For those of us with pets and carpets, it is a challenge keeping them clean and free from odour and pet hair.
When you are looking to buy a pet carpet cleaner, there are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Does it have a system to get rid of urine smell and pet odour ?
- Can it handle the tough stains left by pets?
- What other pet specific features does it offer?
I have put together a list of the carpet cleaning machines that offers the best systems to remove pet odour, handles very tough stains and has great features that really help when you are cleaning up after your pet.
In a Hurry? Here are the Best Carpet Cleaning Machines for Pets in the US
- Best Heavy Duty: BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine
- Best Buy 2023: BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution
- Best Budget Pet Carpet Cleaner: Hoover PowerDash Pet
- Best Portable Choice: BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner
- Runner Up, Best Handheld Carpet Shampooer for Pets: BISSELL Little Green Pet Deluxe Portable Carpet Cleaner, 3353
- Runner Up, Best Budget: BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet
Reviews of Top Pet Carpet Cleaners 2023
Best Carpet Cleaner for Pets
|Powerful deep cleaning to get rid of pet odour urine and stains|
|Stain and hose tool to get rid of hard to reach stains|
|Removes very tough spots and stains|
|Cleans large areas of carpet|
The Bissell Big Green is probably the most effective carpet cleaner we have reviewed. It has a large following amongst pet owners because of its extremely efficient cleaning of pet urine, pet vomit and pet stains.
When I first tried it I noticed that it has a very large tank, which meant that it was capable of cleaning large areas without me needing to stop and refill. Also, when I touched it felt very sturdy, and there were no flimsy parts.
The downsides of this machine is its price and its size, but if you want this kind of cleaning power, you will just have to live with it.
A competitor of the Bissell Big Green is the Rug Doctor, which also focuses on deep cleaning and pet stains. Have a look at this article here to see what sets them apart.
Top Pet Carpet Cleaner
|Pet Hair Basket|
|Stain Trapper tool|
|Deep cleaning to get rid of pet odour pet urine and stains.|
|Cleanshot Trigger technology to get rid of tough stains|
The Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet is a very effective deep cleaner that is focused on taking care of pet stains and odours. It has a hair basket, which will trap the pet hair, so that you do not have to remove it yourself in the machine.
On my first test run, I was impressed by the stain trapper, which was helpful in removing the tougher pet stains. Cleanshot Trigger technology is a function that directs the formula straight to the stains, which means that it will be easier to clean tough stains.
It differs from the BISSELL Big Green in that it has a smaller tank size, and I found that it does not deep clean as powerfully as the Big Green. Its advantage over the Big Green lies in the pure focus on pets, with the pet hair collector, and also its smaller size and also lower price.
Best Budget Pet Carpet Cleaner
|Deep reach pet tool|
|Pet Hair Basket|
|Deep cleaning to get rid of pet odour urine and stains|
The BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet is another carpet cleaner focused on pet stains from Bissell. It has great reviews from its users online and is quite similar to the Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet.
It has a pet hair basket to collect the hair, and it is a powerful deep cleaner which means that it gets rid of the tougher pet stains.
This is a great value carpet shampooer, and it is cheaper than the Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet, so what sets them apart?
The difference between them lies in their functions. The DeepClean Premier lacks the stain trapper tools and the Cleanshot trigger technology of the Deluxe, which means that the Deluxe version handles the toughest pet stains better than the Premier version.
The Premier is cheaper though, and although not quite as powerful as the Deluxe, it is still a powerful deep cleaner that has gotten great reviews from pet owners.
Did I miss the stain trapper when I tried the DeepClean Premier? Actually, I did. You probably won’t see much difference during a normal carpet cleaning, but when you have a touch mess to clean it helps a lot I found.
Great Budget All Round Carpet Cleaning
|Spin Scrub brushes for better cleaning|
Although not technically focused on pets, this home carpet cleaner from Hoover handles pet stains very well. It was one of the best-selling carpet cleaning machines in the US in 2018- 2022, and it looks to do very well in 2023 as well.
The Hoover Power Scrub is a long-time favorite of mine, and I love the way it handles on the carpet. What I like best when I use it is how light it feels, and how effective it is for the price.
