Pet stain removers can neutralize odors and remove stains. Here are six of the best pet stain and odor removers – plus tips for choosing the right option for your home.
All dogs have the occasional accident (some more than others.) It’s one of the few downsides of being a pup owner!
Indoor accidents aren’t the only cause of stains and bad smells though. Nervous or elderly dogs may “leak.” An unwell pet could also suffer with diarrhea or vomiting.
Unfortunately, once a dog has had an accident in a certain spot, re-soiling is more likely. Neutralizing odors can help prevent this.
A quick internet search brings up many natural and homemade solutions to remove pet stains. These DIY odor and stain removers can do a decent job, but you need something stronger when dealing with stubborn soiling.
So, to help you tackle pet odors and stains, we’ve researched the best cleaners and listed our top picks below.
Note: While the focus of this article is on cleaning dog stains, a pet stain remover is often just as effective for cat urine or other pets.
Powerful enzymatic stain remover that neutralizes odors
Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover is perfect for spot cleaning your pet’s accidents. It has a mild citrus scent and contains enzymes and bacteria for breaking down the staining substance. It’s also inexpensive and easy to use.
There are a variety of pet stain removers, so it’s important to know how to choose the best option for your situation. Here’s an overview of the key considerations.
The two most common types of home stain removers are enzymatic and solvent.
An enzymatic pet stain remover contains bacteria and natural enzymes to break down odor-causing compounds. The enzymes latch onto organic material, allowing bacteria to multiply while eating the stains and odors.
Yes, spraying bacteria over your carpet might sound strange. But enzyme cleaners are brilliant for eliminating stains and odors caused by urine and other “organic matter.”
And don’t worry – the bacteria are harmless and die once the stain has been “eaten.” Be aware that enzymatic cleaners can take a bit longer to eliminate smells though, as the bacteria needs time to consume the material.
Solvent pet stain eliminators are the other common option. Instead of live bacteria, these simply aim to dissolve the odorous substance.
While solvents for pet messes can be useful, they are more likely to contain toxic substances. Always read the label carefully to ensure the cleaner is safe for your pet.
You also need to be careful about damaging your floor with solvents. Hydrogen peroxide cleaners, for example, may drain colour from carpets. For this reason, always test a pet stain remover on a small patch of floor before applying it to a larger area.
Tip: Old pet stains are often harder to remove – especially once they have soaked into carpet. Click to view my list of the best carpet cleaners for old pet urine.
Many stain removers are made for carpets. They are designed to foam up, allowing the active ingredients to soak into carpet fibres to eliminate stains and odors.
Some of these cleaners can be used on hardwood floors – but not all. Make sure you read the label and test on a hidden patch. Citrus-based cleaners tend to work better on hard floors, as the oily residue coats a hardwood’s surface to protect the finish.
Tip: If your home has that “dog smell,” you may also want to read our guide to getting rid of doggie odors in the house.
It’s become clear that many household cleaners contain toxic chemicals.
These are bad for us pet owners, but are often even more dangerous for our dogs and other pets. Smaller animals tend to have a higher respiratory rate, so they breathe in more toxic fumes in comparison to their body size. Dogs and cats also lick their paws, so are likely to consume residue left on the floor.
Of course, pet stain removers are specifically designed for cleaning animal accidents – so they shouldn’t be toxic. Don’t assume a product is safe though; always check the label.
Speaking of labels, remember to follow the instructions carefully. This isn’t just for your pet’s safety – many cleaners are less effective at removing stains and odors if used incorrectly.
While pet stain and odor removers shouldn’t be toxic, it’s important to know which chemicals could be dangerous for your pet. Here are some of the most toxic chemicals for pets that are commonly found in home cleaners:
One of the great things about Nature’s Miracle is that it can be used on a wide range of floors. These include carpet, tile, linoleum and treated hardwood. It shouldn’t be used on untreated hardwood though.
This version of Nature’s Miracle has a light citrus smell. While this is much more pleasant than urine, some people (and many pets) may not enjoy it. There’s no doubt it’s effective at removing pet stains and odors though.
Make sure you follow the included instructions closely. The amount of solution and time taken depends on whether you want to remove stains or odors.
Urine smells from dog and cat “accidents” can be a nightmare to remove with regular cleaning products. The lingering scent can also cause your pet to re-soil in the same place.
Angry Orange is a useful dog urine neutralizer that can be used on almost any type of floor. Spraying just a small amount on the affected area can eliminate odors, while leaving a pleasant orange after-scent.
However, while Angry Orange is great for odors, it’s not the best choice for stains. It’s also quite pricey to buy a bottle – although you need to dilute it before use, so it should last a long time.
A word of warning: make sure you follow the instructions closely. The orange scent can be overwhelming if you use too much!
One of the great things about the Pet Power Shot is its simplicity. Just spray on the affected area and leave to work its magic. No scrubbing required!
Another advantage is that it’s “no VOC.” VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are harmful to both pets and humans.
It’s quite an expensive pet stain remover though – especially as you need to use a reasonable amount to remove stains. Don’t expect a can to last long, but it does an excellent job on pet stains and odors.
The Nature’s Miracle Carpet Shampoo is a bio-enzymatic solution. It can quickly eliminate smells and remove stains, while leaving carpets appearing fresh and rejuvenated. The solution also penetrates fibres for a deeper clean.
A useful feature is that it can be used in both steam cleaners and carpet cleaners. This allows you to quickly spread the solution across large areas of carpet. If you don’t have either of these tools, it can also be applied manually.
Note: It can take time for bacteria to “eat” whatever is causing the smell. Don’t expect the bad smell to disappear instantly after carpet cleaning with enzymatic solutions. You may need to repeat the process several times to remove stubborn pet stains and odors.
With its “professional strength stain odor formula” and effective enzymatic solution, the Rocco & Roxie is a great choice for eliminating urine odors and stains.
It can also be used on a range of surfaces. These include carpets, upholstery, concrete, tiles, laminate and most hardwood floors. Always check it doesn’t damage a small patch of hidden floor before using it (including carpets), however, and don’t leave standing fluid on wood.
While it’s probably not the best choice for stubborn stains, it does a decent job of tackling stains from urine, feces, vomit and even blood. The enzymatic-nature of the formula also makes it less likely for your pet to re-soil the same area.
If you’re using up a lot of pet stain remover and need a cheaper option, OUT! is definitely worth trying.
The best pet odor removers above all do a great job of tackling stains and smells – but here are some extra tips to make cleaning and odor removal easier:
Homemade stain removers are never going to be as effective as an enzymatic cleaner. But there are plenty of homemade stain and odor removers that do a decent job for a low cost. The two most common ingredients are white vinegar and baking soda, although there are lots of variations.
Here’s an example of a homemade pet urine odor remover for carpets (always test stain removers on a small patch first):
Note: Many homemade removers use hydrogen peroxide. Be careful when using this on carpets, as it can cause colours to fade.
Every pet has accidents – but you don’t need to live in a house with stained carpets or a bad odor. The best pet odor and stain removers can quickly eliminate these problems without using potentially toxic chemicals.
For cleaning patches of urine and other stains, my top pick is Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover for Dogs. It’s an enzymatic solution that uses bacteria to break down stains and odorous materials. If you need to clean your entire carpet, the Nature’s Miracle Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo is a great choice.
I hope this article has helped you choose the best pet stain remover for your home. If you have any questions about stain removers, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you!