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How to Clean Cat Urine in Carpet

How to Clean Cat Urine in Carpet-Use Enzymes and Borax!


Use Enzymes and Borax

Do you have a cat urine stain that has soaked into carpet or even the carpet pad? Or a stubborn stain that may be invisible but smells no matter what you do? You can use either enzymatic cleaners, borax or both. For stains soaked into the carpet pad you may need to cut that section of pad out unless you lift the stain out with borax. This naturally occurring mineral is an amazing cleaner and odor remover. It is also safe and chemical free.

If you want to learn about using enzymatic cleaners, please check out my previous post Cat Urine Odor Removal Easy Steps. I recommend the use of  Nature’s Miracle products such as Urine Destroyer, Laundry Boost and Oxy Orange.

If you want to learn how to use borax to clean cat urine in carpet, carpet pad or clothing, read on!

 Don’t Pull up Carpet and Remove Pad, use Borax!

When I had a cat urine soaked carpet I used the enzymatic cleaners first since I wasn’t sure if the borax would interfere with enzymes. This can be enough on it’s own, but in the case of cat urine soaked down through the carpet and into the carpet pad you may need to pull back the carpet, cut out the pad and treat the wood underneath.  You may even need to replace the carpet! This sounds like a huge hassle so I was thrilled to discover borax works to draw the stain up through the carpet. It is amazing! It is also all natural and is a mineral mined in Australia. It is a white powder that looks like baking soda. It is safe to use around your home and does not contain any artificial chemicals.

The Ease of Borax! Just Pour It On!

If you want a different method to clean cat urine odor and stains or need to clean a cat urine mess that is soaked into carpet or carpet pad, then borax is your solution. It is also a great alternative/addition to enzymatic cleaners. It is also super easy. You wet the carpet with water and pour it on! Wait for it to dry and clean it up! Other sites will tell you to make a solution or paste with other ingredients but you don’t have to do that. Just borax is all you need.

I pour the borax on and within just a minute I can see the color change from white to yellow as it draws the old cat urine up! You can see it working! Read exactly how to do this below. You have to use enough for it to work and let it dry all the way.

How to use Borax to Lift Stains and Odor from Carpet.

If The Stain is Still Wet Do This:

If you find the stain right away you can blot up all the excess urine first. The more you can remove right away, the easier it is to clean up the rest. After you have blotted it up, you can either A) Use borax to draw up the rest of the liquid. B) Use one of the enzymatic cleaners first.

If you use an enzymatic cleaner, see my post Cat Urine Odor Removal Easy Steps.

If you want to go straight to the borax method, proceed here.

If still wet, pour borax directly on wet spot on carpet. Use a very thick layer. This should be 1/2 to 1 inch thick! Yes, it sounds like a lot but this is what you need. Work the first layer into the carpet, then just pour on the rest until it is 1/2 to 1 inch thick and solid white with no carpet showing.

If The Stain is Already Dry, Do This:

If the stain is older and dry already, then start by wetting the carpet with water. Pour or spray water onto the stained area until it is thoroughly saturated. Work the water all through the carpet to make sure all parts are wet. Then continue to pour 1/2 to 1 inch of borax onto the entire area as directed above.

Almost instantly you will see the white borax turn yellow as it draws the urine up out of the carpet! It is very reassuring to be able to see it working! If you are like me, you will feel very accomplished using an old-fashioned method to get visible results!

Now you have to be patient. You have to wait until the borax is dry! I have cleaned it up when it was not totally dry yet but that will muck up your vacuum so I don’t recommend it!!! Wait several days (unless you are in a very hot, dry environment and it drys faster). Once dry, scoop up the excess borax. I use a dust pan (the kind the comes with a broom) to scoop up the excess. Then you can use a brush to clean up more or go straight for the vacuum. Vacuum everything.

Depending on the stain, age, surface, thickness of carpet and pad, you may need to repeat this whole process several times. The good news is borax is super cheap! For just a few dollars you can get rid of the most stubborn stains and smells.

