How to Pull out Puppy Pee Stains (or Adult Dog Urine) from Carpets via Cleaners and Vacuums

If there’s one thing in life we enjoy doing, it’s pulling pet stains out of carpets. We’ve been writing guides on carpet treatment lately, including how to remove wine stains easily, how to decaffeinate your carpet, and most recently, how to handle your cat’s urine rebellion. Today we’re going to take a look at how to handle the adorable (but challenging!) puppy phase when your new dog has trouble remembering to pee outside the house instead of, oh, directly on your favorite rugs and carpets. We can’t promise that this guide will teach your dog the difference between your backyard and the back of your sofa, but we can guarantee that you’ll learn new ways to handle whatever your new or old four-legged friend decided to do on your low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpet. We’ll run through tips for cleaning out dog urine stains by hand, with vacuum cleaners, and of course, through carpet cleaners.

How to manually remove out dog and puppy pee stains and scents from carpet (i.e., using a natural puppy urine cleaner)
You might not get your pets to love each other like these two, but you can get urine stains out of your carpets with the steps below.
You might not get your pets to love each other like these two, but you can get urine stains out of your carpets with the steps below.

If your puppy made a mess on your carpets and you want to clean it by hand, you’ll need to practically catch him  or her in the act; the sooner you find the stain and start treating it, the less time you’ll give the stain and the scent to embed themselves into the carpet, reducing your odds of needing a vacuum or carpet cleaner as outlined below.

Start by blotting the urine with a towel from the outside of the stain to the center; soak up as much as you can as quickly as you can. Once you can’t absorb any more, revisit the stain with water and a separate clean cloth, dabbing it gently. If you start this within a minute or two of the accident, you’ll typically be able to clean out all of the pee without needing to go further.

If you get there more than a few minutes later, you’ll need to add soap or detergent to the stain and massage it into the carpet fibers with your fingers. If the idea of soaking your hands in dog urine is unappealing, use gloves–we keep several boxes of nitrile gloves on hand for cleaning pretty much anything around the house–or buy a PVC pair you can wash and re-wear. Remember to massage the stain rather than pound it so you don’t embed it further. Once you’ve done so, you’ll want to rinse out the stain with more water and a clean cloth; keep checking, blotting, and rinsing to pull out the stain until it’s gone.

At this point, all that’s left is to dry the carpet by absorbing the solution via paper towels. Place a book or something heavy on the wet spot (we recommend a big bag of Purina Pro Plan for puppies). Here your goal is to minimize the water left to grow mold and mildew, as well as the odor of the urine, which will set in if the carpet stays wet. Air drying will work if you aren’t in a hurry. Once the carpet is fully dry, use a good vacuum (see below) to bring your carpet fluff and spring back; this will work whether you have low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpeting.

How to remove puppy accident stains with a vacuum cleaner
The Miele Soft Carpet is our go-to vacuum for pulling out urine stains from all kinds of carpets.
The Miele Soft Carpet is our go-to vacuum for pulling out urine stains from all kinds of carpets.

While we’ll use natural methods if we’ve got the time and if we catch the accident quickly enough, the truth is that most of us simply won’t have the time to remove pee stains or the supernatural ability to sense our puppies making them. For the rest of us mere mortals, the most effective solution is something most of us already have in the closet: a good vacuum cleaner.

Can a vacuum cleaner really take care of dog pee stains? Yes! Just as you can often clean up cat urine, wine, and coffee stains with a vacuum, you can also use one to suck out puppy pee. However, as with wine or anything else, if you want good results, you’re going to have to pay for them. When we’ve got a pee stain, we use the only vacuum we’ve found capable of tackling every carpet on the market: the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet. You’re not going to get it for discount department store prices, but if you have one, you’ll literally be able to suck stains out of carpets. This goes for high-pile, medium-pile, and low-pile carpets, as well as for handmade delicate area rugs and tapestries. If you want a buy-it-for-life vacuum, this is the one to get.

The Miele C2 Limited is a good compromise for families that can't justify the $700 of the Soft Carpet.
The Miele C2 Limited is a good compromise for families that can’t justify the $700 of the Soft Carpet.

However, since it costs more than $700, it’s possible you might not be able to justify it. For families on a smaller budget, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C2 Limited; at under $400, it’s just about  half the price of the C3 Soft Carpet but will clean almost as well as long as you’re using it on low- or medium-pile carpets. Similarly, if you need an all-around vacuum cleaner that can do everything the C2 Limited can on carpets but can also tackle hardwood floors and parquets with ease, you’ll want the Miele Complete C3 Calima, which we can easily call the best household vacuum under $700. These vacuums pay for themselves when you compare them to the money you’ll spend buying and replacing Sears specials every couple of years. We heartily recommend them.

