• Every now and then we get a call from a customer that says, “I shampooed my carpet, and now it smells like urine.” The smell was not present prior to the cleaning leaving a frustrating situation for homeowners without pets, or one who didn’t smell urine prior to cleaning.

    Why does it smell now?

    Urine has a unique way of hiding. Carpets that contain dried urine don’t always smell because the concentration wasn’t high prior to cleaning, or has been in the carpet long enough to air out. When water hits the carpet two things happen. First, the bacteria and ammonia in the urine reactivate. Second, the water causes the urine to spread out further. If the shampooing chemicals did not include products designed to treat for urine, or the wrong amount of such a product was used, it can actually make the situation worse than it was prior to cleaning.

    Removing the pet odor.

    To remove the odor you must treat it for it. Just like laundry, carpet is a fabric, and sometimes additional products are needed to remove odors. With urine problems you need pet odor neutralizer that is designed to kill the bacteria and break down the ammonia. Once the urine has spread out treating it yourself is very difficult. You must treat everywhere the urine has spread to.

    How do you find the spots?

    In order to best treat the urine you must know where the smell is coming from. One of the best ways to find the areas that have been effected is with a black light. Black lights are fantastic for highlighting any biological items on carpet and walls. (We recommend you check your walls with the black light and wash them down with a mixture of half and half white distilled vinegar and water if anything shows up. ) It is also a good idea to stick your nose in the carpet, anywhere you place the black light illuminates as a potential hotspot, to confirm you have located the problem area.

    Once you have located the problem areas you must use the right products. We recommend a product called Mister Max Anti-icky-poo (Link for purchase below). It is a high-quality pet odor neutralizer which is enzyme based. It is also safe, and biodegradable.

    Here are the links where you can find both the Anti-icky-poo and the black light on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

    Treating for urine odor can get expensive even when you are doing it yourself. Hiring a professional cleaner will give you the best chances for fast effective results.

    Pristine Carpet Cleaning offers odor treatments that are guaranteed. If you would like more information on our odor treatments, and costs please check out our pet odor removal page. Our treatments will also work for human urine, which is sometimes an issue as well.

    Ready to remove the odor? Schedule now, by using our online booking platform.


    I recently brought a house and after we shampooed the carpet now we can smell urine


    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article loaded with information. To use the rug doctor you have to put hot water in it according to their instructions. Recently I read a blog, thy suggest Hot water can reactivate the urine odor. So be careful to use hot water while cleaning your carpet. confused


    Hi Siyanna, Getting carpet wet without treating for the urine will reactivate the urine. It really doesn't matter what the temperature is. The key is to treat for the urine problem.

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