What Are The Best Ways to Remove Pet Urine Stains and Odors Out of Concrete?
The flooring you have on your patio, garage, basement, or under the carpet inside your house has concrete. Unfortunately, it may be stained permanently by pet urine (either from a cat or a dog).
You’ll likely be able to see or smell urine stains from a pet, regardless of how much it is washed with vinegar or bleached. It just doesn’t seem to go away.
At some point, you may have resigned yourself to being unable to remove the urine from the concrete. You might have accepted that the cat or dog urine will be there for good.
The area in question gives off an odor, which is releasing offensive fumes consistently.
Let’s go over how you can go about removing cat and dog urine smells out of concrete. Each of these options can make your floors smell great again.
What to Keep in Mind before You Start Removing Urine Odors
There are several fundamental facts about liquid, concrete, and urine that you should know.
The following information will bring you up to speed about the remedy below. You’ll find out why it is so effective in removing cat and dog pee from concrete.
What Makes Urine so Dangerous for Concrete?
Concrete is solid and dry. It also happens to be a fairly porous material, among its other basic properties.
As such, liquids that come into direct contact with unsealed (bare) concrete will end up saturating before seeping down right into it.
For the most part, this isn’t very harmful. However, it isn’t a good thing if pet urine is involved.
Urea from cat or dog pee will release smelly odors after it gets into concrete.
Cat or dog urine can find its way into materials made of concrete by itself. Urine stains from animals are hard to remove from patio floors, basement flooring, garage floors, and beneath carpet pads.
Further, urine is capable of lying dormant within concrete for a long time to come. It will keep releasing odors whatever moisture seeps into concrete, which activates the smell.
It won’t be long before the fumes start tickling the noses of passersby. Gross!
This happens to be a problem that you are liable to face. Take comfort in knowing, though, that there’s a scientific and natural approach to nullifying this smelly problem’s root cause.
Removing the Odor from Concrete
Here is a rundown of steps to take in order to purge foul odors from your house.
We will go over a couple of approaches:
The best method of removing animal urine odors involves a process known as “positive ionization.” Enzymes can also be used to eliminate odors. If this seems complicated, worry not – both of these methods are natural and effective.
With both approaches, the initial step will involve locating precisely where pets have urinated on the subfloor, patio, basement, or garage.
Firstly, a reliable black light should be used to isolate and highlight culprit stains. Be mindful that liquid is capable of spreading. As such, you’ll need to treat places well past what your eye can see.
Positive Ion Treatment
Soak up any liquid that is currently present. The area affected should be wet with water before applying an ion-based solution directly from its container. The solution will work right away.
Allow the air to dry, then take a whiff around the area to make sure that the odor has been completely removed. The floors will smell cleaner than they ever have been!
You’ll need to first clean designated spots using a water and vinegar mixture (2:1 ratio), hydrogen peroxide, or TSP to rinse off the concrete. From there, apply an enzymatic cleaner and start scrubbing to take away the odor. The cement should then be covered up and allowed to sit overnight so that it can soak. In fact, the area should be left alone for between 12 and 24 hours. Afterward, you’ll be able to deodorize and dry residual pee spells using some type of ozone generator.
How to Get Urine Off of Concrete
A Couple of Approaches to Removing Pee from Concrete
There are two effective methods you can use to remove the smell of pet urine from concrete and similar materials. They involve the use of enzymes and/or ions.
The initial step will involve the use of positive ions, which will cancel out negative ions causing the odor. These types of treatments will involve the use of live bacteria, which are used to consume and digest molecules that are keeping the odors alive. Both approaches are effective and work on a molecular level.
Will a Household Cleaner Be Effective?
You’ve likely realized that you are able to rinse away pet urine, even if soap is used. Concrete cleaners have probably proven to be ineffective for you.
With that said, with some patience and a few clever tactics, you’ll be able to purge the smell of urine from concrete for good.
This is a method I have been recommending since 2008. It tells people to clean the urine-smelling spot first using various products (hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, TSP, or vinegar). An enzyme-based cleaning product should then be used to remove the pet urine from concrete.
These remedies are effective at taming urine stains and odors, and have done so for generations. While they are not perfect, they are helpful.
