If you have a new pet and are trying to teach it not to make pee on every place in your home, you will find that accidents are inevitable, both during and after the learning process.
This means that you will have to deal with stains and the smell of urine in different parts of your house, but mainly in the patio, since it is the place where pets like dogs often live.
While cleaning dog urine is something that you can do easily, it is not so easy to get rid of the stench that builds up over time, especially on certain types of surfaces such as concrete.
The longer it takes to clean these “accidents”, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the odors, so you should not waste time to act.
For that reason, we have decided to put together this simple but complete guide on how to clean dog urine from concrete patio, with the intention of helping you have one less headache when it comes to raising your pet.
Some facts to understand about dog urine and concrete
It is important to understand why dog urine can become a rather unpleasant problem, especially in materials such as concrete. In addition, it can also damage plants near the place.
Although concrete is a hard and dry surface, it has certain properties that make it require certain care to keep it in optimal conditions.
It is a very porous surface that can absorb and hold urine and other fluids between its pores for a long time. This may seem harmless at first, but over time, the odor and stains become too “obvious” and can be difficult to remove.
In addition, dog urine has certain components that give it that particular smell and consistency, which these animals also use as a form of communication to mark their territories. This fluid has uric acid crystals that adhere firmly to surfaces and are very difficult to remove by simply using water.
Also, dog urine has an excess of nitrogen, and this concentration varies according to the age, sex, and diet of the pet. In this sense, the urine of females can become more intense than in males, and if the animal consumes a lot of protein, this can also affect the properties of this fluid.
Another aspect that can also influence, especially the smell, is the fact that the dog may have a health problem related to the urinary system – such as an infection, for example.
All these factors lead to urine penetrating and adhering strongly between the pores of concrete, so a superficial cleaning with just water and liquid soap will only disguise the problem, which could reappear after some time.
Common mistakes on how to clean dog urine from concrete patio – Avoid them!
Attack each stain differently
Cleaning a urine stain on a concrete floor is not the same as cleaning a stain on a carpet. You must use substances and procedures that are different and specific to each case.
You use pine or another similar scented substance
Disguising the problem will not eliminate it, so before using any of these products, focus on eliminating urine first.
You use the wrong cleaner
Some substances that appear to be useful for cleaning may actually make the problem worse. Such is the case of ammonia, a product whose smell is similar to that of dog urine. Similarly, some of these urine stain cleaners contain bleaching agents that can end up changing the appearance of the floor over time.
You do not clean quickly
To reduce the smell of urine as much as possible, it is necessary to prevent it from accumulating, especially in hot weather, so you should try to clean as soon as your pet pees. If you have a wet vacuum, use it.
Beware of the mop
While cleaning your dog’s urine, avoid using the regular mop to prevent the smell from spreading to other parts of the house. It is better to use a specific one for this purpose, and that is preferably made of plastic.
You clean stool along with urine
If you use a pressure cleaner to clean urine along with stool, it will only make the smell of the latter more difficult to remove, since you are actually permeating the material and the odor in a wider area on the ground.
How to clean dog urine from concrete patio, step by step
The following guide can help you, whether you are dealing with recent or older stains. The key word here is “deep cleaning.” Let’s see.
1.- Identify all the points where your dog urinated
Although this seems like an obvious step, it is actually very important that you do a good inspection of your patio, especially in case it is very large, since there could be small urine stains in hidden places that over time could accentuate and detach smells.
You can search using your own sight and smell, or use a UV flashlight, which you can purchase from an online store. In this case, hold the flashlight as close to the ground as possible to find old urine stains. These spots will appear greenish-yellow in UV light. Mark that spot using chalk, placing a piece of cardboard or a small rock.
If you find fresh urine pits, use old paper towels or rags to blot up any excess urine that may be present, this will allow the cleaning substances to better do their job.
2.- Organize the area to be cleaned
You will need to remove all the debris you find at the place. The idea is to create an environment where you can work without creating a mess by spreading further dirt once the job of cleaning urine begins.
Also, remove all furniture and valuable objects that prevent you from moving freely, or that are susceptible to being damaged by cleaning substances.
3.- Use an enzymatic cleaning solution
Due to the uric acid crystals in dog urine, using common cleaning agents like water and liquid soap will not be enough to remove these residues, no matter how many times you try to clean the area.
Although at first it seems that the odor disappears using these products, if the area where the stain is located receives a little moisture, the uric acid will begin to emit a gas that produces a bad smell. In this case, the best solution is to use an enzymatic cleaner that helps break down uric acid, so you can later remove it from the concrete with water.
You can buy these special enzymatic cleaners for pet urine in specialized stores, and these are not very expensive, so they are a very practical solution.
