The Best Carpet Deodorizers of 2022

Daily activities, kids, and pets can wreak havoc on the carpet, leaving behind unwanted smells and odors. Freshen your carpet and home with these carpet deodorizers.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated May 26, 2022 10:42 AM

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Best Carpet Deodorizers Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Carpeting is soft, absorbent, and subjected to frequent use by adults, children, and even pets, so it’s no wonder carpet becomes stained and odor-filled. Over time, the odors in carpets can make the whole room smell “off.”

To battle these odors, carpet deodorizers come in powders, foams, sprays, and concentrated liquids. But they have one goal—to neutralize bad odors in the carpet fibers, so your room smells fresh again. The best carpet deodorizer will eliminate disagreeable odors without damaging the carpet and will leave your room smelling fresh and clean. Read on for some tips and our top picks.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Carpet Fresh 280129 Super Pet Carpet Odor Eliminator
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Glade Carpet and Room Refresher
  4. BEST FOR PET OWNERS: Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator
  5. BEST 2-STEP DEODORIZER: Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner
  6. MOST ECO-FRIENDLY: Bodhi Dog Natural Dog Odor Carpet Powder
  7. BEST ENZYME DEODORIZER: Emmy’s Best Powerful Pet Odor Remover
  8. BEST FOAM-IN DEODORIZER: Febreze Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam
The Best Carpet Deodorizer Options

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Carpet Deodorizer

Carpet deodorizers come in three main types: powder, spray, and shampoo, and each applies a little bit differently. Most carpet deodorizing products are safe for use on all carpets.

Powder

Deodorizing the carpet with a powder product is the quickest way to freshen it up. Sprinkle the powder evenly over the carpet, let it remain for the time designated on the container, and then vacuum it up. Many powdered carpet deodorizers contain baking soda, which helps absorb odors and leaves a fresh fragrance behind. Powdered carpet deodorizers are typically used to freshen an entire carpet rather than for spot treating. But, some options may need to be pre-treated with a carpet stain remover before applying or cleaning.

Spray

Spray deodorizers most often clean and freshen small areas, rather than an entire room of carpeting. In the case of a spill or a pet accident, the product’s instructions might suggest saturating the spot with the spray and then lightly scrubbing or patting with a dry towel to help draw some of the offensive liquid and potential stain out of the carpet.

Shampoo

Whether it’s applied with a carpet-cleaning machine or a spray-foam canister, carpet shampoo can help dislodge dirt and debris while neutralizing unpleasant odors. In the case that you’re using a carpet cleaning machine, you’ll add concentrated cleaning liquid to a water reservoir, and the machine will spray the liquid deep into the carpet and then suck the water back out through a wet-vacuuming process.

To apply a spray-foam shampoo, hold the canister upside down and spray the foam in even, sweeping layers. The product’s instructions may suggest either brushing or mopping the foam into the carpet and then allowing it to dry completely before vacuuming away the residue.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Carpet Deodorizer

For the freshest, longest-lasting results, you might need to eradicate the underlying cause of the smell. For example, sprinkling powdered deodorizer over pet urine is unlikely to remove the problem since the urine has soaked the carpet pad and perhaps even the subflooring beneath. To get rid of that type of odor, you’ll have to use a liquid that absorbs beneath the top layer of carpeting and contains the ingredients needed to counteract the smell.

Fragrance

Carpet deodorizing products come in a host of fresh fragrance choices, from soft floral to mint and even eucalyptus, so you can choose the scent you like best.

Antibacterial Properties

Some carpet deodorizing products contain antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients, which can be effective against odor-causing microorganisms in carpeting. These are found in carpet shampoo products intended for use in carpet cleaning machines and in sprays designed to thoroughly saturate areas of the carpet.

Type of Carpet

Most of today’s carpet deodorizing products are safe for use on all types of carpet. However, before using one, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small bit of carpet in an unseen area. This can help ensure the product won’t change the color or feel of the rug before applying it broadly.

Powdered products containing baking soda are safe for use on most carpet types, but concentrated cleaning liquids (used in carpet cleaning machines) might be safe for one kind of carpeting but not another. If a product is not suitable for a specific type of carpet, the label will contain a warning to avoid its use on that type of carpet.

