If you have pets or kids, you have a busy household. Chances are, you’re not a stranger to stains. Even if you live alone, there is a chance that you’ve tracked mud in or spilt something at one point or another. Stains are inconvenient and unsightly, and they can be a huge hassle to remove unless you know the best carpet stain remover.
Carpet stain removers are one item you want to have in your arsenal when you start cleaning. All you have to do is spray them on, let them sit and work their magic, and either vacuum them up or pull out your carpet cleaner and go over the spot. They’re convenient, and you can choose from so many different types. There’s multi-purpose ones and pet-specific ones available.
However, you most likely don’t have time to sit and compare dozens of products, and this is where our roundup comes in. We’re going to give you short reviews on each one, highlight the good points, discuss the not-so-good points, and give you a short buyer’s guide to cap it off.
It’s easier to spot clean your carpet when they first happen rather than waiting for them to set it. If they do, they’re going to be more difficult to remove.
- 1. Biokleen Bac-Out Enzyme Stain Remover
- 2. Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner Powder
- 3. Sunny & Honey Carpet Miracle
- 4. Spot Shot Professional Carpet Stain Remover
- 5. BISSELL Spot & Stain Formula
- 6. TriNova Carpet Spot Remover Spray
- 7. Folex Carpet Spot Remover
- 8. Hoover PETPLUS Concentrated Formula
- 9. Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- 10. Vinegar and Borax
- 11. Shaving Cream
- 12. Ammonia and Warm Water
- 13. Baby Powder and Milk
- The Best Carpet Stain Remover Buyer’s Guide
1. Biokleen Bac-Out Enzyme Stain Remover
If you have pets or kids in your home and you don’t want to expose them to potentially harmful chemical cleaning agents, this can do the trick. It’s completely free of chemicals, and it contains a host of live enzyme-producing cultures. These things attack and eat away at stains pets and kids leave behind, including organic and food waste.
It comes packed with plant-based surfactants and citrus extracts that give the enzymes a boost to help them be more effective with odors and stains. You can use it all over your home without worrying about a harsh smell or a lingering odor because it’s free of ammonia and chlorine.
You may have to use this spray more than once to completely remove stains, depending on how long the stain has been there and what caused it. For example, red wine stains are slightly more difficult to get out of the carpeting than pet stains.
- Made in the United States
- Gentle for people with allergies or sensitivities
- Don’t have to dilute it
- May have to treat areas more than once
- Price – very expensive
- Use a lot on every stain
2. Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner Powder
For liquid stains, this dry powder does an excellent job. It’ll lift the stain once you apply it, and it soaks up any excess liquid that helps prevent the growth of mold, bacterial, and allergens. You get a large four pounds of the powder in every order, and this is more than enough to cover up to 400 square feet of carpet. It works well on area rugs too.
To get this best carpet cleaner to work, you have to sprinkle a generous amount of the powder directly onto the wet carpet stain. For the best results, sprinkle it an inch or two past the edge of the stained area. Let it absorb for a few hours and vacuum it up. You can use a toothbrush to work it deeper into the stain if you like.
This cleaner does have a slightly stronger scent associated with it, but the smell should go away after you vacuum it up. But, it works on silk, fabric, and an array of carpet fibers. The lid seals again to keep the stain remover fresh and ready to use.
- Get a lot of product for the price
- Soaks up excess moisture
- Works on different fabrics
- Sticks to carpeting in humid environments
- Difficult to work into carpet fibers
- Need a lot for set-in stains
3. Sunny & Honey Carpet Miracle
This one is multi-purpose, and it can work very well in any carpet cleaning machine you have. It works on all water-safe surfaces ranging from carpeting and rugs to upholstery and drapes or clothing. You can also use it in your car.
It’s safe enough to use around your pets and kids, and it’s an Earth-friendly product that the company stands behind with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic. Along with removing stubborn stains, this also works on deodorizing the carpets. It can get rid of any lingering urine odors from dogs and cats.
