How to Clean Dried Cat Urine from a Carpet

Older cat urine stains can be hard to detect.  When left untreated, cat urine stains can create long-term damage and even seep into the floorboards after repeated urination on the same spot.

But it is not that easy to treat. Many people have no idea how to clean dried cat urine from a carpet, especially after it has been left to dry. 

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can follow to learn how to remove old cat urine smell from your carpet for good.

This will not only remove any residual odor but also prevent your cat from marking the same spot in the future. 

Wondering how this can be achieved? Check out our tried and tested guide below.

How To Clean Dried Cat Pee From A Carpet

clean dried cat urine from carpet

Step 1: Find The Stain

In order to clean the stain and its residue from the carpet, you need to find the correct spot. 

It is harder to clean urine stains than to clean up cat vomit from carpet because the stains can be harder to spot, especially on darker carpets. 

Of course, dried stains are also more difficult to spot than wet stains.

If you suspect your cat has urinated on the carpet try to find the origin of the smell and look for areas on the carpet with slight discoloration.

You can also use a specialized UV light to detect pet urine stains that are hard to spot with the naked eye.

Alternatively, you can draw the curtains during the day, allowing a bit of sunlight to come through, 

The sunlight pouring into the dimmed room will make the stain easier to identify.  

If you are cleaning during the evening, you can darken the room and run a flashlight up and down the length of the carpet to spot the stain.

Step 2: Gear Up

When you want to clean dried urine stains or clean cat poop on a carpet, hygiene is key.

Cat urine, especially from an older stain, can enter people’s airways and affect individuals suffering from asthma, allergies, or emphysema.

There are also bacteria involved which can inflame airways and skin, especially in sensitive individuals.

Because of your proximity to the stain when cleaning it, you need to wear gloves.

Some people also prefer to wear a mask to cover their face to avoid the smell but this also prevents you from letting bacteria enter your airways.

how to clean dried cat urine from carpet uk

So before you start the cleaning process, find a nice pair of gloves, place a mask over your face and mouth and ensure that your hands are thoroughly washed before starting.

Step 3: Treat The Area

Now that you have found the stained and geared up, it is time to start treating the affected area. There are a variety of ways to do this.

Option 1: Enzymatic Cleaner

The best and most effective way is to apply an enzymatic cleaner. These are professional carpet cleaning chemicals that are designed to break down the acidity in cat urine that causes the smell.

Because of these products’ efficiency in neutralizing the odor from cat urine, they are also recommended as the best way how to get dry litter out of a carpet.

Each enzymatic cleaner is unique, some may come in the form of a prespray, whereas others come in the form of carpet shampoo.

how to clean dry cat pee from carpet

For best results, apply the cleaner to the affected area and let it soak into the carpet as per the directions on the bottle. 

Option 2: Carbonated Water

This is not necessarily the most effective method but a great one if you don’t have much to work with and need to clean your carpet on a whim. 

Simply pour carbonated water onto the stain and blot the area with paper towels. Repeat as much as is necessary to remove the stain.

Option 3: Vinegar

For this option, you want to mix equal parts white vinegar and water.

Place this solution into a spray bottle and apply to the stain until it is moist and damp, but not completely soaked.

Let the solution sink in for about 30 minutes. For tougher and older stains, you can add more vinegar and less water.

After letting the vinegar soak in, blot the area with a cloth to remove the stain. Repeat this process two or three times.

This method is not suitable for carpets that are made from natural fibers, so test the vinegar solution on a small portion of the carpet before using this method.

Step 4: Neutralize Smell

how to remove cat urine stain from carpet

Even after treating the dried cat odor stain, some remnant of cat urine odor may remain.

It is important to eliminate this odor to ensure that your cat does not return to urinate in the same place in the future. 

Luckily, there are many ways to ensure that the odor of cat urine quickly disappeared from your carpet, for good.

If you used an enzyme-based carpet cleaner, chances are you won’t have any lingering urine smells in the house. 

But, with most of the other methods, it is best to follow this step to eliminate the smell entirely and remove any lingering bacteria that remain. 

The easiest way to do this is to sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area after treating it and leave it overnight or for at least 6 hours.

You can also mix some water and dish detergent and spray it onto the baking soda before gently rubbing the area with a toothbrush, allowing for better penetration of the baking soda and a better chance of eliminating odors for good.

As an alternative, you can also introduce an oxygenated carpet cleaner to ensure that the smell is eliminated. 

When dealing with smaller rugs, you can easily pop them into the washing machine or drop them at the laundromat. 

But, if you are dealing with a larger carpet, you may want to focus on neutralizing the smell in the affected area for the best results.

For this purpose, an oxygenated cleaner or a product that combines enzymes and genetically modified bacteria works best. 

But, as previously mentioned, if you used an enzymatic cleaner in the previous step, this step may be skipped altogether.

how to remove dried cat urine from carpet

Step 5: Finish Off

This step is all about finishing off the cleaning process. If you used baking soda, you will want to vacuum up the particles. If you last applied carpet shampoo, water, or other chemicals, wait for it to dry. 

After finishing off the cleaning process, you should see that the stain (and the smell) has disappeared from your carpet. 

If not, you have to repeat Step 3 or try an alternative method until you have achieved success. If the stain and smell persist, you may want to call in the help of carpet cleaning professionals. 

For example, if the urine has penetrated your floor or floorboards, it may be necessary to enlist the help of a carpet crew with a professional concrete cleaner to return your floors to their original state.

remove cat urine stains from carpet

Step 6: Prevention

If you have achieved success with cleaning your stain, you want to avoid your cat from urinating in that same spot in the future. 

A good way to do this is to change their association with this specific area by changing its purpose. 

For example, you can place their food or toys here to ensure that they associate the area with something other than marking their territory. 

how to remove dry cat pee from carpet

Also, ensure that their litter box is big enough and in the right spot to avoid unwanted accidents.


Drying dried cat urine stains from your carpet may seem daunting at first, but there are a variety of different ways to deal with the problem. 

The most important thing to focus on is treating the right area, in the right way and ensuring that you remove the stain, and the associated smell, in its entirety to avoid future accidents. 

If you are lucky, the entire process will be quick and painless and you will have a cleaner carpet than you had before the cat urine stain occurred.

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