How to Get Dog and Cat Urine Smell Out of Concrete

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Updated on May 18, 2023

Sometimes accidents happen even with the best of pets. A little vinegar is often enough to clean the carpet, but your garage can be a lot tougher.

The following tips can help you remove pet urine out of concrete so your basement or garage won’t suffer from that little “oops” moment.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Gasoline Smell in Your House

Getting Started

Unlike carpets and other thin surfaces, cleaning urine out of concrete is a multi-step process. The good news is that following all of the steps will not only eliminate that existing dog or cat pee odor, it can help prevent future issues.

The Trouble with Concrete

Despite its sturdy appearance, concrete is quite porous. This means any liquid can get trapped within its surface easily. Unfortunately, that bit of dog pee can seep in too far to simply scrub out.

What make matters even worse is that the ammonia smell can lie dormant after the pee dries, only to be reactivated the next time your floor gets wet. You’ll have to perform a deep clean to get it all out, then seal the surface to prevent future seepage.

concrete is porous

Initial Preparation

Due to the porous nature of concrete, you can’t simply clean one small area. Instead, the entire floor will need to be tended to. Begin by clearing off the floor and using a push broom, sweep up any loose debris.

Locating The Urine

The first and arguably most important step is to locate all of the spots where urine may have ended up. This is a simple procedure, and skipping it could lead to problems down the road.

Get a blacklight (a blacklight bulb placed in your flashlight or work lamp is a cheap option) and scan the floor in total dark for signs of pee. You might also find that place where you cut your finger last month. Mark those areas with a piece of chalk for easy reference.

Step 1 – The Initial Clean

Scrubbing out the worst of the urine with household cleaning supplies will make the third step more effective and help reduce the risk of staining. There are three different types of concrete cleaners to choose from, both chemical and non-chemical.

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)

TSP to clean pet urineTSP is a heavy-duty cleaner that can get rid of urine traces down to the bacterial content. As TSP can cause skin damage, you should wear protective clothing and goggles, making sure no children or pets have access to the area.

Add 1/2 cup of TSP per gallon of really hot water. Apply the mixture to the affected area, making sure to work only a small area (no more than three square feet) at a time, as it evaporates quickly.

Gently scrub the spot, then allow the TSP mixture to sit for at least five minutes. If it dries sooner, you will want to apply more to the area. The uric acid will react to the TSP,  so you may get some very strong odor while it does its job.

Pour some very hot water onto the area to rinse and remove it using a shop or wet vac. Rinse twice more and allow the area to dry naturally overnight.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This mixture gets good results but takes a few days to complete treatment. Take two drops of Dawn, and two teaspoons of baking soda. Add these to two cups of hydrogen peroxide in a glass bowl. Stir gently until the baking soda has completely dissolved, being careful not to agitate the liquid more than necessary.

Either pour or spray this mixture onto the places where you found urine, making sure to completely cover the area, allowing it to evaporate naturally. The sitting peroxide mixture will soak into the concrete, eliminating traces of urine as it goes. Repeat this treatment every 24 hours for between 3 and 5 days to ensure the urine is completely dissolved.


One of the most essential cleaning products, a mix of two parts vinegar to one part hot water is a tried-and-true method of fighting urine odors. It can be used in the same way as TSP, but as a much safer alternative. Use this if you’re worried about pets getting into the area or if you wish to stay away from harmful chemicals.

Be careful when using vinegar on concrete as it can react with the alkaline in the concrete and create unwanted marks or patterns. It’s a good idea to test in a small area first.

Step 2 – Treatment of the Stain

Once the worst of the urine has been removed, you’ll need to treat the area with an enzymatic cleaner and seal the entire floor. This is due to the fact that you can remove the urine smell without removing the urine itself.

Using an Enzymatic Cleaner

enzymatic cleaner for dog or cat peeEnzymatic cleansers often come in a concentrated form. While the previous step removes the odor, a good enzymatic cleaner use enzymes to break down the uric acid, which binds itself to the concrete. Be sure to follow the mixing instructions carefully, as some formulas require carpet cleaner to be added in addition to water.

Pour a portion of the cleaner onto the stain, working once again in a small area (no more than three square feet). The solution needs to remain for at least 10 minutes before drying to ensure it soaks completely in. Use a scrub brush on tough areas. Heavy concentrations will bubble and may require a second treatment.

Allow the floor to dry overnight, laying a tarp over the area if it’s drying too fast. Once all areas have been fully treated and dried, you’ll be ready for the final step.

See Also:  Best Concrete Cleaners

Step 3 – Prevention

The very last step you should take is a preventative one. Sealing your concrete floor can place a protective coating over the top so that future leaks won’t be able to penetrate the surface. It can also prolong the life of your floor.

