How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes

While it may occur to anyone, bladder control problems are more common in seniors.

Control measures exist including exercises for urinary incontinence and your loved one may improve his/her bladder health gradually.

In the meantime, you, as the caregiver, need to find ways to knock out the unbearable urine odors that tend to linger in his/her clothing even after thoroughly washing soiled clothes.

Here is how to remove urine odor from elderly clothes, bedding, carpets, etc.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes

Before using harsh chemicals -these fade some fabrics or cause holes- to get rid of the strong smell of pee from your dear one’s clothing, consider applying less harmful methods first.

Here they are:

1.      Add Baking soda when doing laundry

You can easily clear out the strong smell of urine from your aged parent or relative clothing by adding a few shakes of Baking Soda with each load. 

It doesn’t contain any savage chemicals and is also a fabulous deodorizer.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes with baking soda – step by step

Step 1:

Remove pee from your aged buddy’s clothing.

Simply soak the urine up using a paper towel or rag before anything else.

Step 2:

Wash the load of soiled clothing in your washer.

For this step, you should use the hottest water the fabric your cleaner allows.

Don’t apply the baking soda yet- use a powerful detergent first.

The idea, at this stage, is to remove the urine that is still fresh.

Step 3:

Now mix a half-cup of baking soda together with your trusted detergent to the load of laundry (follow the instructions for the quantities).

Be sure to let the washing machine complete a regular washing cycle – you must again use the hottest water the fabric permits.

Step 4: Dry completely

Dry the clothes completely before storage to prevent musty smells.

Be sure to follow normal care label instructions when drying.

Useful tips

  • Consider pre-soaking the urine-stained clothes in a solution of warm water and baking soda if you’re still struggling to cut out the overwhelming smell.
  • If overpowering urine odors persist, repeat the steps highlighted above with your load.

2.      Wash them with Nature’s Miracle

Use the popular Nature’s Miracle 32 fl oz Laundry Booster if baking soda failed to effectively eliminate the unpleasant odor from the pee-stained clothing.

For starters, this is an enzyme-based cleaning product that works wonders on urine stains and smell remaining in clean clothes.

And like baking soda, it’s kind on various fabrics and non-toxic for pets and children.

Add it to your preferred laundry detergent before attempting to clean your clothes.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes with Nature’s Miracle – procedure

Simply add ¼-cup of the product per laundry load along with your usual detergent then leave the washing machine to run its course.

The enzymes in the fast-selling pet stain remover are potent enough to break down dogged urine odor even in clothes that are seemingly soiled ‘beyond redemption’.

Useful tips

  • For heavy-duty pee stains and smell, add ½-cup of the product per laundry load.
  • For high efficiency with washing machines, follow the manufacturer-specified detergent measurement recommendations.
  • If you’re unsure about discoloration, test for colorfastness by pouring a little additive inside seam before tossing the fabric to your machine.

Side Note: You can replace Nature’s Miracle with the plant-based Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover. It’s safe and super effective on urine smell lingering on fabrics too

3.      Pour Vinegar into the laundry

Vinegar is another naturally-occurring liquid that gives great success when used to eradicate urine smell on clothes.

The aqueous combination of acetic acid and other natural chemicals in vinegar not only neutralizes the urine but also helps break down the concentration of urea and other waste products that cause the nasty odor.


Pour white vinegar (a cup or so) into both the bleach dispenser and fabric softener of your washer, along with the standard measurement of laundry detergent.

Run the load as you always do and you should finally wipe out the unpleasantness!

Alternative methods

You can also try these more straightforward techniques with vinegar to suppress the disgusting urine smell:

  • Just add a ½-cup of white vinegar along with your favorite detergent when washing soiled clothes- This removes most odors that stick to the garments.
  • Wash the clothes as you always do, but add 1-cup of white vinegar to your final rinse. In addition to doing away with the urine odor in the clothes promptly, this removes any residue left in fabrics by the detergent.

Side Note: Try apple cider vinegar if white vinegar fails you.

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Chemical Products for removing urine odor from elderly clothes

If you’d rather go the chemicals way, the following products work like a charm on urine that sticks to your grandpa/grandma’s otherwise clean clothes:

1.     Borax

Borax absorbs a huge variety of odors and stains and can be a helpful option for urine smell that won’t go away from clothes as well.

Just add a ½-cup of the chemical to the wash load together with your favored detergent. 

Proceed to wash and dry the clothes in your typical manner.

Caveat: Borax can kill kids or pets. You may also experience a lethal skin reaction, irritation in your eyes, or respiratory issues with Borax. Use it with care.

2.     Ammonia

Ammonia is an extremely powerful laundry aid and adding it to the laundry can help fight off the urine smell clinging to his/her bedding and clothing.

Ammonia is especially superb on bath towels and is one of the best solutions if you notice that urine smell is consistently hanging on in his/her towel.


  • Load the towels into the washer.
  • Set it to the hottest available wash cycle.
  • Add laundry soap (your usual amount) to the washing machine.
  • Pour two cups of sudsy (soapy) ammonia into the washer- let it fill with water first.
  • Leave it to run the first complete wash cycle.
  • Turn it back on and run another rinse cycle.
  • Dry the towels (on medium heat).

Also try:

For the heaviest urine odor on clothes, fill the washing machines with warm water then add 1-cup of ammonia.

Allow the urine-stained clothes to soak for 2-3 hours (or overnight, if needed) before washing.

Wrap up

With the above tips, you can effectively remove urine odor that lingers on your loved one’s sheets and clothes.

Away from that, it’s important to follow each product’s usage instructions to the letter or you’ll be risking ruining the clothes and beddings or even your (or his/her) health.

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