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Home » Troubleshooting/Inspections » Getting dog pee smell out of a wood floor

For problem floors and inspection-related issues.
5/24/2012 8:42:05 AM

Kim Wahlgren
Kim Wahlgren
Administrator
Posts: 110
Someone just sent us a message through our website with this question. Any advice?

We have a home with hardwood floors. The previous owners had a dog that peed on the hardwood and didn't clean it up right away. How do I get the smell out of the floor????????
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5/24/2012 10:29:23 AM

Bobgoldstein
Bobgoldstein
Posts: 76
Try using a solution of Downy fabric softener and water. Pour it on the stain and let it soak in. This should neutralize the acid and stop the smell. Keep in mind the wood my have to be sanded to remove "raised grain" and or damage to the finish. Another method that works is covering the area with kitty litter then covering the kitty litter with a box or cover of some kind for 48 hours.

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Bob Goldstein
Vermont Natural Coatings
Technical Services, Training and Sales
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5/24/2012 9:46:52 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Let water soak into your hardwood floor? Interesting
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5/25/2012 2:54:40 PM

johannes
johannes
Posts: 394
Kim/Bob,

Urine contains Ammonia (which is alkaline by nature) and causes the odor and also is the reason for discoloration in wood (reacting with the Tannic Acid).

So, the only way to neutralize this is to treat with an acid (which is the opposite of an alkaline material, a little chemistry involved here). On a fresh spot white Vinegar may work but unfortunately urine often soaks in hardwood floors before getting noticed and cleaned up.
Therefore the damage is lying in the wood and not on the surface anymore and will require at least sanding down the finish from the floor before you can even treat the source (if you are lucky enough). If the discoloration is not too deep a treatment of Oxalic Acid (4 -8 oz dissolved in hot water) will often reduce or remove the discoloration and often the smell also. Repeated treatments may be necessary; last the area treated is washed with clean hot water and allowed to dry thoroughly before finishing the sanding/screening process and finishing of the hardwood floor. Oxalic Acid restores the natural color of discolored wood.

Caution: Oxalic Acid is a dangerous chemical and needs to be treated carefully, wear personal protective gear and read the MSDS carefully before use. Oxalic Acid can be found in good paint-stores, Hardware stores and often also in Marine supply stores.

However, if you think about the floor there are often open gaps between the boards and if the accident happened frequently in the same area the urine will likely have leaked between and/or under the floor boards and that will not be easily treated and often requires flooring removal of the affected area. The subfloor may need to be treated before flooring reinstallation.

As it is, a wood floor cannot be soaked and kept wet for 24 hours with wet liquids/treatment material; enzyme treatments (that are keeping the treated area damp for an extended time period) work well on carpet/fabric but are simply unfit for use on wood floors.

Johannes.
edited by johannes on 5/25/2012
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5/25/2012 10:27:55 PM

Stephen Perrera
Stephen Perrera
Posts: 955
If it localized throw in a medallion. I can hook you up with Massimo if you want.

http://youtu.be/vXayTAgV3ag
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5/28/2012 10:21:21 PM

Jim Decker
Jim Decker
Posts: 230
For years I have used a product to kill animal odors in carpets called D-Molish purchased from neutron industries in Phoenix at 800-421-8481.this product will completely eradicate skunk odor. I one time left grass and other debis to long in my trash can and when emptied you would think someone had died. rinsed out on desert landscaping and could smell it from 40 feet away" sprayed with this product poof odor gone. works on all organic matter.
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5/30/2012 2:26:38 PM

Bobgoldstein
Bobgoldstein
Posts: 76
Ken Ballin wrote:
Let water soak into your hardwood floor? Interesting


I guess you've never "popped" grain or installed paper face parquet? In this case the smell is the problem, once that issue is addressed the boards can be refinished. As they will need to TRY and remove the urine stains anyway.
Trust me Ken, I won't state something I haven't tried.

--
Bob Goldstein
Vermont Natural Coatings
Technical Services, Training and Sales
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5/31/2012 8:36:37 AM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
wasnt second guessing, just curious. thats all
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5/31/2012 6:36:31 PM

Sherrie VandePutte
Sherrie VandePutte
Posts: 14
Quit foolin' around..... Tear out the offending boards, lace in some new ones, and refinish the floor smile

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Sherrie VandePutte
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5/31/2012 7:44:54 PM

Jerry Best
Jerry Best
Posts: 57
Thank you Sherrie. I like your style of being direct and to the point.
Plus you always have the most perfect answer..
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