Every product and service on My Pet Needs That is independently selected by our editors, contributors, and experts.
If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a referral fee. Learn more
It is perhaps every dog owner’s nightmare. The stench of dried-up urine can truly permeate through the walls of the entire home. In many cases, urine stains can also damage a prized carpet or any other fabric, significantly decreasing its overall value. We’ve all been there.
Regardless of how well we have persevered to train our pet dogs to pee outside our homes or in designated areas, there will always be instances when our pooches simply cannot hold off any longer. They really have to go in pretty much the same way that you would pull over to the side of the road and look for a nice place to relieve yourself. The frustrating thing is that, of all the places where your pooch could relieve itself, why the carpet? Don’t worry though. We understand your predicament. That’s why we’ve made thorough research in the market looking for the best carpet cleaners for dog urine. Take a look at what we have for you.
There’s a reason why Rocco & Roxie’s Stain and Odor Eliminator is currently considered as the best carpet cleaner for pets. It is formulated with odor- and stain- fighting biological enzymes that are guaranteed to permanently remove your carpet worries. Despite its toughness against pet odors and stains, it is still certified by CRI to be completely safe on carpets and other delicate surfaces. Since it uses enzymes, the Rocco & Roxie is safe for kids and other pets, too.
When it comes to the best carpet cleaner solution for pets Sunny & Honey’s Pet Stain & Odor Miracle formulation is simply the best. It is consistently rated tops when it comes to bio-enzyme cleaning systems and is especially formulated to work on all kinds of surfaces. If it can take care of your carpet, just imagine how easily it can manage pet stains and odors from your sturdier surfaces. Not only is Sunny & Honey effective against pet urine, it can also exert its enzymatic prowess against feces, drool, and vomit, among others.
One of the best pet stain remover products in the market is the Advanced Pet Trigger Sprayer. What makes Nature’s Miracle slightly different from the others in this list is that, while it also contains bio-enzymes in its formulation, it also boasts of oxygen-based carpet cleaning formulation. Because of these two unique systems, Nature’s Miracle has the added benefit of drying up a lot quicker than others, allowing you to apply it multiple times for a more thorough cleaning of pet stains. It’s perfect for old, stubborn stains and odors.
Angry Orange is a pet urine odor remover that utilizes cold-pressed essential oils extracted from commercial grade orange peels. Because of this, Angry Orange comes in with an exceptional safety profile. What’s even more amazing is that the solution leaves a refreshing citrusy scent. The industrial strength formulation helps ensure that it can remove any unwanted odor from your home. Moreover, it is more economical since an 8-ounce bottle can make up to a gallon of the odor neutralizing solution.
Boasting of triple action formulation, Emmy’s Best makes its way as one of the best pet odor eliminator for the simple fact that it includes non-ionic surfactant in its unique formulation. This helps improve the wettability of urine odor molecules allowing them to be easily broken down by Emmy’s Best’s bio-enzymes. This also helps prevent repeat soiling as the solution is able to eliminate the scent left behind by dogs’ pheromones.
Unlike other pet odor neutralizer and stain remover products that integrate bio-enzymes in their formulation, Remove Urine has formulated a unique solution that features highly advanced polymers to work almost instantaneously against the chemical bonds of odor and stain molecules. Whereas enzyme systems will take some time before they can exert their action, Remove Urine’s SUN technology guarantees removal of pet stains and odors in as short as a few minutes of application. It comes in a light fresh fragrance, too.
The Green Standard Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover from TriNova is a plant-based pet odor neutralizer and stain remover that features enzymes derived from plants. It works on most surfaces and comes in as a much cheaper alternative to the other products in this list. TriNova is also guaranteed to be safe on the carpet, pets, and kids.
All-natural bio-enzymatic formulation
Plant-based professional strength stain and odor eliminator
Bissell’s Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover is the only pet urine odor remover and carpet cleaner in this list that contains hydrogen peroxide, a common yet very powerful antiseptic and disinfectant. While enzymatic cleaners can also kill bacteria and other microorganisms, the manner in which hydrogen peroxide accomplishes this is almost the same as what medical professionals do to cleanse open wounds and get rid of the germs present. Woolite costs substantially lower than the rest, too.
Designed to naturally clean and remove stains, this pet stain remover from Simple Solution harnesses the power of enzymes and bacteria. By utilizing these, the stains are effectively “eaten” by the cleaner, meaning you’re left with nothing but what you want. At the same time, this same method helps to remove foul odors, too.
This new solution has proven to be three times stronger than previous versions and much better than many others on the market, today. With a patented 3-in-1 sprayer, you can be sure to make short work of all kinds of stains, including vomit, feces and urine. On top of all of this, it’s natural makeup means it can be used on any water-safe surfaces around the home.
3 times stronger than previous versions
Designed specifically for organic stains
Patented 3-in-1 nozzle sprayer
Uses bacteria and enzymes for a natural clean
Can be used on any water-safe surfaces around the home
Earth Rated’s pet odor neutralizer and stain remover may not yet enjoy the popularity of the others in this list, but it will get there soon enough. Its bio-enzyme formulation makes it an equally effective product as well as non-toxic and, thus, safe for both people and pets. It is also CRI certified to be safe for use on carpets and other delicate materials at home.
