Cleaning up your pet’s mess is often no biggie; even a potty-trained pooch can have accidents. However, your precious Fido might choose a spot that’s just as precious to have his accident — such as taking a piddle on the polished surface of your hardwood floor. Whether you’ve adopted a new pup and want to be prepared, or you have a sticky situation on your hands, here’s what to know about how to clean dog pee on hardwood floors.
How Does Dog Urine Affect Hardwood Floors?
Hardwood floors are exceptionally durable, but they’re also prone to damage when exposed to water, harsh cleaning chemicals and some of the naturally occurring chemicals in dog urine. The damage from dog pee depends on whether you have sealed floors — finished floors with a protected coat on top — or unsealed floors, meaning no finished coat.
Dog urine is typically acidic, which is why it can break down the finish of a hardwood floor’s surface; especially if the urine is allowed to dry up. It might leave a stain on the surface, make it lose its shine and cause discoloration. If you have an unsealed floor, the urine can penetrate deeper into the wood and leave a persistent and unpleasant odor. If the odor isn't completely eliminated and the area becomes a regular piddle spot, the constant exposure to urine may ultimately cause the wood to warp.
Keep in mind that many cleaning products that are labeled “safe to use on hardwood floors” are not always 100% effective in removing dog urine stains and odor, and they may still cause some discoloration on your wood’s finish.
How To Clean Dog Pee on Hardwood Floors
You have to act fast. It’s essential to clean the pee before it dries out and soaks deep into the wood. And you have to make sure that you clean up all the spots on the floor where the urine has splashed. Dried-up urine may stain the floor and leave that pungent, characteristic odor. At that point, eliminating the stain and odor may require methods prone to cause some damage to your floor (more on that later).
Step 1: Soak Up the Urine on Your Floor
The first step is to immediately soak up the puddle by placing a thick wad of paper towels or cleaning towels on the mess. Keep sopping up the urine with fresh towels until a towel comes up dry. Finish wiping off the area with a cloth dampened with water and then dry it off with a fresh towel.
Step 2: Eliminate the Urine Stain and Odor
- To clean up small spots, mineral spirits are generally safe to use on hardwood floors, although they may leave a residue on the surface.
- Citrus oil-based cleaners are preferable to mineral spirits and are best used to clean areas that are not exposed to sunlight. Over time, these may still dull the finish of your floor, especially when combined with some or a lot of sun exposure.
- Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda may be popular options for cleaning urine stains and removing odor on hardwood floors, but keep in mind that this blend will almost certainly cause discoloration and can even stain the finish and the wood itself. Your floor may require additional treatments, including sanding, refinishing and staining to restore its look.
- Skout’s Honor Pet Stain & Odor Remover is safe for finished wood floors, but avoid using it on unfinished wood.
Skout’s Honor for Dog Urine Stains on Hardwood Floors
Skout’s Honor’s solutions for dog urine stains and odor are mineral and plant-derived, and are free of sulfates, parabens and other harmful ingredients. Our products exceed the highest level of environmental responsibility and safety standards. All Skout's Honor products are manufactured under the California Green Chemistry Initiative. They are rapidly biodegradable, eco-friendly and free of harsh chemicals, making them safe to use around your pets, family and home.
Our beloved pets may not appreciate the classic beauty of a hardwood floor. Or perhaps they do, and that’s why they want to mark it and claim it as their own. Now, when accidents happen, you’ll be ready to clean it up fast.
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