Our dogs, cats, and other pets are part of the family, but they can make a mess on our floors, couches, and carpets. Fortunately, the right cleaning products can remove odors, stains, and other messes so you can focus on loving your furry friend. Read on for shopping considerations and recommendations on some of the best pet stain remover formulas available.
- BEST OVERALL: Rocco & Roxie Supply Stain and Odor Eliminator
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover + Sanitize
- BEST BUDGET: Resolve Ultra Pet Urine Stain & Odor Eliminator
- BEST FOR CARPETS: Bissell Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaner
- BEST NATURAL: Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle
- BEST ENZYMATIC CLEANER: Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- BEST ODOR ELIMINATOR: Nature’s Miracle 3 in 1 Odor Destroyer
- BEST DEEP CLEANING: BUBBAS Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner
- MOST VERSATILE: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pet Stain Remover
There are a few key considerations when choosing a pet stain remover. Here’s what to look for.
One of the most important factors is how effective the product is at removing stains from various surfaces. Look on the label to see what the formula’s active ingredients are, how you apply it to the stain, and whether you will need to scrub, dab, or blot the stain for it to work as it is intended.
Look for formulas that will eliminate tough odors, not just mask them with a scent. If your dog or cat has been marking the same area of your home over and over again, it’s likely a lingering odor is attracting them. Look for a product with an ingredient that gets rid of ammonia odors and deters pets from re-marking a spot.
Speed of Stain Removal
Some products need to sit on the stain for minutes to be effective, while others need to sit for an hour or more to break down the stain and odor-causing bacteria. Also consider the level of effort required of you: Will you need to scrub the spot? Will it take multiple applications to remove the stain?
Some people prefer using scented cleaners because they leave a pleasant smell behind. Others prefer unscented cleaners because they find the scents overpowering and irritating to household members with asthma or other breathing issues. Pick a formula that works for everyone in your household.
Type of Surfaces
Look for a formula that’s targeted for the types of surfaces you need to clean, whether it’s carpet, hardwood floors, tile, or upholstery. If your dog or cat is marking the same spot on your carpet, find a product specially formulated for use on carpets. If your pet has accidents in different areas, look for a versatile stain and odor remover that can safely be used on a variety of surfaces.
Enzymatic vs. Solvent Based
There are generally two types of stain removers widely available: enzymatic stain removers and solvent-based stain removers.
- Enzymatic stain removers break apart and digest the molecules from a stain. The enzymes feed on the organic matter in the stain until it is gone, so enzymatic cleaners also eliminate odors. Enzymatic products are highly effective and nontoxic, so they’re safe to use around pets and children.
- Solvent-based stain removers dissolve the chemicals in the stains left from your pets. Solvent-based cleaners can be abrasive to the surfaces in your home, and some of the chemicals used in them can be dangerous to your pet. Read the label before using.
Tips for Buying and Using a Pet Stain Remover
Decide what type of application method you want in a cleaner. For most quick spot-cleaning, a ready-to-spray formula in a bottle may be your best choice. If you’re cleaning a larger area or multiple pet messes, you may want to look for a larger container of concentrated cleaner you can mix and use as needed. For a deep clean over a large area, a cleaner designed to be used with a steam-cleaning machine may be the best option.
Make sure the formula you choose won’t damage the surface you’re cleaning. Most are chlorine-free to prevent unwanted bleaching, but double-check this before you choose a product.
Some products are specifically formulated to tackle cat or dog urine, while others are made to use on a range of pet stains. Choose a product that fits your needs.
Here are general tips to remove pet stains and odors from surfaces in your home:
- Blot up as much of the stain or liquid as you can to prevent it from soaking into your carpet or furniture.
- Clean up accidents as quickly as possible. If the liquid penetrates to the carpet padding, it will be more difficult to get rid of the odor.
- Choose cleaners with pet-safe ingredients, and avoid formulations with ammonia. Ammonia may entice dogs to mark the spot again because it smells like urine.
Our Top Picks
This list includes some of the best pet stain removers in their categories to remove odors and stains from home surfaces.
Rocco & Roxie Supply Stain and Odor Eliminator cleans with the power of enzymes. The cleaner’s enzymatic bacteria activate when they come in contact with odors and stains, eating and digesting organic matter and ammonia crystals. Rocco & Roxie’s formula removes stains and odors entirely.
The formula doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, so it’s safe to use around children and pets, and it can be used on a range of surfaces including carpets, hard floors, upholstered furniture, dog beds, clothing, and litter boxes. It’s chlorine-free and color-safe, and best of all, you won’t need to scrub the stain to remove it. Just spray on the cleaner, leave for 30 to 60 minutes, and blot dry. The enzymes do the work.
The Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover is a good option to consider if you are worried about the bacteria that may be left behind after a pet stain is cleaned up. This cleaner kills 99.9 percent of bacteria on soft surfaces to give you peace of mind that pets, children, and the other members of your household will stay safe and healthy.
This powerful cleaner penetrates deep into carpet fibers to get rid of pet odors at their source. It can also be used on some types of upholstery. Woolite’s Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover comes in a pack of two spray bottles, so you’ll have enough cleaner to tackle a lot of pet stains.
