A woven hamper with clean clothes in a sunny laundry room

How to Get Urine Smell Out of Clothes

How to Get Urine Smell Out of Clothes

Tackling urine odors in clothing can be challenging, especially for kids and pets. It’s not just about hygiene; it's also about self-confidence. 

If you’re struggling with how to get urine smell out of clothes – don’t worry. There are several ways you can use household items and commercial products, such as detergents and vinegar solutions, which will help make things smell fresh again and look good. Read on for helpful tips on how to get the urine smell out of clothes.

Understanding Urine Smell

Before we jump into how to get pee smell out of clothes, it’s essential to understand the cause. Urine consists of water, ions, and proteins, with urea being one of the key components responsible for giving urine its pungent odor.

When this compound is in contact with fabrics, it binds to their fibers, which makes it difficult to remove even after washing. A range of factors further complicates this process. For example, when it comes to pet urine, the source can often be quite concentrated and acidic.

This means that more urea is present, making it harder to remove. Furthermore, not all fabrics respond the same way to urine: natural fibers like cotton or wool tend to absorb liquid more than synthetic materials.

As such, it’s important to pay attention to the type of fabric your clothes are made of for you to pick the most effective cleaning method.

Prevention of Urine Smell in Clothes

The best way to get pee smell out of clothes is to prevent it from getting into them in the first place. Here are some tips for avoiding urine accidents:

  • Encourage your kids to use the bathroom often, especially if they’re prone to bed wetting
  • Remind kids always to check whether their clothes are dry before putting them on
  • If your pet has an accident indoors, clean the area with a pet-safe odor remover and cleaner
  • Try not to let your pets on furniture or beds, as this increases their chances of making a mess on harder to clean surfaces

You should also correctly store clothes with urine smell to prevent it from spreading to other garments. Hang the clothes outside or in a well-ventilated room, and remove them as soon as possible.

Use absorbent materials like baking soda, vinegar, or newspaper on surfaces exposed to urine to neutralize the odor before starting the cleaning process.

Natural Remedies for Removing Urine Smell

When looking at how to remove urine smell from clothes, it’s important to remember that natural remedies can be equally as effective, if not more so, in some cases.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water and a few tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl. Submerge the affected garment into the mixture, allowing it to soak for at least an hour. After soaking, remove it and wash it as usual.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

Squeeze lemon juice onto the affected area. Sprinkle some baking powder over it and gently rub the fabric together before rinsing it with cold water.

Essential Oils and Water

Add five drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil to a cup of water and stir until combined. Soak the urine-stained item in this solution for fifteen minutes before washing it with detergent.

Pros and Cons of Natural Remedies

The pros of using natural remedies to remove urine smells from clothes include that they’re generally more affordable than commercial products and they don’t contain any harsh chemicals. Furthermore, essential oils can also provide a pleasant scent when the cleaning is complete.

On the downside, some natural remedies may not be as effective as traditional methods. Additionally, they’re not suitable for all fabric types and could potentially damage delicate materials depending on their composition.

Chemical Solutions for Removing Urine Smell

Chemical solutions such as commercial odor removers can be used for urine smells that are harder to remove. These products typically contain potent enzymes that work to break down urine molecules and eliminate odors.

Before using a urine odor remover, please read the instructions carefully and test it on a hidden fabric part first. Generally speaking, these products should be sprayed directly on the affected area before being left for 10–15 minutes and then washed with detergent and a laundry odor removing solution.

Pros and Cons of Commercial Odor Removers

Commercial urine odor removers are often more potent than natural remedies, making them ideal for particularly pungent odors. Many products even specialize in protecting delicate fabrics without causing damage.

However, caution is necessary when using these potent formulas – dangerous chemicals can be released if inhaled or ingested. Additionally, effectiveness comes at a price; multiple applications may be needed to eliminate the smell, and such treatments aren’t always cheap.

Laundry Techniques for Removing Urine Smell

In addition to using chemical or natural solutions, urine smells can also be removed from clothes with a few simple laundry techniques.

Cold Water Wash

Wash the garment in cold water, being sure to add enough detergent so that it completely coats the fabric fibers. If possible, leave the garment to soak overnight before washing again on a regular cycle in hot water.

Using a Washing Machine

Select one of the cycles designed explicitly for urine-stained items, and add extra detergent if the urine smell is powerful. Allow the cycle to finish and check if the urine smell has been removed before drying.

Pros and Cons of Different Laundry Techniques

The main benefit of using different laundry techniques to remove urine smell from clothes is that they are generally effective and don’t require harsh chemicals. Hot water washes can help to break down urine molecules more quickly, but cold water washes may be gentler on fabrics.

The downside is that laundry techniques alone may not entirely remove urine smells in some cases, so other solutions might need to be used first or alongside them. Additionally, certain fabrics may become damaged if washed at too high a temperature or with too much detergent.

Get Rid of All Laundry Odors with Fresh Wave

Depending on the fabric type, it’s crucial to try natural and chemical solutions and different laundry techniques to achieve the best results.

It’s also a good idea to use laundry detergent with a robust odor-fighting formula and to air dry clothes thoroughly after washing. So check out Fresh Wave’s laundry booster, made specifically to eliminate hard-to-remove odors. With patience and persistence, you can eliminate the smell of urine from your clothing and keep them smelling fresh.