It uses spin scrub brushes to effectively get the stains out and weighs only 19 pounds.
It does not have the power of the Big Green, or specific pet features, but for the average pet owner, it is a good carpet cleaner for pet stains.
Most Useful Pet Carpet Cleaner Features to Look For
Every dog or cat should come with a carpet cleaner. Unfortunately, they don’t. So, if you want to clean up mud, urine, drool, vomit, and pet food stains, you will want to invest in a carpet shampooer for pets.
People without pets should clean their carpets at least once per year. If you have pets, you will need to clean your carpets more frequently.
Some carpet cleaners have features designed to help clean up after pets. Here is a rundown of the most important features you need to consider when buying a pet carpet cleaner.
A robust motor spins the brushes at a rate that gets deep into the fibers where the stinky odors build. Weak motors might clean the surface, but they will not resolve the smells that build up in the deep recesses of your carpet.
Attachments For Steps and Furniture
Pets leave their marks on your steps and furniture, so your carpet cleaner needs to have accessories that clean those areas, too.
Long Extension Hose
If you need to clean carpet on your steps, having a long extension hose is essential. Otherwise, you have to move the carpet cleaner up and down your steps.
Carpet cleaners weigh more than vacuum cleaners. When you fill them with water and a cleaning solution, the weight increases. If you have a carpeted basement or second story, you will need to carry your carpet cleaner. You might want to get one of the lighter machines if you have to carry it around in stairs.
Pet stains usually need specialized chemical solutions. Make sure the carpet cleaner you are interested in comes with a cleaning solution that is designed for pets. That means that it can clean tough stains and deodorize the carpet.
To get rid of the toughest smells, you might also need an enzyme cleaner to help you deal with blood or vomit. They are cheaply available.
Cleaned carpets often need 24 hours to dry completely. But, some machines have features that significantly reduce the time. You will not want your pet to walk on a damp carpet, so you might have to crate your dog or keep your cat in a different room. With quick-dry features, you and your pet can spend time together, and you can enjoy using your entire home.
For a larger list of cleaning machines see our best carpet cleaner reviews 2023.
Carpet Cleaning Guide for Pet Owners
Pets are wonderful additions to any home. But, they make it challenging to keep your home clean. They track in dirt from outside, have accidents, and get sick. Unfortunately, all of this and more can end up all over your carpet.
The good news is that you do not have to replace your carpet if your dog or cat makes a mess. Instead, you can use this carpet-cleaning guide to take care of problems big and small . Remember that your pet is not purposefully trying to leave stains behind. They’re just living their best lives.
1. Stay Calm and Clean the Stain
It is frustrating when your pets have accidents or track mud and dirt all over your carpets. Instead of having a meltdown or scolding your pets, the best thing to do is to take care of the problem. Remember, dealing with the stain before it sets is easier than scrubbing away at a stain that you ignored for weeks.
If you have your stain-fighting tool kit ready, then you are less likely to have permanent stains that discolor your carpet and make your home stink. Once you see the spot, put your pet in a different room or its crate, and get to work.
See more tips here on how to clean pet stains on carpet.
2. Build a Carpet Cleaning Kit
Your carpet-cleaning kit should include products that work on wet spots and dry spots. Enzyme cleaners can tackle urine, blood, and vomit . Some enzyme cleaners do not smell good, and some can discolor carpet or upholstery. Read the labels to find out what is in the bottle.
- Spray the enzyme cleaner on the spot. Then, let it sit and get to work. After at least 15 minutes has expired, use a rag to blot at the stain. Do not rub or scrub, because this will drive the urine into your carpet fibers.
- After you’ve used the enzyme cleaner and blotted at the stain, you can use a vacuum to give your carpet a quick clean.
- If your animal leaves behind solid waste, all you need is baking soda, a putty knife, some disinfectant, and your vacuum cleaner. Be careful scooping up the mess because you could rub the waste into your carpet fibers. With a putty knife, you can get under the waste, lift it, and toss it in the trash.
- Once you have removed the solid waste, sprinkle baking soda on it to soak up the odor and any wetness. Let the baking soda sit and work for a few minutes, then vacuum it all up. Spray a pet-safe disinfectant on the spot after you’ve vacuumed up the baking soda.
