Removing pet stains from hardwood floors is no easy task, so it’s best to avoid pet mishaps and urine damage to hardwood floors as much as possible. But we're pet owners too, and we understand pet accidents happen! Properly cleaning dog urine on hardwood floors is crucial to prevent urine stains on hardwood floors as well as the smells that can linger afterward.
If you find pet urine on hardwood floors, it’s important to act quickly. We’ll tell you how to address pet urine when you notice it and how to remove pet stains from hardwood floors when you’re too late.
Why cleaning dog urine on hardwood floors is a race against time
Because hardwood flooring is porous, it can be prone to moisture absorption. Moisture absorption can cause damage to the wood floors like cracking, shifting and bowing. If that moisture is pet urine, you’ll have compounded issues of bacterial growth and a long-term foul urine odor.
That’s why it’s important to act fast when you notice pet urine on hardwood floors.
Cleaning pet accidents quickly and properly can help prevent tough stains, odors, and even serious damage to your floors.
Best floor cleaner for pet urine
You might think you need a specialized floor cleaner to address pet urine puddles on your hardwood floors, but we’ve got good news. You don’t!
Any mild floor detergent that’s safe for hardwood is okay to use to clean your pet’s accidents.
Don’t have a favorite hardwood floor cleaning detergent yet? No worries. You can make a simple and effective cleaning solution for cleaning pet urine from hardwood floors and preventing damage to your wood floors. Add one cup of water and one cup of vinegar to a clean spray bottle and save it for future pet accidents.
Get some baking soda and peroxide handy if you’ve missed the window for absorbing moisture from the floor surface, or to address stains and prevent odors from hardwood floors.
Cleaning dog urine on hardwood floors
When you first notice pet urine on your hardwood floors, act quickly and follow these 5 simple steps:
- Dry the entire area with a paper towel. It’s important to be thorough and not to leave any moisture behind.
- Sprinkle baking soda generously on the area. Let it sit overnight, or for at least 8 hours to absorb any remaining moisture.
- Vacuum or sweep the baking soda with a soft bristle broom or a vacuum with the brushes raised to prevent scratching your floor.
- Clean the area with a soft-bristled scrub brush and a 1-to-1 vinegar and clean water solution. Rinse with warm water and repeat if needed. Rinse again.
- Dry the entire floor with a clean, dry towel and if available to you, use a fan aimed at the affected surface to ventilate the area.
Be sure to use the proper protective equipment if using a chemical agent or vinegar to clean the floor. These include durable rubber gloves and a ventilator if needed.
How to get urine stains out of hardwood floors
If you’ve missed the opportunity to address a pet mess before it sets into your hardwood flooring, you might be left with a stained hardwood floor. Removing pet stains from hardwood floors requires another household item: hydrogen peroxide
If you’ve followed the steps above or recently discovered a dried pet urine stain, hydrogen peroxide can sometimes lighten or remove the stain.
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can sometimes also lighten the color of your floorboards. If you are concerned about further discoloration to your wooden floors, spot-test any cleaning products you plan to use.
You can also use any enzyme-based hardwood floor detergent to try to lift the stain. Many stains will require a refinish of the area, and likely the entire floor. That’s why catching a puddle right away is so important!
How to get dog urine smell out of hardwood floors
If you’ve properly cleaned pet urine on your hardwood floor and the pet odor persists, check to make sure you haven’t missed any other pet stains. If you find you have, address them according to our 5 easy steps, or clean dried pet stains with your peroxide solution or enzymatic cleaners.
If you’re sure your dried pet stain is the source of the odor, you can first try the baking soda process again overnight. Be sure the humidity in the room is well managed. If the room feels humid, the pet urine may not come out of wooden floors. Use a dehumidifier and check out our recent blog post about removing moisture from hardwood floors.
A second round of gentle scrubbing with the same peroxide solution or enzyme cleaner or detergent should do the trick of removing the lingering pet odors.
How to remove dark urine stains from hardwood floors
Are you still having a difficult time removing the stain or the odor from the site of the accident? Sometimes pet urine damages floors badly enough that they need a refinish or repair.
If you decide you want to repair the years of damage to your hardwood floor after raising a pet or two, we can help you with that. Refinishing is also a great way to transform the look of a room with a new stain, finish, or both.