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If you have ever smelt cat urine, you will know how the ammoniacal scent permeates everything.

It is wise to clean up cat urine as soon as you spot any, to prevent smells lingering.

If you left a puddle of urine which has now dried it may be hard to pinpoint the location that needs cleaning.

In cases such as these, you can shine an ultraviolet light on the interior of your car which will make the patch of urine glow.

There are a few methods to remove the smell of urine from car upholstery, and this article is going to run you through our top tips and tricks.

Before you begin

We suggest first blotting the puddle of urine with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as you can. Open all of your car doors and we advise putting on some rubber gloves.

If your seats are leather then you should wipe from the outside of the puddle to the center. Use the blotting method along the stitching and seams.


Premade products

May cat urine removal products are enzyme-based. They are specifically designed to remove pet urine smells and have a proven track record of success.

There is a brand called UrineFREE that contains bacteria that works to consume uric acid crystals and remove the smell. This spray comes with a UV light to check all the urine is gone.

Other cat owners recommend a product called Kids n Pets. This is a stain and odor remover that can be used on almost any surface type. Simply spray on the affected area and allow to dry. Repeat until the odor and stains have vanished.

Baking soda

This is a very simple but effective method. Blot the seats of your car to remove as much of the excess moisture as possible. Once you have done this, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on top of the affected area and leave to absorb for 2-3 days.

Once this time has elapsed, vacuum up the loose baking soda from the seats. This should remove all of the smell, but you can always give the car a quick spray with Febreeze too.

Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap

You will need 1-2 drops of dish soap, 10 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, and 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix this well together to form a combined solution. The mixture will bubble and generate foam, but wait a couple of minutes and this will reduce.

You can then transfer your cleaning solution to a spray bottle for easy use. Spray on the affected area of the car seat and ensure the entire area is saturated.

Leave the solution to sit on your seats for at least 1 hour. Dab with a damp cloth to remove any residue that the solution has left on the seat. Use a dry cloth to blot the seat until it is clean and dry, before leaving to air dry completely.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda is so useful when it comes to removing smells! For this method, you will need to make a thick paste from baking soda and water. Mix well and rub into the area that needs cleaning.

Pour over a little white vinegar and blot well to remove the excess liquid. You can repeat this process up to 3 times, but we do not recommend more.

Rinse well with water to remove all traces of vinegar and baking soda. Your car may smell like vinegar for a couple of days, but the urine smell will be gone.

Water, white vinegar, and dish soap

You will need 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Mix these together well.

Using a sponge dipped into your cleaning solution, gently begin to dab the affected area. Work from the outer edges towards the center as this will prevent the stain from spreading.

Get a clean, dry cloth and blot the damp area of your car seat. Allow to dry fully before sitting on it.

Wintergreen rubbing alcohol

This is very cheap to purchase and has great effects. Simply apply to the area in question and allow to soak in and dry.

There is no need to rinse, and the urine smell should be masked completely by the wintergreen scent. This too will dissipate in a few days.

Steam cleaning with vinegar

Vinegar is a common cure for banishing odors. Add ¼ – ½ cup white vinegar to your steam cleaner and go to town on your car seats.

This should make your seats smell super fresh once they have dried.


An unusual hack, but one that people swear by. Mix Listerine mouthwash with 2 parts water to create a solution. Add to a spray bottle and spray onto the area of the car seat that needs cleaning.

Leave this to sit on the fabric for a few hours with the car windows open if possible. Cover with a thick layer of old newspapers and then vacuum after.

Leather seats

The methods we have listed above are all more suited to fabric upholstery. For leather seats, the process is slightly different.

Blot the puddle of urine with a paper towel, but do not wipe. If your seats have removable stuffing, take this out now.

Use a leather cleaner and rub the entire seat in circular motions. It is important to cover the entire seat so that you do not make any water marks on the leather.

It is good to test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the leather before using it on the entire seat. This will ensure you do not cause any irreparable damage to the leather.

Hand wash the stuffing using an enzyme-based cleaner. Allow to air dry completely in the sun.

Dry the leather too, but do this away from direct sunlight. If left in direct sunlight the leather could become bleached or turn very stiff.

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