Which carpet cleaners are best for removing dog and puppy urine and poop stains?
The EDIC Galaxy 2000 is the best carpet cleaner you can buy if you have large and frequent animal messes to clean up.
The EDIC Galaxy 2000 is the best carpet cleaner you can buy if you have large and frequent animal messes to clean up.

If you’ve got a pack of puppies or simply a lot of dog urine and poop to clean up around your home, the most effective way to keep your home or commercial building (e.g., an apartment complex or dormitories) clean is to buy a good carpet cleaner. Not even the Mieles will clear out stains and scents the way a heavy duty residential or commercial carpet cleaner will. If you have more than a thousand dollars in your budget, the best carpet cleaner on the market is the EDIC Galaxy 2000 and its sister models. This is the only machine we trust for high-end office, hotel, or industrial tasks. however, if you don’t a.) clean carpets for a living or b.) have a six-figure income, you’ll want something cheaper.

The Bissell Big Green will clean animal stains almost as well as an EDIC for much, much less.
The Bissell Big Green will clean animal stains almost as well as an EDIC for much, much less.

This is where the Bissell 86T3 Big Green comes in; it’s a better choice for 99% of families out there and most cleaning jobs. At roughly $400, you won’t notice its price nearly as much as that of the EDIC, but it will still clean most of the cat or dog stains you’ll find in a home, apartment, or condo. If you run a pet-friendly hotel, daycare, boarding-home, duplex, or apartment rental as a landlord, we’d recommend the EDIC hands down. But if your needs aren’t quite as demanding, the Bissell Big Green will keep going no matter how many times your puppies or dogs have accidents. If it’s still out of budget, we’d suggest the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner as a good compromise; it’s almost as effective while costing a bit less.

Our main recommendations for the best dog-urine-cleaning vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners below $1,000 are the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet and the Bissell Big Green. If you’re on a limited budget, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C2 Limited, and the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. If you own a million dollar home, an apartment complex, a hotel, or simply make a living from cleaning carpets, you’ll want the EDIC Galaxy 2000. We also recommend a large box of nitrile gloves or a re-usable set of heavy duty PVC gloves for hand cleaning. And if you’re looking for our recommendations for dog food, we feed our puppies Purina Pro Plan.

If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can support our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by bookmarking and shopping through this Amazon link. Canadians can use this link. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home or business.

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How to Claw Out (or Simply Clean) Cat Urine Stains with Carpet Cleaners and Vacuums

If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s pull stains out of carpets. A few months ago we wrote a pair of guides to removing wine stains and getting rid of coffee stains, and we’ve got plenty more on the way. And in a country where cats are the most popular pets (although we love dogs too), we frequently field questions on how to remove cat pee, urine, and general scents from carpets. While some will tell you the scent never truly goes away, we’re happy to report that you can at least remove such stains and scents to the point where your cats won’t find them and your guests won’t smell them (and neither will see them). Here are our best tips for cleaning out cat urine stains by hand, through vacuum cleaners, and finally, with carpet cleaners.

How to manually remove cat urine stains and scent from carpets (i.e., through a natural cat pee stain remover)
We're cat people. But not cat pee people. Here's how to get urine stains out of your carpets (if not into your litter box).
We’re cat people. But not cat pee people. Here’s how to get urine stains out of your carpets (if not into your litter box).

If you’re interested in removing cat pee stains from your carpets by hand, you’ll need to act quickly; the sooner you find and start to treat a urinated carpet, the less time both the urine and the scent will have to work themselves into the fibers, which reduces your odds of needing to use a machine-based method below. Start by blotting the urine immediately through a towel (we recommend working from the outside of the stain to the center so you don’t accidentally spread it). The more you can soak up, the better; this isn’t the time to worry about whether the towel will smell like pee, as it’ll be much cheaper to replace than a carpet. Once you’ve absorbed as much as you can into a towel, attack the stain with water and use a separate clean cloth to dab it. If you catch and respond to the scene quickly enough, you’ll often be able to clean out the urine before any of it meaningfully soaks into the carpet.

If the urine set in despite your best efforts, or if it occurred more than a few minutes before you arrived on the scene, try to add a gentle soap or detergent to the stain and use your fingers to work the solution into the carpet fibers. If you’re grossed out by cat urine, use some disposable gloves–we have several boxes of nitrile gloves for cleaning pretty much anything around the house–or buy a PVC pair you can wash and re-wear. Keep in mind you’re not pushing the stain into the carpet, or you’ll just embed the urine in the fibers. Think petting, not brushing your kitty. Once you’re done, the next step is to add water and dab it out using a clean cloth; the goal here is to rinse out both the stain and the soap solution at the same time. If you still have an obvious stain, you can try applying foam-based shaving cream with another cloth. Going back and forth between checking, blotting, and rinsing with clean water will help pull out most cat urine stains if you get there soon enough.