If you’re already getting frustrated with cleaning up after your dog’s ‘accident’ right on your carpet, worry not as there are products in the market that provide an exceptional solution to this unsightly and smelly issue. You only need to know how to pick the most appropriate one for your needs. Like all products that we buy and use, not all carpet cleaners for dog urine and other body secretions and excretions are created and manufactured in the same way. Some products may mimic the formulation of another product, but this does not really guarantee that its effects will be the same. While we already shared with you some of the bestselling carpet cleaner solutions for pets in the market, we also recognize the fact that you may want to search for yourself. That’s why we’ve prepared this buying guide for you.
Different Types of Cleaners
The first thing you’d want to understand is the different types of carpet cleaning products of which there are quite a lot. There are commercially available ones and there are homemade products, too. Technically, the choice is yours whether to go for commercially available cleaners or instead make your own cleaner, stain remover, or deodorizer. Whatever the case, here are the different types of cleaners that you may want to look into.
If you can still remember from your chemistry class, enzymes are substances that hasten the speed at which a chemical reaction takes place. In other words, they reduce the time it would need to complete a chemical reaction. Enzymatic cleaners have been used for some time now. These work by breaking down the chemical composition that makes up the walls of bacterial cells as well as other molecules present within the urine itself. This is what gives it exceptional odor neutralization and antibacterial properties.
Depending on the type of enzyme present in the product, one can get varying results. For example, if the product contains proteases that are effective against protein-based molecules, then the product will be perfect for cleaning carpets that have been soiled with food and blood. Technically, there is very little protein in dog urine because proteins are exceptionally large molecules. Seeing protein in the urine, a condition called proteinuria, only signals massive damage to the kidneys. Unless your pooch has kidney problems, then you won’t be seeing protein in its urine. Of course, proteins from bacteria and other microorganisms that cause stains and nasty odors are a different matter. And for these, proteases will simply be incomparable.
Some products contain lipases that are effective against fat molecules. These are best for spills caused by oils and greases. Amylases are enzymes that act on carbohydrates, especially starch.
Now, here’s the thing about enzymes. You cannot synthesize them artificially. You have to obtain them from living organisms themselves. More often than not, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and plants are what produce enzymes. Science has shown that the most effective enzymes are those produced by healthy microorganisms. This is almost the same as the ‘good bacteria in the digestive tract that helps keep bad bacteria at bay and maintains the optimum health of both our digestive and immune systems.
This is one of the most fascinating things about enzyme-based products. Since they break down molecules and other substances that cause odor and nasty stains into smaller components, the beneficial microorganisms that produce these enzymes essentially ‘eat up’ these odor and stain molecules, leaving you a carpet or any object for that matter that is smelling and looking more natural as ever.
We already mentioned how enzymatic cleaners help remove nasty odors from your carpet and other surfaces. It does so by breaking down and eating up the odor molecules. However, did you know that one of the most common odor neutralizers you can actually use is located right in your kitchen? Baking soda has always been used as an odor neutralizer. Think of it as a chemical sponge that literally ‘soaks’ up the odor molecules. That is the main function of odor neutralizers. They work by altering the chemical composition of the molecules that make up the nasty odor. In some cases, they absorb these nasty odors, too.
Odor neutralizers, better known as deodorizers, work by neutralizing the source of the odor. That is why enzymatic systems are often considered the best deodorizers since they work by eliminating the source of the problem. While baking soda doesn’t get rid of the source of the odor, it never masks the odor. What it does is that it allows its amphoteric properties to do the work. This means that it can react with both strong bases and strong acids to break down the chemical bonds of these substances. In effect, it acts as an enzyme system.
Be careful when choosing a deodorizer since many only serve to mask the odor by supplying your nose with an entirely different scent. It’s like not taking a bath for several weeks. But since you’re off on a date and you cannot afford to take a bath anymore, you simply spray a whole bottle of Eau de parfum over your body. Your date won’t smell your stink. She will smell your perfume. But do you honestly think you eliminated the stink? That’s what odor maskers in the guise of deodorants do. So be careful.
There are a variety of mechanisms that define the action of stain removers. Some dissolve the stain. These stain removers act on the principle of A-dissolves-A. What this means is that if the stain is made up of a particular compound, then a stain remover will contain a compound that is somehow similar to that compound.
There are also stain removers that emulsify stain. These can be further classified into surfactants and emulsifiers. What they do is that they increase the capacity of molecules to retain water (surfactants) and coat the stain to allow its molecules to be lifted off the surface for removal (emulsifiers).
There are also stain removers that digest the stain. Typically, these are your enzymatic cleaners for which we have already discussed.
What you may want to avoid are stain removers that simply hide the stain. These typically contain whiteners that often make the stain appear less noticeable. However, just like odor maskers, stain whiteners simply mask the stain and will do nothing at addressing the real issue.
