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How To Get Human Urine Smell Out Of A Couch (and Other Furniture)

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Human urine smells on furniture can be smelly.

Has your couch or other furniture been tainted with the unpleasant smell of human urine? Don’t fret, because there are effective methods to eliminate this odor and restore your furniture to its former freshness.

Accidents happen, especially in households with seniors and young children. Dealing with the smell of urine on furniture can be a challenging and frustrating task. However, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can successfully remove the odor and reclaim your furniture’s comfort and cleanliness.

The short answer to how to remove human urine smell from a couch is:

To remove the smell of human urine from a couch, first blot the area with paper towels to absorb as much urine as possible. Then, apply a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water to the spot, allowing it to soak in before blotting it dry. Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit overnight before vacuuming. If the smell persists, consider using a commercial enzyme-based cleaner.

One of the issues that many family members and caregivers have to deal with is the consequences of urinary incontinence with their senior loved ones.

This certainly doesn’t happen to everyone as they get older, but it happens often enough that many caregivers should be prepared in case they have to deal with the issues of incontinence and cleaning it up from a chair or couch cushion.

If you are caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s this issue may be ongoing for the remainder of their life.

People in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease often have problems with urinary incontinence. This can be a result of not realizing they need to urinate, forgetting to go to the bathroom, or not being able to find the toilet.

National Institute On Aging

The first step is to remember (of course) is to clean your senior loved one immediately and your furniture as well. If left unattended, the urine can cause skin irritation and rashes.

A damp cloth with warm or cold water can be used on the person or the furniture. Or, you can try adult wet wipes to help clean your loved one. Don’t forget to follow the cleaning with a dry cloth.

If the fabric couch or seat is not cleaned immediately, it may be very difficult to get that smell of urine to go away.

Understanding The Causes And Risk Factors Of Urinary Incontinence In Seniors

Urinary incontinence in seniors can have various underlying causes and it’s important to understand the cause so you can hopefully treat the source of the problem.

In old age, almost as many men as women are affected by urinary urge symptoms (“overactive bladder”, OAB). Urge incontinence vitally affects people’s quality of life (and can result, for example, in depression, falls, skin complications, social isolation, hospital admissions, or admissions to nursing homes) and people’s mortality.

National Library of Medicine

There are several risk factors associated with urinary incontinence in seniors, including:

  1. Age: As the body ages, the muscles that control the bladder weaken, making incontinence more likely.
  2. Gender: Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence than men due to childbirth, menopause, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  3. Obesity: Excess weight puts pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles, increasing the risk of incontinence.
  4. Chronic diseases: Conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can damage the nerves that control the bladder, leading to incontinence.
  5. Medications: Certain medications can relax the bladder muscles, causing incontinence.
  6. Smoking: Smoking can damage the bladder and increase the risk of incontinence.
  7. Family history: Genetics may play a role in the development of incontinence.
  8. Physical limitations: Seniors with mobility issues may have difficulty reaching the bathroom on time, leading to incontinence.
  9. Cognitive impairment: Dementia and other cognitive impairments can make it difficult for seniors to recognize and respond to the urge to urinate.

It is important to note that urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

Does the Human Urine Smell On Furniture Go Away?

Depending on how long the urine has been in contact with the furniture fabric and the concentration of uric acid and other elements in the urine, you may or may not be able to get rid of that urine odor.

The best way to tackle urine on any surface is to clean the fresh stains as soon as possible, immediately if at all possible.

But as caregivers, we all know that it’s not always possible to detect the problem right away.

So, if you even suspect that there may be issues of incontinence with your elderly loved one, I would recommend that they wear personal protection AND that you also take the extra step to protect your furniture as well.

We’ll go over some of the products further down in this article but just to mention a few…

  • Scotchgard Fabric Protector
  • Waterproof Chair Pads
  • Waterproof Sofa or Chair Covers

Combining several of these is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to protect your furniture.

If you find that you are also having to clean human urine out of your carpeting, you may want to consider using a wet vac / steam cleaner like this one.

A vacuum cleaner such as this can help you to keep your carpets longer.

You may also want to speak to a professional carpet cleaner to get recommendations on what type of carpet cleaning solutions they would recommend for your carpets.

What Kills The Smell Of Human Urine?

That odor of urine can be difficult to get rid of.

You may have cleaned your couch or seat cushion and thought that you got rid of it but a week or so later, you walk by it and you can smell those lingering odors again!