Many people purchased this product, and they did say that you have to treat and clean really stubborn stains more than once for it to lift it 100%. They also mentioned that there is a slightly stronger smell that tends to linger long after you use it.
- Biodegradable and non-toxic
- Works on all water-safe surfaces
- Has a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Have to treat certain areas more than once
- Has a strong smell
- Really have to work it in
4. Spot Shot Professional Carpet Stain Remover
This is another professional-grade carpet cleaner that will tackle the toughest stains without having you scrub anything. It deodorizes and lifts stains from deep within your carpet fibers, and it stops the stain from coming back after it dries out.
This product works well on almost all carpet, fabrics, rugs, and upholstery, and you can safely use it on a broad range of products. You won’t have to vacuum it up, soak it up, or scrub it in. Instead, you allow it to air dry. It works well to remove red wine, greasy stains, coffee, pop, juice, mud, permanent market, lipstick, oil, blood, and pet urine or feces stains.
You do have to let this sit for several hours and avoid walking on it when it’s wet. This could be a problem for larger households or for people who have pets. Also, it can lighten up some carpet materials, so always do a light test spray before you soak an area.
- No scrubbing required
- Has a pleasant smell
- Works on a broad range of stains
- Can discolor carpet
- Takes hours to dry
- Not good for use on wool
5. BISSELL Spot & Stain Formula
Designed for portable carpet cleaners, this carpet cleaner has a very fresh scent due to the Febreze mixed into the formula. The scent will linger long after you finish cleaning your carpets, and it helps to deodorize your home. It works well with any portable carpet cleaning machine, and you get a large container that lasts a long time.
It can remove stubborn stains from grease, wine, oil, and pet accidents along with ground-in dirt and mud. It contains biodegradable ingredients that are free of any harmful dyes, phosphates, and heavy metals. This makes it safe to use around your kids and pets.
This carpet cleaner doesn’t create as many suds as others on the list, and it’s slightly watery. However, it mixes well with the water for an even application. It can also leave streaks in certain carpeting once you use it and it has time to dry.
- Has a long-lasting smell
- Get a large container with every purchase
- Removes wine, grease, oil, and pet accident stains
- Can leave streaks
- Only works in portable machines
- May require several applications
6. TriNova Carpet Spot Remover Spray
Rated as one of the best carpet cleaners available, this spray is gentle enough to use on carpets, upholstery, rugs, drapes, and mattresses. It can help you get rid of standard stains, but it can also tackle things like dog and cat feces or urine.
You can spray this product directly on and around the stain before leaving it to soak in. Allow it to air dry and lift the stain. You can blot it with a damp towel or go over it with a carpet cleaner if rings appear. There is no scent with this cleaner, and this makes it a good choice for anyone who has sensitivities or allergies.
This carpet cleaner can lift the color of some fabric when you use it, and it can cause stains to have rings around them if you don’t blot it with a damp towel before it dries. You may also need to treat really stubborn stains two or three times to lift it all of the way out.
- No added fragrances
- Can use on mattresses and drapes
- Safe to use around kids and pets
- No enzymes to break down pet messes
- May need to clean a spot more than once
- Can form rings around the stain
7. Folex Carpet Spot Remover
This carpet cleaner is very versatile, and you can use it to clean all materials, carpets, or colors that you can get wet with water without damaging them. The larger bottles allow you to clean a larger area without running out or having to stop and fill up again.
There are no sticky spots or residues left on your carpet, clothing, rugs, and upholstery. It promotes giving almost instant results, and you should be able to see the stain-lifting action minutes after you apply it. You don’t have to rinse it out or vacuum after you apply it either. It has no toxic ingredients, and it comes designed to be 100% non-irritating on your skin.
This carpet cleaner doesn’t have any enzymes to help it break down pet stains, and it does have a strong scent that doesn’t go away after you spray it. It could be irritating to someone who has extreme sensitivities or allergies, so you want to use it with care around your family.
