Getting Pet Urine Odor out of a Microfiber Couch


I have a problem. I love my little kitty cat; he is the fluffiest, snuggliest little baby I know, but he has decided that my couch is his litterbox. Any time I leave him alone, he pees on the cushion. It’s weird because he very rarely does it anywhere else!

I’m working on getting him to stop- I’ve used pheremores, I lock him up while I’m gone during the day- but if you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I have taken him to the vet and they said nothing is wrong with him- it is just behavioral. Lucky me.

I’m really sad because I feel like my couch is being ruined. So, I combed the internet for cleaning techniques.

My couch is microfiber and from Ashley Furniture. I desperately want a new couch, but am afraid that he will ruin it immediately.

So, in the meantime, here is what I do to clean it:

  1. As soon as you discover the “accident,” use paper towels to soak up as much as possible. Luckily, Cesar usually doesn’t go very much- another clue to me that this is just behavioral.
  2. As soon as possible, fully saturate the area with an enzyme cleaner. I like Nature’s Miracle. Follow the directions on the bottle, but some say to use a white rag to soak up the moisture after 5-10 minutes.
  3. If you want to do a deep cleaning, take the cushion covers off of the couch & run them through the washer with 1 cup of vinegar. Unfortunately my cushion covers are sewn to the foam cushion and you can’t take them off without ruining the couch. IMG_2619
  4. Take the cushions off of the couch. I set mine on my screened porch. Spray with a mixure of 1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 warm water. I sprayed until they were very wet all over.

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       5. Then, sprinkle the entire cushion with baking soda. I sprinkled heavily, using a whole box on the 2 cushions.

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6. Let sit for at least an hour- I left mine over night.

7. Vaccum well. I used the brush attachment and vaccumed slowly, twice in each direction (vertical & horizontal). Then I placed the cushions back on the couch.

8. Optional- I scotch guarded my whole couch again once I got it clean. This will hopefully help in the future (it was also scotch guarded when I bought it about a year and a half ago.)

9. Finally, I sprayed the whole thing heavily in Febreeze. I like the super odor eliminating kind, especially for pet odors.

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That’s it! My couch seriously smells and feels 10,000 times better! I am very happy with this system- it took a little time but was physically easy and used all ingredients I already had. Most importantly, it worked!

Do you have any tips for cleaning pet odors? What about for keeping them from being bad in the first place?

**Edited to add: if you have further problems with deep pet stains (especially in carpets or upholstery), we love our Bissell spot clean stain remover. Check out the (unsolicited/not-sponsored/we genuinely bought and love it) review here!


50 thoughts on “Getting Pet Urine Odor out of a Microfiber Couch

  1. I had to buy a plastic carpet runner and turn them upside down (nubs up) to keep my cat off my couch. I hate to do this but I can’t afford to buy a new couch and washing the covers cause wear and tare and frustration after a while.

    • thats a good idea! My dad has put upside down (sticky side up) tape on the hood of his car to keep the cat off! (he loved to throw up on the convertible roof, haha)

  2. Just reading thru this for some additional tips. Thought I would give and take. When using enzymatic cleaner, if it smells WORSE after use, that is GOOD. (It means the enzymes are breaking down the stuff and ammonia and more is being released.) Not many websites tell you what to do next, and I’ve not seen it on a bottle of enzyme cleaner anywhere. However, I found it on an obscure website, and sure enough, works like a charm. Cleaning vinegar. After the enzymatic has dried, simply mist heavily with vinegar and then let air out for a good hour or two. The vinegar naturally dissipates, leaving you with zero smell. Under $2 a half gallon jug at any box store (mart, depot, etc). I hated chemistry, but supposedly, the science of how it combines with the ammonia to neutralize it is pretty simple. The enzyme stuff is essential though, need that to quickly break down to ammonia first. Worked great for ferret smells for me! (And those are STINKY critters.) Hope this helps some folks!

  3. This post is a Christmas miracle. Thank you for sharing your brilliant advice, you saved our couch and me a little piece of mind before the holiday shindigs start!

  4. Best thing I’ve used to avoid pet urine stains? Plastic shower curtain! Cats usually hate plastic so they won’t jump on it much less pee. And if they do, it’s plastic! Much easier clean up! Saved my bed from my cat with a major attitude problem! Good luck!

      • lol sounds like a good plan but messy clean up! My cat was a Persian. So long hair covered in duct tape sounds like someone is getting their butt kicked by a cat! Hope you figure out what’s going on and life can go back to a urine free couch soon!

      • lol sounds like a good plan but messy clean up! My cat was a Persian. So long hair covered in packing tape sounds like someone is getting their butt kicked by a cat! Hope you figure out what’s going on and life can go back to a urine free couch soon!

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  6. The problem that I’m having is that my cushions do not remove from my couch. It’s all sewn together. I’ve used enzyme cleaners over and over again. But she still keeps going back. How do you keep her from continuing to do it?

    • If they do not remove then I would clean them directly on the couch. Enzyme cleaners, vinegar, baking soda, and applying a lot of pressure to try to absorb the moisture out of there. I have tried laying tin foil or tape sticky side up on the cushions to keep the cat off! Good luck.

  7. I have a sectional and my cat speed on the recliner part. I can’t take it apart or take it outside 🙁 I just got my sectional a month ago so I’m really trying to take care of it. I don’t know what to do anymore. Help please

    • All you can do is spray it (soak it!) with the urine remover, then use rags to try to soak up all the moisture. Then I add the vinegar and baking soda, let sit, and vacuum. The best thing you can do is try to keep the cat off the chair – easier said than done I know. Try packing tape sticky side up or tin foil on the spots he likes to jump on – landing on that a few times will scare them away! Good luck.