The Resolve Ultra Pet Urine Stain & Odor Eliminator is a solvent-based formula that penetrates urine, feces, and vomit stains from rugs and carpets. The cleaner breaks down the stain and lifts them to the surface for easy removal. This product also has Resolve’s Odor Stop Technology combined with Oxi, so it uses the cleaning power of oxygen to knock out the odors from pet messes.
The powerful formula will also discourage pets from re-marking a spot. The cleaner is lightly scented to freshen your space without being overpowering. It also works on everyday household stains like red wine, grape juice, and greasy food.
Bissell’s Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaner is designed to be used in carpet steamers to remove pet stains and odors. This product is powerful enough to remove skunk odors from your carpets, so it can handle dog and cat urine. It removes the odor so completely your pet will be discouraged from marking the same area again.
This cleaner is professional-strength and uses oxygen to get rid of stains and odors. The cleaner also contains Scotchgard to help carpets resist future stains. The Environmental Protection Agency gave this product a Safer Choice Label, a designation indicating it’s better for use around children and pets than other similar solvent-based cleaners.
The Sunny & Honey Pet Stain and Odor Miracle Cleaner is an enzymatic cleaner that uses organic materials to break down the harmful bacteria that cause odors. It has a minty fresh aroma that will leave your house smelling clean and natural. It’s safe to use around children or pets, and it removes stains from vomit, urine, feces, drool, or even blood.
This spray can clean most surfaces in your home, including carpet, hardwood, tile, upholstered furniture, leather, mattresses, pet beds, car seats, and litter boxes. It can even get rid of odors on your deck, patio, artificial grass, and other outdoor areas around your home.
Simple Solutions Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover harnesses the power of enzymes to get rid of stains and odors caused by feces, vomit, urine, and other pet messes. It contains beneficial bacteria that eat the bad bacteria that causes smells and stains.
This formula will eliminate odors, not mask them, which is important if you don’t want your pet to repeatedly mark the same spot. It can be used on carpet, bedding, upholstery, and other water-safe surfaces, and it’s safe around children and pets. It also leaves a clean, refreshing scent once the pet stink is destroyed.
In addition to removing odors from hard and soft surfaces in your home, Nature’s Miracle 3 in 1 Odor Destroyer also gets rid of airborne odors. The bio-enzymatic formula breaks down, digests, and removes odors caused by organic material like urine, vomit, or feces.
This product can be safely used on carpets, many hard floors (but not wood floors), upholstered furniture, clothing, dog beds, kennels, litter boxes, and more. If you want to remove airborne odors, simply spray the air in the room where there’s a smell. It comes in three scents and one unscented formula.
Bubba’s Commercial Enzyme Cleaner has pro-bacteria that will attack and destroy stains and odors all the way down to the carpet pad. Billions of enzymes in dormant bacteria wake up as soon as they hit cat or dog urine, and they digest and destroy the smell. It can be used on a variety of hard and soft surfaces, including hardwood floors and most upholstery.
This cleaner can attack non-pet messes, too. It can remove laundry stains, get rid of odors in shoes, eliminate odors on outdoor furniture, get grass stains out of clothes, and clean your vehicle’s carpeting or upholstery.
Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator is a commercial-grade cleaner that was originally sold as an agricultural product for use in eliminating livestock odors. For that reason, it has no trouble blasting the smells of cat and dog messes. Unlike many other commercial-grade products, it uses a nontoxic formula made from the oil in orange peels, so it’s safe for use around pets and children and will leave your home smelling like citrus.
The 8-ounce bottle of concentrate makes up to a gallon of cleaner. Angry Orange can be used on numerous surfaces including carpets, tile floors, kennels, dog beds, and litter boxes.
FAQs About Your New Pet Stain Remover
If you still have questions about choosing the best pet stain remover, here’s more information to help you make a decision.
Q. How does a pet stain remover work?
Enzymatic pet stain removers use enzymes and good bacteria to break down and digest the organic material in the stain. Solvent-based cleaners use chemicals to break down stains.
Q. How do you use a pet stain remover?
With most stain removers, spray the stained area, let the product set for a few minutes, and blot it dry.
Q. How do you remove old pet stains?
Many pet stain removers can remove old, set-in stains as well as fresh ones. Another solution: Mix 1 quart water with ½ cup white vinegar, apply the solution to the stain, let it soak for at least 15 minutes, and then blot up the excess liquid. When it dries completely, sprinkle baking soda over the stained area, and vacuum it up.
Q. Why do carpet stains come back?
Carpet stains may reappear due to wicking or residue. Wicking occurs when too much water or liquid was used when removing the stain. The liquid seeps into the carpet padding, and when the moisture evaporates, the dirt that was mixed with the liquid rises back onto the carpet fibers.
Stain residue is another reason carpet stains return. Many carpet cleaners or shampoos leave behind molecules that attract dirt and other debris. These remnants can make your carpet look dirty soon after it was cleaned.
Q. Does vinegar remove pet stains from carpets?
Yes, vinegar can be an effective pet stain remover. When mixed with equal parts water, vinegar can not only get rid of stains but also can eliminate odor. However, an enzymatic cleaner may be more effective at removing odors.