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How To Remove Dog and Cat Urine from Hardwood Floors?

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We all love our pets but sometimes they can cause a bit too much trouble, especially our baby puppies and kittens. They will always be prone to having an accident here and there, and it’s even worse if you happen to be at work when they do it. They may even end up staining your hardwood floor, so what do you do about that? 

Your pets can damage your hardwood floor, but it can be cleaned using a variety of methods like with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Wipe down the stain, leave it for a while, then return to clean up the damage. After that, take measures to mask any lingering smells and spray scents that will deter your pets from peeing there again. 

Taking care of a pet can be complicated, and it falls to us to clean up after them. Taking a little time to better care for your little friend can save a lot of effort and energy.

How To Remove Dog and Cat Urine from Hardwood Floors?

Can Pet Urine Damage Hardwood Flooring? 

If cleaned immediately after your pet has an accident, it is very unlikely they have left any stains behind. But if the urine was left uncleaned or undiscovered for a few hours, then the damage has set in. If the puddle is left there long enough, the liquid can seep into the flooring and even damage your subflooring.

At that point, you are going to need to begin using proper cleaning agents to take care of the mess. 

How Do You Remove Urine from the Floor? 

Picking the right materials to clean your pets’ stains may be a bit difficult, considering all the options available. Each one of them works just fine, but it is still worth it to compare each option.  

It may be a good idea to ventilate the room and close it off from your pet, just to be safe. Put up any pet gates, block off any entrances, or keep them in a closed room while cleaning. 

1. Choose sollution

There are a number of options available to you when choosing which cleaning agent to use. This section will compare each one for you, letting you decide which is best for you. 

3% Hydrogen Peroxide

3% hydrogen peroxide is a common solution, as it’s both cheap and effective. Being rather cheap, any trusted brand like Dealmed’s 8oz bottle can provide a rather effective amount.

TIP: Be sure to mix with water before use, as this will increase its effectiveness much more than by itself. 

A bit of a disadvantage to using this method is the discoloration that comes with it. Hydrogen peroxide is prone to lightening hardwood, which may require sanding and recoloring if that poses an issue. This problem might be enough to deter you from using hydrogen peroxide, but it is still a safe, cheap, and effective method regardless. 


Vinegar is a solid solution, if you are looking for something more natural. As it is also another cheap and effective method, it comes out as rather cost efficient. Vinegar’s acidity is useful for breaking down most all germs and stains, including urine. 

It is also good for masking the bad smell caused by urine, giving it a bit of an edge in that regard. Since it works so quickly, the unpleasant odor of urine is soon to be replaced by vinegar. While not everyone’s favourite smell, it is much better and easier to mask than your pet’s pee. 

There are many different vinegar types available, which may be a bit confusing. But do not worry, as all vinegar types are useful in cleaning pet urine stains. But for the best chance of effectiveness, be sure to check their label for their acid levels. Distilled white vinegar and malt vinegar contain a decent amount of acid, making them pretty safe bets for cleaning. 

Pet Urine Cleaner

And finally, you can choose many of the available pet urine cleaners on Amazon. There are many trustworthy options that provide a lot of utility for their cost, like Rocco & Roxie’s stain & odor eliminator, taking care of pet urine with the same effectiveness as the products listed above. 

What makes pet cleaners like Rocco & Roxie’s useful is their previously mentioned utility, as it is usable on just about any surface that may have been stained.

It is also rather safe, leaving behind no residue and guaranteed to be safe in the presence of pets and animals.

These extra bits might be enough to convince someone to go for a commercial product, rather than a more homemade solution. 

2. Pour Solution on Urine Stain 

Start by simply pouring or spraying your chosen solution over the stained area, whether it be 3% hydrogen peroxide or a pet urine cleaner. Alternatively, you can pour or spray your solution on a rag and wipe the stained wood down. 

3. Let The Solution Sit for a While 

The amount of time this will take will depend on the size of the mess, but a generally safe amount of wait time should be around one to three hours. Make sure the solution is not disturbed by anyone, as it will need time to soak into the floor and dig into the mess itself. 

NOTE: If using vinegar, you may not have to wait as long. As it doesn’t take nearly as much time as either hydrogen peroxide or more commercial products, you may only have to wait 10 to 20 minutes for vinegar to finish the job. 

4. Wipe the Solution Away 

You should begin wiping once the discoloration caused by the stain is almost completely removed. By this point the solution has done its job and is finally ready to be cleaned up for good. 

5. Mop the Previously Stained Area 

Mopping down the floor is a good way to clean up the rest of the solution. It also makes sure your furry friend doesn’t happen to find some of the leftover cleaning agent you may have accidentally left behind. 