3. Invest in a Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Homeowners who do not have pets should have their carpets cleaned at least once per year. If you have pets, you should clean your carpets more frequently, at least every six months or more. Professional carpet cleaners can do the job. But if you are hiring them several times per year, it can be expensive.
When you have a carpet cleaner, you can use it anytime that your pets leave a mess on the floor. Most people use upright carpet cleaners to care for an entire room at a time. Pet owners benefit from small hand-held carpet cleaners for spot cleaning. As carpet cleaning machines are affordable, pet owners often buy both types.
You can use hand-held carpet cleaners in emergency stain situations. Upright carpet cleaners are better for whole room carpet cleanings. Taking care of emergency messes and doing regular maintenance increases the life of your carpet.
4. Tips for Maintaining Your Carpet
No matter how hard you work to maintain your carpet, your pets will surprise you. Carpet is expensive, and no one wants to replace it sooner than expected. While keeping it clean with a carpet shampooer and with quality products helps, these other tips will help extend the life of your flooring investment.
Invest in Rugs
Rugs are useful tools that can extend the life of your carpet. Rugs cost significantly less than installed carpet, and they are easy to replace. A strategically placed rug can give your pet a place to wipe its paws before it gets to your expensive carpet.
Some homeowners put rugs in heavily trafficked areas to keep the dirt off of their carpet. Your pets might like laying on the rugs, rather than on your furniture or installed carpet.
If you use rugs, you should clean them regularly. Dirt can escape through the bottoms and get into your carpet. You can use your carpet-cleaning kit on rugs. You can also take rugs outside to clean them vigorously.
Clean Your Pet’s Paws
Many people take off their shoes and leave them near the door. Think of your pet’s paws as its shoes . Before your pet leaves the entryway, you can clean your pet’s paws to prevent them from bringing outdoor dirt into the house.
It is easy to clean paws with a spray bottle filled with warm, soapy water. Then, have a towel handy to dry them quickly. Clean paws are less likely to damage carpets than dirty ones. When you clean your pet’s paws, you keep bacteria off of your floors, too.
Take Your Pet to the Groomer
While you cannot prevent accidents, you can keep your pet clean. Regularly take your pet to a groomer or bathe your pet. Clean, groomed pets are less likely to leave excessive amounts of pet hair, dirt, and grime inside of your home. Little things like grooming your pet will help keep your home and carpets cleaner for more extended periods.
Proactively Clean Your Home
When you have pets, proactive cleaning helps. Vacuuming your carpets every day will extend their lifespans. If you only vacuum when your carpet is dirty, your carpet will not last long. Dirt, grime, and dander gets deep into the fibers and can damage your carpet over time.
If you own a carpet cleaner, there is nothing wrong with using it every week or twice per month.
Here is some more advice on getting dog pee out of carpet:
Best Enzyme Cleaners for Tough Pet Spots
If you have a pet, you can use an enzyme cleaner to do quick spot cleaning on your carpet and furniture .
Enzyme cleaners are easy to use. The liquid cleaners come in spray bottles so you can direct the product to the stain. You can use them on clothing, blankets, car interiors, or anywhere else that your pet has an accident.
Choosing the Best Enzyme Cleaner
Enzyme cleaners are not all the same. Manufacturers include different types of enzymes for different types of stains. Most will work on either dog and cat urine, but some will take longer to break down the stain and odor.
Some have natural smells that might be unpleasant for you and your pets. They aren’t dangerous smells; they just don’t smell good.
If you have one pet, pick an enzyme cleaner designed for the chemical make-up of your dog’s or cat’s urine. However, if you have dogs and cats, get an enzyme cleaner that will work on both types of animal urine.
Some enzyme cleaners will not work on solid or porous surfaces like countertops, vinyl floors, or wood floors. Wood floors can absorb urine. If you have wood floors, be sure your enzyme cleaner will penetrate the wood and remove the sticky substance.
Types of Enzyme Cleaners
When you shop for an enzyme cleaner, you should be aware of the three types:
- Amylase: This type works by breaking down the starches and carbohydrates. It will not work well on pet urine or blood.
