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Having a pet can be a messy business. As much as we love our furry friends, there’s no getting around the fact that accidents happen—and they often have a way of happening smack in the middle of your favorite carpet.
Never fear: There’s a virtually limitless array of products out there for cleaning up even the toughest messes. If dogs and cats are man’s best friend, these spray solutions, stain removers and powerful deodorizers are your carpet’s. But choosing the right one for your space (and your mess) can be a tricky matter—which is why we’ve rounded up the best carpet cleaners pet owners can buy right now. Trust us: Your carpet will thank you.
01 of 08
Best for Machine: Hoover PetPlus Pet Stain & Odor Remover Solution Formula
Looking for a detergent for your push cleaner that checks all the boxes? Hoover’s PetPlus is the ticket. This enzyme-enhanced solution removes and deodorizes stains on carpets, rugs, and upholstery and is intended to be used in a carpet cleaner machine. For best results, vacuum the area first, pre-treat the stains (Hoover sells one they suggest pairing), and add 3 oz of detergent for every gallon of warm water you put in your machine. Since it’s a concentrated formula, it goes farther than some other products.
Customers say this formula works incredibly well even on set-in stains, and is effective against messes of all types (not just pet accidents). It’s also compatible with most machines, not just Hoover-made ones.
02 of 08
Best for Urine: Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator
Urine removers need to do two things well. First, obviously, they need to effectively clean up the mess at hand. Second, they need to discourage your pet from instinctively re-soiling the area. Nature’s Miracle is the gold standard of urine removal, and it’s no secret why. Its bacteria-based formula uses enzymes that set to work upon contact with “bio-based messes”—in other words, urine, vomit or diarrhea. And since it removes the odor of the mess, your pets will be less likely to make the same mistake twice.
Owners call Nature’s Miracle a lifesaver, particularly during potty training—it’s definitely saved a carpet or two. While some customers dislike the smell (which is described as somewhat perfume-y), it’s really one of those must-have tools for any pet owner.
03 of 08
Best for Stains: Resolve Pet Stain Remover Carpet Cleaner
There’s nothing more discouraging than an ugly stain on your favorite carpet. But don’t start ripping up your floors just yet—just buy a reliable stain remover. This one from Resolve is our pick, effectively removes even set-in pet stains. Featuring patented Odor Stop technology, it’ll discourage your pet from re-soiling by breaking down the odor that goes along with the stain. It’s also great for other everyday messes, like wine or food stains. Just make sure you test a hidden section of your carpet first for colorfastness.
Amazon customers say that Resolve does exactly what it claims, and does it well. Combine it with a good steam cleaning, one reviewer says, and your carpet will look nearly new.
04 of 08
Best for Odor: Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover Carpet Shampoo
Got a mess that’s seriously odorific? Go for a carpet shampoo, like this one from Nature’s Miracle. It penetrates the fibers of your carpet to break down stains both old and new, while—crucially—kills odors with a bio-enzymatic “odor-locking” formula. Nature’s Miracle shampoo is designed to be used with any water-based carpet cleaning machine, and also works with steam cleaners.
Customers say it’s successfully saved their carpets from ruin, although you may need to give it some time to work. The enzymes in the formula essentially “eat” the sources of your odor problem, which means the continue breaking it down after the initial application.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Spray: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Spray
Looking for a powerful carpet cleaner in a small, convenience package? Go for a spray-based formula like Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Spray, which is strong enough to clean up the toughest messes but still small enough to keep under the sink. Like some of the big guns included here, this spray features enzymes that activate on contact with stains and odors, eradicating the odors left behind by feces, urine, or vomit. Simply spray it on, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and blot dry.
Customers say Rocco & Roxie is “liquid gold,” and does an incredible job of erasing stains, even old and set-in ones. A few add that it actually outperforms some of the more expensive products on the market—as one Amazon critic writes, it’s “uh-may-zing.”
06 of 08
Best for Cats: Thornell Cat-Odor-Off Concentrate
Not all pet messes are created equal. As it dries and decays, cat urine develops an ammonia-like odor that can be a real killer, making it all the more essential that you stop your cat from a repeat performance. Normal detergents and sprays won’t do the trick, which is why you need a heavy-duty deodorizer like Thornell Cat Odor-Off. Simply pour it onto the soiled area of your carpet, making sure you use enough volume to let the concentrate soak in. Let it dry, and repeat applications until the smell is gone (the key is to use enough to ensure the solution reaches and neutralizes the odor source).
Customers say Thornell works to get rid of even set-in urine odors, often with only one or two applications. Some call it a must for owners of multiple cats—and while the verdict is somewhat mixed about the smell of the solution itself, it will dissipate after several weeks (and it still a strong improvement over the smell of cat urine).
07 of 08
Best for Stairs: Carbona 2 in 1 Oxy-powered Pet Stain Remover
If you have carpeted stairs, you’ll want a special tool to clean up accidents and help you scrub both horizontal and vertical slats. Carbona’s 2-in-1 stain remover combines powerful cleaning with ease of use, with a foaming solution that removes stains and breaks down odors—plus an attached brush to let you work the cleaner into every fiber and crevice. Although it’s well suited for stairs, it’s great for any carpet or area rug, and many fabrics as well (check the bottle first).
Customers call the Carbona 2-in-1 an incredible product, and that it’s more than worth the price. The scrubber ensures the cleansing foam penetrates the stain, minimizing the need for repeat applications.
08 of 08
Best Natural: Puracy Natural Carpet Detergent
Cleaning up after your pet doesn’t have to mean resorting to chemical treatments you don’t want your family (furry or otherwise) breathing in. Puracy sells a great natural carpet cleaner that’s made with plant-based detergents and deodorizers, which makes it a safe, effective alternative to standard treatments. While the formula is free of harsh chemicals, it does a great job of lifting stains whether it’s used by hand or in a machine cleaner—and even incorporates coconut fatty acids to reduce foaming and maximize cleaning (who knew!).
Customers love that Puracy Natural Carpet Detergent reliably cleans up pet messes with minimal effort and no danger of encountering toxic ingredients. It has a light, clean scent, and reviewers say that it’s safe to use even on carpets and rugs where discoloration could be a concern (we’d still suggest testing a hidden area first).