If you have a pet, that pet will have an accident eventually. It just happens! Pet stains in carpets can be notoriously hard to get rid of.
I would know. Years ago, my dog had a stomach issue while I was visiting my in-laws. Needless to say, her white rug was turned a not-so-pretty shade of brown. Luckily, I was able to get rid of the stain with some elbow grease and a good carpet cleaner.
We highly recommend having one of these quality cleaners on standby. You never know when you’ll need one, and when you do need one, you really need one. Here are some of our favorite options for you to look at:
A Quick Glance at Our Top Picks of 2023
The 10 Best Carpet Cleaners for Pets
1. Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray – Best Overall
For practically all pet stains, we highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. This cleaner works great on couches, as it is molecularly based. In other words, the enzymes penetrate the fabric and dissolve any pet messes present there. The enzymes do most of the work so you don’t have to.
While it works great on couches, you can also use it on floors and other fabrics. It works just about anywhere, making it the best overall carpet cleaner for pets. This formulation doesn’t include any overpowering or unnatural chemical fragrances. Instead, it actually eliminates the smells and stains instead of just covering them up. You don’t even have to scrub all that much, as the enzymes “eat” the odors and stain when allowed to sit.
At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
2. OxiClean Large Area Carpet Dog Cleaner – Best Value
Technically, the OxiClean Large Area Carpet Dog Cleaner is designed for carpet cleaning machines. However, in my experience, it can be poured directly onto the carpet too, just make sure you rinse well. The deep-cleaning action helps lift and remove stains, and this cleaner is surprisingly expensive.
For the most part, this cleaner works just like any other option on this list. However, it doesn’t include enzymes, which may be why it is so much cheaper than other options available. Still, we consider this the best carpet cleaner for pets for the money.
It is made in the USA, which is always a nice plus.
3. Hoover Paws & Claws – Premium Choice
Hoover Paws & Claws helps keep your carpet cleaner using enzymatic ingredients. It’s similar to our top pick, but it’s designed to be used in a Hoover carpet cleaner. You can use it as a stand-alone cleaner, but the lack of a spray lid makes this a bit more challenging. Plus, it’s a bit more expensive, too.
You can use it in practically any carpet cleaning machine. So, if you have one, this carpet cleaner is a great option.
This formula is concentrated, which is both a good and bad thing. On the one hand, it means that you must dilute it before you use it. However, it also means that it will last longer. It mostly depends on your personal preference.
4. OdoBan 3-in-1 odor Eliminating Carpet Cleaner
We love the OdoBan 3-in-1 odor Eliminating Carpet Cleaner for several different reasons. This cleaner is designed to work on just about any surface, including carpets. It can also work on upholstery, including couches. You can even use it as a pre-treatment for a carpet cleaner, and it can actually go in the cleaner, too.
This cleaner is pretty powerful and works on both smells and stains. It’s detergent-free, so it won’t harm your carpet like some other cleaners. You can safely use it on more sensitive, expensive carpets.
While this cleaner does work great, some users reported it left a residue after use, and some said it didn’t remove stains particularly well.
5. OxiClean Carpet & Area Rug Cleaner
We also recommend the OxiClean Carpet & Area Rug Cleaner. We already mentioned an OxiClean cleaner above, and this one is fairly similar. However, it comes in a smaller container and is designed to be sprayed directly on the stain. It’s formulated to remove tough stains, including all sorts of pet messes. It can also remove odors effectively.
This special formula is specifically designed for carpets and rugs. Therefore, it is very effective in these areas. It’s made in the USA, which is always a plus. The only big negative is the price, which is pretty high for what you’re getting.
6. OdoBan Disinfectant Laundry & Air Freshener Concentrate
The OdoBan Disinfectant Laundry & Air Freshener Concentrate cleans, sanitizes, and deodorizes pre-cleaned households. It works on a range of different surfaces, including carpets and bedding. It also works on hard surfaces, like in the bathtub. It’s very effective and eliminates odors well. It’s also effective against many animal viruses, such as canine distemper.
It kills 99.9% of germs, making it great for times when you need to really clean an area.
On top of working on animal smells, this cleaner also works on mildew, smoke, vomit, and other nasty substances. It’s pretty effective, but it is more expensive than most.
7. Fizzion Steam Carpet Cleaner
The Fizzion Steam Carpet Cleaner is a fairly interesting cleaner. It’s made to be used in a steam cleaner and cannot be used otherwise. Therefore, it only works if you have a steam cleaner. Luckily, it does work with most brands of steam cleaners, including Hoover, Bissel, and the Rug Doctor.
This cleaner utilizes the CO2 in a steam cleaner to help remove stains and you can use it on a variety of different surfaces, including carpets. You can also use it on other upholstery, cars, and boats. You can use it on nearly anything soft.
These tablets are pretty easy to use, as you don’t have to measure anything. You just throw one into your steam cleaner and get going!
8. Arm & Hammer Litter Plus OxiClean Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator
If you’re looking for something to spot-clean with, we highly recommend the Arm & Hammer Litter Plus Oxiclean Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator. This formula comes in a spray bottle and is made specifically for carpets. It removes pet stains of all sorts and eliminates odors. The spray bottle is easy to use and portable, allowing you to quickly spot-clean messes in your home.