- Lipase: This type removes grease and oil by breaking down fats. It won’t work well on urine.
- Protease: This is the best type for removing urine because it breaks down proteins and peptides.
Some enzyme cleaners have all three types, while others have only one. Buy the one that meets your cleaning needs.
You can also make your own.
Here are some more info on enzyme cleaners, and also another way to make your own:
How to Get the Best Results with a Carpet Cleaner for Pets
1. Read the Manual
Before you use your carpet cleaner, read the manual. Carpet cleaners might look like large vacuums, but they do not work in the same way. You usually have to go through several steps to get your carpet clean and dry. Only the owner’s manual can tell you how to use the machine effectively.
2. Vacuum Before You Shampoo Your Carpet
Carpet cleaners use water, solutions, sprays, and brushes to get deep into the fibers and base of the carpet. If you vacuum first, you clean up the top layer of dirt, so your carpet cleaner doesn’t have to do it. When you vacuum, you will suck up pet hair on the surface of your carpet, keeping it out of your carpet cleaner.
Many carpet cleaners do not use suction until the final pass where you suck up the water. Vacuuming first lets you get the best results with your carpet cleaner.
3. Clean and Maintain the Pet Carpet Cleaner
After you have cleaned your carpet, take the time to clean and maintain the carpet cleaner. You will extend the life of the machine if you take care of it. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning it and be sure you let it dry before you store it until the next time. A clean machine works better than a dirty one.
4. Consider Investing in a Spot Cleaner
These small hand-held carpet cleaners are lightweight, portable, and easy to use in a car, on upholstered furniture, and individual carpet stains. You can quickly grab it from the closet, clean the stain, and put it away until next time. You can’t do that with an upright carpet cleaning machine. They are however not made for cleaning large areas of carpet.
5. Use a Solution Designed for Pet Stains
Most carpet cleaning machines come with a recommended cleaning solution. But, these aren’t always the best choices for pet stains. Make sure you use a fitting solution designed for cleaning pet urine or vomit.
6. Keep Your Pet Clean
You will use your carpet shampooer less often if you keep your pet clean. Wash your pet’s paws before you let it walk on your carpet. Take your pet to a groomer for regular baths and trims. When you have fewer messes to clean, you can give your pet carpet cleaning machine a break and use it a few times per year, rather than once per month.
Buying a Carpet Shampooer for Pets vs. Using a Pet Carpet Cleaning Service
While most carpet manufacturers recommend using a carpet cleaner once per year, if you have pets, you probably need to clean your carpets more frequently.
The big question is whether you should buy your own pet carpet cleaning machine or hire a pet carpet cleaning service. The answer comes down to price and convenience.
For many pet owners, buying a carpet cleaner is an easy solution to a smelly problem. Carpet cleaners are affordable, easy to use, and simple to store . You will have to pay an upfront cost to buy the machine, and you will have to buy the necessary cleaning solution. But, you will not have to pay labor costs.
On the flip side, hiring a carpet cleaning service once might be less expensive than buying a carpet cleaner. But, pets make more than one mess. Pet owners often need to clean their carpets at least twice per year. So, pet cleaning costs can increase rapidly. Each time a carpet cleaning service comes to your home, you have to pay for it.
In the long run, buying a carpet cleaner will be less expensive than paying for regular carpet cleaning by a service. But, you will also have to take care of your carpet cleaner. It is essential to keep the machine clean, so it continues to work correctly. If it breaks, you might need to bring it to a repair shop.
For some people, convenience is the top reason for buying a carpet cleaning machine. For others, hiring a cleaning service is worth every cent. If you own a carpet cleaner, you can clean your carpet at your convenience. You can clean your carpet in the middle of the night, on weekends, or whenever the messes become noticeable.
But, if you genuinely dislike the idea of moving your furniture and cleaning your carpets, hiring a service might be for you. However, you will need to schedule a time that works for you and the company. Most carpet cleaning service companies work during the weekdays, not in the evenings or on the weekends.
There are some inconveniences with hiring a service. You cannot let your pet freely roam during the appointment. If the carpet cleaning service moves your furniture to clean your carpets, they usually do not return to put back your furniture.
