How to Get Smells Out of Wood Floors

There are several possible causes of odors trapped in wood floors. High humidity, water damage, untreated spills and stains, and even pet urine can be to blame. Regular cleaning can help with minor issues. But sweeping and even mopping may not be enough to eradicate foul smells. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution to most of these malodorous floorboard problems. So if you want to know exactly how to get smells out of wood floors, read our guide below. You’ll discover the best tricks for freshening your floorboards, without calling in the professionals.

What this article covers:

How to Remove Odors from Wood Floors

how to get smell out of wood floor

Odors on wood floors can have multiple causes. Old food spills, beverage spills, and vomit messes that weren’t adequately cleaned are often to blame. The most common ones are pet stains and water damage. 

The moisture of the water or pet urine stain will seep into untreated wood, causing damage over time. Pet urine is very smelly when left unattended. But even ordinary moisture from repeated water spills and high humidity will take its toll. The good news is you can treat these wood floor smells naturally and gently. 

Animal Stain Odors

Pet stains like urine are a common cause of bed smells on a wood floor. And the best way to get an urine smell out of wood is with a vinegar home remedy. 

In homes with pets, animals account for the majority of stains and odors on wood floors and carpets. But this remedy is safe to use on most wood floors. You can also remove pet odors from wood furniture with this method.

White vinegar solution is acidic and will neutralize the alkaline ammonia in pet urine. It can also kill most of the germs on the floor. 

Mix Up A Cleaning Solution

Remove dog poop stains from hardwood floors as soon as possible, and do the same with cat urine. Leaving them unattended can lead to bacteria as well as a bad smell. 

Mix equal parts of ordinary white vinegar and warm water in a bucket. Warm water helps to remove stains and odors more effectively.

Scrub Affected Area

how to get smell out of hardwood floors

Using a soft scrubbing brush or a cleaning rag, wash the smelly floor area with this solution. Don’t be alarmed by the vinegar smell. It’s overpowering at first but does dissipate after a while.

Rinse And Dry

Rinse the stained area afterward with a rag or mop and some clean water, then dry it further with an old towel if necessary. If you don’t have a good mop, we recommend our Flat Mop for easy and effective floor cleaning and rising. Allow the floor to air dry thoroughly before putting down any rugs or furniture.

how to get smells out of hardwood floors

Effective Even On Old Cat Urine Smells

When lifting a carpet to expose the wood subfloor underneath, you may find that it’s retained the pet stain smells that you thought you’d treated when the carpet was still down. But this method will work just as well for getting cat urine out of a wood subfloor.

Pet stains that have been left too long will always become a breeding ground for bacteria and foul odors. This is especially true of old cat urine from hardwood floors. The smell will become much worse over time. 

This can be even more harmful than a dog poop stain, as the urine liquid will cause moisture damage. It can penetrate even sealed floors, leading to the growth of mold. 

Damp Floor Odors

how to remove smell from wood floors

While not as problematic as how to get cat urine out of wood furniture, odors caused by damp conditions can be a challenge. But there is a solution to that unpleasant odor, and it’s safe and gentle to use on your wood floor. All you need is regular baking soda.

Get Some Baking Soda Ready

Baking soda is an alkaline crystalline powder that many of you already have in your homes. But it’s just as handy for cleaning as it is for baking, as it’s a natural product.  Baking soda will neutralize the foul odors on your wood floor, whether caused by urine or just trapped moisture.

Sprinkle It Generously Over The Affected Area

Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda (or more if a large surface needs treatment) over the area of the damp floor with the musty smell. soaked with pet urine. You may notice it starts to bubble when it hits the damp or urine-stained floor. This is normal. 

Leave It On The Floor Overnight

how to remove odor from wood floor

Allow the baking soda to work its odor-neutralizing magic overnight (or at least for 4-5 hours). This will give it time to neutralize the foul smells. Baking soda can also be used in this way to remove bad smells from wood furniture. 

Vacuum Up The Residue And Air Out The Room

In the morning, blot or sweep up the baking soda residue and vacuum the area if necessary. Baking soda will not harm your vacuum’s inner parts.

Open up the windows of the room to allow air to circulate. This is important, as you don’t want the problem of dampness in your floors to recur. Once again, don’t put rugs or furniture down until the floor has completely air-dried. 

Other Methods for Removing Odors from Wood Floors

Sometimes the best solution for removing bad smells is to treat the source of the smells. An anti-bacterial, antimicrobial solution that sanitizes and deodorizes in one easy step. It’s called Sporicidin, and it’s your best defense against smelly conditions arising from mold, water damage, and other problems.

how to remove odors from wood floors

Disinfectant Areas Containing Mold, Mildew & Bacteria

Sporicidin is 100% effective against mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria, and fungus infections. It’s non-corrosive to wood and even safe to use on plastic and vinyl floor surfaces. When ordinary scrubbing just won’t do, use Sporicidin to kill germs and bad smells, instantly.

Sand Floors When Odor-Causing Damage Is Too Severe 

Sometimes, the damage that has caused the odor is so bad that you have to resort to sanding the floor. This will give you a smooth, clean surface, and the odor should be removed as well. We also advise you to consider sealing your floor to protect it against moisture. 

This will prevent a large number of bad smells because liquids won’t immediately penetrate the wood. However, remember that any liquid spill or stain will eventually get through if it’s acidic like pet urine. So always clean up such stains as soon as possible, even if your floor has been sealed.


Proper floor maintenance is key to preventing damage and issues in the future. And the Orbot Floor machine is a high-precision floor care tool. 

how to remove odor from wood floors

It’s ideal for chemical-free cleaning and polishing of wood floors, to minimize the sticky build-up that smells can get trapped in.  And it’s also suitable for cleaning all your other floor surfaces like stone, tile, linoleum, and carpet.


Smelly wood floors are never fun. They are not only unpleasant for everyone in the home, but they also make you reluctant to invite guests around. However, with the right know-how, and our range of specialized products, every floor in your home will be clean and smell fresh. 

We have a wide range of floor machines, detergents, and floor care products to tackle all types of dirt, stains, and smells in the home. So contact us today for all your floor cleaning needs.

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