Regardless of how well-trained your dog is, occasional accidents are inevitable. That being said, it’s important to thoroughly clean up dog urine to maintain your home and prevent your pooch from peeing on the same spot again.
To do that, you’ll need an effective carpet cleaner that’s specifically designed to eliminate urine odors and stains. But because there are dozens of urine-eliminating carpet cleaners on the market, it can be tricky for dog owners to pick a good one, as some work better than others.
Don’t worry — we’re here to help! Below, we’ll identify some of the best carpet cleaners for dealing with dog urine below, and provide some general tips about carpet care for pet owners.
No time to read? Just check out our quick picks below!
Best Carpet Cleaners for Dog Urine: Quick Picks
- #1 Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover [Best Oxidizing Dog Urine Cleaner] — This is not only an effective oxidizing carpet cleaner, it also sanitizes the soiled area, which will keep your carpets cleaner and safer for your entire family (including four-footers).
- #2 Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator [Best Enzymatic Dog Urine Cleaner] — Effective for a variety of different messes on a variety of surfaces, this is one of the best products for dealing with urine odors and stains, and it’s made by one of the best brands in the pet-care category.
- #3 Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator [Most Affordable Dog Urine Cleaner] — In addition to being the most affordable carpet cleaner for dog urine, this product is also the best orange-based carpet cleaner on the market. Most owners who tried it raved about its fantastic odor-eliminating scent.
Different Types of Urine Eliminators: Which One Do You Want?
There are four basic ways you can try to reduce or eliminate urine odors from your carpet:
- Use a perfume or scent of some type to mask the odor.
- Use an oxidizing agent to rip electrons off of the urine molecules, which will convert them into things that do not smell.
- Use an enzymatic cleaner to allow bacteria to consume the odor-causing molecules in the urine.
- Use an orange-oil based cleaner to help partially disinfect the area, mask odors, and eliminate stains.
Option 1: Perfume / Odor Masking
The first option (perfumes and similar products) are generally not terribly effective; once the perfume dissipates, the urine odor will come roaring back.
You’ll soon find it necessary to re-spray the area with a masking agent, and you’ll never actually deal with the odor itself. Accordingly, we’re not even discussing them here — you can just use a basic odor-eliminating spray if this is your only goal.
Oxidizing agents and enzymatic cleaners tend to be more effective, though professional carpet cleaners disagree about which type is best.
Option 2: Oxidizing Agent
Urine cleaners that use an oxidizing agent break down the urine molecules.
Oxidizing agents work great, but keep in mind that some fabrics may be damaged by oxidizing cleaners. Always try oxidizing cleaners in an inconspicuous area first (and, truthfully, this is a good practice with any carpet-cleaning product).
Oxidizers are sometimes more expensive than enzymatic cleaners; orange oil cleaners vary in price. This doesn’t necessarily mean oxidizers are more effective — they just cost more money to manufacture.
Option 3: Enzymatic Cleaner
While enzymatic cleaners function a bit differently than oxidizing agents, they are pretty even in terms of effectiveness.
Enzymatic cleaner introduce bacteria that consumes the odor-causing urine molecules.
It is sometimes necessary to keep the area damp when using enzymatic cleaners. This is probably not a huge problem for most owners, but it is worth considering.
Enzymatic cleaners are likely the most common type of urine cleaner in the current marketplace. But this doesn’t mean they’re always the most effective choice or that they’re superior to oxidizing agents or orange-based products.
Enzymatic cleaners will not address visible urine stains. They are largely focused on breaking down the urine odor. Oxidizing agents, on the other hand, will usually break down stains. Orange-based cleaners will likely eliminate some, but not all, stains.
Option 4: Orange-Oil Cleaner
Orange oils are great for covering odors and they also exhibit antibacterial properties. Orange oils also appear to be effective degreasers in some cases, meaning they may help eliminate some stains.
At the end of the day, they’re effective for combating pee-pee odors, but you may need to use them in conjunction with an oxidizing cleaner to treat stains.
There is no perfect choice in all scenarios – you have to pick the best product for your specific situation. A couple of the most important factors you’ll want to consider include:
Dog Urine Cleaner Quick Tips:
- How Quickly Do You Need Reults? Oxidizing agents and orange oils begin to work immediately, while enzymatic agents take some time to work. This is important to keep in mind if, for example, you’re trying to treat a spot before company arrives for dinner.
- All Cleaners Discussed Below Are Safe. The cleaners discussed below are all considered safe for use around dogs. None of the three types of cleaners (oxidizers, enzymatic cleaners, or orange-based products) are likely to cause your pet harm if used properly.
