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Dog poop accidents are bound to happen when you live with a dog. But knowing that still doesn’t prepare you for the horror of having to get dog poop out of your carpet, couch, or bed. Fortunately, learning how to clean up the mess isn’t too tricky—especially since there are many pet-safe cleaning solutions to help you out.
To learn the best and safest ways to clean dog poop out of the carpet (and other surfaces), we consult Lauren Doss, owner of Nashville Maids, and Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, a veterinary consultant with We Love Doodles.
Following their advice, we share how to tackle multiple household surfaces and what to do if you only have common cleaners at home. We’ll also discuss what to do about old poop stains and how to prevent poop accidents from happening again.
- How To Get Dog Poop Out of Carpet
- How To Get Dog Poop Out of Dog Beds and Blankets
- How To Get Dog Poop Out of Couches, Sheets, and Cars
- What To Do If Your Dog Is Regularly Pooping in the House
How To Get Dog Poop Out of Carpet
If your dog poops on the carpet, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Here’s how to handle cleanup like a pro.
- Remove solid material. Use paper towels or a plastic bag to pick up as much poop as possible. For diarrhea, use a flat surface to scoop up what you can. A paper plate or spatula can work, too. Avoid pushing waste deeper into the carpet fibers as you work. And make sure to wear gloves!
- Soak with an enzymatic cleaner. Spray the soiled area (plus an inch perimeter around it) with an enzymatic cleaner. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes so it can work its magic. “Some of my favorite enzyme-based products for cleaning messes include Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover and PetSafe Carpet Cleaner,” says professional cleaner Lauren Doss. “These products are designed to be safe for pets and can help break down messes quickly.”
- Sprinkle with baking soda. Gently scrub the area using a soft-bristle brush, let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes, then vacuum it up.
How to get dog poop out of the carpet with common household cleaners
If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner handy, some natural household cleaners can help. Here are some steps to get dog poop out of your carpet using everyday items you probably already have lying around your house.
- Apply a vinegar solution. “Vinegar is an effective stain remover that can help break down pet messes, especially if they’re fresh,” Doss says. She recommends mixing equal parts vinegar and water, using a clean cloth to blot the area until the stain is gone. She also suggests adding a few drops of a dog-safe essential oil like lavender as an optional step.
- Sprinkle with baking soda. “Baking soda can be used as a powerful deodorizer for pet odors,” adds Doss. “Simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming it up.” For lingering odors, some experts recommend letting the baking soda sit overnight. To keep pets and people from disturbing the area, place an overturned laundry basket or bowl on top of it.
- Clean with dish soap. Dish soap can also be used for mild stains and messes. “Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water, then apply it on the affected area using a clean cloth or sponge,” Doss tells Rover. “Then use a vacuum to remove any remaining residue.”
- Try lemon juice. For a natural deodorizer, some experts suggest diluting lemon juice with water or mixing it with baking soda to make a paste. Both concoctions can be used safely on carpets.
What to do about dried or old dog poop stains
When it comes to dog poop, sometimes it’s easier to clean dried accidents than fresh ones.
- Loosen and remove the dried poop. Wearing gloves, pull dried pieces out of the carpet fibers as best you can. You can also use a bristle brush, putty knife, or fork to pull poop away from the carpet. While this is somewhat tedious, removing the dried poop will make cleanup easier in the following steps. Just be careful not to press any poop deeper into the carpet or destroy the fibers of your carpet with the extraction tools.
- Spray with an enzymatic cleaner. Old stains on carpets require a good enzymatic cleaner to break down the bacteria in the mess. Saturate the area, and let the cleaner sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then scrub the spot gently with a soft-bristle brush.
- Sprinkle with baking soda. Spread a layer of baking soda over the area and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Then vacuum it up.
Note: For dried or older dog poop, you might have to repeat this process a few times to remove the poop stain and smell completely.