Using an enzymatic-based cleaner to remove pet urine is an approach that has grown in popularity over the last ten years. It is capable of removing the smell of urine and has done so time and time again.
The enzymatic-based solution is something that I have recommended for many years. Other websites that rank high on search engines essentially copy the steps and overall process from this specific page, regurgitating the exact same details.
This begs the question – is there another option on the table?
Recently, I have come across a very effective approach to remove the smell of pet urine easier and quicker than an enzyme solution.
It involves the use of positive ions, which fight uric acid-based molecules found in urine stains – ones that are causing the odors. A cleanser that is ion-based will work better and faster.
For instance, odor removers using ion technology will prove successful if you have attempted to wash out the urine odor first using a different cleaner, but weren’t successful in completely removing the smell.
Further, when it comes to urine accidents that are stubborn (which tend to be emitted by cats), an enzyme-based solution will require repeated treatments.
Even after multiple treatments, the odor might only be between 80% and 90% removed. Gradually, over the course of several months, the lingering smell will seemingly vanish altogether.
Because the traditional enzymatic cleaner process is effective in many cases, I will keep providing those instructions, as shown below.
Which Approach Is Effective for You?
How can you go about determining which method will be more suitable if they’re both effective? Is one better to use than the other?
The answer is contingent on several aspects. For simplicity’s sake, follow the guidelines below to determine which one you should use.
A cleaner with live bacteria should be used if:
- You have already used another product (such as an enzymatic cleaner or a household cleanser), but a urine smell still lingers.
- You’re looking for a solution that is 100% safe (in other words, “food grade”).
- You’re looking for an immediate remedy since you lack the patience to perform repeated treatments. When there is an ion rebalance on stains, the action will be instantaneous, causing the odor to vanish upon contact.
- You do not care for fragrances that could potentially conceal odors you’ve missed. The recommended bacteria product below does not come with odors of its own, so you’ll be able to sniff around and know for sure that it was effective.
- You intend to keep whatever goes unused for a while, based on its shelf life (enzymes lose their potency after about six months).
A cleaner with enzymes should be used if:
- You’re looking to save a little bit of money. The average enzyme cleaner comes gallon-sized, and will set you back anywhere between $25 and $50. Cleaners that are ion-based and come in the exact same size will be costlier. With that said, if a couple of gallons’ worth of an enzyme cleaner is necessary to get this job done properly, then the costs will wind up being the same.
- You’re okay with this cleaning process requiring a little bit of effort and time on your end to complete. As far as enzymes go, you’ll need to wait a while for the bacteria-consuming enzymes to do their thing before the smell starts to dissipate. The treatment might need to be reapplied multiple times in order for this biological process to be effective.
A Few Easy Steps to Remove the Smell of Urine from Concrete
We will begin with a preparation tip, and one that is vital!
To help you pinpoint and identify the stain (as well as the whole affected area), it is imperative to use some kind of black light. These devices are made to detect animal urine, revealing pee spots on concrete in doing so.
Your black light should be used as a sort of guide. You’ll be able to treat more than half of the area identified, targeting uric acid crystals if they have gotten further out. Most importantly, you’ll be able to find your way beneath concrete services that you are unable to see.
For Cleaners with Live Bacteria:
When products that are bacteria-based are used to remove odors, you’ll need to wet the problem area down with a hose. Alternatively, a small watering can is something that you can fill up – water can be used to cover up the top portion of concrete.
SUGGESTION: if an odor stain is what you are treating, and if it has been on the concrete for many years, or if you have attempted to purge the stain with various other products, some warm tap water can be used here. The water will help ions be much more effective once they touch the crystals.
For Cleaners That Are Enzymatic:
Sanitize the concrete surfaces thoroughly using a cleaning agent (such as the ones mentioned below). Afterward, allow it to sit and remain that way for a short period. You can then allow the surfaces to air dry.
What you are actually doing is getting the concrete ready for the second step, which involves optimizing the enzyme-based treatment’s effectiveness.
- Vinegar – vinegar on its own is quite strong. What you should be doing is creating a concoction of vinegar and hot water (2:1), which will serve as a decent neutralizer.
