Which is the Best Carpet Cleaner for Old Pet Urine? Reviews & Top Picks

Eliminate old stains and odors with these powerful cleaners.

Written By: Richard Cross | Last Updated:

Old urine stains can be tough to clean – and unpleasant to smell! Here are four of the best carpet cleaners for old pet urine, plus tips for eliminating odors.

A guide to the best carpet cleaners for old pet pee

Is your dog’s house training still a work in progress? Or does your pet have occasional accidents when you’re not home?

Dog accidents are easy to clean when still wet. But if it happens when you’re out of the house, or if your pet has a habit of toileting in hidden locations, urine has time to sink deep into carpet fibres.

This makes removing stains and eliminating odors much more difficult. Old pee also smells stronger as the evaporating fluid leaves behind a higher concentration.

Fortunately, the best carpet cleaners for old urine can tackle even the most stubborn stains. They can also eliminate odors, leaving your home smelling fresh once again.

Tip: For cleaning less stubborn odors, please read my guide to the best pet stain and odor cleaners.

Our #1 Pick

Rocco and Roxie Professional Strength Eliminator

Rocco and Roxie Professional Strength Eliminator

Powerful enzymatic cleaner that's great for old and stubborn patches

If you need a urine cleaner for stubborn stains, Rocco and Roxie is my top pick. It’s a highly effective cleaner that uses enzymes and bacteria to eliminate the source of odors.

Why Are Old Dog Pee Stains Harder to Remove?

Ideally, pee accidents should be blotted up with paper towels and thoroughly rinsed while still wet. This prevents urine from drying and odorous bacteria from multiplying.

Instant cleaning isn’t always realistic though. Your dog may urinate while you’re at work or out for dinner. Even if you’re in the house, accidents on dark carpets might not be obvious.

Stains may also smell worse the longer they are left.

The acidity of dog urine rises as fluid evaporates, as there is less liquid to dilute it. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

Additionally, the longer fluid sits on carpet fibres, the deeper it can soak. Once the chemicals have become “set” into the fibres, cleaning is much more difficult – especially if urine has soaked through to the under-lining.

Note: Old stains don’t just create an unpleasant smell in the house. If your dog has an infection, urine could be potentially dangerous to humans. Also, if your pet’s urine smells strongly of ammonia, this could signal a health problem

How to Use Pet Cleaners for Old Stain Removal

Dog after having an accident on a carpetThere are many DIY carpet cleaners for pet stains. These can be useful for mild stains, but for old staining you need something stronger.

The best cleaners for old stains use enzymes or oxygen-activated compounds. They are specifically designed for pets, so are safe and effective to use on stubborn stains.

While these products can’t always eliminate an old pee smell, they’ll certainly reduce the odor intensity. Make sure to follow the instructions during clean up, and remember you might need several applications for best results.

As with all cleaning products for carpets, test a new solution on a hidden patch before using it on a large stain. While cleaners are safe to use on most carpets, they could cause discoloration in certain types of fibre.

When using enzymatic pet cleaners to remove old stains, you’ll usually need to saturate carpet fibres with plenty of solution (although check the instructions for your cleaner.) Then let it sit for at last 24 hours before drying. Most people either don’t use enough or fail to leave the solution for long enough.

It’s also best to buy “pour on” bottles when tackling old stains. Sprays are great for small patches, but it’s easier to soak a carpet using a poured solution.

4 Best Carpet Cleaners for Old Pet Urine Stains and Odors

The four carpet cleaners below can help freshen up your home and eliminate urine stains. They are strong, effective, and specifically designed for pets.

Note: Some carpet cleaners are designed to be used on their own, while others are best when added to a carpet cleaning machine. Make sure you check which you’re buying.

Rocco and Roxie Pour Fluid

1. Rocco and Roxie Professional Strength Eliminator

It’s hard to beat Rocco & Roxie when cleaning old stains. The formula contains bacteria that feed on ammonia, to “eat up” urine and neutralize smells.

Urine that’s had time to soak into carpet fibres is always difficult to remove. Rocco & Roxie is an enzyme-activated cleaning solution, so it targets ammonia and other organic substances without damaging the carpet itself. This makes it much more effective at removing old urine than typical removers.

The Rocco & Roxie is also safe to use. It doesn’t contain dangerous propellants or chlorine, and is certified as safe for all carpets by the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Note: The Rocco and Roxie Stain & Odor Remover is also suitable for upholstery, tiles, laminate and many hardwood floors (although not all).

Why We Recommend It: The Rocco and Roxie is a professional-strength stain and odor eliminator that uses enzymes to tackle old urine. It's safe, effective, and is designed to completely remove urine rather than just covering it up.
  • Type: Enzymatic
  • Price: $$$
  • Effective for old stains
  • Easy to use
  • No chlorine and safe for pets
  • Pricey
Natuer's Miracle Bottle

2. Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover for Dogs

The Nature’s Miracle Stain Remover is another enzymatic cleaner that’s brilliant for cleaning old stains. It also has a mild citrus scent to leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Nature’s Miracle is highly effective at removing all types of dog fluids, including vomit, feces and urine. You may need to repeat treatment several times and leave it to dry for up to 24 hours, however, for best results on severe stains.

