How to Remove Urine Smell from Your Couch

Published on Aug 9, 2021 | Updated - Jul 7, 2023

how to remove urine stains and smell from your couch

Dogs, cats and the small people in our lives mean accidents are bound to happen on our lounges.

Urine stains are unattractive but it’s their smell that’s the most stubborn to shift.

We show you how to tackle the stench and let you know when it might be time to call in the professionals.

Why are Urine Stains so Pongy

why urine stains stink

You thought you had tackled that stubborn urine stain, but to your dismay, the smell resurfaces days or even weeks later.

The reason behind the potent stench of urine stains lies in their composition. Urine is not just a simple matter, my friend.

Urine is a waste product that contains various components, including bacteria. However, the real troublemaker on the list is uric salts. These compounds are incredibly resilient and cannot be broken down by ordinary cleaning methods.

You need a powerful solution – enzymatic cleaners to combat the lingering aroma. These specialized cleaners have the ability to effectively break down and neutralize uric salts, restoring a fresh and odour-free environment.

Understanding the nature of urine stains and the challenge posed by uric salts highlights the importance of successfully using enzymatic cleaners to eliminate the odour. By utilizing the right tools and techniques, you can conquer the persistent scent of urine stains and enjoy a fresh and clean space once again.

A Step-by-Step Guide To Treating Urine Stains on Your Lounge

spraying a urine soaked couch cushion with a vinegar solution

Step 1 - Take the stained cushion off the lounge, if you are able to.  

Step 2 - For fresh stains, blot fresh stains with a paper towel to absorb as much urine as possible. Some research suggests using dirty towels in designated pet areas to encourage proper behaviour.

Step 3 - We recommend testing the below solution on an inconspicuous section of your lounge fabric before proceeding.  

Step 4 - Mix 1:3 parts vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle, and spray generously on the stain. Scrub lightly before letting dry. It’s important to note that a dried stain will require more spraying to re-wet the stain. Vinegar’s disinfecting properties will target the bacteria as well.  

Step 5 - Make sure you wait until the cushion is dry, and then sprinkle a generous amount of Bi-Carb Soda to help remove odours. Leave the Bi-Carb on for a few hours before vacuuming up.  


This combination can remove much of the stain and target the smell. It won’t remove 100% of the stain though, which is why you need an enzymatic cleaner.


woman spraying E-Pet pet odour eliminator on urine

Enzymatic cleaners treat urine by breaking down the chemicals in the urine that cause the smell. Follow the instructions closely and use a cleaner suitable for your upholstery type. We recommend investing in a high-quality product to avoid having to re-do the job. A couple of cleaners we recommend are Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer and Integrity Health.

Ways You Can Prevent Accidents and Stains on Your Upholstery

how to prevent couch stains

Encourage Good Pet Bathroom Habits: Teach your furry friends to use specific spots for their business, so they don't leave any unwanted surprises on the couch. Being consistent and giving positive reinforcement can help them learn the right behaviour.

Get Protective Covers: Invest in covers for your couch that are waterproof or resistant to stains. These will give you extra protection against spills and accidents.

Set House Rules: Make it clear that eating or drinking on the couch is a no-no to avoid messy spills and stains. Encourage everyone in the family, as well as guests, to enjoy their food and drinks in designated areas.

Watch Out for Kids: Keep an eye on young children to prevent them from accidentally spilling or causing any mishaps on the couch. Encourage them to eat and drink in areas that are meant for that, so you can minimize the chances of stains.

Limit Access: If you can't supervise your pets or kids, consider restricting their access to the couch area. This way, you can prevent accidents and reduce the likelihood of stains or damage.

Act Fast on Spills: When spills happen, act quickly! Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the affected area and soak up the liquid. Remember not to rub it, as that could spread the stain even more.

Choose Stain-Resistant Fabrics: When you're picking out a new couch, go for fabrics that are resistant to stains. They're easier to clean and less likely to get ruined.

Keep it Clean: Regularly vacuum and clean your couch to get rid of dirt, dust, and pet hair. This will help prevent any build-up and potential stains.

By following these simple tips, you can reduce the chances of accidents and stains on your couch, keeping it clean and well-maintained for longer periods of time.

Why won’t the urine stain and smell go away?

woman sitting on a couch and pinching her nose because of urine smell

Urine, being a surfactant, breaks down surface tension and easily infiltrates the fabric and padding of your sofa. When pets repeatedly have accidents in the same spot, the urine can deeply penetrate the padding, making it difficult for topical treatments to fully eliminate the uric salts and the resulting odour.

To truly tackle the problem, professional intervention is necessary. Experts can inject a specialized solution into the padding, dissolving the uric salts and effectively treating the tough urine stain and its lingering smell. Don't underestimate the power of professional expertise, solutions, and equipment in combatting these stubborn stains.

Professional Upholstery Cleaning and Specialised Stain Treatment

We know you want to avoid damaging your furniture and want the assurance of a job done right, which is why a professional may be what you need. A professional cleaning is also a great option if you have particularly delicate fabric or a tough stain and stench. Depending on your fabric type, a qualified technician will tailor the cleaning and stain removal method. Here’s what Electrodry can do for you

  • We’ll do a colour test, if needed, on your fabric to ensure the treatment doesn’t make the fabric colour run.
  • Our technicians can detect moisture in your couch using special equipment; this is how we know exactly where to use the spot treatment.

Electrodry Upholstery Cleaning technician steam cleaning a fabric couch

  • The Electrodry pre-vacuum includes our industrial-strength equipment to ensure debris is removed from your couch.

Electrodry Couch Cleaning technician injecting solution to treat urine in lounge

  • The technician will inject a solution into the affected area of the couch to treat the uric salts.
  • The pre-spray solution contains antibacterial and sanitising properties.
  • We apply a specialised upholstery cleaning spray, which includes Electro-Shield, a strong sanitiser that removes odour-causing bacteria, germs and fungi.

We are confident we can treat most stains and odours and offer a 14-day guarantee on our upholstery service. It always helps if you know what the stain is and when it occurred – that’s how we know what chemicals are best to treat it.

Please keep in mind that the greater the level of contamination, the harder it is to treat the uric salts and odour. If the lounge has been contaminated regularly, then you may need to replace the lounge. Old urine stains on cotton fabrics can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

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