Our Top Picks

Carpet deodorizer products are designed to keep your carpet looking new by treating a range of odors, from cigarette smoke to lingering mustiness to smells left behind by pets. The best carpet deodorizer for your home will depend on the type of smell you’re trying to eradicate.

Best Overall

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Carpet Fresh 280129 Super Pet Carpet Odor Eliminator
Photo: walmart.com

Carpet Fresh 280129 Super Pet Carpet Odor Eliminator is formulated to neutralize pet odors and other smells. This deodorizer sprays on as a quick-dry foam that rapidly penetrates carpet fibers to neutralize unwanted odors. Users just shake the can, and then spray the carpet lightly and evenly, with no mopping or blotting necessary.

Carpet Fresh rug and carpet cleaner soaks in and removes most types of odors—even a strong pet urine scent—to leave the room fresh and smelling clean. Allow the carpet to dry, which usually takes less than an hour, and then vacuum to enjoy an odor-free room.

Product Specs

  • Type: Spray
  • Ingredients: Aerosol odor eliminators
  • Quantity: 10.5 ounces
  • Fragrance(s): Odorless

Pros

  • Removes pet, smoke, and musty odors
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not require vacuuming, blotting, or mopping
  • Leaves no residue
  • Safe to use around children and some pets

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Should not be used near birds
  • Flammable

Get the Carpet Fresh odor eliminator at Walmart and Sears.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Photo: amazon.com

Some products can eliminate unwanted odors in carpet without costing a lot of money, such as this Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover. This product was designed to neutralize odors and eliminate up to 99.9 percent of bacteria, making it a good choice for pet urine, spillover from a leaky diaper, or even vomit stains.

Woolite also removes the visible part of the spill, so no one should know it was there. To apply, simply spray the product on the carpet stain to thoroughly saturate it. Let the solution remain for one hour, and then blot residual dampness with a clean rag, and let the carpet air-dry. This affordable carpet deodorizer comes in a pack of two 22-ounce spray bottles.

Product Specs

  • Type: Spray
  • Ingredients: Stain remover and hydrogen peroxide
  • Quantity: 22 ounces (per bottle)
  • Fragrance(s): Fresh scent

Pros

  • Suitable for carpets and upholstery
  • Cleans pet and baby messes as well as stains
  • Eliminates 99.9 percent of bacteria
  • Does not require vacuuming or mopping

Cons

  • Needs to sit for one hour before removing
  • Not suitable for polypropylenes/olefin or wool carpets

Get the Woolite odor remover at Amazon, Sears, and Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Glade Carpet and Room Refresher
Photo: amazon.com

While cleaning, enjoy the pleasant scent of a gentle tropical breeze with the Glade Carpet and Room Refresher. It deodorizes and leaves a mild, fresh scent behind. This powdered carpet deodorizer works to spot-freshen smelly spills in a single area or can be sprinkled over the entire carpet for a whole room pick-me-up.

This Glade Carpet product is designed for use on dry carpet. For spills, blot up first and let dry, vacuum to remove dirt and debris, and then sprinkle with the carpet and room refresher. Leave the powder on for a few minutes, and then vacuum again to remove excess. Some of the powder will work its way deep into the carpet fibers for long-lasting odor neutralizing.

Product Specs

  • Type: Powder
  • Ingredients: Odor eliminator and fragrance
  • Quantity: 32 ounces (per bottle)
  • Fragrance(s): Hawaiian Breeze, Clean Linen, and Lavender & Vanilla

Pros

  • Suitable for spot-cleaning and entire carpet cleaning
  • Long-lasting odor remover
  • Removes pet, smoke, and musty odors
  • Comes in multiple scents

Cons

  • Should not be used on moist carpets
  • Takes some time and effort to clean carpets

Get the Glade Carpet refresher at Amazon, Sears, and Walmart.

Best for Pet Owners

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator
Photo: walmart.com

All pet owners know that accidents happen, and sometimes they occur on carpeting. But, for those unfortunate pet messes, there is the Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator for digging deep into a carpet’s new and old smells and removing them while leaving a fresh linen scent behind. With the help of baking soda and OxiClean dirt fighters, this carpet deodorizer lifts dirt and pet hair from thin and thick carpeting to help vacuums pick up more per stroke.

