If you own a cat, the chances are good that at some point your cat has mistaken, or will mistake, your pile of laundry for a litter box. Hopefully he or she will get just a few pieces of clothes, but it's not unusual to find that your cat has used the top of a large stack of clothes. It can be very difficult to get the smell out; if you just wash the clothes like normal, there's a good chance that it will still be detectable in your cleaned clothes. Here's how to remove cat urine odor from laundry:
- Use the right cleaners. Using industrial chemicals can destroy your clothes, because they are not meant to be used on fabrics. On the other hand, weak laundry detergent will not get it out of your clothes. In fact, it's a little like washing your load of laundry in cat urine. Definitely not what you want to do! You'll need a strong laundry solution to remove cat urine odor from laundry. It should ideally be used while the stains are still wet.
- Consider a homemade remedy. 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with your normal laundry detergent is known as an effective remedy for urine smell. Use fabric softener to get rid of the smell of vinegar. This is an inexpensive way to get rid of cat urine odors without special cleaners. If the stains are spread throughout a stack of laundry, simply add the vinegar to the washing machine. If they are concentrated stains, put the vinegar straight onto the affected area of clothing. Baking soda (about 1 cup per load) is another household remedy, though it must not be combined in the same load of laundry as the vinegar.
- Use an enzymatic cleaner. Cat urine odors and stains are so persistent because urine is organic. An enzymatic cleaner is the most effective solution for this type of stain. Enzymatic laundry cleaners eat odor-causing bacteria, literally eating the cat odor from your laundry.
- Do not use any products containing ammonia. Cats will mistake this scent for their own urine, and repeatedly use the same spot.
- Fix the underlying problem. If this is your cat's first time urinating on your clothes, clean the cat box. If your cat frequently avoids the litter box, rule out medical causes like urinary tract infections by bringing your cat to the vet.
As long as you have cats, you will have to deal with occasional accidents. Cat urine can be nearly impossible to get rid of without the right remedies. Removing cat urine odor from your laundry can be frustrating, but there are few tricks to getting it out the first time you wash the clothes.