How to Get Dog Urine Out of Hardwood Floors

by Charlie
How to Get Dog Urine Out of Hardwood Floors

Nobody wants to come down to find a puddle of dog urine on their nice hardwood floor. Urine is particularly difficult to get out and often leaves dark stains on the wood, which can be extremely problematic to deal with. If your dog has created puddles, you might be wondering what you can do to get rid of them and stop the floor from staining.

It’s important to clean dog urine away thoroughly every time, because if your dog can smell the urine on the floor, it may be more inclined to urinate in that area again. Even if you can’t smell it, remember that dog noses are more sensitive than a person’s nose – so you may need to take additional steps to prevent your dog from detecting it.

How can you get dog urine out of hardwood floors? You can neutralize and remove dog urine from hardwood floors by mixing white vinegar and a scented oil, and then scrubbing the floor with this solution. You should find that the stains and the odor disappear. In some cases, you might want to use a commercial cleaner to reduce the risk of the cleaner staining your floor.

How Do You Remove Dog Urine from Hardwood Flooring?

The most popular home removal method involves using white vinegar and your choice of essential oils. The vinegar will clean and disinfect the area, while the essential oil will help to cover up the smell and reduce the risk of your dog using this spot again. You can use a commercial cleaner if you prefer, but this should work in most cases.

It’s worth noting that almost anything you use to clean your hardwood floor carries some risk of staining the wood. Test any kind of cleaner on an inconspicuous area before you apply it to the dog urine, and avoid using it if it marks the floor.

Start by getting some clean, absorbent towels and blotting up the liquid. If you prefer, you can use things like paper towels, or reusable cloth ones. Soak up as much of the liquid as you can, so that the floor is as dry as possible.

Next, mix one cupful of white vinegar with a few drops of grapefruit oil or another essential oil. Citrus oils tend to be effective because they have a strong, clean odor that is not generally popular with pets.

Use this mixture to scrub the floor, working with the grain of the wood, until you feel that the area is clean. When it is, use more towels to blot and dry the area, and leave it to dry out fully. This is not guaranteed to remove stains, but it should kill germs and disinfect the spot. The vinegary smell will quickly dissipate.

How Do You Stop Dog Urine from Staining Hardwood Flooring?

The best way to prevent staining is to clean the urine up as soon as possible. The longer it sits on the floor, the more damage it is likely to do, so be as prompt as possible about cleaning up. If your dog is prone to accidents, consider putting down trays or plastic to protect your floor while you find a long term solution.

Dog urine contains ammonia, so it is very likely to stain if you leave it on the floor. Use the instructions above to get rid of the mark as quickly as you can after discovering it. Make sure you dry the spot thoroughly after you have cleaned it, too, as leaving vinegar on the floor could stain it.

Do You Need an Enzymatic Cleaner?

Ideally, you should use an enzymatic cleaner for cleaning up any pet urine. Enzymatic cleaners are specifically designed to break down odors and stains, so they are one of the best ways to clean up dog urine and make sure it doesn’t mark your hardwood.

If you are going to use an enzymatic cleaner, make sure you are following the instructions on the bottle to avoid damage to the floor. You may need several applications to fully lift the stains and ensure the floor is clean.

Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Dog Urine From Hardwood Floors?

A lot of people turn to hydrogen peroxide for their cleaning needs, especially when it comes to killing germs. However, this comes with a more significant risk of staining, and it is not as effective as other options in terms of combatting bad odors. Bleach may leave your floor clean, but still smelly. This will encourage the dog to urinate there again.

You should therefore be cautious about using bleach to get rid of pet odors, as it isn’t very effective and it may mark the flooring.

Should You Use a Steam Cleaner to Remove Dog Urine from Hardwood Floors?

Don’t use a steam cleaner to clean up dog urine on a hardwood floor. Heat is not recommended for breaking down the smell of urine, and can actually make it worse. Steam cleaners are also not recommended for use on hardwood floors, because they involve adding both water and heat.

Neither of these things is good for hardwood, and they may result in the wood staining and the grain lifting. You could ruin your floor with a steam cleaner, so try other options and do not resort to your steam cleaner.

Will You Need to Sand the Floor?

Unfortunately, if the dog urine has soaked into the wood, there is a high chance that the floor will need sanding and refinishing in order to restore it to its proper color. This won’t always be the case, but for major stains or ones that are old, it’s quite likely. Make sure you choose a varnish that matches your floor if you do need to refinish it.

Final Thoughts

Removing dog urine from hardwood floors can be challenging. You need to combat both the odor and the stain, and white vinegar will usually be the best option. Mix in some essential oils and scrub the stain several times as soon as you are able to. Alternatively, try an enzymatic cleaner.

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