Holy Stinks. A 3 Ingredient Stink & Stain Remover.

A stain remover you can make out of 3 things you probably own right now that’ll work better than any stain remover you can buy in the store. Seriously. I’ve tested it.

cleo-and-ernie

Before any of you natural remedy eye rollers click away I should let you know that I’m part of your gang. I am a skeptic by nature but always willing to give something a shot and try it out.  If it works (and a LOT of natural cleaning products work great) that’s great, I’ll add it to my arsenal. If it doesn’t? I drink it. ‘Cause you can do that with natural cleaners.

Just kidding. Please don’t drink any cleaners unless it’s made exclusively out of vodka.

So the sleeping cats … If you see anything in the world anywhere and it is cute and cuddly you can immediately assume it is also stinky and stainy.  Cats, dogs, babies, beets … if it weren’t for their looks and general ability to make us feel gooey inside  they would all be sent on their way after the first time they made a poo.  Or in the case of beets, the first time you made a poo and thought you were dying.  

My little Siamese cat Cleo was traumatized when she was younger because I trained her to use the toilet. The actual toilet. My other cat Prada took to it like nothing, but Cleo was a bit small for training (I didn’t realize this was a thing) and she found it hard.  Because of this she revolted and started to pee in a corner.

For the rest of her life if her litter box wasn’t 100% clean, she’d pee in a corner because of traumatization. 

Which in the case of cats is something that can really happen, being traumatized by toilet training. Children on the other hand cannot be traumatized for life by toilet training.  How many adults do you know that poop behind a curtain because their mom tried to get them out of diapers too early?

Once a cat starts peeing somewhere they aren’t supposed to the smell stays and it’s what tells their little brain that THIS is indeed the right place to pee. Even if it isn’t. Even if it’s hardwood.  Even if you’ve discussed it with them.

Now my cat Ernie, the last cat I have left, has taken to missing the litter box.  She perches herself on the edge of the box, hunches her back a little and whizzes all over the side of the litter box.

I have a big rubber mat under one of her litter boxes (the other litter box is a Litter Robot) but she’ll sometimes pee so much that it even runs off the mat and onto my pine floor. Yay.

This solution will lift the stain and the smell of cat urine among other things.  No joke. Better than the enzyme removers you can buy at the pet store.

DIY Stink & Stain Remover

DIY Stink & Stain Remover

Materials

  • 16 ounces hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tsp. dishwashing liquid (preferably DAWN)
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda

Tools

  • Spray bottle

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle and treat affected area.

 

Spray the floor and leave it until it dries, then wipe away or vacuum any white powder that’s left (it’s just the baking soda, you didn’t Breaking Bad the solution into crystal meth or cocaine.)

Not only is this going to work on cat urine but it’ll also work on just about anything that’s stained.  I’ve used it on fabric, wood floors and nylon.  

Have dingy socks? Stained sheets? Towels? This’ll work on all of that. Just put whatever you’re working on in the sink and soak it. For socks you can spray them, put the in a plastic bag or airtight bin and let them soak overnight. 

It’s a quick thing you can mix up and go to town with this weekend if you’re looking to do some spring cleaning.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t think I’ll be doing any spring cleaning this weekend. I’m more likely to be taking part in my specialty – spring dirtying.

 

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102 Comments

  1. Gayle says:

    This post and responses have settled it, I’m not going to get another cat! We’ve had two cats adopt us who were outdoor cats so never had to set up litter boxes. I guess I’ll wait for another one to show up at my door! (Also were previously well trained at gopher suppression).

    Fun post! And good information too!

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Karen, not sure if anyone has mentioned using a storage tote with higher sides in place of a regular litter box. My cat, Lily, doesn’t hunch over enough and she almost always pees over the side of a regular litter box. The taller storage tote fixed that problem. At least the pee is contained IN the box instead of on the floor or wall. I use one of the totes that is nearly clear…not sure if that makes a difference for the cat, but maybe they feel less enclosed in the box if it isn’t an opaque color. Have a great day.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dan! Someone did mention that, plus you can buy litter boxes with domed lids that prevent this sort of thing too. :) I’m going to look into both options. ~ karen!

