Finding The Best Carpet Shampoo for Pet Urine Used by Professionals

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TL;DR: If you’re wondering what the professionals are using, then look no further then Bubbas Super Strength Concentrate Pet Odor Eliminator Carpet Shampoo Solution.

There’s a carpet shampoo for every occasion. Here’s a quick overview: 

What do professional carpet cleaners use for pet urine?

One of the most common jobs that’s left to the professional is cleaning out old pet urine stains and odor. These types of stains are one of the toughest to deal with because the soil has seeped deep into the carpet fiber, into the carpet backing and padding. Most often, you’ll find some damage has been done to the subfloor as well. 

The carpet cleaning machines used usually in the thousands of dollars price range. The cost per use most households will get from these types of machines are usually not worth the investment. These machines are also typically more clunky and heavy to maneuver. The maintenance cost of these machines are also typically higher.

If old pet stain is the main concern, then you’ll need some of the best pet stain carpet cleaner machines. Fill it up with carpet cleaning solutions that are made for pet stains. Look out for ingredients like oxy and scotchgard. Respectively, they help with removing stains and protecting the carpet fibers against future stains with water resistant coating.

However, all is not lost. The tools are just one aspect of cleaning like a pro. Knowing the professional tips and tricks will get you very far in cleaning out pet urine from the carpet. 

How to remove pet urine odor and stain from carpets like a pro

Carpets are a pain to clean, especially if you’re dealing with pet urine. With pet urine, it will not smell much when it’s fresh. It is when the urine starts to decompose that it starts giving off the awful odor. And by the time you detect it, there’s more damage control to be done. 

Sometimes the damage is too bad that you would need to replace it altogether. But before you do that, try out these pro tips on how you might be able to salvage the carpet. Preparation is key, you’ll need to have a plan of attack. Here are a few things to take note of before firing up your carpet cleaning machine. 

Avoid scrubbing or rubbing motion 

Start by blotting out the urine liquid with a paper towel or cloth as much as possible. Use a dabbing motion, and avoid rubbing the spot. A rubbing motion can push the soil further into the fibers. 

This also applies when you’re pre-treating the urine spot. After spraying the spot with a pre-treatment solution, let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Dab or gently wipe the spot with a dry cloth. Some carpet fibers can take a bit of scrubbing, but always err on the side of caution because the damage can be irreversible. 

Test for color fastness

This is always on the warning label of carpet shampoo. And you should pay attention to it, especially if the formulation contains bleach. Dilute the solution as instructed, and apply a small amount on an inconspicuous spot. 

Wait for at least an hour, before dabbing it with a damp white cloth. Check if any color is transferred onto the white cloth. You should test for color fastness not only in dark colored carpets, because it can affect lighter colored ones as well.

Dilution ratio and water temperature

The dilution ratio varies from brand to brand. It might be tempting to use more than recommended when you’re dealing with a particularly bad situation. But this is actually counterproductive. This may produce much more suds, which slows the cleaning process. The machine will have a tougher time extracting the soapy solution.

Instead of doing that, the more effective option is to go over the spots multiple times. Use the maximum dilution ratio, run the carpet cleaner over the spot at a slower pace (much slower than you would with a vacuum cleaner).

Always use hot water in your carpet cleaner. Read the manufacturer’s guide on this, as it may differ brand to brand. Hot water helps loosen up the carpet fibers, making the extraction process easier.   

Don’t mix cleaning solutions

If you’re using an enzyme-based or bleach-based cleaning solution, avoid mixing them with other solutions. Mixing solutions can cause one to inhibit the components in the formula. An enzyme inhibitor binds to the enzyme and decreases its activity. When the binding site of the enzyme is blocked, the substrate (the soil, in this case)  cannot be broken down. 

Bleach, in general, should not be mixed with any other cleaning solution. It is chemically incompatible with many other solutions. When this happens, it will release toxic fumes.

Shelf life of enzyme-based products

Enzyme-based products rely on live good bacteria to produce enzymes that “eat” or break down the soils into smaller molecules. Because of that, it’s shelf life is limited. Always read the product label. If you’re unsure and the enzymatic product is older than 1 to 2 years old, contact the manufacturer to confirm. Bubbas Carpet Shampoo Solution for example, uses dormant (instead of active) bacteria. This increases the shelf life of the cleaning solution.

Bubbas Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner

Best professional carpet shampoo for pet urine 

Bubbas Pet Odor Eliminator Carpet Shampoo Solution is an enzyme based solution. It is made to be used as a carpet pre-treatment as well as a carpet cleaner solution. This enzyme cleaning works on pet urine, feces, vomit and blood. But it’s especially effective on pet urine stain and smell.

