Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Pure Ick – Wood Floor Help Needed

Dining Room

We’re in the middle of a heat wave – it’s been 90+ degrees all week, and extremely humid as well. As a result, our wood floors (which, as you may remember, were used as a litter box by previous owner’s cats) are now SWEATING CAT URINE!!

I could not be more grossed out. Prior to the heat wave, or house smelled ok. Now, the house reeks, the floors are wet with urine, and I have no idea what to do to help the situation….. we’re not ready to resurface or replace them just yet, so I’m thinking we need to buy some type of pet-odor-removal product that can soak up or neutralize some of this nastiness. I found a few things online, but I’m hesitant to order without hearing reviews from someone trustworthy.

Here are a few product links I’m considering:



Anyone had any luck with this sort of thing? I know that nothing short of ripping them out will totally solve the problem completely, but any improvement to the current situation would be welcome!!

Just thought you’d get a kick out of the pics – here’s the floor with 4 boxes of baking soda on it… I made sure I thoroughly covered the spots!!

And here’s a closeup, where you can see that my dog Nero took great care to walk directly through the mess as many times as possible.

Thanks for all the tips – the smell is nearly gone now, thank goodness.

UPDATE #2, August 2006 –

We get lots of questions about how we finally got the smell out. The news is good and bad. Good because it can be done; bad because it’s not a quick fix.

We tried every cleaner in the book, including Nature’s Miracle and UrineOff. The baking soda treatment probably helped the most because it actually pulled moisture out of the wood. We applied baking soda to this area dozens of times and it would literally clump up with urine residue. In the end the only thing that *really* got rid of the smell was replacing the worst of the floorboards, sanding, staining and refinishing. Now that the floor is refinished you’d never know we had a problem downstairs. It was alot of work, but 100% worthwhile!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

StuccoHouse had this to say on 06.12.05:

I went through the same thing. Its ugly. The cat urine in my house was at least 5 yrs old when I bought the house and it stillmade me gag. It gets in the cells of the wood.

One thing I found to help was vinager…..then put some kitty litter on top of the mess. When dried, vacumn up. This helped quite a bit. You might give this a try before moving on to the more expensive stuff.

When we sanded, the smell came back and the stain remained (I tried wood bleach to no avail). I ended up replacing many of the worst boards and then sealing them. Now, you would never know.

So, there is hope :-)

Lynette had this to say on 06.12.05:

I came across a product a few years ago which is a god-send at getting urine smells out of carpet. I’m not sure if it would work for wooden floors but might be worth investigating. It’s called Nature’s Miracle and you can buy it online from various US pet stores. Besides the fact that it works 10 times better than anything else I’ve ever tried, as the name suggests it’s organic. We buy big bottles now which last us several years … we buy in bulk as we have to get it mailed from the US as we’ve not been able to find a stockist in the UK. The idea of shipping cleaning products internationally sounds ridiculous but it really does work that much better (and has saved us at least one carpet replacement so more than paid for itself).

Patricia W. had this to say on 06.12.05:

Just from reading the links you posted the first one looks and sounds the best. Sorry I don’t have any experience with cat pee on hardwood floors. My aunt, who has cats and carpet sometimes has problems with the stink of cat spray (even after washing it’s hard to get the smell out) so she puts down crushed mothballs or mothball crystals. The smell isn’t great, but it does kill the stench of the cat spray. If it is something that sweats out in the heat maybe you could use some sort of oil dry granules that would absorb what comes out? Maybe even try some plain clay-based cat litter and then sweep it up.

Gram had this to say on 06.12.05:

Mindy While you are waiting to find out the ideal product try some vinegar and water. It might help. Some baking soda in a bowl in the corners also might help absorb the odor. Of course your puppys might get into it but at least it shouldn’t hurt them. At the hardware store you can also buy “Fast-One Drop” deodorizer. Good luck
The Wedding picture on the net is beautiful!

Love Gram

jenne had this to say on 06.12.05:

My dad swears by Nature’s Miracle. I don’t know if they sell it in bulk, but it the only thing I’ve heard of that works.
Do you have a dehumidifier to try to avoid the moisture oozing out of the wood? I’ve been meaning to buy one myself. You have no idea how much the smells in basements and such are caused by moisture. My dad’s basement is 100% different since he bought one.

Anonymous had this to say on 06.12.05:

You guys rule :)

I had a bottle of Nature’s Miracle on hand, since one of our dogs still pees in the house from time to time. I know a lot of people that swear by it.

