Best Carpet Stain Remover for Regular Upkeep and Serious Stains: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for 2020 and Leading Sprays

gloves and spray bottle

Cleaning out a fresh stain in your carpet can take some serious elbow work, especially if the family cat had an accident or your child spilled their grape juice on your plush white carpet. But the biggest problem is with stains that have had time to set in. Using the best carpet stain remover, you can treat the area to lift the stain and leave your carpet looking new. But considering new household cleaning products are released monthly, finding a product you know works, one that can effectively treat both fresh and old stains, can be a real challenge. That’s where I come in.

This guide and the products I’ve included here can help to point you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for a spray that’s designed to treat pet-related messes, oil-based messes, or water-based. I’ve included a variety of sprays to choose from, each of which earned top ratings for their cleaning power, effectiveness, and affordability. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the six products that made it onto my list, in addition to important information regarding each product, what type of stains it can handle, how it rated, and more.

Carpet Stain Remover Comparison Chart

Product Stain Type Size Repeat
Treatment
Needed
Rating
TriNova Stain Remover


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Water-Based 18 ozNo
Puracy Stain Remover


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Water-Based 25 ozYes
Nature's Miracle
Stain Remover


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Organic 32 ozYes
Hoover Oxy Stain
Remover


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Water-Based & Oil-Based 22 ozNo
UNBELIEVABLE! PRO
Stain Remover


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Organic 32 ozNo
Stain-EEZ Stain Remover


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1 qtYes

TriNova Carpet Stain Remover


Our Rating: (5/5)

If you find yourself scrubbing the carpet often, in an attempt to clean up spilled coffee, juice, food, and more, then this powerful spray by TirNova has got you covered. This spray is very versatile and can be used for more than just carpet. In fact, you can use it on curtains, throw rugs, upholstery, clothing, and more. It’s designed to treat both new and set-in stains and does a great job of lifting a stain during the first treatment, no repeat treatment necessary.

Pros

  • Safe for use around children and pets
  • Versatile
  • Fresh scent
  • Water-based stain remover

Cons

  • Cannot treat oil-based stains

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a stain remover that has a mild scent, and one you can use to treat water-based stains on a variety of surfaces, not just carpet, then this product is a great buy and the one you’ve been looking for. It has a scent that’s not overpowering, and a powerful formula that can lift stains the first time around, without repeat treatment.

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you or someone in the home is very sensitive to chemicals, then you’ll appreciate this hypoallergenic formula that’s non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets. The spray is also biodegradable and non-bleaching, so it’s safe to use on all types of carpets and fabrics. This is a water-based spray, so it can be used to remove tough stains such as tomato sauce, berries, grass stains, red wine, cosmetics, and more.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Water-based stain cleaner
  • Non-toxic
  • Safe to use around children and pets

Cons

  • Repeat treatment needed on older stains

Conclusion

This all-natural formula is surprisingly powerful, however, if you’re using it on an older stain then you will need to repeat the treatment one to two more times until the stain is completely gone. This is a drawback that comes with most all-natural formulas, but the fact that this spray is effective, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and safe to use around children and pets, makes it definitely worth the extra work.

Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover Trigger Spray


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is an enzymatic cleaner that specializes in treating organic stains, such as urine. This product features a fresh scent that’s not overwhelming and it’s designed to immediately begin to break down stains upon contact. It can also be used to freshen fabric, which makes it a must-have for the dog owner. This is an all-natural product, so it’s also safe to use around children and pets.

Pros

  • Fresh scent
  • All-natural
  • Non-toxic
  • Organic stain spray

Cons

  • Repeat treatment will be necessary for older stains

Conclusion

This spray is made by a popular brand that many pet owners are familiar with. This powerful enzyme cleaner will treat the stain by consuming the proteins in the urine. This means it won’t simply mask the scent, instead, it will eliminate the stain entirely. If you’re using this spray to treat an older stain, then you’ll need to be prepared to repeat the treatment, since this all-natural formula is not tough enough to work on older stains the first time around. However, this will not be a deal-breaker for most buyers.

Hoover Oxy Spot and Stain Remover


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a fast-acting formula that will begin attacking and breaking down a stain the minute it makes contact. This product can handle both water and oil-based stains, so it’s a great stain remover to keep on hand. It’s designed to remove colored stains, old stains, and deep-down dirt. Since this formula is so powerful, I recommend doing a spot test on a hidden area of carpet, to determine if it will cause discoloration. This spray should not be used around children and pets. When cleaning, keep both children and pets out of the area until the carpet has had a sufficient amount of time to dry.

