Homemade Carpet Powder

2 Posted by - January 7, 2013 - DIY & Crafts

I never thought I would be one of those people who has to Google “how to get pee smell out of a carpet” or anything like that. I mean, I certainly don’t pee on the carpet, I have no children, and my dog is excellently housebroken. I arranged my life this way on purpose because I couldn’t even stand the thought of bodily fluids anywhere other than where they firmly belong (either in your body, or in the city sewage system, thank you).

Then, a few years ago, the dog started having an incontinent bladder. And I realized that when you love someone (or, you know, your furry baby), you can’t really get mad about a little pee in the carpet now and then.

You just look at that sweet face and tell me you'd kick her out of your life for an accidental pee dribble now and then. No, you cannot. Neither can I.

You just look at that sweet face and tell me you’d kick her out of your life for an accidental pee dribble now and then. No, you cannot. Neither can I.

Luckily, she can take a pill to alleviate the condition. Not-so-luckily, she will not take the pill unless forced to do so (and I mean “forced” in the give-a-pill-to-a-barnyard-animal way). Before you call me a fucking horrible dog-mom, I would like to point out that I have triedΒ all of the pill-giving vehicles. ALL OF THEM. Sometimes they work once or twice, but she is like the Borg: she adapts. She figures it out and then won’t touch the pill vehicle either. So it’s an all out pig-wrestle to get her to take her damn pills.

And, consequently, sometimes she misses one here and there and has a little pee dribble on the carpet.

And that was a very round-about way of telling you that I have this fear of my house smelling like dog pee. I don’tΒ think it does. I clean regularly, and any accidents are as immediately as possible cleaned up with spray cleany stuff, but you never know. And sometimes you don’t smell your own house, and, really, who’s going to be brave enough to tell you your house smells like dog pee? Probably no one. So I worry.

Enter the homemade carpet powder on Pinterest.

It’s really easy: baking soda and essential oil.

The blog post uses orange essential oil, but all I had was eucalyptus, so I figured that would do.


I didn’t have much baking soda left, because I’ve used most of it for beauty treatments, but I made a batch with what I had.

And then I tried it out on the doggiest room in the house, the office.


I sprinkled it (over the mounds of damn dog hair that have accumulated since last week) and then left it sit for fifteen minutes, which was more difficult than you would think because the dog was really interested in it and I was afraid she was going to eat it, so I had to keep chasing her out.

Then I vacuumed. And, as per usual, the dog chased me around as I vacuumed, barking and trying to bite the vacuum cleaner. She’s so very helpful.

That, people, is the amount of crap I vacuumed up from one small carpet.


There’s also about a half a cup of smelly-good baking soda in there…

So did it work? Well, while I was vacuuming, I was not convinced. It just sort of smelled like a dog who had perhaps gotten in to the VapoRub. But I went back to check later on, and it really was kind of nice-smelling. Not overpowering, really, but better-than-dog smell.

I guess in order to really test this, you need a friend who’s willing to be honest about whether your house smells like piss or not. I don’t have one of those (and honestly don’t really want one), so my educated guess is that this kinda works and it certainly doesn’t hurt anything.



  • edder January 7, 2013 - 12:45 pm Reply

    I read up on this because my dog has been treating my new wool rug like her own personal 9’x12′ pee pad and subsequently I KNOW my place smells like a dog shelter. Apparently, essential oil is toxic to cats, so this treatment isn’t recommended if you’ve got a cat in the house. If it’s just an adorable incontinent dog, then knock yourself out. Also, if you’re interested in trying my own “works every time” diabolical dog pill trick, check my Pinterest board called “Sophie the Pocket Beagle”…it involves Cheerios and peanut butter, her favourite treats in the whole world. Good luck!

  • Nicky January 7, 2013 - 12:48 pm Reply

    AH HA HA….Loved the Borg reference. I myself “got it”. Several may not. You rock sista! I do daycare at my home and you wouldn’t even WANT to THINK about the nasty smelly bodily fluids (and some solids) that have ended up on my living room carpet (sadly, some has ended up on ME also….but that’s another story – and one that you do NOT want to hear). I have to rent the heavy duty cleaner twice a year, but I guess I could give this shit a shot for the 6 months in between! πŸ™‚

  • Hillary S January 7, 2013 - 1:04 pm Reply

    I’m pretty much convinced that baking soda will do anything. And with a cute face like your puppy’s she could piss on my floors too. I have two feline fur babies who stink up my house but at least they use their little box (also have two dogs but they are outside so they can piss wherever they please) lol now if only you could test a pin to do with pet hair we might both be saved.

