Just like having a child, owning a dog comes with its fair share of responsibility. This includes trips to the doctor, grocery runs for dog food, not to mention the occasional ‘cleaning up after a potty accident’ incident.
While this is expected in new puppies who are not yet ‘house-trained’, a potty accident can happen to any dog. Once it has happened, the important things to consider are how to prevent it from happening again, and how to properly clean up the mess.
How do I remove dog urine from my hardwood floors?
Dog urine that’s been left standing on the floor will leave a bad, ammonia-like odor throughout the house and will possibly cause an ugly stain. If you do not act immediately, the damage could be permanent. In addition, the moisture left on the floor can cause mildew and mold, contributing to further damage.
First things first – don’t stand around panicking or scolding your dog! Place a wad of paper towels or dish towels on the stain. You can also press on the towels for faster absorption. Once the towels are soaked, make sure to replace them with dry ones until the stain dries up.
There are many commercial cleaners to remove pet urine from flooring available in the market. But, if you prefer not to use a chemical-based cleaner, there might be items in your pantry that could do just as well. As with any cleaner, make sure to try it out in an inconspicuous place first (e.g., on the corner, or a carpet-covered area).
• Homemade DIY Solutions
- Combine 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda, and ¼ mild dishwashing soap in one container.
Place the solution in a spray bottle, then shake vigorously to mix. Spray the solution onto the stain and rub it lightly with a clean cloth. Allow it to stand for around 15 minutes, then rinse the solution with a damp cloth, and allow it to dry. An alternative to dishwashing liquid would be a few drops of grapefruit oil to help get rid of the odor.
- For smaller stains, you can use an oxidizing agent like Hydrogen Peroxide.
Pour a small amount onto the stain, then cover it with a Hydrogen Peroxide-soaked cloth. Place a plastic bag over the cloth and allow it to sit for at least 8 hours. Afterwards, you’ll notice that the stain is gone or at least lightened. You might have to sand and refinish the damaged flooring, too.
- Word of advice: one way to protect your hardwood floors from these potty accidents is to think ahead and to apply a high-quality polyurethane seal. This way, urine and other stains will have a hard time penetrating the floor.
How do I get rid of the odor?
Urine can saturate the wood so it might be challenging to remove the odor, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. One way is to mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, then carefully rub the solution onto the stain.
Allow it to sit for around 10 minutes, then wipe it with a clean towel afterwards. You can use a more diluted version if you’re worried about the effects of vinegar on your flooring – use ½ cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water.
If the odor still lingers, you can add in a bit of baking soda onto the stain while it’s still damp. Allow it to sit for several hours or overnight, then vacuum using the soft brush on your cleaner. Afterwards, apply an enzyme-based stain remover that’s safe for hardwood. Once the stain and odor are gone, clean your floor the usual way.
FYI: Enzymatic cleaners are very effective in getting rid of urine stains and odors, with the added benefit of being non-toxic.
What are popular commercial cleaners to get rid of the urine stain?
- BUBBAS Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner – Pet Odor Eliminator
BUBBAS is similar to your ordinary enzyme cleaner but has the advantage of using dormant enzymes. This means that the enzyme is only activated once the cleaning solution is introduced to the stain (as opposed to active enzymes, where optimum function is at time of manufacture).
You can rest assured that your cleaner is working at full strength once applied to the stain. This cleaner is effective in removing stains and odors in hardwood floors, carpets, tiles, upholstery, and a lot more. It can remove dog and cat urine, feces, blood, vomit, and even human waste and other organic stains.
- Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator
This is also a Bio-Enzymatic formula proven to eliminate most organic stains and odors. It can be used to clean carpets, upholstery, various types of floors, and also to freshen pet beddings and litter boxes. This cleaner also boasts of earning a Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute (Yes – there is such a thing!).
- Simple Solution Pet Stain and Odor Remover
This cleaner also has a unique pro-bacteria formula on top of its enzyme formula to get rid of most stains and odors, and helps prevent repeat markings.
How can I prevent potty accidents from happening again?
As always, prevention is better than cure. One way to ensure that potty accidents won’t happen again is by house training your dog. While this would require a lot of patience and commitment on your part, the benefits will be worth it. Keep in mind, however, that accidents are part of the learning process.
First, establish a routine. Your puppies will learn best on a constant schedule, even for mealtimes. As a general rule, puppies can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if you have a 3-month old puppy, don’t go longer than 3 hours without taking him outside.
During the first few weeks, take your puppy outside frequently and pick a bathroom spot. You can also reward your puppy each time he goes potty outside. You can tweak the training process based on your puppy’s needs and adaptability in learning.