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How to Remove Pet Hair or Stains from Hardwood Floors

Advice from our experts

Cleaning pet stains on hardwood floors

When pets cohabitate with hardwood floors, some sticky (and stinky) situations may develop, such as when your beloved pet leaves you a not-so-special surprise, or when “look what the cat dragged in” takes on an unfortunate literal meaning.

However, maintaining hardwood floors in a house with pets is possible if you know how to remove pet stains from hardwood floors. Removing pet stains to maintain hardwood floors is easy if you’re equipped with the right tools, cleaning products, and tips.

Read on to learn how to remove pet stains from hardwood floors, and how to protect your hardwood floors from your beloved furry friends.

Tools to clean pet stains from hardwood floors

The first step in cleaning and addressing pet stains on hardwood floors is to gather your supplies.

For a convenient way to clean pet stains on hardwood floors, you’ll need:

  • Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths1 in your favorite scent
  • Swiffer® Sweeper2 or another standard mopping tool

Another option to get rid of pet stains is to use a wet mop and hardwood floor cleaner. For this option, you’ll need:

  • Floor cleaner safe for hardwood floors
  • Hands-free wringing mop or another mop of your preference
  • Bucket
  • Clean towel
  • Gloves (if your hands are sensitive to cleaners or if required by use instructions)

For a quick and convenient solution, use Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths to clean pet stains, including pet hair and dander. The cloths are pre-saturated with cleaner and fit Swiffer® Sweeper2 and other standard mop heads. They’re ultra-textured to trap 4x more particles3, dirt and pet hair, kill 99.9% of germs4, and are safe to use on sealed or finished hardwood floors.

These floor wipes will also freshen your room with uplifting long-lasting scents without harsh chemical smells. Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths come in three elevated scents:

  • Tuscan Lavender & Jasmine: Lavish yet delicate balance of lavender and blossomed jasmine petals
  • Pacific Breeze & Coconut: Vibrant, enticing scent of freshly shaved coconut carried on a warm ocean breeze
  • Fresh Brazilian Blossoms: Elegant blend of florals with layers of lush fruity notes

For information on indulging your home beyond your floors, check out additional Clorox® Scentiva® products.

You can also use Clorox® Bleach to clean and disinfect hardwood floors following a pet mess. However, bleach should never be used full-strength. Always dilute it in water and follow the instructions on the bottle. Learn more about cleaning and disinfecting floors with bleach.

Enzymatic floor cleaners are another option for cleaning pet stains, including urine stains, on hardwood floors. These cleaners break down stains and odors caused by pet urine. Enzymes in these cleaners neutralize urine and make cleanup, stain removal and odor elimination easier. Learn more about how to remove pet stains from hardwood floors with other pet stain removing products like Clorox® Pet Urine Remover.

Steps for cleaning, mopping and removing pet stains

Whenever you spot a pet mess such as pet urine, try to soak up as much of the liquid as possible as quickly as possible with an absorbent cloth or dry paper towel. If a liquid like urine soaks in between the floorboards, it can cause damage and odor.

If you’re going for convenience to clean pet stains, grab your standard mopping tool and Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths and follow these three easy steps:

One
Attach
wet mopping cloth to sweeper head.
Two
Mop
the hardwood floor. Make sure to use enough cloths so the floor is visibly wet for 10 seconds to sanitize. If you want to disinfect your hardwood floors or do a deeper pet mess cleaning, make sure floors remain wet for 4 minutes.
Three
Let air dry.
No rinsing required.

Bleach is an option to remove pet stains from floors. If you’re using bleach, follow our EPA-registered protocol to kill germs and bacteria, and follow the steps below:

One
Mix
up a disinfecting solution of 1/2 cup Clorox® Bleach and 1 gallon water; to kill canine parvovirus, use 1/2 cup Clorox® Bleach and 3/4 gallon water.
Two
Prewash
the area and then mop or wipe with the disinfecting solution.
Three
Let stand
for 10 minutes.
Four
Rinse
thoroughly and air dry.

Read more how to clean floors and how to mop floors with Clorox® Bleach.

Best practices for cleaning pet stains from hardwood floors

It’s best to regularly clean your floors to keep then free of pet hair and other pet stains. For quick daily cleanings keep a vacuum, soft broom, dust mop or microfiber mop on hand to run over floors to pick up any pet hair or loose particles. We know how those sweet and unintentionally sneaky pets are notorious for bringing in all kinds of debris.

When removing pet stains, consider cleaning hardwood floors in small sections to be sure you can manage rinsing quickly and thoroughly. Also, be sure the room is well-ventilated — for your sake and your pet’s. And it’s a good idea to wear eye protection and gloves when working with a bleach solution to remove more challenging pet stains.

For whatever pet stain remover cleaning product you end up using, it’s best to learn how to best remove pet stains from hardwood floors. Always test a small section of the floor before cleaning the whole pet mess and read the directions on how to use stain removing cleaning products.

Removing pet stains: Natural cleaning options

If you prefer natural products for cleaning pet stains, consider using white vinegar. White vinegar works to neutralize the ammonia in urine, and it’s also a deodorizer.

The typical recommended mixture contains 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water. You can use this mixture on many others surfaces throughout your home in addition to hardwood floors—even for messes your pet didn’t make.

To use a vinegar mixture on your hardwood floor, follow the same steps for regular mopping or mopping with bleach.

One last trick to remove pet stains from hardwood floors is to use baking soda to absorb liquids, including urine. Baking soda also helps to neutralize odors. Sprinkle baking soda on the damp area, allow enough time for the soda to absorb the moisture, and then wipe up with a towel or paper towel.

Clean floors for your pet and you

If you can make cleaning and disinfecting your hardwood floors part of your regular cleaning routine, then you can more easily stay ahead of the trail of messes and pet stains that your pet leaves behind. You’ll ensure that your floors and your home are clean for you, your pets, and your family.

1. Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths are not for use on unpainted wood and unfinished, unsealed, unpainted, waxed, oiled or worn surfaces. Test a small area first.
2. Swiffer® is a registered trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company.
3. vs. Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes
4. When used as directed on hard, nonporous surfaces.