“Do it Yourself” Pet Urine Odor 

 Removal Myth…Exposed!

Everyday, I get calls from people regarding issues with pet urine odor in carpets, rugs, sofas and sometimes mattresses. Often, they have tried multiple types of “miracle” pet urine treatments found on the web or in pet stores. Honestly, it is rare that these solutions actually work.

Often, the women are the only ones in the house that can smell the urine odor.

Pet’s are wonderful…I’m a huge dog fan. What I’ve learned is that dogs in the Northwest, usually small dogs, don’t like to go outside and pee in the rain. I know…they go out for 20 minutes then come back in the house and sneak over to their favorite spot and pee, again and again and again. Cats have other reason why they pee, but with either pet the urine smell is terrible.

Of course, homeowners have to do something with the pee spot. You try to fix the pet urine spot, the the odor goes away for a few days, and then all of sudden it comes back. It’s almost as if the dog or cat pee’d again. Time to find a new product or secret formula for pet urine treatment.

No Miracle Results…Only Odor & Frustration 

You search the internet and are offered all kinds of products that promise miracle results for pet urine odor removal. The various Enzymes, Deodorizers, Carpet Cleaning methods, and others usually skip key parts of the scientific equation to permanently neutralize pet urine odor.

Problem One: Miracle DIY Pet Urine Odor Removal products only treat the urine at the surface. Since urine has penetrated deep down in the carpet and pad the urine salts are planning a sneak attack and will return within a few days.

Problem two: Enzymes die before completely removing the pet urine.

Problem three: The salt is the real problem with pet urine and most of the DIY formulas do not remove the salt.

Problem four: The urine is still in the carpet. If you ever see the water from the carpet after removing the pet urine you would be amazed and how terrible it is.

So what do you do? Get some magic pet urine removal formula sold on the internet or in pet stores. You pour some in the carpet and now it seems better. Then a day later or so it’s back and strangely it smells worse. So, maybe you just need a little more “magic pet treatment solution”? Then you try another bottle…and then another. More is better right? More pet urine solution seems better, but nothing seems to work. It’s frustrating cause the odor is still there and you have spent a bunch of money and time trying to fix this problem that never seems to go away.

What now? Ok, now time to call a carpet cleaning company to come fix the pet urine. They show up and use a similar product and process that you were trying and then leave. A few days later the pet urine odor comes back.

It’s frustrating!! You’ve spent even money on “Miracle” pet Urine Odor Removal potions and carpet cleaners and are still back at the start.

The Dirty Secret About Pet Urine 

Blacklight Exposing Pee

I rarely see a consumer pet urine product that kills the bacteria and removes the salts. If you catch the pet urine when it first happens you may have a chance to neutralize it. These products only mask the embarrassing pet urine smell for a couple days, and then it reappears. The pet urine smell comes from the bacteria. Once the pet urine dries it changes from an acid into an alkaline salt. When water is added to the urine it aggravates the salt and the pet urine smell returns! Guess What?… The salt is the food for the bacteria.

The proteins in the urine glow under blacklight (see photo on the right). Even after treating and cleaning the area often the urine will still show up under a black light but have no odor.

A problem with deodorizers is that they only mask smells and do not kill the the bacteria.

The issue with Enzymes is that they don’t stay wet long enough to complete the job and homeowners do not have a powerful enough vacuum to remove the pee from deep down in the carpet.

Guess what?…Many carpet cleaners still think Carpet Cleaning, Deep Cleaning, Enzymes, and Deodorizers are the effective way to treat pet urine!

Guaranteed Pet Urine Removal

I can not fix everything, so I always try to find the best solution for my clients regarding treating pet urine in their home.

Honestly, sometimes it is better to replace the carpet, rug, or other items than use my pet urine treatment process. I turn down about 10% of the jobs I get calls for and recommend that people replace the carpet.

I have obtained the latest technology and training to assist Portland and Vancouver, WA area home owners with Pet Urine removal.

