Urine smell from dogs can be disgusting and pretty bad. Getting it off the concrete can be difficult and it seems like no matter how hard you try to clean it, the smell still persists. It’s as if the smell will never go away.
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In this article, we will cover the steps you can use to get this stubborn smell off your concrete with the right products.
Is Urine Smell on Concrete that Bad?
As we all know, concrete isn’t like the ordinary floor. It’s hard and porous. That is why it’s able to hold dog urine and urine odors. The urine is able to seep down into the unsealed concrete alongside other liquids, and after a while, bad odor will start to ooze from the concrete. If your dog has been urinating in your concrete driveway, patio, or any other concrete area, then you have some deep cleaning to do.
Typically, this dog odor is harmless, but it’s not good, considering how bad the smell is. Imagine you having visitors at home and they will be like, “what’s that odor?”. Ultimately, you will feel a lot more disappointed at yourself than at your pet dog.
Getting the smell off your concrete is one thing, and removing the stain another. Dog urine or pet urine can penetrate into a concrete deep down, leaving a stain of the urine on its surface. The funny thing is that urine spot can remain there for years, unless some deep cleaning is done. It will just keep oozing its way into your home – and you may start thinking it’s something else while it isn’t. It’s your pet’s urine that’s the problem.
Will Normal Cleaning Make Dog Urine Smell Go Away?
Our conjecture is that you may have tried several cleaning products and procedures to get this stain and odor off your concrete, all to no avail. Even if the stain goes away, the smell will never go away. Well! Here is the reason why the smell will never go away.
Remember, we made mention of urine seeping down the concrete because the concrete is porous in nature. Being porous means that it has the capability of absorbing anything.
When urine is introduced to the concrete and unfortunately, dries up, there are uric acid crystals that are present in the urine that that will bond tightly to the concrete. Since the urine has been left to soak into the concrete, these uric acid crystals will form deep within the pores of the concrete.
Uric acid crystals are insoluble, hence, it will not bind with regular soaps and normal cleaning agents. That means you can clean the same urine spot for a hundred times and still get the same result, unfortunately. The uric crystal remain attached to the concrete and the smell continues to reign. You may think that after cleaning, the smell will go away. Although the smell do go away, it does so temporarily. As soon as moisture or water is introduced into the spot, the smell comes back stronger. This is why normally cleaning is ineffective.
What Then Can Be Used to Clean Dog Stains in Concrete?
Since dog stains and odor are resistant to normal cleaning, the best solution is to use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate), vinegar, or Hydrogen Peroxide and a pet urine enzymatic cleaner. We will explain further what these powerful solutions are and how to use them.
How to Detect Dog Urine Odor Spots in a Concrete
Sometimes, dog urine can be easy to detect, especially if it’s fresh. Other times, it can be really hard to identify. This is the case for people who just moved into a home where the previous owner owned pets. The stains may have been probably cleaned before the new inhabitants moved in, thus hiding the smell temporarily.
To get the exact location of urine spots and where that offensive odor is oozing out from, use a U.V. light or black light. This tool does a pretty amazing job at identifying even the smallest dog urine spot on your concrete.
A UV light pinpointing the exact location of the stain
U.V. light is a specialized tool that uses flashlight to reveal urine spots on a concrete. This tool emits ultraviolet light and any urine stain whether it’s old or new will glow under the light. So after numerous wash, this tool can still detect an old stain, which makes it very helpful.
Depending on where the dog urine is, make sure that the spot or the area surrounding the spot is dark. Then turn on the black light. Don’t move it more than three feet off the concrete. Scan the floor for possible detection in sections. In some cases, dog can urinate on the wall, so make sure that you scan the first two feet of the walls from the floor. Urine stains will stand out as blue, green, or yellow under the U.V light on the concrete.
If for some reasons you aren’t able to use the black light, there is an alternative, but will take longer. If you aren’t afraid of smelling the nasty dog urine odor directly, you can use your nose to detect the stain. Get some air into the area, get down on your knees and hands, and start sniffing. After a couple of minutes, depending on how large the area is, you will be able to detect the smell. Mark the spot afterwards.
