This Is How To Get Cat Pee Out Of Yarn Successfully

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Getting cat pee out of yarn does require some work. There are two different scenarios for the problem of the peeing on yarn.

Firstly, the cat may have peed on the knitting that is a WIP (Work In Progress). You may be halfway through a knitting project and when you come back to the project, whether a few hours later or weeks later, there is a tell-tale cat urine smell and your heart sinks. The cat has peed on the yarn.

Secondly, the cat may pee on the yarn in your stash. A “stash” (in the knitting world), is yarn or wool that is waiting to be knitted. No stash shaming here, but stashes can get on the largish side, so you get the idea. Cats peeing on yarn in the stash is a common problem

Yarn is a comfy place for cats to hang out. If the yarn is not packaged or in a container, the cat may pee on the yarn. Yarn that is stashed and waiting to be knitted, may be still in a hank or already wound into balls.

The yarn may already be knitted and be a completed or semi completed garment, for example, a sweater.

a stash of yarn
This is a small yarn stash with potential to grow and grow!

The term ‘yarn’ is commonly used in the USA, however, in other countries, such as the UK or Australia, ‘yarn’ usually refers to wool.

A store selling wool in Australia would be a wool shop, and in the US, a yarn store. Just to get that out of the way. I will use the terminology, ‘yarn’ here. As we live in an increasingly connected world the term yarn is being more commonly used in the UK and Australia.

The yarn/Pee problems

I have compiled a comprehensive list of all possible solutions to get cat pee out of yarn.

These solutions to get cat pee out of yarn are from other knitters who have had this problem.

The solutions are the solutions that worked for other knitter.

As well as describing the process of removing the cat urine, I have, where possible, included comments about the actual results.

Some of these methods to remove cat pee from yarn, overlap. Take the information here and apply to your situation.

How To Get Cat Pee Out of Yarn

Problem 1: My cat peed on my WIP. What should I do now?

Solution 1

First of all, put all the stitches on a safety line so that you can temporarily remove the knitting from the needles. You might be cursing kitty under your breath at this stage.

A safety line can just be a length of spare yarn, that is threaded through all of the stiches so that the needle can then be removed. Next, the safety line yarn is tied securely.

The other option to using yarn is to use cord as shown in the image below. I love the cord and am a recent devotee, having just used yarn as a safety line previously.

Next, hand-wash the item in an enzymatic cleaner.

Then wash in a wool wash to make it all lovely and soft. Remove excess water and let the yarn air dry. When dry, put it all back on the needles and keep knitting.

Solution 2

Someone else recommends Furry Freshness for this problem. Furry Freshness is 100% natural, non-toxic, and has no fragrance or enzymes.

Furry Freshness works by triggering pet accidents to breakdown and dissolve into oxygen & water. It also triggers pets stains to completely breakdown.

Furry Freshness
 Pet Stain and Odor Remover

Solution 3

Another recommendation for this cat pee problem, was to put the knitting out in the sun when their cat peed on their knitting. This may work for lightly soiled items.

I would definitely wash the knitting first.

Solution 4

Soak the knitting, using a wool wash while it’s still on the needles. This knitter remarks that it’s a little odd to do, but they have done that with projects the dog peed on.

Solution 5

Try this method to remove the pee, before you discard the WIP. Mix 16 oz of hydrogen peroxide hydrogen peroxide 3% solution, 1 tsp Dawn, 1 tbsp baking soda, and mix together. Put this mixture on the affected area. Let it air dry completely and brush away the excess powder.

This is an excellent remover for cat urine (according to the contributor).

What To Do If Your Cat Pees On Your Bed?


cat has peed on the bed

Problem 2: My knitting bag held a current project and a few skeins of yarn. The cat peed in the bag!

Solution 1

Last week, I had to de-pee 4 skeins. I made them into hanks and then soaked them in enzyme detergent for a day.

Next, the hanks were carefully washed with wool wash, hung to dry, then they were balled into cakes.

It wasn’t as hard as it sounds as long as you’ve used hanks before and know how they are tied to prevent tangles.

Note: Make sure the hanks are tied, otherwise an almighty tangle could be the result. This is a super quick video, approx 2 mins that shows how to tie a hank.

There is another video further down the page that explains how to make a hank, with no special equipment needed.

When you have made a hank, you need to tie it. This video shows exactly how to do that.

Solution 2

This is for after you have solved the yarn pee problem and to hopefully stop any further cat urine incidents.

Have you tried Feliway spray for cats?

It’s a pheromone spray and calms cats that are stressed. It mimics the cat’s natural facial pheromones (when your cat is rubbing the side of his face on furniture, your shoes etc).

Solution 3

Look for a product called Nok-Out Odor Remover (shown below), Pet Deodorizer, and Cleaning Spray. It is an enzyme cleaner that is safe for even the most delicate of fibers.

Solution 4

I used an enzymatic cleaner on two machine-made wool rugs. It got the smell out and the colors ran on only one. It happened to be the one with a lot of red in it.

The color ran into the fringe that is now pink instead of cream colored. I used Nature’s Miracle as my cleaner.

Cat Stain and Odor Eliminator

Problem 3: I stored a baby blanket in my yarn bin. The cat peed in my yarn bin and on the blanket. How can I get cat pee smell out?

Solution 1

The best thing I know for getting cat pee out of fabric, is called Odor Mute.