      • I’m going to try that tonight. I’ve already soaked it up a little with water and vinegar but the next day the smell was still there. I just got some baking soda and I’m going to definitely use it later. Thank you for your advice. I’m going to do both, the tape and tin foil. Lol thank you so much again. My family and couch will be very grateful. 🙂

    • I actually saw a suggestion on another website that if you can’t take it outside, use a hairdryer to dry the cushions out. Also, maybe you could move it to a section of your house that gets sun

  8. This problem is very familiar. I too lock up my cat when I’m gone. — It looks like I have a similar couch and I too thought the covers were sewn on. After investigating more, I found when you unzip the covers, there are six ribbons that run through the cushions and are fastened by plastic bobbins . All you have to is take out the six plastic bobbins. Kinda hard at first. I hope it works, really helps to treat the cushion directly.

  9. The root of your problem lies with your cat. I assume your cat is male, his name is Ceasar? Male cats & dogs like to mark their territory, claim it as theirs with their scent. There are two ways cats do this, pee or rub their whiskers on it. Marking decreases after neutering and can completely stop. The important thing is to remove the smell completely, which reduces the likelihood of remarking.

    • Thanks for the tips! He is a neutered male. We got him to stop peeing on things by separating him from the dog – he was definitely marking his territory! Cesar lives with my parents now and is an “only child”

  10. I am struggling with the same issues, except I have a 4 month old puppy. He has finally learned that he can climb on the couch, but doesn’t know how to jump off. So if we are not paying attention, he pees on the couch. The cushions are sewn on, but it is modular so I can clean each section individually. We’ve been using a really good enzyme spray from the pet store, so tonight I’m going to try the vinegar and baking soda! I will share my results in a few days.

  11. My cat started peeing in the dog beds and when he finally hit our couch we took him to the vet. He had a UTI, but even after he was cleared of the infection, kept ruining dog bed after dog bed. Soooo frustrating!

    I stumbled across a website that commented on how cats don’t like to eat where they use the bathroom. So I started feeding him his wet food (that he loves and gobbles down) right in the dog beds in the same spot that he peed in multiple times.

    I have been doing this for about 3 weeks and he hasn’t peed in the dog bed yet!

  12. I’m glad I found this because I’m in serious need of help! Question though……….what if my dog peed on more than the cushions, will this technique work on the whole couch?

    • You can certainly try. The more of a mess there is, the more you will need to clean it, but if it is a similar material, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Good luck!

    • Yeah – you vacuum it up so it shouldn’t matter what color the couch is! The baking soda absorbs moisture, but then you totally remove it from the couch. Good luck!

  13. Any tips for when I can’t remove my couch cushions? My cat urinated in the crease between the end of the cushion and the back of the couch, but my cushions aren’t removable. I’ve used enzyme removers and the smell is still overpowerimg.

  14. My cats have caused thousands of dollars in damages. My male neutered cat sprayed the heck out of my apartment so I got rid of him. Here I am with that cats mom for 6 years still destroying things. Mattresses, couches, carpets. I have tried everything and natures miracle didn’t work for me. The only thing that works is I have to catch the pee while it’s still warm. Dump a gallon of apple cider vinegar. Let it soak in and when it dries the next day let baking soda absorb. I had one sectional professionally cleaned and it got it out. But here I am again in this sectional pee situation and am screwed. Dumped the vinegar and didn’t work. Called pros didn’t work. I’m just gonna throw a pet couch protector over it so hopefully the smell is trapped under it. I lock my cat up when I’m not around and she is never allowed on our bed or the couch again.

  15. Cat got into my husband van last weekend and peed and sprayed it. I researched a bit and found peroxide fixed it, so I sprayed it on straight and let it dry then sprayed again and gone. Black light vanished, scent vanished, even after a hot day in the sun closed up no smell…it is gone. Tried it on chair cushions on my porch…success odor gone.

  16. I have a female cat and after she peed 3 times on my microfiber love seat I took her to the vet and found out she had a UTI. But she has peed other places too, on a bare floor, on a small rug we put shoes on and got the shoes and on bed pillows and the rug area under and near the love seat! 🙁 But, the love seat has no places to take the cushions out and I am ready to buy a new one. I use the vinegar/water solution and baking soda, but in reverse. I am going to try the vinegar/water solution and the baking soda, but I can’t take off any cushions. Should I keep trying to get it out?? So bummed….

    • You should definitely try. unfortunately if it was peed on many times it can be nearly impossible to get out completely. I hope that your cat gets better and that this method works for you!

      • Thank you Morgan! I tried Natures Miracle for cats, urine destroyer. I don’t smell it now or as bad. But… She actually peed on our couch last night too! Grrrr! I read stress will cause it too. Going to keep trying the natures miracle and use plastic on the furniture. Thanks again!

    • I still get updates for this post. On our sectional that didn’t have removable cushions I dumped pure apple cider vinegar and then baking soda when it dried, had it professionally cleaned. Didn’t work. We ended up having to toss part of the sectional and the other piece ended up being smelly for months. I kept it covered with a blanket and would try every month to clean it and finally the smell is gone. My cat used to get chronic uti’s due to dry food diet. After January I switched her to all wet food diet (as that is a cats natural diet in the wild) and no peeing or uti’s since! Switch to wet food.

      • Thanks you Wendy! I used that first but ended up buying Natures Miracle for cats, urine destroyer and it seems to take out the smell or most of it. I may apply again. But my cat peed onthe couch last night! I couldn’t believe it! I am going to keep using and just put plastic garbage bags on the couch and love seat. It’s just annoying. They say maybe he cat s stressed or something is bothering it. Hard to tell! I hope it stops! Thanks so much again!

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