- Hydrogen peroxide – this cleaning solution will serve as a first pass. The recipe involves hydrogen peroxide (2 cups’ worth), baking soda (2 teaspoons’ worth), and dish soap (2 drops’ worth). This mixture can be poured over areas that are affected. From there, simply allow it to soak.
- Trisodium phosphate – pour some trisodium phosphate crystals (1/2 cup’s worth) into a gallon of water (hot). This mixture is quite potent, so be sure to work it into the stained area wearing rubber gloves. Bacteria within the stain will be broken down by the TSP solution while it sits.
The best approach to cleaning involves treating the whole concrete surface so that no hidden spots are neglected.
Broad areas should be covered up to make sure that cleaning is consistent throughout the flooring. This process will remove unwanted odors for good.
The pee removal solution will now be applied for the sake of permanently dissolving and removing bacteria, as well as odors below and on top of the concrete’s surface.
Here is what use of a live bacteria-based cleaning solution will involve. For enzyme cleaning solution details, keep reading.
As far as live bacteria cleaners go, we suggest using URICIDE:
URICIDE is a dog and cat urine removal solution that can be used on concrete.
You can buy URICIDE on their official website.
URICIDE® is a leader in the live bacteria-based cleaning solution industry. You are welcome to engage with their product experts if you want to ask certain questions or discuss a problem.
The company provides a customer satisfaction guarantee. As such, you aren’t risking anything by trying them out.
This kind of formula is costlier than other types of enzyme products. That is because you are spending less time performing the treatment application. By using it, you are increasing the chances of the odor being completely removed the first time around.
This expense is something I compared to an incident I had many years ago. I decided to hire an odor remover’s services. I received a couple of quotes involving a rental property that contained a foul smell. The first quote I received was for more than $1000. The second one was for $750.
I decided to go with the cheaper option. However, if I had the option to use URICIDE, then I might’ve saved hundreds on this cleanup job!
To get 20% off your order, use this coupon code.
This product couldn’t be simpler to use. Wet the concrete down, pour some solution on it, and you will be done.
I will share some information from experiences of my own involving use of this product:
As mentioned earlier, a large watering or garden hose can be used to wet the surfaces down for treatment.
If you are indoors (for instance, in the basement), then the watering option would be the way to go.
Warm water makes ions more effective, as far as stubborn odors, cat urine smells, and old accidents are concerned.
In large areas, the formula can be dispersed using some kind of push brush. Ensure that most of it makes contact with the place the odor is originating from, and where an accident specifically occurred.
When drying, the liquid can be squeegeed away while the remaining portion can be left to air-dry. Alternatively, you can use a fan to expedite the drying time. This solution is non-toxic and harmless to kids, pets, and plants.
As far as enzymatic cleaners go, we recommend using:
This enzymatic cleaner is one that veterinarians recommend. That is because it is safe for domestic use. It is completely harmless for pets and humans alike.
The company stands by their product, so much so that if you are unable to remove a smell with it, you can ask for a refund. That makes it essentially risk-free!
The product is effective on all sorts of concrete stains, whether they came from cats or dogs who have sprayed or peed (via territory-marking or accidents) on porous, hard surfaces. Kennel owners, homeowners, and veterinarians swear by the use of enzyme treatments.
Even if there is a pet accident in your home that occurred many years ago, you will be surprised at how effective this odor eliminator is.
You can use it on carpet pads, carpets, clothing, mattresses, blankets, curtains, and furniture upholstery.
The best approach to removing pet urine from concrete involves spraying generous amounts of it all over the cement’s surface.
It can be poured and spread evenly around using some kind of deck scrubbing brush.
The intention here is to soak the very top surface with the enzyme cleaner.
Be mindful of the following…
Give it some time so that the solution can sit. Don’t wait a couple of minutes – wait a full day.
You are doing this to optimize the solutions’ effectiveness. The solution needs to make its way right into the entire concrete area without evaporating way too quickly during the drying process. One day – at the very least – is ideal.
When the stain has more time to eat up the molecules causing the odors, the results will be more effective.
In order to regulate evaporation, ensure that a large liner or plastic tarp is laid over the area to be sprayed. In doing so, the solution will be better able to penetrate the pee-stained concrete.
