How to Get Dog Urine Out of Hardwood Floors? (Smell & Stain)

By Joe McGuinty
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dog sad after peeing on floor

So, your dog (or someone else’s dog) took a tinkle on your hardwood floor. Ruff!

If these accidents go unnoticed, or are left unattended or incorrectly cleaned up, the dog’s urine can lead to stains that cause damage to your sealed or unsealed hardwood floors.

So, how do you get dog urine out of hardwood floors?

To remove dog urine that’s soaked into your hardwood floor, wipe off the urine from the floor, spray hydrogen peroxide on the stained spots and cover them with a piece of cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide for 15-20 minutes. Clean up the floor as usual to get rid of the odor and stains.

If you’re a dog parent, you might want to consider waterproof flooring options such as waterproofed laminate flooring, stone, and tile.

Can Pet Urine Damage Hardwood Flooring?

Yes, it can do permanent damage. Cat and dog urine can soak into and penetrate both sealed and unsealed hardwood floors down into the subfloor. While the damage may not affect the structural strength of the wooden floor, the urine will leave stains in the form of unsightly black marks on your floor. At times, it also causes a musty smell on your floorboards once it’s soaked. Not great.

Dog pee that’s left standing on the floor for a long time before being cleaned will also leave a bad ammonia odor in your house. The stench and the black urine stains can be difficult to remove if you do not take action immediately.

In addition, the dog urine that’s soaked into the floor may leave behind a permanent stain while the moisture in the pee can attract mildew and mold to start growing on your floor.

How to Get Old Dog Urine Smell Out of Hardwood Floors

There are various homemade fixes for removing black urine stains and pet odors from your floor. You can use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar solution, baking soda, or even pet stain removal products.

Most of these options will get rid of the stains as well as the odors. Here’s how to get rid of dog urine that’s soaked in hardwood floors using hydrogen peroxide:

1. Ventilate the Room

Use a fan or open windows to help get rid of any floating particles and odor. It will also help get rid of any toxic fumes that may arise from the cleaning process.

2. Clean Up Any Dog Urine and Messes

Get rid of any solid and liquid dog mess on your floor. If the dog soaked the carpet and area rugs, take them out for aeration. This will help have a clear sight of the dog pee-soaked areas to remedy.

3. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide on the Urine Spots

Apply or spray some of the 3% hydrogen peroxides directly over the area that’s stained with dog urine. Soak a clean cloth in hydrogen peroxide, then use it to cover the hydrogen peroxide that’s already been poured over the affected floor section.

4. Allow the Hydrogen Peroxide to Soak Into the Stain

Allow the urine-stained area to soak for about 15 minutes. If the smell and stain persists, leave the soaked cloth to lay there overnight. By dawn, both the urine stain and urine odor should be gone.

For deeply soaked urine spots, you may need to repeat the step above to get rid of dog pee stains and odor on your floor.

5. Clean Up the Floor as Usual

Clean it up with a rag, but don’t rub. Just dab or blot.

Other Remedies for Dog Urine Stains on Floor & Odor 

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide, you can use vinegar or even baking soda to get rid of dog urine stains on your wooden floors.

What neutralizes dog urine on wood?

Two common household items used for cleaning that neutralize dog urine on wood are white vinegar and baking soda. Both have neutralizing properties that remove pet stains and odors from your floors.

Below are 3 additional remedies for dog urine odor and stains on floors:

Use Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is acidic, thus can neutralize the alkaline ammonia to an odor-free state. In addition, vinegar can also kill most of the germs and bacteria present in dog urine. Here are steps to get rid of dog urine with a vinegar solution:

  1. Mix some white vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle, in a 1:1 ratio. Alternatively, you can purchase a vinegar solution, though these typically only contain 5% vinegar.
  2. If the smell is too strong and has spread to other rooms in the house, add some grapefruit oil into the solution to act as a natural deodorant for odor removal.
  3. Scrub the problem area on your hardwood floor while spraying the solution you’ve made in steps one and two above. 
  4. After you’re done scrubbing, rinse the floor section with some clean water and finish up by dry mopping. You can wet/dry vacuum to remove excess moisture and remove dog urine.

