DIY Cleaning for Dog Diarrhea

Oh no, it happened again. You smell it before you see it and you tremble at the thought of what you will find. Your worst fears come true when you arrive in the living room and find a huge mess on your new carpet. Mandy, your 12 year old golden retriever is no where no be found. You are in a hurry to leave for work and begin grabbing whatever you can to tackle the diarrhea mess, eliminate the dog poop stain and odor in the short time you have.

The common phrase, “accidents happen,” is well known amongst doggie parents. Unfortunately, dog accidents are not limited to puppies; older dogs, sick dogs and dogs who have eaten something they should not have eaten are all at risk for having accidents. There is not doubt about it, feces stains and odor are one of the toughest things you will tackle as a pet owner.

If you are a dog parent there is a good chance that you have experienced the challenge of cleaning dog poop or diarrhea from your carpet, your hardwood floor, your upholstery or even from your car. Although not a particularly glamorous topic, there are some important do’s and don’t along with best cleaning practices when it comes to dealing with your doggies dodo!

Inside this guide you will find DIY ideas about how to clean dog poop, specifically, dog diarrhea from a variety of surfaces. Remember, there are a lot of diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to humans through feces. This is why it is extremely important to clean carefully and thoroughly when your dog has an accident.

Dog Poop Can Make You Sick

Diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans are known as zoonotic diseases. As a dog owner, it is important to know that you can get diseases such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, roundworm and hookworms from contaminated dog feces, Your dog does not even have to show signs of being sick to carry any of these conditions. This is why it is important to follow the best cleaning and sanitizing practices when it comes to dog poop messes.

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

Generally speaking, the runnier the bowel movement, the more difficult it is to clean up. A solid feces, that contains minimal liquid, will leave a much smaller stain than one that is loose. However, either type of feces can still contain dangerous bacteria and should be cleaned up and disposed of properly.

If your dog has frequent loose stools it is important to understand that this is not normal and could be a strong indicator that something, possibly serious, is going on with your furry friend.

Getting to the bottom of why your dog has diarrhea will help prevent future accidents and make your pet feel a whole lot better. Here are just a few reasons why dogs have diarrhea.

Garbage Gut: If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, unsupervised or is known for rooting through your trash, he may experience what is known as garbage gut. This can also happen if your dog overeats.

Food Change: Just like people, some dogs have extremely sensitive digestive systems and if you switch up Fido’s food it could result in loose stools for a while. Be prepared for this if you make a change. Veterinarians recommend that you make the switch to a new food very slowly by mixing a bit of new food with old food for about one week or so.

Parasites: Puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to parasites including, roundworms, hookworms whipworms and coccidia.

If your dog has parasites his digestive system will be upset, often causing diarrhea.

Illness: Diarrhea is often a symptom of an illness such as kidney or liver disease, colitis , inflammatory bowel disease or cancer

Poisonous substances or plants: If your dog eats something poisonous such as a plant or other substance it will upset his stomach and could cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Sock eater: Does your furry friend love to eat socks, toys or other foreign objects? If s, this could result in loose stools and a very upset stomach.

Virus causing infections: Common viruses such as parvovirus, distemper and coronavirus, can cause infections that result in diarrhea.

Antibiotics or medication: If your dog is taking antibiotics or medication it can cause diarrhea.

Stress: Stress can trigger a number of physical symptoms, including diarrhea in both humans and dogs.

Common triggers for stress in dogs include moving, travel, storms, new people and illness.

The best process for cleaning up dog diarrhea or solid feces depends on where the accident actually happens.

Best Practices For Cleaning Up Dog Diarrhea Outdoors

Cleaning Diarrhea on Grass

If your dog has diarrhea on the grass you have several options that work for best cleanup:

  • Wait for it to dry: Wait until the diarrhea dries and pick it up with a scoop or shovel (sanitize your scoop or shovel with a bleach and water solution after picking up)
  • Thicken it: Thicken the diarrhea by sprinkling it with dirt, sand or kitty litter. This will make the diarrhea easier to pick up. Once it is coagulated, pick it up using the method above.
  • Spray it: Spray the diarrhea with a hose to separate it and move it. To get the diarrhea out of your grass and move it to another area (a dirt bed etc) you can use water. Once the diarrhea has been successfully moved, cover it with dirt. Use one of the above methods to dispose of the remaining diarrhea.

Cutting your grass weekly will help to remove any diarrhea residue. Be sure to spray the blades of your mower with a 50/50 bleach and water solution after cutting to remove any bacteria.

Note: If you are on a walk with your dog and he has diarrhea in the grass be sure that you use a thick plastic bag to scoop up and dispose of the feces right away.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Rocks

Diarrhea on rocks is a little trickier to clean up. If there is dirt under the rocks, the best way to clean up the mess is to spray the rocks with a high power hose and let the diarrhea sink down to the dirt. If, however, your rocks are sitting on a layer of plastic, remove the rocks and spray them off in the grass until they are clean. To kill bacteria, spray the rock area with a diluted bleach and water mixture.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Pavers or Cement

To clean diarrhea from pavers or cement it is important to put on thick rubber gloves and clean up as much solid material as you can using two ply paper towels. Dispose of this solid material immediately. If you can, wash the are with water followed by a diluted disinfectant solution and rinse with clean water.

REMEMBER: Always wash your hands with soap and warm water after cleaning up a dog mess, even if you did not directly touch the feces. A good school of thought here is better safe than sorry!

Best Practices For Cleaning Up Dog Diarrhea Indoors

Cleaning up dog diarrhea from indoor surfaces such as wood, carpet and upholstery is not for the faint hearted. However, with the right tools and methods it is possible to clean and sanitize surfaces and remove lingering odors. Keep in mind that using the wrong cleaning method and the wrong solutions can result in a forever stain, lingering odor and bacteria remnants.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Carpet

If you have the time and can stand it - let the diarrhea dry for a few hours before cleaning it up. This will make the process easier. Here is the best method to clean dog feces from carpet.


  • Latex gloves
  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • 2 large bowls
  • Paper towels
  • Fork
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Vacuum cleaner or shop vac


  1. Place a large bowl over the mess. This will help the diarrhea to dry and keep you from smearing it all over while you gather your supplies and get ready to clean. It also helps confine the odor.
  2. Put on your gloves and scoop up and waste that you can using paper towels. Do not push the stain deeper into the carpet. Place soiled paper towels in the plastic bag.
  3. Combine 1 ½ cups warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar. Mix and let it sit.
  4. Use an old fork to lightly scrape up any dried feces. Stop scraping if you notice that you are ripping carpet fibers.
  5. Suck up any of the dry loose flakes or peices using a vacuum cleaner.
  6. Pour the vinegar solution over the stain. BLot the solution with paper towels until you absorb as much liquid as you can.
  7. If you still see a stain add more of the vinegar solution and continue to blot until the stain is gone.
  8. Mix 10 drops of lemon essential oil in 1 cup of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the area and allow it to sit for several hours.
  9. Vacuum the area to remove baking soda and remaining feces.
  10. Spray the area with your favorite disinfectant spray to kill any remaining bacteria.

DIY Enzyme Stain Remover

If a stain remains after the carpet dries, try this DIY natural stain remover. Since this recipe takes some patience, you should make several batches at one time. Simply spray on stain and blot dry.


  • 7 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups lemon or orange peels
  • 4 cups water
  • Spray bottle big enough to hold all ingredients

How to make it

  1. Put brown sugar into the container
  2. Add peels
  3. Add water
  4. Screw on cap and shake
  5. Loosen cap part way to release gases.
  6. Let bottle sit for 3 months and it will be ready to use.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Lavender Stain Lifter

This stain remover works well on new or old stains and leaves your whole house smelling great and won’t damage your carpet.


  • Paper towels or clean rags
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Vacuum or shop vac
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon organic dish soap
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • Bowl

How to make it

  1. If the carpet is damp, cover the stain with rags or paper towels and place a heavy book on top to absorb liquid.
  2. Add the lavender essential oil to the baking soda.
  3. Apply a generous amount of baking soda to the stain.
  4. Mix the hydrogen peroxide and the dish soap.
  5. Pour the solution on top of the baking soda.
  6. Use a soft brush or cloth to work scrub the stain.
  7. Repeat as necessary.
  8. Wait 15 minutes and vacuum.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Hardwood Floors

The initial cleaning process is a bit easier on hardwood floors than on carpet, however it is important to begin cleaning as soon as possible to avoid the liquid seeping into the floor and leaving a permanent stain.


  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag x 2
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Something heavy


  1. Put on your gloves.
  2. Remove as much of the solid material as you can using paper towels. Put material in a plastic bag and dispose of promptly.
  3. Blot the remaining liquid using paper towels.
  4. Dip a clean rag in 3% peroxide and gently wring out.
  5. Place on top of the stain.
  6. Cover stain with plastic bag and weigh it down with something heavy like a big book.
  7. Let it set overnight.
  8. Check the stain in the morning and repeat if needed.

Note: If the mess seeps into cracks in your floor use an old toothbrush dipped in peroxide to brush it out. Wipe up loose particles with a paper towel and dispose of . Throw away the toothbrush.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Tile and Other Hard Floor Surfaces

Cleaning tile and other hard floor surfaces is much easier than cleaning some other surfaces. The key is to be sure that you sanitize the surface completely after cleaning. Looks can be deceiving. Even though it may appear as though the mess is completely cleaned, you will want to 5be sure to thoroughly sanitize the area


  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Rags
  • 2 tablespoons castile soap
  • 10 drops pine essential oil
  • 2 gallons warm water
  • Bucket


  1. Put on you gloves.
  2. Pick up as much fecal matter as possible using a paper towel. Put matter in a plastic bag.
  3. Wipe up remaining fecal matter using paper towels. Put matter in a plastic bag.
  4. Combine the castile soap, warm water and essential oil.
  5. Thoroughly clean the floor using the above mixture.
  6. Rinse the area with warm water

DIY Grout Cleaner

If your dog has an accident on your tile floor and your grout becomes stained, use this mixture to remove the stain and clean the grout.


  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon organic dish soap

How to make it

  1. Mix the ingredients together
  2. Spread on grout and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse with clean water.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Leather

If by change your furry friend has an accident on your leather furniture you will need to act fast to prevent any lasting damage.


  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Sponge
  • Toothpaste
  • Rags


  1. Put on your gloves.
  2. Scoop up as much of the poop as you can. Be careful not to spread the feces.
  3. Put the soiled paper towel in a garbage bag and dispose of it immediately.
  4. Mix the lemon juice and cream of tartar in a bowl.
  5. Spread the mixture over the stain and let it sit for ten minutes.
  6. Wet a sponge - rinse out excess water - and blot the stain. Continue rinsing and blotting until the lemon juice and cream of tartar mixture has lifted completely.
  7. Wipe toothpaste ( not gel) over the spot and let it sit for five minutes.
  8. Wipe the toothpaste away using a damp sponge.
  9. Dry the area with a clean cloth.
  10. Apply leather conditioner to the leather and let it soak in. Wipe excess with a clean cloth.

Cleaning Diarrhea on Bedding and Mattress

If your canine companion sleeps with you or happens to be on your bed when he has an accident, follow this simple method to clean and sanitize your bedding and mattress.


It is important to clean the feces from your bedding as soon as you can. This may keep it from soaking into your mattress.


  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic bag
  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle


  1. Put on your gloves.
  2. Remove as much of the solid material as you can using paper towels.
  3. Put soiled paper towels in the plastic bag and discard immediately.
  4. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% water.
  5. Spray the soiled area on the bedding.
  6. Wash on sanitize cycle.


If you discover that your mattress has been soiled, clean it immediately using this method.


  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • White vinegar
  • Lavender essential oil
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Rags
  • Spray bottle
  • Water


  • Put on your gloves.
  • Remove as much moisture from the mattress by dabbing paper towels on the spot.
  • Put the paper towels in plastic bag and discard immediately.
  • Make a mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar and add 5 drops lavender essential oil.
  • Spray this mixture on the mattress and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
  • Dilue ⅓ cup hydrogen peroxide in 4 cups of hot water and pour on the mattress.
  • Wait five minutes. Soak up as much liquid as you can using rags.
  • Place your mattress outside in the sun to dry if you can.

Note: Consider using a plastic mattress protector if you wish to avoid future staining.

The Best Ever Room Freshening Spray

This spray will knock out odors lingering in the air. Use it all over your home for general freshening or to combat stubborn odors


  • Spray bottle
  • ¾ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
  • 10 drops of wild orange essential oil
  • 8 drops of peppermint essential oil


Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake lightly. Spray throughout the air to squash odors and leave a lasting fresh scent.

Don’t Forget to Clean Fido

Once you have dealt with the odors and stains you will want to consider giving your dog a bath. This will relax him and clean him up at the same time. Use the mild shampoo recipe below to clean your dog and kill any remaining bacteria. Be sure to wear gloves when bathing your dog.

DIY Doggie ShamPOO Away

This easy to make shampoo is safe of all dogs, even those with sensitive skin.


  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Funnel
  • 1 ½ cups dry oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil


  1. Mix oats with water in a microwave safe bowl..
  2. Heat the oats and water for 2 minutes in microwave or until they are soft.
  3. Add the coconut oil, essential oils and lemon juice.
  4. Stir in the Castile soap until everything is well mixed.
  5. Add mixture to a bottle using the funnel Wash and rinse your furry friend - repeat if necessary.

The Best Solution is Prevention

Of course, the best solution for you and your dog is to prevent diarrhea in the first place. Even though it may seem gross, it is important to get into the habit of checking your dog’s stools regularly. Take note of the color, shape, consistency size and content of your dog's feces. Healthy poop should be chocolate brown in color, shaped like logs, compact and easy to pick up and free of mucous, blood or other strange material.

The more you are in tune with your dog's health the happier you both will be!

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