Pet Urine Emergency – How to Clean an Area Rug

25 April 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Wet-dry vacuum (we use a Shop-Vac Micro 4)
Protective rubber gloves
White vinegar
A spray bottle
A hair dryer


It is entirely typical for accidents to occur when you own a pet. Understanding how to handle the stain is essential. Fortunately, there are inexpensive, non-toxic natural household products that work well to remove pet urine from your rug (or carpet).

If your cat or dog urinates on a rug or carpet, it should be removed as soon as possible. One thing to note about urine is that when it denatures, it becomes alkaline and burns the carpet. This irreversible damage turns carpet stains yellow and leaves unsightly bleach stains where urine has scorched the carpet. Not to mention the unpleasant odour.

In this article, we show you how to remove pet urine from a wool rug or carpet using vinegar and water.

How We Remove Urine off the Rug

When a cat or dog urinates on a rug, the owner brings it to us at our rug cleaning facility in Dublin to remediate. We use a water claw to inject fluid into the rug and then remove the liquid with the claw. Once done, we then flip the rug over and do the same for the back side of the rug before ensure the rug is dry after extracting all the urine.

The 100% wool rug that we are working on in the video at the bottom of this article is from the Dobag Project, which is the first woman’s co-op in the world. These hand-loomed rugs are produced for the co-op in Istanbul, Turkey, using traditional techniques, and are then sold all over the world. These rugs are stunning in their vibrancy and the naivety of their designs.

Obviously, you cannot do this at home, so instead, we are going to teach you how to do it at home with vinegar and water.

The gorgeous rug is eye-catching, but regrettably, a cat peed on it! Follow our simple steps below to keep your rugs and carpets clean and free from odour.

Step-By-step Instructions

Here's how to remove pet urine emergencies from area rugs...

It is important that you use vinegar, as it will counteract the alkalinity of the urine.
Step One:
Spray a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar onto the urine stain on the carpet or rug. Your goal is to apply the same quantity of liquid cleaner to the area that the animal urinated on. E.g., Your tiny dog spilled 30 ml of liquid on your carpeting, inject 30 ml of cleaning solution onto it. You may need to estimate how much your pet has urinated on the rug as best as you can.

Step Two:
Use the small nozzle on your wet and dry vacuum cleaner to extract the liquid from the carpet.

Step Three:
Set the hair dryer to cool and dry the carpet fibres. This typically takes about 10-15 minutes.

Important! Do not use a hot setting on the hair dryer, as it will set the stain into the rug.

Step Four:
Repeat as necessary, being careful not to overwork the pile. You can also do this by placing a towel over the liquid and standing on it to draw the liquid into the towel.


That's one of the easiest ways to remedy pet urine stains on a rug or carpet. Just remember to act fast before the urine bleaches the fibre causing irreversible damage.

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