How To Clean Pet Stains on Laminate Floors

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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 your laminate floors.

Sad chocolate lab puppy sits next to a puddle of pee on a laminate wood floor with a puppy training pad in the background

Accidents happen, so it’s good to know how to clean pet stains on laminate floors. Fresh stains are the easiest to clean, but with a bit of elbow grease and some common household ingredients, you can get old pet stains and odors out of laminate flooring.

Unfortunately, pet accidents aren’t always apparent. If you’re using a throw rug in front of your door, you’ve probably found stained laminate from times you couldn’t get Fido out the door fast enough. Or if your older cat suddenly finds climbing painful, he may start peeing outside the litterbox, but you won’t know until you clean the litter box and see a stained floor.

Cleaning Fresh Pet Waste

Pet urine and feces can etch laminate flooring, so cleaning them up is crucial. The good news is that this type of flooring holds up well against most non-abrasive cleaners.

To clean pet urine or feces on the floor, throw a few paper towels on top, wait for them to absorb the liquids, slip on your rubber gloves, or put your hand through a plastic bag to pick up the mess. Then wipe the area with a disinfecting cloth until it’s fully saturated and repeat, allowing the spot to air dry. Or use my homemade floor cleaner which also disinfects.

Steps to Clean Old Pet Urine on Laminate

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.

Step 1. Clean with Soapy Water

Put on your rubber gloves and use some paper towels dipped in warm, soapy water to clean the area and remove surface stains. Grab some clean paper towels and blot to dry.

Step 2. Soak Up the Spill

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

Step 3. Activate the Cleaner

Spray the area lightly with warm 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.

Step 4. Reapply

Wipe the area with a dry paper towel, then spray it with vinegar again to activate any remaining baking soda. Once you’re sure the baking soda is gone, wipe the area again with warm, soapy water. Do not skip this rinsing step since vinegar can also etch your laminate.

Step 5. Dry

Aim a hairdryer on low heat at the area to ensure the subfloor dries. Keep it in motion and dry the spot for about 5 minutes. The heat will also let you know if there’s any urine remaining — you’ll smell it if you didn’t get all the pee out. If you still smell urine, wait a day to let the subfloor completely dry, then repeat steps 1-4. Saturating the subfloor will cause your laminate to warp!

Step 6. Refinish if Needed

Urine is surprisingly acidic and can ruin your laminate’s protective coating over time. Fortunately, most manufacturers sell an easily-applied refinishing kit. Find your flooring manufacturer’s website to learn which refinishing kit they recommend for your floor’s finish, then follow the directions on the package.

How to Protect Laminate Floors from Pet Urine

Sometimes you 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, so protecting your floor is important.

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.

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.


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11 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

  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

  5. 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.

  6. Karen Andersen says:

    Excellent instructions!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you!

  7. 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.