TL;DR: The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner is our pick for the best overall carpet cleaner for pet stains.
We’ll be looking at some of the top carpet cleaner for pet stains on the market:
- Best overall carpet cleaner for pet stains – Versatile and value for money: Bissell ProHeat 2X® Revolution® Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner
- Best budget carpet cleaner for pet stains in smaller homes: Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner
- Best carpet cleaner for pet stains for heavy duty uses and large areas: Rug Doctor Wide Track Carpet Cleaner with Upholstery Cleaner
- Best portable carpet cleaner for pet stains: Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
- Best overall carpet cleaner for pet stains – The runner-up: Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner and Shampooer
There are much fewer players in the carpet cleaners market than the vacuum cleaner market. Some of the most popular and well-regarded brands for making residential carpet cleaners are Bissell, Hoover, and Rug Doctor.
Manufacturers like Rug Doctor also make more heavy duty carpet cleaners that’s commonly used as rental units. These are still very different machines than industrial carpet cleaners that professional cleaning companies use.
Industrial carpet cleaners can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, and the cleaning capability is definitely more superior than residential carpet cleaners.
You’ll need to manage your expectations if you want to own a carpet cleaner. While the results will not be as stellar as the professional machines, you still save a lot by doing the cleaning yourself.
And for most pet owners, having a carpet cleaner on hand makes life easier. Especially when you’re getting the new puppy house-trained or when your cat is sick and vomits on your velvet armchair.
Not having to call in the professionals and move all your furniture out of the room for them to work on the carpet is already a win. We’ll save that for the once a year spring clean.
But if you’re doing the carpet cleaning and maintenance right, keeping on top of the stains and spots, you might be able to do away with that altogether.
Carpet cleaners buyer’s guide: Features to look out for
When you’re in the market for a carpet cleaner, knowing what you need the carpet cleaning for is key. Most pet owners need them for spot cleaning pet mess on the carpet, but soon realized that the carpet is actually dirtier than it looks.
Even if you vacuum your carpet a few times a week, there are still particles stuck deep within the fibers of the carpet that can only be removed by carpet cleaners.
So we recommend opting for an upright model if you’re on the fence about whether you should get an upright or portable machine. It is simply more versatile.
While most of us are familiar with how vacuum cleaners work, carpet cleaners are a whole other breed of machinery. Getting to know what the moving parts are, and finding the right model for your needs is what we’re going to do. Now let’s jump into the list of features and specifications you should look out for.
How much floor space can you cover with one full tank of clean water?
How soon do you need to empty the dirty tank?
How quickly can we finish running the carpet cleaner through the entire area?
If your home has wall-to-wall carpeting, then these are questions you would need answers to when you’re deciding which carpet cleaner is right for you. Efficiency and convenience play a huge role in making the cleaning process more tolerable.
Most residential carpet cleaners are either compact or midsize. Larger capacity cleaners are usually used in commercial cleaners.
Compact carpet cleaners usually have a tank capacity of around half a gallon. Most are portable or handheld machines, but they can also come in upright units. These compact carpet cleaners are meant for spot cleaning and small area rug cleaning.
Midsize units typically hold between 1 to 2 gallons of clean water. These are the popular upright machines. Large capacity carpet cleaners usually have a capacity of 3 gallons and up. These machines are what you need for thorough cleaning in a full carpeted home.
Aside from tank capacity, you should also check if you can fill the water tank with hot water. Hot water greatly improves cleaning results, especially with stain removal.
Weight, size and ergonomics
How easy is it to maneuver the cleaner? Is it too heavy to be hauled up the stairs? Are the handles well placed and adjustable to allow for comfortable handling? Is the unit easy to store in the closet or is it awkwardly shaped and bulky?
Much like a vacuum cleaner, you would be hauling the carpet cleaner around the house to clean up after your pets. If the machine is too large or heavy or bulky, it becomes quite the chore just to get it set up and ready for the cleaning session.