Do not rush the drying process – wait 24 hours at the very least, or even longer if necessary.
The surface can then be rinsed with water. Vacuum up the water with your wet vac if you have one. This is not necessary, though, because any nitrogenous waste that caused the stench will have been altered chemically, and thus, will not emit odors any longer.
This cleaner can be purchased in smaller sizes, too, which are obviously cheaper. If you’re not treating multiple rooms or large areas, consider going with a smaller size. They will be effective on all sorts of surfaces, concrete included.
There are other types of products out there that are just as effective at removing cat and dog urine stains as well.
Sealing and Protecting
When you have tidied up and completely sanitized the very top portion of the concrete areas, and everything has completely dried after sitting for a reasonable amount of time, you may want to consider using some kind of concrete sealer.
Doing so will allow you to encapsulate and seal the concrete flooring directly against moisture, which is capable of getting inside of it. If this happens, it will release any residual or neglected urine stains.
Sealing essentially locks in missed stains in order to prevent odors from being released again.
Sealing can also protect your floors from future accidents, in addition to making them look much nicer. This approach will be more aesthetically-pleasing than paint.
Sealer Product Recommendations
The concrete sealer that you use should have a good rating for its anti-slip abilities. One that comes with low sheen will be encouraged, as this will simplify cleaning.
You’ll be able to select a color that matches your basement or garage floor in order to make it blend in with the rest of the environment.
The flooring will also smell how you want it to. That will be because the concrete floor will now be sealed up and cleaned.
The concrete can also be sanded as necessary before paint is applied to the sealers. For a video showing what the process entails, click here.
You have now removed your pet’s urine smells and stains from the concrete to the best of your ability, and the area is now protected for years, thanks to the sealer you applied.
BONUS: Removing Residual Urine Smells Out of Concrete
By this stage of the game, you have cleaned out and dissolved all the uric acid stains and crystals that you are capable of.
You might have even chosen to seal the concrete up as an additional measure for the sake of preventing reactivation of odors in the future.
However, does that mean that the smell is actually gone from the room? Is it possible that you are still smelling something?
Pet odors – including urine – are capable of permeating into the areas you may not even know about. They could leave behind a prolonged scent that is foul.
What Can You Do About It?
If you wish to eliminate any lingering urine odors in the house, you are encouraged to use an ozone generator.
Such products are essentially a small device developed to deodorize air, as well as any surfaces that are contaminated.
As with surface cleaners that are enzymatic, an ozone generator will destroy and neutralize pungent smells on a molecular level. It will do so without using harsh chemicals, as it is completely natural.
If you are sensitive to airborne irritants, then you will appreciate this device.
An ozone generator can leave your living areas pleasant-smelling again. It will remove other foul-smelling culprits, along with smoke or mustiness that penetrated nearby wall paint or carpets. Odors will be completely removed.
For Cats: To Prevent Cats from Urinating, Symptoms Should Be Treated First
If you are an owner of at least one cat that doesn’t always use their litter box, or they sometimes leave a poop or wet stain behind, you’ll be able to rectify this behavior. Several methods can resolve issues like this.
Preventing Your Cat from Urinating on Concrete
Does Your Carpet Have Cat or Dog Pee?
If there are urine stains or odors in your carpet, and you’ve tried various cleaning products already (including baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, vinegar, bleach solution, and TSP), then consider using an enzymatic approach with this situation, just as you would with urine stains on concrete.
As far as concrete goes, you will require something capable of penetrating the fabric so that the stain’s odor-causing compounds can be broken down.
URICIDE® produces an effective enzymatic solution – one that is safe to use on rugs and carpets, and isn’t harmful to your pets.
It is also capable of removing dried-up cat urine from a carpet!
Investing in this solution will help you remove pet urine stains and odors, and your nose certainly will appreciate it.
Neutralize the Smell of Pet Urine from Concrete For Good
Understanding how to remove cat or dog urine from concrete will warrant several steps – ones that need to be performed correctly and comprehensively.
By following the above recommendations, you’ll never have to worry about smelly cat or dog urine stains ever again!