Best 7 Carpet Cleaner for Pets [2020 Reviews]
This guide will introduce some carpet cleaners for pets, with some of my real experience.
If you are a pet owner, you know well to expect a few “accidents” on your carpets. Sometimes it’s the muddy paw prints that leave your carpets looking horrible. Or is it the unpleasant dog pee that’s now slowly invading your home? Anyhow, pets will always make a mess. You can definitely try potty training, but you won’t get them to wipe their dirty paws on the doormat.
Having pets at home doesn’t mean that your carpets should look nasty and smell awful. What you need is an efficient and affordable carpet cleaning solution. Professional cleaning services are good, but they’ll lighten your wallet faster than you can say "expensive." Plus, you’ll agree that licensed cleaners are not the best at spot cleaning.
With a new dog mess showing up on your carpets every day, you definitely need to get a carpet cleaning machine designed for homes with pets and clean the carpets on your own.
Carpet cleaners (shampooers) are somewhat similar to your regular everyday vacuum, only that they deep clean the carpet and use cleaning solutions that always leave your carpets smelling fresh and pleasant.
With a carpet cleaner in your closet, you’ll be able to clean and remove pet mess as quickly as possible so you can prevent staining and foul odour. You’ll get the best results when you clean up a fresh mess than when tackling messes that are tracked in.
Also, when working with carpet cleaners, you’ll have a chance to use cleaning solutions that are designed for homes with pets. I find that these are pet-safe and are actually very effective for removing tough stains and odour from pet urine, drool, vomit, or muddy paw prints.
Carpet cleaners or vacuums?
Pets and children tend to leave a mess everywhere they go. Having a carpet cleaner helps keep your home stain-free, clean and fresh. That’s not to say that your vacuum is useless. A home with shedding pets like dogs and cats could use a vacuum. So, we recommend having both.
All the same, vacuums will work well to remove pet hair, but you cannot work your way around a drool-soaked surface on the sofa with a vacuum cleaner. You see, vacuums only use suction, so they are suitable only for removing loose dirt particles and pet hairs from surfaces.
Carpet cleaners, on the other hand, use suction but also tackle tough stains using cleaning solutions and (warm) water. The machine sprays the cleaning solution with water to the carpet. Rolling brushes then activate the cleaning mix into the stains. A strong suction finally pulls in the slurry into the dust bag, leaving your carpet as clean as new.
Best Carpet Cleaner for Pet Homes
The Hoover Smartwash is a giant step in pet homes carpet & upholstery cleaning. It is a full-sized, amazingly powerful pet mess cleaner that you are sure to love with the very first use. It features a modern design and uses the latest technology that makes it easy to face any messy situation.
There are no buttons for you to figure out, just turn ON and push forward to clean and pull back to dry. The machine is smart enough to know how much cleaning solution to apply, based on the mess on your carpet. You’ll notice that more detergent is dispensed on spots with significant stains and mess. You’ll feel the brushes turning faster and scrubbing deeper, resulting in more suds.
Alas! Because this is a ‘Smartwash’ system with cleaning, drying, and mixing functions automated, you cannot spray extra detergent if you need to.
You’ll have to do several ‘push-pull’ passes until you are satisfied that the tough stain is gone. Having the ability to inject more detergent and focus brush action on a specific spot could help save a minute or two.
You get a massive 1 gal cleaning tank and 20 oz solution tank so you don’t run out of the cleaning mix before you even get started. I found this cleaner to weigh much less than other units, even with the tank full.
Steering this 18.5 lbs is a breeze, and it features a low-profile nozzle foot that gets further underneath your furniture. Plus, you get an easy fix 8 ft hose and pet tool that lets you reach anywhere your pets have had an ‘episode.’
With the 22ft long power cord, you don’t need to plug to different outlets every time you move to clean further. But it would certainly help if it were 3ft longer.
The nozzle and cleaning brushes can be removed for easy cleaning and maintenance. Use the carry handle to neatly roll the cord around for neat storage when you’re done with the cleanup. And, seeing as this isn’t a massive carpet cleaner, I figure you can store it just about anywhere you have some room left.