Applying a Concrete Sealer

A good concrete sealer can protect your floor for several years. You should begin by using a concrete cleaner, following the instructions on the label and washing the entire floor.

Rinse the floor thoroughly and allow it to air dry for 24 hours. Next, seal any cracks using concrete caulk and allow it to cure.

Depending upon the type of sealer you get, the instructions and final effect could be vastly different. Some sealers dry clear, while others give a glossy sheen to the floor.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply to one fourth of the floor at a time while keeping the area well-ventilated. It takes 3-4 days to completely cure, and at least one day before you can walk on it.

44 thoughts on “How to Get Dog and Cat Urine Smell Out of Concrete”

  1. we did the wrong thing to begin with by putting bleach on the urine the smell is unbearable…any suggestions on what to do next?

    • True, the chemistry with bleach and urine is not good. I’d try soaking the area with vinegar and just letting it dry naturally. Alternatively, you can sprinkle a layer of baking soda on top to absorb the odor.

    • Have you tried white vinegar?

      One of my 2 cats (both neutered males) had taken to painting all of my walls, furniture, and anything else he could reach. I was horrified when I got a UV light. He never did that in all of the 9 years I’ve had him and didn’t when I got him a buddy (they love each other and did so right away) but when a strange black cat started showing up outside both of my cats went nuts and the older one (9) started his wall painting, as well as the curtains out in the kitty room. I couldn’t keep up with it.

      My cats are indoor cats so it’s not like the stray is actually going to get in here but they both hate him (and he is weird…my neighbor’s cats hate him too). I’ve tried cleaning with a pet urine enzyme and then spraying some “No More Spraying” but that hasn’t worked.

      He’s a sneaky little bugger too; he waits until he thinks I’m not looking and then does it. He’s learned that the minute I see him backing his butt up to something he gets yelled at.

      It wasn’t until I found “” that I was able to finally get rid of this tiresome behavior. Now my house nor my ropes don’t smell like a litter box anymore ????

      Good luck everybody!


  2. We painted over the stains of the car urine and the floor just got wet smells so bad thought the cat peed down there again ! Help!

    • A lot of times, covering up the cat urine is all you can do. Paint alone won’t do the trick. You’ll want to use a couple coats of good primer and then repaint. Zinsser BIN is a good option.

  3. We have a rental house we were remodeling that has tile floors throughout. One night a feral cat got in the house. The smell is not over powering but you can smell it. Could I take a sprayer and mix vinegar and water and spray the entire house walls and floors. Would that nutrelize the mell

    • I think spraying the entire house is going a bit overboard. I’d recommend using a black light to try to pinpoint the areas affected and treat them only. In my experience, vinegar does work very well for this sort of thing.

  4. My husband and I swept area and then moved on to Step 1 with hydrogen peroxide which I sprayed thoroughly on the floor. Question: Do I scrub at all or just let the spray do its work? Is there a anything I should do before second application once it’s all dry?

    Thanks! We’re hopeful to get our garage back to normal. 🙂

    • Since concrete is porous, just let the solution soak in naturally. Any excess will stay on the surface and simply evaporate. Simply repeat for the second application.

  5. Hello Chris – How are you? Thanks for the very useful information. Our concrete patio is soaked with urine from multiple dogs and I believe we have been cleaning the wrong way just like most folks.
    For Step 1: Would using straight vinegar on the affected area and let it dry naturally work well in your opinion? We just happen to have access to very inexpensive commercial cooking vinegar.
    Again thanks!

    • Straight vinegar might be a bit too strong for concrete. I would first try a 2:1 vinegar to hot water ratio on a small area to make sure it won’t cause any aesthetic issues.

      • Hello Chris – Thanks for the reply. Will try your method. Would you recommend tarping the treated area so to prevent vinegar from evaporating quickly and is would treating overnight help?
        We all appreciate your help!!!!

        • I have an awful smell of cat pee in my house from outside feral cats that pass threw my backyard. How can I get rid if the smell? It seems to smell when the temperature gets cold and is worse when it snows. Not really bad in the summer I’m guessing because the sprinklers are on frequently and wash it away.

        • If it’s in the grass, there’s unfortunately not much you can do unless you can deter the cats from getting in your yard (ie: getting a dog, motion activated sprinkler, etc.). At least the smell would just be temporary as the ground absorbs it (until the cats come back).