Ideally the handle of the carpet cleaner is adjustable and fits comfortably in your hand. Some carpet cleaners have flexible handles that move up and down when you’re pushing the machine back and forth.
Both water tanks should have handles to allow you to refill and empty the tanks easily, especially for larger tanks. Even at a gallon tank capacity, you may still have to empty and refill a few times when doing deep cleaning.
A compact built is ideal, something tall and can stand up on its own. An upright model has an advantage over portable ones, as they tend to be slimer and take up less horizontal space in storage.
Another thing to consider is if the machine glides smoothly over the floor. Some units, especially larger ones, can only move and clean in the forward motion (but not when you pull it back). So that means you’ll need to do twice as many passes to clean the spot.
Versatility and cleaning path
Does the carpet cleaner come with different attachments? Are the attachments made for cleaning up pet mess? What about cleaning the car or the stairs? What cleaning path width is suitable for the job?
A typical nozzle for above-ground cleaning is about 2.5 to 3 inches wide. The floor attachment usually gives a cleaning path width of around 9 to 11 inches.
Standard stair step tread (the part where you walk on) depth is usually around 10 to 11 inches. And for maneuverability, you’ll need a nozzle that’s somewhere in between those two widths to clean the stairs.
Portable carpet cleaners are usually very suited for cleaning the stairs and tight spaces such as the car interior. Many upright carpet cleaners do offer more than just the standard floor attachment.
They usually have a separate hose for additional attachments. The hose needs to be long enough to reach multiple steps of stairs. 5 feet is acceptable but 7 to 8 feet is more comfortable.
For cleaning up pet mess, whether it is urine, vomit, feces or drool, you’ll need to use attachments that are not afraid of some pet hair. In any home with pets, pet hair is ever present and everywhere. And for spot cleaning pet mess around the house, you most likely won’t have the luxury of vacuuming off pet hair before using the carpet cleaner.
So it’s important that the attachment can handle the mess as well as the pet hair. Look out for features such as rubber nozzle and wet/dry mode. Rubber nozzle attracts pet hair. Wet/dry mode allows you to get pet hair out of the way first, before going into wet mode to clean the mess itself.
Those are the main features and specifications you should look out for when purchasing a carpet cleaner. And based on this list, let’s find out which is the best carpet cleaner for pet stains.
Best overall carpet cleaner for pet stains – Versatile and value for money
The Bissell ProHeat 2X Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner is a well-made and versatile carpet cleaner. It has some of the strongest suction power and cleans dirt and stains off carpet well. Although it is not made for commercial use, its cleaning abilities rival the heavy duty machines.
Rental machines like the Bissell’s Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaners are known for their durability, but they are usually too large and clunky for most households. In households with multiple pets, deep cleaning the carpet might happen more frequently.
So, a mid-sized carpet cleaner like the ProHeat 2X Pet Pro is an excellent choice. It is an ideal size for many family homes, and has the right capacity to match.
This carpet cleaner has a 1 gallon clean tank, and a ⅓ gallon return tank for dirty water. A 1 gallon is usually sufficient for cleaning a medium-sized room. The capacity will not be a problem if you have only area rugs in your home.
For homes with wall-to-wall carpeting, you’ll need to refill the soapy clean tank and empty the dirty water more often. Or consider the much larger Rug Doctor Wide Track with a 3 gallon tank. The clean tank is able to hold warm water, and the brand recommends using water up to 140F/60C.
What makes this carpet cleaner versatile is the 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool. It is a wet and dry vacuum with a pet hair attachment.
This pet attachment has a smaller, more agile head with a flexible hose. With it you’ll be able to do above-the-ground cleaning. This is really the game-changer compared to other carpet cleaners.
Add this wet deep cleaning to your routine for cleaning your upholstered furniture, especially those without removable and washable covers.
This carpet cleaner weighs 17.5 lbs. It is shaped like the bottom-heavy upright vacuum cleaner, making it easy to maneuver and carry up and down the stairs.