- No guesswork automatic rung cleaning system
- Smart detergent mixing and dispensing
- Lightweight, low-profile design for relaxed steering
- Removable nozzle for cleaning and maintenance
- Dual Tank System is easy to fill and empty
- Carry handle for portability
- Wide cleaning path to cover large spaces
- There are no buttons for dispensing more detergent when the need arises
This is yet another great product from Hoover. It’s a workhorse that removes tough stains and embedded dirt like some magic dirt eraser.
It looks simple, but it is actually jam-packed with lots of practical deep carpet cleaning features. It features a high-performance SpinScrub system that tackles deep sited stains. You can choose from two settings, Quick clean & Deep clean, with both giving remarkable results.
With its low-profile nozzle design and the 2-in-1 pet mess cleaner attachments on an 8ft long hose, you can efficiently work on those hard-to-reach areas.
You’d think that its short cord would confine cleaning to a small circumference, but it doesn’t. You’ll be surprised to see that it can actually cover just about any bedroom. If you have a large living space, simply plug to the closest outlet, and you are good to go.
To the casual eye, this unit looks like a fancy vacuum cleaner, but it’s actually a full-sized, really powerful carpet cleaner. So, when cleaning, don’t pass it quickly over messy surfaces as you’d do with a vacuum and expect to see your carpet looking clean and fresh!
To really use the power of the SpinScrub brush action and achieve optimal results, move it slowly in both directions and try to focus on dirtier surfaces that seem to have tough stains and dirt that’s sunk in.
Cleaning solutions are mixed automatically in the system, so you need not worry about measuring the most suitable combination for efficient cleaning.
I suggest using cleaning solutions that are recommended for use with this cleaner. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with excess foam or see detergent stains appearing on the carpet after cleaning.
You’ll notice that pre-treating stubborn stains and smells, especially pet mess that gives a persistent dreadful odour, helps you get the best results with this unit. Adding ¾ oz. Oxy Clean and warm water gives you extraordinary cleaning performance and a superior deodorising finish.
Of course, you’ll want to rinse the carpet with pure water when you’re done cleaning. This makes a big difference since you don’t want the Oxy product or the detergents to leave a film on your carpet when dried up. Setting this unit to rinse mode is straight forward. Thanks to the large capacity tank, you’ll only need to fill once to rinse. One pass on ‘rinse mode’ should be enough.
- Lightweight and easily maneuverer
- Larger capacity tank for fewer refill rounds
- Better cleaning than the leading rental rug cleaner
- Low-profile extruded nozzle to clean further
- Powerful SpinScrub cleaning system
- Upholstery tools for furniture, car seats & stairs
- The power cord could be a bit longer to covers an even broader circumferenc
This is a portable carpet cleaner that works great on stubborn stain spots. It has a powerful suction that removes stray fur that most vacuum cleaners might miss. Sadly, even with all the power bursting from this unit, you cannot hope to work on a larger space with it.
It is a small and portable spot cleaner that is ideal for smaller messes -even tougher ones- on the carpet, sofa, or stairs. It is not intended for cleaning larger rooms – for which you’ll require a full-sized upright carpet cleaner that comes with more tank capacity, longer power cord, and a broader cleaning path.
Compared to fuller rug cleaners, I dare say this unit weighs next to nothing. The weight is realistic enough for a portable cleaner. You can even yank it by the handle while cleaning whenever you need to access some hard-to-reach areas.
There’s nothing complicated about using this unit. All functions are pretty straightforward. However, one thing that I’d strongly recommend is using the detergents suggested by the manufacturer.
If you’re using generic detergent, you’ll notice that the red rubber brush on its cleaning head breaks down gradually such that it starts leaving faint “reddish” marks on the carpet after it has dried. This is easily avoided by using recommended cleaning solutions.
Otherwise, maintaining this unit is not rocket science. And, it's even so much easier cleaning the hose with its exclusive self-clean technology.
I was concerned to see that the dirty water tank filled faster than the water and solution tank. But after some time I figured it might be caused by the debris and dirt that gets sucked in with the detergent – the slurry has mass of course. I later leant also that the dirty water tank is only 36 oz.
when the water tank is 51 oz., which made things even more complicated. The only logical explanation I could think of for having a larger water tank is so you go longer without having to mix detergents and refill and a smaller dirt tank keeps the weight on the low. Otherwise, I’d have both tanks at 51 oz.
