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As a cat owner, you’ll find your cat has a way of putting you in some sticky situations – sometimes literally. The key to successfully removing pet stains is finding the right product and using the proper technique for each unique stain.
In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of pet stain removers on the market and which ones can eliminate common pet stains like urine, vomit, and feces.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks For Best Pet Stain And Odor Remover
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
Simple Solution Extreme Stain & Odor Remover
Types Of Pet Stain Removers
There are two main types of pet stain removers. One is enzymatic and the other type contains oxidizing agents. Some pet stain removers even feature a combination of the two.
Let’s discuss what each of these cleaning agents does and which pet messes they’re best suited for.
Enzymatic Pet Stain Removers
Enzymatic pet stain removers are like yogurt—beneficial microorganisms are the secret to their strength. Instead of populating the gut, however, the microorganisms in enzymatic cleaners populate the stained surface. These protease enzymes target protein-based molecules, which are the source of most odors.
If you’re dealing with pet urine—the worst of all pet stains—enzymatic cleaners are the only type of product that work reliably. The enzymes in the cleaner break down uric acid into carbon dioxide and ammonia, both of which evaporate into the air.
Again, there’s nothing else that can get urine stains out of your floor or upholstery.
You might see some initial results with other cleaners, but after the surface dries, the uric acid will recrystallize and the odor will come right back. Existing urine odors often act like a magnet, inviting your pet to repeat the undesired behavior and making the problem even worse.
The good news is not only do enzymatic cleaners work, but they are safe for all surfaces, including hardwood floors, carpet, rugs, upholstery, and concrete. Because every formulation is a little different and will interact differently with each surface, test it out on an inconspicuous area anyway.
Helping the Enzymes Do Their Job
Follow the package instructions precisely. Enzymatic cleaners are full of living organisms and these organisms thrive in a specific type of environment. Applying something else to the area like vinegar or baking soda will alter the environment and potentially slow down your enzymatic helpers.
When the container says to apply the cleaner liberally, do it. Don’t be stingy or cautious.
If the product comes in a spray bottle, you’ll usually want to remove the sprayer attachment and dump the liquid out of the bottle. You need to douse the area in cleaner, populating the whole space with a community of friendly microbes.
Allow the enzymatic cleaner to do its work in peace.
The enzymes will continue working until the area dries out. The more time they have in a warm, damp environment, the more time they have to break down odor-causing molecules and extract the stain. To prolong the life of your enzymes and give them more working hours, you might consider covering the area with plastic.
A plastic covering will lock in warmth and moisture, helping the enzymes to survive longer so they can spend more time in the affected area to do their work. Remember that cleaning with enzymes is like painting – you can’t rush it. Every application needs to dry naturally before you apply the next one. The slower it dries, the better.
Oxidizing Pet Stain Removers
According to the Cleaning Institute, all stains from bodily fluids like blood, vomit, and urine should be pretreated with an enzymatic solution. If possible, this enzymatic cleaner should be followed with cleaning in sodium hypochlorite or oxygen bleach and water.
Oxidation removes stains and does a great job of extracting most of the molecules responsible for discoloration. If a pet stain is discoloring the surface, oxidizing cleaners are your best bet for erasing it.
Though oxidizing pet stain removers often do a great job of removing stains, they may discolor your carpet or other soft surfaces. So, before you dump a gallon of cleaner on your carpet, test it in an inconspicuous area.
Do DIY And Homemade Pet Stain Removers Work?
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. It depends what type of product you’re making and what type of stain you’re trying to get rid of. For most stains, a homemade cleaner will work if you make it from the right ingredients. That being said, other stains demand an enzymatic cleaner, and that’s something most people can’t make at home.
The DIY pet stain remover trinity: hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda
When you’re browsing DIY cleaning solutions on Pinterest, these three household items are the ones you’ll see most often. A classic homemade carpet cleaner is a simple solution consisting of any of these three items, either separately or combined.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, vinegar is a disinfectant, and hydrogen peroxide is more oxidizing than chlorine.
When you rub vinegar into a pile of baking soda—or sprinkle baking soda on a splotch of vinegar—you make a little carpet volcano, which creates gas bubbles that could help to agitate the compounds making your carpet dirty. These reactions can remove visible staining, but they will have only temporary effects on the smell from a urine stain.
Each Pet Stain Is Unique. Here’s How To Remove The Three Most Common Types Of Pet Stains
Removing Urine Stains
Cat and dog urine is a concentrated brew of proteins, acids, electrolytes, and other compounds.
Most of these compounds are easy to clean using typical cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and other oxidizing products. The one that’s different is uric acid. It has a half-life of six years and is incredibly difficult to remove with anything other than an enzymatic cleaner.
If the stain is fresh, lucky you! New messes are relatively easy to clean.
Dab up what you can with a towel, then apply the enzyme cleaner as directed. If you have an old stain, use a blacklight to identify the source of the smell, then mark spots with sticky notes. Apply the cleaner liberally to those areas.
Older stains may need several applications (especially in carpeting), but it is possible to destroy an old cat urine stain. You just need a combination of a concentrated product, the right environmental factors, and persistence.
Removing Feces Stains
When faced with a fresh pile of feces (or worse – diarrhea), your first instinct is probably to clean it up as quickly as possible. What you may not realize, however, is that’s the exact wrong approach.
It’s recommended that you wipe off any excess then let the stain dry before attempting to clean it up.
If you try to clean up a feces stain while it’s still fresh, you’ll only make things worse. Instead, let it dry before applying any pet stain remover or doing any scrubbing. Use a cleaner that combines enzymatic action with oxidation.
Removing Vomit Stains
While you want to let feces stains dry before cleaning it up, vomit stains demand the opposite treatment. Vomit is usually relatively easy to clean, provided you catch it promptly and don’t let it set into the carpet fibers.
The acid in pet vomit can stain carpet quickly, so it’s important to wipe it all up as promptly as possible. Start it off by removing the chunks and any excess liquid, then use your enzymatic cleaner as directed.
Top 7 Best Pet Stain Removers On The Market
#1 Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator Review
This gentle enzymatic cleaner is full of the microorganisms that can break down uric acid and other odor-causing compounds in pet stains. It’s Amazon’s number one best-seller in cat odor and stain removers and has over 47,000 customer reviews. An impressive 71% of those reviewers give it 5 stars.
This Rocco & Roxie cleaner is well-regarded for its ability to clean urine, but it’s also effective on other pet stains, like vomit, feces, and other messes. The natural formula is safe to use on almost any surface, and it’s approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute.
It comes in a spray bottle or a gallon jug. If you have a serious mess, the jug is your best choice. Remember that most stains require a good dousing of enzymatic cleaner, so most users need more than a spritz-spritz on the stain. At nearly $50 per gallon, this product is fairly pricey but it works.
- An effective enzymatic cleaner
- Gentle and color-safe on all surfaces
- Comes with a money-back guarantee
- At $49.97 for one gallon, this isn’t a cheap product
#2 Mister Max Unscented Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover Review
This well-regarded product has a reputation for eradicating one of the most troubling pet stains in the world—cat urine. All urine makes a scary stain, but the feline type is unusually concentrated.
Mister Max odor remover uses live bacteria to break down the compounds that cause odor. The product is unscented, making it safe and comfortable for sensitive cats and people.
If you’ve already treated the area with another cleaning product, the company recommends that you prepare the surface with P-Bath. This pre-treat conditioner neutralizes residue from quaternary disinfectants. It’s formulated to work in synergy with Mister Max Anti-Icky-Poo by bringing the surface within a pH range preferred by the bacteria in Anti Icky Poo cleaner.
On Amazon, nearly 1,200 customers give it a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, and 75% of all reviewers give it five stars. One gallon of Anti-Icky-Poo costs about $37.
- Effective enzymatic action
- No added perfumes or fragrance
- Safe for both humans and animals
- Appropriate for use on almost all surfaces
- Doesn’t work for everyone
#3 Nature’s Miracle Advanced Cat Stain and Odor Eliminator Review
Nature’s Miracle offers a variety of pet stain removal products but this formula is uniquely designed to tackle cat odors. It comes in a 32-ounce bottle and is priced $12.75.
This enzymatic cleaner contains those hungry little microorganisms you need to get rid of severe messes like vomit, feces, and worst of all, cat urine. Plus, it’s infused with what the company describes as a “sunny lemon”, but according to customer reviews, the smell is a little strong and fake.
If you don’t like scented cat litter and other perfumed products, this pet stain remover might not be a good choice for you.
Customer reviews are generally positive, but good experiences aren’t universal. While about 65% of reviewers give it a 5-star rating, nearly 10% give it just one star. But most members of this dissatisfied group don’t complain about the product’s effectiveness. They’re complaining about how it smells.
It’s not recommended that you use this Nature’s Miracle cleaner on delicate surfaces like untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk, or wool specialty fabrics but it can be used on carpet, hardwood, linoleum, and tiling. You may just want to do a test patch first to be safe.
- Enzymatic cleaner capable of eliminating odors
- Works on carpet, hardwood, linoleum, or tile
- Affordably priced under $15 for 32-oz bottle
- Some may prefer an unscented pet stain remover
#4 Emmy’s Best Calming Lavender Scented Pet Odor & Stain Eraser Review
Emmy’s Best pet odor and stain remover is an enzymatic product that breaks down odor-causing substances in urine and other pet stains. It’s described as a triple-action formula that erases stains, neutralizes odors, and destroys pheromones.
This formula has a lavender scent which can help cover any lingering odors leftover after cleaning. While not everyone loves lavender, most customer reviewers agree that the product’s scent is a few steps above the usual fake smell that other cleaners leave behind.
Emmy’s Best pet stain remover is covered by the company’s Paws Promise 100% satisfaction guarantee – if you’re not fully satisfied, you’ll get your money back. Plus, a portion of the proceeds is donated to Emmy’s Friends, a collection of pet charities selected by the company.
The cleaner is available in a 32 oz spray bottle or 1 gallon jug and it costs $19.95 per gallon.
