Removing Pet Stains and Odors from Carpets and Furniture

Author: Everclean

September 22, 2023
Categories: Stain Removal Tips

Pets can bring so much joy into our lives. But when accidents happen, the stains and odors left behind can be frustrating to deal with. Thankfully, with the right techniques and products, you can get carpets and furniture looking and smelling fresh again.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to remove both stains and odors from carpets and upholstered furniture caused by dog and cat urine, feces, and vomit. With a little elbow grease and patience, you can erase the evidence of potty mishaps and get your home back to neutral.

Removing Pet Stains from Carpets

When it comes to carpets, acting quickly is key for stain removal. The longer the stain sits, the deeper it can penetrate into fibers. Follow these steps to get rid of pet stains from carpets:

Step 1: Blot Up the Stain

As soon as you notice the stain, start by blotting it with a clean, absorbent towel or piece of cloth. Press down firmly to soak up as much of the stain as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain further into the carpet.

Step 2: Identify the Type of Stain

To choose the right cleaning solution, you’ll need to identify what kind of stain it is. Is it urine, feces, or vomit? Each type of stain requires a slightly different approach.

  • For urine stains, an enzymatic cleaner is best. The enzymes break down the compounds in urine that cause odors.
  • For feces stains, start with an enzymatic cleaner pre-treatment. Then follow up with a disinfectant to kill bacteria.
  • For vomit stains, use a detergent solution and rinse thoroughly to remove acidity.

Step 3: Mix the Appropriate Cleaning Solution

Mix up an appropriate stain-fighting solution based on the type of stain:

  • Urine: Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water in a spray bottle. The vinegar helps neutralize the urine and lift the stain.
  • Feces: Mix an enzymatic cleaner with water per label instructions. Then mix 1 tsp of disinfectant like bleach into 1 cup of water.
  • Vomit: Mix 1 tsp mild dish soap with 2 cups water. Dish soap helps cut through the oils and acids in vomit.

Step 4: Apply the Solution & Let Sit

Spray or blot the cleaning solution directly onto the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so it can work at breaking down the stain compounds.

Step 5: Blot & Rinse

After letting it sit, blot the area with clean towels to soak up the solution and lift the stain. For feces or vomit stains, use clean water on a towel to rinse away any residue.

Step 6: Repeat if Needed

Check if the stain is still visible after blotting and rinsing. If so, repeat the cleaning process until the stain is completely gone. You may need 2-3 applications.

Step 7: Rinse & Blot Until Dry

When the stain is no longer visible, rinse the spot thoroughly with clean water. Blot with towels to soak up excess moisture. Repeat blotting until the area is completely dry.

Eliminating Pet Odors from Carpets

Once the stain is removed, you still need to tackle odors that linger in the carpet pads and fibers. Here are some simple ways to freshen and deodorize carpets after pet accidents:

Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the area of the stain. Let it sit for several hours or overnight so it can absorb odors. Then vacuum up the baking soda. Repeat as needed until odors dissipate.


Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the area and let dry completely. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries but odors are neutralized.

Enzymatic Cleaner

Use an enzymatic cleaner made specifically for eliminating pet odors. Spray it on the area according to label directions. The enzymes destroy odor compounds.

Activated Charcoal

Spread activated charcoal over the carpet in a thin layer. Let it sit for a few hours to absorb odors before vacuuming up. Charcoal is extra absorbent for severe odors.

Removing Pet Stains from Upholstered Furniture

Furniture presents a few extra challenges when it comes to removing pet stains. Follow these tips to get upholstery clean and odor-free:

Step 1: Blot Excess Liquid

As with carpets, immediately blot up as much of the stain as possible. This will keep it from seeping deeper into the fabric.

Step 2: Mix Stain Solution

Choose the appropriate cleaning solution for the stain type. See the carpet section above for recommended mixes.

Step 3: Spot Test Inconspicuous Area

Before treating the stain directly, do a spot test of the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of the upholstery. Check that it doesn’t discolor or damage the fabric.

Step 4: Apply & Let Sit

If the spot test is successful, spray or blot cleaner directly onto the stain. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.

Step 5: Blot & Rinse

Once the cleaner has sat, use a clean cloth to blot the excess liquid. Follow up by gently blotting the area with clean water to rinse.

Step 6: Repeat if Needed

Examine the stain and repeat the cleaning process if it’s still visible. Rinse and blot with water after each application to prevent over-wetting the fabric.

Step 7: Blot Dry

Blot with clean towels until the area is completely dry. Allow the furniture to air dry fully before using again.

Removing Pet Odors from Furniture

Even after the stain is treated, pet odors may linger in furniture. Use these simple tricks to freshen upholstery:

Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda liberally over fabric. Let sit overnight, then vacuum up. Baking soda helps absorb stubborn odors trapped in fibers.

Steam Clean

Use the steam function on your carpet cleaner to give furniture a deep clean. The heat helps release trapped odors.

Vacuum Upholstery Attachment

Vacuum using the special upholstery brush attachment. This reaches deep into fabrics to suck out odors and refresh.

Essential Oils

Add a few drops of essential oil like lemon or lavender to baking soda before sprinkling on furniture. The oils help mask odors.

Activated Charcoal

Place activated charcoal inside a tied off sock. Use this to rub down the furniture. Charcoal absorbs tough odors.

Helpful Tips for Pet Stain & Odor Removal

Here are some extra pointers to help with the pet stain and odor removal process:

  • Act quickly as soon as the accident happens to make cleaning easier.
  • If using store-bought cleaners, check that they are specifically formulated to eliminate pet stains and odors.
  • When cleaning furniture, focus on cushions and crevices where odors like to hide.
  • If stains or odors persist after multiple cleaning attempts, call in a professional carpet cleaner.
  • Steam cleaning carpets and upholstery can help release stubborn odors and freshen fibers.
  • Make sure to rinse cleaned areas thoroughly so residues don’t attract dirt over time.
  • Open windows and use fans to speed dry time after cleaning carpets and furniture.
  • Prevent future accidents by making sure pets have access to potty areas and that medical issues are ruled out.

Still Need Help? Get Professional Carpet Cleaning

While many pet stains can be successfully removed with the right DIY methods, some extra stubborn odors and set-in stains require a deeper clean. If you’ve given it your best effort and still can’t get your carpets or upholstery completely clean, it may be time to call in the pros.

Our professional carpet cleaning service can treat tough pet stains, eliminate embedded odors, and freshen your carpets and fabrics using powerful truck-mounted extraction systems and cleaning solutions. We’ll give your home a deeper clean than you can achieve on your own.

To schedule an appointment with our certified technicians:

Read through our 5-star customer reviews to learn how we’ve helped others refresh their home after pet accidents. We’re committed to delivering outstanding results and complete odor removal. Contact us today to renew your carpets and upholstery!


While pet stains and odors can be nuisance, having the right game plan makes removal a simple process. By acting quickly, using the appropriate cleaning solutions, and taking time to thoroughly clean and deodorize, you can erase the evidence of accidents from carpets and upholstery. With a little effort, your home can stay fresh and your pets won’t have to be banished when they have the occasional mishap.


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