- Powerful suction removes stray fur
- Lighter than most portable rug spot cleaners
- Ideal for homes with low traffic cleaning areas
- Reasonable hose length to reach under furniture
- Cleaning is a breeze; self-cleaning unit
- Small capacity water tank and narrow cleaning path makes it unsuitable for intensive cleaning jobs
This is a medium-power carpet cleaner from Bissell. It’s perfect for cleaning in high traffic areas. It uses 4 dual rotating brushes that are designed with a DirtLifter PowerBrush system to give professional-grade carpet cleaning results.
You’ll appreciate how easy it is to use this shampooer to get to the tough stains. Once you are through working on the carpet, cleaning the unit is straightforward. The plastic cover on the nozzle comes off to allow access to the cleaning compartment to remove lint and pet hair from the brushes and to rinse under the faucet quickly.
This unit comes with one tank that holds the clean water plus detergent and receives the slurry that gets sucked up in the same container. Don’t worry, these don’t get mixed together. The cleaning mix goes inside a high-density plastic bladder separation.
As you apply the cleaning mix to remove stains and dirt from the carpet, the clean water bladder becomes smaller and makes room for dirty water that gets sucked in to take up the space around it inside the tank.
If you want to do a water rinse, just clean the tank and fill it with clean water, then do the rinse passes. You’ll find that the 2-in-1 tank is ingenious -especially for maintaining a low profile- and it works great.
Overall, this is an excellent machine, even for a first-time user. It gets you outstanding results for such a reasonable price.
- Very powerful Dual DirtLifter Power Brushes
- Measuring cup helps get the mix right
- Easy maintenance and cleaning
- 2-in-1 tank system works perfectly
- The lightweight profile is easy to steer
- The tank is smaller than what you get on other cleaners in the same category
If you are looking for something really low-profile and portable to clean after your pets or children -who are equally messy – the Bissell SpotBot has to be the right carpet cleaner for you. This is a small but mighty carpet cleaner for small, low traffic spaces. Its compact design makes storing away very convenient.
You’ll love the pre-set cleaning functionalities that come with this unit. It uses a proprietary DeepReach cleaning system that simply takes the hassle away from working on adamant stains that have had time to track in.
Simply sit your SpotBot on the surface you want to clean, work the dials, and it automatically sprays, brushes, and sucks in all the embedded dirt. I find the handsfree cycles to be practical for homes with 2 or more toddlers. It makes cleaning and tending to the young ones a breeze.
Overall, it is an excellent unit, well built, and packed with functional features that promise to leave your dirty carpets looking spotlessly clean and fresh.
However, it is not without its share of problems, especially with the cleaning. The brush head attachment seems permanently fixed making it challenging to clean out any trapped hair from shedding pets.
I find that if you carefully pry around where the head is attached, the head can come off so you can easily remove hair and debris that was trapped in. Stick it back in place after cleaning, and you have yourself a clean unit. It’s quite the hassle though.
- Lightweight and portable
- Fantastic automatic pre-sets for handsfree cleaning
- Optimal cleaning performance with DeepClean
- Comes with on-board hose and functional tools
- Two efficient attachments for versatility
- The hose looks cheap, but it’s not hard to find durable spares
The Hoover PowerDash is an incredibly powerful carpet cleaner that’s ideal for pet owners or homes with children where stubborn stains have become the order of the day. Unlike the Hoover Smartwash, this unit lets you take control over the cleaning process. There is a water & detergent trigger that enables you to spray more solutions on areas that require more attention.
Otherwise, if you’re simply doing your weekly cleaning routine with no serious stains to mind about, the PowerSpin pet BrushRoll cleaning system on this unit gives you better results than you’d get on commercial grade vacuums.
It features a low-profile foot that extends out on the nozzle so you can easily reach further under furniture and remove dirt and stains anywhere your pet has had an episode.
If you’re dealing with pet urine and you feel the first passes with this unit haven’t done an excellent job at fighting off the dreadful smell, I’d suggest pre-treating with an oxy product.
