Washing clothes every weekend can be exhausting. What more if it has a pungent urine smell? It is not like you can throw it onto the washing machine and let it do the cleaning. Therefore, it is necessary that you know how to get the urine smell out of clothes.
What is urine?
All living things need to urinate, regardless if you are human or an animal. Urine is a liquid waste product that people and animals need to secrete regularly. It is composed of broken waste products and water released through the kidney as it has to undergo a process and clean the blood.
Get rid of urine smell using the bleach method
You can get rid of the pungent urine smell from your clothes by soaking them with bleach. Follow these easy steps to get rid of that awful smell from your clothes.
Step 1. Rinse with cold water
Start cleaning the clothes with a urine smell by rinsing them with cold water. This works best when you wash it with running water as it gives full force in rinsing the urine stain. Do this for at least 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 2. Blot the area to absorb the urine stain
Afterward, grab paper towels or a cloth to blot the area. Avoid scrubbing the affected area as it may urge the urine smell back to the material. If needed, you may continue to rinse it with running cold water.
Step 3. Soak with bleach
There are two types of bleach used for garments — chlorinated bleach for white clothes and oxygen bleach for colored clothes. Make sure that you use the correct bleach for each clothes to avoid discoloration.
To ensure your safety and avoid damaging your skin, always remember to put on rubber gloves. Subsequently, fill a big basin with water and half a cup of bleach and mix them well.
Step 4. Let it soak for a while
Allow the clothes to soak in a tub filled with the bleach solution for at least 3 to 4 hours. However, this time frame varies according to the size of the urine stain and the material of the fabric. Often, colored clothes can only be soaked in the solution for 3 hours, while white garments can be left soaked throughout the night.
Step 5. Use bleach and laundry detergent to wash clothes
Wash your clothes like you usually do. Measure the right amount of bleach and laundry mixed with lukewarm water in the washing machine and let it spin. Let the bleach do its magic by breaking down the stain particles and eradicating the foul smell.
Step 6. Hang clothes and let them dry naturally, and then vacuum
After you wash the clothes, it is best to let them dry naturally with the help of air and sun. Ensure that you hang the urine-stained clothing in an open area and with proper air circulation. Lastly, vacuum the clothes.
Prevent yourself from skipping the natural process and using a tumble dryer instead. This will only worsen as the heat from the tumble dryer may let the smell eternally sip through the fabric, making it more challenging to eliminate.
Get rid of urine smell using the vinegar method
You can get rid of the pungent urine smell from your clothes by washing them with distilled vinegar.
Step 1. Clean your urine-stained clothes with a distilled white vinegar
Create a solution by mixing at least a cup of distilled white vinegar with 3 cups of water and a cup of detergent.
The amount of the distilled white vinegar to be mixed depends on the strongness of the smell and the period it has been stained. The older the urine stain is, the longer it has to be soaked.
Vinegar is a natural ingredient that has the capacity to remove any pungent smell caused by a uric acid that has persistently been staying in the fabric.
Step 2. Apply a baking soda
The process of applying a baking soda to the urine-stained area can be skipped only if the intensity of the smell is light. However, if the pungent smell and the urine stain are severe, then you will need the help of a baking soda.
You may either directly disseminate the baking soda on the affected area or mix it with the vinegar solution. These two components work side by side to eliminate the disgusting smell.
Step 3. Let the urine-stained clothing spin in the washing machine
Second to the last step of getting the urine smell out of your clothing is to spin it in the washing machine. You either use cold or lukewarm water and never warm or hot as it will only insist the smell is so profound in the fabric. Avoid using laundry detergent.
Step 4. Let your clothes dry naturally
Regardless if you use a clothesline or a drying rack, make sure to hang your garments in an open space or your backyard and let them air-dry.
Get rid of urine smell using the enzyme-based method
Step 1. Use an enzymatic detergent
An enzymatic detergent is found chiefly on the cleaning aisle of every grocery store. The enzymatic detergent is often used to clean protein-based stains such as stool, blood, and urine stains.