- What Size is the Stain? You should consider the size of the stains you’ll be having to treat before making a choice. Oxidizers are often recommended for treating relatively small urine stains; enzymatic cleaners are often preferable when large areas must be treated.
- Use a UV Light to Find the Urine. You might want to consider purchasing a UV black light that can help detect dog urine, allowing you to ensure you’re covering the affected area fully.
The Nine Best Carpet Cleaners for Dog Urine
Without further ado, here are some of the best carpet cleaners for dog urine available. We’ve included some that utilize oxidizers, some that use enzymes, and some that use orange-derived chemicals to get the job done.
Just remember to think about which one would be best for your specific situation when making your choice.
1. Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Oxidizing stain- and odor-eliminator
This carpet cleaner from Woolite not only treats stains and odors, but it kills 99.9% of the bacteria on your carpets too.
About: This pet stain & odor remover from Woolite is an oxidizing carpet cleaner specifically designed for cleaning up pet stains caused by urine or other four-footer fluids.
In addition to eliminating stains, this carpet cleaner also kills 99.9% of Enterobacter aerogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and other pathogens that may be lurking on your carpet.
- Can be used on carpets and upholstery
- Oxidizing formula simultaneously sanitizes and deodorizes surfaces
- May discolor dark surfaces and fabrics that aren’t white.
- Not safe for use on wool, vinyl, or polypropylene/olefin surfaces
- Effective for targeting stains on light-colored surfaces
- Owners loved that it worked without leaving a sticky residue
- Kills a variety of germs that can sicken your dog or family
- Some owners found the fragrance overwhelming
- Shouldn’t be used on leather, wool, polypropylene/olefin, or vinyl surfaces
- May discolor dark-colored carpets
2. Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator
Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator
US-made enzymatic cleaner that treats stains and odors
A versatile multi-surface enzymatic cleaner designed to treat stains and odors caused by urine, vomit, or feces.
About: Rocco & Roxie’s Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator is an enzymatic product made without chlorine or other chemicals that may discolor fabrics.
A versatile product, this cleaner can be used on carpets, tile, furniture, clothing, and around kennels making it an excellent all-around cleaner.
- Carpet cleaner targets both stains and lingering odors
- Supports bacteria that feed on ammonia crystals and organic matter
- US-made, color-safe formula can be used on any carpet
- Has earned the seal of approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Flexible cleaner can be used to clean up a variety of pet bodily fluids
- Chlorine-free formula can be used on virtually any surface
- Most owners were very pleased with the product’s ability to treat stains and odors
- Backed by 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Also effective for treating laundry stains and odors
- Product scent was overwhelming to some people
- Takes a bit of time to work — must be left to soak in for 30 to 60 minutes
- One of the most expensive dog-urine carpet cleaners on the market
3. Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
About: Angry Orange Odor Eliminator is an orange-based cleaner that is safe for use on carpet, tile, and upholstery, making it flexible for masking any mutt mishap. And in addition to cleaning stains, this product will leave behind a pleasant, orange scent.
A concentrated product, one 8-ounce bottle of Angry Orange will make up to four 32-ounce spray bottles.
- Odor eliminator is derived from naturally-derived orange oil
- Can be used with other carpet cleaners to help remove remaining odors
- Citrus smell may deter some pets from peeing in the same spot
- Orange-based formula should be safe for dark surfaces
- Owners were impressed with this product’s ability to eliminate set-in odors
- Works on a wide variety of surfaces
- Most owners loved the product’s very strong orange scent
- Concentrated formula provides great value for your carpet-cleaning dollar
- Despite being marketed for use around pets, the manufacturer’s website urges caution when used around cats
- Doesn’t eliminate stains — will need to be used in conjunction with a stain-fighting cleaner
- Despite being marketed as safe for dark-colored carpets, it’d still be wise to test it first
4. Clean Carl’s Pet Mess Products
- Hypoallergenic and safe for kids and pets
- Industry-approved: Clean Carl’s is approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Safe for a variety of surfaces, including carpet, upholstery, tile, and textiles
- Eco-friendly and made with non-toxic biodegradable agents
- No rinsing: simply remove the solid mess if needed, then spray and blot, let air-dry
- Odor-free: doesn’t smell like mess, cleaning agents, or anything at all.
Clean Carl’s sells two options, one specially made for solid waste and another for liquid messes. It’s safe to use on most floors and surfaces, and is incredibly simple to use. Simply remove the solid mess as needed, then spray and blot. The product is oxygen-activated, so it’s best to let it air dry and continue cleaning as it works into the surface and kills odor-causing bacteria.