6. Recolor the Wood 

While not necessary, this might be something to consider if your hardwood was deeply stained by the urine. If your pet’s accident left that much of an impression, you may want to recolor the wood yourself to make it look as it did before. Find the right match for your specific color of wood and coat the discolored section for a perfect finish. 

What Neutralizes the Smell of Dog and Cat Urine? 

If an odor still lingers after cleaning, you can use air fresheners or candles you may have. The cleaning process should end any bad smells that still linger but consider this a final step of sorts. If there’s still some sort of bad scent in the air, use your preferred method of making the room smell nice again. 

What Smell do Dogs Hate to Pee On? 

The most effective deterrent would have to be citrus smells. Since dogs have much stronger noses than humans, the normally clean scent for us becomes an irritating smell for them.

This is also the easiest method to use, as all you have to do is either cut a citrus fruit or spray a scented bottle to keep your dogs at bay. 

Other much more common deterrents can be vinegar and perfume or cologne, as they are rather strong scents for most any dog. Just like citrus, these scents are rather strong to a dog’s sensitive nose. Scents like these are more than enough to keep a dog away for a while. 

NOTE: While dogs do hate the smell of cleaning detergents, they can be rather dangerous depending on what they are made of. If you choose to use this sort of method, be sure that the cleaning product is pet safe before potentially risking the life of your little one. 

What Smell Do Cats Hate to Pee On? 

And just like with dogs, cats hate citrus and vinegar all the same. Since their noses are also rather sensitive, these stronger scents can leave an unpleasant impression on them. 

NOTE: You want to avoid essential oils at all costs. Essential oils contain Phenols, which are toxic to all cats and especially fatal kittens. 

How Can I Protect My Hardwood Floors from Dog and Cat Urine? 

Hardwood sealants are the best ways to protect your hardwood flooring from the unwanted damage caused by pet urine, but there are two types to consider. Each one is useful, making this decision another matter of preference. 

Surface Sealants 

Surface sealants are applied on the surface of hardwood, acting as a bit of an overcoat. Their main function is to block outside moisture from entering the hardwood, which is perfect for protecting against urine stains.  

NOTE: A bit of a side effect caused by these types of sealants is the look of the finish. Surface sealants are known to leave a bit of a plastic look to your wood, which could drive you away from using it. While this is only a visual issue, it may still be enough for you to consider the alternative option. 

Penetrating Sealants 

Penetrating sealants are applied to the floor’s surface as well, but also soak into the hardwood itself. These leave the texture and look of your hardwood floors much more natural, but do not provide as much protection. Because of this, they are often used alongside surface waxes to provide better resistance against moisture. 

While requiring reapplication from time to time, surface wax is a rather useful product when looking for a way to protect your hardwood that also leaves it looking more wooden than plastic. 

How Can I Prevent my Pet from Having an Accident? 

There are a few ways to tackle this issue, which will involve some trial and error. Potty training your pet is going to be a rewarding but difficult task, and there are many ways to go about it. 

Keep in mind that some options may not work for your pet, and that’s perfectly normal. Pets have their own minds and personalities, which will have to be accounted for when training them.  

Take Them Outside at Specific Times 

By far the easiest option is to simply designate times where you grab the leash and take your pet out for a little walk so they can relieve themselves.

While it is just this straightforward, it also might not even be a possibility for everyone. If you happen to be stuck at work and no one else is able to watch your pets while you are gone, then other more complicated methods might have to be considered. 

You could always hire a pet sitter to take care of this for you, but that would require extra money that you may or may not have. If this happens to be an option for you, then this is absolutely worth considering. 

Leave a Personal Spot for Them in Your Home 

If no one can watch over them and you can’t hire anyone to take your furry friend outside, then it may be best to buy a couple of potty pads and give them a space of their own while you are away.

It will give you an extra chore to take care of, but is a much better alternative to having to clean another urine stain. 

Use a Pet Potty Training Service 

While perhaps the most expensive option available, this should still be considered all the same. A trained professional can take a lot of the pressure off you, leaving them as an option to consider should it be available to you.

This would also permanently solve the issue of them using the bathroom anywhere in the house, as they would find the way to their potty pad on their own without you around. 

Related Questions

Will These Cleaning Agents Work for My Other Pets?

All the cleaning agents listed, aside from the specialized products, work on practically all urine stains and gets rid of the terrible smell.  

Can I Cover the Stain with a Carpet?

Absolutely do not do this. The stain will just continue to fester over time, making for a harder cleaning process in the future. Save yourself the trouble and take care of the stain as soon as possible.