Having a dog in your home is undeniably one of the best decisions a person can make in his lifetime. Not only will you have good company, but you will also have a being who will love you for the rest of its precious life here on earth.
Of course, we also dream of living in a beautiful house with our dogs—a fair-sized house with a garden and a concrete patio.
However, sometimes, our indulgence with concrete patios could ruin if it is tainted by unpleasant and reeking dog urine odor.
Sometimes, we even use D-I-Y household cleaning products.
These products are ineffective in removing urine stains and may even worsen the “setting” of urine in the concrete. The odor may even come back in a more pungent smell, especially in wet seasons, as moisture comes in contact with gases released by uric acid.
We need to find a way to have these great-looking patios and cute dogs without compromising the other. So, therefore, this article is here to guide you. But before we go to the cleaning part, let us know more about the concrete and the urine.
Knowing the basics
Having a concrete patio also means having another responsibility. We are in charge of keeping it clean and maintaining it. A concrete floor is not just like any other floor. It is hard and relatively porous – two of the most remarkable properties of concrete.
Any water or forms of liquid that might come in contact with an unsealed concrete will surely fill and seep down into it. These properties make it easier for the urine and its odor to hold onto the concrete easily.
A dog’s urine, or any animal generally, is often hard to track unless it starts giving off its odor. This is because it has ways of oozing in and finding deeper into concrete materials. Also, the aftermath of this – having a urine stain – is a little bit dragging, especially since these stains are hard to eliminate.
Some people do not know that urine can remain inactive inside the concrete floors for several years and unleash the horror of its odor again when it comes in contact with anything that gives it moisture which triggers the rehydration process and give off a foul smell again. This odor does not directly harm anyone; however, it is not good having people over with your house smelling like dog wee.
Detecting urine spots in your concrete
Sometimes trying to figure out your dog’s urine spots is easy, and sometimes not; if you could train your dog to pee in a particular place, good job! However, some dogs still have not found their perfect place yet, and they tend to pee in different locations. This usually happens when you move into a new house or when you decide to adopt or buy a dog for yourself.
A way we can detect the urine spots of your dog is to use a UV light or a black light. This magic wonder can get the precise location of even the tiniest urine spots and locate where the unpleasant smell is coming from.
This tool gives off ultraviolet light, allowing it to detect even old urine stains and spots on your concrete. Make sure to darken your place first and not to move it more than three feet away from the concrete when using this tool. Urine stains usually appear blue, green, or yellow when viewed under UV light.
Once you can already find where the urine spot is, you can now start with your journey of cleaning your dog’s urine.
Cleaning your concrete patio
You may use any of the following: water, trisodium phosphate (TSP), hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and vinegar to clean your concrete. Each of these will be discussed in detail below.
When your dog pees on your concrete patio, use water through a hose or a sprinkler to wash the pee off. This will help you eliminate the excess urine and the smell that comes with it. You also need to rinse hard surfaces because urine most likely binds to these surfaces, and we don’t want that.
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) helps remove all the bacteria on your urine and the stains on your concrete patio. When using this product, remember to wear eye protection and gloves. Also, ensure that your pets and children are not around when administering the product to your patio. Follow these steps when using TSP:
- Mix a half cup of TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and a gallon of hot water.
- Pour the hot mixture on the urine spots and scrub it thoroughly with a deck brush one area at a time. Keep the area wet for ten minutes so the mixture can properly creep into the concrete. In this process, note that you might encounter an unpleasant smell as uric acid crystals in the urine release a foul-smelling gas.
- Pour clean hot water after rinsing the concrete. You can then use a wet vac or a carpet cleaner to remove excess water.
- Repeat the process twice or thrice and let the concrete dry for 24 hours.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
You can also use hydrogen peroxide—mix two cups of this, two teaspoons of baking soda, and a little dish soap. Then you can pour this over the stained and smelly areas on your patio.
If you don’t want any of the said products above, you can also use products that can be found in the kitchen. For example, combine two parts of vinegar with one hot water and administer it the same as the TSP stated above.
Removing the stains from your concrete patio
If you are good with doing things with extra effort and more time to complete, then you can use the enzymatic cleaner. This product uses good bacteria that break down the uric acid crystals in your dog’s urine into carbon dioxide and water. This can then remove soils, wastes, and stains. You can use this cleaner just like how you use the TSP.
You do not need to rinse off the solution anymore after leaving it overnight to do its thing. Doing this in just a few hours will not do the trick.
Enzymatic cleaners are bio-enzymatic, thus safe for the environment. Just be mindful of its expiration dates. Also, store in a cool, dry place as it will lose its efficacy when placed at a high temperature for a long time. Enzymatic cleaners are also affordable at 25 to 50 dollars per gallon. However, the cleaning process takes more time to finish, and reapplication is needed because of its biological nature.
If you have already used various products and still suffer from the lingering odor of the urine, use the positive-ion treatment. In this treatment method, just wet the affected area and apply the ion-based product. This solution works immediately, so it will surely help you save some time.
However, for older stains, you might have to follow a three-step process – properly eliminate inactive urine crystals, bring them to the surface and neutralize them. Ionic cleaners have a 100% safe solution and are also odor-free.
Ionic cleaners are fragrance-free. Unlike enzymatic cleaners, wherein you should be aware of expiration dates, ionic cleaners have a very long shelf life. It also has an instantaneous effect and with 100% food-grade safe solution.
Sealing your concrete patio
Sealing your concrete patio is optional.
However, it is highly recommended. Not only will it help you have an improved appearance on your concrete patio, but it will also help you avoid future problems of cleaning it due to urine.
When applying any sealer, wear your gloves, face mask, and trousers with long sleeves or shirts.
Ensure the concrete is dry after washing it so the sealer will stick properly.
You can dry it completely for 24 hours.
Sealers can be applied differently. For example, oil-based sealers are applied using a sprayer, while water-based sealers are applied using a roller.
Make sure you apply whatever you use properly and by the look you want to achieve.
Prevention is better than cure.
Just like everything else, having something means having another responsibility. Having a dog means you must be responsible for it, including its urine. You can try to train your dog to pee in the right place. Just do not scold them because it will be counterproductive.
You can never get rid of the smell of dog urine by just cleaning normally. It takes time and effort. So you have to pick the one that works best for you.
The most practical way is to prevent your dog from urinating on your concrete patio. First, it saves you the trouble of doing all those cleaning steps. Dogs smell their urine, which signals it is okay to pee in that area again.
There are ways that you can do to stop this from happening again. You may use a fence or barrier to block them from that area. You could also install motion detector lights. Another option is to train your dog to pee in a designated area and give your pet treats and rewards if the act is done correctly.
Once the dog is conditioned to its new designated area for peeing, it will just go to that place every time the urge to pee is there. Therefore, it is always better to give positive reinforcements to the dog rather than providing punishments.
Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API