Best budget carpet cleaner for pet stains in smaller homes
This carpet cleaner for quick cleanups for pet mess on the carpet. If you have a pet who’s sick or has trouble holding in their pee, then you’ll need a cleaner like this. Accidents happen, and you’ll need to be prepared.
Arm yourself with this lightweight cleaner (less than 13 lbs only!) and you’ll be able to handle any pee, poop or vomit situation well. It is compact as well, making it one of the best options for smaller spaces. This carpet cleaner is best for households with 1 (or 2) pets.
A small footprint means easy storage, but you’ll lose out on the tank capacity. At 0.5 gallon capacity, this carpet cleaner only holds half of what the Bissell ProHeat 2X Pet Pro is capable of. But the cleaning ability does not disappoint.
This niffy and budget machine is able to remove dirt and stains almost on par with the performance of the Bissell ProHeat 2X Pet Pro. And sometimes even outperform the more expensive professional models.
Unlike the Bissell ProHeat 2X Pet Pro which has both wet and dry options to help with pet hair, this carpet cleaner is more of a shampooer. It does not pick up pet hair as well as a vacuum cleaner would.
To avoid pet hair balling up and being stuck at the nozzle or the carpet cleaner, you should always vacuum the area first.
The cleaning path is 10 inches wide, and it is among the narrower models. Having a wide cleaning path allows you to cover a larger area in a shorter period of time. But the advantage of having a narrower cleaning path is that it allows you to maneuver around tight corners.
The low profile foot of the carpet cleaner allows it to easily reach under furniture. Being light, nibble, and compact make this a perfect carpet cleaner for spot cleaning around the house.
The Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact can power thru most low to medium pile carpets and area rugs. High pile shag carpets might be trickier. You’ll need to test it in a small inconspicuous area.
Best carpet cleaner for pet stains for heavy duty uses and large areas
No cleaning job is too big for this 44 lbs heavy duty carpet cleaner. The Rug Doctor Wide Track Carpet Cleaner is commonly used as rental units. They are sturdy and impact resistant.
Before running out to buy this machine, we recommend testing it out with a rental unit. Hauling this unit in and out of its storage area is no joke.
And carrying it up the stairs is almost a 2 person job. It’s not only heavy but bulky as well. Although the top handle folds down to reduce storage space, the body of this machine is still quite large.
But the advantage to using this machine is how much tank capacity you get. The clean water tank holds up to 2.6 gallons and the dirty water tank up to 3.1 gallon. This allows you to cover a large area before having to refill or dump the dirty water.
The 12.4 inches wide cleaning path allows you to breeze through large floor areas. The large 6 inch wheels allow for stability and makes it easy to maneuver around.
The top handle can be set to multiple positions allowing you to adjust it to a comfortable holding position. However, this carpet cleaner only allows for forward movement, you can’t go back and forth with it.
The Rug Doctor Wide Track Carpet Cleaner comes with a universal hand tool that attaches to the machine via a hose. This hand tool works great on upholstery and staircases.
The carpet cleaning capability is on par with the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro. One of It’s advantages over the Bissell ProHeat is being able to clean a larger square footage in a shorter amount of time.
If you’re living in a large single level dwelling with multiple pets that goes in and outdoors all the time, then considering getting this machine. It is a worthwhile investment if you have wall to wall carpeting in your large home.
Best portable carpet cleaner for pet stains
This portable carpet cleaner looks like a cross between a canister vacuum and a carpet cleaner. It is lightweight (weighing only 13 lbs) and easy to carry around.
The carpet cleaner comes with 2 attachments in the box, a 3” wide tool for tough stains and a wider 6” tool for the stairs. Both are attached to the machine via a 5 feet hose, giving you ample of reach.
The tough stains tool is extremely effective even on the most soiled upholstery or carpets. Because of its small nozzle, it allows you to focus on the spot and really suck up the dirt and stain.
This is great on carpets, upholstered furniture and even car interiors. If you’re a DIY enthusiast when it comes to your car interiors, and you will find this carpet cleaner quite indispensable.
