If you’re like most cat owners, chances are your feline friend has at some point had a little “accident” in some part of your house. One of the most irritating places this can happen is on your hardwood floors or any piece of wooden furniture. So, in this post we’re going look at how to remove cat urine from wood, including wood floors and wooden furniture. (If you cat pee problem includes furniture, read the steps for removing cat pee from furniture.)
I know that my own cats have done a great job in marking not only my hardwood floors but also dining room chairs, bookshelves, and a dining room table. Not only does it smell like ammonia and cat pee. When cats pee on wood, stains tend to linger after the urine has soaked. You’re left with an ugly blot of discolored wood if you didn’t catch the puddle quickly enough. But don’t worry. There are still ways to salvage what has been tainted by your precious pet.
Cleaning Recent Accident or Soiled Spots
Your best bet of fully removing urine from your wood floors or furniture, as with any effort to clean cat pee, is to clean it up as soon as possible while it’s still fresh. This is before the smell has had enough time to sink in. What you’ll need to do is:
- Wipe up any remaining urine with a warm, damp towel.
- Scrub with an oil soap (I prefer Murphy’s).
- Let that soak in for about ten minutes.
- Wipe up area again with a dry, soft towel or other cloth.
Easy, right? If there does happen to be a lingering smell, you can use natural citrus oils to easily get rid of it. Don’t use baking soda to clean cat pee. It’s messy and certainly won’t work on wood. Vinegar might be a last option but be sure to spot test it before use.
How to Handle Cases of Dried Urine
If your cat was tricky and managed to hide his urine or did the deed while you were out of the house for some time, removing the odor is a little more of a chore. But not to worry! There are still several ways to make sure your hard wood is as good as new. You have many options that can take away the stain as well as the smell, including store-bought pet stain and odor removers, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and good old bleach.
The first thing you must do with any of these products is to wipe up any excess urine with a damp cloth like you would if it were fresh. Though by this point the urine had probably sunk into the hardwood or evaporated.
Best Cleaning & Deodorizing Solutions for Wood
Before going into each option, it’s important to note that it’s impossible to tell everyone how to remove cat urine smell from wood because there are variables. The type, finish, and value of the wood should all be considered. I know I wouldn’t put hydrogen peroxide on an antique hard wood table passed down through generations. My advice is to always spot test a cleaning solution, no matter what it says on the label, on a small area that’s hidden from plane view before using it. Also, be cognizant of environmental circumstances. You don’t want your dog, cat, or baby licking up a bunch of anything they aren’t supposed to, so please use these solutions with care. Back to how to remove cat pee smells from wooden surfaces!
Pet-Odor Removal Kit
You can find these products at almost any store like Walgreens or Wal-Mart in addition to pet stores like Petco. There are many smell and stain removers that are specified for wooden surfaces. This is a good choice since these products are usually safe for your furniture as well as for your pets. Some are rather inexpensive and work well, so there’s really no need to purchase anything above $30. Most cat odor removal products come in liquid-spray or powder form and give very specific instructions on how to remove cat urine smell from wood.
Hydrogen peroxide is always my go-to cleaner for almost any mess. Its uses for cleaning are practically universal and it’s safe for almost any surface (as most bottles you buy in stores are very concentrated). It’s strong enough that it even gets out blood stains (though I doubt you’d have any need for that aspect with only a bit of urine of your floor or table). You can wipe down the affected area with a cloth of hydrogen peroxide and let it stay for up to three hours while you go play with your naughty cat. When you return, clean the remainder with warm water. Remember though…spot check first. Hydrogen peroxide can be a pretty strong solution depending on dilution levels.
Vinegar is slightly acidic and is usually used on hardwood when the floor is well treated so that the vinegar can’t eat through. Even so, white or malt vinegar can still be very effective when mixed with water. For added power, you can add a small amount of dish washing liquid into the mixture of vinegar and warm water. Rub this solution into the stain and wait for it to dry. Rinse with warm water and dry again.
Bleach is your last restort. Make sure that you only use a small percentage of bleach when you clean hardwood. A 1:10 ratio of bleach to water is very effective in getting out any stubborn stains and smell. All you have to do is wipe down the area with a damp cloth of this mixture and wait for it to dry. Mix baking soda (Ignore my previous advice about baking soda. This is one of the few cases I advise using it.) and enough vinegar to create a paste to cover the area. You have to wait until the mixture turns back to powder which will take some time (half a day or more). Once it’s dry, rub it gently with a towel to remove it from the wood. Any excess powder can be picked up with a vacuum.
If any of these methods do not work the first time, don’t get frustrated! Some methods may take up to several tries before the stain is fully gone, especially for the stains that have been left to soak in for a long period of time.
Cleaning cat urine off of wooden furniture or floors isn’t hard (as you can see). And it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. Most (if not all) that you need can be found around your house. As a cat owner, accidents happen but learning how to remove cat urine smell from wood and deal with these accidents can be as easy as whipping out an old rag, putting together a home remedy, and start scrubbing.