Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Having a pet in your life is an absolute delight—but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with a few less desirable side effects. Unexpected stains on rugs, inside dog crates and all over dog beds? No, thank you. That’s where the best carpet cleaners for pets come into play. These handy devices quickly scrub out messes and stains, leaving fresh, odor-less carpets in their wake. And they’re even—dare we say it?—fun to use. If you enjoy looking at “before” and “after” photos of messy-turned-tidy spaces, you’re going to love wielding one of the best carpet cleaners for pets on the market and turning your home into a magazine-ready space (the devices even pick up dog food stains). Our top pick for 2023, Bissell’s ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro, offers 12 rows of brushes for those more intense cleaning sessions.

It’s important to note that carpet cleaners for pets are quite different from, say, traditional vacuum cleaners. While vacuums focus on sucking up things like dirt, and there are even many vacuums for pet hair, these types of cleaners actually wash your rugs, utilizing water along with a specialized cleaning solution to get all of those unsightly stains out of your rugs once and for all. Of course, that means they’re a bit more of an investment, too—most models will set you back at least $100—so you’re going to want to make sure you choose wisely. Luckily, we’ve got a curated, expert-vetted list of the best carpet cleaners for pets in 2023 right here. When all is said and done, your guests might not even know you even have a pet. (We said might.)


Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro

If you’ve got a pet that’s not the best at using the bathroom outside (or simply loves tracking mud indoors), you need a really powerful machine that can scoop up some serious gunk. That’s where the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max comes in. This super intense cleaner is designed to take out even the toughest pet stains and stenches, even promising to remove eau de skunk (yes, really). Enjoy 12 rows of dirt-lifting brushes, each of which promises to get deep into your carpets. There’s also an Express Clean Mode for when you need to get things clean and dry in 30 minutes and a built-in CleanShot pre-treater to help you fight those especially stubborn stains. A pet upholstery tool and tough stain tool keep you armed and ready for the next mess.


It’s rare to get a full-sized quality carpet cleaner for less than $200, but Hoover delivers with this model. It features a special PowerSpin Pet brush roll with antimicrobial-treated brushes to tackle odors, while the cleaner’s HeatForce helps you get dry carpets fast. This cleaner is also lightweight—just 12.5 pounds—making it easy to schlep from room to room. While some carpet cleaners are behemoths, this version is also more on the petite side, making for easy storage.


It’s rarely discussed, but carpet cleaners actually need to be cleaned, too, you know—and that’s where this machine shines. The Spillbuster opens fully so that you can get deep inside and wash and dry it between uses. What’s more, both the collection bowl and nozzle are dishwasher-safe. The handheld cleaner is also completely cordless, making it easy to spot-treat upholstery and select messes. It can even suck up wet and chunky messes with its wide nozzle before scrubbing out stains.


Need a machine that can tackle lots of carpeting at once? Meet the Hoover Power Scrub Elite. This two-tank cleaner offers a 25% larger capacity than the competition to help you clean for longer periods of time without needing to dump gunky water every half hour. The Power Scrub features strong suction and 360-degree brushes that get deep into your carpets to fish out any messes that may be lingering, and its Quick Clean Mode helps you get clean and dry carpets in just 45 minutes. There’s even “automatic detergent mixing,” so you don’t have to do any math before you get to work. An eight-foot hose and pet tool attachment help you get into hard-to-reach spots.


Bissell Little Green Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

Don’t let the size of Bissell’s Little Green Pet Pro fool you: This device packs some serious power. The cleaner offers up impressive suction and scrubbing action to help work out even the most stubborn of pet stains. But its portability and small size make it easy to use on upholstery, your car and stairs. This handy device also has a Pet Stain Tool that’s specially designed to lift and remove pet messes, along with a Tough Stain Tool and Spraying Crevice Tool. At 14 by 10 inches and just 13 pounds, it’s easy enough to tote around your place.


