How to Get Urine Smell Out of Clothes

At a Glance

It’s definitely an annoying and frustrating moment when one of your clothing items suddenly gets wet with pee, mainly because it smells really bad. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to get that awful smell out of your clothes once you’ve washed and cleaned them. But first things first…

What makes urine smell?

Urine can smell badly because of too much bacteria in your system. If you have urinary tract infection or UTI then that can also alter the smell and color of your pee. On a lighter side, badly smelling urine can also be caused by drinking fewer fluids because your body will not have enough water to mask away the odors. A concentrated urine will definitely smell bad due to lack of liquid.

How to remove urine smell

Here are a couple of ways you can remove urine smell from your clothes:

Soaking clothes in vinegar

A common practice on how to remove urine smell from your clothes would be soaking clothes in vinegar. Because it is acidic, vinegar can be a great way to get the pee smell out of child’s clothes and can neutralize all of the bad odors that get stuck on the fibers.

Using this method, you run the washing machine with vinegar and cold water first on the initial cycle. On the second cycle, add your preferred laundry detergent with the vinegar mix and run the machine again.

Adding laundry detergent aside from vinegar can also help speed up the process of getting out the bad smell and the stains if any. There can be instances when the urine can leave a mark on clothing, especially if the urine has a concentrated color. In this case, you may want to double the vinegar and laundry detergent to completely remove any trace of pee in the clothing.

Paper towels and dish soap

Dish soap can be a very handy thing to have at hand if any accidents happen at home. However, if you are outdoors and you don’t really have anything at hand, you can just use paper towels as well and any other soap that’s present (e.g. in the washroom) to wash off the smell from clothing.

Try club soda

If you are in a hurry and you really need to get your child’s clothing clean from accidents that happen right away, club soda can be a great choice. Like vinegar, club soda is also acidic in nature, which can potentially neutralize bad odors that come from the pee smell.

Use a mouthwash

Go for a mouthwash like Listerine, since it is already designed to fight bad breath, which is caused by bacteria. A person with bad breath is also very problematic when it comes down to smells, so you may find a mouthwash quite useful when trying to eliminate the awful smell of urine from any item of clothing.

Washing clothes with baking soda

If you have any item of clothing that has been stained by child urine (or pet urine, for that matter), washing clothes with baking soda may be a good idea. You can do this step after you have soaked your clothes in vinegar, especially if the urine smell is very strong and putrid, and the clothes have been stained badly.

Let your clothes dry under sunlight

Sunlight is the best natural neutralizer for bad odors. Have you ever had an experience where you had to hang your clothes dry indoors due to bad weather and they smell really bad? That’s because they are missing sunlight – which basically dries up all the bacteria and eliminates the odors that lurk inside your clothes and fibers.

Rubbing alcohol and citronella oil

Because citronella oil is a natural repellent for mosquitoes and can also smell good, mixing it with alcohol can not only neutralize odors but can also wash away bacteria that cause the bad smell of the pee in your clothing. Try mixing ½ cup of rubbing alcohol with 2 tablespoons of citronella oil, if you have some at home, then apply to your area of concern.

Use a urine cleaner

If you can find one, there are a couple of specially-formulated urine cleaners out there. Such urine cleaners have already been pre-mixed and can be applied easily onto your troubled clothes and spots that reek of urine smell. Just make sure that you purchase one that is eco-friendly and less chemical-smelling than others to avoid putting off children, pets and other family members and guests at home.

Try enzymatic cleaners

There is a kind of product called an enzymatic cleaner, and it can be purchased from most pet shops. Such a cleaner can also neutralize the foul odors of pee, whether it’s from your child’s or from your pet’s. This can be useful not just for clothes, but also to carpets and hard surfaces. However, make sure you read their instructions and indications first before you buy and use them.

Can you clean urine with bleach?

Most people advise that urine and bleach may not always go together because of a foul chemical reaction between bleach and ammonia. Ammonia is a substance that can be found in urine, which, when mixed with bleach, may lead to an awful smell, which might not be ideal when you are cleaning smaller spaces, so make sure you do this in the open air.

In Conclusion

Accidents will always happen to every kid since they can’t really fully control their bladder like teens and adults yet. This is why you need to be prepared, as a parent, for any moment that requires you to clean up the mess in a hurry and get the awful smell of pee out of everyone’s sight, or rather, smell. We hope these methods to get urine smell out of clothes can be useful to you.

Let us know what you think: which of these tips to get urine smell out of clothes did you do? Did they work or not? Comment down below, as we’d like to hear from you!

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