  6. My cat has been peeing in my carpet. We pulled up the carpet and pad. I plan to clean the concrete with the vinegar solution above and then the enzymatic cleaner. Should I use the same sealer if I plan to put carpet back down?
    I’m trying to avoid the cat peeing on the new carpet.
    Thank you

    • Yes, I would seal the concrete even if it’s under the carpet. The goal is to stop the urine from seeping into the porous concrete. Sure, it will still get in the carpet but that’s easier to clean.

      • Hi we are selling our dads house unfortunately the dogs peed all over the carpet we have pulled carpet and under lay up it was soaked more so because they had a carpet cleaner in it’s all in one section of the concrete we have done the vinegar and got a big gas heater on it to dry it out but there is still moisture coming out been doing this for months cause we need to lay new carpet down to sell house is there any other way to get the urine out thanks

  7. I also did what Donna VanGorp did and washed the concrete floor with bleach water. The floor was later covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting (glued down). Years later there is still a smell of cat urine. I want to pull up the carpeting and treat the concrete floor correctly. Am I able to soak the areas with straight vinegar or should I dilute it first? Also, when it comes to sprinkling baking soda on top do I wait until the vinegar completely dries on the floor or do I sprinkle the baking soda while it’s still wet. Should I repeat this step with the vinegar and baking soda? How long do I wait before going to step 2 ? Thank you for any additional help with this issue.

  8. I am having ceramic tile installed over my concrete basement floor next week. Do I need to go thru all 3 steps above first?

  9. I have a rental and the renters left their German Shepard in the basement to use as a bathroom. We have used numerous products to clean and the smell is still there. What would you suggest? I really need some help.

  10. My renters had cats they peed in every room ,we pulled up the carpet and are going too put tile, what should we do so the smell leaves. We also are replacing all the floor boards that they peed on.

  11. I never thought about how vinegar and citrus-based cleaning systems will harm the floors with the acids they contain. My wife and I are refurbishing our barn and want to use polished concrete for the flooring so that it will last for a long time. We will keep this article in mind as we make a plan to put the best flooring in our barn.

  12. Hi. I am dealing with a painted basement floor that my bully has decided to use when she can’t get out. It had many layers of paint and primer that has peeled up allowing the urine to reach the porous concrete. I am in the middle of wetting down and scraping to the bare concrete. Once there, I am hoping to use enzymes to eliminate the urine below. Read many posts above. If I seal concrete after cleaning and enzymes, can I paint over it all? I am not doing the parameters for they have never had urine touch them.

    • As long as you use a penetrating sealer, you “should” be able to paint over the surface but it’s best to test a small area first. If using an acrylic surface sealer, you won’t be able to paint over it since the paint will have a really hard time bonding with it.

  13. I’ve kept my dogs in my garage and they have urinated everywhere, I’ve powewashed and scrubbed it with a bleack cleaner and smell is still there. Its a bad smell and I want it gone. Should I just peroxide my whole floor and go from there?

  14. My cats kept going on our carpets and cleaning them was not quite getting it. We had to pull the carpet and go through everything you stated here to get it out of the concrete. Not fun at all but we finally got ahead of it all. Thank you for your guidance!

  15. Hello, I just bought a house in Texas late last year, well as it is starting to heat up, especially on humid days, there is a horrible urine smell in my garage. My neighbor told me that the person who use to live in the house had the cat litter box in there, but the cat would urinate all over the garage floor. There were times when the owner would leave the cat home alone. Supposedly this went on for years. Will this step by step help my situation?

    • That’s not a good surprise to have from the previous owner. Following the steps above is definitely worth a shot. But the longer the urine was there, the tougher it will be to completely remove the smell.

  16. We are moving into a home and the basement floor is painted with garage concrete paint. It wreaks of urine when you walk down there so we aren’t sure where the exact spots of pee are at. Would all the above steps work to get rid of the smell or could we just use vinegar? We don’t mind if the vinegar ruins the ‘look’ as we plan on redoing it at some point anyway. Thanks!

  17. We need to get dog pee smell off our concrete driveway. After we do the TSP and enzyme cleaner, is there a driveway paint or product that will seal in any remaining smell? We’ve tried penetrating sealers. Those work to keep more urine seeping in, but don’t stop the smell from coming out.

    • A sealer is more for prevention after the smell is gone. But a surface sealer would probably be a better option if there is still some odor remaining and you did your best to remove it.

  18. I am in process of cleaning my concrete floors with vinegar mix (day 2). I have the enzyme cleaner to put down and tarp for 24 hours tomorrow. My question is about the sealer. Should I use the water base Zinsser Odor Killing Primer and then apply an oil based primer or sealer on top? Or will an oil base sealer kill any left over odor? I also plan on getting the mold primer for the walls. I want the odor out. I still have cats and hoping that even if the pee on the floor at least I will be able to clean it up and get rid of the smell quickly.

