How to remove cat urine stains from different materials

Why are cat urine stains so hard to clean? Many cats use the same corner of the room again and again, and over time the urine odor is noticeable as soon as you walk in the door. Can you ever get rid of that smell? Yes!

Cleaning cat urine from floor

To clean cat urine stains, you’ll need to follow three simple steps. In this article, you’ll also learn tricks to removing cat urine from different materials, such as carpet, mattresses, and clothes.

1. Find the location of the urine stain.

Do you know where to clean? If you’re dealing with a fresh urine spot, of course you do. But the odor from a cat’s urine stain can last for several months after the urine has dried. 

Your nose might not be able to detect it, but your cat’s more sensitive nose absolutely can. This becomes a problem; if an area smells like urine, your cat will either remark the area by spraying or think that the area must be a toilet.

Therefore, to stop your cat’s litter box problem, you must eliminate the scent from older urine locations, even if you can no longer smell it.

LED UV lamp to find cat urine stains
LED UV lights are ideal to find even old cat-urine stains.

How can you find an older cat-urine stain? Your memory probably isn’t good enough to remember every location, and you can’t see your cat’s urine glowing in the dark. Actually, you can!

Cat urine contains compounds that glow under a black light, also known as UV light. Crime scene investigators and janitors use this type of light to locate blood, semen, and other bodily fluids on surfaces. But black light has many other applications, too.

This isn’t just high-tech equipment used by scientists. Black light LED lamps are easily accessible and you can get one here or in hardware stores and pet stores.

You can find more information about locating cat urine stains with a black light here.

2. Soak up everything and wash the site with water.

If the stain is wet, you must first soak up everything with a rag, paper towel, or newspaper.

Although it’s not always necessary, you may wash the location with clean water. This can be very useful if the stain has long since dried but is still visible.

Do not use any household detergents because they will interact with the detergent described in the next step.

3. Treat the stain with a detergent labeled for pet urine odor removal.

Cleaning detergents are available that are specifically intended for pet urine odor removal. And we actually mean removal.

Regular household detergents only mask the odor. After using household detergents, you might find that the spot smells as nice as a lemon or a rose, but not to your cat’s nose.

You can buy specialized cleaners in pet stores and online here. Most of them use compounds that break down the scent-causing molecules. Therefore, your carpet not only smells nice but is also actually clean.

enzymatic cat urine cleaner spray
Spray enzymatic cleaner upon a cat urine stain and let it dry.

In the detergent’s most common form, you will need to spray it over the surface of the area and then let it dry. That’s all. Of course, whatever product you have, follow the instructions on the package carefully.

If the site is clean (and it should be now), it won’t glow under the UV light anymore. If, however, you find that some of the urine is still there, apply the detergent again.

How can you clean cat urine from different surfaces?

Cleaning cat urine is as easy as one-two-three, but trying to clean it from a tile floor is not the same as trying to clean it from clothes or a mattress. Although the basic steps remain, you should know the differences.

Adult worker removing old carpet in room
Why change the carpet if you can clean it?

How to clean cat urine from carpet. People with carpeted floors complain about cat urine stains the most. This isn’t simply because carpet is hard to clean; cats often prefer to urinate on carpet rather than in their litter boxes.

  • Place a newspaper or a dry rag on the stain and apply pressure.
  • Wash the stain with clean water.
  • You can use a wet vacuum cleaner for deep access into the carpet’s fiber. Do NOT use a steam cleaner!
  • Apply pet urine odor removal detergent on an area that’s larger than the visible stain and let it dry.

How to clean cat urine from a mattress or sofa. The main problem here is that the cat urine goes very deep inside the material. Thus, treating only the surface isn’t enough.

  • Wash the mattress with a lot of water.
  • Apply heavy pressure when soaking up the moisture. You can stand and even trample on it to increase the pressure.
  • Use a lot of pet urine odor removal detergent so that the mattress is quite damp.
  • You may need to repeat the process several times.
  • Take the mattress outside and let the sun’s rays do their magic.
cat sleeping on a laundry
Cats love to sleep in laundry because it’s soft. Cats also love to urinate on laundry because it’s soft.

How to clean cat urine from clothes. Clothes require a highly different approach from any other material, but removing cat urine from them is still easy.

  • If the stain is fresh, just rinse it with clean water, and wash the clothes as you normally do.
  • If the stain is old, treat it with pet urine odor removal detergent, let it dry, and wash the clothes as you normally do.

How to clean cat urine from leather furniture and clothes. The procedure is very similar to cleaning urine from many other surfaces or clothes, but you must keep two things in mind:

  • Test the detergent first, for you don’t know how it may react to leather. Apply a small amount on the back of the furniture or inside the clothes and leave it for a few hours.
  • After finishing the treatment, apply a leather conditioner.

How to clean cat urine from a wooden floor. A wooden floor might be the easiest surface to work with, unless the urine gets in between planks.

  • Clean everything with a brush and clean water.
  • Use the pet urine cleaner when the site has dried.
  • Apply extra detergent over the plank seams.

Removing cat urine with a brushHow to clean cat urine from a concrete floor. If your cat has urinated on a concrete floor, problems may arise because of the floor’s rough surface and porous material.

  • Clean the site with a floor brush and water, and then let it dry.
  • You will need to use a lot of enzymatic cleaner for it to get into the pores.
  • Let it dry afterward.

Cleaning cat urine is really not that hard if you use the detergent that’s specifically engineered for the task. This kind of detergent won’t simply mask the odor but actually breaks down the odor-causing substances. When the surfaces are clean, you’ll have an easier time solving your cat’s litter box problem.