One of the biggest advantages that the manufacturer claims it has is using dormant bacteria that has a longer shelf life. That’s compared to active bacteria that die off faster and the cleaning solution loses its effectiveness. The effectiveness over time doesn’t decrease as fast when using dormant bacteria.  

For light to medium soiled carpets, you’ll need to dilute the solution 1oz to 1 gallon of water. And you can increase the dilution ratio up to 3-4oz per gallon of water, depending on how dirty the mess is.

This enzyme cleaner not only works for most types of carpets, but you can use it on upholstered furniture as well. If your carpet cleaner has an above-the-ground attachment, then use that. But you can always mix up a batch of pre-treatment solution in a spray bottle.

To pre-treat the spots, you’ll need to saturate and soak the spot, sometimes even overnight if you’re treating an old stain. For best results, always pre-treat and then finish up with the carpet cleaner. 

Because the solution is low foaming, you can use it in most of the major brands of carpet cleaners. Although the solution is marketed for all types of carpets and also upholstery, it is still advisable to test for color steadfastness. This solution seems to have some bleaching properties, especially on darker colored fibers. 

Pros: Long shelf life, can be used as pre-treatment as well as in carpet cleaners

Cons: Potential bleaching properties

Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer for Dogs

Best enzyme-based carpet cleaner for dog urine

The Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer for Dogs is an enzyme-based cleaning solution made for dog urine. If you’re toilet training your new dog or puppy, you’ll need to keep this type of solution on hand.

Enzymes are very specific when it comes to the type of messes they can clean. A lock-and-key analogy is used to explain how it works, where the lock is the enzyme and the key is the substrate that it’s neutralising/cleaning. This is the science that makes this formula work so well with cleaning up dog urine specifically.  

This Nature’s Miracle carpet shampoo is developed to tackle both the smell and stain of dog urine. Aside from the enzyme, the formula also includes oxy and disinfectants. Oxy is a common ingredient used to combat stains.

It uses chlorine dioxide for antimicrobial proposes, killing off bacteria and viruses. This formula works well on carpets of all types of materials. But you’ll have more success with low pile carpets than high pile shag carpets. Although the pee spot has seemed to disappear, you’ll need to shine a black light on the spot to know how well it has worked.

For old stains, you’ll need to repeat the cleaning process a few times to see the pee spot lighten under black light.

It also works well on other upholstery materials such as wool, suede, leather and silk. It also works on tile, treated hardwood, and linoleum. The manufacturer recommends to always use it undiluted, which will definitely drive up the cost.

To use, saturate the pee spot with the undiluted solution and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. Gently scrub away the stain afterwards with a soft bristle brush. Take care not to scrub too hard that you’ll damage the carpet fibers. You’ll also run the risk of rubbing the stain further into the fibers. Blot up the solution with a clean cloth and let it air dry. 

Pros: Very targeted and effective at cleaning dog urine

Cons: Pricey, strong floral scent

Sunny & Honey Carpet Miracle Concentrated Machine Shampoo

Best carpet shampoo for pet urine, works on tomcat spray

This hardworking concentrate does the job well, removing even in the toughest of urine stain and odor. It is compatible for most carpet cleaner brands in the market. It comes in 2 sizes, 32oz or 1 gallon. The dilution ratio is 1oz formula to 1 gallon of water. So the 32oz bottle will get you 32 gallons of cleaning solution.

But in many cases, that’s usually not enough to clean heavily soiled carpets. You’ll need to pre-treat the spots on the carpet, either using this same solution or a spot-treatment formula. After pre-treating the spots, then use this solution in a carpet cleaner. To effectively clean out urine spots, you’ll need to run the machine over the spots several times. 

However, it really does work. Combining pre-treatment and a carpet cleaner with this formula will almost completely remove any stain or smell of urine in the carpet. Most of what’s left is usually only visible by shining black light on the spots, and not visible to the naked eye.

This product not only works for carpet soaked with pet urine, but you can also use it on walls and baseboards that’s covered in tomcat spray. Simply fill a spray bottle with warm/hot water and this cleaning solution. Mist the area, let it sit for a while, and wipe down with a cloth.

The formula creates more foam than other low-foaming products. So you’ll need to make multiple passes with the carpet cleaner to rinse out the soapy residue. It leaves behind a fresh minty scent, which some may find too strong. But the formula does not seem to be relying on the scent to mask the scent.

The scent seems to be added to freshen the room after cleaning. The formula is pet friendly, and it is cruelty-free. The brand donates 10% of the profits to animal rescue groups and shelters. 

