place a box fan next to the damp area. Turn the fan on "High" to speed up the drying process.


If you can smell urine on a furnishing or carpet, but you can't see exactly where the dried urine spot is located, shine a black light over the area emitting the odour to see the stain. Black lights are available at retail, hardware and home improvement stores as well as online.


Avoid using ammonia or ammonia-based products to remove dried urine stains. The ammonia will attract your pet(s) to the clean area. Your pet will detect the smell of ammonia and think it is urine since urine contains ammonia.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Bucket
  • Latex gloves
  • Cloth, rag or scrub brush
  • 2 large towels
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Box fan
  • Black light (optional)
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.