How to Get Dog Pee Out Of Your Couch
It’s movie night. The popcorn is freshly buttered. Movie chosen. You are ready for a night of cinematic wonders. You dim the lights, plop down on the couch…
And there it is.
The stench of dog urine billows up from your couch, instantly killing your mood. Your dog curiously sniffs the air with vague recognition, seemingly unbothered by his accident on the couch a few weeks back.
You thought you’d cleaned it thoroughly, but clearly not, if you can still smell it. You've read about the dangers of harsh cleaners, but nothing seems to be working. There has to be a gentle way to get the dog pee smell out of your couch.
Check out this complete guide to get the most out of your couch cleaning routine!
Why Your Dog Pees on Furniture
The bad news: even if you clean your couch after your dog pees on it, they'll keep peeing on furniture because their scent lingers unless you neutralize the urine properly.
A dog's sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans, depending on the breed.
But how did this bad habit even start? And how do you stop your dog from continuing to pee in the same spot?
Dogs are often drawn to pee on soft surfaces like carpets and furniture.
Let's go over the root cause of why dogs pee on objects in the home. After all, we can prevent future potty mishaps once we know the underlying issue.
Here are the most common causes:
- Stress or anxiety: Some dogs pee on furniture when feeling stressed or experiencing separation anxiety.
- Submissive behavior: Dogs with submissive behavior urine on objects when you enter their space or stand over them. Some dogs behave like this due to past traumatic experiences while others just come by it naturally. Stopping the behavior is difficult.
- Incontinence: When your dog gets older, they might start losing their ability to control their bladder. Because of this, your dog has indoor potty accidents more easily and makes objects in the home, like the couch, their potty spot.
- Territorial marking: If you have a male dog or a dog with dominant behavior, they may pee on furniture to mark their territory or assert themselves. The peeing will only continue as long as these dogs feel that their territory is being threatened. Although many pet owners think spaying or neutering their dog stops territorial marking, this isn't the case. If your dog, male or female, pees indoors for this reason, they need proper training to stop the behavior.
- Separation Anxiety or General Anxiety: Inappropriate elimination is a common behavioral issue with anxious dogs. Some dogs experience high levels of anxiety when their pack (namely you) is gone, others can be sensitive to changes in the home, a new baby, a new work schedule, for some, even new furniture is enough to throw them into a worrisome tailspin.
- Disease: If your dog displays excessive thirst, they could have a medical condition like bladder stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease, or diabetes. Monitor your dog's water intake and behavior to determine if illness or a health issue is causing them to pee on objects in the home. Schedule a vet appointment to ensure your dog's health is okay.
Because dogs are drawn to the smell of their own pee, what may have started out as truly an accident can easily turn into a habit.
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, contact your vet and a dog behaviorist to learn training techniques to prevent indoor potty accidents.
A certified dog behaviorist can help with accidents rooted in issues like anxiety.
However, as mentioned, because your dog is continuously sniffing their lingering pee scent, training the bad habit out of them will only do so much.
Why Is Dog Pee So Difficult to Clean Out of Furniture?
The answer is short and sweet because it all has to do with the makeup of urine. Urine includes many components, like water, urea, creatinine, chloride, sodium, and other ions and molecules. The most troublesome component, uric salts (also known as uric acid) pulls humidity back to the urine deposit which then re-evaporates, producing a smelly gas.
Because of the nature of uric salts, they're impossible to clean properly with most commercial cleaners, soap and water or stain remover. Most contain added fragrances that may mask the odor to you, but will not hide it from your dog.
How to Clean Fresh Urine from Upholstery and Carpets Economically
Two common household products can help neutralize urine odor if used quickly: baking soda and vinegar (white or apple cider). Both are safe for humans and pets, and generally safe for carpet and upholstery (you’ll want to spot test both to be sure). They can be used separately or together.
Follow these 5 steps clean urine with baking soda and vinegar:
- Blot, blot, blot. Before attempting to clean the spot, blot up as much urine as possible. Don’t rub the spot, as that only pushes it further into the surface, use paper towels to soak up the urine, pressing directly down gently to draw urine into the paper towel.
- Spray vinegar onto the urine spot, most surfaces can tolerate straight vinegar, but if you’re worried about staining, you can dilute the vinegar with water, 1:1. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and blot dry again.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the vinegar (it may fizz up a bit). Cover the spot with a damp towel for 24 hours.
- Rinse with fresh water and blot.
- Vacuum if necessary.
The baking soda and vinegar will neutralize urine odor, ensuring the stain and the smell will not return. They do, however, become less effective as urine sits.
Baking soda and vinegar work best when used immediately after an accident.
For older urine spots, you’ll need a quality enzymatic cleaner to break down urine on a molecular level.
What are Enzymatic Cleaners, and How Do They Work?
As mentioned above, only enzymatic cleaners can get urine stains and smell out of furniture due to the makeup of urine. The enzymes in these cleaning products work by breaking down the uric acid crystals in your dog's pee.
Don't rub urine into the spot. Blot with a paper towel to draw it up and out.
But what exactly are enzymes, anyway?
Enzymes work by breaking down waste particles on a molecular level, breaking them down into more consumable pieces.
Enzymes are proteins that cause chemical reactions to help our bodies function correctly. There are four types of enzymes to know about to pick the right enzymatic cleaner for the job.