The Rug Doctor is perfect for tackling stubborn stains head-on. Just tote your cleaner to the stain, set it down and let it do the rest. It delivers intense suction for deep cleaning and can handle upholstery and carpets alike. The device is specially formulated to scrub your carpets without damaging fibers, so you don’t have to stress about possibly replacing rugs that have been repeatedly cleaned. Small wheels and a retractable handle make it easy to move the device from room to room.


Sometimes, you just want to be able to tackle pet stains as soon as they happen without having to pull out a larger machine. Enter the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser. This handheld cleaner has a rotating brush to really work through stubborn stains. A nice perk of this cleaner: There’s no need to mix the cleaner with water, and formula can be stored in the cleaner. So, all you need to do is just grab and go. The whole thing is cordless and powered by a lithium-ion battery for longer bursts of power. And, at less than five pounds, this cleaner won’t weigh you down while you get to work.


Hoover CleanSlate Portable Carpet And Upholstery Pet Spot Cleaner

Hoover’s CleanSlate has so many cool tools, it’ll (almost) be a joy to tackle stains. Choose between the WidePath Tool for larger spots like stairs and your couch and the TightSpot Tool to get into nooks and crannies. There are also bristle and rubber nub inserts for each, along with other toppers to put on the machine’s hose. A dual-tank system with a 40-ounce capacity lets you clean plenty of places without needing a refill. Brushes also contain an antimicrobial coating to help fight odors. Once you’re ready to clean the machine, simply flush it out with the hose rinse tool.


BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vac

Pet stains—and the carpets they live on—don’t just need scrubbing. A little vacuuming is usually involved, too. The Bissell CrossWave lets you skip a step and vacuum and scrub at once. A pet hair management system pulls up fur before separating and trapping it so you can easily dispose of it after you clean, while a multi-surface brush roll works on sealed hard floors and area rugs. A two-tank system separates clean and dirty water, so you don’t have to worry about gross stuff ending up back on your floors. The whole thing is 11.5 pounds, making it comfortable to move between rooms.


Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner

Some pets are just going to destroy—or attempt to destroy—your carpets regularly, no matter what you do. If you’re facing one of these situations, you need some serious power to help get your carpets clean time and again. That’s where the Big Green machine comes in. This powerful cleaner is professional-grade and can take out just about anything your pet dishes up. It features eight rows of bristles to get deep into your carpets along with a nine-foot hose and six-inch Touch Stain Tool for spot cleaning. The only downside: At 48 pounds, this thing is heavy—and it’ll require a bit of a workout to use. Still, it’s one of the most powerful cleaners for pet stains you can buy.


What Is The Best Carpet Cleaner For Pets?

In 2023, our top pick is undoubtedly the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro. That said, the best cleaner for you really depends on your personal needs—and we’ve outlined several other excellent models above. If you have a small pet who only has occasional “accidents,” for instance, a cleaner with a small capacity may be right for you. If, on the other hand, your pet tends to cause frequent stains, a portable, always-at-the-ready option is likely your best bet (and we’ve featured several in our curated list). You might even be best served by an upright cleaner with a large capacity tank. Typically, brands like Bissell and Hoover are known for their bestselling pet stain-fighting products.

Do Carpet Cleaners Remove Pet Urine?

It depends on several factors—how long the stain’s been soaking into the carpet, how large and/or prominent it is and most importantly, whether you’ve got the right carpet cleaner on your side. No matter your situation, though, the first step to getting pet urine out of your carpets is to blot up the excess moisture first using a paper towel or cloth. Follow with the use of your carpet cleaner

How Often Should Carpets Be Cleaned With Pets?

It’s true that pets tend to make messes all the time, but you might be surprised to learn that you don’t actually want to be cleaning your carpet too frequently; after all, doing so risks damaging the fibers of said carpet, which can result in a shorter lifespan. That said, if you really need to tackle a stain, you should absolutely use your carpet cleaner—just don’t reach for it when not necessary. It’s also best to vacuum your carpets once or twice a week, and then follow with a cleaner whenever stains arise.

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