Can You Clean Cat Pee With Bleach?

Cats can be nice companions at home, but the hard part is cleaning their pee off clothes, carpets, mattresses, or other surfaces. Cat pee can leave stubborn stains that may be difficult to clean and a smell that may be hard to remove, but should you use bleach? 

You can’t clean cat pee with bleach. Cat pee contains high levels of ammonia, which, when combined with chlorine from the bleach, can release harmful fumes that can harm humans and, in extreme cases, cause death. 

This article discusses how to stop the cat pee smell and the best ways to clean cat pee without using bleach, so stick around!

Can You Clean Cat Pee With Bleach?

Cat pee has a high ammonia concentration, and unless you’re using a non-chlorine bleach, you should never clean any cat pee-stained surface with bleach. 

The gasses that a mixture of chlorine and ammonia releases are harmful, and when inhaled in large quantities, they can have a deadly effect. The combination releases poisonous gas, which can sometimes cause an explosion

That’s why you shouldn’t clean cat pee with chlorine bleach, as you want to keep yourself and those around you safe. Instead of using bleach, try doing the following immediately after your cat pees on any surface:

  1. Place a clean cloth on the area to absorb as much urine as possible.
  2. Rinse the surface with water and vacuum afterward. Never use steam, as it will make the stain worse.
  3. Soak the stained surface in enzyme cleaner for about 15 minutes, then blot with a clean cloth.
  4. You can apply the enzyme cleaner multiple times to get a cleaner surface. 

Does Bleach Stop Cat Pee Smell?

Bleach doesn’t stop cat pee smell, as it merely masks the odor for a little while, even if it were safe to use it. While it can clean and disinfect items, it can’t remove the cat pee smell and can actually make the smell worse. 

You’re better off trying out other tested and trusted ways to reduce and completely remove the cat pee smell from your surfaces. 

What Household Cleaner Neutralizes Cat Urine?

The household cleaner that neutralizes cat uring the best is a baking soda and vinegar mixture. You can also try hydrogen peroxide and enzyme cleaners, as they can lift the smell out of the fabric. 

Removing cat pee stains and smells can be a real hassle because one wrong move can make the stain and smell worse than it already is. Nonetheless, as troublesome as it may be, removing and neutralizing both stain and smell is not impossible. 

Let’s discuss some of these cleaning options.

Baking Soda and Vinegar 

Baking soda and vinegar are effective cat urine neutralizers. The application of baking soda and vinegar may differ depending on the surface or how deeply the stain has penetrated the fabric. Here are two easy but slightly different ways to use baking soda and vinegar.

Try this method first:

  1. Blot the urine with a clean cloth.
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda generously on the cat urine stain and wait for a few minutes.
  3. Pour vinegar on the baking soda-covered surface and allow the fizz to clear out. 
  4. Use a clean cloth to blot the surface.
  5. Repeat the process if the stain persists. 

If that doesn’t work, you might want to try this instead:

  1. Blot urine with a clean cloth. Don’t scrub to avoid making the stain worse.
  2. Mix vinegar and baking soda in a container.
  3. Pour the mixture over the stained surface and leave for a few minutes. 
  4. Blot with a clean cloth.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda on the area and vacuum afterward. Or, you can use vinegar mixed with water alone to remove the urine smell. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a highly recommended cleaner because it doesn’t just break down stains but also effectively neutralizes the smell of cat urine. Apply the hydrogen peroxide directly to the surface and leave for a few minutes. 

However, since it’s a type of bleaching agent, you should try using it in a concealed spot to ensure it doesn’t bleach your carpet or other items.

You can also mix hydrogen peroxide with dishwashing liquid and an odor remover. Apply this mixture to the stained surface and gently scrub to allow it to penetrate the fibers, then blot with a clean cloth.

Enzyme Cleaners

After blotting out the urine on a surface, you use enzyme cleaners to soak the stained surface. Enzyme cleaners soak up stains and waste, which makes them an effective stubborn stain remover. 

Leave enzyme cleaners for a few minutes, then blot. For maximum effect, you can use baking soda and vinegar first, dry a little, then apply hydrogen peroxide before following up with an enzyme cleaner. 

How Do I Make My House Not Smell Like Cat Pee?

To make your house not smell like cat pee, clean out the litter box daily and use pet odor neutralizers. If possible, clean up the area where your cat urinated as soon as it happens so that it doesn’t set into the carpet fibers.

Here are some helpful tips to make your house not smell like cat pee: 

  • Clean the litter box daily: If your cat isn’t using their litter box, it’s probably because it’s dirty. Cats, like humans, need a clean place to do their business, and if their box is dirty, they’ll go on the floor or your clothing. 
  • Clean cat pee immediately: Allowing cat pee to linger is a sure way to cause your house to smell, as it can get into the carpet fibers as it dries. You may not always be there when your cat pees, so try to trace the source of any pee smell and deal with it before it lingers and worsens. 
  • Use pet odor neutralizers: The odor-neutralizing liquids and sprays not only cleans the urine from your floor or clothing, but they also remove the odor so your cat won’t go there again. 
  • Take them to the vet: If your cat is urinating on the floor instead of their litter box, they may have a medical condition and should see the vet.


There are several effective ways to clean cat pee without using bleach, which can harm your health and even cause death. Use baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and enzyme cleaners instead, as they can remove cat pee stains and the foul stench accompanying them. 

Removing cat pee stains can prove difficult, but it’s possible. You may need to use the cleaning items generously and multiple times to get the stain and smell off your bedding, carpet, clothes, or any other surface that may be affected.

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