The bottle is designed to clean and deodorize spots on your carpet so that your dogs and cats don’t continue to use it. It’s safe enough to use in households with multiple pets, kittens, and puppies.
However, this cleaner doesn’t seem as effective as other options. It is very cheap, though, so this is a matter of getting what you pay for.
9. Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer Plus
As the name suggests, Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer Plus is specifically designed to remove urine from the carpet. It’s also designed specifically for dogs, though it probably works on cat urine, too. This cleaner is also effective on a range of other messes, but that isn’t necessarily what it is designed for. This cleaner is also specifically made for carpets.
Of course, this is great news if you’re specifically looking to get urine out of your carpet. However, this cleaner may not be very effective for other uses and so it’s a very niche product. You cannot use it on wood, silk, or wool.
This formula does include enzymes, which help remove odors and stains.
10. Rug Doctor Max Advanced Multi-Purpose Deep Carpet Cleaner
As you might guess, the Rug Doctor Max Advanced Multi-Purpose Deep Carpet Cleaner is designed explicitly for the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner. This formula is very concentrated, so it must be diluted before use. When you’re using it in a carpet cleaner, this is less of a problem. However, it’s much more challenging to use by itself than other carpet cleaners on this list. That’s one reason it landed so far down the list.
It can be utilized to clean just about anything, including pet smells. However, it’s also advertised to work on blood, vomit, mildew, and coffee. You can easily keep this cleaner in your house as an all-around cleaner for any messes.
This formula may seem a bit expensive, but the container is bigger than most and it is concentrated. Therefore, you’re getting quite a bit.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Choosing a carpet cleaner may seem pretty straightforward. However, there are a lot of factors that go into selecting the best option for you. It isn’t always as easy as you might think, especially when you’re standing in the store aisle and looking at all the different options!
Below, we’ll take a look at the most important factors to consider when selecting a cleaner. If you’re in a specific situation or have a specific preference, this guide should help you navigate the increasingly complex world of cleaners.
Most carpet cleaners are not heavily scented, especially the ones we’ve included on this list. That’s because you want the cleaner to actually remove the stain and odor—not just cover it up. Odors are caused by bacteria. If the scent is still there (even if covered up), that means the bacteria is still there. The spot really wouldn’t be clean.
If a cleaner is heavily scented, you can’t help but wonder if it is actually clean. However, you also may have to deal with symptoms caused by overpowering scents, like headaches. The cleaner won’t be as straightforward to use if it gives you and your pet a headache every time. You also need to consider your own sensitivity to smells.
For some people, the scent doesn’t matter at all. Others may need to exclusively purchase unscented cleaners.
No one wants to purchase an unsafe cleaner. However, cleaners are made with chemicals by definition. Chemicals are often unsafe for pets, as they weigh much less than we do. Children may also be at risk. In some cases, you may have to keep animals out of the area for a specified amount of time, which can often be easier said than done.
It’s important to only choose a cleaner that is safe for children and pets. Many cleaners out there can be used right alongside your pets and children. However, others cannot be. Always check before making a purchase.
Method of Use
Many carpet cleaners are designed to be used in a carpet cleaning machine. If you have one of these machines, you may want a cleaner that works inside it. However, many people prefer having a cleaner that can be used without a big, expensive machine.
Luckily, many cleaners can be used in both ways. If the cleaner is at the correct dilution, you can often pour it directly onto the stain, scrub it, and rinse it with water. That way, the stain gets removed without you needing to get the whole machine out.
Some can only be used inside a particular cleaner, though. In this case, you should only purchase the cleaner if you’re truly interested in only using the machine. Alternatively, you can purchase a cleaner for your machine and another one for spot-cleaning. Having options is never a bad thing.
Ease of Use
No matter how the carpet cleaner is used, you want it to be easy to use, as well. Even if you don’t have any experience cleaning a carpet, the carpet cleaner should make the process straightforward. If a cleaner requires sitting for an extended amount of time and isn’t safe for pets to interact with, it probably won’t be very practical to use in your home.
For this reason, we highly recommend considering how using the cleaner will actually play out in your home.
We’d all like price to not be a factor, but it is. There is no reason to overpay for a carpet cleaner, especially when there are so many quality options out there. You’re rarely getting much more when you purchase an expensive cleaner.
When determining the price of a cleaner, it’s important to consider the size of the container and the concentration. If a cleaner requires dilution, it will last much longer. You’ll be mixing it with water, which decreases the amount of cleaner you need to get out pet stains.
At the same time, you also need to consider how many ounces come in a container. Most bigger containers are more expensive, but you’re getting a lot more cleaner.
There are tons of different carpet cleaners for pets on the market. We highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. This spray is extremely easy to use and contains enzymes to provide a deeper clean. Simply put, the enzymes eat the bacteria causing the stain and odor, cleaning without much scrubbing necessary.
We also like the OxiClean Large Area Carpet Dog Cleaner. This cleaner is pretty straightforward to use. It can work inside a carpet cleaning machine or by pouring it directly on the stain. It’s very effective and cheaper than most options.
Hopefully, one of the cleaners we reviewed above works for you.
Featured Image Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock