A versatile, safe, and dependable enzymatic cleaner that works on urine and other odors and stains caused by dogs, cats, and even wild animals. Not just for floors – practical for upholstery, fabrics, and other surfaces. No strong chemical or "sweet" smell.
While pet owners found that it doesn't work on all issues, most have commented that it is the best in its class for removing stains and odors. Doesn't prevent all repeat marking.
Effective and safe – while it neutralizes odors and stains, it's also safe to use around animals and on flooring. Customers refer to the results as "amazing." Backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Expensive. Some users don't like the smell, and others report their pets returning to the same area even after treated.
A popular cleaner with a reputation for removing strong cat urine odors. Some dog owners also report that it works. Useful for removing pet odors and stains in the laundry. Attentive customer service.
Longtime users complain about the new formula's "perfumey" scent, but the company is working on a fix. Has to be applied more than once for some tough messes; some marking continued.
Safe and effective for use on numerous surfaces for a variety of pet stains and odors. Has a pleasant scent and convenient spray nozzle. Backed by the company with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
It's expensive, and you only get 32 oz. compared to the other top-sellers' gallon-sized jugs. May require several applications for tough stains and strong odors. Doesn't stop pets determined to mark.
Professional-level cleaning action that works to eliminate pet odors and stains on a variety of household surfaces. Money-back guarantee. Doesn't require a lot to clean most stains and odors.
Some users reported continual marking even after use. While some liked the scent, others reported that it was too strong and just seemed to "mask" odors. Has a foamy consistency.
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There are plenty of cleaning products on the market that promise a clean house, but they’re often loaded with chemicals. If you’re looking for a non-toxic alternative to the usual household cleaning products, consider an enzymatic cleaner. Enzymatic cleaners use biological compounds to break down messes, stains, and odors around your home.
Choosing the right enzymatic cleaner can be tough if you’re not sure what to look for, however. With so many of these eco-friendly cleaners on the market, how do you find the best formula for your home?
At BestReviews, our goal is to make shopping easy for you. We buy our own products rather than accepting free gifts from manufacturers, which allows us to provide honest and unbiased recommendations. To compile our shopping guides, we test products in our labs and the field, consult our team of experts, and analyze customer feedback, so we can pass on the information you need to make the best shopping decisions.
If you’re ready to buy an enzymatic cleaner, check out our top five picks in the matrix above. For more on what to look for before you buy an enzymatic cleaner, keep reading.
Enzymatic cleaners contain enzymes that break down the biological components in the messes around your home.
Enzymes are biological compounds that increase the speed at which other biological substances like starches, oils, fats, and proteins break down, so you can wipe away messes easily.
An enzymatic cleaner is a pet owner’s best friend. It effectively removes pet stains and odors from carpeting, upholstery, and other surfaces around the house.
Enzymatic cleaners are safer for both people and animals than traditional cleaning products. You don’t have to worry about enzymatic cleaners affecting the health of any members of your household.
Because they contain natural, non-toxic ingredients, enzymatic cleaners are better for the environment.
The enzymes in these cleaners work their way into even the smallest crevices. Enzymatic cleaners often provide a deeper clean than traditional cleaning products.
Enzymatic cleaners are especially effective at removing foul odors, including pet odors.
The enzymes that enzymatic cleaners leave behind linger on surfaces. They continue to work for up to 24 hours to fully remove dirt and odors.
Store enzymatic cleaners in a dry location where they won’t freeze or overheat.
Enzymatic cleaners can be used around the house in a variety of ways.
Scrub your kitchen floor, bathroom floor, and countertop tile with an enzymatic cleaner instead of bleach.
Banish mold and mildew around sinks, tubs, and kitchen appliances by scrubbing with an enzymatic cleaner.
Soak clothing and other laundry with stubborn stains, such as grease or coffee, in an enzymatic cleaner as a pre-wash treatment.
Get rid of pet stains on carpeting, hard floors, and furniture by applying an enzymatic cleaner, letting it soak in for a day or two, and then scrubbing it off.
Many enzymatic cleaners work for 12 to 24 hours, which is why they’re so effective at breaking down stains and removing odors.
Enzymatic cleaners typically come in either spray bottles or pour bottles.