Pros

  • Powerful formula
  • Treats old and new stains
  • Works on oil-based and water-based stains
  • Fast-acting

Cons

  • Should not be used around children or pets
  • Can cause discoloration

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a spray that can treat a variety of stain types, one that’s powerful and fast-acting, then this Hoover Oxy spray is your best bet. Reasonably priced, designed to work on both water and oil-based stains, and offering the type of fast-acting power needed to treat the toughest stains, this product is a must-have in any home and does an excellent job of keeping carpet looking new and smelling fresh.

UNBELIEVABLE! PRO Stain & Odor Remover


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This spray is designed to treat organic-stains including pet messes, urine, vomit, and more. It can be used on carpet, upholstery, clothing, and any type of fabric. This is an enzymatic cleaner that will not only work to eliminate a stain upon contact but also does a great job of deodorizing as well. This cleaner contains powerful enzymes that will reach deep down into a stain to the source, consuming the proteins found in urine in order to lift the stain and get rid of the smell, unlike chemical cleaners that simply mask pet odors.

Pros

  • All-natural
  • Non-toxic
  • Safe for use around children and pets
  • Fresh scent

Cons

  • Cannot be used on oil-based stains

Conclusion

This is an all-natural enzymatic cleaner, which means it’s safe for use around children and pets. The scent is mild and gentle, so it won’t overwhelm your home, which is definitely a plus for most homeowners. This is a new, advanced formula that can work on both organic and some types of water-based stains such as coffee and wine. Powerful and effective, you’ll find yourself reaching for this spray to treat a wide range of stains around the home.

Stain-EEZ Stain Remover Spray


Our Rating: (4/5)

This is another popular, powerful organic stain remover that works on both organic and water-based stains. It contains both enzymes and probiotics, which are designed to work together to eliminate stains by first breaking the stain down, then consuming the proteins found in the stain. This is a gentle, non-toxic product that’s safe for use around children and pets. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and will not leave residue behind.

Pros

  • Contains enzymes and probiotics
  • All-natural
  • Fresh scent
  • Works on organic and water-based stains

Cons

  • Will not be effective on oil-based stains
  • Repeat treatment will be necessary on older stains

Conclusion

This spray will struggle to eliminate and effectively treat older stains, which is why repeat treatment is often necessary. However, this gentle, non-toxic formula is perfect for new organic and water-based stains. It works quickly to break down a stain and gets deep down to the source in order to eliminate odor, kill bacteria, and remove any trace of the stain left behind. The fresh scent and non-toxic formula make it a must-have in households with children and pets.

Carpet Stain Remover Buyer’s Guide

Carpet cleaning sprays are designed to treat fresh stains and even those that have had time to set in. When you’re shopping for a new spray, the first thing you’ll want to consider is the type of stains you normally deal with. Are these stains pet related? Do you have a messy toddler that often spills her food and drink on the carpet? Choosing the right type of stain remover will be important because if you use a spray that’s designed to clean oil-based stains on a pet stain, it’s not going to have much of an impact on the stain and may end up doing more harm than good.

Benefits of Using a Carpet Stain Remover

cleaning materials

Messes happen all the time. Whether or not you go into action the moment it happens or decide to treat it days later can have a big impact on how well these stain removers work.

  • Ideally, you need to treat stains as they happen, but if the cat urinates in the house, your child spills her drink right as you’re all headed out the door, then immediate attention to the spill may not even be possible. Sprays are designed for new and old stains and can be invaluable if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to have your carpets cleaned by a professional.
  • A carpet stain remover can instantly improve the appearance of any room. Stained carpet just has a way of making a home look dirty. If you can’t afford a professional carpet cleaning service, then one of these sprays is the next best thing.
  • Stain removers can be used on upholstery, throw rugs, area rugs, and carpet. These versatile cleaners will save on wear and tear that comes with tossing a throw rug in the wash, so you’ll get more use out of it.
  • In general, proper carpet upkeep can significantly extend the life of your carpet. If left untreated, stained carpet can begin to deteriorate. Cleaning stains promptly can prevent this from happening.
  • Pet stains and other types of organic stains can cause mildew growth or the spread of bacteria. Using a stain spray can eliminate bacteria, mold, and mildew, for a healthier home environment.

