How to Remove Pet Urine(And Smell) from Wooden Floors

Both young and elderly pets alike are prime suspects for bladder control issues. Unlike carpet, wooden floors are much easier to remove urine smell from – which is good news for you. However, things get more complicated when you are trying to remove a smelly urine stain.

Don’t panic, we’re here to save you from the stress of urine (and the smell) from your hardwood floor.

Usually, to get rid of pet urine you just need to spot wash the area. However, you still risk being left with a stinky stain. 

Check out our methods including; hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and bicarb, rubbing alcohol and bleach.


In this guide, we take you through our favourite recipes and methods for how to remove pet urine from wooden floors. These steps will even work with any other pets you may have. Pick up the cleaning supplies, and let’s get started.

wood stain floor

Removing Pet Urine from Hardwood Floors

Please note – before testing any of the recipes listed in this article on your flooring, be sure to spot-test it in an area of which is easily covered – such as under a rug or large piece of furniture – in case the product causes further staining.

1 Method One: Hydrogen Peroxide

What You Will Need:

  • Small dish of hydrogen peroxide
  • Clean microfibre cloth
  • Book or plastic wrap

This is usually a go-to product to counteract any odours and stains on your wood floor caused by your pet’s urine. In fact, this strong chemical is usually reserved for the unbearably strong smell that comes from cat urine. 

While this can also be used for dog urine odor, it’s weaker than cat urine and so doesn’t need such a strong solution. It’s also a great way to try and remove urine stains. 

You can apply the hydrogen peroxide directly to the affected area using a cloth that has been soaked in it. Lay the cloth flat over the urine stains and then place a book or plastic wrap over the top (make sure your pet cannot access it).

hydrogen peroxide

Leave for a good eight hours, maybe more if it’s quite a bad spot, and then remove the cloth. You should find that the stain and the smell are gone. In very severe cases, your wood floor may need to be resanded afterwards – it depends how deep the stain goes.

2 Method Two: White Vinegar and Bicarb

What You Will Need:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • White vinegar
  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean microfibre cloth

An excellent recipe for bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and vinegar-based cleaner is by combining 250ml water, 100ml white vinegar, 32g baking soda, and 60ml mild dish soap. Once mixed, pour each ingredient into a suitable spray bottle and invert to mix. 

Spray the liquid onto the stain or area which is the source of the odour, rubbing it in lightly with a clean cloth. After these steps leave the blend to stand on the area for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse the solution away thoroughly with a dampened cloth while ensuring the spot dries through.

rinse solution

3 Method Three: Enzyme-Based Formula

What You Will Need:

  • Enzyme-based formula of your choice
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Mop

Another excellent cleaning solution is an Enzyme based formula readily available from any good pet store. This product works on a scientific level and breaks down the proteins in pet urine, as well as eliminates all traces of the excretions. Often sold in a spray bottle, this is an excellent option for a concentrated spot cleanse.

While using the Enzyme formula neat is an excellent option in order to remove the smell caused by pet mess, pouring roughly 2oz of the liquid into a bucket of water and mopping your floors is a surefire way to keep any mild scents at bay before they become out of control.

4 Method Four: Neat White Vinegar

What You Will Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Clean microfibre cloth

If the smell is too soaked into the floor for the above methods then a more vigorous course of action will be required. 

Allowing neat white vinegar to soak in the offending spot for 24 hours is a recommended method. The vinegar scent will leave a strong smell in its own right however this should rectify itself within another 24 hours after treatment.

If it’s not quite a dire case for pure vinegar try mixing 3 parts water with one part vinegar & saturate the spot using the cloth. After this treatment dry thoroughly, sprinkle it with baking soda. Once the baking soda has absorbed the liquid, use a vacuum cleaner to suck it all up.

5 Method Five: Rubbing Alcohol

What You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean microfibre cloth

Rubbing Alcohol is an excellent choice as it is something we all have in our cupboards – especially during the recent pandemic. It’s amazing at killing the bacteria that causes the foul odours you are trying to remove. 

Simply pop it into a spray bottle and apply it to the affected area before cleaning it up with a dampened clean cloth. Make sure you blot the area to rinse it as opposed to scrub it.

6 Method Six: Bleach

Bleach is a household cleaning staple also. We all have it in our cupboards and it would be a natural option to use. This is not the case! Animals, particularly cats, are drawn to the scent of the ammonia bleach contains and will leave them obsessed with the spot it was used in. 

Ammonia is also highly toxic to pets as it’s a known irritant so I would recommend keeping them far away from the product. This is because animal urine (again, particularly cats) contains ammonia and the odour attracts them to scent mark over it.

7 Method Seven: Lemon Juice

What You Will Need:

  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Clean microfibre cloth

For a lemon-fresh kick, why not mix equal parts lemon juice, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol? All you need to do is use a cloth to gently blot the affected area to remove the stain as well as the odour. Once this is done, dampen a fresh cloth and dab the area to rinse it. 

