How To Clean Pet Stains on Laminate Floors

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Accidents happen, and that’s why it’s good to know how to clean pet stains on laminate floors.

Whether Fido just piddled on the floor or Fluffy has been hitting outside her litter box for some time, it’s possible to get both the stain and the smell of pet urine off of your laminate floors. (Check out this advice for other pet messes on floors and furniture.)

How to Clean Pet Stains on Laminate Floors

Brindle French Bulldog

Prevention is the best approach

Sometimes you just can’t be there to take your pet out as soon as they need it, or an emergency comes up that keeps you away from your pet longer than planned. These things are inevitable for every pet owner, which is why it’s important to protect your floor.

For dogs: One solution is to buy a rubber-backed entry mat to place in front of the door and inspect it frequently for dampness. If you leave your pets confined while you’re at work, a disposable pet pad will protect your floor while letting your furry friend do their business when they must.

For cats: Cat owners should consider putting the litter box on top of a shallow tray that can catch urine. A boot tray works perfectly for this purpose and has the added benefit of reducing litter-tracking, too.

How to clean pet stains on laminate

Fresh stains: Even if you’re using one of the preventative steps above you still need to clean pet messes as soon as possible. One of the great things about laminate flooring is that it holds up well against most non-abrasive cleaners, so once you’ve wiped up the mess you can get your floor clean with this homemade floor cleaner. The important thing is to clean the area right away because urine and feces can both etch your floor surface if left untreated.

Older stains: Unfortunately, pet accidents aren’t always obvious. If you’re using a throw rug without a rubber backing in front of your door, for instance, you’ve probably found stained laminate from those times you couldn’t get Fido out the door fast enough. Or if your older cat suddenly finds climbing into the litter box painful he may start peeing next to it instead of inside, but you won’t know until you move the box and find a stained floor.

Cleaning older stains requires a few steps. In addition to cleaning the spot, you also need to eliminate the lingering scent of urine to keep your pet from continuing to soil the area and to prevent the smell from taking over your house. Assuming the laminate hasn’t developed cracks or lost its protective coating, you can treat the area easily with ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen.

Steps to Get the Old Stains Out

1. Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove debris and surface stains. Dry.

2. Sprinkle with baking soda and use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to clean any hardened mess in the space between planks. Do not scrub the area — you don’t want to rub off the protective coating. Let that sit for a few minutes to soak up any possible moisture.

3. Spray lightly with white vinegar and watch it foam. The same acid-base reaction that makes baking soda and vinegar great at cleaning drains also helps dissolve pet stains and lift them from the subfloor. Meanwhile, the vinegar neutralizes the scent that draws pets back to the spot.

4. Wipe dry and spray with vinegar again to activate any remaining baking soda, then remove the vinegar with a clean cloth lightly dampened with water.

5. Blow-dry the area on low heat to ensure the subfloor is dry. This will also let you know if there’s any urine remaining behind — you’ll smell it if you didn’t get all the pee out. In that case, wait a day to let the subfloor completely dry, then repeat steps 1-4. Note: Saturating the subfloor will cause your laminate to warp!

6. Refinish the area if needed. Urine is surprisingly acidic and can greatly damage your laminate’s protective coating over time. Fortunately, most manufacturers sell an easily-applied refinishing kit.

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20 Comments

  1. I have a 100 pound german shephard mix, and he really knows how to make a mess, so this guide will definitely become helpful in the future 🙂

  2. Jennifer Andrews says:

    Oh baking soda…the magical fairy dust of the cleaning world. We have a puppy now so I want to make sure to keep our laminate flooring clean and stain free. I do like the instructions on how to get older stains out in case I miss some.

  3. I have 5 puppies new ones and they are just now in the stage of me potty training them…they can sure make a mess… Instructions are perfect… Thank you

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Glad I could help!

  4. Regina Lee says:

    I replaced my carpet with Laminated floors and sadly my dog mark his territory. I went to home depot and bought some flooring stuff that made it worst. I followed your steps and the stains are gone. Thank so much! P.s any suggestion on what to buy to make my floor shine lol

    1. Subflooring usually needs treated even if You replace flooring. Animals will still smell the marked area under new flooring.

  5. What if my dogs urine took the protective coating off the laminate flooring??What do u do to fix it. I have tried two different floor polish and nothing works.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yikes, I really don’t know the solution to that. I think Home Depot and similar stores sell a laminate repair mix that can restore the protective coating, so you might want to speak with someone in their flooring department. Good luck!

  6. Hi I was curious if this mixture will work if moving into a rental that has laminate flooring but you’re unsure of where all the stains are bc of how bad the home smells. And you’ve moped with bleach twice.

    Please help.

    In other words would I use this on an entire room since I don’t know where the exact spots are?
    The previous tenant let his dogs pee and poop everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean piles upon piles of poop and puddles of urine. I even think it’s on the vents.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I suppose you could do this on entire rooms, but I would probably just use my homemade floor cleaner which cleans and kills odors.

    2. Pull up all flooring and baseboard. Check drywall for urine as it sometimes spreads under flooring and gets to the walls. You can use vinegar and baking soda cleaning or paint subflooring with Killz. This will treat the subflooring and kill the smell.

  7. Karen Andersen says:

    Excellent instructions!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you!

  8. I have a 5 month old Chow Chow. She’s very good in terms of when she needs to go toilet, but ever so often she pees by the door on the laminate flooring. I’ve tried many pet odour eliminating sprays, but nothing seems to work. To make things worse, we have another 13 year old Jack Russell that is now peeing in the same spot to mark her territory. Will your mixture get rid of any lingering odour from both dog pees?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It should, yes.

  9. how would u recommend cleaning for cat urine on wood floors where i recently found & they have turned dark but have a very good thick layer of finish on top of flooring?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      For wood floors where the urine stain has seeped beneath the finish, the only solution is to strip and sand the area then refinish it. Sorry!

  10. Why is my house laminated floor smells like sewer urine and my vents? i don’t have pets and keep everything clean.My sum pump, my sewer pipes, my basement, toilet fight. i reside alone. The smell It comes in the night when cools down and in the mornings. my house air is polluted and I can tell when I open my windows. The sewer line was checked is clean. the heater ducts are clean. so why is this ugly smell? could be the laminated floor causing this?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s hard to say what could cause this without knowing more. Off the top of my head, I wonder if the subfloor is damaged or rotting. Have you experienced a flood in the past?

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