Hardwood Floors And Pet Odors


We are trying to remove dog urine odor from a wood floor where people left the urine for extended periods, maybe even months. Would your “Dual Action” product remedy this problem? We will be putting carpet down soon so we are not concerned about a stain problem.

Please help.




You have a challenge. Sorry. There are several degrees of severity when dealing with dog urine and this is true with hardwood.  To neutralize the odor you need to get the neutralizer to the urine residue. With wood you will have urine soaked into the grain of the wood and possibly between the slats of the wood and maybe around the edges of the wood floor against the wall.  Dual action or Severe urine neutralizer will neutralize the urine it comes in contact with. The trick is getting it to the urine.  If you just go over the surface of the floor you will neutralize a good percentage of the urine and sometimes this is adequate to  kill the odor. Sometimes it is not. With wood you also have the possibility of the wood warping if it gets to wet. It may be slightly warped from the urine already.
The different methods you can use depending on how severe the urine contamination is, are:

Try a treatment just going over the floor with a good neutralizer and getting the obvious urine areas a little wetter so it can soak
in a little. Then see how the results are.

The next method would be to soak the floor so the neutralizer can soak in deep.This takes a chance of warping the floor in areas. I
have had cases where we ended up sanding and also replacing slats from this.

The next method is to sand the surface of the wood taking off as much wood as needed to remove the urine. Again this will remove most
of the urine residue and sometimes all. If it has run down between the slats you may still have residue remaining. Seal the floor to
lock in any remaining odor if necessary.

Or use a combination of the above.

Pet Stains On Hardwood

pet stains hardwoodI came across a question about pet stains on hardwood. The following comment and question was asked.

“I left my dogs alone for a couple days and they peed EVERYWHERE. The hardwood floor is dark in some spots and after mopping it still smells! Does anyone know a way I can fix this without tearing up the floors????”

In answer to this the following was written.

“From your description it sounds like the urine has soaked into the hardwood. I have hardwood floors that are sealed well with a quality sealer. When our dog was a puppy she would pee on them often. We were lucky because the urine beaded up and we were able to wipe it up and remove it. Eventually I know it would have found its way into the hardwood, had it been in greater volume or left to sit for too long of a time. There are different types of products available that will eliminate the smell but they have to come in contact with the urine residue. This means you have to soak them into the hardwood to reach the urine. Some of these products will also remove the pet stains. One of the challenges with wood is that the moisture from the urine or the chemicals can warp the hardwood and cause additional damage. It might be worth a try though. If you can’t get the smell and stain out to your satisfaction with these products then the next step is to sand it down removing the stain and odor and refinish the hardwood. If this does not work then you are to the replace the floor stage which is usually the most expensive.”

Dog Urine on Wood


This is a basic outline for dog urine on or in the wood of your subfloor. Usually this is when the urine has gone through the carpet, pad and into the wood. Wood subfloor is under carpet, tile, vinyl, hardwood etc. The subfloor in the picture is under hardwood. The urine can get to the subfloor through any of these surfaces but in my experience it is usually the carpeted area’s that have a problem first. Subfloor is either plywood, particle board, chip board or a similar product. Sometimes you will have carpet tack strip baseboard and even Sheetrock that is contaminated with dog urine. When this is the case you will need to address these items to get complete odor removal.

You need to remove or take up the flooring material (carpet, tile, vinyl, hardwood etc) that is in the area of the damage so you can get to the subfloor to repair it.

If the subfloor is lightly contaminated with dog urine you can give it a light cleaning and a light treatment of odor neutralizer. Take care not to over wet it and cause additional damage. Let it dry and seal it with a good varnish, shellac or an acrylic sealer. Many times it is not possible to completely clean these porous wooden materials. Thus the need to seal them. This will seal in any remaining odor or contaminate.

If the subfloor has started to buckle and warp from the moisture you can use a skill saw. Set the blade to the depth of the thickness of the floor (3/4 inch usually) and cut an x through the middle of the warped area. The thickness of the blade will remove enough wood material so you can then fasten the subfloor wood back down flat to the floor and support beams underneath. Use flooring screws for this. You may need to make two cuts depending on how warped the wood is. You just need to remove enough wood so the subfloor will lay flat again.

If the wood is too damaged and warped to repair it this way, then again set the blade to the thickness of the wood and cut the damaged area completely out. Cut a new piece of subfloor material to fit, and replace the bad piece. If there is any urine residue left in it anywhere clean and seal that area with the before mentioned sealing products. Then you will need to replace the section of pad and reinstall or replace the carpet. If you reinstall the carpet you will obviously need to clean and treat it (front and back) first.
Or replace whatever flooring material the damage is under. (Tile hardwood vinyl etc.) If you have questions post them below and I will respond.

Creative Commons License photo credit: wheeldog

Dog Urine in Wood

dog urine on wood

I am going to give a very basic outline about dog urine in or on wood. Two situations that you might have are:

1. Dog urine in or on hardwood flooring and 2. Dog urine in or on wood subfloor (plywood, particle board, chipboard). In this article I am going to address hardwood flooring such as oak.  If your nice oak or similar hardwood flooring is installed well and sealed well, with a quality sealer then the urine will be on and not in the wood. In this case you can use a mild cleaner and wipe the spot up with no damage to the wood. If the urine is fresh use a neutral or alkaline spotter that is safe for hardwood. If the urine is dry and there are alkaline salt crystals present use an acid base spotter that is safe for hardwoods. You can then apply an odor neutralizing spotter to eliminate any possible odor.

If the dog urine has started to penetrate into the wood then you will need to sand the surface of the wood to remove the urine. You need to sand until the stain is gone and reseal the floor.

If the urine has buckled the floor to the point it can not be sanded enough to correct the problem then you need to replace or hire a floor repair company to replace those pieces of wood that are damaged. Replacing individual boards is fairly common for professional hardwood companies. You will need to match the wood as close as you can so it blends in. This can be a challenge. You may need to re-stain the floor slightly darker to make the new wood match in sufficiently with the existing floor.  Contact your local fire and flood restoration contractor, he will probably know a good hardwood contractor for this purpose.