The lemon juice solution mentioned above is great for odour removal as, unlike the bleach, the sharp lemon aroma will repel animals from the area of which it was used, thus deterring them from urinating in that area.

8 Method Eight: Coffee Grounds

What You Will Need:

  • Coffee grounds (fresh)
  • Vacuum cleaner

Furthermore, when exploring the natural options for removing pet urine from wood floors, coffee grounds are a tried and tested way to help. 

Try packing them on the area for 24 hours, as the grounds draw the scent out and instead let a gorgeously rich, roasted scent take its place – far more pleasant! You can just vacuum the grounds up afterwards. 

The options for the lemon, vinegar, and coffee-based solutions are much more eco-friendly as these are naturally occurring products and the strong chemicals of household solutions such as bleach won’t mean that you’ve exposed your pets to a potentially harmful chemical.

What to Do if the Urine Won’t Come Out?

If home cleaning isn’t working out for you, you can all in the professionals to wash and clean your hard floors for you. They have access to powerful cleaners and equipment that might just give the boost your floors need to return to their former glory. 

Sometimes a truly drenched area is simply impossible to get the smell out of, and no amount of hard elbow grease, strong chemicals, natural solutions, and tears are going to get this stench out. 

The only way to go from there is by physically removing the floorboards and replacing them with new ones. Sadly, this is the last solution for terminal cases of stench caused by pet urine and the only way to get your floors clean again.


Can Dog Pee Ruin Hardwood Floors?

Yes, dog pee can ruin hardwood floors. If the urine is allowed to soak into the wood, it can reach the subfloor. This can lead to the boards becoming dislocated or warping due to the excess moisture. It can also cause the boards to become discoloured. 

This is why cleaning urine up immediately is so important.

What Does Urine Damage Look Like on Hard Floors?

Urine damage on hardwood floors looks like large patches of black on the boards. Most of the time, it is soft and wet to touch. It looks completely irreparable, but it can actually be removed with a lot of hard work and cleaning. You may also want to get the steam cleaner out.

Can a Steam Cleaner Remove Urine Damage/Stains?

Yes, a steam cleaner can remove urine damage and stains. It is important that you don’t further soak the floor, so the steam cleaner should be used once you have used one of the methods in this guide. Once that is done, you can run the steam cleaner over the affected area. 

It will kill bacteria and help to remove the smell. Additionally, the steam cleaner can be used to remove the awful black marks caused by severe urine damage. 

This does take time, and you will definitely need to spend a day or two steaming and cleaning, but your floors will look great afterwards.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Damage Wood Floors?

No, hydrogen peroxide will not damage wood floors. When used correctly, it is one of the most effective hardwood floor cleaners, and it can even leave them looking brand new again. 

Just make sure you follow the method for hydrogen peroxide cleaning we have provided.

Does White Vinegar Remove Urine Odour?

Yes, white vinegar does remove urine odour. When used, it actually breaks down and neutralises odours – and it works for more than urine. 

In fact, if your pet has had an accident on clothing or bedding, you can add half a cup of white vinegar to the load and it will not only disinfect, but also remove the odour.

How Can I Protect My Hardwood Floors from Dog Urine?

One of the best ways to protect your hardwood floors from dog urine is to place runners on the ground. This keeps your floors in great condition and also means that you don’t need to worry about them becoming soaked with urine.

What Can I Spray on the Floor to Stop a Dog from Peeing?

You can spray a great homemade solution of water, whie vinegar, and orange essential oils on your floor to stop your dog from peeing. They hate the orange aroma and it will deter them, helping to make house training easier. 

All you need is a spray bottle full of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and 20 drops of orange essential oils. Simply spray and watch your dog wrinkle their nose in disgust.

Can You Use Magic Eraser on Hardwood Floors?

Yes, you can use Magic Eraser on hardwood floors. This can actually be a great way to remove scuffs and stains, and it has been effective with pee as well. 

However, it is best to use it in addition to the methods we have listed above to guarantee smell and stain removal.

Read Here : How to Clean Laminate Flooring

Final Thoughts

None of us enjoys the smell that pets can leave behind after accidents in the home, and this is why being quick is important when clearing it up. Ensure you clear the area before the smell soaks into the fibres of the floor and causes long term damage – which could end with the removal of your wood floor. 

Vinegar and lemon seem to be the common bases for many cleaners as they cut through stubborn stains and smells, and are much cheaper than having to replace floorboards. 

Don’t forget, if you use any synthetic or natural chemicals and cleaners please check the label or with a vet to confirm that they are safe to use around your beloved companion.

Last Updated on March 19, 2021 by Gemma Tyler Protection Status