    Also, my tip for pill giving to a big dog lol straddle them like a horse, pry their mouth open and shove lol. That’s the only way my dogs are taking pills. I’m like you, I’ve tried everything.

  • pins&needles January 7, 2013 - 1:09 pm Reply

    Slightly incontinent, won’t take her damn pills… your dog sounds like my grandma!

    • Pintester January 7, 2013 - 1:25 pm Reply

      She is definitely very grandma-like. She also gets cranky if she doesn’t eat her supper by 4 pm. πŸ˜‰

  • mmmmmmkay January 7, 2013 - 1:26 pm Reply

    Would it be creepy to say that I live in Raleigh, and can come tell you if your house smells like piss…? Right, thought so. Nevermind. Carry on.

    This is one pintested thing I might actually try. My cat is a dick and sometimes leaves various bodily fluids on the floor.

  • Lesley Davis January 7, 2013 - 2:25 pm Reply

    We use a liquid for our dog’s bladder problems. Sprinkle it on her dinner, it’s done. Can you not get that?

    I tried this one with lavender, and it worked wonders.

  • AustinBRC January 7, 2013 - 2:42 pm Reply

    Ah, I feel like we’re living parallel lives. Except I have a way less awesome occupation and my floors are hardwood. I wonder if “Carpet Magic” would work on bare floors? Because I, too, am paranoid that the house smells pissy to everyone but me. At least all my friends are similarly pet-obsessed. Those jokers probably can’t tell the difference from their own urine-soaked living spaces.

    • Archerymommy January 8, 2013 - 12:27 pm Reply

      I too have hardwood floors and a little pee for brains dog that likes to leave gifts everywhere. I mop my floors with a mix of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and a couple drops of dish soap. Leaves the floors really shiny, no residue, and no smell!

  • Edith January 7, 2013 - 3:17 pm Reply

    I have friends who swear they have sensitive noses so they *know* their houses don’t smell. Ha!!! I have never been in a house with pets without knowing *immediately* that they have pets. Even the super-conscientous clean-the-litter-box -5-times/day-and-spray-deoderizer-twice-a-day friends. The first time I stepped into the house of one dear friend the smell almost knocked me out. Couldn’t get out fast enough and avoid going over there. The fact is, the only way to get rid of the smell is to open the windows and let good air come in. Or use Febreeze which chemically reacts with the bad actors.

    • Katherine January 9, 2013 - 3:40 pm Reply

      Blimey, better keep Febreeze off the set of the CSI shows then. That shit could wipe out the whole cast.

  • Lauren January 7, 2013 - 4:31 pm Reply

    I occasionally sprinkle baking soda on my carpet to alleviate odors and it seems to work, but then again noone I know has ever really told me my house smells like dog. If you need to get a stain out of a carpet I always use shaving cream.
    And my only main cleaning supplies in my house are vinegar and baking soda.

  • Yvii IsHiding January 7, 2013 - 4:45 pm Reply

    For your doggie’s unfortunate pee problem, I recommend an enzyme cleaner like Nature’s Miracle. You dry the stain as much as you can then pour a bit on and let it dry. The stuff eats the smell, basically. Other cleaners just cover it up. I had an incontinent old cat and let me tell you, this stuff earns the name “miracle”!

  • Sara Andersen Scheppmann January 7, 2013 - 5:35 pm Reply

    I know you said you have tried everything but have you tried cream cheese? My little one can pick her herb pill out of anything but not cream cheese. It has changed my life and saved my carpet!

    • Amy L January 8, 2013 - 2:27 pm Reply

      Cream cheese works every time for our geriatric shitheads too.

  • Carine Tomlinson January 7, 2013 - 5:52 pm Reply

    I’m going to try this later, I have cats…. I will let you know how that works out LOL. To get her to take her pill try putting it in ice cream (they have dogie ice cream), that’s what my mom did for her dog. She put a little bite on a plate and hide the pill in that and when she would gobble that down and look at you like “That’s it?” she would get a little more.

  • Sarah January 7, 2013 - 6:03 pm Reply

    Good on you for being tolerant of your dog’s condition! Although you’re right– she’s such a cutie that only a monster wouldn’t be.

  • Sarah January 7, 2013 - 6:52 pm Reply

    I was going to suggest asking the vet if there is a liquid med. Our old dog took a liquid one and we just put it on some sort of food. She gobbled that up!

  • SandraChelle January 7, 2013 - 9:17 pm Reply

    “And, as per usual, the dog chased me around as I vacuumed, barking and trying to bite the vacuum cleaner.”

