If you have a dog or cat, it's smart to have a stain remover on hand that's designed specifically for pets. Even if your pet isn't prone to accidents, sometimes things happen, so you might as well be prepared. Stain removers can't take away the unwelcome surprise of finding a wet spot or a pile of poop on the living room floor—or worse, stepping in it—but they can certainly help get rid of the evidence.
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The ingredients in a pet stain remover are important. You want to avoid products with harsh chemicals that can be toxic for animals such as formaldehyde, chlorine, ethylene glycol, ammonia, and bleach. Even if you're using a product that is safe for pets, it's important to make sure they don't come into contact with the treated area until it's fully dry. You might even want to open some windows or a door to ensure proper ventilation.
While choosing the right stain remover might seem simple enough, there are a few things to consider before jumping in.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Pet Stain Remover
Surface Type: Some stain removers are designed for specific surfaces like carpet, hardwood floors, tile, or upholstery, while others contain formulas that work well on all surfaces. If your pets tend to have accidents in the same spot, you might want to buy a targeted formula for the specific type of flooring. If the accidents happen in different spots throughout the house, a more versatile stain remover will be your best bet.
Application Method: A spray bottle is the easiest method for a quick spot clean. A spray bottle can either consist of a liquid or foam spray—both work great, just make sure you read the directions on the bottle before use, as some need to set longer than others. If you have a large area to clean—like if your pet (or more than one pet) is peeing or pooping in the same general area over and over again—you might want to consider buying a larger container of concentrated formula that you can mix and apply as needed.
Scent: Scented stain removers will generally cover up a urine or feces smell better than an unscented option, but not everyone enjoys or can tolerate an overpowering scent. Choose the one that works best for everyone in your home.
Enzymatic Versus Solvent-Based: There are two main types of stain removers for pets: enzymatic and solvent-based. But here's the thing—one is safe for pets and the other isn't. The safest option is an enzymatic stain remover because it's effective and non-toxic. It contains a good bacteria that emits enzymes to break down the molecules found in urine and feces. The enzymes feed on the organic matters found in the stain to eliminate both the stain and the odor. Solvent-based stain removers dissolve urine and feces stains, but many of them use chemicals that can be dangerous for your pets and your kids. They also can be harsh on carpet and hardwood floors.
We rounded up the best pet stain and odor removers to have in your home just in case. Check them out below.
The Best Overall Pet Stain Remover
Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator
This is a fantastic enzymatic stain remover that's gentle enough for carpets, hardwood floors, furniture, clothes, litter boxes, kennels, carriers, or anywhere pet stains can happen. Its versatility makes it the perfect go-to cleaner when you need a quick cleanup. It's color-safe and chlorine-free, so it's safe to use around pets and kids. The formula comes in either a 32-ounce spray bottle or a gallon for larger messes.
The Best Budget Pet Stain Remover
Bissell PRO Oxy Stain Remover
It only takes 30 seconds for this stain remover to do its job. Simply spray the foam onto the area that needs cleaning, and shortly after contact, the stain is penetrated and lifted. The oxy formula helps to neutralize odors from urine, feces, vomit, mud, etc., and it discourages pets from re-soiling the same area. It does all that at a budget-friendly price.
The Best Natural Pet Stain Remover
TriNova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover
If you prefer a completely natural cleaner for pet stains and odors, this enzymatic one is the way to go. TriNova is a company that uses only organic ingredients in its formula, which consists of natural enzymes that tackle stains and odors at their root to clean and neutralize. It's completely safe to use around pets and kids, and it can be used on most surfaces, like hardwood floors, carpet, kennels, clothes, etc. You can buy a 32-ounce spray bottle or a 128-ounce bottle.
The Best Odor-Eliminating Pet Stain Remover
Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator
Nature's Miracle's powerful enzymatic formula works to eliminate the stains and odors left from severe dog messes. It continues to work as long as the stain or odor is still present, and it discourages re-soiling. The formula has a light scent to help your home smell fresh again. There are several size options and consistencies to choose from, including liquid spray or foam.
The Best Pet Stain Remover for Carpet
OxiClean Carpet & Area Rug Pet Stain and Odor Remover
OxiClean is a company known for its stain-fighting formulas, and this one works just as well as the ones you may have used on your own laundry. This 24-ounce spray bottle is designed to fight stains and odors left on carpets and rugs, and it also happens to fall into the budget category at under $5.
The Best Pet Stain Remover for Hardwood Floors
Simple Solution Hard Floor Pet Stain and Odor Remover
This is the stuff to get if you have hardwood, stone, linoleum, vinyl, brick, concrete, marble, or ceramic tile floors. You may not think that urine or feces are likely to stain hard floors, but the ammonia in urine can cause dark staining if it soaks into the wood, and the smell can soak in as well. The Simple Solution formula is designed to lift stains and odors from new or old messes while helping to avoid re-soiling. A 3-in-1 nozzle sprayer gives you more options to take on stains and odors with a stream, foam, or mist. This bottle is available in a 32-ounce size.
The Best Heavy-Duty Pet Stain Remover
Resolve Pet Stain and Odor Remover
You won't have to use more than one round of this stain remover, as it promises to permanently get rid of odors the first time it's applied. The formula is designed specifically to remove, urine, feces, and vomit from carpets and rugs—even stains that are deep and have been around for a while. It discourages pet re-soiling, and it freshens with a light, clean scent.
The Best Pet Stain Remover for Large Areas
BUBBA'S Super Strength Enzyme Cleaner
Best for carpet, this professional-grade enzymatic cleaning solution is ideal for large areas that need to be treated. The formula will need to sit overnight for tough stains, so you might want to start the process when your pets and kids are already asleep for the night if possible. Billions of enzymes within the formula destroy stains all the way down to the carpet pad. It comes in a 32-ounce spray bottle or a gallon jug.