The wind in your hair, the open road, and… wait, what’s that smell? Urine has invaded your car and is not a pleasant companion for your daily commute. Whether it’s a mishap or a child’s accident, dealing with urine stains and odors can be daunting.

Here, we’ll explain how to eliminate the urine smell from car seats so you can breathe freely again. So goodbye to the embarrassment and discomfort, and get ready to reclaim your car’s aroma. With our step-by-step methods, handy tips, and some good old-fashioned know-how, you’ll be equipped to tackle this odorous challenge head-on.

So buckle up and join us on this journey to eliminate urine smells from your car seats. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a novice, we’ve covered you.

Understanding the Source of Urine Odor

Before diving into the removal methods, it’s essential to understand why urine odor can be persistent and challenging to eliminate. When urine comes into contact with fabric, it can seep deep into the fibers and even reach your car seat’s underlying foam or padding. 

This is what makes the smell linger even after surface cleaning. Therefore, we must address the surface and underlying layers to remove the odor effectively.

5 Useful Methods to Remove Urine Smell From Your Car Seat

Method 1: Surface Cleaning and Stain Removal

The first step in eliminating the urine smell from your car seat is to address the surface and remove any visible stains. Follow these steps:

how to remove urine smell from car seat

Blotting and Absorbing: Blotting the affected area with paper towels or absorbent cloths to soak up as much urine as possible. Press down firmly without rubbing to avoid spreading the urine.

Preparation of Cleaning Solution: Create a mixture of white vinegar and water. Add a few drops of mild dish soap or a teaspoon of baking soda for enhanced odor removal.

Cleaning the Surface: Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the stained area. Work in circular motions, starting from the outside and moving inward. Avoid saturating the fabric excessively.

Rinsing and Drying: After cleaning, dampen a fresh cloth with plain water and rinse the area to remove any residue. Finally, use a dry cloth or towel to blot the spot and allow it to air dry thoroughly.

Method 2: Deep Cleaning and Odor Neutralization

To effectively tackle the odor that has penetrated deep into the seat’s upholstery, follow these steps:

Using Enzyme-Based Cleaners: Enzyme-based cleaners are designed to break down organic compounds like urine. Apply the cleaner according to the product instructions and allow it to sit for the recommended duration to neutralize the odor effectively.

Steam Cleaning or Professional Detailing: Consider using a steam cleaner or seeking professional detailing services to deep clean the car seat. Steam can penetrate deep into the fabric and help remove the urine particles and odor from the underlying layers.

how to remove urine smell from car seat

Brush and Rinse: Gently brush the cleaner into the fabric using a soft-bristled brush. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended time, usually around 15 minutes, to break down the urine residue effectively. Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and blot excess moisture with a dry cloth.

Drying: Ensure proper drying of the car seat by keeping the windows open or using a fan. This step is crucial to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Method 3: Natural Odor Absorbers

To further eliminate lingering urine smell, try the following odor absorption techniques:

Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda generously over the car seat, focusing on the affected area. Leave it overnight to absorb the odor, then vacuum it thoroughly the next day.

Activated Charcoal: Place activated charcoal briquettes or odor-absorbing bags near the car seat. Activated charcoal has excellent odor-absorbing properties and can help eliminate urine smell over time.

Method 4: Removing an Old Stain

If you’re dealing with an old urine stain that has already set into your car seat, don’t worry. You can still take steps to remove the stain and eliminate the lingering odor. Follow this method to tackle an old urine stain:

Preparation: Before you begin, gather the necessary supplies, including a mild detergent, warm water, a clean cloth or sponge, white vinegar, baking soda, and a vacuum cleaner.

Spot Test: Before applying any cleaning solutions to the stained area, it’s crucial to perform a spot test on a small, inconspicuous car seat area. This will help ensure that the cleaning solution does not cause discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Blotting: Blotting the stained area with a clean cloth or sponge to remove any loose debris or moisture. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain and make removing it more difficult.

how to remove urine smell from car seat

Detergent Solution: Mix a solution of mild detergent and warm water. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the solution and gently blot the stain, working from the outside towards the center. Be patient and persistent, as it may take several attempts to lift the old stain.

Rinsing: After treating the stain with the detergent solution, rinse the area with plain water. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with water and blot the area to remove any residue from the cleaning solution.

Vacuuming: After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to vacuum the area thoroughly. This will remove the baking soda and any trapped dirt, debris, or odor particles.

Repeat if Necessary: If the stain or odor persists, repeat the cleaning process using the detergent solution, white vinegar solution, and baking soda. Removing an old and stubborn urine stain may take several attempts.

Method 5: Professional Cleaning Services

If the urine smell persists despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to seek professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have specialized equipment and solutions that can effectively eliminate stubborn urine odors from car seats.

Additional Tips for Preventing and Maintaining a Fresh Car Seat

Quick Action: Whenever a urine accident occurs, address it promptly to prevent the smell from settling into the fabric.

Waterproof Seat Covers: Consider using waterproof seat covers to protect your car seats from future accidents and spills.

Regular Cleaning Routine: Implement a regular cleaning routine to prevent odors from building up. Vacuuming, spot cleaning, and odor-neutralizing products can help maintain a fresh-smelling car seat.

Proper Ventilation: Keep your car well-ventilated by opening windows or using air fresheners to circulate fresh air.


Dealing with urine smell in your car seat can be daunting, but with the right approach, it is possible to eliminate the odor and restore a fresh and pleasant environment. Remember to act promptly, use appropriate cleaning methods, and consider natural odor absorbers. 

Implementing preventive measures and maintaining a regular cleaning routine will help keep your car smelling fresh in the long run. Following these tips and techniques, you can confidently bid farewell to urine smell and enjoy a clean and odor-free car seat experience.


What removes the smell of urine?

Enzymatic cleaners are highly effective at removing the smell of urine. They contain enzymes that break down the odor-causing molecules and eliminate the smell at its source.

How do you get the human urine smell out of upholstery?

Blot up any excess urine with a cloth or paper towel to remove the human urine smell from upholstery. Then, apply an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for upholstery and follow the instructions on the product. Finally, gently scrub the affected area and allow it to air dry.

What is the best way to remove the urine smell from fabric?

The best way to remove the urine smell from fabric is to blot up excess urine and apply an enzymatic cleaner designed for fabrics. Allow the cleaner to penetrate the fabric and break down the odor-causing molecules. Air dry the fabric afterward.

Does the smell of urine go away?

With proper cleaning and treatment, the smell of urine can be effectively eliminated. Using enzymatic cleaners and following the appropriate cleaning methods should help remove the odor. However, acting quickly is important, as old or set-in urine stains may require additional cleaning and treatments.

Can vinegar remove the urine smell from car seats?

Yes, vinegar can be an effective natural remedy for removing urine smell. Its acidic properties help neutralize the odor-causing bacteria. Mix equal vinegar and water, dampen a cloth with the solution, and blot the affected area. Remember to rinse the seat afterward and allow it to air dry.