Use Baking Soda Solution

Baking soda is an alkaline-crystalline powder. Since it’s a base with a pH above seven, it gets rid of urine odor by neutralizing the acidic content in the urine. This results in a neutral, odorless pH state. Measure about 1/4 cup of baking soda and sprinkle baking soda thinly over the soaked area. Avoid spreading in excess and allow it to sit in the area overnight. Vacuum the area at dawn until clean to touch.

Alternatively, measure 2 tablespoons of baking soda and add one cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix, then spray on the urine-stained spot. Allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes and then blot it clean with a dry towel or microfiber cloth.

Use Enzymatic Cleaners

Enzymatic cleaner contains enzyme proteins that are able to break down urine molecules and bacteria within it and ultimately dissolve them. You can use enzymatic cleaners in step 3 instead of hydrogen peroxide. Spray and allow the enzymatic cleaner on the spot for about 15 minutes before wiping it off.

Homemade Enzyme Cleaner for Dog Urine on Hardwood Floors

You can make your own homemade enzyme cleaner for dog urine by using common kitchen ingredients including citrus fruit, brown sugar, yeast, and baking soda. 

Most homemade enzyme cleaners take a bit of time to prepare so give yourself a few weeks to prepare the mixture. If you don’t have the time to spare, use another one of the cleaners in this article for immediate treatment while your enzyme cleaner is formulating.

Here is the recipe for a homemade enzyme cleaner for dog urine:

  • 2 cups citrus fruit peels
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2-liter bottle
  • Funnel
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  1. Add the citrus peels, water, sugar, and yeast to a spray bottle using the funnel.
  2. Shake the bottle until the sugar dissolves completely.
  3. For at least two weeks, shake the bottle three times a day and burp the mixture by removing the cap for a few seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into an airtight container and throw away the peels.
  5. Store the container in a cool, dark place.
  6. When you find a stain, grab the mixture and add one-part hydrogen peroxide with four parts of the natural enzymatic cleaner to a spray bottle.
  7. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained area and spray the cleaner over top.
  8. Let the wet baking soda layer sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Blot the area with a clean, wet rag and add more cleaner if needed.

Best Cleaner for Dog Urine on Hardwood Floors

If you want a highly effective solution for removing dog urine from hardwood floors, you might want to look for commercial or home cleaning products as opposed to DIY solutions.

Here are the top 3 cleaners for dog urine on hardwood floors:

1. Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator

Best pet urine stain & odor remover: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator - Enzyme-Powered Pet Odor & Stain Remover for Dog and Cats Urine
  • Removes all sorts of pet stains including yellow urine and other organic spills.
  • Is chlorine-free and won’t bleach or discolor your hardwood floors.
  • Contains enzymatic bacteria that break down ammonia to get rid of the stains and pet urine odors.

Most importantly, the Rocco & Roxie cleaner for dog urine is safe for use on hardwood floors, meaning you’ll not see signs of harsh cleaning that can be evident with some pet urine cleaners on the market.

2. BUBBAS Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner – Pet Odor Eliminator

BUBBAS Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner

This pet urine stain remover uses dormant bacteria that break down the urine stains in flooring and carpets, leaving your floor smelling fresh and looking mint-clean.

Being a natural bio-enzymatic formula, this cleaner for dog urine is safe for pets and kids, making it one of my go-to cleaners for getting rid of dog urine stains.

3. Simple Solution Pet Stain and Odor Remover

best pet pee odor and stain remover; Simple-Solution-Extreme-Pet-Stain-and-Odor-Remover

The Simple Solution pet stain and Odor remover is one of my best budget stain removers when I need to get rid of pet stains from my floors. It is enzymatic-based and produces excellent results just like the commercial options.

The only thing you need to keep in mind while using this product is to make sure your floor and other flooring materials are water-safe before applying it. That means if your wood floor is sealed, it is safe but only with a limited amount of water.