How To Get Dog Poop Out of Dog Beds and Blankets
Since their bed is a place your dog spends a lot of time in, avoid using harsh chemicals. Check whether your dog’s bed is machine-washable or if you’ll need to hand-wash it. Then try one of the following approaches.
Steps for a machine-washable dog bed
- Remove the solid waste. Pick up and dispose of any solid poop.
- Vacuum the bed. Removing pet hair will make cleaning easier. You can also shake the bed outside to loosen hair, dust, and crumbs.
- Apply a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner. This will help break down tough stains and odors, making the washing machine step more effective. Let the cleaner sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then blot dry with paper towels or clean cloths.
- Launder the bed. Toss it in the washing machine with pet-safe detergent and a cup of vinegar.
- Air dry. Let the bed dry outside in the sun if possible to help kill bacteria and odor.
Steps for handwash-only beds
Fill a bathtub with cool water, pet-safe laundry detergent, and a cup of vinegar. Submerge your dog’s bed, squeezing water into the fabric. Rinse the bed with cool water, and allow it to dry completely—in the sun, if possible.
How to get dog poop out of your dog’s bed with household cleaners
- Remove the solid waste. Pick up and discard any pieces of solid poop.
- Apply a vinegar mixture. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and apply it to the area, blotting with a cloth to lift the stain. Remove as much moisture as possible.
- Sprinkle the area with baking soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes or overnight to deodorize the bed. Once it’s dry, vacuum it up.
How To Get Dog Poop Out of Other Household Surfaces
If your dog poops on your couch or upholstery, you’ll first want to scoop up any solid pieces. Then blot any residual moisture, and apply a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner to break down the stain and odor.
Alternatively, mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water. Gently sponge the stain with a clean towel. Blot and repeat until the stain is removed. Allow the enzyme cleaner to dry overnight, protecting it with a laundry basket or overturned dish.
If your pooch has an “oopsie” on your bed or sheets, remove any solid poop, and then pre-treat the area with an enzyme-based cleaner, like this laundry booster by Skout’s Honor, letting it permeate the material for 15 to 20 minutes. (This product can also be added directly to your machine’s bleach dispenser.) Launder your sheets and bedding in the washing machine, noting that this could require repeat wash cycles.
“For cars, use a vacuum to remove any solids and then wipe down surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner or a dedicated car upholstery cleaner,” advises Lauren Doss. “You can also spray the area with an enzyme-based pet odor neutralizer to help reduce any lingering odors,” she adds.
Additionally, baking soda can be applied to the area for freshness. Be sure to crack the car windows to let fresh air circulate.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Regularly Pooping in the House
Aside from being a nuisance, it can be worrisome if your dog routinely poops in the house. But Dr. Sabrina Kong says the occasional accident is typical when living with a dog, especially when stressful situations arise.
“The main reason behind dogs pooping inside the house (apart from not having proper access to the outside) is high levels of stress and anxiety,” she says.
Dogs can experience stress when a significant life event occurs—like moving to a new house, welcoming a new family member, or starting a new routine. If this sounds like your dog, Dr. Kong offers a few tips.
“Simply make sure to give your dog lots of attention and provide them with a safe and quiet space they can retreat to in order to relax whenever they’re feeling anxious,” she says. “Once you do so, their stress and anxiety levels will undoubtedly decrease, and pooping inside the house will no longer be a problem.”
However, if the stool is loose or your dog is experiencing incontinence (more common in senior dogs), this could indicate an underlying medical problem that warrants veterinary attention.
Finally, it’s important to remember that your dog never poops out of spite—a gentle approach to accidents is always better than punishing or yelling at your dog.
How We Chose
The cleaning products featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing, a comprehensive look at customer reviews, and interviews with veterinary experts and professionals in the cleaning industry. We prioritized cleaners with pet-safe ingredients that effectively remove visible stains and odors. Additionally, we considered the various lifestyles, homes, and cleaning concerns of different pet parents.
We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated dogs, who are never stingy with their feedback.