- Get three bottles per order
- Cleans a large area with little product
- Leaves no residue
- Has a strong smell
- No active enzymes
- Bottle is flimsy
8. Hoover PETPLUS Concentrated Formula
As one of the best carpet stain removers for pet-specific spots, this is a very concentrated detergent-based formula and will clean deep into your carpet. It is a very potent formula that can easily get rid of pet stains, odors, and messes on your rugs, carpets, upholstery, and in the inside of your car.
When you apply it, you’ll get a fresh scent that will permeate the air. You can boost it’s cleaning power by using the Hoover PreTreat Spray and washing down the stained area with this product. You can use it in all full-sized machines, and it’s also safe for spot machines made by Hoover, Rug Doctor, and Bissell. It’s made in the United States following strict quality control standards.
However, there is a slightly more watery formula with this carpet cleaner than others on our list, and you have to mix a lot of it in the cleaner for it to be effective. Although you get a large container of the product, it won’t do much more than a medium-sized room.
- Comes in two sizes
- 100% biodegradable
- Can extend your carpet’s life
- Scent fades quickly
- Takes more than one attempt to lift a stain
- Can leave a residue
9. Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
This kills up to 99.9% of any bacteria you have living on the soft surfaces of your home, and this leaves them safer for your family’s use. It also provides a protective barrier that helps to keep your soft surfaces sanitized.
There is an improved formula in this stain remover that enhances how well it works. It goes deep into your carpet to clean tiny things that you can’t see with the human eye. It can strip away odors, stains, allergens, dirt, and bacteria from your carpets to leave them fresh and clean. It’s also very versatile, and it allows you to clean a broad range of items without causing discoloration.
You don’t get a lot of this product in each order, but it’s a very cost-effective option at the price point per bottle. The stains can also reappear if you don’t give the product enough time to work before you start blotting it up.
- Gets rid of odors
- Precision application
- Sanitizes long after you apply it
- Don’t get a lot in each order
- Stains can reappear
- Messy application
10. Vinegar and Borax
If want to try and make your own, vinegar and borax are powerful cleaners that can lift away several different stains. You will have to run a vacuum over the carpet once it dries though because this cleaner leaves a residue.
You’ll need to mix two tablespoons of borax and two tablespoons of salt into a ½ cup of white vinegar. Take your mix and gently work it into the carpet using a brush or a soft cloth. Allow it to dry and vacuum it up. If this doesn’t work, make a paste using one tablespoon of cornstarch and one tablespoon of vinegar. Apply it directly to the stain and let it dry.
Vinegar does have a strong smell associated with it, especially if you go with pure or undistilled white vinegar. However, this smell usually fades away rather quickly once it dries and you take the time to give your carpets a thorough vacuuming.
- Easy to make and use
- Gentle and safe
- Can take a few hours to work
- Has a stronger smell
- Can discolor some fabrics
11. Shaving Cream
Shaving cream can be a surprising addition to the list because it’s gentle enough to use on your face. But, it’s strong enough to lift out several different stains. It works wonderfully on oil, juice, and grease stains, and it’ll help with dirt and mud too.
All you have to do is blot the stain to remove the excess moisture and pat it with a wet sponge. Get your shaving cream and spray enough to cover the stain. Work the shaving cream into the stain with a damp towel or sponge and let it sit. Dry it and wipe it off.
- Easy to obtain
- Can clean large stains with ease
- Quick to apply
- Can have a scent
- May take more than one application
- Messy to apply
12. Ammonia and Warm Water
Ammonia has a very, very strong odor associated with it. So, if it’s possible, don’t use this cleaner unless you can open the windows and allow it to air out after you apply it. This ranks as one of the best carpet stain removers due to how potent it is.
You’ll mix one cup of clear ammonia to a half gallon of water. Put the cap on and shake it thoroughly to mix it. Get a small sponge or cloth and use it to blot at the stain with this solution. Let it air dry until it’s 100% dry and check the stain. If it’s still there, repeat the process until the stain lifts.
