Eliminating Urine Odors: A Caregiver’s Guide



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Removing Urine Odors at Home

Suppose you are a caregiver for a person with incontinence. You may have encountered that urine smell in your home, clothing, or furniture. 

Many caregivers are frustrated and embarrassed by that scent but find that the elderly patient does not even smell it. 

Caregivers need to realize that the ability to smell odors diminishes with age and is often affected by medications. Don’t assume that if you can smell the odor of urine, your loved one also does.

Though normal human urine does have an odor, that odor should not be penetrating and awful. If your loved one constantly has smelly urine and unusually frequent urination, that’s usually a sign of a urinary infection. 

See the doctor immediately to see if an infection has caused these problems and find out about treatment.

Keeping urine odors and wet spots off clothing, bedding, and other fabric furniture should be a regular housekeeping routine in patients’ homes. Removing urine odors does not need to become a major incident or disaster when an accident does occur.

Around the House

  • Make it a practice to routinely remove urine-saturated items immediately.

    Dispose of soaked disposable absorbent underwear in a trash bag that closes or in a diaper hamper with a deodorizer cake inside.

    If the patient uses a portable toilet in the bedroom, it should be emptied and cleaned after each use to prevent the odor from spreading through the house.
  • Ventilate the rooms by opening windows or by running fans and air conditioners.

    Use a HEPA air filter machine to clean the air in the rooms. Use the deodorizing spray in the bathroom and other rooms.
  • Use products like Odoban, Nature’s Miracle Original Stain and Odors Blocker, or Urine KLEEN for household furniture and carpet.

    Follow the directions on the product. Carpet and upholstery can be cleaned with Odoban Odor Eliminator spray.

    Nature’s Miracle Pet odor eliminator can be used on carpets, hard surfaces, and furniture. It is non-toxic for children and pets.

    Incontinent KLEEN is used to neutralize urine, bowel, and vomit odors when sprayed directly on the surface. 

    Urine KLEEN comes in a spray container and neutralizes specifically urine odor.
  • These products are available online and at many hardware or variety stores.

To Clean Clothing or Fabric Items

  • Fabrics and apparel should be washed with standard washing detergent and rinsed with white vinegar.

    According to laundry specialists, the acidic qualities of white vinegar will eradicate the urine stench. As a rinse, it is normal practice to add 12 cup of white vinegar to each load.

    Like fabric softener, add it to the rinse cycle of your front-loading or top-loading washer. There should be no stench of vinegar left behind.
  • Let the clothing soak overnight in a five-gallon bucket of hot water with 2 cups of white vinegar.

    By morning, laundry experts say your clothes will be noticeably fresher and ready to be washed in the washer.

Preventing Leakage on Fabric-Covered Furniture

  • Cover the bed, couch, or any upholstered chair that the patient uses with a protective waterproof pad.

    You can buy a waterproof pad for a mattress of any size and cut a cover to fit smaller upholstered chairs.

    There are vinyl mattress covers that completely wrap the mattress and prevent leakage from wetting the mattress. There are flannel-backed plastic sheets, often used for children who wet the bed, which you can purchase to use on the bed.
  • Cover the waterproof pad with a throw blanket or couch cover on a couch. For the bed, place it under the sheets to protect the mattress.

Of course, one key component to removing urine odors at home is preventing leakage of urine, which is why wearing suitable, disposable, absorbent underwear is so essential.

In Summary

Removing urine odors at home can be challenging for caregivers of people with incontinence. 

The ability to smell odors diminishes with age. It can be affected by medication, so caregivers should not assume that if they can smell the odor, their loved ones can. 

Suppose the patient has smelly urine and unusually frequent urination. In that case, it may be a sign of a urinary infection, and they should see a doctor immediately. 

To keep urine odors and wet spots off clothing, bedding, and furniture, caregivers should regularly remove urine-saturated items immediately and use products like Odoban, Nature’s Miracle Original Stain and Odors Blocker, or Urine KLEEN for household furniture and carpet. 

Clothing and fabric items should be washed with regular laundry soap and rinsed in white vinegar, which can remove the urine odor. 

Caregivers can use waterproof pads and covers to prevent leakage on fabric-covered furniture.

Overall, if you want to get rid of urine smells at home, you need underwear that doesn’t leak and is disposable and absorbent.