It’s back! Why is it so hard to get rid of?

The simple reason is that urine includes uric salts which is what’s causing that odor. But there is good news.

The easiest way and the best effective method to get rid of the odor is to use an enzyme cleaner.

Enzymatic cleaners contain enzymes, which help to break down soils at a neutral pH (typically pH 6-8). There can be various types of enzymes in enzymatic cleaners, such as proteases, amylases, and lipases which break down various types of soils. All types of enzymes belong to a class of compounds called proteins.

There are several enzyme cleaners that you can choose from as you can see here.

I have personally used the Roco & Roxie product and I would recommend it for the best results.

How to Get Pee Smell Out of Couch with Baking Soda

Some individuals want to avoid using chemical products and prefer to try more natural, homemade solutions that may be less harsh.

So if you wish to use baking soda and white vinegar solutions to try to clean away the smell of urine here’s a homemade recipe to use as a cleaning method on your furniture.

  1. Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a damp cloth or you can use paper towels. Remember to wear cleaning gloves to do this.
  2. Mix 4 parts warm water and 1 part distilled white vinegar. Pour this into a spray bottle.
  3. Use a rag to scrub the area with this vinegar solution. Cover the area very well and give it a thorough cleaning.
  4. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 20 drops of lavender essential oil. You may have to make more of this depending on how much of an area to clean.
  5. Sprinkle this baking soda and essential oil mixture over the area. Make sure to make it a very generous amount.
  6. Let this sit overnight.
  7. In the morning, use the tip of your vacuum or an upholstery attachment for your vacuum to get rid of the residue. Then brush a dry towel over the area.

If this works for a while but you then notice that the urine smell returns, you may want to repeat the process or use an enzymatic cleaner.

You can read more about vacuum cleaners we recommend for seniors here.

Another possible natural recipe that you can use to help get rid of human urine odor is…

  1. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  2. 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of orange essential oil
  4. 5 ounces of hydrogen peroxide

Mix these items together in a small spray bottle. Apply it to the affected area and let it dry completely. Repeat if necessary.

How to Get Urine Smell Out of a Couch After it Has Dried

Removing urine smell from a couch, especially after it has dried, can be a bit tricky but it’s not impossible. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Blot the area: If there’s any wetness remaining, blot it with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Do not rub, as this can spread the urine and push it deeper into the fabric.
  2. Use an enzyme cleaner: Enzyme cleaners are particularly effective at breaking down the proteins in urine, which helps to eliminate both the stain and the odor. Apply the cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. Allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time.
  3. Blot again: After the enzyme cleaner has had time to work, blot the area again to remove any excess cleaner.
  4. Apply a baking soda solution: Baking soda is a natural odor absorber. Mix a solution of equal parts water and baking soda, and apply it to the area. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight if possible.
  5. Vacuum: Once the baking soda has dried, vacuum it up. This should help remove any lingering odors.
  6. Use a professional-grade odor eliminator: If the smell persists, you might want to consider using a professional-grade odor eliminator. These products are designed to neutralize and remove stubborn odors.

Remember, always test any cleaning solution on a small, hidden area of your couch first to make sure it won’t discolor or damage the fabric.

How to Get Urine Smell Out of Leather Couch After it Has Dried

Cleaning up old urine stains that have dried up from a leather sofa can be simple by following these easy steps.

  1. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts lukewarm water.
  2. Add 2 drops of dish soap.
  3. Spray this solution onto the affected spot.
  4. Blot the area with a rag.
  5. Repeat the process several times.

This should remove the urine smell from your leather couch.

Can Upholstery Cleaner be Used to Clean Human Urine From Furniture?

Yes, upholstery cleaner can be used to clean human urine from furniture. However, it’s important to follow a few steps to ensure the best results:

  1. Blot the area: If the urine is still wet, use a clean cloth or paper towels to blot as much of it as you can. Avoid rubbing as this can spread the urine and push it deeper into the upholstery.
  2. Apply an enzyme cleaner: Enzyme cleaners are particularly effective at breaking down the proteins in urine, which helps to eliminate both the stain and the odor. Apply the cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle.
  3. Use upholstery cleaner: After the enzyme cleaner has done its job, you can use an upholstery cleaner to further clean the area. Follow the instructions on the cleaner.
  4. Rinse and dry: Rinse the area with a little water to remove any residue from the cleaners. Then, blot the area dry with a clean cloth or towel.
  5. Air out: If possible, open windows or use fans to help air out the room and further remove any lingering odors.

