So you have a concrete floor, perhaps an area in your basement, garage, patio or under your carpet in your home that seems to be permanently stained with pet urine, a.k.a dog or cat pee.
You can smell or see pet urine stains that no matter how much you bleach or wash with vinegar don’t go away.
It’s as if you have to settle with the fact that once dog or cat urine has seeped into concrete, it’s there forever.
What’s worse is the area seems to give off a permanent urine odor, constantly releasing odorous and offensive fumes.
Let’s take a look at how we can remove dog and cat urine smells from concrete the right way to make sure you have clean smelling floors again.
Things to Know Before You Clean Urine Odors
Before we get to the real magic, here are some basic facts about concrete, liquid and well…pee.
This knowledge will help you understand why the remedy we cover below works so incredibly well to get cat pee out of concrete, especially.
Why Urine Is SO Bad for Concrete
As you already know, concrete is dry and hard as rock. Among concrete’s properties, it’s also a relatively porous material.
This means, that water and other liquids that comes into contact with bare (unsealed) concrete will saturate concrete for sure.
Usually this is harmless, but when it comes to pet urine it is obviously not good.
Dog or cat urine can seep through even a small area and get worked down in concrete on it’s own; and anyone who has had cats or dogs knows that an animal urine stain can be difficult to get rid of from your garage floor, basement flooring and under carpet pads.
What’s worse is this potent stuff can lie dormant inside the concrete for years, only to keep releasing its odor when moisture gets back down into the concrete.
The fumes will find their way into anyone’s nose who is in the area. Yuck!
Getting the Smell Out of Concrete
Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll do to rid your house of foul odors. Notice the first step is to locate specifically where your pets have peed in your garage, basement or living quarters.
Your pre-step is to use a black light to find these stubborn stains. Keep in mind that liquid can spread, so you’ll be treating even beyond the places you see. But identifying them will set you up for success.
First, clean spots with a two-to-one vinegar and water mixture, TSP or hydrogen peroxide and rinse off concrete. Next, apply and scrub in enzymatic cleaner to remove odor. Then, cover cement and let area sit and soak overnight for 12-24 hours. Dry and deodorize residual room urine smells with an ozone generator. Now, your floors will never be cleaner or smell better!
Cleaning up Alone Just Doesn’t Cut It
You’ve probably discovered you can’t just “clean” off pet urine with water or whatever concrete cleaner you’re using.
You must get it using a series of steps, each one playing a role in ridding the urine smell from concrete once and for all.
When you’re looking at how to get cat pee out of concrete, especially, it’s not a project to take lightly in most cases!
Let’s get to the steps below…
You’ll be happy to know that cleaning the surface of urine stained concrete is the first one. So you’ve done this, while it may not have worked, it wasn’t a waste of time!
Now the steps!
Follow 3 Easy Steps to Get Urine Smell Out of Concrete:
1. Find and Clean
First, thoroughly clean all concrete surfaces with one of the following household cleaners. In each case, allow to sit for several minutes. Then wash with soap and hot water and let surfaces air-dry normally.
What you’re really doing here is preparing the concrete for Step 2, to maximize the effectiveness of the enzymatic treatment.
Vinegar: Vinegar is strong, so you can get by with two parts vinegar and one part hot water water mixture. This is a good neutralizer.
Trisodium Phosphate: Add in 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate (tsp) crystals per one gallon of hot water. The TSP mixture is potent, so wear protection like rubber gloves and work into stained area. The solution and will break down bacteria in the stain as it sits.
Hydrogen Peroxide: A good first-pass cleaning solution; make your recipe and add two cups of hydrogen peroxide with two tsp of baking soda and two drops of dish soap. Once mixed, you can pour over affected areas and let soak.
Best tip ever!
To really help you identify and pinpoint not just a stain but the entire affected area it’s important to use a black-light. It’s made just for pet urine detection and reveals any of the urine spots on your concrete.
In addition, the best method is to clean and plan to treat the entire surface of the concrete in question so you don’t miss any hidden spots.
Covering a broad area will also ensure the cleaning will be consistent across your flooring and make sure all unwanted odors will be gone.
Second, use a special cleaning solution to permanently dissolve and remove bacteria and stains like uric acid and odors from the top, and just below the surface, of your concrete.
Cleaner we recommend:
This is an enzymatic cleaner that vets recommend because it’s safe to use in your home around your family and pets: Get it here for both cats AND dogs.
They also stand by their guarantee that if the smell isn’t removed, you can get a full refund. You can’t beat that!
It works great on any concrete stain from dogs, and especially cats that have peed or sprayed (accidents or from marking territory) on hard, porous surfaces. Enzyme treatments have worked wonderfully for homeowners, vets and kennels.
Even if the pet accident occurred years ago, this stuff would and will always be a great odor eliminator.
It can also be applied to furniture upholstery, curtains, blankets, mattresses, clothing, carpet and carpet pads.
How to apply?
The best way to use this for getting rid of pet urine on concrete is to make sure to spray it on heavily all across the cement surface.
You can also pour it out and spread it around evenly using a deck scrub brush like this one.
The idea is to get the top surface soaking with this enzyme cleaning solution.
As a note…
There is no need to dilute with water. Use at full strength.
