Tips for Removing Pet Odors from Wood Floors

Whether your pet is young and still potty training, or is older and having issues with incontinence, if you are a pet owner good chances are you’ll have to deal with accidents on your floor.

(By the way, if you think your pet may have an accident, keep them off of the carpet, because carpet stains are much harder to deal with-though not impossible).


They may look adorable, but they can wreak havoc on your floors.

The best advice we can give for protecting your wood floors is to make sure they are properly sealed. If your floors are well sealed with polyurethane finish, most likely the urine will remain on the top and not soak into the floorboards.

Cleaning urine from well-sealed floors

  • Soak up the urine immediately using paper towels.
  • Clean the area with a water and vinegar mixture, or with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning solution.
  • Sprinkle the area with baking soda.
  • Leave the baking soda on the area for several hours, allowing it to soak up and neutralize odors.
  • Apply an enzymatic cleaner to the area, such as Nature’s Miracle.   Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Cleaning urine from unfinished floors
If your floors are not finished, or if the floors are old and the finish is wearing thin, cleaning up after your pet can be much more difficult, because the urine can soak into the sub-flooring.  There are steps you can take to help:

  • Soak up the urine immediately.
  • If you suspect urine has soaked into the wood, apply cat litter to the area and let it draw up moisture.
  • Remove the cat litter, and clean the area with a water and vinegar solution.
  • For tough cases, you may have to sand and refinish the floors.
  • In even tougher cases, you may have to replace the floorboards. Before you replace them, cover the sub-flooring with urethane to seal in the odors.
Highrise Dust Free refinishing

Sanding and refinishing floors is a reasonable option if floors have been damaged by your pets’ accidents.

Some outside the box ideas

While we can’t endorse these ideas because we haven’t tried them, we have had clients tell us about some outside of the box solutions to pet odor:

  • Try spraying rubbing alcohol on really tough odors.
  • Clean the area with a bleach solution and refinish the spot.
  • Pour hydrogen peroxide on stains, and touch up the area with wood floor stain.

Have you had to deal with pet accidents on your wood floors?  What works best for you? We’d love to hear what you’ve used to deal with your pet stains and odors.

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