Deer urine attractants aren’t so popular indoors.
We recently received a question in our Ask the Biologist inbox about how to remove deer urine smell from a vehicle seat. It seems a lid for a bottle of buck lure wasn’t screwed on tightly enough. Biologist Bob Humphrey recommended trying a hunting scent-killing spray on the area, and that might work. We did a little extra digging on the topic, though, and have some additional recommendations.
First, let’s be clear this is not something that will go away on its own. Opening windows simply freshens the air until such a time as you have to close them again. What’s worse, because of the acids in urine, the smell can come back again and again, even after cleaning.
We consulted multiple pet sites, and most agree cleaning a urine spot is a several-stage process.
The first step is to remove as much of the pee as possible. This involves blotting with absorbant cloth (towels are not the best choice; old cotton T-shirts are better). When you’ve removed as much of the pee as possible, move on to step two. In cases where the spot has already dried, re-wet it with water and blot as much of the stain as you can.
Mixtures of white vinegar, baking soda and peroxide help with neutralizing the smell. Try 1 cup of water mixed with 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Use the solution on the stain area, scrubbing and blotting until you think you’ve gotten out every bit of the offending liquid you can.
Many folks stop there and are frustrated when the smell comes back. That often isn’t a result of a poor cleaning job and is more likely the natural chemical process of uric acid crystallizing and releasing ammonia-smelling gasses. It’s pretty much impossible to remove all the uric acid molecules via scrub-and-blot cleaning, so you have to neutralize them. The best way to do so is with an enzyme-based pet urine cleaning solution found at your favorite pet store.
It’s important to include the water/vinegar scrubbing as a first step, however, as it removes much of the smell-creating chemicals, as well as the visible aspect of the spill or stain.
Our lawyers require us to mention you should always try any chemicals in a hidden spot before applying them to the stain area. It is unlikely but possible for the water/vinegar solution to pull the dye from your carpet or seat.
For vehicle seats, we recommend removing the seat while you work on it. It’s not difficult to remove a car or truck seat; just make sure to disconnect any wiring harnesses for seats with electronic options. In most cases, removing the seat is as simple as uncovering four bolts and ratcheting them out. Search online for a video for your particular vehicle, and you’ll likely find several examples. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
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