The key is to allow it time to sit. Don’t just give a few minutes, give it a day.
You want it to really work its way down into the concrete and not evaporate too quickly into the air as it starts to dry. A day or even longer is absolutely ideal.
The more time the stain eating enzymes have to digest the odor causing molecules, the more effective this process will be.
To control the evaporation, make sure to lay a large plastic tarp or liner over the sprayed area. This will allow the solution to better penetrate into the urine stained concrete.
Allow to dry for as long as it takes, or at least 24 hours.
You can rinse the surface with water and use a wet-vac to vacuum up but this isn’t necessary since the nitrogenous wastes causing the stench have been chemically altered and no longer smell.
By the way, this type of cleaner comes in smaller (cheaper) sizes too for cats and dogs. should you not need to treat large areas or multiple rooms. These work on multiple surfaces including concrete.
And of course there are many other great products that work well for cat urine stains too.
3. Dry, Seal and Protect
When you’re sure you’ve cleaned and sanitized the top portions of your concrete areas as outlined above, and you’ve let everything sit and dry completely, you have the option of using a concrete sealer.
This will encapsulate and essentially seal your concrete flooring against moisture that can get inside and release what may be left of any missed urine stains.
It goes without saying that sealing will lock in any missed stain and keep odors from coming up again.
Sealing will also make for a great general protection for your floors for future accidents, as well as look a whole lot nicer. This will be better than paint.
The best sealer product?
Be sure to use concrete sealer with a good, anti-slip rating. A low-sheen is best as it allows for easy cleaning. Kilz makes a concrete sealer that is ideal for this kind of application.
The best part is you can choose a new color for your garage or concrete basement floor to get your floor looking just how you want, then seal it.
Okay, maybe the best part is your flooring will actually smell the way you want (not like urine), as you’ve now cleaned and sealed your concrete floor.
You can also sand the concrete as needed first, then paint on your sealers. In fact if you want to see a video of the whole process, this one is highly informative (done by a pet owner!), and covers all the steps:
You’ve now gotten rid of pet urine stains and smells from your concrete in the best way possible and have protected the area with a sealer for years to come.
BONUS: Get Rid of Residual Urine Odors Beyond Concrete
At this point in the process, you’ve cleaned and dissolved away as much of the smelly uric acid-containing crystals and stains as possible.
You may have even decided to seal your concrete as an extra measure against any future reactivation of odor and to protect for the future.
But is the smell gone in the room? Think you still smell something?
You may still smell urine depending on the specific areas and other physical elements within your house.
As with smoke, pet odors like urine can permeate into areas you can’t imagine and leave a prolonged residual, yucky scent.
What to do?
If you want to go the extra mile here and eliminate any possible left over urine odor in the room or house at large, it’s worth using an ozone generator.
These products are great; a small machine designed to deodorize the air along with any contaminated surfaces.
Just like enzymatic surface cleaners, it will neutralize and destroy odors at the molecular level AND do it 100% naturally free of harsh chemicals or odor masking scents.
If you’re at all sensitive to irritants that may be left over in the air, you’ll love this thing. Enerzen sells a good portable model at a decent price.
This truly will leave your home and living areas smelling pleasant again as it gets rid of any other smelly culprits as well such as mustiness or smoke that has penetrated nearby carpets or wall paint. Odors are just plain gone.
For Cats: Treat Symptoms to Stop Cats from Peeing
If you have a cat that frequently “misses” the litter box and leaves a wet or poop stain behind you can actually address this behavior. There are methods available to try and help solve problems such as your cat peeing on carpets.
One popular system developed by vet, Sarah Richards, is called “Cat Spraying No More™“. Click here to check out her page, and see how it can help you and your furry loved one. A lot of people have had success with it. Thanks, Sarah!
*Note: If you click through to her checkout page, then attempt to go to another page you’ll get a special discount offer. Definitely worth it!
Dog or Cat Pee in Carpet?
If you have pet urine odor or stains in carpet and have tried using the typical cleaning products (like trisodium phosphate, bleach solution, vinegar, ammonia, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda or others), then you should definitely try the enzymatic approach here too — just like with a smelly pee stain on concrete.
And as with concrete, you need something that will get in and penetrate the fabric (in the case of pet stained carpet), and break down the odor-causing elements of the stain.
Bubba’s makes a wonderful enzymatic carpet shampoo solution that is as safe as water…for you, your pets and your rugs.
It works well to get dried cat urine out of carpet!
Using these products is a very small investment to pay for removing pet odors and urine stains! Plus, your nose will thank you.
Neutralize Pet Urine Smells on Concrete Once and for All
This article was first published in 2009, and its information has helped thousands of pet owners solve this very common, stinky problem!
Learning how to get dog or cat urine off concrete requires a few steps if you want to be thorough and do it correctly:
First, clean it up. Second, add an enzymatic cleaner to alter the trapped urine with the recommended product above. Give it a day or more to soak and allow to dry.
Next, you can seal it to encapsulate any remaining contaminants and make your flooring impervious to water and other liquids. Finally, use the ozone treatment to remove any like residual odors in the air coming from any objects in your home.
Do all this, and you too will be set for life…at least when it comes to smelly dog or cat urine stains!