Why Do My Clothes Smell Like Pee After Washing?

Have you ever wondered why your clothes smell like pee after washing them, even when you don’t remember spilling anything on them?

Well, this urine odor in clothes happens if your washing machine isn’t properly draining all the water and detergent after each cycle. This can cause a build-up of urine and detergent in the machine, which will then get transferred to your clothes. In addition, if you don’t wash them properly and leave them wet for a long time, that will produce a urine smell.

However, Let’s explore some reasons behind this foul odor as well as tips on how to get rid of this smell from your clothes and more.

What Causes Clothes to Smell Like Pee After Washing?

We’ve all been there. You put your clothes in the washing machine, and after they come out, they smell like urine. It’s so frustrating! There are a few possible reasons why this could be happening.

1. You’re Not Using Enough Detergent

If you don’t use enough detergent, your clothes won’t get as clean as they should. This can cause them to smell bad, including smelling like urine. Make sure you’re using the correct amount of detergent for the size of your load.

2. You Have a Urine-Stained Piece of Clothing in the Load

If even one piece of clothing has urine, the whole load can end up smelling like urine. This is because the urine can transfer to other clothes in the washing machine. To prevent this, pre-treat any clothes with urine stains on them before washing them.

3. Your Washing Machine Needs to Be Cleaned

If your washing machine isn’t clean, it can cause your clothes to smell bad. This is because the dirt and grime in the machine can transfer to your clothes. To clean your washing machine, run it on an empty cycle with hot water and vinegar.

4. There’s Something Wrong with Your Plumbing.

If your clothes always smell like urine after washing them, even when you use the correct amount of detergent and pre-treat urine stains, it could be an issue with your plumbing. There could be a leak in the pipe that connects your washing machine to the sewer.

This could cause sewage to back up into your washing machine, and as a result, your clothes would smell like sewage. You should call a plumber if this could be the issue.

5. You Have a Medical Condition

In rare cases, a medical condition can cause your urine to smell bad. This can then push your clothes to smell bad after washing them. You should see a doctor if you think this could be the case.

6. You Used the Wrong Detergent

If you’re using a detergent not designed for your washing machine, it might not work either. Unfortunately, this can also lead to your clothes not getting clean and starting to smell.

7. You Didn’t Wash Your Clothes Right Away

If you let your dirty clothes sit in your hamper for too long, they can start to smell. This is because the bacteria from your dirty clothes can begin to grow and cause an odor.

How to Remove the Smell of Pee from Clothes?

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the smell of pee on clothes, you know how difficult it can be to remove. The good news is that you can do a few things to eliminate the smell.

Soak in Vinegar

One of the easiest ways to remove the smell of pee from clothes is to soak them in vinegar. Simply fill a sink or bucket with enough vinegar to cover the soiled clothing and let it soak for 2 hours. Afterward, wash the dress as you normally would.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is another excellent option for removing the smell of pee from clothes. Just like vinegar, you’ll want to soak the clothing in a baking soda solution for at least  3 hours to overnight. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water to make the solution. Afterward, wash the clothing as you usually would.


One of the familiar odor removers is bleach. But you need to be careful while using it. You can use both chlorine and non-chlorine bleach. Take 1/4 cup of bleach and mix it on a bucket of water  or in a washtub. Soak the clothing in the solution for 3 hours. Then wash them with cold water and dry them in the air.

Note: If you are using bleach for coloring cloths, avoid chlorine bleach. It can be the cause of color bleeding.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another effective option for removing the smell of pee from clothes. Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 gallon of water to use it. Then, soak the clothing in the mixture. Leave it about 4 hours before rinsing it with cold water. Next, wash them and let them dry in the air.

Laundry Detergent

There are many laundry detergents you can use to wash your cloth. But we found Enzyme laundry detergent goes well against urine odor. You can use this laundry detergent in two ways.

1.     Use the Detergent on Washing Machine

Use the right amount of detergent in the washing machine. The quantity depends on how many clothes you want to wash. Then set the machine into washing mode.

2.     Make A Solution And Soak Cloths into It

Make a solution by mixing one scoop of detergent into a medium bucket of water. Then soak them for 20 minutes, wash them with your hands, and let them dry in the air overnight.


Sun is a great option for removing the smell of pee from clothes. Simply hang the clothing outside in direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun will help disinfect the clothing and naturally remove urine odor.

These are some ways to remove the smell of pee from your clothes. Depending on the severity of the odor, you may need to try a few different methods to eradicate the smell.

How to Prevent Clothes from Smelling Like Pee?

No one wants their clothes to smell like pee, but sometimes it can be challenging to prevent. Here are a few tips to help you keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean:

1. Wash Your Clothes Regularly

When you wear clothes, they will inevitably start to pick up the sweat and other bodily fluids, and when you leave them in the laundry hamper, those fluids will begin to break down and cause odors like urine.