Step 2. Make sure it can be used for washing machine
There are two types of enzymatic detergent, one is powder-based, and the other is liquid. Ensure that you have purchased the correct detergent that is safe to use for your washing machine.
Check the manual and assess the correct amount of the detergent you will have to put in the compartment of your washer. This is fabricated to revoke the old and robust smell.
Step 3. Throw your clothes in the washer and let it spin
This is somehow a trial and error stage as you will have to undergo the process until the foul smell is completely gone.
Make sure to double-check the label of your garments on how to handle them with care and for water temperature recommendations.
Step 4. Hang your clothes and let them dry
Similar to the previous methods, it is also recommended that you hang your clothes in an open area and let them air dry and sundry naturally. If you can still smell the urine, then repeat the procedure as needed.
Watch the video to learn more about homemade stain remover for clothes:
Why does urine smell bad?
Our urine does not always smell stinky, but there would be reasons why it gives off that pungent smell. In most cases, foods are the main reason our urine changes its odor, from odorless to foul odor.
Vitamin B-6 supplements and foods rich in sulfur such as broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and more can cause changes in odor. Another factor is when you do not drink the required amount of water daily and become dehydrated, leaving your urine smell powerfully like ammonia.
However, note that a foul urine smell might indicate that you have health concerns such as UTI, bladder infection, diabetes, or metabolic diseases. If symptoms persist and the scent does not go away, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with a medical expert to know what is going on.
8 Tips about removing the urine smell out of clothes
The only reason why it gets hard to remove the urine smell is simply that you let it sit out for quite some time. Do not neglect your clothes, and remove them immediately once you find out that your clothes have urine stains.
1. Avoid Urine Accidents
The best way is to avoid urine accidents. The ammonia-based urine smell is quite strong and persistent. Although the stain is already gone, the dreadful smell may take some time before it entirely disappears. Considering that the air is humid, then the urine smell will continue.
2. Immediately Clean the surface
It is necessary that as soon as the clothes have been stained by urine, immediately clean the surface. Either you blot it with paper towels or use a piece of cotton fabric to absorb the urine.
3. Hot water is a big no, no!
Never use hot water in cleaning a urine stain. Always take note that heat will only cause the stain and smell to linger on your clothes. Use cold water instead to clean the fabric and rub properly to squeeze out the residue. Lastly, rinse it with water and wash it with a laundry detergent.
4. Rinsing and drying is a must
Rinse as many times as you can until the smell and stain are wholly gone. Afterward, let the clothes air dry and sundry naturally.
5. Treat old and dried urine smell and stain the right way
Some people tend to forget that they have to clean the affected area promptly. Hence, leaving it for quite a while until the smell gets strong.
Old and dried urine smell will require much effort as it is more difficult to clean. Use a brush designed for clothes when necessary. Let it soak with a solution mixed with cold water for at least half an hour, and then rinse it well.
6. Make use of home-based remedies
You can use and experiment with solutions with home-based remedies such as baking soda and vinegar.
7. Make use of commercial cleaning agents
If you do not have much time to make home remedies, you can just grab a commercially manufactured product. These have ingredients that will help in eradicating the grueling smell of urine on your clothes.
Although there are laundry disinfectants and sanitizers, the most recommended commercial product is the enzyme laundry detergent.
8. Consider deep cleaning your washing machine
Ensure that you deep clean your washing machine regularly, especially when you often wash clothes stained with urine. This is to avoid transferring the smell to the clothes you are supposed to clean.
Watch the video below to learn how to deep clean your washing machine
The kicking, pungent smell of urine on your clothes can immensely be infuriating. Nevertheless, that is not a reason to throw away your clothes. There are multiple ways on how to get the urine smell out of your clothes. You just have to choose which method best works for you.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.
1 thought on “3 Ways To Get The Urine Smell Out Of Clothes (Step-by-Step Guide)”
Thanks for providing a thorough article on getting rid of urine odor from clothing.