Remember to always do a spot test with any cleaners on a hidden area of the furniture first to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the fabric.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Urine Stains From Furniture

Cleaning urine stains from furniture can be a frustrating and challenging task. While it’s important to clean up the stain as soon as possible, it’s equally essential to avoid some common mistakes that can make the problem worse.

  • Waiting too long to clean the stain: Urine stains are much easier to remove when they are fresh. If you wait too long to clean up the stain, it can set in and become much more difficult to remove.
  • Using the wrong cleaning products: Not all cleaning products are created equal, and using the wrong one can make the stain worse or damage the fabric. It’s important to use a cleaning product that is safe for the type of fabric you’re dealing with.
  • Scrubbing too aggressively: Scrubbing too hard can damage the fabric and push the stain deeper into the furniture. Instead, blot the stain gently with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the urine as possible.
  • Not testing the cleaning product first: Before using a cleaning product on the stain, it’s important to test it on an inconspicuous area of the furniture to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Not hiring a professional: If the stain is particularly stubborn or the furniture is valuable, it may be worth hiring a professional to clean it. A professional cleaner will have the tools and expertise to effectively remove the stain without causing any damage to the furniture.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase your chances of effectively removing urine stains from your furniture and keeping your home clean and fresh.

Urinary Incontinence Products

We mentioned some products above and here are the links to those products and more.

Scotchgard Fabric Protector

An easy spray product that you can apply and occasionally re-apply to your cushion covers and other furniture fabric to protect them from spills and other products.

Waterproof Chair Pads

Chair pads may be a good solution, depending on what you are trying to cover.

I would recommend purchasing several so that you can replace one when you have to throw the other(s) into the washing machine.

To wash these I would recommend to pre-soak them overnight in detergent that contains enzymes (like Active Wear) and then wash then using 1 cup of laundry detergent and 1 cup of bleach.

Waterproof Sofa and Chair Covers

If you want to completely cover your sofa or chair there are leak proof furniture protectors like these that you can use.

Incontinence Products For Women

There are many different products and sizes and materials that women can use to help them with incontinence.

What you end up using depends of course on how much urine needs to be absorbed on a regular basis.

You may want to consider washable underpads as a protection product.

Incontinence Products For Men

The same is true for men.

Several products are available these days that can be purchased online (to help avoid embarrassing moments at the drug store or grocery store.

Options for Personal Protective Products Such as Adult Diapers and Pads

There are several personal protective products available to manage urinary incontinence, including:

  1. Adult diapers: These are similar to baby diapers but are designed for adult use. They come in various sizes and absorbencies.
  2. Pull-up underwear: These are similar to regular underwear but have a built-in absorbent pad.
  3. Pads and liners: These are designed to be worn inside regular underwear and are available in various absorbencies.
  4. Protective underwear: These are similar to pull-up underwear but have a higher level of absorbency.
    Protective underwear for men
    Protective underwear for women

It’s important to choose a product that is appropriate for your level of incontinence and lifestyle. Some products are designed for daytime use, while others are more suitable for nighttime use.

Additionally, some products are designed to be more discreet, while others are bulkier and more noticeable. It’s a good idea to try a few different products to find the one that works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Febreze remove human urine smell?

Febreze can help to mask or temporarily reduce the smell of human urine, but it may not completely eliminate the odor. It’s important to first clean and neutralize the urine with a solution of vinegar and water, baking soda, or a commercial enzymatic cleaner before using Febreze or any other air freshener. Febreze can be used as a final step to freshen up the air and leave a pleasant scent.

What gets the urine ammonia smell out of furniture?

To get the ammonia smell of urine out of furniture, an enzyme-based cleaner is highly recommended. These cleaners are specifically designed to break down the proteins found in urine, effectively eliminating both the stain and the odor.

Does human urine always smell?

Yes, human urine typically has a distinct smell due to the presence of urea, a compound that is excreted in urine and can produce a strong odor. The intensity of the odor can vary depending on factors such as the person’s diet, hydration level, and health status. In some cases, a strong, foul-smelling urine odor can indicate an underlying medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney disease, and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.


Let’s face it, caregiving for older adults is a tough job. Especially if they are suffering from incontinence.

If you want some help in dealing with the consequences of incontinence, try these solutions for getting pee off a couch and stop that embarrassing human urine odor from taking over your home!

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