  3. Signe Buck says:

    This is my first comment here ever ! First, I want to thank you for all your truly handy tips that actually work. This stain remover is already mixed and ready to go in a spray bottle. Secondly, I want to thank you for not using the ubiquitous “Hey Guys” that every blogger and YouTuber starts their spiel with, even if the blog or YouTube subject is strictly for women. Perhaps you don’t have that habit yet in Canada and I hope you never do! It’s refreshing not to read/hear that.

  4. Mike says:

    Do you know if this works for underarm stains on shirts?

  5. Mary says:

    Does the baking soda need to be added right before using or can I mix up a bunch and have it on hand? Is there a ‘fizz factor’ involved in its effectiveness? I don’t have one of those houses where people take off their shoes before coming in, and I am in and out of the garden and yard all day long once spring arrives. It’d be nice to have something handy for cleaning that dog ‘stuff’ et al, that sometimes comes in with the shoes. Also my dog is 13 and I think he leaks a little when he gets too relaxed…Nothing worse than having a house that smells like a pet….

  6. Mokcyn says:

    Do you think this odor removing concoction would destroy wool? I have a gorgeous wool sweater that somebody thought storing it with thousands of mothballs would be a good idea. It’s nearly toxic! While hand washing with an enzymatic soap, I was nearly gagging from the out gassing. So far direct sunshine has lessened the smell but not in the areas that took longest to dry. Worst case of mothball overkill I have ever seen …

    • Karen says:

      I would try putting the sweater into an airtight container like a plastic storage bin. I’d pour down a layer of kitty litter, then lay the sweater down, then cover it with kitty litter. Leave it closed up for a week, then smell. ~ karen!

  7. Debbie says:

    OMG this post was absolutely hilarious. I can NOT stop laughing. :))))))))
    Off now to spring dirtying……..

  8. Molly says:

    Oh, Karen. I knew I’d found my people when you wrote about loofas, but then there were chicken butt maggots, the pizza oven, and now cats who pee where they want. I can’t figure out if your blog was designed to normalize all my life’s problems or enable all the things that usually get me the side eye from my neighbors. I’m just so glad to feel like part of the gang, even if it’s the gang that sleeps on a urine-stained mattress with their beloved Maine Coon with putrid smells wafting up from their damp basement. Thank you for including me!

  9. Jennifer Parslow says:

    Yes, yes, I’ve used this formula for years. I have two older Cairn Terrier boys that love to lift their legs in the mornings if I don’t wake up early enough. And, cats that miss the litter box. I would like to add that if you add enough baking soda to make a paste, it works like a charm on skunk spray. Really!

    • Shawna says:

      As I was reading the ingredients, I thought I remembered the recipe. 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, & 1 tsp blue Dawn dish soap is the go to de-skunking formula. It will slightly bleach your Black Lab’s coat. My girl had a reddish tinge in bright sunlight for some time afterwards.

  10. Ali says:

    Hi Karen, Above your recipe – ahhhh the crazy cat lady ‘action’ doll. I got one for my sister and her 3 kids and 6 cats – and there was a time when she was trying to ‘litter train’ 7 of them all at the same time! I gave her the doll and cats to encourage her to hang in – with time the kids will be gone and the cats will be litter trained or replaced with the plastic cats. (Between you and me we come from a ‘furry’ family and I am sure the ‘plastic’ cats will always be on the shelf – or knocked down by the real furry ones!! Thanks for your humour and love for these fur balls. Changing my ‘odour eaters’ up is always a good thing!

  11. Sarah Jackson says:

    I have a tip for you. To kill fleas in your house or anywhere else, sprinkle baking soda on the floors, wood or carpet. Don’t be stingy with it. I sprinkle it on upholstery. Leave it at least over night. I leave on for two or three days or until my husband grumbles. Follow up with another application later for the hatching eggs. Repeat until no fleas. It works!!

