Dog urine odor question emailed to me recently from a reader:
“My dog has urinated on the tile and grout in my kitchen. On humid days the smell of urine is very obvious, I am assuming because the urine has penetrated the grout. Can you recommend product(s) to help get rid of the odor? Thank you
We have several good urine odor products we can recommend. I would suggest ” Severe Urine Neutralizer (SUN)” because it is very effective for dog urine odor and easy to use. The key is to get it in contact with the urine residue. If the urine has penetrated the grout (and it usually will unless the grout has recently been sealed with a very good sealer) then the SUN (or any product you use) will need to penetrate that area also. If there are cracks in the grout the urine can run down and get under the tile and into the wood or concrete underneath. Also pay attention to around the edges of the tile, under the baseboard and toe-kick on the cabinets. Anywhere the urine might have run. A black light in a dark room helps to locate any urine residue areas. Then you can concentrate on those areas. Let the SUN solution run down and soak into the areas that you think the urine has done the same. SUN solution will neutralize the odor in just a few minutes. Give it five to ten minutes. You can wet vac or wipe up any excess solution after this period of time and then let it dry naturally or you can put a fan on it to aid drying. If there is still an odor after you have used SUN that indicates the SUN solution has not come in contact with all the dog urine residue.
In either animals or humans, urine exits the body in acid form with a pH around 5 and or 6. Before leaving the body the urine is sterile, and has no damaging bacteria, pathogens, and or microorganisms. However, this is not the case if the animal has a bladder infection or urinary infection.
In mammals uric acid is the number one ingredient in the urine. Urochrome, (a yellow pigment) and cholesterol (also known as lipids), and urea are other main ingredients found in urine. The specific ingredients in urine including dog urine, will actually vary, and is dependent on diet and health, along with other factors. When urine is leaving the body it begins a process of significant changes. It picks up bacteria from the urethra and also from the skin. It also comes in contact with other microorganisms from sources such as carpeting and other surfaces.
These bacteria can now flourish. The warm acidic conditions of the urine are ideal for the bacteria to grow. The uric acid is broken down and becomes ammonia and CO2. This ammonia is extremely alkaline, with a pH of 11+. Strong, concentrated alkaline can damage dyes and cause color loss. What you think is a urine stain can actually be color loss. This color loss cannot be restored by simply cleaning.
Alkaline salt crystals are created as the acid in the urine reacts with the ammonia. These highly hygroscopic salts, as they’re termed, pull moisture from the air and remain slightly damp. When damp they stay active chemically. And this is the case in virtually every climate except extremely dry climates. As long the salts stay active, they will produce ammonia gas. When completely dry the ammonia gases stop but if moistened again such as during cleaning, they begin producing the ammonia gases again.
Ammonia gas is one of the parts of urines distinctive odor, which helps to locate and identify urine. Off-gassing from bacteria is another one of urines distinctive odors. The off gassing from the bacteria occurs while it is growing.
Urine is a complex composition. Many chemicals form as urine is being decomposed by the bacteria. This presents a challenging and sometimes difficult situation. In time, many of the complex organic compounds become part of the carpet or other fiber. Even when the bacteria have been killed, ammonia and these other chemicals produce strong odors. This is why something much stronger than a simple sanitizing cleaner is needed to neutralize the odor from dog urine!
4 steps to remove dog urine. This is a response to a comment that was left by Stephan. He wrote “no comment other than finding a solution to the dog peeing and the smell!! ” The following is a four step solution to the smell and also how to remove dog urine. The links will take you to posts that go into more detail about the steps.
Step one: Locate the problem areas. Step two: Clean as much of the urine residue out as you can. Step three: Treat the area and remaining urine residue with a one of the odor removal agents that work. Step four: Insure that the affected areas dry properly. The method of drying will vary depending on the type of product you are using. As you locate the problem areas try to assess how large the area is that is contaminated. You need a good idea of how much area you need to treat both in circumference and in depth. Example: Is it a 2 inch spot or a 12 inch or a 24 inch spot? Has it soaked through the carpet pad and into the wood floor? Or is it only in the face fibers of the carpet? If you do not treat all of the affected area you will not get complete odor removal. Use one of the quality products that is designed to counteract the smell. All good odor removal products have to come in contact with the urine and urine residue and they will eliminate the smell. Different type products work differently so follow the instructions for the one you are using. Some work immediately on contact and others need time to work on (digest) the urine. I will soon have a page added tho this blog of recommended professional products. These are products that have been available only to professionals that will now be made available to you. Watch for it. I hope this helps Stephan and anyone else who has a similar question.
Today my wife started out the day cleaning the grout in our kitchen tile. We have a pug named Betty and her brother (Rumble) has been over visiting. He is not as good as Betty about waiting and urinating outside. He has been visiting for about two weeks and we now have a build up of urine stains in our white (off white) grout. We had stains in the grout already but not real bad. With Rumble It was looking and smelling bad enough for her to decide she had to clean it up. She first tried a strong alkaline cleaner which helped a little but she was not satisfied at all. Then she tested several products to see what would clean the dog urine out of the grout. She tried bleach and she tried an acid cleaner. These were after the alkaline cleaner. It got a little brighter with each process. Then she got a hydrochloric acid product from a professional stone chemical company. This had a strong smell and she had to wear gloves but she reported that this cleaned up the grout fast and easy and she was thrilled with it. It brightened and whitened the grout right up. It took the urine and everything else that was making the grout dingy out and now it looks like new. It took a little time for the smell of the acid to dissipate but after it did she applied two coats of grout and tile sealer so the future urine would bead up on the grout instead of absorbing in. The hydrochloric acid product did the trick for our dog urine in the grout situation. It cleaned everything else out of the grout at the same time.