Many carpet cleaning services require homeowners to be at home while cleaning carpets. This way, they can ask questions if situations arise. You might have to take time off to be at home when the service is cleaning your carpets. This is an inconvenience that makes pet owners decide to buy a carpet cleaner.
FAQ on Best Carpet Cleaners for Pets
How do you get rid of pet odor in carpet?
You can use an enzyme clener that contains Protease. Protease breaks down proteins and peptides in pet urine.
If you own a carpet cleaning machine you can buy a cleaning solution that targets pet stains. This will remove the stains and neutralize the smell.
What can I put in my carpet cleaner to get rid of pet urine smell?
Make sure to buy a carpet cleaning solution that is specialized in targeting pet stains. This solution will remove the stains and the smell. You can find one for most brands.
What is the best home carpet cleaner for pets?
We found that BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine offers the best cleaning when it comes to pet stains. BISSELL Proheat 2X Revolition is also specialized on pets and performs very well for less money.
When will my carpet be dry enough for my pet to walk on it?
The time it takes for your carpet to dry varies. It depends on the type of carpet you have and the thickness of the fibers. It also depends on the technique you used to wash and dry the carpet. Most carpets take a few hours to dry, but some need a full 24 hours.
You should wait until your carpet is dry before you let your pet walk on it, especially if your pet spends time outdoors. If your carpet is still moist and your pet’s paws are wet, your carpet will become dirty again.
Can I use my carpet cleaner on furniture, upholstery, or other household items?
You can use most carpet shampooers on other household items. With the attachments, you should be able to use your machine to clean your car’s interior, your mattresses, a pet’s bed, and your upholstered furniture.
It would be best if you did not use it on leather furniture, velvet, or silk. Before you use your carpet cleaner on other household items, read your owner’s manual.
If I have pets, how often should I use my carpet cleaning machine?
There is no limit to how often you want to use your carpet cleaner. People with pets often clean their carpets once per season, while some clean their carpets every month. It’s up to you.
If you clean your carpets frequently, you will need to buy more carpet cleaning solution. That can become costly but not as expensive as having to replace your carpet.
Should I vacuum my carpet before I run the carpet cleaner?
The quick answer is yes. When you remove the top layer of dirt, your carpet shampooer can more effectively get to the grime deep in the fibers and base of the carpet.
Consider getting a vacuum for pet hair for more effective removal and handling of the hair.
Can I use my carpet cleaning machine on all types of carpet?
You should be able to use it on all types of installed carpet. However, some rugs are made of materials that could be damaged by the water and solution you put in the machine. Wool, cotton, Berber, and other types of carpet can be cleaned with a carpet cleaner. But, rugs made of silk, jute, or braided fabrics could be damaged.
Always read your owner’s manual before using your pet carpet cleaner.
How is a pet carpet cleaner different from a regular one?
- They usually have a tool or an inbuilt feature to remove pet hair.
- They usually use a special antibacterial formula to clean up the stain and smell.
- The good models have extra tools getting rid of tough pet stains.
Finding the Best Pet Carpet Shampooer: Final Words.
If you have the budget for it, the best carpet cleaner for pets and pet stains right now is the Bissell Big Green, with its superior cleaning power and deep cleaning .
It is clunky and big though, and not fun to haul up and down stair. Recommended if you have large carpets or very tough stains to deal with.
A close second is the BISSELL Proheat 2X Revolution, which is lightweight, can deal with extremely bad smells and dries very fast.
It works well on rather large carpets, and is easier to carry around than the Bissell Big Green.
If you only have a small carpet to clean, the better choice are the portable machines. My favorite of the ones I have tested is the BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro 2458. More power than you think for the size, and easy to use as well.
The Hoover PowerDash Pet offers great value, and is the machine I would recommend to people on a budget, or people that do not have to clean a very large area.
We will update this list as we review new carpet cleaning machines.
As not only the carpet but also the floor can become smelly when you have pets, it might be a good idea to purchase a steam mop. By using steam and fragrance discs together you can eliminate the odour on the floor as well.
If you have any thought on any unit you want us to review please let me know in the comments!