Clean Carl’s also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will refund you if you don’t like the product within 90 days of purchase.
- Zapper: water, advanced biological blend, nonionic surfactant, odor counteractant, opacifer.
- Remover: water, hydrogen peroxide, sodium laurel ether sulfate, proprietary ethoxylated alcohol, d-limonene, potassium pyrophosphate.
- Owners like the simplicity of using Clean Carl’s
- Breeders and trainers both report liking that the options are specifically formulated for liquid versus solid waste
- Professional pet care providers also love that Clean Carl’s doesn’t leave any cleaning scent (or worse) lingering in the air
- Clean Carl’s isn’t widely available in-store, so you must order online.
- Packaging doesn’t make it obvious which cleaner is for which type of mess, so some users reported getting mixed up when trying to clean up a late-night mess.
5. Out! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover
About: Out! Oxy Stain and Odor Remover helps to remove a variety of pet stains, including those caused by urine, vomit, feces, and even blood. In addition to cleaning stains, this US-made cleaner has a pleasant citrus scent that will leave your carpet smelling fresh and clean.
This cleaner is designed to be sprayed on the target area, and then allowed to sit for three to five minutes before you dab or wipe it away.
- Cleaner can be used on new messes and set-in stains
- Pheromone-destroying, citrus-scented cleaner helps discourage repeated marking
- Also works on other common household stains like dirt, coffee, and grass
- Contains hydrogen peroxide, so use care when treating dark surfaces
- Most owners found the product super effective at removing stains
- Pleasant, orange scent was a hit with most people who tried the product
- Provides great bang for your carpet-cleaning buck
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Not safe for use on wool, silk, or leather
- Some dog owners were unimpressed with stain-removing capabilities
- May not be safe for dark carpets or upholsteries
6. Clorox Urine Remover
About: Clorox is staple brand among house-cleaning products, so it isn’t surprising that they include an oxidizing urine-remover among their lineup.
Designed to work on hard or soft surfaces, this urine-removing product is designed to clean effectively without requiring you to scrub as much as some other products do.
- Not bleach-based; oxidizing cleaner utilizes hydrogen peroxide
- Designed to work on fresh or set-in stains
- Can be used on soft surfaces including carpets, mattresses, and fabrics
- Also effective for hard surfaces such as porcelain, stainless steel, and grout
- Works on pet and human urine so it’s perfect for pooch parents with kids
- Bulk-packaged for convenience; one bottle will fill four 32-ounce spray bottles
- Most dog owners were impressed with the products ability to eliminate stains and odors
- Commercial-grade product that’s safe and easy to use in the home
- Works on a variety of surfaces, providing helpful versatility
- Some users were disappointed it had a slight “chemical-like” scent
- May cause discoloration in dark surfaces, so test it in an inconspicuous area first
- Didn’t completely eliminate odors in all cases
7. Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Eliminator
Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Eliminator
Specifically designed to treat big pet messes
A powerful enzymatic carpet cleaner capable of treating fresh and set-in stains and odors.
About: This enzymatic cleaner by Nature’s Miracle is specially formulated to fight against super-sized doggie disasters, including those caused by urine, diarrhea, and vomit. In addition to eliminating stains, this cleaner also helps to eliminate the associated odors.
The versatile formula works on both fresh and set-in stains, and it is safe for a variety of surfaces.
- Enzyme-based formula works on both fresh and set-in stains
- Also treats the lingering odors associated with most pet bodily fluids
- Can be used on carpets, furniture, hardwood floors and more
- Comes in 32-, 128-, and 170-ounce sizes
- Effective for non-pet-related odors too
- Can be used on most surfaces and shouldn’t discolor dark fabrics
- Most owners were very pleased with the product’s ability to eliminate odors
- Leaves behind a light, fresh scent
- Several owners reported that it discouraged pets from re-marking
- A small number of users disliked the product’s scent
- You’ll need to allow the enzymes at least 10 minutes to begin to work
8. REMOVEURINE Severe Urine Neutralizer for Dog and Cat Urine
About: REMOVEURINE Severe Urine Neutralizer (S.U.N.) is one of the best options for set-in scents that won’t seem to go away. Instead of utilizing enzymes or oxidizers, S.U.N. uses a proprietary blend of polymers to absorb urine-based odors.
Note that this cleaner doesn’t address visible stains; you’ll need to use a separate cleaning product for that.
- Can be used on carpet, tile, mattresses, concrete, and hardwood floors
- Also effective against vomit, skunk spray, and cat urine
- One 4-ounce bottle makes one to two quarts of urine neutralizing solution
- To use, simply mix up the solution and treat urine-soaked spots
- Effectively eliminates odors without leaving a chemical-like or citrus odor behind
- Owners were quite pleased with the product’s ability to eliminate long-lasting odors
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Safe to use on a variety of surfaces
- Only addresses odors — you’ll need something else to treat stains
- We wish they’d disclose the “proprietary blend” of odor absorbent ingredients
- May not stop pets from urinating in the same area again
9. TriNova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator
TriNova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator
Enzymatic cleaner made with natural, organic ingredients
This pet stain and odor eliminator treats a variety of different pet stains and leaves behind a clean, refreshing scent.
About: TriNova is an all-natural, plant-based pet stain and odor eliminator designed to be safe for people and pets. Safe for use on a variety of surfaces and materials, this product should help address stains and odors that occur just about anywhere in your home.
- Flexible cleaner can be used on carpet, fabric, hardwood, litter boxes, and in kennels
- Plant-derived formula that eliminate stains and odors
- Begins to work within 3 to 5 minutes, making for quick mess cleanup
- Gentle formula won’t discolor most surfaces
- According to user reviews, TriNova is very good at eliminating odors
- Most owners loved the product’s light, refreshing scent
- Ready-to-use product that requires no dilution or preparation
- Backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- While great for treating odors, several owners complained that the formula was not effective on set-in stains
- The spray bottle appeared to work poorly for some
- Pricier than many other options
- Though safe for most surfaces, you should still test it on an inconspicuous area first
10. Bubba’s Enzymatic Cleaner
About: Bubba’s Enzymatic Cleaner is a professional-grade, enzyme-based cleaner that can be used on a variety of surfaces — including dark-colored ones — and it can even be used outdoors or indoors.
Because it is sold in one-gallon containers, you won’t have to worry about running out when you need it the most. Additionally, it even works as a pre-wash treatment for set-in laundry stains.
- Multi-surface cleaner can be used on carpet, wood, tile, fabric, upholstery and more
- US-made cleaner can be used with urine, blood, poop, and vomit
- Bulk enzymatic cleaner is sold by the gallon for personal or commercial use
- Certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- This product has earned tons of glowing reviews from owners who were impressed with its efficacy
- Flexible product that can be used on most floor surfaces, fabrics, and upholsteries
- Targets odors and stains, making it a great all-in-one carpet-cleaning solution
- Backed by a money-back satisfaction guarantee
- Despite being marketed as safe for most surfaces, a few users reported color fading after use
- A small number of owners disliked the product’s scent
Picking a Dog Urine Carpet Cleaner
There are a couple of key points to keep in mind when picking out a suitable dog urine carpet cleaner. Here a few things to consider to make sure your canine catastrophe cleaner is well-suited for the task at hand.
- Safe for Use Around Pets — Obviously, you’ll want to look for products that are specifically designed for use around pets. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions (including diluting the products if instructed to do so) to keep your four-footer safe.
- Removes Stains — Keep in mind that all carpet cleaners do not work in the same way. For example, some “cleaners” simply mask the smell of the area without removing stains themselves. For your best chance of removing visible urine stains, use an oxidizer cleaner.
- Removes Odors — You’ll want to find a cleaner that effectively removes odors, instead of just covering them up. Enzymatic and oxidizing cleaners are both great for this purpose.
- Non Discoloring for Carpets — Some cleaners may stain your carpet so this is definitely a factor to take into consideration — particularly if your carpets are dark.
- Good Spray Nozzle — This sounds like a no-brainer, but having a good spray nozzle at your disposal can make your canine cleanup experience a whole lot easier. It may be worth looking for nozzles with different setting options to target different types of stains.
- Pleasant or No Scent — While some users prefer using scented carpet cleaners, fragrances can be overwhelming for some. If you’re sensitive to strong smells, look for a fragrance-free option.
Using Carpet Cleaners Safely and Sensibly
Don’t forget that even pet-safe cleaners need to be used safely around our pets. And for that matter, you’ll want to use them sensibly to get the best results and avoid causing additional problems.
Here are a couple key things you can do to achieve these goals:
- Keep your doggo away from the area until the cleaner dries. Many of these cleaners, particularly enzymatic solutions, require some down time before the stain and associated odors can be thoroughly eliminated. You’ll want to make sure you keep Fido away from the area to keep him safe and give the cleaner a chance to work its magic.