- Very potent
- Works on different stains
- Prevents stains from reappearing
- Very strong odor
- Can ruin some fabrics
- Not recommended for humid areas
13. Baby Powder and Milk
This is one of the best carpet stain remover ideas for ink, oil, and grease spills. You can try to remove the first few layers of the stain by sprinkling them liberally with just the baby powder and allowing them to dry for a few hours. Once the time is up, vacuum it up. Another solution is to make a paste.
Get a small bowl and mix your baby powder and milk together until you create a thick and smooth paste. Gently work the paste into the stain, leaving a thick layer on top. Allow it to dry and crack for a few hours. Brush up the dried residue and vacuum your carpets.
- Easy to mix up
- Vacuums up quickly
- Milk can leave an odor
- Takes a few applications to work
The Best Carpet Stain Remover Buyer’s Guide
Now that you know 13 different best carpet and stain removers available, we’ll break down how they work and why you’d want one. Additionally, we want to give you several reasons why you’d want to buy them in the first place and what to look for when you start comparing products.
Why Buy the Best Carpet Stain Remover?
Stain removers can be very expensive, depending on the brand and type. However, they can effectively break down stubborn stains from pets, oil, and beverage or food spills. Once they lift the stains out, you can clean your carpet and keep it looking like new. Anyone with a busy household will tell you how important this is, and a high-quality cleaner will help save you time.
Ideally, it’ll lift out the stains in one application, or two at the most. If you have pets, you want to make sure you get a formula that has enzymes in it. These enzymes are what will break down the odor-causing bacteria and help clean your carpets. If you don’t, you can go for a plant-based cleaner that is safe to use around your family and anyone who comes into your home.
The best carpet stain removers are gentle enough to use around your family without sacrificing how well they work.
Types of Stains the Best Carpet Stain Remover Can Banish
Generally speaking, you can put stains into three broad categories, and the best carpet stain removers can tackle all three. However, knowing what the different stains are is important if you want to find a cleaner that specifically targets one over the other. The three categories are:
- Oil-Based – You can’t clean oil-based stains with regular soap and water because this will just spread the stain around and make it messier. These stains include motor oil or splatters of cooking oil.
- Organic – Organic stains are the ones your pets, kids, or yourself leave, and they need enzymatic cleaners to break them down. They include things like blood, vomit, urine, or feces.
- Water-Based – Think of water-based stains as any beverage or food that doesn’t have oil. This includes beer, wine, and condiments like ketchup or ranch.
A lot of the best carpet stain removers will struggle with grease-based stains in the first application.
How to Choose Carpet Cleaners
What do you look for when you start shopping for your stain remover? With so many options available, you need a way to quickly and easily break down your choices and compare them. Keeping these buying considerations in mind will help you choose the best to suit your needs in record time.
Liquid or Powder
Stain removers come in liquid or powder form, and both forms work very well. You can usually tackle more stains with a liquid formula than you can a powder, and it’s generally less messy. However, you can cover more ground down a decent-sized tub of stain removing powder than you can with a liquid.
The best carpet stain removers used to come packed with a lot of chemicals, and this is what made them so potent. However, there has been a recent shift to more gentle formulas that are safer to use around your pets and kids. Make sure that whatever product you choose has a biodegradable, non-toxic, and organic formula. This decreases the risks of someone getting hurt by accidentally ingesting it.
What type of fabric do you want to use this on? It’s important you know this because these stain removers can bleach the color out. Additionally, some fabrics like wool tend to really hold onto stains and make you treat them several times before it lifts it all of the way out. If you have hardwood or laminate flooring in your home, some stain removers will double as a wash for them.
Using this will give your entire family a healthy home to live and play in.
Whatever you choose, make sure you follow all of the usage directions. This will help them be more effective, and they’ll help you keep your carpet looking nice for years after you install it.