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My mom is incontinent and wears diapers. She moved in last year, and though we clean the rooms that she lives and spends time in, recently, a good friend who came for a visit, whispered to me that my home smelled like 'urine'. I was VERY grateful that she told me, as living in the same house all the time, one doesn't always notice it. I clean with a disinfectant, and leave the windows open, but there's not much of a breeze, so there's not much I know what to do now. And I don't know what to do for the rest of the house, since I think I got a little immune to the duller, less noticeable smell outside of her rooms. What do you all do to get rid of the house smell?

My mother is in a memory care facility, and they put disposable incontinence pads under her where ever she sits and in bed. Get dispsable panties for her. Try to prevent the urine from getting to the furniture or bed. The smell and stains are very difficult to get out.
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Reply to NancyIS
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Throw those pads always as soon as they are soiled. They go in a plastic bag in outside trash can. We have these glade air fresheners set in her bathroom set for every 30 minutes. Febreze is good for fabric items to have a quick spray. Also maybe some odor absorbers might help. They are containers you open and you can set out around the house. Also you could use plug ins. I always forget to refill mine.
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Reply to Choupette
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Go to the pet area of your local store and buy the cleaners that take care of pet "accidents", Those cleaners have enzymes to break down the waste products that cause odor.

Also have your mom checked for a UTI and/or kidney damage by her doctor. Urine from a UTI can be very strong odor and also smell "off". People with kidney damage actually do not do a good job of excreting nitrogenous waste in their urine, They tend to place the waste into their skin which makes them smell like urine.
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Reply to Taarna
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Dear Tyon60,
I have experienced the urine odors while caring for MIL.
As others have mentioned, OdorBan is wonderful. And you can find many enzymatic cleaners in the pet aisle, or in janitor supply.
My personal favorite is Resolves Urine Destroyer. It works on BM accidents, too. I spray down her clothes at night before dropping then in the hamper. I also spray down and/or dump it (if necessary) on any bedding that has accidents on it.
I have soaked carpets before and after shampooing. It works on upholstery, as well.
In the laundry, I sometimes add a small amount to the fabric softener compartment.
My nose is very sensitive, and I can't stand perfume in the air fresheners, etc. Anything that actually destroys the odors is a plus.
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Reply to LillianS
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Someone mentioned the medline ultrasorb pads on Amazon - they are the best and i would suspect if you smell urine to that extent - that her depends is leaking around the home or onto furniture? Use those pads to line place she may sit - like if she has a special chair she always sits in - etc - I even use one to cover the wheelchair pad just in case.
I also use and extra overnight pad inside moms depends (it’s like like a large maxi pad - I use the basic Walgreens brand - I think they are called Certainty overnight pads) for additional absorbency.
We have a separate trash small trash can for her depends and take it out for every change (I also use Walmart’s brand mint smell trash bags for her barrel.
If her urine smells that potent I would also consider testing for infection - or dehydration. Infected urine is usually very strong clear smell.
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Reply to Momheal1
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Odo- ban is my go to odor neutralizer. It is also a great sanitizer as it kills all sorts of bacteria and viruses. Full strength will get rid of any odor; it has been used in crime scene cleanups.
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Reply to Maple3044
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The first two things I would tackle are:
1. Mother's personal hygiene: does she need more support with washing and dressing now? Are the Depends she's using the appropriate ones for her needs?
2. Check that all is well with her waterworks - if the urine smells as strongly as all that there may be something wrong, such as a background infection or that she isn't drinking enough.

And after that, I wouldn't worry about it beyond normal cleaning and ventilation. If a friend confides in you again, once you've taken the necessary steps, smile sweetly and thank her for her good intentions. Yes, you may have gone a bit "nose-blind" as they say; but then again some people are very pernickety about anything that isn't roses. She probably warns people about wet dogs, too.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I personally didn't have to deal with my mother's incontinence (more like a few accidents, not getting undressed in time, etc), but I have dealt with kitty urine (worse by far!) I've used Nature's Miracle on hard surfaces with success. Softer items seem to be okay until after they dry. Depends maybe on the items - perhaps a washing after soaking might work.

Vinegar also can be used to cut the odor on items. Here is where I chime in and warn people: don't mix vinegar with bleach. We get plenty of warning about not mixing chemicals, but who thinks of vinegar as a chemical? I was using it to cut the odor in training pants. With hard well water, I decided to add a little bleach to help whiten them too. Ooops... The combination creates chlorine gas!

