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How to Remove Urine Smell from Reusable Pee Pads in a Washing Machine Using Vinegar

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Dogs Vets

How to Remove Urine Smell from Reusable Pee Pads in a Washing Machine Using Vinegar 

Dealing with urine smell on reusable pee pads can be a challenge, but fear not! In this article, we’ll explore an effective method using vinegar to eliminate that stubborn odor from your pee pads in a washing machine. Say goodbye to unpleasant smells and hello to freshness!

Understanding the Science of Scent: Why Does Urine Stink?

Before we wield the vinegar like Excalibur, let’s understand the enemy. Urine contains ammonia, a pungent compound that’s the olfactory equivalent of a foghorn in a library.

Remove Urine Smell from Reusable Pee Pads in a Washing Machine Using Vinegar

When urine dries, bacteria gobble it up, releasing even more ammonia and other smelly byproducts. These volatile odor molecules then assault our noses, triggering that “Uh oh, furry friend had an accident” alarm.

The Power of Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient known for its natural cleaning properties. It’s an excellent choice for tackling urine smells due to its ability to neutralize odors and break down organic compounds. Plus, it’s safe to use and environmentally friendly!

Vinegar to the Rescue: How Does it Work?

Vinegar, with its main ingredient of acetic acid, is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant. The acid neutralizes the ammonia, transforming it into odorless ammonium acetate.

Additionally, vinegar disrupts the bacterial party, hindering their production of stink bombs. It’s like a one-two punch to the olfactory senses, leaving your home smelling fresh and your pee pads ready for another round.

Gather Your Supplies

Before we dive into the cleaning process, make sure you have the following supplies ready:

  • Reusable pee pads
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to remove urine smell from reusable pee pads using vinegar:

Step 1: Pre-Treat the Pee Pads

Start by pre-treating the pee pads before tossing them into the washing machine. Rinse them with cold water to remove any excess urine. This step helps to prevent the odor from setting in during the washing process.

Step 2: Create a Vinegar Solution

In a bucket or sink, mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a vinegar solution. This solution will help break down the urine and eliminate the odor. For example, if you use one cup of water, add one cup of vinegar.

Step 3: Soak the Pee Pads

Place the pre-treated pee pads into the vinegar solution and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. This allows the vinegar to penetrate the fabric and neutralize the urine smell effectively.

Step 4: Wash in the Washing Machine

After soaking, transfer the pee pads to the washing machine. Add your regular laundry detergent and set the machine to a cold or warm water cycle. Avoid using hot water as it can set the odor and stain.

Step 5: Dry and Enjoy Freshness

Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the pee pads from the machine and allow them to air dry. Avoid using a dryer as the heat can further set the odor. Once dry, your reusable pee pads will be odor-free and ready to use again!

Unleashing the Power of Vinegar: Prepping Your Arsenal

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: how to actually use vinegar to remove urine odors from reusable pee pads. Here’s the battle plan:

1. Pre-Soak the Pads: Fill a sink or tub with lukewarm water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Submerge the soiled pads for at least 30 minutes, allowing the vinegar to work its magic. For extra stubborn odors, extend the soak time to 2 hours.

2. Laundry Time: Toss the soaked pads into the washing machine. Add your usual laundry detergent and another 1/2 cup of vinegar directly to the detergent dispenser. Opt for a hot water wash (check the pee pad’s care instructions first) to further break down the stink molecules.

3. Bonus Round: For particularly pungent offenders, consider adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle. Baking soda is another odor-neutralizing champion, and it works alongside the vinegar for a double whammy against smells.

4. Drying Dilemma: Skip the dryer! The heat can actually set the urine odors, making them even worse. Instead, air-dry the pee pads on a clothesline or drying rack. The fresh air will further dissipate any lingering smells.

5. Repeat if Necessary: For heavily soiled pads or persistent odors, don’t hesitate to repeat the pre-soak and wash cycle. Remember, persistence is key!

Beyond the Battle: Preventing Odors Before They Strike

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of vinegar, as they say. Here are some tips to keep your reusable pee pads smelling fresh from the start:

  • Rinse the pads immediately after use with cold water to remove as much urine as possible.
  • Rotate your pee pads regularly. Don’t let one pad bear the brunt of the battle. Having a few in rotation allows them to dry completely and prevents odor buildup.
  • Store clean pads in a well-ventilated area. Don’t trap moisture and odors by shoving them in a damp drawer.
  • Consider enzyme cleaners. These specialized cleaners contain bacteria that specifically target and break down urine components, leaving your pads squeaky clean and odor-free.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use any type of vinegar?

While white vinegar is the most commonly used type for cleaning purposes, you can also use apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar. Just make sure it’s vinegar and not vinegar-based products.


Will the vinegar smell linger on the pee pads?

No, the vinegar smell will dissipate during the washing process. Once the pee pads are dry, they will be odor-free.


Can I use this method for other fabrics?

Yes, this method can be used for other fabrics as well. However, always check the care instructions for specific fabrics before using vinegar.


How often should I clean reusable pee pads?

It’s best to clean reusable pee pads after each use. Regular cleaning helps prevent odor buildup and maintains hygiene.


Are there any alternatives to vinegar?

Yes, if you prefer not to use vinegar, you can try using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide as alternative odor-neutralizing agents.


Can I add vinegar directly to the washing machine?

It’s best to create a vinegar solution and pre-soak the pee pads before washing them in the machine. Adding vinegar directly to the machine may not be as effective in eliminating the odor.

Is vinegar safe for pets?

Yes, vinegar is safe for pets. However, always ensure that the pee pads are thoroughly rinsed and dried before allowing your pets to use them again.

Remember, using vinegar to remove urine smell from reusable pee pads is a simple and effective method. With just a few steps, you can say goodbye to unpleasant odors and enjoy fresh, clean pee pads every time. Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute professional advice. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns.




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