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How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Car Seats: 7 Practical Options

dog looking outside the car window

There’s nothing as fun as traveling and experiencing the outdoors with your pet. However, even the best-trained pets can have accidents, which can leave your car with a foul odor. Many people want to how to get the dog pee smell out of their car seats so they can enjoy their ride again. If this sounds like your situation, keep reading as we provide you with several simple options that you can use to make your car smell better.

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The 7 Top Ways to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Car Seats

1. Baking Soda

baking soda paste
Image Credit: Monfocus, Pixabay
Materials Needed: Baking soda, vacuum
Time Required: A few hours

Baking soda can help eliminate odors in fabric, and it works especially well if you catch the stain quickly. All you need is baking soda. Spread a generous amount over the stain, and let it sit for as long as you can. The baking soda will absorb fresh urine and odors from dried urine to help your car smell better. After a few hours, vacuum the area to remove the baking soda. Repeat as needed.

Baking soda is an amazing odor remover, and it requires little effort on your part. The downside is that it doesn’t help remove any stains.

  • Easy
  • Most people already have the required materials
  • Doesn’t remove stains

2. Vinegar and Dish Soap

vinegar and cleaning supplies on the table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: Vinegar, Dawn dish soap, spray bottle, water, soft cloth
Time Required: A few minutes

If you catch the problem quickly, you can try to absorb as much of the urine as possible with a soft cloth, but be careful not to spread it around. Add 1–2 teaspoons of the vinegar and dish liquid to a spray bottle, and fill it with water. Spray over the surface, but don’t get the area too wet. Scrub it with your soft cloth to remove the urine. As the cloth absorbs moisture, you can add more with the spray bottle. If you feel that the fabric is getting too wet, give it time to dry before trying again.

The vinegar and dish soap method is great for cleaning fresh stains, and many people already have the required supplies in their homes. However, it won’t be great for large or set-in stains.

  • Easy to do
  • May have the materials on hand
  • Works great on fresh stains
  • May require more than one application
  • May not work on older or large stains

3. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide
Image Credit:, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dish soap, water, spray bottle, soft cloth
Time Required: 1 hour

The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide formula is a favorite because it works quite well. Fill a spray bottle halfway with hydrogen peroxide, add a few teaspoons of baking soda, and top it off with water. Some people like to add a small amount of dishwashing liquid as well. Shake the bottle until the baking soda dissolves, and spray the solution on the surface of the stained seat. You can work it in gently with a soft cloth, though don’t get the area too wet. Allow the solution to sit for an hour before wiping the area clean with a damp cloth.

With this method, the baking soda helps absorb odors, while the hydrogen peroxide destroys the urine, even old stains. The only downside is that many people may not have hydrogen peroxide already in the home, and it can get the surface quite wet, requiring a long time to dry.

  • Works well
  • Removes stains and odors
  • Can take an hour or more
  • May get the area wet

4. Enzyme Cleaner

Cleaning spray
Image Credit: polina_tankilevitch, Pexels
Materials Needed: Enzyme cleaner, soft cloth
Time Required: A few hours

Enzyme cleaners are favorites for getting the dog pee smell out of car seats. While many people won’t have it sitting around the house, it’s easy to purchase at big home improvement stores or online. Many brands come premixed, so you can get right to work without worrying about a recipe. To use an enzyme cleaner, simply spray it on the surface, and the helpful bacteria will get to work destroying the stain.

The only downside to an enzyme cleaner is that it can be expensive compared to options that use baking soda or dish detergent. It can also take several applications to remove the stain completely and eliminate the odor.

  • Works well
  • No mixing
  • Removes stains and odors
  • Expensive

5. Vodka

Image Credit: Squirrel_photos, Pixabay
Materials Needed: Vodka, water, spray bottle, cloth
Time Required: 1 hour

Most people wouldn’t use expensive alcohol as a cleaning product, but it makes a great odor remover. To use it, fill a spray bottle halfway with vodka, and top it off with water. Then, spray the surface and use a soft cloth to work it in slightly, then let it dry. As the vodka evaporates, it will take the unpleasant odor with it.

  • Easy to use
  • Expensive

6. Bread

sliced bread
Image Credit: amiraxgelcola, Pixabay
Materials Needed: Ordinary bread
Time Required: 1 or 2 days

One somewhat strange method to help remove the dog pee smell from your car seat is bread. It’s an excellent absorber, and a few pieces of bread placed in your car to sit overnight will do a fine job eliminating minor smells. If your dog only has an occasional accident, this can be a great method that’s low cost.

The downside of using bread as an odor eliminator is that it will do nothing to remove the urine itself or any stains.

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t remove urine or stains

7. Charcoal

black charcoal
Image Credit: Wander Fleur, Unsplash
Materials Needed: Powdered charcoal
Time Required: Continuous

Like baking soda, charcoal does an excellent job of absorbing odor, and you can place a small canister of it in your back seat to absorb any foul smells. It works for a long time, but it doesn’t remove stains because you’re not applying it to a surface. Charcoal is also more expensive than baking soda and harder to find.

  • Long lifespan
  • Works well in absorbing odors
  • Can be hard to find
  • Similar but more expensive than baking soda

divider 1 Stain Removing Tips

  • Always wear protective gloves when cleaning urine stains.
  • Always clean the stain as soon as possible.
  • Always use cotton or another highly absorbent fabric to clean stains in order to minimize spreading and speed up the cleaning process.
  • Avoid using essential oils to mask the smell of urine, as many dogs are sensitive to these oils and can suffer health problems if they are exposed too often.
  • When traveling with your dog, use doggy potty training pads to cover your seats to reduce the risk of a stain. These pads are highly absorbent and easy to find at many grocery stores or online.
  • Make sure your pet has time to relieve themselves before you go on a journey, and make plenty of stops to minimize the risk of an accident and help keep your pet happy and comfortable.


divider 1 Conclusion

The best way to remove a urine smell from your car seat is to use an enzyme cleaner. High-priced brands will work best, while cheap brands will require more applications. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is an excellent alternative, and other methods work great on fresh stains. Keeping a box of baking soda or charcoal powder in your car can help keep it smelling great between stains.

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Pons, Unsplash


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