  19. Gallons of Nature’s Miracle had no effect on a porous concrete subfloor with years of animal urine that was allowed to soak in by an irresponsible person. Multiple applications of TSP and hot water then wet-vaced, allowed to dry out for 72 hrs of summer heat, followed by Oda-Ban got it 75% to goal. Next, cleaning-strength vinegar broke down the ammonia smell that was still gassing off from the embedded urine. F Finally, renting a Hydroxyl Generator and running it in the space for 24 hrs was the final step of odor elimination. I will seal the subfloor with an oil-based concrete sealer to ensure nothing reemerges.

  20. I’m treating a concrete floor in our basement that we are going to cover with a laminate or plank flooring. I don’t care what the concrete looks like, I just want the smell to go away. I plan on using the TSP in step one. Do I still need to use the enzyme cleaner to remove the stains, and is using a sealer still important?

  21. We just bought a home where the previous owners cat had been urinating on the guest bathroom floor for what we think had been years.. We demoed the flooring, the dried urine soaked drywall, and the cabinet that was surrounding this area. We hired a company to treat the urine infested area and concrete with their enzyme cleaner, and 2 days later they came back to seal the area. The urine smell is even worse now, and the company says they have never experienced a situation like this. The smell was suppose to be gone after they sealed. We are now wondering if we should demo the entire bathroom? We aren’t sure how to go about removing their sealer so we can follow the steps that you have advised for the concrete. The smell is still coming from the sealed concrete. What do you think would be best in this situation?

  22. We recently bought a new home and the previous owner had two cats and their litter boxes were in the unfinished basement furnace room. The owner had obviously not kept up with cleaning the litter boxes and the smell was absolutely horrendous. You couldn’t even go in the room. She had attempted to use TSP to clean the affected spots but obviously didn’t know the extent of the problem because we hired a company to come and clean it and they found mounds of cat feces and urine. The company came in and use a chlorine dioxide treatment, multiple times, has coated the floor and walls in Killz primer, and it still smells like a used litter box. I’m at wits end in trying to figure out what else to do. We found out that they put the litter boxes right beside the furnace, and the one side where the litter boxes were is all corroded. I am wondering if the furnace may have been affected so I have a furnace tech coming out to take the furnace apart to see if it is damaged. I also removed all the drywall in the room. I don’t know what else to do….

  23. Previous owners had a bunch of cats some of them were allowed to wonder free in the garage. It smells so bad with the summer heat the smell of cat pee and what ever they tried to cover the smell with comes from the vents sadly the furnace is in the garage and we can’t even turn on the air conditioner. Help!!!

  24. My son has two cats they pee on the concrete floor in the basement, I poured some bleach on the floor and then some water to help dilute the smell. It still smells somewhat. Can i pour baking soda on some wet pee we found today? will that help?

  25. I have several tips that may help as far as covering areas AFTER cleanup to make cleanup easier should there be a next time. I purchased a transparent, peelable wallpaper that peels off easily without damaging my wall or leather couch (from Amazon. Brand I bought is Yenhome & easy to apply). (Also works great for covering the backs of cloth chairs they like to scratch). In a pinch, use Glad Press N Seal over the areas you want to protect. It sticks well. First, I used a black light flashlight to locate the areas, then I cleaned them and finally placed the transparent wallpaper over the dried area. So now, at least I don’t have to worry about the couch or walls being damaged when it happens again (and it will). Spraying is just one way they mark their territory (even neutered cats can mark). They also are marking their territory when they scratch, so to prevent them from scratching furniture and to just give them more territory to mark by scratching, I purchased a couple of additional scratch posts as well as additional litter boxes. (The rule is to have one more litter box than you have cats, so if you have 3 cats, you need 4 litter boxes). Fortunately, since my cats are neutered, there is no noticeable smell, but something just told me to buy the black light and do some inspecting. I was shocked to find any at all since it has no smell. My one clue was seeing an oily substance (pee) dripping down my large window. There is a shelf above the window so that’s where my cat was peeing. No damage done but still. I cleaned the shelf and window and then covered the wall behind the shelf, and the horizontal surface of the shelf with the transparent peelable wallpaper. There are definitely favored areas my one cat sprays, fortunately, which makes cleaning and prevention easier. I have even built shelves all around our bedroom so they can run around up high, giving them more territory, and they also go outdoors during the day, as they wish (locked in at night and always wearing Bluetooth trackers). They also have a protective Catio they can go into at night that leads from our bathroom into the Catio. The Catio also has lots of shelving and places to climb. You just have to be creative when it comes to pets and figure out a way to work around their bad habits. The last thing I would ever want to do is re-home one if my babies.


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