The 6” stairs tool is just the right size for cleaning the stairs. The nozzle fits perfectly on most commonly sized stairs. The unit is easy to carry up and down the stairs.
And with the 22 inches cord, you’ll not be needing an extension cord. It has some of the strongest suction power for a portable machine of its size.
Just remember to always use warm water, and the right type of cleaning solution for the job. The ¾ gallon water tank is relatively large for a carpet cleaner of this size. Even the upright Bissell ProHeat 2X only holds up to 1 gallon of clean water.
One of the major wins of this carpet cleaner is the brush attachment. The common almost knee-jerk reaction to a carpet stain is to scrub it. Scrub it real good and the stains would come off.
While it may work on some very low pile carpets, oftentimes it can actually damage the carpet fibre permanently. The scrubbing motion, especially when with force, will fray the carpet fibre. You won’t be able to undo this damage.
The brush on this carpet cleaner actually doesn’t move or rotate. The machine relies on the suction force to pull the stains out of the fiber after it has been treated with the cleaning solution. This is a gentler option to clean out stains.
Best overall carpet cleaner for pet stains – The runner-up
A strong contender in the upright carpet cleaner category is the Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet, it is a close competitor to the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro. Both have very similar specifications.
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet clean and dirty water tanks are both at 1.25 gallons. This is slightly bigger than the Bissell ProHeat’s 1 gallon.
Both come with a 8 feet hose for the pet tool. The Hoover has a 2-in-1 antimicrobial nozzle with 2 modes. Start with the rubber nub for scraping up any residual mess, and then switch to the bristle mode for scrubbing the tough stains.
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet weighs about 18.5 lbs, slightly lighter than the 20 lbs Bissell ProHeat. It also has a slightly wider cleaning path at 12 inches.
The power cord however is significantly shorter at 20 ft (vs. Bissell’s 25 ft cord). This is too short, especially on the stairs. An extension cord is usually needed. A missing nice-to-have feature is a retractable cord, in place of the cord hooks.
The cleaning performance is where this machine falls short. It is notably less effective than the Bissell ProHeat. The Bissell is able to produce cleaner results with less passes.
This carpet cleaner comes with 4 different cleaning modes: wash/rinse and light/deep. The deep cleaning mode is more useful and requires more water.
The difference between the wash and rinse mode is that the rinse mode has the cleaning solution valve turned off. The drying function on this machine works quite well. That’s provided you don’t pre-soak/treat your carpet.
Always err on the side of caution, make as many passes as you can to get the carpet damp. Let it dry, and then start again if needed. Soaking the carpet will simply make it harder to dry, and you’ll run the risk of mold or mildew.
And for the machine cleanup, it is relatively fuss-free. You do need to remember to empty out any leftover water, be it clean or dirty water. Dry the different parts out before storing to avoid corrosion.
The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner ticks many of the boxes on our list, pushing it to the top of our list as the best carpet cleaner for pet stain. It is overall a great unit for most homes thanks to its versatility.
The tank capacity is a good size for a majority of users. It is definitely sufficient for day-to-day spot cleaning, and will need to be refilled/ emptied several times when you’re using it for thorough deep cleaning sessions.
It is relatively lightweight at 17.5 lbs, allowing you to easily carry it up and down the stairs. The power cord is 25 feet, giving you plenty of length as you’re dragging it around to clean all corners of the room.
It is a midsized unit, not the smallest built but it is not much bigger than an upright vacuum cleaner. Storing it away in the closet should be fairly fussy free. The cleaning path width is quite standard at 11 inches.
And one of the biggest pros of the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner is the attachment that comes in the box. The 2-in-1 pet tool has a wet/dry toggle. To clean up pet mess, start with the dry mode to get rid of pet hair on the surface. Then go in with the wet mode to soak, rinse and dry out the spot.
This carpet cleaner is truly designed for cleaning up pet mess and stain, and it does a stellar job at that.