Remove Cat Urine Smell from Laundry with Borax.

You can use enzymatic cleaners or borax to help get cat urine smell out of clothing. To use borax, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup into washing machine along with detergent and let clothes soak before washing as usual. Borax can be used to get all types of smells and stains out of laundry. Borax is traditionally sold in the laundry soap aisle of grocery stores for this purpose.  If you have a fresh, wet urine spot on clothes you could pour borax on it directly before washing.

I hope these tips help you if you are wondering how to clean cat urine in carpet or clothing. Please leave a comment and let me know if you use these methods or have any questions.


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  1. Lauren Kinghorn

    Hi Jessica, fortunately we don’t have carpets in our house, but I read your post with interest because I have urine stains in my son’s car seat I need to remove. Accidents happen. 😉 Thanks for providing such a cheap, easy solution and such detailed instructions. Fab post! You rock.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Lauren! Yes, I was really happy to find such an easy, natural stain lifter! It is a great old-fashioned trick.

  2. lilywong

    Hi, I really like your site! There are many on dogs, so I am happy to read one about cats. The tips you have given to clean cat pee is really useful. It really is tedious when your little kitty decides to make use of the carpet as a toilet. Is Borax toxic though? And does it have a powerful smell as cats have sensitive noses – but then again, this may just deter them from going on the carpet! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hi Lily,

      Borax is a natural mineral just like sodium or magnesium. Those are both safe (and magnesium is a necessary mineral for all mammals and required for life) in the proper doses. Of course too much sodium is harmful but it is not toxic in small amounts. Borax is sodium borate, not to be confused with boric acid which is used as a pesticide! Boric acid is used to control fleas but is toxic! Borax is said to be useful against fleas also (though I have not tried it) and is much safer. As with anything I am sure it is all a matter of degree. It probably isn’t good for pets in large amounts or to be inhaled.

      Generally it seems safe however. I would not allow a cat to walk on the borax powder since they may lick their paws, but after it is vacuumed up I would not worry about it.

      People actually have borax in supplements (I just saw it listed in one of my supplements today) so in tiny amounts it should be fine. It is not a toxic pesticide or other scary chemical.

      Thanks for asking!


  3. tom

    Learn something new everyday… lol

    We have two indoor cats, thank goodness they both know how to use there litter boxes. My wife has her own business cleaning houses and has told me a few awful stories about cat stains and how hard she works to do the best she can to get them out without destroying the carpet. I will have to pass on your site to her 🙂

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Yes, maybe she can use borax to lift them out! We have three cats and only one has this issue! Luckily we have found solutions to prevent it most of the time but if something like this occurs it sure is handy to know how to clean it up!!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Dianne Bartlett

    Hello Jessica,

    We have carpets that have been thoroughly abused by pets and grand-kids. I found this post very interesting. I hadn’t heard about enzymatic cleaners or borax for removing stains. How are they on stains other than pet stains, i.e. soda pop and juice stains? Thank you for these cleaning tips.


    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Dianne,
      I have not tried it but these enzyme cleaners by Nature’s Miracle claim they work on all organic stains and odors. They claim to work on many types of stains including food, grease, blood, grass, smoke etc. Borax works on many types of stains as well. Borax has been using for all types of cleaning for generations! I am sure it would work too. It is traditionally used as a laundry booster.

      Thanks for your comment!

  5. Steve

    Wow, I wish I would have read this post earlier! We just threw out an area rug that had some pretty nasty cat urine spots. Do you know if this will work for dog urine as well? We have some spots in our hallway from our dog. I didn’t realize that cat urine can penetrate not only through the carpet, onto the pad, but also all the way to the wood floor. That is pretty intense. I am glad to hear there is a natural way to remove stains and odor from the carpet. We finally have the cat trained to go outside, so hopefully, we are all done with that phase. Thanks for sharing. I will check the other posts on your site, you have some really great information.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Steve,

      Yes, these should work for dog urine as well! Cat urine is generally harder to get out so anything else should be easy!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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