How To Get Rid Of Rat Urine Odor – 5 Steps

Rodent Guide
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I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

Rat urine is dangerous! Let’s begin with that. It can cause leptospirosis, leading to severe, life-threatening diseases such as Weil’s disease or bacterial meningitis.

Even without urine, rats are dangerous. The odor is also pretty bad too! This post has you covered if you want to know how to get rid of the odor of rat urine.

What you will learn in this post:

  1. How to get rid of rat urine odor – 5 steps
  2. Products that I use to clean rat urine

How To Get Rid Of Rat Urine Odor

How To Get Rid Of Rat Urine Odor – 5 Tips

Here are the 5 tips if you want to know how to eliminate the odor of rat urine. The most challenging part is finding the rat urine to clean it! That is where we begin.

5 Steps To Get Rid Of Rat Urine Odor Infographic

1. Protect Yourself

If you want to know how to get rid of rat urine odor, you first must know how to protect yourself! You need to remain healthy!

Where there is rat urine, there are also rat feces. Rat feces can give you some pretty terrible diseases, such as hantavirus. Protect yourself with the following list of items:

  • Respirator mask
  • Feet covers
  • Strong rubber gloves
  • Coverall

Protect your health! These items above will go some way toward removing rat urine and, subsequently, the smell of rat urine.

2. Locate The Rat Urine Odor

This is the most difficult part of this particular challenge! How do you locate rat urine? Sure, it is easy if there is a puddle of urine, but what if it has soaked through (wood, for instance)? How do you locate it?

For a start, you can use your nose! Rat urine smells ‘musky’, with classic ammonia odor when it has dried. Simply follow your nose. If the rat urine hasn’t dried yet, just look for small yellow puddles.

This is your secret weapon if you want to know how to get rid of rat urine odor.

You can use UV light to show urine stains. Something like this torch works very well:

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Once you have located the urine, it is time to clean it up.

3. Ventilation

Hopefully, you have got a respirator mask on! Even if you have, it is best to ventilate the area before cleaning up the rat urine.

Not only does rat urine smell bad, but you will also be using various cleaning products, so the need for ventilation is big!

Open windows, doors, attic hatches, etc. Get some air flowing through the area of the rat urine. This will help remove the urine odor and the odor of the cleaning equipment.

4. Clean The Rat Urine

Ok, now it is time to begin the actual cleaning process. If you want to know how to get rid of the odor of rat urine, you need to know how to clean it up!

What can you use to clean rat urine odor?

My go-to products for cleaning rat urine are:

  • Bleach – Follow the directions to make up a water and bleach mixture. Bleach is a powerful cleaner that will wipe out any bacteria. Before using bleach, remember to ventilate the area well! Do not use bleach on materials that bleach can damage, including clothing and other items.
  • Disinfectant – Spray bottles are much easier to use. Spray onto the rat urine, clean it up, then spray more on the area. Please leave it to soak for 20 minutes before cleaning again.
  • Water – Use water after using other cleaning products such as bleach, disinfectant, or vinegar. This is primarily used to clean the cleaning product and rat urine odor.
  • Vinegar and Olive Oil – Mix a spray bottle with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 pint of white vinegar. This is a great natural spray for rat urine odor. Some folks are worried about the vinegar smell, but don’t worry – it does not last long. It certainly smells better than rat urine!
  • Steam – Kill off all germs naturally with a steam cleaner. I use this on material that has rat urine on it.

Cleaning the rat urine

Now that you have your cleaning products ready, you should apply the products to the area where you have noticed rat urine. Apply using a spray, and scrub with a sponge (don’t forget that you should be wearing gloves).

If you are using a steam cleaner, you should clean the area first with products before using it.

Apply the following rules when cleaning rat urine some certain materials:

  • Metal – Use any products above.
  • Wood – Do not use bleach or steam cleaner. I prefer the vinegar mix. Let it soak into the wood to remove the odor fully.
  • Cloth material – Do not use bleach.

5. Mask The Odor

Now that you have cleaned the area thoroughly, you should mask the odor still in the air.

You have ventilation, which is awesome, but I always use air fresheners or other products for odor control.

  • Ground coffee – Is an excellent odor absorber.
  • Charcoal – This is another awesome odor absorber. Add some charcoal in a bag and hang it in the local area.
  • Insense sticks – These can be very powerful at masking certain odors. Sometimes, the odor can be overwhelming, but they work.
  • Air fresheners – These do what they should and freshen the air!


When cleaning the rat urine, you must dispose of your used equipment.

I always dispose of the gloves, feet covers, coveralls (if they are disposable), and the sponges, etc that are used during the process.

The key point is that you should dispose of any equipment potentially exposed to rat urine. Some of the equipment will be disposable, but some will need a deep, hot wash before you can use them again (such as the clothing you wear as you clean up the rat urine).

Cleaning Rat Urine From Wood

Cleaning rat urine from wood is particularly challenging to eliminate rat urine odor! Any liquid will soak into the wood, which makes it difficult to clean thoroughly.

You have two options here.

  1. Use the vinegar and olive oil mix. Clean the wood thoroughly with this mixture. Spray the mixture onto the wood and let it soak for 20 minutes before cleaning.
  2. Seal the odor in the wood. If you have a particular piece of wood with rat urine odor, you could seal that bit of wood with a wood finish like shellac. Any wood lacquer will work as long as it seals any odor and stops it from escaping from the wood.

When cleaning the wood, you should leave the oil and vinegar mix to soak in for 20 minutes before cleaning. That way, you can be sure that the cleaning mixture has soaked into the wood, too.

Is Breathing Rat Urine Harmful?

Yes – it can be. As urine dries on a surface, particles of the urine can become airborne. If you breathe these particles in, you could develop hantavirus (if the rat had it in the first place).

Rat urine is also dangerous if broken skin comes into contact with the urine. It can cause leptospirosis, leading to serious, life-threatening diseases such as Weil’s disease or meningitis.

Salvador in Brazil saw regular seasonal outbreaks of leptospirosis during the wet season due to the extra standing water. That is how dangerous rats can be.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

Is rat urine dangerous?

Yes, rat urine is dangerous! It can cause leptospirosis, leading to serious, life-threatening diseases such as Weil’s disease or meningitis. For this reason, you should clean up any rat urine around your home as soon as possible!

What does rat urine smell like?

Rat urine smells very musty. Urine has a high concentration of urea, which breaks down into ammonia. This is the combination that makes rat urine smell as it does.

How do I get rid of the rat urine smell from my car?

I would use a mixture of white vinegar and water to get the rat urine smell out of my car. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 1 pint of water. Add this to a spray bottle and shake well before use. Spray onto your car’s area(s) where you have noticed the rat urine and leave to soak for 20 minutes.


Rats pee on everything! When you get rats in your home, you will also have a rat urine problem! If you want to know how to get rid of rat urine odor, then the 5 tips on this page will help.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep yourself healthy. That means fully protecting yourself as you tackle the problem of rat urine.

When cleaning up the rat urine, you should dispose of the (disposable) equipment you used. You should follow that up by washing thoroughly. It is one of the ways that you can prevent getting a disease from rat urine and protect your family, too.

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

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