Though it is great at removing pet smells, this option is also able to tackle smoke and mildew smells and is easy to apply. Simply sprinkle this powder over the carpet, wait 15 minutes, and then vacuum. Each package contains 30 ounces of carpet deodorizer.

Product Specs

  • Type: Powder
  • Ingredients: Baking soda and OxiClean
  • Quantity: 30 ounces (per package)
  • Fragrance(s): Fresh linen

Pros

  • Specially formulated for pet smells
  • OxiClean dirt fighters; lifts 25 percent more dirt and pet hair
  • Removes smoke and musky smells
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Fresh scent may be overpowering for some

Get the Arm & Hammer odor eliminator at Walmart, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot.

Best 2-Step Deodorizer

Best Carpet Deodorizers Options: Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner Powder 4 lb
Photo: amazon.com

Getting strong odors and tough stains, such as spilled drinks, blood, vomit, or other liquids, out of carpet might require the 2-step process of Capture Carpet 4 lb Cleaner and Deodorizer. Before applying the dry powder, treat the area with Capture Pre-Mist (sold separately), which goes to work immediately to break down the spilled substance.

After that, sprinkle on the Capture Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer powder, and work it into the area with a small sponge or brush. Let the area dry and then vacuum away the residue to reveal the clean and odor-free carpet beneath.

Product Specs

  • Type: Powder
  • Ingredients: Odor and stain eliminator
  • Quantity: 4 pounds
  • Fragrance(s): Fresh scent

Pros

  • Cleaner and deodorizer in one
  • Works on drinks, blood, vomit, and other liquids
  • Ample quantity provided
  • Does not contain harsh chemicals

Cons

  • Requires some effort to clean properly
  • Pre-treatment required (sold seperately)
  • Pricey compared to similar options

Get the Capture Carpet cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, and Walmart.

Most Eco-Friendly

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Bodhi Dog Natural Dog Odor Carpet Powder
Photo: amazon.com

Those who have pets or kids are sure to have messes, but can worry less about toxic chemicals when they clean and deodorize carpet spills with Bodhi Dog Odor Natural Carpet Powder. This plant-based carpet powder removes odors and stains and is safe to use around kids and pets.

It contains finely ground corn cobs and a proprietary blend of other natural ingredients. A little of this powder goes a long way to help eliminate cooking and pet odors, smoke smells, and even the heavy odors of sweat and mildew. Simply sprinkle the powder onto the spill, let it dry, and then vacuum it up.

Product Specs

  • Type: Powder
  • Ingredients: Ground corn cobs and plant-based ingredients
  • Quantity: 20 ounces
  • Fragrance(s): Fresh laundry

Pros

  • Safe for homes with pets and children
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Removes odors and stains

Cons

  • Not recommended for use around those with asthma
  • Scent tends to dissipate quickly

Get the Bodhi Dog Natural carpet powder on Amazon.

Best Enzyme Deodorizer

Best Carpet Deodorizers Options: Emmy's Best Powerful Pet Odor Remover Color Saver and Urine Eliminator
Photo: amazon.com

Many carpet deodorizers neutralize the smell of animal urine, but Emmy’s Best Powerful Pet Odor Remover goes a step further. Animals often come back to the same spot to do their business because they can smell the residual odor of pheromones left behind in traces of urine. Emmy’s Best eliminates the scent so well that a pet shouldn’t know it’s had an accident in that spot before.

The enzymes in this strong odor remover break down pheromones and other organic smells and leave behind the fresh scent of lavender. Apply the product by filling a spray bottle (not included) with the solution and saturating the area. After 10 minutes, place a clean white towel over the area, and set a heavy object on top. Leave the towel and object in place overnight. Then, in the morning, remove and vacuum the now-fresh carpet.

