How to Clean Dog Poop Indoors or Outside

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Everyone with a dog knows that poop isn’t always predictable. Here’s how to clean dog poop from any surface in your home, indoors or outside. Even your dog.

An adorable, clean dog stares into a camera after taking a poop indoors

There’s a long list of things that can be transmitted via dog poop, which means you need to exercise caution when cleaning it both indoors and out. For the most part, this involves using common sense: wear disposable gloves when you’re cleaning it if possible, wash your hands immediately afterward, and disinfect everything you aren’t discarding.

Also, keep in mind that your pet can be carrying things like Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Giardia without exhibiting symptoms. Or it may have only recently developed roundworms or hookworms, which can be transmitted to you. So, make sure your dog is up-to-date with all medications and shots, and be sure to clean up dog poop ASAP to keep you and your family healthy, too.

How to Clean Dog Poop Indoors

When your dog has an accident indoors, you need to clean up the mess without causing a stain, neutralize the odor, and disinfect the spot to protect against contamination.

  • To pick up wet dog poop, scoop up as much as you can with a paper plate or piece of cardboard. Sprinkle any remaining wet mess with cat litter (clumping clay or silica), wait for it to solidify, and then scoop it up.
  • To pick up solid dog poop, cover your hand with a plastic bag and use it to pick up the waste. Knot the end of the bag to contain odors, and discard it in an outdoor trash receptacle.

On Carpeting or Rugs

To clean dog poop on carpeting, combine 1 cup cold water, 1 cup white vinegar, and a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent. Spray the mess and blot it repeatedly with a clean cloth to lift away any residue. Do not rub, or you may spread the stain. Soap is a great way to remove germs. The vinegar also helps disinfect the area and neutralize odors. Let the area air-dry overnight.

To get rid of lingering dog poop odors, sprinkle the area heavily with baking soda and cover it with an overturned bowl or box to keep your pet from disturbing it. Let this dry overnight, then vacuum it in the morning. Be sure to clean your vacuum immediately so you don’t spread bacteria.

Once you’ve cleaned up the dog poop, disinfect the area by dousing it with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol or a spray disinfectant like Lysol. Keep your pet and children away from the area until it is thoroughly dry.

On Hard Floors

If your dog pooped on hard flooring, first pick up the mess and then wash the area with warm, soapy water and an old cloth. Scrub as needed to remove the mess then let it air dry. Once the area is dry, wipe the area with a disinfecting cloth or use this homemade floor cleaner with disinfecting properties.

On Upholstered Furniture

Use the steps described for picking up dog poop. Once the rest of the mess is dry, use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to remove it. (Wash the attachment in hot, soapy water and disinfect it when you’re done, and then clean your vacuum cleaner.)

To clean where your dog pooped on the furniture, fill a bucket with cool water and stir in a few drops of liquid dish soap and a spoonful of Oxiclean. Get an old rag wet with this mixture and blot to lift the mess. Avoid drenching the area or rubbing, or you may spread the problem. Once the stain is gone, press a clean, fresh towel into the spot to dry it.

Disinfect the area where your dog pooped by misting it with straight rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol or a product like Lysol. Keep pets and children away from the area the disinfectant has completely dried.

How to Clean Dog Poop on Shoes

Stepping in dog poop is never pleasant. Tracking it into your home or car on the bottom of your shoes is even worse. The best way to get dog feces off your shoes depends on whether it’s fresh or dry, but neither method below requires special equipment.

To get fresh dog poop off of your shoes, scrape it away with a piece of cardboard or paper plate and discard that mess in a plastic bag. Remove the rest outdoors using a strong blast from a hose or spray bottle filled with water. Let the mess dry then follow the next step.

To get dry dog poop off of your shoes, head outside and knock the soles of your shoes together to dislodge as much of the mess as possible. Use an old, dry toothbrush to clean any remaining poop in your shoe’s tread. Then, wash your shoes in the machine or wipe the soles with a disinfecting cloth if they’re not washable.

How to Clean Dog Poop Outdoors

Some homeowners keep their dog’s poop confined to one area of the yard to make it easier to locate and scoop up their messes. Others let their dogs roam and poop where they please. Either way, you need to be diligent about cleaning up dog poop in your yard so it doesn’t smell or pose health concerns.

In the Yard

Whether you pick up dog poop daily or leave it for a weekend chore, there are two easy methods to get dog poop out of your yard. The first method is to use a small shovel or pooper scooper to pick up the mess and dump it into a plastic bag. Be sure to double-bag discarded poop to contain the smell properly.

If you don’t have a shovel handy, you can use a trash bag to pick up one or more piles of dog poop. Slip the bag over your hand, scoop up the mess, and then pull your hand back through without letting go. If you’ve got more than one pile to pick up, tie a quick knot in the bag after each to keep them from falling out, and move your hand to a fresh section of the bag to grab the next one.

On Cement

Ignoring feces on cement can lead to a permanent stain, not to mention the risk that someone will step in it. Scoop the dog poop from the cement using a piece of cardboard or paper plate. Next, get the area wet with a hose and cover it with a light layer of Oxiclean or other oxygenated bleach to remove the discoloration. Wait 5 minutes then scrub with an old brush and rinse. If any discoloration remains, follow these steps to clean stained cement.

How to Clean a Dog Covered in Poop

When your dog is covered in poop, you need to act fast. First, sprinkle baking soda on any wet mess to help neutralize the odor and make it easier to wash away. Then, bathe your dog in warm water using dog shampoo, baby shampoo, or even mild dish soap. Next, rinse well then towel dry your dog. Finally, clip any remaining matted or clumped areas of dry poop, and let your dog’s hair completely dry before brushing. There is no need to disinfect your dog after washing poop off of it since soapy water does a good job of removing bacteria from hair and skin.

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  1. Gerard kiely says:

    I work in an animal rescue and in the morning there is a lot of poo on the ground and the sides of the kennels, Is there a good way of making cleaning easier?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I wish I could think of something to help you, but I’m stumped. Sorry!