How to Remove Urine Smell From a Couch

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Clean the urine spot immediately, especially if a cat left its pungent, distinctive odor on your couch. Once pets mark places where you don’t want them to, unless you remove the smell quickly, they might revisit the spot and leave you more of their calling cards. Quick removal helps to prevent future accidents.

For children and adults, accidents will happen -- it’s the nature of day-to-day living, but solutions to these problems await in your kitchen or laundry room cupboards: vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Commercial enzyme products or urine neutralizers also do the trick on both pet and human stains.

Water Dilution

Blot up wet urine spots with clean paper towels, and then let water do the heavy lifting, regardless of the spot's origination -- human or animal. Water helps to break up the concentrates in urine that lead to its nasty odors when dried. Liberally douse the area with a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of warm water to dilute the stain. Blot the spot with disposable white towels -- paper or cotton -- and repeat this step at least two to three times to remove as much of the urine as possible. Use this method for both new and older, dried stains.

Homemade Neutralizer Options

Choose one of the following options to make homemade neutralizer and deodorizer to address the problem area:

  • Add 2 tablespoons of citronella oil and 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to a gallon of water,
  • combine 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1 1/2 cups warm water or

  • mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water.

Apply the Product

Apply the chosen product directly to the stained area:

Step 1: Douse the Area

Liberally douse the area with your chosen homemade solution or commercial product and let it soak in. Let homemade solutions soak for about three to five minutes and commercial products for about five to 10 minutes.

Tip

  • You can also let the homemade solution dry in place on the couch to let it soak in and break up the ingredients in the urine.

Step 2: Blot -- Don't Rub

Blot the area liberally with paper towels or clean cotton cloths. Soak up as much of the neutralizer as possible.

Step 3: Air-Dry

Let the area air-dry. To help it dry more quickly, cover the area with a clean dry towel and set a weight on it to help it absorb and dry out the area on the couch.

Step 4: Odor Absorbent

Pour and spread baking soda over the dried area where the stain was. Depending on how big the stain was, you might need one-half to a full small box of baking soda.

Tip

  • For particularly tough odors and stains, mix 3/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle and spritz the baking soda with the solution, but only after testing this solution on a hidden part of your couch, as hydrogen peroxide can cause color fading.

Step 5: Vacuum Spot

Vacuum the spot after the baking soda has sat for about four hours. If you added the hydrogen peroxide mixture to the baking soda, wait until it is fully dry before vacuuming.

Repeat as Needed

You may need to repeat the whole process again once the spot is cleaned if you still notice a lingering odor.

Leather Couches

Cat urine stains on leather couches can permanently damage the leather, requiring a thorough cleaning, redyeing and reconditioning of it. If you find cat urine on a leather couch while it is still wet, blot up the urine with paper towels and clean the area immediately with an enzymatic pet product to neutralize the acids that damage the leather.

Human and dog urine aren't as much a problem for leather; clean human and dog urine from leather with a mixture of a warm water and a few squirts of dish detergent.

After cleaning the spot, clean the whole cushion from one edge to another to avoid leaving water stains on the leather. Apply a conditioning product to the leather to restore its luster once it's dry.

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