  12. Stephanie O'Brian says:

    Im going to add some of this mixture to my washer. Im disabled AMD pre testing might not be something I can do. I sure hope it works.

    • Karen says:

      Good luck! ~ karen!

    • Avalon Park says:

      Having just read Karen’s article singing the praises of Oxyclean, (and because I couldn’t figure out how to comment otherwise 🤦) I thought I might share that yes, this formula does work wonders for neutralizing urine –a little dog’s, in my case –because it actually is the same chemical combination and reaction as Oxyclean 😅

      well, technically, there’s two minor differences — oxyclean uses washing powder (which is baking soda w/ the carbon and water baked off) rather than baking soda, as baking soda is more prone to leaving a residue on clothing, and obviously they use a powdered hydrogen peroxide.

      Other than that, it is actually just washing powder mixed with hydrogen peroxide and a sulfite — aka the dish soap in this recipe — which finalizes the reaction into sodium percarbonate ^-^

      This is a great formula though, had major success using it to clean a very soiled mattress (from a vindictive little poodle) a few years ago. If you end up having any trouble though, I’ve had great results using a teaspoon or so of iodine to neutralize and clean urine (human) and other biological messes. There’s even a colorless version you can find at rite aid, but I’m not sure it is necessary. It actually seems to dissipate in the water quite well — I’ve never had a stain from it, and I’ve used it on whites — though I did use it with oxyclean still. ☺️

      Anyway, sorry for the side rail, but wanted to share. Thank you for your entertaining and helpful site, Karen! I look forward to reading more.

  13. Korrine Johnson says:

    3 years later, my kitty was having a little issue and I remembered this post. Holy sh*tballs this stuff is amazing!!! Thank you!

  14. Kenneth says:

    Use 3% hydrogen peroxide not the regular kind

  15. Janis says:

    Hi i’ve got a dog that’s been peeing in my basement on my concrete floors, sometimes the cats will do it to. it smells horrible in my basement and when it’s humid the smell wafts up into the house yuck, so anyways i was wondering if you thought this mixture would work on my concrete floors? Thanks :)

  16. Rachel says:

    This recipe is good for basic stuff, when you catch it right away. For serious problems (i.e. our new house used to be the crazy-cat-hoarder-lady-house. It was as a short sale/foreclosure situation in a tight market and we only got to see the inside of the house once before buying. . .and we thought they just liked incense, but 6 months later when we moved in, we could smell the house down the block on a summer day. Cat pee so bad it was visible leaking down the foundation of the house through the floorboards and saturated the ceilings of the floor below.

    We were at the point where it was either find a solution or level the house.
    We found a product called Odormute. You can get it on Amazon. I sprayed this at “skunk strength” three times over the whole foundation inside and out and it saved us having to level the house It took 2 $14 boxes to cover our 2000 square foot house.. . .it’s basically the same stuff as above, but with enzymes. Be really careful to mix it so the water is hot enough to activate the enzymes but not to hot to “kill” them. 2 years later and we only have to spot treat areas that were missed in the initial three treatments.

  17. Kristen says:

    Thanks. This definitely is good at ridding the initial urea smell. However, it doesn’t break down the uric acid, which has a natural half-life of six years. After a while, the uric acid may re-crystallize, especially in humidity. Sometimes, humans can smell this. Cats definitely can and may re-urinate on the spot. In order to break down the uric acid, you will need an enzyme cleaner. I don’t recommend citrus or limonene, however, as those are highly toxic to cats. Our cats pee on anything –no matter if it has previously been peed on or not — so we do use the vinegar/ baking-soda solution often to eliminate the urea/ammonia smell for our sakes, and that has been working well.

  18. Olga says:

    I’m going to try this mixture on human pee smell. I have 6 year old boy who seems to miss the last (or first) drops of his pee into the toilet. . And then our bathroom ends up smelling like a public restroom in the train station, even though it gets cleaned on weekly basis. I’ll report back…

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