How To Get Urine Smell Out of Clothes (3 Ways To Do It!)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins
Brand new babies, or puppies for that matter, have a special way of leaving their owners smelling like urine. Of course these loveable beings may not be able to control their bladder, but all this means is that effective washing is a must. Whether it be using natural products or enzymes, let’s take a look at how you can remove the smell of urine from clothes.

Unfortunately, urine can leave stains and smells on clothes even after they have been laundered. It can seem that the odor is an unpleasant permanent feature of the affected garments. However, various natural and chemical products can return the item to its original fresh-smelling state.

To get rid of the urine smell, begin by soaking the clothes in diluted bleach, vinegar, or an enzyme-based laundry detergent mixed with warm water. Let sit for 4 hours or overnight to effectively get rid of the smell. Once soaked, run the clothing in the washing machine at a normal setting. Air-dry when finished.

This article will take you through several ways on how you can get rid of the urine smell in clothing. We will explain each method in full and provide you with high-quality step by step instructions. So, before you throw away your clothing or linens, try these methods!

Related Content: Laundry Detergent Alternatives | Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Urine? | How To Get Rid Of A Bleach Smell

Eliminate The Urine In Clothing With Bleach

Before you work with bleach, make sure that you always wear rubber gloves as a safety precaution so that your skin doesn’t come in contact with it. Also, always make sure you store the bleach mixture out of reach of small children and pets.


  • Mix the bleach with tap water. For white clothes, thoroughly mix 0.25 cups of bleach (with chlorine) with a gallon of ordinary tap water in a big bowl or bucket. However, for colored clothes, you will want to use the same formula but take care to use bleach that doesn’t contain chlorine, as this could fade the dyes. 
  • Saturate your clothing and linens. Allow the garments to remain completely covered in the solution for at least 3-4 hours or, better, overnight.
  • Run the clothing through your washer. After soaking, white garments can be washed in your washing machine with 1 cup of detergent, and 1 cup of bleach. Use the water temperature recommended for the particular fabric, and select the average spin speed.
  • Line dry your fabrics. Remove the clothing from the washing machine, then leave them to line dry, ideally in the fresh air and sunshine. The only exception would be in the case of delicate, colored garments, which may be prone to fading in the sunlight. If your problem is not resolved, repeat the entire process or try another method.

Using Enzyme-Based Detergent For Urine Smells

As it’s most likely that you’re trying to remove odors from clothing that has already been laundered, look online or in the cleaning section of your local store to find an enzyme-based detergent that is effective on protein-based stains. It should be formulated to work on stains such as blood and fecal matter as well as urine.


  • Wash the clothing with an enzymatic detergent. Place the recommended amount of detergent into the soap compartment of your washing machine, and load the garments into the drum. You can choose to wash the urine-soaked items separately or with other clothes. However, keep in mind that enzyme-based detergent may not be suitable for all clothing.
  • Use hot water. Typically a normal washing cycle with hot water and a typical spin speed will be sufficient. However, respect the garment care label’s instructions, and if they recommend cold or warm water only, follow their instructions.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2. If one wash is insufficient to remove the odor, repeat the procedure.
  • Air dry your fabrics. Rather than tumble-drying, let the garments air-dry either inside your home or outside, if possible. Wait until they have completely dried, then check to see if every trace of the urine smell has gone. Check to make sure that your clothes smell fresh and clean. If they don’t, repeat this process.

Using Vinegar To Remove The Smell Of Urine

If the urine stains have dried, or if you have already washed them but the odor is still present, it’s a good idea to pre-soak overnight in a solution of water and distilled white vinegar. Mix a cup of vinegar into a bucket of tap water, then submerge the soiled articles. Leave them to soak for several hours, preferably overnight.

This method also helps with dog urine, or mouse urine, as well as human urine. So, no matter what you’re dealing with, vinegar is a great solution!


  • Wash your soiled clothing. Place the soiled items into your washing machine, and add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the soap compartment. As no detergent is going to be added, only wash items that need to have an odor removed.
  • Wash them in hot water. Unless the garment wash label recommends a cold or warm water wash, choose a hot cycle with an average spin speed. The important thing is to ensure that the items are thoroughly soaked in vinegar.
  • Air dry. Remove the items from the solution and place them to dry in the open air for a day or so. Once all moisture has gone, test to see if the odor of the urine has disappeared completely. If not, repeat the process.

How To Remove Pee And Urine From A Couch Or Mattress

Well, you’ve succeeded at removing the urine smell and stains from your clothing and bedsheets; however, you’re left with stains and unpleasant odors in your furniture and mattress. So, you need to also remove the urine from these surfaces.

Step 1: Absorb The Urine

Absorb as much of the urine as you can. You can use paper towels or an old cloth to absorb as much of the urine as you can, no matter where the stain is located. If you’re lucky, it will be on a removable cushion, so you can place it on the floor and stand on it to soak up any urine.

Make sure you use gloves or shoes if you need to stand in the area. The urine will soak through the paper towel or cloth, so you need to take precautions to avoid getting it on your hands or feet.

Step 2: Deodorize The Object

Using a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part distilled white vinegar, it is possible to remove the odor from a couch cushion and clean it simultaneously. The vinegar doesn’t smell as great either, but later on, you will apply some lovely smelling essential oils.

Vinegar is ideal to use for deodorizing, as the acidic component will eat through the urine and break it down. Once it’s broken down, it will no longer smell.

Step 3: Soak The Stained Area

Use a rag to soak the urine-stained area until it is thoroughly covered. If you find dry, stained spots, wash these as well. An alternative would be to place the solution in a spray bottle and spray liberally over the area and then scrub well to ensure it is mixed with the urine.

Step 4: Remove The Moisture And Odor Simultaneously

In this step, only two items are needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Lavender essential oil

The combination of these two simple, all-natural ingredients will achieve the aim of eliminating the odor of urine and replacing it with a pleasant smell.

For a stain, which is approximately the size of a cushion, take 1 cup of baking soda and add 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil. (You can also use another essential oil whose scent you enjoy). Make sure you adjust the amount according to how big the stain is.

Step 5: Clean It All Up

Finally, run your vacuum over the mixture, ensuring every trace is removed. If the stain is old or the area is badly soaked, you may need to repeat the procedure. At this point, your furniture should be stain-free and smelling amazing.

Related Questions

What laundry detergent is best for urine odor?

Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost is a perfect addition to your laundry detergent. It removes stains while whitening your clothes. It’s also phosphate-free formula deals effectively with:

  • Urine
  • Fecal matter
  • Blood
  • Vomit
  • Grease
  • Oil
Does Borax remove urine odor?

Borax is a low-cost, natural product that can assist in eliminating pet urine odor with little effort. Combine about ¼ cup of Borax, ¼ cup of salt, and ¼ cup of vinegar with one pint of water.

Use a clean cloth or pad to spread the mixture on the spots. Let it work for 30 to 45 minutes, then wipe or vacuum it away.

Where do you put vinegar in a washing machine?

When using the vinegar-cleaning method, simply put ½ a cup of distilled white vinegar into your washing machine’s soap compartment, then run the wash cycle. No other detergents need to be added.

In Summary

The smell of urine stuck in clothing or in another surface can be extremely unfavorable. However, don’t throw your belongings out without first trying some of the methods that are mentioned in this article. What do you have to lose?

The strong, pungent smell of urine is from the toxins that are present in the fluid. However, by using vinegar or bleach, the toxins are eaten away, which results in a neutralized odor. In addition, each of these methods will work at removing the unsightly stain as well, leaving you with fresh, bright clothing and furniture. When you are finished, it will look and smell like nothing even happened.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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