Once you’ve removed the stain and odor, you’ll want to lay down around a dozen paper towels on the wet spot and either walk back and forth on them to absorb the water or place a book or similar heavy object (e.g., a few boxes of long-lasting cat litter or a few bags of  quality cat food) on the wet spot. The goal at this point is to maximize absorption of water to minimize the odds of mold growth, mildew, dirt, or the odor of the urine itself, which can set in if the carpet stays wet. If you aren’t in a hurry, allowing the area to air dry will also work. Once the carpet is fully dry to the touch, a good vacuuming will bring back the fluff to the carpet, whether you have low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpeting.

How to remove carpet cat urine stains with a vacuum cleaner

While we prefer natural methods if we’re only dealing with a small spraying and have the time, tools, and patience to deal with it, the practical truth is that most of us simply can’t set aside an hour to attack a urine stain the way our cats attack our carpets. For the rest of us, there’s actually a great time saver that most people never think about hidden in the closet: a good vacuum cleaner. A vacuum? For cat pee stains? Yes! Just as you can often clear out a wine or coffee stain with a vacuum cleaner, you can often get out a cat urine stain the same way. However, as is the case with wine, you’re not going to get out your cat’s latest territorial spat with just any vacuum cleaner. We don’t have the time to struggle with budget machines, and instead go straight to the vacuum that can handle every carpet we’ve found so far: the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet. It’s not a cheap vacuum cleaner, but it’s capable of literally sucking stains out of carpets. We’ve seen it perform miracles with cat urine in low-pile, medium-pile, and high-pile carpets; we’ve even seen it remove cat stains from handmade delicate area rugs.

However, costing more than $700, there are a number of families that simply might not be able to justify the C3 Soft Carpet. That’s where the Miele Complete C2 Limited comes in; at under $400, it’s roughly half the price of the C3 Soft Carpet yet provides almost as much cleaning power as long as you’re only using it on low- or medium-pile carpets. Similarly, if you’d like an all-around vacuum cleaner capable of cleaning just as well as the C2 Limited but also capable of doing an amazing job on hardwood floors, you’ll want to head straight to the Miele Complete C3 Calima, which we’ve repeatedly judged the best household vacuum under $700. Any of these vacuum cleaners will quickly pay for itself compared to the money you’d spend replacing a budget vacuum every couple of years; these are buy-it-for-life machines.

The best carpet cleaners for removing cat urine and spray stains

If you’ve got several cats or frequent messes, here’s the most effective way to deal with things: get a good carpet cleaner. While we’re fans of the Miele for small-to-medium-sized stains, if you’ve got deeply embedded or old urine stains, your best odds of clearing out both the stain and the scent from a low-pile, medium-pile, or high-pile carpet or rug is through a heavy duty residential or commercial carpet cleaner. If you have a multi-thousand dollar budget, the top carpet cleaner on the market is the EDIC Galaxy 2000 and its sister models. This is the cleaner we turn to for high-end hotel, office, or industrial tasks where we don’t have time to try different machines and strategies. However, this is generally overkill if you don’t a.) clean carpets for money or b.) have a decent six figure income.

For 99% of families out there, we’ll typically recommend (and frequently use in cleaning jobs) the Bissell 86T3 Big Green. Costing roughly $400, it’ll make a much smaller dent in the wallet than the EDIC, but it’ll still handle most of the cat or dog stains you’ll need to clean in a home, apartment, or condo. If you run a pet-friendly hotel, daycare, boarding-home, or multi-unit house or apartment rental, then yes, the EDIC will be the better fit. But if you’re in virtually any other situation, the Bissell Big Green will be enough to help keep your carpets clean no matter how many times your cats use them instead of the litter box. If you find the Big Green costly, we’d suggest the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner as a good compromise; it’s almost as effective while costing a bit less.

Our main recommendations for the best cat-urine-cleaning vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners under $1,000 are the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet and the Bissell Big Green. If you’re on a smaller budget, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C2 Limited, and the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. If you own a million dollar home, an apartment complex, a hotel, or simply make a living from cleaning carpets, you’ll want the EDIC Galaxy 2000. We also recommend a large box of nitrile gloves or a re-usable set of heavy duty PVC gloves for hand cleaning. And if you’re looking for our recommendations for cat food and cat litter, we feed our cats IAMS Proactive  and line their litter boxes with Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter.

If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can support our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by bookmarking and shopping through this Amazon link. Canadians can use this link. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home or business.

Related Posts and Reviews...

Reviewing the best vacuums and carpet cleaners for homes with little feet.