These are made specifically for pet urine and are safe to use with this unit. Add the solution and run the carpet cleaner over the affected area. You can redo the spot with the regular deep clean detergent or simply add fresh water in the tank and run the machine over to rinse off the oxy solution.
Drying with this unit is quite impressive. You’ll find the HeatForce drying technology used to be quite effective.
You’ll love how the low-profile design makes for secure, neat storage. And seeing as this is a small shampooer, you bet you’ll have no trouble with steering and manoeuvring when cleaning. Considering that this machine cleans a 10-inch wide path, you are sure to spend less time cleaning larger rooms.
The downside – and this is something you’ll most likely notice immediately- is that this unit can get louder than most vacuums. Avoid using it too early in the morning when everyone else is still asleep.
- Detergent trigger for focused cleaning
- Compact design stores away conveniently
- 13 lbs. for a serious lightweight unit
- PowerSpin cleaning system leaves no stains
- Uses proprietary drying technology
- Best for homes with pets- tough on pet urine mess
- Can get noisy when deep cleaning
- Smaller size tank limits how much you can clean per fill
This must be the perfect carpet cleaning solution for homes with senior puppies that are starting to get older and having more and more episodes. The dual power brush system features 12 cleaning brush rows that work well with cleaning detergents to agitate tough spots and get the job done effortlessly.
You’ll notice that the suction is quite powerful compared to other carpet cleaners. This makes the cleaning session brief so you can free up your time to do other constructive businesses.
What makes this unit perfect for homes with pets are the two attachments that come with this unit plus the self-maintenance filters that work to prevent pet messes and debris from getting into the cleaner’s compartments.
For this, you get a pet hair and debris basket that traps pretty much of the larger particles that might clog up your unit. There is also an attachment that comes with a container that you can use to run over denser solid masses before you can clean to remove stains with the cleaning unit. The 3-inch attachment component included works best for eliminating spots that need more attention.
It has a larger tank that will allow you to clean more carpet before refilling. While this is great for efficiency, I find that it makes the unit feel heavier.
At 25 pounds, you’ll find this unit to be kind of heavy even with the tank empty. Even so, this barely compares to how heavy commercial-grade carpet cleaners weigh. Bearing in mind that you’ll get nearly the same results with this unit.
- Great quality high-performance carpet cleaner
- Comfortable steering and manoeuvring
- Easy to assemble, clean and maintain
- Wide cleaning path gets the job done quicker
- 12 cleaning rows of dual power brushes scrub away
- More on the heavier side even with the tank completely empty
Choosing the best carpet cleaner for pets
If you are still not familiar with carpet cleaners for pet stains, then you might be feeling a little lost. There are just too many brands and sizes to choose from, and the myriad of features don’t help in the slightest.
All carpet cleaners are not designed equally. So, if you are going to get yourself a unit, there are a few things you should consider.
- Cleaning power
A dirty carpet is quite challenging to clean, especially if the dirt and stains have had time to sink in. You want your new carpet cleaner to feature a superior cleaning system that can go deep to fight off embedded dirt.
Carpet cleaners feature a bunch of mechanics that work to deep clean your carpet. All these parts can make the unit seem really bulky. You want to go for something that features a neat profile and seems handy. You’ll find that it’s easier doing spot cleaning using a mobile unit. Often, massive cleaners aren’t the easiest to use.
Carpet cleaners aren’t exactly lightweight. But if you can find one that’s a pound or so lighter, that’ll make a huge difference. It won’t weight next to nothing, but it’ll be much easier to steer, especially when the water tank is full.
A unit that comes with an extension hose and attachments for above-floor cleaning makes a perfect choice. You’ll probably appreciate this versatility if your pooch is like so many others who like making a mess on room corner walls, stairs, and furniture. With an all-round unit, you will be able to deal with all kinds of pet mess, not just floor carpet accidents.
Of course, there are other things that you’ll need to consider; the cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer, available features and settings, length of the hose, width of the cleaning path, and size of the water tank. You’ll find that these considerations help you narrow down your choices so you can find the best carpet cleaner for pet mess.