Still, if you can’t stomach the smell of a dog urine, use a black light.
What Is TSP?
Imagine using a heavy-duty cleaner that can get rid of stubborn stains, mold, mildew, etc. at a reasonable price. It also easy to use and has no bleach. Well! That product is called TSP (Trisodium Phosphate).
Trisodium Phosphate is a cleaning product containing about 80% trisodium phosphate and 20% sodium carbonate. Typically, TSP comes in an odorless dry powder. It can be mixed with hot water to form a solution that you can apply on the stubborn surface. Scrubbing it will remove the stain from the surface.
Despite being easy to use, TSP can be toxic to the human health. It can cause skin irritation if you don’t wear long sleeves, a danger to the eye if you don’t wear glasses. Protecting yourself should be the first thing to do before using the product. Wear full protection, gloves, and goggles when handling TSP.
What Exactly Are Enzymatic Cleaning Products?
Simply put enzymatic cleaning products are cleaning products that use enzymes to help break down or digest stains. Pets, who don’t have pens can literally stay anywhere around the compound to urinate. You may be unaware and when you realize an odor oozing out from a particular place, you may think it’s something else. With time, you will realize that you have a dog urine smelling from somewhere.
Enzymatic cleaning products are commonly used to deal with pet feces, particularly on concrete and carpeted floors. Apart from that, you can use an enzymatic cleaners to remove mud or soil stains on floors and carpet.
How an Enzymatic Cleaning Product Work?
Enzymatic cleaning products use bacteria to remove stains, soils, and wastes. This is made possible by the production of enzymes by the bacteria. Bacteria produce enzymes to break down these stains into smaller pieces.
Once they are broken down, they become food for the bacteria to feed. During the process of feeding, the bacteria breaks down the food into water and carbondioxide that is released to the atmosphere. The bacteria continues to feed the stains until the stains are no more. The bacteria starts to reduce and then, diminish upon cleaning.
Enzymes, on their own cannot reproduce because it’s non-living. The bacteria produces them and they are only used as tools to help the breakdown process easier. Enzymatic cleaners often combine lipase, amylase, and proteases alongside the bacteria to be effective against stains.
Are Enzymatic Cleaning Products Even Good?
Enzymatic cleaners are great in dealing with stubborn stains on concrete floors and other surfaces. Because of they are bio-enzymatic in nature, they can deep clean better than most cleaning products in the market. They have great penetrating power and this makes them capable of handling stains that other cleaning products wouldn’t do.
Also, enzymatic cleaning products are safe for the environment to use, unlike some cleaning products out there. The residues of bacteria and enzymes that are contained in the product can keep working at ensuring stains, soils, are removed even after 80 hours of application.
Though some enzymes can work without bacteria, they are ineffective at getting stains like dog or cat urine off the floor or carpet.
Enzymatic cleaners have expiration dates, so be mindful of them. Also, extreme temperatures can lead to the loss of their efficiency, so be careful of where you store your cleaner after use. Store in a cool, dry place.
So How Do You Get Rid of Dog Urine Smell Outside Concrete?
Whether you suspect dog stain in the basement, garage, or patio, first of all, you have to prepare the area for treatment. There may be debris, dirt stuck on the floor. Remove it with a scrapper or alternatively, use a rake to get them off. Doing this will ensure that you have a clean concrete and that dirt or debris won’t interfere with the cleaning chemical that you will later add.
What You Need to Get Rid of Dog Urine Smell Outside Concrete
You need the following to do this successfully.
Once you are done scraping the debris, dirt, and anything that could make the cleaning process harder, the next step is to find that stubborn stain on your concrete. This is where you use a UV flashlight or backlight. This tool is helpful, especially in areas where you have done a lot of stain cleaning. Hold the UV light three feet maximum from the floor when the lights are off. Once the stain appears as yellow, blue, or green, Mark the area with a chalk. If UV light doesn’t work for you, try smelling out the spot.