- Enzymatic cleaner work with most stains
- Safe to use on almost any surface
- Comes with a money-back guarantee
- Some people don’t like the fragrance
#5 Genesis 950 Professional Concentrated Pet Stain and Odor Remover Review
This full-strength professional product is a combination cleaner, degreaser, and deodorizer. It works on kitchen and bathroom counters, marble, stone, granite, tile, laminate, and hardwood floors. It’s also safe for most carpet and is compatible with carpet cleaning machines.
While Genesis 950 is a well-rounded product that can destroy stains in almost every room of your house, it’s not right for every type of pet stain.
This product isn’t an enzymatic cleaner and it can’t break down the uric acid that makes the odor so long-lasting. If you’re dealing with a urine stain, you’re best off using an enzymatic cleaner that can physically break down those compounds.
You should also know that this is a concentrated product, so you’ll need to mix it with water before use. Depending on the intensity of your stain, you may need to use anything from a 7:1 to 1:1 water to Genesis 950 ratio.
Customer reviews of this product are primarily positive, with a total of over 750 reviewers giving it a total 4.1 out of 5-star rating. Over 70% of reviewers give it a 5-star rating.
The product costs $69.90 for one gallon of concentrated cleaner which can be used to make over 2 gallons of usable cleaner.
- Effective on almost any surface
- Highly concentrated formula
- Appropriate for use in a carpet cleaning machine
- Not appropriate for urine stains
#6 Angry Orange Industrial Strength Pet Odor Eliminator Review
When it comes to the toughest set-in stains and odors, Angry Orange pet odor eliminator is what you need. This concentrated pet stain remover is commercial grade, powered by the natural oil found in orange peels. A single 8-ounce bottle makes up to a gallon of solution.
Angry Orange is powerful and effective, but it has a pleasant citrus scent. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of concentrate with 32 ounces of water and it’s ready to use.
This concentrated pet odor eliminator neutralizes odors on contact and doubles as a carpet cleaner. It is safe to use in all areas of the house, working on carpet, hardwood, and tile as well as hard surfaces like countertops and furniture.
It’s a little pricey at about $22.97 per 8-ounce bottle, but it makes a gallon of solution.
Angry Orange has over 33,500 reviews on Amazon and an overall 4.5 out of 5-star rating. Over 70% of customers give it 5 stars and only 3% rate it with 1 star.
- Effective against tough and set-in odors
- Leaves behind a citrus scent
- Concentrated formula makes up to 1 gallon
- Some customers had trouble using it carpet cleaners
- Concentrated scent can be overwhelming to some
#7 Simple Solution Extreme Stain & Odor Remover Review
If you’re looking for a tough and reliable pet urine stain remover, Simple Solution is the way to go. This professional strength formula breaks down, neutralizes, and permanently removes pet stains and odor.
Simple Solution is an enzymatic cleaner designed for use on all kinds of surfaces including carpets, bedding, upholstery, and more. The 32-ounce bottle is equipped with a 3-in-1 nozzle sprayer with foam, mist, and stream settings for easy application. Plus, it is pet-safe and safe for use around children.
This enzymatic formula is available in a 32-ounce bottle for under $15 or a 1-gallon bottle for just over $30. This makes it one of the best budget options for pet owners.
In addition to removing tough stains and odor, this formula helps prevent re-marking. Simple
Solution has around 200 customer reviews on Chewy with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating. A full 91% of reviewers recommend the product and 77% gave it 5 stars.
- Enzymatic odor and urine remover
- Patented 3-in-1 sprayer for easy application
- Professional strength formula
- Didn’t work well for some customers
#8 BONUS – Best Pet Stain Remover Machine: Bissell SpotBot Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology
If your pet soils the floor once or twice in their life, a jug of pet stain remover and a few minutes of hand scrubbing should be all you need. When cleaning up floor stains becomes a frustrating part of your weekly routine, however, it might be time to invest in a carpet cleaner like this one from Bissell.
To use it, you’ll fill the tank with a solution of pet stain remover and warm water, set the machine on the stain, and let the machine do the work for you.
The cleaner sends the pet stain remover deep into carpet and fabric fibers while its brushes agitate and scrub the area. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the cleaner vacuums up any excess liquid and waste. It works on carpet, upholstery, on stairs, and even in the car.
- Trinova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover Review
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- ODOR-X All-Purpose Stain and Odor Remover Review
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you remove dried pet stains?
The key to removing dried pet stains is to find the right cleaner for the job – generally speaking, enzymatic cleaners work best. Soak the area thoroughly and let the cleaner dry then determine whether you need to repeat the application.
Why does my carpet still smell like cat urine after cleaning?
Uric acid, a component of urine, is extremely stubborn and can be difficult to remove from surfaces entirely. If you use the wrong cleaner you might be able to get rid of the stain, but the uric acid will recrystallize and continue to cause odor. Your best bet is an enzymatic cleaner.
How do you make homemade pet stain and odor remover?
The three best ingredients for homemade pet stain and odor removers are vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Try making a paste with baking soda and water then scrub it into the stain before pouring vinegar over it. A mixture of one-part hydrogen peroxide and one-part Dawn dish soap may work as well.