These enzymes include:
- Lipase: Effectively breaks down fat molecules like grease and oils.
- Amylase: Breaks down starchy molecules like sugars.
- Cellulase: Removes dirt and other debris from cellulose fibers like cotton and linen.
- Protease: Breaks down protein-based odors and stains from feces, urine, and other bodily fluids.
Essentially, our bodies' enzymes search for a source of energy for themselves and seek out specific molecules. The natural, plant-based enzymes found in enzymatic cleaners work the same way in eliminating odors.
See how these enzymes work in breaking down your dog's potty messes? When added to a dog odor eliminator, a combination of enzymes can get working and break down the acidic components in your dog's urine.
But do these enzymes damage materials and surfaces?
Not at all! These enzymes only break down the acidity that stains the material and the smelly bacteria without damaging any fibers or other materials.
How to Choose an Enzymatic Cleaner
Now that you know how an enzymatic cleaner works, do all these cleaners have similar ingredients? Is there any difference between these cleaners?
There is a way to choose the best enzymatic cleaner for your needs. Because you need a cleaner targeting pet odor and urine stains, you'll need to look for products labeled with that enzyme benefit.
Find an enzymatic cleaner that works without the harsh use of chemicals.
Follow these tips to find the best enzyme cleaner for your needs:
- Formulation: This aspect goes back to the four types of enzymes and how they break down different molecules. For example, if you're looking for an enzyme cleaner for dog urine odor but buy an enzyme cleaner formulated to break down grease and oil, you will get different results.
- Concentration: Depending on the size and age of the mess you need to clean, determine how potent you want your chosen enzyme cleaner to be. If you're looking at a cleaner that needs to be diluted with water, it's of a higher concentration. And, if it's a cleaner you can use on its own, it's of a lower concentration. Get a higher concentration for those old stains that won't go away. For more minor stains, go for a lower concentration.
- Surface: You can only use enzyme cleaners on some surfaces. Remember that you shouldn't use these cleaners on porous surfaces like wood or stone. It's also not recommended for metal surfaces because it's sensitive to enzyme cleaners.
- Ingredients: Not all cleaners are created equal. Some use harsh chemicals you may not want in your home with your pets or children. Avoid ingredients like bleach, ammonia, or lye. For safer alternatives, look for cleaners that state "natural ingredients" or "naturally repels odors" because these cleaners use the natural abilities of enzymes and not harmful chemicals.
- Instructions: Because some cleaners must be diluted with water or only work on certain surfaces, you must read the instructions before using the product. You wouldn't want to use a cleaner on the couch or the hardwood floor only to find out that it's damaging to those surfaces.
- Price: When shopping for an enzymatic cleaner, you’ll finally want to consider the price point. For this part, it’s up to you what you’re willing to spend on a cleaner because everyone has a different budget. Enzymatic cleaners are usually more expensive than regular cleaners, but they’re well worth it.
How to Find Pet, Human, and Earth-Friendly Solutions
There are several options if you prefer using environmentally friendly products labeled safe for pets and humans. It's understandable to avoid potentially toxic ingredients, especially with pets or kids in the home.
Make sure you read the labels and ingredients list carefully to find products that use the natural power of enzymes rather than chemicals and fragrances.
The recent phenomenon of “greenwashing” can make deciphering labels a bit more difficult. Here are some terms you’ll want to watch out for when shopping for eco-friendly enzymatic cleaners.
- “Green”: Any company can splash "green" on their product labels, but it doesn't mean much. Of course, it could suggest anything from plant-based ingredients to biodegradability, so the vagueness can trick consumers into thinking they're buying an eco-friendly product.
- “Natural”: This is another vague term that companies use to make their products sound eco-friendly. The product may contain one natural ingredient, but it could also contain countless toxic ingredients. Look for enzymatic cleaners that are fragrance-free and use the power of enzymes to break down odors naturally.
If you're looking for suggestions within this post, you're in luck! Check out this enzymatic cleaner that delivers genuine eco-friendliness.
As the first enzymatic dog odor eliminator of its kind, Porch Potty's TURFtastic is the real deal. Not only is it non-toxic, biodegradable, fragrance-free, and safe for pets and humans, it's specifically made for the original grass dog potty.
What makes TURFtastic unique is that it contains no added fragrances. The powerful enzymes work by destroying pet odor from inside out and will not harm our dogs' sensitive noses.
But wait, can you use TURFtastic on other surfaces? If your dog makes a mess out of your furniture, like your couch, spritz it with this powerful enzymatic cleaner! Because it breaks down odors and traces of urine naturally, TURFtastic is safe to use on other surfaces.
The enzymes in TURFtastic are so effective that it breaks down odors in under one minute, all without masking the smell with a heavy fragrance. So, whether you're spritzing it on a Porch Potty, the couch, or your carpet, you get rid of the odor and nothing else!
TURFtastic works on both dog litter box as well as carpets and upholstery.
When dogs have an indoor potty accident or continuously pee on furniture and carpet, it's challenging to get the old dog pee smell out. Of course, it's frustrating when you're left with a lingering stinky urine stain that won't go away with regular cleaning methods.
But with a powerful enzymatic cleaner that is non-toxic, fragrance-free, and only uses the natural power of enzymes to eliminate odor, those urine stains are no match!