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How to Get Dog Urine Out of Wood Under Carpet and Linoleum

One of the first issues I researched when we bought our house was how to get dog urine out of wood under carpet and linoleum. We knew that the former owners of our house had multiple dogs and cats.

When we bought the house, there was a strong pet urine odor that deterred other buyers.  We were confident, however, that we could get the smell out and restore the house. And we did.  Here's how:

Remove all the old carpeting and linoleum.

It is amazing how much odor was removed just by hauling out the pee-soaked carpeting and tearing out the linoleum.  These floor coverings in our house were at least 20 years old, and had sustained damage from a number of pets. In tearing out the floor coverings, we could more easily see what kind of damage we were dealing with.  Below, you can see where the dog had peed and it soaked under the edge of the floor covering, which in this case was linoleum.

Consider whether you need to clean the floor.

One area of our house had old asbestos tile underneath the carpets.  We decided to leave the tile where it was, as removing it would create dust and potential health issues.  Instead, we cleaned the surface of the tile thoroughly with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP).  After mopping the surface clean with TSP, we let it dry really well and then applied the sealer.

For a wood sub floor, it wasn't feasible to clean the surface.  Instead, I skipped right to applying the sealer.  Do make certain that the floor is dry before applying sealer.

Apply a strong sealer intended for pet odors.

Zinsser BIN Shellac-Based Primer is the sealer that we used that was effective in encapsulating the surface and blocking the odor.

It was incredible what a difference it made once the floors were sealed with the primer.  The urine smell was entirely gone, and the floor felt so much cleaner.  We actually had to live with the treated floors like this for a couple of weeks, as our wood floor installer's schedule was overbooked and he couldn't get out right away to install our new flooring.  

In some areas of the floor, such as over the asbestos tile, I painted the entire surface of the floor with the primer. Where the subfloor was visible, I ended up only painting over the problem areas along the edges as the center of the floor was clean.

If you need to figure out how to get dog urine out of wood under carpet and linoleum, following these steps should make a big difference.  You can find the Zinsser BIN primer at most building supply stores, and it's worth the time and investment so that you can protect the new flooring that you will be installing over the top.

This House with Knotty Pine

We invite you to follow along on our journey in restoring our vintage home, in our e-book, This House with Knotty PineClick to download your copy from the Amazon bookshelf (for reading on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC using the free Kindle app). 

Knotty pine walls e-book

In the book, which you can download and view now, you'll discover how we stumbled upon our unique home. The house was once part of a dairy farm, but it had fallen into disrepair over the years.  Despite the sad state of the house, the solid planks of knotty pine throughout were still in great shape. Included are photos of the renovation plus many more photos of each of the eight rooms as they are now decorated. Click to see the book on Amazon.

We invite you to download your copy of the book, which follows our journey as we share what we learned while renovating and decorating a house with its vintage knotty pine walls. See photos of our rooms from start to finish and throughout the seasons.


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