How to Get Cat Urine out of Wood Subfloor

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how to get cat urine out of wood subfloor

Every time it gets hot you get a whiff of urine, so you pull up a piece of flooring, and there it is – your wood subfloor with cat urine spots.

Now, you need to get the urine out of the floor. But is it salvageable? This will depend on how long the urine has sat and how much there is to deal with. Luckily, there are some decent products that can help.

Here’s how to get cat urine out of wood subfloor.

Key Takeaways:

Try using Clorox Urine Remover or an enzymatic-based cleaner to remove urine. You can also use hydrogen peroxide. To remove smells, try and deodorize using gentle home remedies, including baking soda and dish soap. You can also use odor-killing primers to protect your floors from nasty smells that may accrue over time.

What’s the Best Method for Getting Cat Urine Out of a Subfloor?

The best way to get cat urine out of the subfloor is to treat it with Clorox Urine Remover or an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners break down the uric acid crystals, completely removing any lingering smells. If you want to use a home remedy, try hydrogen peroxide.

Pro Tip: Never underestimate the importance of drawing up all of the urine from your subfloor before applying any cleaning agents. In my personal experience, removing excess urine initially can make your cleaning agent more efficient and potent, as it’s not just diluting the urine but actually working on the stain and odor.

How to Get Cat Urine Smell Out of Wood Subfloors: Top Five Ways

cat pee on wood floor

When a cat pees on the carpet, it soaks through and reaches the padding and then the subfloor. After the pee dries, uric acid crystals are left behind. Then, when a room gets humid or the floor gets wet, the crystals reactivate, giving off that notorious cat urine smell.

So, if you want to rid your subfloor of the urine smell, you need to get rid of the uric acid crystals.

Luckily, there are some great products for doing this. But, even then, your results will depend on the condition of your subfloor.

Clorox Urine Remover

If you want to skip the home remedies and go straight for a highly rated cleaner, try Clorox Urine Remover.

This cleaner breaks down uric acid crystals, which cause the urine smell to linger. And best of all, this cleaner is safe for soft and hard surfaces. 

So, if you have spots in your rug or carpet, you can also treat those.

Here’s how to use Clorox Urine Remover:

  • Thoroughly saturate the urine-covered areas with the cleaner.
  • Allow the spray to sit for five minutes.
  • Rinse with water and dry.

Pro Tip: When using products like Clorox Urine Remover or hydrogen peroxide, remember to allow the cleaning agent time to work. It’s tempting to scrub away immediately, but I’ve learned that by waiting 10-15 minutes, the cleaner has time to break down the urine stains and odor. Patience is key here.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a home remedy that will help remove cat urine and its smell from your subfloor.

To treat your floor, start by pouring hydrogen peroxide onto the soiled spots. You should cover the urine with peroxide, but your floors should not be soaking wet. After applying the peroxide, give the floors several hours to completely air dry.

If there’s still a lingering smell, repeat the process.

Dish Soap and Baking Soda

If you’ve tried other methods and a little bit of urine still lingers in the area, deodorize with dish soap and baking soda.

This is a super gentle method, and while it’s not the best for completely removing the urine from the floor, it can help absorb foul odors.

Here’s what to do:

  • Mix dish soap and baking soda until it forms a paste
  • Use a soft-bristled brush, scrub the paste all over the urine spots
  • Allow to fully dry
  • Vacuum up the dried baking soda

Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are bacteria-based. When the enzymes produced by the cleaner come into contact with a food source like pet urine or feces, it will break them down. 

This is why enzymatic cleaners are a great option for dealing with cat urine.

One highly rated product you can try is Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator.

To use it, simply saturate the floor with it and let it air dry.

Treat Your Subfloors with an Odor Killing Primer

If you want an extra layer of protection before putting new floors down, treat your subfloors with an odor-killing primer.

These types of primers will kill lingering smells from pet messes, tobacco, and more.

Pro Tip: Even after a thorough cleaning, some urine odors can linger. One tactic that I’ve found particularly effective in my home is sealing the cleaned subfloor with an odor-blocking primer before installing new flooring. It gives an extra layer of barrier from any lingering smells, ensuring your living space feels fresh and clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to deodorize a subfloor?

If you’ve treated your wood subfloor and removed all urine spots, you can deodorize before putting new flooring down. Simply sprinkle baking soda all over the floor, allow it to sit for 24 hours, and then vacuum.

How to get old cat urine out of hardwood floors?

If your hardwood floors have urine spots, use Clorox Urine Remover or an enzymatic cleaner to break down any remaining uric acid crystals – this will remove the lingering smell. If you want to use a home remedy, you can try hydrogen peroxide, but you need to do a spot test first since it can lighten your flooring.

How do you seal a subfloor from pet odor?

You can seal a subfloor from pet odor by treating it with a stain-blocking primer such as Kilz. Before doing this, make sure your subfloor is completely clean and free of odors.


If you’re wondering how to get cat urine out of wood subfloor, you have a few good options. Your best bet is to use Clorox Urine Remover or an enzymatic cleaner. If your urine spots aren’t terribly large, then these cleaners should do the trick.

If you want to use a home remedy, your best bet is hydrogen peroxide.

Photo of author


Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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