After reading some things on the internet, my plan of action today was as follows:

I put Nature’s Mircale in a spray bottle and sprayed it lightly on the areas that were sweating. Then I took some Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Pet Odor Eliminator powder and sprinkled it over the areas to soak up the moisture & the smell. This was something I read about online, and figure it can’t hurt. It does seem to be sopping up the moisture, and it has certainly taken care of the odor. Tomorrow, I’ll vacuum it up and reapply if necessary.

It isn’t pretty, but as long as the dogs aren’t eating it and the smell is gone I don’t care what it looks like! If nothing else, it’s making me FEEL less gross, because it looks like it’s taking some of the pee away.

StuccoHouse – glad to know there’s hope! We already knew we’d be replacing quite a few boards, as they are badly stained. Wish we were closer to the refinishing job – we’re waiting till after the basement jacking is finished. Which won’t start until the kitchen addition looks good from the outside, the chimney is fixed… the list goes on and on and on!

mindy had this to say on 06.12.05:

p.s. – Gram, I bought some vinegar at the store today before reading your comment because of that note you left me. Vinegar has got to be the most versatile thing ever!

I read an article stating that all cleaning products were really just ammonia, bleach, or vinegar with some color and fragrances added. Those three substances should clean nearly everything in your house, apparently. So maybe we should all stop buying a different (expensive) cleaning product for every surface in the house!

I’m going to try the vinegar tomorrow ;)

Jim Holcomb had this to say on 06.13.05:

Whatever you do, don’t try to clean with ammonia. Ammonia is great for a lot of things, but will actually fix or bind the uric acid particles to your floor. The enzymatic cleaners like Nature’s Miracle work great on fresher stains, but I’m not sure how well they will do to really minimize very old odors and staining.

Beth had this to say on 06.14.05:

I realize I’m long past helping now, but thought this may work if you’re still looking for ideas….we use “Pine Fresh” litter for our cat. It’s little pine pellets that turn into sawdust when they’re hit with the ammonia of cat urine. They completely neutralize the smell, and the sawdust is compostible (sp?). So you might try sprinkling it on the bad areas to absorb all the excess liquid.
Just an idea. I have not tested it as I have not been graced with this particular problem, but it might be worth a shot if it happens again.

Faster Pussycat had this to say on 06.14.05:

Another potent cat stink remover (not organic, but wicked effective) is called “Anti Icky Poo.” Yes you read that right.
My beloved (almost beheaded) cat peed right in the middle of my bed – no washing that out, it was in the springs and i didn’t want to rust them out. This stuff has some kind of enzyme beasties that eat nasty odors. Which was handy, because while i had it out on the front porch to dry, would you believe a neighbor’s dog came along and peed on it, too? And, although i no longer sleep on it, it’s amazingly still able to be used as a covered couch with no smell. God bless geentic engineering for odor eating enzymes!!! (Just leave my tomatoes alone).

mindy had this to say on 06.14.05:

Haha, Oh, Faster Pussycat – that’s terrible but hilarious!

Thanks for the link!

Mart had this to say on 11.09.05:

Well its been 5 months and I’ll bet you still have the odor. too bad you didn’t try your second choice. It really works on just the problem you have.

Natalie had this to say on 07.11.06:

Did the smell come back? We are in a similar situation, but with dog urine.
The hardwood floors were refinished but the urine sweats through the hardwood.
Did anything finally work for you?

Susan E. had this to say on 08.04.06:

We are in the same predicament as you! We have gone through 4 bottles of Urine-Off with no luck yet. Did any of the remedies work for you? Please respond!!! :)

Laura Hoffman had this to say on 08.06.06:

Hi! My husband and I bought a house in June which needs many renovations and we LOVE your site! Very interesting and so useful. We have a lot of the same problems/repairs as you. We are currently dealing with the cat urine problem… Apparently the previous owner’s cat(s) decided to use one of the bedrooms as its personal litter box. The rest of the house is fine, but that one room is nasty. The wood doesn’t seem to be seeping any moisture, but sure does smell more in the heat and humidity. How did the Nature’s Miracle work for you?? Please respond! :)

Phil had this to say on 09.26.06:

I bought a house that was used as a rental…..the tenants had 5 BIG dogs that, after they were evicted, were allowed to stay in the house , only being fed & given water maybe twice a week….when they finally left & took their poor dogs , I had the biggest mess I’ve ever seen on my hands…..I pulled up all the carpets , but the urine had gotten into the pine plank subfloor……I tried everything to get it out until I found a local company that does restoration work that guaranteed me they could get the smell out , never to return again ( unless I let a dog pee in there again )……they used the same method on my house that they use when cleaning up after a human corpse had been in a house for a long time………they put their guarantee in writing. & I was told nobody has ever in 20 yrs. called & said the smell came back……….they’ve done the work for $480 + tax……..