If you carried out the previous step of identifying the points where you should clean, proceed to apply the enzymatic cleaner, otherwise, use the UV flashlight as we already mentioned.
4.- Prepare the floor before cleaning urine stains
It is very convenient to apply a pre-treatment to the concrete floor with the idea of helping to break down the stubborn residues of urine and make the work of the enzymatic cleaner easier.
There are several options for this:
- A solution of vinegar and water in a 2:1 ratio
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
Using a vinegar solution with water or hydrogen peroxide is a somewhat simpler task, but in the case of TSP, you will have to be more careful, but the end results are much better.
A strong cleaner like TSP will ensure that all other stubborn urine elements – like bacteria – are completely gone. This in turn will help the enzymatic cleaner work faster to dissolve the uric acid crystals. If you decide to use the TSP, you must wear protective goggles and rubber gloves, as the TSP can damage the skin.
4.1.- Prepare the cleaning solution
Add the TSP to a bucket of very hot water at a rate of 1/2 cup for every gallon of water.
If instead of using TSP you decide to use water and vinegar, you can use the same bucket, just remember to use 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water.
If you are using hydrogen peroxide, you only need to add two cups to a bucket of water to which you have previously added two tsp of baking soda – you can add vinegar as well to reinforce this.
It is important that these mixtures are applied evenly, always trying to cover as much area as possible.
4.2.- Apply the cleaning solution
Pour the TSP mixture onto the floor and scrub gently with a sweeping brush. Scrub slowly and keep a steady pace to prevent the TSP from drying out too quickly.
The reason for this is letting it stay for at least 5 minutes on the concrete surface without being absorbed. In case this happens, just add more TSP or water to the soil.
Note that the mixture must remain liquid long enough for the concrete to absorb it more deeply.
4.3.- Remove excess cleaning solution
Next, proceed to pour hot water into the area and use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any excess liquid on the concrete surface.
4.4.- Let the floor dry
Finally, finish removing the excess mixture by washing the floor with hot water and letting it dry overnight.
This drying process should be natural, do not use fans to speed up the process, as the idea is to let the TSP dissolve as much urine residue as possible.
5.- Apply the enzymatic cleaner to the entire floor
Although in some cases you will want to put more emphasis on specific spots with urine stains, if your concrete patio has too many of these stains, it is best to clean the entire floor evenly.
By doing this, you can avoid leaving any stain that has gone unnoticed along the way, in addition to preventing the floor from looking uneven, leaving a clean and uniform tone.
5.1.- Prepare the enzymatic cleaner
Prepare the cleaner according to the instructions exactly. In some cases, you will need to mix it with a carpet solution, while in other cases you will only need to add water.
Before proceeding to apply the enzymatic cleanser, you will need to ensure that there are no damp residues from the treatment you applied the night before.
5.2.- Apply the enzymatic cleaner
Apply the enzymatic solution to the area to be cleaned, preferably in small sections and in sufficient quantity to keep the area moist for at least 10 minutes.
The most important thing is that the concrete absorbs as much solution as possible, so the key here is to keep the area soaked, so that the pores of the concrete are completely filled with liquid.
You can help yourself with a spray bottle for this, and then use the sweeping brush to impregnate and distribute the enzymatic cleaner in the most critical areas.
5.3.- Let it dry
Once you are done, you will need to let the soil dry overnight. Note that you can cover the floor with a plastic blanket to slow the evaporation rate of the enzymatic cleaner and thus allow it to work for a longer time.
As an additional measure, we recommend that you consider sealing your concrete floor to protect it, make it easier to clean and improve its appearance.
Optional step: Seal and protect your concrete floor
This is an optional measure, but it is something that can go a long way toward maintaining the health of your concrete patio.
Applying a product to seal the concrete floor will allow you to encapsulate the pores and prevent any liquid, including dog urine, from penetrating the floor and causing new problems.
In addition, it will also prevent any urine that has escaped from the cleaning, from starting to produce bad odors again.
Nowadays, there are many very good products for this, some of which have anti-slip properties, as well as coming in several attractive colors so that the floor has the appearance you want.
Best of all, using a sealer will keep your concrete patio looking healthy, clean, and odor-free for years.
The process of learning for a new pet takes time and accidents occur along the way. If your pet is a puppy, the good news is that you can have the hope that the animal will learn to relieve itself where it should.
On the other hand, if you have an older pet, your concrete patio will probably require a treatment like the one we have already detailed in this guide on how to clean dog urine from concrete patio.
In the first case, the most important thing is to act quickly when an accident occurs to prevent the concrete from accumulating damage and odors. In both cases, once you have applied the cleaning treatment, the best thing to do to eliminate your headaches is to seal your concrete floor.
What you should never forget is that your pet is part of the family, so it is important to educate it with patience and understanding.