Dog Pee Dilemma? Vinegar to the Rescue! Discover the Science Behind its Cleaning Power

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Home » Blog » Natural & Non-Toxic » Dog Pee Dilemma? Vinegar to the Rescue! Discover the Science Behind its Cleaning Power

Dogs are the most common pets to have at home. We love cuddling them, playing, or giving them so much time. But no matter how trained they are, they may still pee on your carpet or flooring, leaving stains and foul odors. So, in the quest to find natural products to remove pee stains and smells, you may have asked yourself – does vinegar clean dog pee?

Yes, it does! Vinegar can remove pee stains and stinky urine odor. It can sterilize the affected area and easily renew it after the pee incidents. It is an effective cleaning agent and an excellent tool for eliminating bacteria.

Below, we will discuss why and how you should use vinegar to clean dog pee.

Why Should You Clean Dog Pee with Vinegar?

Vinegar is a great dog pee odor and stain remover. Vinegar is known for being a deodorizer and can help neutralize urine. It can also break down the uric acid in certain breeds’ dog pee, making the stain easier to clean. The vinegar odor can also deter your dog from urinating on your mattresses, carpets, and other household items.

What is the Most Effective Type of Vinegar to Clean Dog Pee?

White vinegar is the ultimate natural dog pee cleaner. However, you can use other types of vinegar like apple cider, wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar to solve your problem. 

Vinegar cleans dog stains in a heartbeat, especially when mixed with baking soda or lemon. Additionally, the scent of vinegar is an effective dog repellent. 

How to Use Vinegar to Remove Dog Pee Odor?


Once your dog has peed in a certain area of your home, they will most likely return to that place to pee again.

The scent of their urine will attract the dog to pee there again, so you must remove any odor as soon as possible. Cleaning up all the evidence is easy; follow these simple steps.

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle


Step 1. Mix vinegar, water, and dish soap in a bowl.

Step 2. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray it on the affected area.

Step 3. Use a sponge to clean carpet gently. Vinegar has a deodorizing effect, which will remove the odor.

Step 4. Use a paper towel to soak the vinegar solution, but don’t rub it. Leave the moist area for a while to dry.

How to Use Vinegar to Remove Dog Pee Stains?

Vinegar is a reliable cleaner to remove dog pee stains from couches, mattresses, and other materials. However, cleaning the stains as soon as possible is essential. The longer you let them sit untreated, the more likely they will be difficult to clean.

Here’s how you can effectively remove dog urine pet stains with vinegar.

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl
  • Brush (optional)


Step 1. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a bowl.

Step 2. Soak a paper towel in the bowl, then rub it on the stained area.

Step 3. If the stain is difficult to remove, use a sponge to scrub the stain away.

Step 4. Sprinkle the affected area with baking soda. You will see a chemical reaction. Don’t panic, as this will help neutralize the stain.

Vinegar isn’t the only way to clean dog urine from your mattress. Read our post – Does Baking Soda Clean Mattresses? to learn how to use baking soda to clean your mattress.

How Do You Clean Dog Pee Out of Carpet?

There is nothing to fear if the pee has dried in the carpet or other material. Vinegar can help you remove urine. First, moisten the affected area with water.

Second, with a paper towel, you can blot the area to remove the pee. Then, apply the vinegar to neutralize the smell and clean the urine.

Can You Clean Fresh Pee From the Carpet with Vinegar?

Yes, you can. Just place a thick layer of paper towels on the stained area. You can also use newspaper and stand on them to absorb the pee. Then, remove the paper and spray the area with vinegar.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Dog Pee?

Still skeptical about using vinegar to clean dog pee? Here are a few pros and cons to help you assess whether it’s a perfect cleaner for your dog’s mess.


Cost Effective

The most obvious advantage of using vinegar is it’s affordable and available in most stores. Or you may already have some at home.

Natural Disinfectant

Vinegar contains acetic acid that works well as a natural disinfectant and deodorizes. As such, it can eliminate urine smells from your carpet, couches, and mattresses.



Vinegar has a pungent smell. But the good thing is you can use baking soda to neutralize vinegar’s smell.

Harmful To Other Materials

Vinegar is okay to be used on fabric materials. For instance, when your dog pees on the carpet, you can safely use vinegar to remove the urine.

However, it differs in other materials like granite, hardwoods, marble, and ceramic. The acidity of the vinegar can harm the wooden or rock surfaces of these materials.

What Other Household Items Can You Use to Clean Dog Pee?


If vinegar is unavailable or you dislike using vinegar to clean dog pee, don’t fret. There are other cost-effective and natural ways to clean up the mess.

Baking Soda

If you do not like the smell of vinegar, you can use baking soda instead. Baking soda does not give out a strong smell, like vinegar. Instead, it is a deodorizer and absorbs moisture.

To use baking soda, put it in the area where your dog has urinated. You can leave it overnight for about five hours to neutralize the odor.

To learn how to use baking soda to absorb other wet spots in your home, read our article – Does Baking Soda Remove Moisture?

Hydrogen Peroxide

If vinegar can’t clean pee stains thoroughly, you are probably dealing with a bigger mess. For hard-to-clean stains, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Like vinegar, the solution is also safe for carpets and pets.

You can follow the vinegar cleaning method, but replace vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. Once dry, you can sprinkle the affected area with baking soda to remove any residual odor left behind.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains on carpets. Read our post – Does Hydrogen Peroxide Clean Carpet? to learn how.


You can also use lemon to remove your dog’s pee odor. Just spray the juice into the affected area, and you will have a citrusy smell with a slightly acidic quality, perfect for eliminating the pet pee smell. 


We hope we have answered your question – does vinegar clean dog pee? Dealing with occasional pet stains and odors is part of being a fur owner. However, by taking the necessary steps and using vinegar to remove the smells and stains, you’re keeping your home fresh and clean and deterring your dog from urinating.

For best results when cleaning dog urine, use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar, and follow our step-by-step guides above.

Learn the pros and cons of using vinegar to clean dog urine, and if you run out of vinegar, you can substitute it with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon.

Do you also have a cat? Read our article – Does Vinegar Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell? to learn how to use vinegar to clean cat urine.

Want to learn more about cleaning and how it affects your pets, check out our article – Are Green Cleaning Products Really Safe for Pets?