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It’s hard enough to keep pets from urinating inside the house, and it’s even harder to keep them from urinating on the patio or in the basement. Dog urine can leave dark stains and ammonia odors that are not pleasant, especially with guests coming over.
Many people don’t realize it’s not only rugs and hardwood that can be stained by pet urine, but concrete too. Until it’s too late — you walk outside to find a large dark stain that doesn’t come out with soap and water no matter how hard you scrub.
Despite appearances, concrete is very porous and the urine is able to settle deep into the layers, so no amount of scrubbing with regular soap will get it all out. Porous materials, such as quartzite, are susceptible to soaking up liquids.
Thankfully — there are much easier ways to clean up that stain that won’t wear out your arms in frustration. These simple steps will have your concrete back to its original look and smell without sweat.
How to clean concrete without causing damage
Do not use products containing alcohol, acids, or ammonia. These products can have detrimental effects on your concrete, worsening stains or eating away at your concrete.
Always clean an area of at least three inches outside of the visible stain. This is because the actual area that is affected by the urine is larger than what you see. Doing this will help prevent the stain from returning and ensure there won’t be any residual odors.
A blacklight will help you find the exact areas of the stains if they are hard to see or you smell just the odor.
Best ways to remove urine stains from concrete
You can remove urine stains and odors from concrete using Trisodium Phosphate on the affected area. Trisodium Phosphate goes into the pores of the concrete to remove odors and stains.
Cleaning concrete with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) and Enzyme Cleaner
Trisodium Phosphate is the first recommended option as it is able to go deep into the pores of the concrete to remove the stain. It also keeps the pores open for the enzyme cleaner to do its work. It is available to purchase at most hardware stores and is simple to use.
If TSP is not available in your area, you can use hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda. One teaspoon of baking soda per cup of hydrogen peroxide.
The enzymes in the enzyme cleaner will eliminate the acid crystals present in the urine, which is what causes the stain and odor. For the enzyme cleaner, we recommend Nature’s Miracle but you can use any product designated for removing urine stains that contains enzymes.
Use care when using trisodium phosphate as it can be irritating to the eyes and skin. Always work in a well-ventilated area.
What you’ll need:
1. Trisodium Phosphate
(or hydrogen peroxide and baking soda)
2. Enzyme Cleaner
2. Hard bristled broom
3. Eye protection and rubber gloves
The Steps to Remove the Urine Stains:
Step 1: Remove any material residue or dirt off of the concrete. Make sure the surface is free of debris before starting.
Step 2: In a large bucket, mix half a cup of trisodium phosphate in one gallon of hot water.
Step 3: Dip your hard-bristled broom into the solution to apply in and around the affected area. Make sure to scrub well into the concrete.
Step 4: Let the solution sit for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Pour your enzyme cleaner into an empty bucket (we recommend Nature’s Miracle but you can use an enzyme cleaner that is available in your area). Again use your brush to scrub the cleaner into and around the affected area.
Step 6: Let sit for another 10 minutes.
Step 7: Pour hot water over the area and clean it all up with a mop.
Adding a concrete sealant to prevent stains
When your concrete is clean and free of urine you can apply a concrete sealant on top. This will add a layer on top of your concrete that will be easier to clean and also help trap any lingering odors. Adding a sealant to your concrete can prevent future urine stains from seeping into the pores.
It’s hard to keep pets from urinating on concrete floors whether outside or in the home, but with these steps, you now know how to keep your concrete stain and odor-free.
If you don’t have access to an enzyme cleaner or TSP or hydrogen peroxide, you can use an all-purpose cleaner that is pH balanced and simply scrub it into the stain, let sit for 10 minutes and then mop it up. It won’t be as effective but can help eliminate minor stains and odors.
Will regular soap work to remove urine stains?
Ordinary soaps are not effective on urine stains because they only remove just the top layer of the stain. Concrete is porous so the stain penetrates deeper than just the first layer. This means the stain can return and the odor will remain.
How do you clean fresh urine stains?
If your pet has just urinated or you catch the stain before it has had a chance to settle, you can use an all-purpose cleaner that is pH balanced like Simple Green.
How can I prevent my dog from urinating on the concrete?
The best way is to train your dog not to urinate on the concrete the same as you do for not urinating in the house. Whenever you catch them let them know with a stern voice and with patience and time they will learn.