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Bed wetting and Strong Urine Smell

September 21, 2015 2 min read

My 12 year old son still has bedwetting. I have noticed that his urine smells strong and his room stinks. Why is this and what do you recommend?


Urine odor is related to the volume and concentration of substances that are normally excreted by the kidneys.

Things that normally affect urine odor include:

Dehydration- Concentrated urine smells worse than dilute urine.

Length of time urine is exposed to air- If your son wets early in his sleep cycle, by morning the urine odor will be worse.

Amount of urine-A typical 12 year old can hold 14 ounces (almost 2 cups) at once; this large amount of fluid is enough to saturate bedding.

Foods and medications- Vegetables such as asparagus or certain vitamins, break down into smelly chemical components when they are metabolized. The following two causes of strong urine smell should be evaluated by your health care provider. He or she can do a simple urine dip in the office to make sure neither of these is affecting your son. Further testing may be warranted if the dipstick is positive.

Bladder infection-Especially if accompanied by cloudy or bloody urine, low fever, pain or burning when urinating, frequent sensation to urinate, cramping or pressure in lower abdomen or back.

Diabetes-Rarely can cause bedwetting and large amounts of urine to be produced.


Use enzyme based cleaners-Covers, clothing and bedding sometimes still smell after being washed. The organic odor-causing bacteria can remain in the cloth, even after washing in hot water. Enzymatic cleaning products, such as DP, break down the urine proteins and allow them to be removed. Then the odor is finally eliminated as well.

Good hygiene-Make sure your son showers in the morning to remove the urine from his skin. Protective lotion will help with any rashes he may have developed from the urine contact. Kids who wear disposable pants at night should shower in the morning, too.

Mattress protection-Zippered vinyl mattress covers stay in place and can easily be sprayed off each morning with an enzyme based cleaner such as DP or Odorzyme.

Odor-eliminating underpads, which lie on top of the sheet, are recharged by washing with chlorine bleach, eliminating odor causing germs.

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