The Best Pet Stain Removers for Every Type of Mess
Having a pet in your life means every day is full of surprises. Usually, they're happy ones, like your dog finally learning how to sit on cue or your cat giving you a high five (which can totally happen). Other times, it's stepping in something wet on your rug. Of course, your first concern is making sure your pet isn't sick. Then, it's time to grab the pet stain removers.
Pet odor and stain removers are a must-have for dealing with any kind of dog or cat-related mess. Unlike traditional solvents, these types of cleaners are specifically formulated to break down specific types of pet stains—and they're generally made with pet-safe ingredients. However, some label reading is involved to make sure it's is actually pet-safe.
Ingredients to Avoid in Cleaning Products
"It's important to avoid products that include harsh chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, and chlorine as they can potentially be toxic to both pets and humans," says Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH, of Animal Acupuncture in New York City. "These products can put your pet at risk of cancer, anemia, and liver or kidney damage."
Even if you're using pet-safe (and people-safe) stain and odor-removing products, you'll still want to use basic caution. "Do not allow your pet to come into contact with treated areas until they're fully dried, and do not leave products out for them to accidentally ingest," she says. Keeping the area ventilated is good practice as well.
If your pet does come in contact with a pet stain cleaner, know where to go for immediate help. "Always call your veterinarian immediately, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435," Barrack says.
The Best Pet Stain Removers
- Best Overall: OUT! Oxy Fast Activated Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- Best for Laundry: Skout's Honor Laundry Booster Stain & Odor Removal Additive
- Best for Upholstery: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- Best for Carpets: Bissell Pet Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
- Best for Wood Floors: Nature's Miracle Dual Action Hard Floor Stain & Odor Remover
- Best for Car Interiors: Simple Solution Extreme Spring Breeze Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- Best Natural: Only Natural Pet Organic Stain & Odor Remover
- Best for Urine Stains: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
- Best for Poop Stains: OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover
- Best for Frequent Messes: Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner
Best Overall: OUT! Oxy Fast Activated Pet Stain & Odor Remover
If you only have room in your cleaning caddy for one pet odor and stain remover, this one is it. Safe for practically every surface ranging from carpets to floors to litter boxes, the pet-safe formula effectively whisks away odors and stains from all things that makes you go "ew." You can also use it as a laundry pre-treatment.
Shop now: OUT! Oxy Fast Activated Pet Stain & Odor Remover, $4; chewy.com
Best for Laundry: Skout's Honor Laundry Booster Stain & Odor Removal Additive
Pet stain removers for laundry can be a little iffy—if they're too strong, you may end up discoloring fabric. This eco-friendly concentrated additive is effective yet gentle, with a peroxide-free, plant-derived formula that won't harm fabrics. Simply add it to your laundry in the bleach reservoir (if you're using a front-loading machine) or directly into the basket (for top-loaders), then add your usual laundry detergent.
Shop now: Skout's Honor Laundry Booster Stain & Odor Removal Additive, $14; chewy.com
Best for Upholstery: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
If your couch seems to be a magnet for messes, this spray cleaner is one of the best pet stain removers for upholstery—one reviewer even got stains out of her beige-colored couch! The active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, which attacks stains and neutralizes odors, and added sanitizers eliminate bacteria. Note: While the product is safe to use on most fabrics and fibers, it should not be used on polypropylene/olefin or wool fibers.
Shop now: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover & Sanitize, $5; amazon.com
Best for Carpets: Bissell Pet Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
Simple, affordable, and effective, this pet stain remover is formulated with enzymes to remove stains. It also leaves behind a fresh scent that also helps to discourage your pet from marking that particular spot again. The real MVP, though, is the built-in brush. It's designed to gently massage the cleaning foam into the carpet (or upholstery) to really get into the fibers for a deep clean.
Shop now: Bissell Pet Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner, $5; amazon.com
Best for Wood Floors: Nature's Miracle Dual Action Hard Floor Stain & Odor Remover
In general, pet stain removers formulated for hardwood are designed to act fast—many that are designed for carpets have to sit longer to penetrate messes and can leave behind a new stain or residue. This pleasantly-scented spray cleaner utilizes bio-enzymatic agents to quickly destroy smells and stains from any type of mess. Bonus: You can also use it on solid surfaces like litter boxes and crates.
Shop now: Nature's Miracle Dual Action Hard Floor Stain & Odor Remover, $8; chewy.com
Best for Car Interiors: Simple Solution Extreme Spring Breeze Pet Stain & Odor Remover
When you're dealing with a sudden mess while on a road trip with your pet, you'll need a product that is powerful in the smell-fighting department as much as the grime-busting department. This pet odor and stain remover does the trick with powerful enzymes that remove any type of stain on any (water-safe) upholstered or carpeted surface. The nozzle can also be adjusted so you can focus the product into crevices if need be. The spring breeze fragrance won't overwhelm your car, either. Good to know: While this can work on upholstered surfaces, it is too strong to use on leather. Instead, try the natural pet stain remover recommended next.
Shop now: Simple Solution Extreme Spring Breeze Pet Stain & Odor Remover, $15; chewy.com
Best Natural: Only Natural Pet Organic Stain & Odor Remover
Though many pet odor and stain removers can be a little heavy on the fragrance front, this natural pet stain remover leaves behind a mandarin orange and green tea scent that's straight out of a spa. However, that's not to say that the cleaner isn't serious about eliminating messes. A blend of organic enzymes and plant-sourced surfactants break down the particles from messes to lift stains away. You can also use it on most surfaces, ranging from upholstery and carpets to tiles and other hard surfaces.
Shop now: Only Natural Pet Organic Stain & Odor Remover, $13; chewy.com
Best for Urine Stains: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
One of the most top-rated pet odor and stain removers on Amazon (there are over 42,000 reviews), this spray cleaner uses natural enzymes that feed off the culprit of urine odor. You can use it on carpets, tiles, concrete, upholstery, clothing, wood, and laminate floors. It is so effective that one reviewer went full CSI with a black light to see stains, commenting that the "horror movie" glow was completely gone after a cleaning session. You will likely have to let the cleaner sit for a few hours to work its magic, so plan to clean while your pup or cat is safely in another room.
Shop now: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator for Dog and Cat Urine, $20; amazon.com
Best for Poop Stains: OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover
After scooping up the offending poop, get rid of any trace (and stench) with this orange-scented pet odor and stain remover. The "oxidizing" formula's main ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, which effectively neutralizes and lifts away particles. It also promises to eliminate the pheromones that might keep them coming back to the scene of the crime.
Shop now: OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover, $7; amazon.com
Best for Frequent Messes: Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner
Nearly 5,000 five-star reviews tout this pet stain removing appliance. It uses a liquid cleaner in conjunction with scrubbers and suction power to lift stains from any carpeted or upholstered surface. At about 4-1/2 pounds, it is significantly lighter in weight than similar appliances.
Shop now: Bissell 20037 Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner, $85; amazon.com