    I read this sentence as though you were barking and trying to bite the vacuum. I giggled at the visual. ;0)

  • Jasi Lee January 7, 2013 - 9:17 pm Reply

    I’ve done this.. I had a small a&h baking soda in a shake can and I added some intense trader j’s almond extract. smells amazing. baking soda is pretty neat.

  • V Scott January 7, 2013 - 9:27 pm Reply

    Vinegar first. You can spray white vinegar on the carpet, let it sit and then sprinkle with baking soda. Yes, it might foam a little. Let everything dry then vacuum. The vinegar helps to break down the protein markers from the urine. (Insert funny joke so this post fits better with your website) You can also use a 50% water / 50% vinegar mixture.

  • Truffles8761 January 7, 2013 - 9:40 pm Reply

    In my world, pets are NEVER kicked out for any reason. I don’t care if puppy just bit grandma in the ass. The puppy stays and granny gets the boot. I have both cats and dogs and have had animals all my life. I do agree that Nature’s Miracle is a wonderful thing and use it for stubborn stench. My go-to method is to grab an old useless towel and fold it as small as necessary to just fit the wetness. I walk, jump, dance, or stomp on it until the carpet is fairly dry (using more towels as necessary). I then use a mixture of water & hydrogen peroxide (3:1) on any stains. This is a tip from my local animal hospital nurse after the dog bled all over her. I then use a mixture of water & mouthwash (2:1) to eliminate odor. The mouthwash helps kill odor causing germs and smells minty fresh. In most cases this works.

  • Alexandra Killian January 7, 2013 - 10:43 pm Reply

    I had a dog that would bark at the lawnmower and try to nip at the tires. We had to make sure he was locked up in the house b/c while it’s annoying with a vacuum, it’s kind of scary with a machine designed to cut things.

  • princessrainbowsprinkles January 7, 2013 - 11:50 pm Reply

    i empathize with your having to pig-wrestle the dog to get her to take her pill… we have to do the same thing but with our cat and her wormer pills (we can’t use the topical kind because she has an owl neck and still manages to licks it, which is really bad for them!)… she’s so tiny but you’ve gotta man-handle her to give her a pill… little fucker is pretty powerful and she’s got all her claws too… makes for a fun evening… when she’s really being a brat about it, we take her to the vet and let them do it…

  • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre January 8, 2013 - 12:30 am Reply

    I once had a kitten who decided since my husband left his uniforms on the floor in the closet it would be a perfect spot to pee and poop. Apparently it was too much effort to go up the stairs to the actual litterbox. anyway after trying everything including 409 and resolve both for pet smells, I mixed up a bottle of liquid fabric softener [vanilla lavendar bitchessss] and diluted it a bit with water. I vacuumed and sprayed it liberally and now it no longer smells like cat ass.

  • Von January 8, 2013 - 2:03 am Reply

    Isn’t the baking soda supposed to absorb any odor? I’d be a bit hesitant about putting oil in any form on my carpet. Wash with a weak dishwash liquid/water mix and then rinse with white vinegar/water was the advice in my carpet-care booklet.
    As others have commented, the doggy accidental- pee-pee meds should be available in liquid form too (Propalin in Australia). My dog actually likes it; she comes running when I call out “medicine”, and I just shoot the liquid into the side of her mouth with a syringe. At least then the meds go in and that beats the hell out of rubbing your own nose into the carpet, sniffing for the scent of pee.

  • TIffy January 8, 2013 - 8:43 am Reply

    The white 2 parts vinegar to 1 part lemon juice and 1 part dish soap mix in a spray bottle works great on vomit on carpets (ah, children), it might work well on urine and general dog smell, too. It does help to have a shampooer to rinse with, though.

    • TIffy January 8, 2013 - 8:44 am Reply

      2 parts white vinegar, excuse me.

  • Meighen Heyburn January 8, 2013 - 10:55 am Reply

    I get carpet cleaner from Willow Hill Candles (dot com!!) and she puts borax in there too. It’s a mixture of borax, baking soda (one to one ratio) and the essential oils. The borax helps with pest control – fleas and ticks and such. I have two cats and a dog (who looks much like yours but of the male variety) and have not had a single flea or tick problem in the entire time I’ve had them or used the carpet refresher.

