Effective Ways to Remove Cat Urine Smell from Clothing

As a cat owner, having your furry friend urinate on your clothing is an unfortunate reality. While it may seem like a daunting task to remove the cat urine smell, it is not impossible. With the right techniques and products, you can successfully rid your clothing of the unpleasant odor. In this article, we will explore various methods to remove cat urine smell from clothing.

Understanding Cat Urine

Cat urine contains uric acid which is what gives it its potent smell. Uric acid is not water-soluble and therefore cannot be simply washed away with water. When attempting to remove cat urine from clothing, it is important to understand that the uric acid crystals can embed themselves into the fabric and continue to release their foul odor over time.


The first step in removing cat urine smell from clothing is pre-treatment. As soon as you notice the urine stain, it is important to pre-treat the clothing before washing. There are several pre-treatment options including:

  • White Vinegar: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and apply the solution to the affected area. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before washing.
  • Enzyme Cleaner: Enzyme cleaners break down the proteins in the cat urine and eliminate the odor. Apply the enzyme cleaner to the affected area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Washing the Clothing

After pre-treating the clothing, it is important to wash it using the right products. Adding the following products to your regular laundry routine can help remove cat urine smell:

  • Borax: Add ½ cup of borax to your laundry detergent to help eliminate cat urine odor.
  • Odor Eliminating Laundry Detergent: Use a laundry detergent specifically designed to eliminate odors.
  • Vinegar: Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help eliminate the odor.

Drying the Clothing

After washing the clothing, it is important to dry it properly. Air drying the clothing in direct sunlight can help eliminate the odor. If using a dryer, make sure to use a high heat setting and consider adding a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or lemon to the dryer balls to help mask any remaining odor.

Alternative Products

If the above methods do not completely remove the cat urine smell, there are alternative products you can try. These products can be used in addition to the above methods or as a standalone solution:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of dish soap and apply the solution to the affected area. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.
  • Activated Charcoal: Place activated charcoal in a cloth bag and hang it near the affected area. The charcoal will absorb the odor over time.
  • Kitty Litter: Place the affected clothing in a plastic bag with kitty litter for at least 24 hours. The kitty litter will absorb the odor.

Preventing Future Accidents

Finally, it is important to take steps to prevent future accidents from occurring. Consider the following:

  • Litter Box: Make sure you have a clean litter box and that it is easily accessible to your cat.
  • Multiple Litter Boxes: Consider having multiple litter boxes in your home to give your cat more options.
  • Cleaning: Clean any urine stains as soon as possible to prevent embedding of uric acid crystals.
  • Training: If your cat is consistently having accidents, consider consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for additional training.

Removing cat urine smell from clothing can be challenging but it is not impossible. By understanding the properties of cat urine, pre-treating the clothing, using the right laundry products, and preventing future accidents, you can successfully eliminate the odor and salvage your clothing.

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