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Home > General > How to Clean Pet Urine From Vinyl Plank Flooring: 3 Helpful Methods

How to Clean Pet Urine From Vinyl Plank Flooring: 3 Helpful Methods

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is a cheap alternative to hardwood flooring. It is easy to install and available in a range of colors and wood types. Properly looked after, it can last for years. Pets, however, can make it challenging to keep this sleek flooring in top shape. We are all familiar with how many accidents our favorite four-legged friends can have. Cleaning up pet messes is all part of our responsibility as pet owners.

Unfortunately, vinyl plank flooring is more prone to taking damage than the hardwood flooring it’s fashioned after. Fortunately, there are several ways to clean pet urine from vinyl plank flooring without causing further damage. You can use home remedies or enzyme cleaners. This step-by-step guide will show you how to approach each cleaning solution.divider-dog

Things to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring

Cleaning materials on the floo
Photo Credit By: Mariakray, Pixabay

Before we get into the step-by-step process, here are a few important precautions to bear in mind. It’s not only the pet urine that can damage your flooring but also the steps that you take to clean it. Hopefully, these precautions will help save your vinyl plank flooring from further harm.

  • Act Fast – Whether your puppy had an accident on your carpet or your wooden flooring, cleaning up as quickly as possible is essential. This prevents leaving odors and staining. Pets also use smell to know where to go to the toilet. By leaving your pet’s waste on your flooring, you’ll be inviting them to revisit the spot to relieve themselves again.
  • Chemical Cleaners – When it comes to vinyl flooring, it pays to be a little picky about the chemical cleaners that you use. To avoid causing damage, choose a brand specifically designed for the type of flooring that you own.
  • Don’t Mix Bleach and Vinegar – Separately, bleach and vinegar are heroes when it comes to cleaning even the toughest stains. It can be easy to think mixing them will make them even better. This isn’t the case, unfortunately. Mixing bleach and vinegar can produce chlorine gas.
  • Steam Mops – Cleaning with steam mops makes cleaning icky messes a breeze, but when it comes to your vinyl flooring, steam is best avoided. Not only can the heat damage the boards, but some steam mops also use chemical solutions to make cleaning easier. Play it safe, and use a brush or a vacuum instead.
  • Warranty – These days, most things come with a warranty, and your vinyl plank flooring is no different. Before you try to clean up spillages, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.


How to Clean Pet Urine From Vinyl Plank Flooring

There are three ways to clean pet urine from your vinyl plank flooring. You can use enzyme cleaners or white vinegar to clean up fresh puddles and prevent lingering odors. We also share tips for cleaning old stains.

1. Enzyme Cleaners

woman washing cleaning tile floor with spray and gloves
Image credit: etonastenka, Shutterstock

Environmentally friendly and safe for use around pets, enzyme cleaners break down organic messes like pet urine by using bacteria and enzymes. They’re also safe for most surfaces, including vinyl plank flooring. You can purchase enzyme cleaners made specifically for pet-made messes, which makes them favorites among pet owners.

You will need:

  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Old rag

Remove Excess Urine

Mopping up your pet’s urine as soon as possible is essential. Grab a few paper towels, and use them to absorb the urine puddle. If you’ve caught it early enough, you should be able to get all of it, and the only thing left to do is remove the odor.

Enzyme Cleaner

Follow the instructions on your chosen enzyme cleaner to apply the product to the area that you’re cleaning. For the best results, let it sit for a few minutes.

Remove Cleaner

For the final step, grab an old rag and clean up the enzyme cleaner. Try not to scrub the vinyl planks, as you could cause more damage.

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Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray is our favorite all-purpose cleaner for pet messes. It permanently lifts the very worst stains and odors, making clean up and accident prevention breeze. Hepper offers a 100% guarantee, which is a great bonus! Learn more about it here. 

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2. White Vinegar

Photo By: NatureFriend, Pixabay

If you’ve never heard of enzyme cleaners or haven’t gotten around to picking one up from the store, white vinegar is a great alternative. Not only is it found in most cleaning cupboards, but it’s also commonly used to battle stains and lingering odors.

You will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Clean Up Fresh Urine – Mopping up as much of your pet’s urine as possible prevents the smell from lingering and stains from forming. Soak up fresh puddles with paper towels, and toss them in the trash.
  • Apply Vinegar – If you have a spray bottle, this step is as easy as spraying the vinegar over the area that your pet peed on. Don’t worry too much about how much you use, as you want to make sure the spot is saturated. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes before mopping up the vinegar with paper towels.
  • Dry the Area – Grab a few dry paper towels. You want to make sure the area is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Baking Soda – If there’s still a lingering odor or to prevent one, baking soda is a home remedy for fighting unpleasant smells. Once the area that you’re cleaning is completely dry, sprinkle baking soda over it and leave it for 10–15 minutes before vacuuming.

3. Removing Urine Stains

Vinegar and Baking Soda
Photo By: _JPC-PROD, Shutterstock

Unlike preventing odors from lingering, removing stains from old urine requires a little more work. Stains can be stubborn and still carry a smell. Unfortunately, they’re not always easy to avoid, especially if you’re at work all day.

You will need:

  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Non-bleach, liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Sponge
  • Floor brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean the Area – If you’ve managed to catch the puddle early enough, you might be able to mop up any urine remaining. For already dry puddles, remove dust and other debris from around the area.
  • Dishwashing Detergent, Water, and Vinegar – Mix dishwashing detergent, vinegar, and 1 gallon of water. Don’t mix too vigorously, though, as you don’t want to form any bubbles.
  • Scrub the Stain – Being gentle is key here; if you scrub too hard, you’ll damage your vinyl flooring. So, using a floor brush, gently scrub the dishwashing detergent, vinegar, and water solution into the stain. Rinse with clean water.
  • Baking Soda and Rubbing Alcohol – If the previous step doesn’t remove the stain, make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda, and let it sit on the stain for 15–20 minutes. Gently scrub the paste into the stain with the brush before drying the area with paper towels. Finally, scrub the area with alcohol.


Final Thoughts

Cleaning pet urine off anything isn’t a pleasant job but some of the materials in our home are more delicate than others. Vinyl plank flooring is cheap, easy to install, and long-lasting, but it is also more prone to taking damage than hardwood or laminate flooring.

Acting quickly to clean up messes when they happen will help reduce the risk of staining and lingering odors. You can use various cleaning solutions, from enzyme cleaners to vinegar and baking soda. Hopefully, the steps in this article showed you how to use each method.

Featured Image Credit: Zebra-Studio, Shutterstock

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