Tips for Cleaning Up Urine and Feces in the House

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Thu Sep 29 2022.

Learn best tips for cleaning urine and feces if you're caring for a loved one with incontinence.

When you care for someone with urinary or fecal incontinence, accidents are a part of the daily routine. Products such as waterproof chair pads and protective bedding can help protect your cushions and mattresses, but at some point, you may need to go the extra mile to eliminate odors and/or stains.

To help make cleanups a little easier, we’ve created this basic guide to cleaning up urine and feces in the house. Below, we highlight which items to include in your cleaning kit and explain how to remove odors and stains from flooring, furniture, and bedding.

What items should I include in an accident clean-up kit?

When cleaning up urine and/or feces, you need to have the necessary supplies. 

Adriana Aziz, the operations manager at MaidForYou, a large house cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia, says that having the right items in your caddy makes cleanups safer and easier.

“When cleaning homes of clients who are elderly or suffering from a disability, we provide our teams with a completely different caddy than we would our standard clients,” Aziz said. 

This caddy consists of the following items:

  • Protective eyewear (glasses or goggles)

  • Rubber gloves

  • Bleach

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Lysol spray (or another type of disinfectant)

  • A small bucket (for hot or cold water)

  • An empty spray bottle

  • Enzyme-based cleaning product (such as Nature’s Miracle)

  • Clean sponges

  • Dish soap

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Paper towels

It’s also a good idea to have cleaning wipes and clean towels or rags on hand, specifically designated for accident cleanups.

What should I do if my care recipient has an accident?

If your care recipient has an accident somewhere other than the bathroom, it’s crucial you stay calm and act quickly.

Though it can be tempting to focus on the potential damage to your flooring or furniture, Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, says to worry about your loved first.

“Help your care recipient get cleaned up and changed into dry clothing,” Stark said. Long-term exposure to urine and fecal matter causes skin breakdown, increasing the risk of problems like diaper rash and yeast infections.

Here’s how to change an adult diaper: a step-by-step guide.

How do I clean up urine and/or feces on the floor?

Removing urine or feces from flooring depends on the type of flooring that you have. Here are four of the most common scenarios:

Removing feces from carpet

Step one: Put on your protective eyewear and rubber gloves. Then, blot up as much of the feces as possible with clean paper towels. Carefully squeeze the carpet fibers, drawing the fecal matter to the surface. Then sponge the carpet with cold water.

Step two: Now, it’s time to make a homemade carpet cleaning solution. 

Mix two cups of water with one tablespoon of dish soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Transfer the mixture to an empty spray bottle and spray the solution onto your carpet. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then blot it up. Repeat these same steps several times, until the stain is completely gone.

Removing feces from hard top flooring

Cleaning feces off of hard top floorings, such as tile or linoleum, is much less labor intensive. Wipe up as much of the void as possible with paper towels or a mop. Then, fill a bucket with warm water and a tablespoon of dish soap. Scrub up the stain until its no longer visible. If soap and water don’t eliminate it, an enzyme digester, like Nature’s Miracle can help.

Removing urine from carpet

The longer urine sits on the carpet, the more likely it is to leave an odor behind.

Quickly grab a roll of clean paper towels, and blot up as much of the void as possible. Then rinse the stain with cold water and reblot it with more paper towels.

Spray the area with an enzyme-based solution and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After the spray dries, vacuum the area. 

Removing urine from hard top flooring

If someone urinates on your hard top flooring, blot up the puddle with clean paper towels. Then, wipe down the area with disinfectant wipes or scrub the area with a sponge, warm water, and dish soap. After the urine is completely gone, let the floor air dry.

How do I clean up urine and/or feces from bedding?

If your care recipient has mobility issues or another health problem that keeps them from using the toilet at night, it’s important you know how to clean up soiled bedding.

“First, remove all of the soiled bedding as well as your loved one's clothes,” Aziz said. “Soak the clothing and bedding in a solution that’s equal parts white vinegar and cold water. Then, place them in the washing machine on the highest temperature setting.”

“It’s also a good idea to invest in a waterproof mattress cover,” said Stark. “You can even get ones that zip closed over the whole mattress that you can wipe clean with a vinegar and dish soap solution.”

How do I clean urine and/or feces from furniture?

Cleaning up soiled furniture is similar to cleaning up soiled bedding, but with a few distinctions.

Often, planning ahead is the key to accident prevention. Stark says you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by investing in furniture pads.

 “These incontinence products provide an extra layer of protection on places where your loved one sits. Plus, they’re disposable and discreet.”

Removing feces from furniture

To remove feces from furniture, once again use your homemade cleaning solution.

Mix two cups of water with one tablespoon of dish soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Transfer the mixture to an empty spray bottle and spray the solution onto the upholstery that’s stained. Let the solution sit for at least 15 minutes and then blot it up. Repeat these same steps several times, until the stain is gone.

Removing urine from furniture

To remove urine from furniture, mix one cup of water with one cup of white vinegar and transfer it to an empty spray bottle. 

Then, spray the urine stain until it’s completely soaked. Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes and then blot it dry with paper towels.

What if I still have questions about cleaning up urine and feces?

Providing care for someone with urinary or fecal incontinence presents unique challenges. If you need help selecting products that meet your loved one’s needs, we’re happy to help. 

Our friendly Care Specialists speak English and Spanish and can answer any questions you have. To get in touch, send an email to support@carewell.com or call (855) 855-1666 today.

Find these products and more by shopping "Caregiver Protection and Odor Control" below.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.