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Best carpet cleaner for pets

Expertly reviewed by Ketia Daniel

Which carpet cleaner for pets is best?

Pets of all ages are known for making big messes on carpeted surfaces. Whether pets run through your home with muddy paws or mark the floor as their own, pet owners always clean up after their beloved fur babies. Thankfully, companies have designed pet-specific carpet cleaners for this scenario. 

The Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Commercial Carpet Cleaner is the top carpet cleaner for pets. Its professional deep-cleaning capabilities and pet-enzyme cleaner make this an excellent choice for all pet parents.

This article was reviewed and approved by Ketia Daniel, the BestReviews Cleaning Expert.

What to know before you buy a carpet cleaner for pets

Frequency of use

Before you buy a carpet cleaner for pets, determine how frequently you will use it. Although exact figures are not needed, it is wise to have a general idea in mind. For example, people with puppies, senior dogs or pets who make frequent messes will use their new carpet cleaner often. In instances like these, investing in a higher-quality carpet cleaner makes sense. For occasional pet messes, you can purchase a model designed for basic cleaning.

House layout

Carpet cleaners come in many shapes and sizes. Some are handheld and ultraportable, while others are bulky and heavy. 

Consider the layout of your home when deciding what carpet cleaner is most suitable. If you have carpets both upstairs and downstairs, a large carpet cleaner will be challenging to haul up and down the stairs. Lightweight designs are best for those who plan to clean on multiple levels of the house. However, if carpeted areas are concentrated in one part of the home, any style of cleaner will work well.

Type of mess

What kind of pet messes do you most often clean up? While all pet carpet cleaners tackle pet-specific stains and odors, there are vital variations. 

If your pet frequently urinates on carpets, select a model you can use with an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners eliminate both stains and odors. To prevent significant damage to your carpets, heavy-duty cleaning machines erase stains and odors that are several layers deep. 

On the other hand, if your pet is known for leaving a trail of mud, dirt and other messes, opt for a cleaning machine that can cover large spaces. Spot-treatment cleaners are best for occasional pet messes requiring concentrated deep cleaning.

What to look for in a quality carpet cleaner for pets

Accompanying enzyme treatment

Pet messes require a unique set of tools and cleaning agents. An enzyme treatment is one of the most effective ways to erase pet stains and odors. These solutions break up tough messes at your carpet's deepest level. Enzyme treatments are often used independently of cleaning machines, making fantastic odor- and stain-eliminating sprays.

Enzyme treatments work exceptionally well when used with a pet carpet cleaner. The combination of machine and treatment fully eliminates the mess rather than spraying the solution on a stain and soaking it up with a towel. Many of today's leading pet cleaners come with brand-specific enzyme cleaners designed for use in or alongside the machine.

Deep-cleaning abilities 

Within minutes, pet stains can seep down into the deepest levels of your carpeting. If left untreated, the carpeting, underlay and even the subflooring can sustain permanent damage. Having a carpet cleaner for pets that can clean at the deepest levels is crucial when preserving your floors' longevity. Investing in a quality carpet cleaner can ultimately save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.

Can clean multiple surfaces

When selecting a cleaner, most people focus solely on its ability to clean carpets. And while this is undoubtedly important, pets can leave messes on other fabric surfaces in the home. So you may want a model that provides attachments for cleaning couches, chairs and other fabric surfaces. Some handheld designs provide this option, which makes cleaning up even easier.

How much you can expect to spend on a carpet cleaner for pets

A pet-specific carpet cleaner can range from $100 to $600. Many cleaners also require specific cleaning agents designed for each machine.

Carpet cleaner for pets FAQ

Why can't you just use carpet cleaning spray on stains?

A. Pet carpet-cleaning sprays are great for small, isolated stains. However, these sprays can't provide deep cleaning. You should only use it to clean up messes immediately and not as a long-term cleaning solution.

Are standard carpet cleaners effective on pet messes?

A. Yes and no. Carpet cleaners that are not for pet messes will do a good job of removing stains. However, pet-specific carpet cleaners use special treatment solutions and methods to eliminate both stains and odors effectively.

What's the best carpet cleaner for pets?

Top carpet cleaner for pets

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Commercial Carpet Cleaner

What you need to know: This is a professional-grade machine designed for use with the Rug Doctor Pet Deep Carpet Cleaner treatment.

What you'll love: This cleaner removes tough pet stains and odors with a unique system that injects the pet-specific spray deep into the carpet, reaching where most carpet cleaners cannot. After applying the solution, the machine scrubs and extracts stains, leaving carpets looking new.

What you should consider: This model is both expensive and heavier than most carpet cleaners.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top carpet cleaner for pets for the money

Bissell Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner

What you need to know: This design is lightweight, cost-efficient and excellent for deep cleaning.

What you'll love: This cleaner is one of the most affordable options. What makes it such a great value is its exceptional cleaning power. This cleaner removes deep stains with powerful suction and a four-row dirt-lifter brush. It weighs 12 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight options available. You can use this cleaner with the powerful Bissell oxy cleaners, which remove urine odor.

What you should consider: Some people report that it's cumbersome to take apart and clean.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush

What you need to know: This handheld design delivers easy and effective cleaning for smaller pet messes.

What you'll love: Weighing in at a mere 4.4 pounds, you can use this handheld cleaner in any room of the house. It is excellent for smaller stains and spot treatment. Its design is suitable for cleaning carpets, rugs, couches and fabric chairs. The rotating power brush and ready-to-use oxy cleaner lift tough pet messes within seconds.

What you should consider: Due to its size, you can only use it for small stains.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Valerie Jacobsen writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers

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