Spray bottles allow you to spray the enzymatic cleaner directly on the affected area. They usually range in size from 24 to 32 ounces. Spray bottles work especially well for treating pet stains and odors.
With a pour bottle, you pour the enzymatic cleaner on the affected area. It’s harder to control how much is applied with a pour bottle. However, pour bottles are typically gallon-size, so they’re a good option if you use an enzymatic cleaner regularly.
If you purchase a large pour bottle of enzymatic cleaner, you can transfer it to an old spray bottle for easier application.
The formulas of enzymatic cleaners are designed to treat specific stains and odors. That’s because the enzymes they contain break down specific organic materials.
Enzymatic cleaners that contain proteases target protein-based stains, such as blood, urine, feces, food, and wine.
Enzymatic cleaners that contain amylases target starch-based stains, such as sugars, eggs, ice cream, and sauces.
Enzymatic cleaners that contain lipases target fat-based stains, such as grease and oil.
Some enzymatic cleaners contain a combination of enzymes to treat a wide range of stains.
In addition to enzymes, enzymatic cleaners also contain “good” bacteria, which breaks down the stains and odors from organic materials.
For particularly stubborn or foul-smelling stains, a concentrated enzymatic cleaner is best. Instead of the standard formula, look for a cleaner that’s designated “super strength,” “industrial strength,” or “commercial strength.” These concentrated cleaners contain more enzymes, so they work faster and more effectively than standard enzymatic cleaners.
Enzymatic cleaners need to dry completely to effectively remove stains and odors. Some cleaners dry faster than others, so it’s important to consider the drying time for the formula you’re considering. Look for a enzymatic cleaner that dries completely in 12 to 24 hours.
Don’t use cleaning products with a high pH on the same surface as an enzymatic cleaner. A high pH can neutralize the enzymes, so the cleaner won’t be as effective.
Many enzymatic cleaners are unscented. However, some formulas do have a scent, which can be fairly strong. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, avoid cleaners that are scented.
Enzymatic cleaners vary in price based on the size of the bottle and the concentration of the formula, but you can typically expect to spend between $10 and $50.
For a 24- to 32-ounce spray bottle of enzymatic cleaner, you’ll usually pay between $10 and $20. For a gallon pour bottle of enzymatic cleaner, you’ll usually pay between $25 and $50.
Enzymatic cleaners typically have a shelf life of one to two years before they start losing their effectiveness.
Before you apply an enzymatic cleaner to a stain, make sure the area is clean of any other chemicals, including soap or detergent. Even natural cleaners like vinegar should be rinsed away because they may inhibit the effectiveness of the enzymes.
Most enzymatic cleaners should be used at full strength. Check the label before diluting any cleaner with water.
Avoid damage to the surfaces you’re cleaning by testing the enzymatic cleaner in an inconspicuous spot. Once you’re sure that it doesn’t remove any color from the surface, you can use the cleaner all over.
After you’ve applied an enzymatic cleaner, cover the affected area with a piece of plastic to create a warm, humid environment to boost the enzyme action.
Some enzymatic cleaners aren’t suitable for use on hardwood floors or other surfaces, so be sure to read the label carefully to check where you can use the cleaner.
For particularly stubborn stains, scrub the enzymatic cleaner into the affected area with a soft bristle brush for a minute or two before allowing it to dry.
The enzymes in enzymatic cleaners don’t hold up well to extreme temperatures, so you shouldn’t use them with hot water.
Q. Are enzymatic cleaners safe to use around children and pets?
A. Enzymatic cleaners don’t contain toxic ingredients, so they’re much safer than traditional cleaning products. You can use them safely around children and pets. However, as with any cleaning product, make sure that enzymatic cleaners are kept in a secure location where children and pets can’t access them.
Q. What types of stains do enzymatic cleaners remove?
A. Enzymatic cleaners work well on a variety of organic stains. They can break down blood, urine, and other bodily fluids to remove the associated stains and odors, but they’re also effective at removing food stains, including oil, grease, and wine.
Q. Can I use an enzymatic cleaner in a carpet cleaner or steamer?
A. Enzymatic cleaners should not be used in carpet cleaners or steamers. These appliances use extremely high temperatures to heat water and convert it to steam, which can prevent the enzymes from working effectively.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.