Urine discolors cotton and cotton blend fabrics. It often also produces an unpleasant odor that can be difficult to wash out. Urine stains are especially visible on white fabrics, including underwear, sheets and T-shirts. You can remove urine and other protein-based stains, such as blood, milk, mucus and vomit, by pre-treating the stain before laundering the fabric. Soak the stained fabric in cold water or treat it directly with baking soda and vinegar before laundering it in your washing machine.
Things You'll Need
Soaking in Cold Water
Check the care label on the garment or cloth. Repeatedly treating cotton and cotton blend fabrics with bleach will weaken the fabric and cause it to wear out faster.
Fill your sink with cold water. Submerge the white cotton or cotton blend fabric in the cold water for at least a half-hour. Hot and warm water causes coagulation in the fibers of the material, making the stain more difficult to wash out.
Gently agitate or rub the stain during the soaking process to loosen the stain.
Launder and rinse the fabric in lukewarm water. Inspect the fabric carefully before drying it to see whether the stain remains. The heat produced by the dryer makes urine stain removal much more difficult.
Soak the fabric in cold water for an additional half-hour and launder it again if the stain remains. Add bleach to the laundry as a last resort to remove especially stubborn urine stains.
Treating with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Apply baking soda directly to the urine stain. Run the fabric with your fingers while running cold water over it.
Fill your sink with cold water. Add 1 cup of vinegar to the water. Soak the fabric in the mixture for one hour.
Drain the sink. Rinse the fabric thoroughly under cold running water. Inspect the fabric to see whether the urine stain remains.
Repeat the process if the stain still remains. Launder and rinse the fabric once you have removed the stain. Only add bleach to the laundry when urine stains persist after treating it with baking soda and vinegar.
Treat urine stains quickly. Stains older than 24 hours are more difficult to remove.