- Test urine cleaners on an inconspicuous area first. While many of these cleaners claim to be safe on a variety of surfaces, it’s important to test out your cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the surface first just to make sure no discoloration occurs. This is also a great time to get an idea of the scent profile if you’re sensitive to the smell of certain cleaning products.
- Store carpet cleaners in a dog-safe place. Cleaning products need to be tucked safely away where your dog has no access opportunities. Consider adding child-proof locks to certain cabinets or you can keep the cleaner in an area like a high shelf in the garage.
- Wear “grubby” clothes when using cleaners. Depending on your cleaner, it may make sense to wear gloves or put on clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty. Hydrogen peroxide, for example, can stain fabrics, so make sure you dress for the part.
General Carpet Maintenance Tips for Owners
Constantly cleaning carpets because of your canine can be quite the ordeal. Here are a couple of general maintenance tips to combat your mutt’s next mistake.
- Revisit house-training if need be. One of the best ways to protect your carpet is to make sure that your pooch is properly house-trained. It can take an upwards of a year for some dogs to fully grasp the concept, so be as patient as possible.
- Use a crate if you have to (just be sure to do so compassionately). Crate training can be an incredible tool that can help reduce accidents during house training. However, crates should be used a few hours at a time max and never as a form of punishment. That being said, a crate can be an excellent, safe place for your pooch to retreat to while you finish cleaning up an accident.
- Vacuum regularly to keep hair/dirt/odors to a minimum. Vacuuming regularly is one of the best ways to maintain your home for you and Fido. Make sure you have a powerful vacuum designed for battling pet hair to keep up with frequent maintenance.
- If possible, select a carpet that is dark or matches your pet’s fur color. While there are ways to reduce a dog’s shedding, pet hair is an inevitable part of pet parenting for most of us. It might be wise to match your carpet to your dog’s fur to reduce your cleaning workload.
- Patterns help hide dirt and stains. If you’re on the market for a rug, find a dog-friendly rug option to cut back on future cleaning. Patterned rugs, for example, can help mask set-in dirt and pet stains.
- Teach dogs to be comfortable with the vacuum. One of the best things you can do for your furry best friend is to teach your dog not to be scared of the vacuum. This way you can cut back on stress whenever you have to clean up one of your mutt’s messes.
Carpet Cleaners For Dog Urine FAQs
Are you still trying to decode the clutter around carpet cleaners? Here are a couple of frequently asked questions and answers to expand your understanding.
How do pet carpet cleaners work?
Carpet cleaners work by masking the odor, using an oxidizing agent to convert urine molecules into things that do not smell (oxidizer cleaners), or using enzymes to break down the odor-causing molecules which are then consumed by bacteria (enzymatic cleaners). While there are other carpet cleaning solutions, we usually recommend cleaners within the enzymatic or oxidizer category since they seem to be the most effective at targeting the source of urine stains.
What is an “enzymatic cleaner?”
An enzyme is a protein that works as a biological catalyst, or facilitates some sort of reaction when interacting with certain substances. Enzymatic cleaners contain enzymes that are designed to break down certain carbohydrates, fats, odors, and starches helping you to thoroughly eliminate stains.
How do you get dog urine smell out of a carpet?
In order to remove pet stains and odors, we recommend using an oxidizer or enzymatic cleaner. Keep in mind that some of these cleaners require down time before scrubbing the affected surface, so be sure to apply and reapply the cleaning solution as directed by the individual product’s instructions. You can also use a carpet cleaner along with an odor masking spray like Angry Orange (discussed above) to increase your likelihood of eliminating the smell completely.
Do lingering pee odors make dogs have accidents?
Lingering pee odor may signal to your dog that he can pee in the same area again which is why it’s so important to clean up any pet messes as soon as they occur. Dogs may be more likely to have accidents as they age or due to health complications.
Will professional carpet cleaning eliminate pet odors?
Depending on the service, perhaps. If you’re considering investing in professional carpet cleaning, you’ll want to screen your potential service provider to see if they have experience with pets and what type of cleaning agents they use. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have some canine carpet cleaner on hand since messes are much easier to clean up immediately after they have occurred as opposed to waiting for the stain to set-in.
Enzymatic and oxidizing carpet cleaners can work wonders when combating canine urine. All dogs will have accidents at some point in their life, but cleaning up a mess every once in a while is a small price to pay for all the love our furry friends provide.
What carpet cleaner product works best for your pup palace? How do you keep your hound-friendly home smelling fresh? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!