patty had this to say on 06.13.07:

i need to know what is the best thing to get human urine out of wood floors and it is the floor of the house not any overlay wood floor. I afriad to carpet it and the smell still comes thru. It is getting hot and i don’t know how old the smell is. I heard alot about the vinegar please let me know if this works or just a quick fix Thank Patty

Sarah had this to say on 06.18.07:

Our son urinated on our steps trying to make it to the bathroom. I thought I cleaned it good until the hot weather came, and it stinks horrible. We use those stairs often, and I’m wondering what you think the best thing might work since it was on the stairs. Does peroxide damage your hard wood floors? Do I need to let it sit for a short time or at least 15 min?

kathleen had this to say on 09.05.07:


i have a rental unit and the tenant is using the deck as dog pen – the dog does his business on the wood decking. I am worried that this is going to cause damage and long term odor problems. I have never seen my tenant mop or attempt to clean the surface of the deck – though he does on occaison pick up the poo – Is this doing damage to the wood? what should i have him do to fix any damage? is there something he could put down on the surface that would protect it? he does this due to his long hours at work.


Jackie had this to say on 09.12.07:

I have had two different homes with exterior wood treated decks and my dogs used them for their bathrooms and neither have ever smelled. I used to rinse the urine off with hot water right after she did it. I am still in the house and I just went out back and put my face to the deck and there is no smell. I have put sealer on it last year but never noticed any smell before I did that so I would not worry about it so much. IT would be nice if they rinsed the deck off once in a while.

Martha had this to say on 12.28.07:

I need to know if it is possible to repair bad floor joists without having to take up the subfloor. We have some termite-damaged joists that need to be replaced and the contractor who looked at it said some of the subfloor was also involved and they could only fix it by taking up the floors and redoing the underneath.

Anyone had any experience with this? Our house is over 100 years old

B had this to say on 01.06.08:

I need something to kill the smell of oily nasty water that leaked out of my baseboard radiator onto my wood floor over about a week. The stains/smell are over a year old but it smells like it’s freshly spilled.

Most of the floorboards have swollen up. I used a wood floor cleaner and put fans on it to dry it for about 2 days straight. No effect on stains or smell.

The heat definitely makes it worse.

Replacing the floor is not an option. Any ideas?

I know vinegar and baking soda might work separately – would they work together or would that just be a bad science experiment?


Mindy had this to say on 01.07.08:


We repaired some of our joists from the basement, but I assume you mean joists you don’t have access to? If so, then I don’t know of any better option than pulling up floorboards.


I would suggest trying baking soda by itself – this seemed to pull remaining moisture out of our floors.


J. R. Rowen had this to say on 03.11.08:


I keep reading that Nature’s Miracle is just that; a miracle. But so far, I’m having a tough time agreeing with it. My 2 Chi puppies have been peeing probably for several months in one corner of the room on the carpet. Unfortunately we didn’t notice it until recently when we started to smell it. Yuk! We tried Nature’s Miracle on it and it didn’t seem to help. Then we decided to pull up the carpet in that corner and soak the back of it with Natures Miracle. Well, it’s been drying for several days now and it still smells like pee. I might add that after the Nature’s Miracle dried on both sides of the carpet, we deep cleaned it as well with our carpet cleaner using a strong pet formula shampoo. Still smells. Are we doing something wrong? We’ve about decided that the only way to get the smell out is to replace the carpet. Can someone save us some $$$ please?


Tanya had this to say on 05.09.08:

Hi everyone…

One of my guinea pigs recently escaped and he urinated on our hardwood floors. There’s now a big black stain on the floor and I need to know how to get it out. It doesn’t smell, it’s just really ugly. This is a rental home for us so replacing the floor boards isn’t really an option for us…willing to try just about anything else.

BlackholeForever had this to say on 05.18.08:

Hi all. Just bought a house and dealing with a carpeting and urine contamination problem.

Have been researching for a few days: as far as home remedies go, I would not recommend a vinegar solution — too much controversy surrounding it.

The problem is uric acid and bacteria — this is the source of the odor. Google for more information. One remedy you may try is an old one that Mythbusters tested for skunk odor: it’s a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and soap. Some folks have reported success with this, but you should test for colorfastness — again, Google for more information.

Also, in extreme cases, I have read that some people have had good results by shocking the area with an ozone generator — this is what a lot of professional companies use for odor cleanup.

I am still researching and testing, so I will try and report back with my results.

