Urine is one of the most common challenges to keeping your carpet healthy and fresh.

Dog owners deal with urine, especially when they are training that little fluffball puppy how to use the bathroom! Children also tend to have accidents when they are being potty trained, and many of these accidents occur on your beautiful carpet!

It is very important to clean up as much of the urine as soon as it happens. Urine on your carpet will act as a food source for bacteria and will start to give off an ammonia smell, causing odors throughout your home. As urine dries, it will bind with the carpet fibers and start to cause discoloration and dye-loss. Those yellow stains will become more permanent as the urine dries.

What can you do?

First, soak up as much of the urine as possible. Grab a stack of paper towels and generously cover up the stain, soaking it up. You may want to stand on top of the paper towels with a clean shoe to apply enough pressure to ensure that the urine transfers into the paper towels.

If you have a wet vac, you can rinse out as much of the urine as possible by wetting the carpet with water. This water-only step will help to rinse away any source contaminant material from the initial pet accident. After wetting the carpet, stand on the wet spot to help the water penetrate to the pad (make sure you have clean shoes on so your socks or bare feet don’t get wet!). After this, vacuum up all of that moisture with your wet vac.

If the urine is already dry by the time you notice it, you can mix equal parts water and vinegar and soak the spot. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then vacuum it up with the wet vac.

If there is a lingering odor, there are plenty of carpet deodorizers that you can buy at your local hardware store. Make sure to read the labels to confirm that the product is safe for your type of carpeting. And follow the manufacturer’s directions when you use the deodorizer.

Home remedies are a good first step when you have a urine stain. But, they can only help so much. Sometimes, it is necessary for a professional carpet cleaner to come in and extract the spot.

Professionals have a tool called a flash spotter or a water claw. This tool suctions the carpeting and the pad below it. This is important because urine often soaks through your carpet all the way to the pad underneath.

Your professional will soak the urine spots with a urine and odor enzyme solution that actually neutralizes odor and eats it as well. This solution needs a dwell time of about 5 minutes and then it is ready for extraction.

You can actually see the yellow colored water lift up from under the padding during the professional cleaning. When you see this, you know that the urine has been removed from the carpet and the padding.

If you have a lot of urine stains on your carpeting, your carpet cleaner will have a lot of work ahead of them. Depending on the size of your urine stains, professional removal can cost $20 per spot or more. And, unfortunately, not all urine stains can be 100% removed.

If you have urine on your carpet, follow the home remedies described above and call your carpet cleaner right away for their advice.