How to Remove Ground-in Cat Litter From the Carpet

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum

  • Vinegar

  • Cleaning cloths

Keeping your litter boxes tidy helps encourage your cats to use them and not your carpet, but the small pieces of the clay litter are easily tracked all over the house. Cat litter in the carpet, whether it's spilled from the box or tracked in by cats and people, can carry in the scent of animal urine. Once it's ground into the carpet the scent adheres to the carpet fibers. Getting both the litter and the odor out freshens your carpet and prevents your cats from being drawn to urinate in the area.


Step 1

Empty the canister or replace the bag in your vacuum prior to cleaning up the litter. A full canister or bag causes the vacuum to spread the litter instead of sucking it up.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Vacuuming over the area six to eight times to pick up all the litter pieces and dust. Use a handheld attachment to vacuum near baseboards and other permanent fixtures, if necessary.


Step 3

Combine equal parts vinegar and water. Blot the vinegar solution onto the litter spot with a clean cloth if there is a urine odor. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Dip the cloth in clear water. Blot up the vinegar mixture thoroughly with the damp cloth, rewetting it as necessary.

Step 5

Allow the spot to air dry. Vacuum a second time to restore the nap to the carpet.


Litter spills rarely result in heavy urine odor. If there is a heavy odor that isn't removed with the vinegar, use a commercial enzyme cleaner formulated for pet stains to eradicate it.

Clean up litter spills as soon as they happen so the litter isn't ground deeply into the carpet and pad.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...