Product Specs

  • Type: Spray
  • Ingredients: Enzymes
  • Quantity: 1 gallon
  • Fragrance(s): Lavender

Pros

  • Cleans and deodorizes
  • Removes pet pheromones, organic smells, and stains
  • Ample quantity provided

Cons

  • Spray bottle not included
  • Takes some time and effort to clean properly
  • Pricey

Get the Emmy’s Best odor remover on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Foam-in Deodorizer

The Best Carpet Deodorizer Option: Febreze Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam
Photo: amazon.com

From Bissell comes Febreze Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam deodorizer and cleaner with a Gain fresh scent. The foam was formulated to eliminate odors in carpets and leave an entire room smelling fresh and clean. The product should be sprayed on a just-vacuumed carpet (or small area) where it will foam up, making it easier to get uniform coverage.

Before the foam dissipates, rub the carpet with a mop or a sponge, allow it to dry completely, and then vacuum the carpet. The Bissell Febreze carpet foam removes trapped odors such as smoke, sweat, and cooking smells and leaves the carpet soft and clean. The ingredients also help keep carpet fibers from absorbing future spills.

Product Specs

  • Type: Spray
  • Ingredients: Odor remover, surfactants, and fragrance
  • Quantity: 22 ounces (per can)
  • Fragrance(s): Gain fresh scent

Pros

  • Removes smoke, sweat, pet, and cooking smells
  • Prevents new smells and stains
  • Leaves a long-lasting fresh scent behind

Cons

  • Requires vacuuming before application
  • Takes time and effort to clean properly

Get the Febreze carpet foam on Amazon and at Walmart.

Our Verdict

If you need old and new smoke, pet, and musty smells removed from your carpet, we recommend the Carpet Fresh odor eliminator spray. This carpet deodorizer is easy to apply and can be used around children, dogs, and cats. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly option, the Woolite odor remover can be used on carpets as well as upholstery and cleans while it deodorizes, leaving a fresh scent behind.

How We Chose the Best Carpet Deodorizers

We researched the most sought-after carpet deodorizers in their respective categories and discovered that the best options are determined by their form, ingredients, quantity, fragrances, ease of application and cleaning, and other special features included by top brands.

While searching for top options for a variety of preferences, we included powder and spray deodorizers that come with ample 10.5-ounce to 4-pound quantities of baking soda-, OxiClean, and odor eliminator-based formulas for multiple carpets or cleaning sessions. Many of the above picks leave behind fresh scents like lavender, fresh linen, and Hawaiian Breeze after cleaning.

While some options can be applied and left on carpeting, many options provide spot- and deep-cleaning by blotting or scrubbing then vacuuming to reduce residue and soften the carpet. Plus, these picks are specially formulated to tackle dirt, debris, and odors including smoke, pet, drink, and baby smells buried in carpets.

Tips for Using Carpet Deodorizer

Light carpet odors often can be eliminated with an inexpensive powdered deodorizer. Still, if the carpet is dirty or stained, as well as smelly, you might want to go with a spray cleaner, foam, or carpet cleaning machine.

  • Blot up spills and spots promptly to keep liquids from soaking beneath the carpeting.
  • Vacuum thoroughly before using a carpet cleaning machine. Debris can clog the device and reduce its ability to suck the dirty water back out of the carpet.
  • Apply a carpet cleaning or deodorizing product only as directed on the container’s label. Don’t mix two different types of cleaners, which can sometimes cause toxic fumes.

FAQs 

If this is the first time you’ve deodorized or cleaned your carpet, you likely have a few questions.

Q: What is the best way to remove a pet odor from a carpet?

As pet urine dries, it becomes more alkaline, and bacteria begin to grow, so tackle pet urine problems promptly. Use a dry cloth to get as much liquid out of the carpet as possible, and then apply a spray cleaner and deodorizer made for neutralizing pet urine odors. If the spot continues to smell, you might want to use a carpet cleaning machine.

Q: Why does my carpet smell like dog pee after shampooing?

You might not have used a carpet shampoo that contains ingredients that will neutralize pet urine odors. Alternatively, the machine’s suction might not have been powerful enough to suck up the dirty water.

Q: Do different types of carpets require different carpet deodorizers?

The deodorizing agents in a product are not what might harm certain types of carpet. The cleaning ingredients, however, could result in discoloration, shrinkage, or stretching. Each product is different, so you’ll have to read the label before use.