It is easy enough to slowly become acclimated and not notice the smell. One way might be do the checking of various areas after spending some time away from the home. It might take some close up inspection (sniffing) to locate the source. Often when looking for my mother's hearing aid, I'd notice the smell in her carpet (MC.) We had plenty of charges for "deep cleaning" of the carpet!

Using the disposable pads on the bed and places she generally sits can help prevent additional absorption. I was buying these for mom's bed, but the nurse suggested getting the washable ones. I was able to find a 2pk and over time it might help save some money - of course they need to be washed too, so the savings may be lost there! For chairs that have removable cushion covers, you may need to replace the foam, but carefully wrapping the foam with a large trash bag will prevent it soaking in - you still have to wash the cover, but not replace the foam again (it will likely make crinkly noises, so... warn visitors?

Definitely storing the used briefs and pads outside can help, but when I do kitty clean up, I always put the paper towels in a sealable bag too. Nothing goes in my regular trash can but trash. Any food scraps or wet items I keep in separate bags, so my trash bin doesn't stink! Veg scraps are stored outside in buckets, for composting. When ready to do a trash run, the zip bags go into the regular trash bag and then all goes in the large trash bag, so my car won't stink either!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Kids & Pets is a good brand for gettin grid of Urine odors on clothing as well as linens, upholstery and carpet.

You have lots of good suggestions here. Hope you find some that work.
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Reply to BetsyPE
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You can find enzymatic cleaners for the urine in the pet aisle--quite a few are safe for hardwood floors. I would check all the places she sits and assess the cushions-see if they have taken a hit and need replaced. Wash any suspect slip covers that you can, and if replacing any cushions or filling, cover the clean cushion with a big 'yard' size plastic bag before zippering it back into the cover. If you have any rugs get them cleaned. If she is still navigating any type of area/throw rug, now's the time to remove it. Double check that she isn't squirreling away pants that are musty in her closet--my mom would not change her depends until they were quite saturated-this led to spillovers where the inside of her pants were damp, but not the outside. So she would put these back in her dresser or the closet. Clean the trashcan that's used for the diapers--I ended up getting one of those ones that had a lid that closed--still took the used depends out daily, but at least it let me do it on my time.
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Reply to ElizabethY
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You could try a room humidifier maybe. Filter and clean Air. I know that isn't very pleasant for you. I keep seeing the ad on tv for external catheter, which is used at night and helps soak up urine and odor. Plus Medicare covers it which is great if that qualifies to your mom. Also, some of the newer plug ins may really help also. I'm sure you'll get a ton of great tips!
Love & Light, Kelly💜
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Reply to DianneKK
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I had a small trashcan with a lid. I lined it with a disposible trash bag. As soon as it was full, i took it outside. I kept it washed and Lysoled.

My GF recommended bowls of vinegar around Moms room. I chose just one, in her bathroom up where she could not reach it. I started to smell a difference within a hour, a day the smell seemed to be gone. So I left it another day. I have a very sensitive smeller. And so does my daughter and she never complained about smells.