This urine odor cleaner can be used on a range of surfaces, including carpet, tile, linoleum and upholstery. It’s even suitable for hardwood – although only if it’s treated wood.

Nature’s Miracle is available in several different types of bottle, including spray bottle, accushot and pour. For old stains, I recommend getting a pour bottle, as it’s much easier to saturate carpet fibres.

Why We Recommend It: Nature's Miracle is one of the best products for pet messes - including for old stains. It's also available for a great price.
  • Type: Enzymatic
  • Price: $$
  • Can be used on old and new stains
  • Bio-enzymatic formula that's great for pet staining
  • Excellent price
  • Can't be used on untreated wooden floors
Hoover Pet Plus

3. Hoover PETPLUS Concentrated Formula

The Hoover PETPLUS Carpet Cleaner is a powerful machine solution for tackling stubborn pet stains. It also leaves a mild “cotton breeze” scent after cleaning, so your homes smells fresh and pleasant.

If you want an enzymatic pet cleaning formula to use in a carpet cleaner, the Hoover PetPlus is one of the best options. I like the clean linen smell – especially compared to the citrus scent of many cleaners – and it works great on stubborn stains.

The PetPlus is designed to be used on both upholstery and carpets. Make sure you test it for colorfastness on a small patch before removing stains on larger areas though.

You’ll need access to a carpet cleaner to use this solution properly. For manual application, go for the Rocco & Roxie or Nature’s Miracle.

Why We Recommend It: The Hoover PetPlus Pet Stain & Odor Remover is an enzyme-enhanced detergent that's designed specifically for pet urine stains. It's safe, effective, and great for stubborn patches of pee.
  • Type: Enzymatic
  • Price: $$
  • Leaves a fresh linen scent
  • Great value for money
  • Can be used in deep carpet cleaning machines for a more thorough clean
  • Some people may prefer a stronger after-scent
Anti Icky Poo

4. Mister Max Original Scent Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover

The Mister Max Original Icky Poo Odor might not have the most pleasant name, but it’s great for tackling stubborn pet stains. It’s also easy to use and environmentally friendly.

With its enzymatic solution and pleasant smell, the Icky Poo Odor is one of the most popular pet stain removers on the market. Like other enzymatic solutions, it eliminates the root cause of the problem – it doesn’t just mask the smell with something else.

Make sure you test it on a small patch of carpet first. You’ll also need to heavily soak both the carpet and under padding to eliminate the most stubborn urine stains.

Why We Recommend It: The MisterMax Original Anti Icky Poo is another excellent odor remover. It's designed to work on all pet smells, including urine, and is both safe and environmentally friendly.
  • Type: Enzymatic
  • Price: $$
  • Effective enzymatic cleaner
  • Suitable for cleaning almost all pet stains
  • Relatively strong after-scent

Other Tips for Cleaning Old Stains

The carpet cleaners above are all effective at removing old pet urine, but here are some extra tips that may help:

  • If you’re not sure where a stain is, use a UV light to highlight it. These are relatively cheap and make finding pet odor sources much easier.
  • Steam cleaners can actually make stains¬†worse. The high heat causes odorous material to set into fibres, so avoid using steamers when cleaning stains.
  • Avoid ammonia or vinegar-based solutions when trying to remove stains. While these can be effective, they may encourage your dog to re-soil in the same place.
  • If your dog’s pee has ruined the carpet underlay, you may need to replace it. Make sure you address the reason why your dog is urinating indoors before spending money on a replacement though!
  • Sometimes home carpet cleaners aren’t enough. For the most stubborn urine patches, consider calling a professional carpet cleaner.
  • Always test a carpet cleaner (both DIY and store bought) on a small patch of hidden carpet. You don’t want to cause colour fading or other damage. This is especially important with homemade solutions containing hydrogen peroxide.

It’s also important to understand¬†why your dog is having accidents. There are medical and behavioural reasons why this could be happening, so you may want to consult a professional for help.

Summary

Old pet urine stains and odors can be difficult to remove. The average carpet cleaner probably isn’t up to the job, which is why you need to use enzymatic carpet cleaners that are designed specifically for pet stains.

My top pick for a carpet cleaner for old urine is the Rocco and Roxie Professional Strength Eliminator. It’s a highly effective cleaner that’s brilliant for removing stubborn stains.

I hope this article has helped you find the best carpet cleaner for old pet urine in your home. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below.

Image of Richard Cross

About The Author: Richard Cross

Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports. You can find him on Facebook or Twitter.