Pet Urine Removal Process:

  • Inspect your carpet with a black light, like on CSI, to find and mark all of the pet urine areas with painters tape. This is a fun tool to use!<
  • Determine cost of the treatment process. Quote the price upfront and discuss options before starting.
  • Setup the machine machine and mix up a Special Pet Urine Treatment formula with very hot water and then saturate the contaminated areas.
  • After giving the formula proper time to work I then use a special tool called a Water Claw to literally flush the contaminants from the carpet face fibers, backing, and pad.
  • Then clean the carpet

This is the water claw! It removes the most stubborn pet urine and odor down to the pad. (I have two of them)

*Drying time for the pet urine spots usually takes 2-3 days. The carpet can be walked on after cleaning.

The Science of Pet Urine

Okay, ready to dive in a little deeper with your pet urine knowledge?

Pet urine never really goes away, unless properly treated by a trained professional and not all carpet cleaners know how to effectively remove it.

The Science of Pet Urine:

When pet urine is wet it is an acid. At this point detergent can help neutralize the pee. After the untreated pet urine dries it turns into an alkaline salt. P.S. Re-wetting the spot doesn’t put the urine back in an acidic state. The interesting part is that carpet cleaners use an alkaline detergent to clean carpet and since this solution and the dry pet urine are both alkaline carpet cleaning alone will do nothing to neutralize the pet urine.

Have you ever noticed after trying to clean dry urine spots with water or during the humid summer how the strong urine smell returns? The water used to clean the spot or the humidity in the air aggravates the urine salts and causes the smell to return. If you wash away the top layer of urine and any moisture, from humidity or cleaning, is exposed to the urine areas the urine will come right back to the top of the carpet and into the air. With pet urine, salt is food for bacteria.


Removing pet urine depends on whether the urine is from a cat, dog, or other animal. Some pets have urine that is very high in alkaline and can remove color from the carpet or permanently stain the carpet. Generally, the smaller the animal the smaller the kidneys and the more powerful the pee odor. Trust me, some of the worst pet urine odor is from a ferret! Besides strong odors, heavily soaked subfloors and base boards from pets or homeowner pet urine treatment formulas can be impossible to fix. Cat urine and other types of urine with high pH can neutralize the dyes in the carpet or other items. Carpet is usually dyed with an acid based dye. When urine dries it become a high pH urine salt that can neutralize the dye in the carpet. If you put a high pH cleaner on cat urine for instance it can pull the color right out of the carpet. Do it Yourself Pet Urine treatment can also cause damage to the seams in carpet, damage to sub-floors and baseboards.

Don’t Be Fooled By Inferior Methods: Old Techniques

In the past, the only way to deal with pet urine involved using enzymes or the complicated and expensive process of removing the pad.

Enzymes: They are still in use today. Actually, many carpet cleaners still think this is the effective way to deal with pet urine problems. Enzymes do not really work for removing dry pet urine and are usually only reserved for pet urine removal out of delicate fibers, such as rugs or wool. The problem with enzymes is that they need to stay wet for several days to be able to do their job, and unfortunately they never stay wet long enough to work properly.

Carpet Pad Replacement: The basic process was to pull the carpet up and treat the areas of the sub-floor, clean the tops/bottoms of the carpet, and replace the pad. Then re-lay and re-stretch the carpet. Very expensive, time consuming, and usually not necessary.

Don’t Let This Happen to You!

Actually, many cleaners still think enzymes and carpet pad replacement are the only two ways to remove pet urine. It is common for carpet cleaners to tell you exactly what it costs to remove pet urine over the phone, without knowing how much area needs to be treated. This is not good! This usually means they are just going to put an enzyme on the carpet and then do regular carpet cleaning. This almost never works. To properly fix pet urine issues the carpet cleaner needs to treat each area and that is not a blanket approach.

Honestly, sometimes it is better to change your carpet. I always provide the best options for my clients and help them make informed decisions. I Want to win and get rid of that odor!

With your new education on pet urine you can make an informed decision when hiring an expert in Pet Urine Odor Removal Portland or Vancouver, WA to help you with your pet urine removal needs.

If you need helping permanently removing the odor, please Call 503-922-4875 / 360-901-8686