I used Huggie wipes to clean Mom. They are thicker and bigger than the woman ones. I had a couple of those flannel covered rubber protectors you use on baby mattresses. I used them on Moms chair. Then washed them. There are water proof mattress protectors. I would check Moms mattress. The covering can be washed. There are videos on how to get the stains out. You will need to do this early in the day for the mattress to dry. I have used a hairdryer to speed up the process. If you find that the mattress seems OK, I just saw a video where baking soda is sprinkled all over the bed and then vacuumed off to freshen it.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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DianneKK Jun 14, 2021
My mom only uses them at night and I noticed the odor going in there and realized it is the briefs. Best suggestion that works is taking the briefs outdoors after use. It's easy for me since its only night use so don't know if you can get outdoor can for ez access but as soon as I took them directly out, odor was gone!! Hopefully you can check on the External catheter too. Especially for night time use. Just in case no one said it recently, thank you for all you do💜🙌😇Your mom is lucky to have you:)
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It is a very difficult problem, but I sure wouldn't recommend a catheter rather than scrupulous monitoring, changing, washing, and protecting, if that is the main determinant. Catheters can be necessary and useful, but can be dangerous even when carefully monitored.
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Reply to Moxies
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I should have added..
Properly and thoroughly cleaning the person is also important in avoiding the urine odor.
It may be time for more direct supervision in the bathroom.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 14, 2021
Sadly, this is a huge challenge for some.
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I use an air purifier, I change my moms depends frequently and put her on the commode every two hours and clean her. I also spray with Lysol disinfectant. House does not smell of urine that I noticed. I also use a protective pad under her when she is in bed and also when she is in her chair. Good luck.
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Reply to earlybird
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You must inspect her mattress, furniture (everywhere she sits), carpet, bathroom rugs, area rugs and follow the odor with your nose. I only allow my mom to wear her muumuu dresses, nighttime gowns, and all clothing ONLY ONCE!!  Wash her dirty clothes, night gowns, pee-pee pads daily. If you have carpet in your house it needs to be cleaned by professionals or rent out one of those Rug Doctor carpet cleaners. In addition, her pull up diapers need to be changed morning & night (if not more often) plus she needs to take a bath frequently. All used diapers need to be kept outside in a garbage can. I put each dirty diaper in a plastic bag where it is closed tightly then the garbage can it goes. Also, be sure you clean the outside of the toilet and around the bottom of toilet too. Your mom’s bedroom sheets, bed spread etc. need to be washed often. Get your mom some washable pee-pee pads on Amazon. Get the larger ones they work better. Be sure mattress has a mattress cover plus a waterproof mattress cover to prevent the mattress from getting ruined. I would not allow your mom to sit on all your furniture either. She should have her own designated chair at the dining table and in the family room where she watches TV. It is really a tough thing to deal with but once you figure out what she is doing or not doing correctly your house will eventually stop smelling like urine.
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Reply to Beeshepard
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I don't know about removing the smell, but it sounds like she needs a urinary catheter and be confined to bed either there or in a nursing home if the depends and such are not keeping things within good boundaries.
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Reply to NoTryDoYoda
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Isthisrealyreal Jun 14, 2021
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I don't know about removing the smell, but it sounds like she need a urinary catheter and be confined to bed either there or in a nursing home if the depends and such are not keeping things within good boundaries.
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Reply to NoTryDoYoda
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 14, 2021
Mom had a catheter in rehab and in her hospice house. She did fine with them. Occasionally, they had to remove them and it can be uncomfortable.

I was very glad when they put the catheter in at rehab because her nursing home was short staffed. It is impossible not to have an accident when the aides can’t get to the room quick enough.

Catheters certainly simplify this issue if it is applicable for the patient.
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Also, order some Medline Extrasorbs disposable chucks on Amazon which are huge and hold a gallon of liquid. Line any upholstered furniture your mom sits on with one of these, it makes a big difference not to get fabric soiled to begin with (other than clothing).

The major cause of odor in my mother's Memory Care Assisted Living room is due to wet briefs staying in the garbage too long. The CGs empty the trash 6x a day which isn't always enough. I feel that a wet brief needs to leave the bathroom immediately which can happen at home more readily than in an ALF.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 14, 2021
That’s what I always dad. I put the trash out immediately. My mom sat on those pillows, so she wasn’t in direct contact with her chair but you’re right having those placed on chairs, beds or sofas will prevent them from being saturated. I had extra padding on my mom’s bed.
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OdorBan works well as a cleaner/disinfectant/sanitizer as well as an air freshener. I also used it in the wash for my Husbands clothes, towels and bedding.
When you spray in the bathroom(s) spray at the base of the toilet sometimes the seal is not tight and liquid can get between the toilet base and the flooring. Check to see if yours it sealed well. If not it might be worth caulking but if the gap is large enough and enough time has gone by removing the toilet and cleaning and resealing might be a better option.
Rinse/clean the garbage cans used to dispose of briefs (not a fan of the word "diaper" unless we are talking about infants) and wipes. Spray with an odor neutralizer like OdorBan, Fresh Wave or Clorox has Urine Remover that also works.
Check any furniture she sits on. Often leaks go unnoticed. Also if her room is carpeted I would check that and possibly consider removing carpet.
And do a double check of all her clothing make sure it is all odor free.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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If your house smells it is because she has urinated on things, depends are not going out the door often enough or your mom is not bathing and changing clothes and depends often enough.

Or a combination of the above.

Dealing with those issues is the 1st thing to do.

Then cleaning everything that she has sat on and leaked with an enzyme destroying cleaner. I prefer vinegar to anything else, saturate the items, let it dry and odors are gone.

If you don't deal with what is causing the smell, you will just be covering it up and you will become nose blind even worse.

Best of luck, this is a difficult situation to be sure.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Maybe it’s the trash can where you place her diapers. You could clean those thoroughly. I used to place my mom’s trash bags that held wet diapers outside until garbage pick up day. Or try one of the diaper containers that are used to hold baby diapers. They keep odors trapped inside.

Another thing that you could try is burning scented candles or spraying a disinfectant like Lysol.
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