Good luck…

natasha had this to say on 04.22.09:

Just found this thread when looking for ways to get rid of cat odor. We have a rental and the last renter let her cat pee all over the wood floors. We just tried an enzyme product which worked ok for 1 day. I want to try the baking soda idea. Were the floors you used it on moist? I’m in AZ and we are having dry heat. Just wondering what the best plan of action is.

kathy had this to say on 05.16.09:

I don’t know if this is still active. What Phil said (in 9/26/06) interested me greatly. I’m thinking of buying a bank owned house, but a contractor told me all the hard wood floors and subflooring would have to be replaced to get rid of the cat smell. Does anyone have any idea how I find someone who knows how to get bad smells (including that from dead corpses left for a long time)?

Janice had this to say on 06.12.09:

I have been a nurse aide for the last twenty years and I know the differance between animal urine and human urine…so, beleive me I know urine!! we just bought a house that we will use as a rental unit but in two of the bedrooms the human urine is soooo bad your eyes sometimes water. we painted the floor with christmas tree paint ( john use to sell christmas trees) the paint adheared really great on the floor but we were hoping to seal in the smell but it didnt work. Help please!

Anna had this to say on 08.25.09:

Believe it or not try Hydrogen Peroxide
I got this advise just last week
I used it full strength straight on the floor
Scrub real good with a brush and then let dry–you wouldn’t believe what came out of the wood. Yes it WILL also fade the finish
Then after washing the floor and throughly drying it–no odor!
Sand the entire floor and then seal it. shelak or Thompsons water seal for the deck. You gotta have a waterproof block so if an animal urinates again it can’t make it back into the wood. When I used this I made sure the room was well ventilated and ran a fan.
I have tried everything–oban (no luck) vinegar (works but cats came back) natures miracle (didn’t touch it) The peroxide brought out the nasty stuff out of the wood and it was foul smelling eww. After dry the sanding reduces the discoloration and opens the pours to except the sealer. But you could use a stain then as well. one week an counting here. And if the peroxide doesn’t work for ya the large bottles were only 96 cents a piece-not such a slam to the pocket book. Beats the expensive stuff that didn’t work at all. Regardless of what you try your still going to have to sand and refinish. Good Luck

GottaLoveStinkyPets had this to say on 06.21.10:

I found a solution to blocking odors, it’s called PetBGone. Here’s how it works. When you geta pet, make sure you keep it ouside. Viola!!! You will never need to worry about urinated stained and smelly floors again. Hope this helps. :)

smelly cats had this to say on 02.17.11:

just bought a house stinks of cats,floorboard old urine stains,filthy stench,tried vinegar,urine off,some parts of the house ok have 2 other rooms and lounge to get rid of smell,certain parts of house urine off treated 8 times slowly going,vinegar no good, maybe ok for fresh urine not old stains,going to try hydrogen peroxide see how that goes,sick of stench,sick of beeing on my knees looking for stench,have urine light only good for small areas not big area, anyway i let u all know what works cheers

Rusty had this to say on 06.19.11:

This is all sounding too familiar. I had a neutered and neurotic male cat who peed in the living room by the windows and in closets anytime I had to travel fir work or if any company came near the house (includung the lawn service).

I used the Urine Off, black light, etc. with some sucess except on the hardwood floor. It was either cut the floor out and replace it or go with the peroxide. I decided I really had nothing to lose at that point and satuurated the area repeatedly – including along the baseboards over the course of several days. That worked.

The cat had to go as after trying the scat mat, Feliway infusers, etc. and he had more medical care that year for check-ups than I did! Vet said it was behavioral and that the only option left was to crate him when I was gone and put a T-shirt or towel over the crate. He needed to be with someone who was home constantly – so he’s living with a retired lady and was doing fine last I heard.

tman had this to say on 07.09.11:

If baking soda worked you should try Borax, It will suck the moisture out of anything including your hands so wear gloves. You can find it in detergent aisles at most places and borax is meant ti suck mouisture its white powder just like baking soda. I use it to get rid of fleas when we get the it works great. I will try it tonight on my floor and another spot with baking soda and comment back later.

Katie had this to say on 09.12.11:

I am hoping someone might help me. I just moved into a new rental unit with hardwood floors throughout. It is obvious that two small dogs have been urinating all over the floors for about three years. The place stinks of urine – it smells like a public restroom. My landlord has agreed to have the floors power sanded and re-sealed (basically, refinished). Will this work? Are there any other steps I should take prior to or after the refinishing process, or any products I should insist the contractors use?

Jackie had this to say on 10.17.11:

We own a property in which the previous owner had cats. We replaced boards, bleached, sanded, sealed and put four coats of varnish on the oak hardwood floors. The smell seemed gone while furniture was in it, but it is now empty and we can detect cat pee smell again. HELP! We can not afford to demolish the place…HELP!!!

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