These are types of cleaners that kill bacteria and other susceptible microorganisms on non-living objects. If it is microorganisms on living tissues that you would like to kill, we call those products as antiseptics. Disinfectants come in various types with a majority being chemically synthesized. There are also natural disinfectants. These substances work by interfering with normal microbial metabolism. Others work by destroying microbial cell walls. Do understand that disinfectants don’t necessarily kill all kinds of microorganisms. For instance, bacterial spores are often resistant even to the toughest disinfectant. As such, you may need other products to augment the germ-killing effects of disinfectants.
Now that we’ve covered the different types of cleaners, let’s try to talk about the more important issue of getting rid of dog urine from your carpet.
Different dog owners will have different ways of retting dog urine out of the carpet. You have to realize, though, that time is of the essence here. The nasty odor and the unsightly stain will only get worse the longer you allow the urine to soak your carpet. As such, at the very first sign of urine in your carpet, you should already stop what you’re doing and move to clean up the mess. The fresher the dog urine on your carpet the easier it is to clean and the less likely it is to cause stains and leave some ghastly odors.
You don’t even need to reach for your bottle of carpet cleaner right away. You only need plenty of paper towels or even old newspapers, water, and perhaps a few drops of your ordinary dishwashing liquid. What you’ll need to do is to spray water onto the urine to help dilute it and put as many layers of paper towels over the urine and let it absorb the liquid. You can also stand on the layers of newspaper or paper towels to help in the absorption. Remove the layers of paper towels once they have soaked with liquid. Put on layers of new paper towels and keep repeating the same process until you can no longer see any sign of wetness on the paper towel.
Remember, the action you want to achieve is to blot dry the urine that you’ve diluted with water. You are not supposed to rub it back and forth as this will only spread the urine to other sections of your carpet. Additionally, you can add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid to the water and urine to give it a fresher scent.
You might also want to modify it a bit. After soaking up the urine, you can rinse the sport with cool water. Then soak this all up or you can use a wet vacuum if you have one.
Again, for this to work, blot dry; don’t rub. Also, vigilance is the key. Once you see the urine on your carpet, don’t waste time. Blot it dry immediately.
How to Remove New Stains
We already discussed above how you can remove dog urine from your carpet without really having to reach for your cleaner. Unfortunately, the reality is that we often notice the urine stain only after several hours have already lapsed. By this time, the urine would have already begun to dry up, forming a noticeable stain.
If the stain is still moist, you can actually follow the same procedure that we discussed above. Alternatively, you can create a solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. First blot dry the fresh urine stain. Now sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda over the stain and soak it with the water-vinegar solution. Within seconds you’ll notice the area to begin fizzing which is usually a good sign as it often indicates a chemical reaction is already taking place.
Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before blotting it dry with paper towels until you can no longer see any sign of wetness on the paper towels. You can then rinse the affected section with cool water then draw up as much of the fluid using paper towels until dry. Alternatively, you can use a wet vac.
How to Remove Older Stains
Older stains or stains that have already dried up can be quite challenging, depending on the length of time that the carpet has been left soaking and drying in urine. As such, the first order of business is to soften the dried-up spot with water. If you have a wet vacuum this is the best tool for the job. If you don’t have one, you can rent a unit to saturate your items with clean water before drawing the dirty water up.
Once the affected area has been cleaned, you can apply any of the pet odor neutralizers we have listed above. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as for instructions on the correct application of the product. We strongly recommend trying the product first on a section of your carpet that is hidden from view. This is to make sure the solution will not cause stains.
Let the odor neutralizer work its way into your carpet. Allow it to completely dry. You can then add your chosen stain remover if there are still visible stains on your carpet. Some don’t recommend using vinegar as a stain remover, although many can actually attest to its effectiveness. You can make the same water-vinegar solution that we presented above and use this to soak the area.
If the stains are still there or have reached deep down through your carpet’s backing, you may need a more professional job or you can replace that urine-damaged section of your carpet altogether.
A great proportion of the nasty odor emanating from pet urine is caused by ammonia produced by the various microorganisms present in the urine. Since ammonia is a highly alkaline substance, one very effective way to neutralize pet urine odor is by using something very acidic, like vinegar.
To neutralize pet urine odor using vinegar, it is imperative to clean the affected area thoroughly first. You can follow the directions we have given in the preceding sections. Once thoroughly cleaned, you can apply enzymatic cleaners or even an oxygen-based stain remover. Make sure to allow the area to completely dry before applying the vinegar solution made up of 6 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Saturate the area with the solution and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes. Next, take an old toothbrush and rub the stain. Let it sit for another 10 minutes. Rinse with water, blot dry, clean with stain remover, rinse with water and blot dry again.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the completely dried-up carpet that has been treated with a water-vinegar solution. Baking soda will absorb the remaining odor. After about 15 minutes, you can run a vacuum cleaner over the said area.
Your carpet is one of the few items in your house that kids love to play on. Unfortunately, dogs also seem to love the unique texture of carpets that they can easily turn into their personal toilet grounds. You can train your dog not to pee on your carpet. But in cases of accidents, you will surely be glad you have the best carpet cleaner for dog urine right in your hands.
A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.