Cat Odor Eliminator

It eliminates organic odors in minutes. Natural enzymes in the product, chemically change the source of the odor to eliminate it, not simply mask it. It can be used for pet odors such as urine on carpets, walls and fabrics.

Solution 2

There is a product with enzymes that digests urine called Nature’s Miracle. I’ve never used it on yarn, but I have 3 dogs and it has saved our carpet many times. Maybe spot test it on some scrap yarn?

Solution 3

I would use Nature’s Miracle. Soak it well. Rinse and soak it again.

Note: Nature’s Miracle has been mentioned multiple times. To be fair, I don’t know if this is just because it is a well-known brand or because it works so well—maybe a bit of both.

Nature’s Miracle is an enzymatic cleaner that is specific to pet urine stains. Get if from a pet store or online.

Solution 4

This is a ‘Thinking Out Of The Box’ solution. Hunters use a laundry detergent that is scent free, to wash their clothes (and a body wash) to help them go undetected when hunting.

These products also work to get rid of stains.

I am not a hunter, but here is the information about both of these products. Some of you may already know about these or similar products. Both are listed as safe to use on merino wool.

Solution 5

Wash the affected cat pee items, in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with fabric softener.

Then put the item in a mesh bag or pillow case, pinned closed with a safety pin, and dried on low heat. This worked wonderfully for a crocheted baby blanket that smelled of cat urine.

Solution 6

Listerine gets rid of the cat pee smell. Put some in your washing machine and let the blanket soak for a while.

Note: Take care with the color of Listerine. The color may cause additional problems.

Solution 7

Hand wash with Arm and Hammer powder laundry soap with 1/4 tsp of Urine Gone pet stain remover.

Rinse twice. Allow to air dry.

 to get cat pee out of yarn - Pinterest image

Problem 4: The cat peed on A bag Containing New yarn. The Problem Is Continued below…

I need to wash the yarn even though not much got inside the bag. I intend to get some knee-high stockings, put the yarn in each, and wash the knee highs in the hand wash cycle. I’m not sure if they can go in the dryer. Please help!

Solution 1

One person suggests, winding into skeins and hand wash, then hang up to drip dry.

If you put the yarn in the washing machine, it will tangle. I have done this with yarn I have unpicked to reknit.

Solution 2

I would make them into hanks first. If you do not have a swift use the back of chairs, then hand wash, then hang to fully dry. A swift is not necessary.

Use the legs of a chair to work like a swift. I do this all the time.

This solution has been suggested multiple times and is a sensible solution to the problem. It is not a quick fix.

Solution 3

What is the fiber content? Acrylic should be just fine for putting in knee-high stockings and washing in the machine.
I would be careful with anything with animal fiber unless it says it is superwash yarn.
If there’s any animal fiber, I would hand wash.

Solution 4

This is what one person did to solve the problem. I put the hanks (they had not been wound into cakes or balls) in a lingerie bag and washed the yarn on the gentle cycle with cold water and a gentle detergent called Zum.

I left the yarn that keeps the hanks tied in place. When the wash cycle finished, I took the yarn out of the bag and hung it to dry around a hanger (the hank looked like a necklace being worn by the hanger).

I then wound the dry hank into a ball and knit with it as usual.

a hank of yarn
This is a hank of yarn

Solution 5

You would need to make the yarn into a hank and tie it off. When you buy a hank you can see how it has been tied off. There is a video above that shows how to tie a hank.
A hank is looser than a cake or ball of yarn.

If the cat pee got deeper into the yarn, washing it as a tight skein/cake/ball may not get it out.

You also risk not being able to get the middle of the skein/cake/ball dry, which can cause other problems.

How To Make Yarn Into A Hank

Here is a video showing how to make yarn into a hank.

You can see that a hank of yarn is much looser than a ball or cake and therefore easier to wash and dry.

I have used this exact method. I put the chair, with the yarn wound around the legs, outside in a sheltered position and out of direct sunlight. The yarn I was using was a fingering yarn. Every now and then I separated any strands that were sticking together to improve the drying process. I can’t remember the exact drying time and I did have to bring the chair inside because of inclement weather. It did however dry beautifully and look totally new again. The yarn was a Superfine Merino yarn.

The person in the video is talking about preparing the wool for dyeing, which is not the purpose here, but notice how she also says that the yarn/wool can easily be washed in a hank because it is looser than a ball/cake.

How to make yarn into a hank, using legs of a chair. Yarn is easier to wash and dry when in hanks.

A Different Solution To remove Cat pee From Yarn

Here is another solution to remove cat pee from yarn that is a bit outside the square.

It is definitely worth a try if all else has failed and you are about to ditch the yarn and ditching the yarn is a sad state of affairs, not to mention expensive.

Here is the solution. Read below:

Meat tenderising powder breaks down animal proteins. The smell of cat urine comes from short-chain proteins. Depending on the yarn, either dilute the meat tenderising powder in warm water and detergent, or cold water.

This tip was from a dog groomer. This solution costs a fraction of most pet urine treatments.

There are some brilliant ideas here. I hope that you have been able to find a solution to the cat pee on yarn problem.

As we know, cat urine can also cause problems on other items that will need to be treated, such as furniture, or maybe a down comforter, pillow, cross stitch, or acrylic yarn.

The methods explained here could also be used in other situations to treat cat urine smells.

vector - two cats reading
We would never ever do that would we dear?

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