  • roxi618 January 8, 2013 - 11:36 am Reply

    Here’s my remedy. I sopped up any wet spots, then sprinkled them with baking soda. Using a scrub brush, I brushed the soda into the carpet. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes then I spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Spray spray spray spray and you can hear the fizzing start. Brush that in with the scrub brush too. Let that work for about 10 minutes or so. You can respray if you want. Once it dries, vacuum it up and viola, USUALLY there is no smell. If you think you can still smell it, repeat it all. I did this on a fairly large spot under my desk, when my cat had decided she didn’t even want to try to make it to the catbox. I thought I had cleaned it all up prior to using the baking soda and peroxide, but everytime I sat at my desk and moved my feet underneath it, all I could smell was cat pee. Now, no cat pee smell at all! And the peroxide did not hurt my carpet at all.

  • MaryG January 8, 2013 - 12:36 pm Reply

    I must have a ridiculously stupid or highly food motivated dog, because pills are the easiest thing in the world. I sit down with 4 or 5 of his favorite little treats and get him excited: “Charlie Bears?! CHARLIE BEARS!?” until he’s ready to wet himself (you might want to do this outside). Then I feed him 3 or 4 treats in quick succession, then feed him the pill. Then he looks a little confused, because that last one wasn’t quite as tasty as the others. Then I feed him one or two more so the good taste is his last association. And … problem solved. At least for my little treat junkie. CATS, on the other hand… little fuckers.

  • jillie January 8, 2013 - 2:49 pm Reply

    best pill-delivery mechanism ever: string cheese. cut (or bite) a string cheese into a few nubs, shove the pill in the center of a cheese nub, feed the dog the pill-filled cheese while you hold another piece in your hand where they can see it. if your dog likes cheese at all, they’ll gobble the pill-filled cheese while staring at/eagerly awaiting the second bit. i have to give my dog allergy meds every day, and this has been the only reliable trick. been working for 4 years! good luck. πŸ™‚

  • Fallow January 8, 2013 - 11:23 pm Reply

    I work at a pet supply store and Nature’s Miracle is one of our best selling urine cleaning products. Many of the customers I get swear by it. Sometimes they will keep peeing in a particular spot because while the urine gets cleaned up on one layer, the smell lingers in the carpet padding. I don’t think you have to worry about that because you said she’s well housebroken, but Nature’s Miracle’s stuff really works to break down the smell and stain. And if it really gets bad, many Petsmart chains are beginning to have Bissel carpet cleaners to rent out.

  • Fallow January 8, 2013 - 11:23 pm Reply

    …and ‘they’ meaning the dogs, not the customers x]

  • Deb January 8, 2013 - 11:36 pm Reply

    We went a more natural route for our dribbling geriatric dog. Google “fennel tea”. Brew a little tea, throw it in their water, no more pee. Works like a charm.

  • Sarah Witt January 9, 2013 - 8:43 am Reply

    Have u tried a finger of peanut butter dab the pill on the glob and rub it on roof of her mouth I used to work at a doggy daycare and have never had that fail ?

  • Jaestring January 9, 2013 - 4:23 pm Reply

    My parents have had a dog for not quite 19 years. She never fully house-trained, which wasn’t helped by the fact that the previous owners dog was blatantly not house broken. (They bought the house with the complete intention of flipping it by the time they were ready to move again – it never happened).

    One way to help with the smell was, indeed, the baking soda treatment. We have never used the essential oils, tho I might try it. Now that carpet is so inundated that the only true solution will be to replace the carpet (And probably scrub the foundation to boot). But baking soda once a week (and a carpet treatment once a month) has made it tolerable.

  • Sarah Stalcup January 9, 2013 - 5:00 pm Reply

    Sonja, (again I apparently think we are on a first name basis…) although i am thrilled for you that your home is HOPEFULLY dog-pee smell free, it is now and will be a Sarah free area as well, since I am VIOLENTLY allergic to eucalyptus. Tragic for me, I know.

  • Amanda Levesque January 11, 2013 - 4:09 pm Reply

    I had a leaky elderly wiener dog. The best thing that worked for me was to get a wet/dry Shop Vac. Mix really hot water and carpet cleaner for pet accidents and pour it on the spots. Get a stiff brush so you can really work it into the carpet. Vacuum up. Then do a another treatment with just hot water. The Shop Vac doesn’t get every single molecule of water, but it does a pretty damn good job. I’ve had my carpet look like new after I’ve done this.

  • Tianna Goehring January 11, 2013 - 4:19 pm Reply

    i use this except instead of using essential oil i use those little scentsy cubes you get for 2 dollars at walmart i only use a half a cube and let it sit in the sealed container for a few hours and then put it on the carpet letting it sit over night and vacuum it up. the whole room smells fantastic

  • Annoying_Pedant January 11, 2013 - 4:19 pm Reply

    My dog and yours have to be related. Mine is a champion pill-spitter and she is an old incontinent lady, too. (She’s on a once-a-week pill, though, which reduces the pill wrestling). There is nothing that she cannot get a pill out of. I even fell for those expensive pill pockets. She ate one pill and I thought I had a miracle method–nope, she now daintily chews off the pocket part and leaves the gummy pill on the floor. I too have to use the barnyard method. It makes me feel bad. I do not have the pee-carpet problem as I have wood floors.