So, it’s important to wash your clothes regularly. If you wear something multiple times before washing, hang it in the air or try to clean it as soon as possible.

2. Don’t Overload Your Washing Machine

If you load too many clothes in your washing machine, they won’t come out as clean as they should. This is especially true for workout clothes or other clothes that are particularly dirty. In addition, overloading the washing machine are unable to dry clothes thoroughly. As a result, peeing smells appear.

3. Use the Right Laundry Detergent

There are a lot of different laundry detergents on the market, and they’re not all created equal. Some are better at removing odors than others. You may need to experiment with a few different brands to find one that works well for you. Additionally, you can try using a laundry booster or odor-eliminating product along with your regular laundry detergent.

4. Don’t Forget to Wash Your Laundry Hamper

Your laundry hamper can start to smell like urine if you’re not careful. If you leave dirty clothes in there for too long, the smell will transfer to the hamper. Be sure to wash your hamper regularly with hot water and laundry detergent to prevent this from happening.

5. Hang Clothes Up to Dry

After you wear clothes, hang them up to dry as soon as possible. Because when you hang them to dry, body swat dries up quickly, which helps to prevent bad smells.

6. Store Clothes Properly

If you’re not wearing your clothes for a while, store them properly. This means keeping them in a cool, dry place where they won’t be exposed to strong odors. You may also consider wrapping them in acid-free tissue paper or storing them in a breathable garment bag to protect them further.

Following these tips can help prevent your clothes from smelling like urine. However, if your clothes start to smell, wash them as soon as possible to prevent the odor from setting in.

How to Get Urine Smell out of Clothes without Washing?

If you cannot wash your clothes right away and need to remove the urine smell, There are two methods you can apply.

Method 1: Use Your Freezer

Honestly, putting clothes in the freezer can remove the urine smell. Here is the process.

  • Just put the clothes in a plastic bag and seal it tightly.
  • Then put it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. The freezing temperature will kill the bacteria that cause the urine smell.
  • After 3-4 hours, remove the clothes from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature.
  • Then, Dry the clothes in the sun.

Method 2: Spray Vinegar

Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent and can be used to remove the urine smell from your clothes.

  • Collect a spray bottle
  • Fill it with equal parts of water and vinegar
  • Now, spray this mixture on the smelly areas of your clothes.
  • Let the clothes dry in the air.

These two methods will definitely help you to get rid of the urine smell from your clothes without washing them.

What Laundry Detergents Are Best for Urine Odor?

If you’re looking for a laundry detergent to eliminate urine odor, you’re in luck. A few different types of laundry detergent are specifically designed to remove urine odor from clothing. Here are  a few of the best laundry detergents for removing urine odor:

1. Tide Pods Laundry Detergent

Tide Pods is a laundry detergent that is specifically designed to remove urine odor from clothing. It contains enzymes that break down urine odor-causing bacteria, so it’s great for getting rid of even the most stubborn urine smells.

2. Oxiclean

OxiClean is another laundry detergent that is great for removing urine odor. It contains oxygenating bleach, which is excellent for removing tough stains and odors.

3. Dead Down Wind

This detergent is a fantastic solution for removing human and animal odors from clothing. It uses enzymes and live cultures to break down odor-causing bacteria, so it’s great for getting rid of tough urine smells.

4. Nature’s Miracle

This product is known as a laundry booster. Where others fail, this product will succeed in removing the toughest of stains and odors. Also, it is safe to use around children and pets.

5. Persil Liquid Laundry Detergent

This is a great choice for people who are looking for an environmentally friendly option. This laundry detergent is made with plant-based ingredients and is free of harsh chemicals. Plus, it’s effective at removing urine odor from clothing.

So, there you have it! These are five of the best laundry detergents for removing urine odor from clothing. If you’re looking for a laundry detergent to eliminate urine odor, any of these would be a great choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does laundry detergent get rid of urine?

Urine smell is a common problem and one that many people struggle to get rid of. However, many laundry detergents in the market are specially formulated to remove the urine smell. So, Yes! It can be used to get rid of urine.

Why do my towels smell like pee?

If your towels start to smell like urine, it could be for several reasons. Most commonly, it’s because they’re not being washed frequently enough or you’re using the wrong laundry detergent. Hard water can also cause your towels to smell over time.

Will urine smell eventually go away?

The good news is that, in most cases, urine odor will eventually go away on its own. This is because the bacteria that causes the bad smell is typically only present in small amounts. As your body eliminates the bacteria, the odor will dissipate. If you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, that will help to eliminate odor bacteria faster.

Final Words

Urine odor can happen for various reasons. The best way to avoid your clothes smelling like pee after washing is to pre-treat them with a fabric softener or vinegar solution and wash them in hot water. You can also try using a stronger detergent or washing your clothes more frequently.

If you have a front-loading washing machine, clean the rubber seal around the door to prevent mold and mildew from building up and causing your clothes to smell bad. Thanks for reading!

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