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How Do You Get the Smell of Urine Out of Carpet After Shampooing?

Ever heard someone say, “I shampooed my carpet and now it smells like urine.”

Although it is quite an unusual catchphrase, it has truth to it, especially if you have pets or children at home who aren’t potty trained yet. While you can make a kid wear a diaper, you can’t necessarily do the same with a pet.

Spotting it on the rug once it dries is a difficult task because urine is generally colorless. Not only do you have to check every corner manually, but you also need to be thorough while washing too.

Sometimes, even with a thorough shampooing, you might not be able to get the strong urine smell out of the carpet. So, what do you do now? Do you sit back and rewash the carpet? Do you try some DIY cleaning methods? Do you get it cleaned professionally?

This article will explore more into that and answer all the basic queries you probably have about getting rid of the smell of urine out of the carpet.

What To Do If Your Carpet Smells Like Urine After Shampooing?

Unlike a coffee spill on the carpet that you spot, urine stains are difficult to distinguish. They are colorless, not to mention that they dry out pretty quickly.

So, if your pet had an accident at night, you can’t expect the urine stain to be prominent by the morning.

If you are one of those people who washes their carpet every once in a while, you are in for a treat. Urine often concentrates in the carpet, making the stench worse over time. So, by the time you finally take it out for cleaning, the ammonia and bacteria in the carpet are at their peak.

That’s what creates the awful smell that you are complaining about.

But, the question now is, “How do I get rid of the urine smell in my carpet?”

Let’s give you a quick rundown:

1. Why Does it Smell Now?

Before you go around and clean the carpet again, you need to realize why it smells now that I shampooed it?

It sounds a bit contradictory. You have cleaned the carpet, but it smells profoundly like urine instead of smelling fresh. It should tickle your thoughts as to why it happens.


And, we have the answer.

When you leave your carpet with urine stains for days, the urine typically dries out and concentrates in the carpet’s fiber. However, the water, shampoo, and cleaning agents disperse the ammonia and bacteria concentrated in the carpet when it goes for cleaning.

Although a shampooed carpet might not smell strongly of urine, it will give off a distinct musty smell. Shampooing the carpet once dispersed the chemicals from the urine. So, it isn’t surprising that one cleansing isn’t enough.

What you need to do is use cleaning products that will:

  • Breakdown the ammonia
  • Kill the accumulated bacteria
  • Neutralize the odor

This is a tedious and long-term process. So, don’t be surprised if you have to go around and clean the carpet multiple times before all the smell comes off.

Also, remember to keep the cleaned and wet carpet out of humid areas once you are done with the washing. We’d recommend air drying it under sunlight for best results.

2. Removing the Pet Odor

The dried urine in the carpet often pairs with the pet odor to worsen the situation. Despite how much you love your pet, you can’t physically bathe your pet every day. That can be fatal for their well-being.

So, how do you manage the musty smell they are leaving on the carpet?

The easiest way would be to use an enzyme-based cleaner on the carpet to break down the urine spots or the dirt trails your pet has left behind. Besides that, a strong powered wet vacuum does the job fine.

Once you are done cleaning the exterior of the carpet and the adjoining furniture, the next is to tackle the odor. Can you douse your pet with a bottle of perfume? Absolutely not.

Ideally, your next best shot would be to use some odor-neutralizing sprays or stain remover. They work magically and keep the traces of your pet’s odor out of the house.

Also, some pet-friendly colognes and cleaners can be sprayed now and then if you can’t bathe your pet. This comes in handy, especially when you want to remove the pungent pet odor.

3. How Do You Find the Spots?

As we said, unlike prominent stains like ketchup and coffee, you can distinguish a urine stain on the carpet. Finding the spot with the urine stain can take you some time if you do it manually.

Dirty Carpet

A more practical alternative would be using a black light flash. This inspects every corner of the carpet and highlights the area where the urine is either still wet or has dried out.

If that doesn’t help, you might have to go in yourself. Wear a pair of gloves and a face mask and get down to smell the carpet. As disgusting as it sounds, it works every time.

Once you are done inspecting the carpet, you can get around to cleaning it. Emphasize double cleaning or scrubbing the area with the urine spots.

How Do You Get the Smell of Urine Out of Carpet After Shampooing?

Now that you know the urine spots and know how to manage your pet’s odor, the next is the actual deep cleaning. No one likes keeping a musty-smelling carpet in their living room. It’s inconvenient and leads to a nasty build-up of smell over time.

So, how do you get rid of the urine smell?

1. Use Wet Steam Vacuum

We often unknowingly put our carpet in the wash without knowing about the urine stains. This is what makes the entire carpet smell so awful. What you can do is check your carpet first.

Find possible urine stains and deep clean that manually. It is a time-consuming process, but this one single step can make a lot of difference in the end.

Once you know the urine stain’s spot, use a steam vacuum to clean and vacuum that area. You can use cleaning agents and odor neutralizers and then vacuum too.

You will have to go in deep and treat every inch of the carpet but shampooing the entire carpet once the initial cleaning is done is an excellent next step.

Also Read: Best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors and carpet

2. Does Baking Soda Remove Odors from Carpet?

Thankfully, yes.

Besides the chemical properties that get rid of bacterial growth in the carpet, baking soda is a good deodorizer too. It is accessible and affordable as well. So, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting your hands on it.

Does Baking Soda Remove Odors from Carpet
Image by Teresa Trimm

Once you have it in hand, follow the steps mentioned:

  • Get the baking soda container and sprinkle the powder all over the carpet, making sure there are no lumps on the carpet.
  • Once you have spread it out evenly, leave the carpet to air dry overnight.
  • The baking soda will absorb the urine stains and odor and deodorize it.
  • You can then vacuum the entire carpet the following day or clean it again.

Another alternative to baking soda is borax powder. It works equally well and removes the smell and the splotchy appearance of the urine stain on the carpet.

3. Does White Vinegar Remove Odor from Carpet?

Urine has a lot of bacteria in it, which you need to sanitize. Unlike baking soda, white vinegar has very prominent benefits. Not only does it sanitize the carpet, but it also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

Does White Vinegar Remove Odor from Carpet

Treating the carpet with white vinegar gets rid of the mold and mildew growth in your carpet as well.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray down the areas with the urine stain on the carpet and cover the areas with tissue papers or a clean cloth. Leave it to air dry.
  • Once dry enough, use a steam vacuum cleaner to completely clean the area and deodorize the carpet.
  • If you find remnants of the white vinegar smell, use a carpet odor neutralizer and vacuum again.

4. Can Professional Carpet Cleaners Get Out Dog Urine?

Dog Peed on Carpet

When nothing else works out in your favor, your last resort is to opt for a professional. They are not just trained, but they also have a lot of tools and resources to get rid of the stench. Professional carpet cleaners have ample space to work with and test different cleaning agents to get deeper into the fabric.

This is a common restriction we can’t apply at home. So, yes, professional carpet cleaners can get the dog urine and the smell out of the carpet.

However, we’d recommend choosing a reliable and professional service provider for better results for your investment.

Wrapping Up

We hope you now have an answer for “Why does my carpet smell like urine after shampooing?”. Sometimes, the problem isn’t as big as we perceive it. Although the smell isn’t a good welcome, you can always get around to cleaning it with the right products and advice.

This guide should give you a complete rundown of all the steps to get rid of the urine smell out of the carpet. If the smell persists, we’d recommend washing it a few more times to see a difference. Also, check for mildew and a musty smell. If that happens, go for a professional cleaning instead.