    Our best friends on the planet have cats and their house smells like a litterbox. It stinks. But I will never ever ever tell them. I think I am a bad friend because if I had a smelly house, I would want to know!

  • Liz Andrews January 13, 2013 - 6:10 pm Reply

    That is an adorable dog….she looks like my furry baby! πŸ™‚ If your house doesn’t smell like pee to you when you come home after being away or outside for a long time, then you’re probably good πŸ™‚

  • Danielle Lykins January 13, 2013 - 8:41 pm Reply

    The best thing for urine smell is vinegar. The acid in the vinegar neutralizes the smell. We rented a place that smelled of cat piss, used the vinegar and it got rid of the smell, even on sunny spots!

  • Lindsay Miller January 14, 2013 - 8:31 pm Reply

    “Like a Borg”! Love it.

  • Iron Out Carpet Stains | Pintester January 23, 2013 - 11:29 pm Reply

    […] I do, however, have a stinky dog, as you’ll recall. […]

  • Angela January 26, 2013 - 1:04 pm Reply

    BTW I use coffee grounds instead of the oil and it smells much yummier than dog taint. πŸ™‚

    • Kate Belokopitsky February 6, 2013 - 2:43 pm Reply

      “Dog taint” I cannot stop laughing!!!

  • jill5 February 1, 2013 - 2:54 am Reply

    thank you for never failing to make me laugh out loud.

  • joyce February 17, 2013 - 9:27 am Reply

    We had guests yesterday, and the funniest story they told was that the toddler nephew had peed, in their house, on the sofa, intentionally. Yeah. kids…

  • iapprovethismessage February 19, 2013 - 3:40 am Reply

    I actually love using this mix for my carpets. I buy a sugar cookie scent from walmart and it makes the whole house, not just the carpet, smell like fresh baked cookies. It seems to help get some of the crap out of the carpet too.

  • Nadine April 18, 2013 - 12:20 am Reply

    Two of my dogs have had incontinence problems as they aged..just like their owner. There are chewable vitamin supplements (conveniently called bladder control pills) that work like magic and that the dogs enjoy eating. Sadly, I have not found chewable human ones…so when I read your blog I laugh so hard I tinkle.

  • Jenna April 26, 2013 - 2:47 pm Reply

    I work at a vet in Raleigh. Call them and tell them you want your medication compounded! 90% of the time it is cheaper to you and they can make it a liquid flavored any way you’d like. Ask for Diamondback Drugs and they’ll ship it straight to your house.

  • Mishell April 27, 2013 - 12:50 am Reply

    There are compounding pharmacies who will actually work with you to find a way to make your dog’s medicine taste yummy to her. (I know this because I used to call pharmacies all over the country for my job, and I had to listen to their little self-promotion commercials while I was on hold.) Check to see if there is a compounding pharmacy in your area and find out if they compound pet meds, too.

  • Sammie Jo June 21, 2015 - 2:17 pm Reply

    You all are a riot! So nice to find a site that uses language like normal people, I mean the words we’re not supposed to say out in public. lol
    I have the flea infestation from hell! I can bomb, fog, spray whatever, all is good until she goes outside and brings more in. I need something that will kill the fleas that land on “Goldie” or repel them before they land. She’s 15 and a sweetie, but it is working my last nerve to see and hear the biting. I could handle that if one of my cats wasn’t a total shithead and pees on my bed because he’s unhappy about the fleas. Thank goodness for waterproof mattress pads. I have had to wash all the bedclothes 3 times in the last 6 days. It really takes a toll on me because 1. I’m no spring chicken and 2. next month I go for a knee replacement so you know walking around is a real pain, literally.
    I need something for the carpet and something to put on the dog and cats.
    I am going to get the cedar chips bedding and put it in her pillow cases with the pillow, I’ll just tie a knot in the end of the case. I’m also going to put cedar chips in between the couch cushions, and I thought a few chips in the litter couldn’t hurt.
    I have some boric acid I found in the back of the pantry, see what happens when you clean? lol
    Is that okay to put on the carpet or even on the critters?
    I know this thread was all about smells, but, I know if you have critters, you’re going to have fleas at some point, and I am getting desperate.
    I appreciate any hints at all.
    Thanks in advance

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