When you are done, then you are ready to take the next steps.
Mix a Household Cleaner In Hot Water to Clean the Pet Urine Stain
A heavy-duty cleaner like that of TSP will ensure that the dog urine spot is clean and ready for the enzymatic cleaner to work its magic. While using this product, make sure you wear rubber gloves because TSP can damage your skin. Wear glasses if possible.
Mix ½ cup of TSP in a gallon of hot water. Alternatively, you can use vinegar instead of TSP. For vinegar wash, add two cups of vinegar into a gallon of water and mix. If you prefer to use Hydrogen Peroxide, mix two cups of it with two teaspoon of baking soda, and two drops of dish soap. Then pour it on the affected area. The ratio of TSP, vinegar wash, and Hydrogen Peroxide to water should be ½ – 2 to 1.
Pour the Mixture on the Floor
The next step is to scrub the floor with a scrub brush lightly with the TSP mixture. You can use a deck brush for this. Do not allow the mixture to dry out quickly. Allow for at least 10 minutes so as to allow it soak into the concrete, the same way the urine seeped into the concrete.
You may encounter some odor oozing from the concrete while you pre-treat. Don’t be surprised about this. The uric acid is reacting with the water, releasing gas from the reaction.
Pour Hot Water Over the Treated Area
Once you are done scrubbing and you have allowed the solution to seep through enough, get hot water and pour over the treated area. Vacuum up the water. You can use a carpet cleaner for this. This will remove the TSP solution and soak up urine residue that is in the concrete. Make sure you vacuum up the water at least twice. Allow it to dry overnight or for a day.
Prepare an Enzymatic Solution
Enzymatic cleaners work by using bacteria to digest stains. These bacteria produce enzymes that break down uric acid molecules, so that the bacteria can digest it in small pieces and break them down into carbondioxide and water.
Some enzymatic cleaners can be mixed with a carpet cleaning solution, others require the use of water majorly, while some do not need dilution. Because you are working on a concrete, it’s important that you use a product in a concentrated gallon. This means that you should use an enzymatic cleaners with high amount. The reason being that most enzymatic products work with exchange of air. Since uric acid molecules are way deep in the concrete, this air exchange will take more time before it can penetrate inside.
The most essential thing to do is to adhere to the instruction on the enzymatic product that you are purchasing.
Pour the Enzymatic Solution Onto the Stain
Now, pour the cleaning solution onto the stain in the concrete and scrub hard with a deck brush. Be aggressive while scrubbing to get the stain off. Make sure that the ground is completely dry before applying the enzymatic solution.
Keep it wet for 10 minutes or more. If the solution is drying out fast, add more enzymatic cleaner. Make sure this solution penetrates the spot to break the uric acid crystals in the concrete. You may notice some bubbles forming while you are scrubbing an area. This means that the area is the right spot for the stain. Take note because this area may require more than one treatment if the odor persists. It will take time before the enzymatic solution will break the uric acid crystals.
Repeat the process on the entire floor. Don’t miss out on any step. To avoid or slow down the rate of evaporation of the solution, you can cover the area with a tarp or liner. Allow the floor to dry overnight once you are done. The more time it stays on the concrete to digest the stain, the more effective the cleaning would be. So don’t rush.
Seal the Concrete for Easy Cleaning in the Future
Once you have gotten rid of the smell and stain, consider sealing your concrete floor. This is to prevent any dog odor from resurfacing. If you are confident that the smell won’t return, then you should avoid sealing your concrete.
At this point, you have removed the stain and annoying dog smell that has been making the atmosphere very uncomfortable for you.
The good news is that you can get rid of that smelly uric acid molecules and stains that has been beneath your concrete. The process isn’t easy, but it’s something that you should get on your first trial. It’s time consuming, but undertaking the steps mentioned here is effective and will keep the atmosphere free from smelly dog stains.