How to Protect Wooden Floors From Pet Urine

While dogs and cats (and pretty much all the pets we love) are part of our daily life, we want to make sure they’re just as comfortable as we are. Instead of kicking your dog out or confining him to a small space, there’s something you can do to protect your hardwood floor from pet urine damage.

Here’s how to protect your wooden floor from dog and cat urine:

Apply a Wood Flooring Sealant

In most cases, dog urine soaks into hardwood flooring when the surface does not have a sealant. When there’s a sealant, however, the urine will soak deep into the grains and down into the subfloor when the wood floor is scratched.

The best way to protect your wood floor from dog urine is to apply a sealant that’ll deter the urine from seeping into the wood and causing dark stains. Polyurethane sealants are great and can help prevent pet urine from soaking into your hardwood flooring.

Use Pet-Friendly Area Rugs

As a dog owner, I’ve hardly seen pet “accidents” all over the house. They usually occur in specific spots in the house—usually corners and other fairly hidden places.

To protect your hardwood floor from dog urine soaks and odors, consider adding pet-friendly flooring materials in the problem areas in your house. You can use washable area rugs and pet-friendly carpets to help soak up the urine and absorb the odors.

This will prevent your hardwood floors from coming into contact with the staining urine.

Clip Your Pet’s Nails

Dogs and cats can easily scratch wood flooring and leave scratch marks and other dents all over the surface. This usually worsens the pet urine problem because the liquid settles faster into the dents and dips. Soon after it soaks in, you’ll see dark spots on your hardwood floor.

One way of preventing these scratches and urine stains is clipping your pet’s nails regularly. The fewer the scratches, the easier it’s going to be removing the urine spots on your floor and preventing them from soaking into the underlayment.

Apply Penetrating Oil to Your Hardwood Floor

Another great way to protect your wooden floor and make it pet-friendly at the same time is to apply a penetrating oil. This oil seeps into the grains of the wood, making it stronger and more resistant to pet urine.

You might want to concentrate on applying penetrating oil on the areas where dog urine damage is common as opposed to applying it on your entire floor.

Removing Stains on Permeable and Impermeable Wood Floors

Below are detailed cleaning steps that I’d recommend you try on each of the above types of wooden floor surfaces.

1. Impermeable Wooden Floors

Impermeable hardwood floors are usually made of a non-porous top layer that doesn’t allow any liquid to pass through and are therefore easier to clean compared to permeable wooden floors.

If your wooden floor is impermeable, follow the procedure below to get rid of dog pee:

  • First, put on a pair of latex gloves and simply clean up the affected floor section with water and a sponge.
  • Next, spray some commercial liquid pet odor remover,like Clorox Pet Solutions, directly onto the affected area.
  • For some products, the instruction manual requires the user to let the product soak into the affected wood area for a while after spraying for maximum efficiency.
  • After spraying and leaving the dog urine remover to soak in, wipe off the problem area with a clean sponge.
  • Finally, rinse off the floor section with clean water and let it dry up.

2. Permeable Wooden Floors

Older hardwood floors tend to have a higher porosity than newer ones and pet urine tends to soak into the wood material, further aggravating the problem. As such, the best method for removing the pet urine that will have already penetrated into the porous seams is sanding, as detailed below:

  • Assess your floorboards’ thickness to accurately determine if they can be sanded.
  • If your hardwood floor passes the above test, your floor is ready for sanding. Do some prep work by taping nearby openings like windows and doors, since sanding is a dust-laden process.
  • If you’re looking to sand deep into the wood, use a drum sander. I recommend renting an edge sander if the urine-drenched floor section is near baseboards and trims.
  • After sanding, sweep up the problem area using a regular broom. Some sander does come with an attached vacuum for the dust sweeping. Then finish off by cleaning it up using a well-wringed damp mop.

Pet Stains Are No Match for You!

You should be able to find a solution that works for you from the recommendations above. Just remember to remain calm and be persistent with your approach. Your hardwood floors can (and will) be restored to their original beauty!

I’d love to hear about your experience removing dog urine stains from your hardwood floors or if you have any additional remedies, leave a comment in the section below.

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AUTHOR

Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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