How To Get Dog Poop Out of Carpet, Wood & More

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Whether you have a new puppy or a longtime companion, pet owners understand accidents happen. Here's how to tackle any dog poop mishaps.

Plenty of households across the country are home to at least one dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates 48.2 million households in the U.S. own one. While dogs bring a lot of joy, they also bring a lot of poop.

Whether you’re a new pet owner or a longtime dog person, it’s smart to know how to address poop messes on different types of surfaces, indoors and out, so you can spring into action when accidents occur.

Keep in mind that dog poop carries some germs. Wear gloves when cleaning and be sure to test any cleaning products in an inconspicuous spot, following the manufacturer’s instructions. As you clean, keep your dog (and children) out of the way. Remember that different cleaners should never be mixed.

You may also wish to follow up by disinfecting the surface. Disinfect the scrubbing brushes or rags you use while cleaning, and wash your hands well after.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Carpet and Rugs

To clean dog poop from carpet, use an enzymatic cleaner. Dr. Stacy Choczynski Johnson, a veterinarian on staff with Pumpkin, a pet insurance company, says these cleaners remove the animal smells that may encourage a pet to repeatedly urinate or defecate in a specific area of the home. Johnson likes Nature’s Miracle, a pet-friendly enzymatic cleaner that can be used on many surfaces.

To clean poop off carpet and rugs:

  • Scoop away as much of the poop as possible.

  • Apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Blot the spot with a dry white towel and avoid scrubbing, which will grind the stain into the carpet fibers.

If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner on hand, reach for some soda water, says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly brand.

  • Put undiluted soda water directly on the stain and blot with a dry white towel.

  • Repeat until the moisture is absorbed.

  • Then place a fresh, dry white towel on the area and place a heavy object on the towel to soak up the remaining moisture.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Tile and Wood Flooring

Cleaning dog poop off hard surface floors like tile and wood is much easier than carpet. Simply pick up all bits of poop, then use an enzymatic cleaner to scrub the floor. It’s important to do a thorough job so your dog doesn’t keep coming back to the same spot.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Vinyl Flooring

To clean dog poop from vinyl floors, scoop the poop and then make a DIY cleaner. Natalie Barrett, cleaning professional and quality supervisor at Nifty Cleaning Services, suggests this:

  • Mix one cup vinegar with two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent and one gallon of hot water in a bucket.

  • Dip a brush in the mixture and scrub the stain off the vinyl.

  • Rinse with fresh water.

  • If the stain remains, mix equal parts baking soda and water and apply the paste to the stain.

  • Let it sit for 15 minutes. (Don’t let your pup go sniffing around the mixture.)

  • Clear away the paste, rinse and dry.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Upholstery

If the poop lands on a pillow cover or slipcover that can be laundered, that’s the best route. To clean poop off items like sofas and chairs, Peterson recommends blotting with soda water to lift stains and odors, or using a pet stain and odor remover product that has been specially formulated for use on upholstery. Always test products in an inconspicuous area.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Leather

Barrett says to reach for a few common kitchen ingredients to remove dog poop stains from leather:

  • Combine one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon cream of tartar.

  • Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.

  • Use a damp sponge to wipe away the paste and blot the stain.

  • Rinse the sponge as needed and repeat the process until the paste is cleared and the stain is gone.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Fabric

For fabric items that can be washed such as a blanket or towel, Jodie Hamilton, a certified cleaning expert with Amazing Services, recommends a simple pre-treatment before laundering:

  • Mix 10 parts water to one part laundry detergent.

  • Apply to the stained area and blot with a brush.

  • Let it sit and then blot with a dry white towel, rinse, launder and dry as directed on the item’s tag.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Decking

Even though you’ve diligently trained your dog to take care of business in the yard, accidents can happen on other outdoor surfaces like decking. After clearing away the poop, Barrett says to sprinkle the area with baking soda, let it sit for a bit, then sweep it away with a broom.

How to Get Dog Poop Out of Concrete

Concrete is another common outdoor surface and susceptible to the occasional accident. When that happens, Barrett says to soak the affected area with boiling water and then sprinkle the spot with baking soda. Scrub in the baking soda and let it sit overnight. In the morning, pour a cup of hot water over the baking soda and repeat the scrubbing process. Wash with clean hot water.

Alicia Chilton
Alicia Chilton is an experienced writer and editor, based in Des Moines, Iowa. After spending several years as a digital editor for Better Homes and Gardens, covering all manner of topics related to home, Alicia took her writing and editorial skills into the marketing and communications world, where she has tapped into the power of storytelling to connect audiences to brands in the gardening and nonprofit spheres.