Pros: Can clean even the toughest urine odor, including tomcat spray

Cons: Not as low foaming, scent can be strong for some

Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula

Runner-up: Best carpet shampoo for pet urine

This formula from Bissell is a standard carpet cleaner solution that works in most commercial and residential machines on the market. It is also safe to use as a pre-treatment solution.

The dilution ratio is 2.5oz solution to 1 gallon of water for light to medium soiled carpets. You can increase that up to 5oz solution per gallon of water depending on how soiled the carpets are.

Use a spray bottle for the pre-treatment solution. Saturate the spot completely and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Then do multiple passes over the spot with the carpet cleaner. 

If you’re following the instructions to pre-treat and then go over the pee spots with the carpet cleaner, then you should be able to get rid of the smell in most cases. This formula passes the smell test in most instances, and passes the stain test adequately.

But if you’re shining a black light on the urine spots, you’ll see that they’re faded but still there. If the urine smell is what bothers you most, then this solution will work for you. But it will not return your carpet to its pristine mode. 

The formula doesn’t seem to use enzymes as the base, like most other formulas do. However, they do use oxy as the stain removing ingredient in this formula.

One of the advantages this formula has is its stain protecting ability. It uses Scotchguard to provide a stain proofing seal to the fabric. Although it is not a waterproofing feature, it does help slow down the rate of the stains seeping into the fabric fibers. This will make cleaning easier for any future stain spots. And like all the other formulas on this list, this product is pet and child friendly. 

Pros: Stain protection, works in most carpet cleaners

Cons: Too much foam, not the strongest stain remover

Bissell Destroyer Pet Plus Oxy Stain Pretreat

Honorable mention: Best pretreatment for pet urine on carpets

The Bissell Destroyer Pet Plus Oxy Stain Pretreat is a hardworking formula against stains. It works under a minute, hardly adding any time to your cleaning process. This formula uses oxy loosen and lifts the stains to make extraction easy. With this stain pretreat, you don’t need to blot it up before running the carpet cleaner.

The nozzle is well built and residue doesn’t build up on the nozzle. Spray and saturate the area to twice the size of the urine spot. You should be able to see an almost immediate fading of the stain. If not, spray and saturate the area again. Follow up with a few passes with the carpet cleaner over the spot.

This formula is very effective on fresh as well as years-old urine stain. If you’re using it on old stains, you’ll be needing much more than you thought. It’s a shame that it only comes in a 22 oz bottle.

You can use it on carpets and rugs. You can also use it on upholstery and car interior. You can use this on cotton or wool, but avoid more delicate material like silk, velvet leather, vinyl. Aside from treating urine stains, it works on a long list of other common household stains. 

You’ll need to keep pets and children away from the area while you clean. Let the spot air dry completely before allowing contact. This formula is scented, and the scent does linger.

It is advisable to properly ventilate the area while you clean. Pets, in particular, need to be kept away from strong scent as their sense of smell is very sensitive. 

Pros: Very effective with short waiting time

Cons: Strong scent

What about enzyme cleaners sprays?

Popular enzyme cleaners sprays like Trinova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover Eliminator are useful for spot treatments. The formula comes ready-to-use and you don’t need to dilute it. They usually come in a spray bottle and can be used on many different types of surfaces. They can be used on carpets as pre-treatments, but they are not suitable for shampooing the carpet. 

You should only be using shampoos made for carpet cleaners in the machines. Incorrect application will create too much suds and result in poor cleaning results.  

Is Hoover Carpet Cleaner safe for pets?

Hoover Paws & Claws Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo contains both anionic and nonionic surfactants. Surfactants are one of the 4 common components of cleaning solutions. Its role is to agitate the surface activity so the soil can be extracted from the surface.

Anionic surfactant lifts and suspends the soil. While nonionic surfactant emulsifies oils. Both are commonly used together in multi-purpose cleaning detergents.

According to the European Commission Health and Consumer Scientific Committee, in humans “surfactants [in general] have an irritating effect on mucous membranes… Manifestations may also include vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea. In rare cases, vomiting or formation of considerable amounts of foam in the mouth involve an aspiration risk.” 

However, studies on the effect of anionic and nonionic surfactants on animals shows that the toxicity is low to moderate. For anionic surfactant, the toxicity “in animals is considered to be low after skin contact or oral intake”

As for nonionic surfactant, it has been shown to be “quickly eliminated from the body through the urine, feces, and expired air.” It is safe to say that some irritation is to be expected, but the Hoover Carpet Cleaner is fairly safe for pets.