Other Important Features

Most of these products fall under a specific category. Some are designed to treat organic stains, while others are specifically used for oil-based or water-based stains. Below, you’ll find the different types of sprays available that can treat your carpet, based on the type of stain you’re dealing with.

Carpet Spray for Pet Messes

If you’re potty training a dog or you have a new cat in the home that inappropriately eliminates from time to time, then you need to choose an enzyme cleaner, which is specifically designed to consume the protein in urine. This type of spray will be invaluable if you have dogs that are marking in the home. This means that the cleaner will not mask the scent, instead, the spray will actually work some serious magic and eliminate the stain altogether. So, for organic stains such as urine, get an enzymatic cleaner.

Carpet Sprays for Water-Based Stains

These sprays are designed specifically to treat stains caused by food and beverages. Many of these stain removers will even work well for stains that are oil-based. Many of these sprays will contain natural ingredients, which will make them safer for use around the home. Aside from pet enzyme cleaners, water-based stain sprays are among the most popular type and work best when used on fresh stains.

Carpet Sprays for Stains that are Oil-Based

Oil-based stains can be very tricky to remove, especially if you’re dealing with an older stain. Most types of synthetic carpets contain petrol, which allows grease and oil to hang onto the petrol, making it difficult to remove. Products that are designed for this specific type of stain are powerful and often contain harmful chemicals, which means you will need to keep children and pets away from the treated area until it dries.

Safe Active Ingredients

You’ll also want to pay close attention to the active ingredients in a stain remover, since some cannot be used around children and pets. This can include products that contain ammonia, chlorine, or perchloroethylene.

There’s something to be said about using sprays that contain all-natural ingredients. Unfortunately, while these products are safer, they’re not going to be as effective in removing old stains as the products that contain powerful chemicals. In some cases, you will need to use one of these chemical cleaners. You can make it safer for use in the home by keeping your children and pets away from the treated area until the area has dried completely. After application, also be sure to switch on a fan or two and open the windows in order to prevent these fumes from building up.

Important Stain Remover Tips

sponge on floor

In order to remove carpet stains, you need to choose a product based on the type of stain you’re dealing with, spray the area liberally, and blot at the spot, working from the outside. It’s actually important to treat more of the area than what appears to be stained. This is because a liquid stain can easily spread and may not be visible to the naked eye. This is especially true with pet stains.

  • Repeat treatments are often necessary with old stains. This doesn’t mean that the product itself is bad. This simply means the stain was not treated in a timely matter, which allowed it to set into the fibers of the carpet, making it more difficult to remove. For repeat treatment, you may need to leave the spray on the affected area longer, before you blot and clean the carpet.
  • Some products are very powerful and can cause discoloration. This is often true for products that are designed to treat oil-based stains, but some water-based stain removers can have this issue as well. Because of this, most manufacturers recommend doing a spot test before you treat your carpet. This will involve spraying the stain remover on a small area that’s not highly visible. The carpeting behind the couch or in a closet is always a good choice. Spray the area, blot, and allow the product to dry. I would recommend giving the area twenty-four hours to dry and observe any changes in color.
  • Keep more than one type of spray on hand. If you normally deal with pet stains, it will still be beneficial to keep stain remover that’s designed to handle oil-based and water-based stains. The key is treating a stain as soon as it happens. This will increase the odds of the stain coming out of the carpet. If you have to wait to order the product and have it delivered, you’re wasting time and will have to deal with a tough stain that will be very difficult to get out. Always be prepared. This will ensure your carpet looks good at all times and lasts longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Carpet Cleaning Solution for Pet Stains?

An enzymatic cleaner is the best choice for pet stains. Using another type of cleaner may remove some of the urine, but in most cases, you’ll be left with a pet urine stain that also smells like a stain remover. The longer the stain is left in the carpet, the higher the chance that the spot will grow harmful bacteria and/or mold. Using an enzyme cleaner will allow the enzymes to literally consume the protein in the urine, eliminating the stain entirely.

Does Baking Soda Get Stains Out of Carpet?

No. Baking soda does do a great job of eliminating certain odors, but it doesn’t work to get out tough stains like a traditional carpet stain remover can and will. If you want to freshen up your carpet, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, allow it to set in, and then vacuum it up fifteen minutes later. This is a great trick to keep your home smelling fresh, but it won’t help much if you’re dealing with tough stains. In some cases, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda, to treat stains, but this is often a better choice for fresh stains and will not have much of an impact on older stains.

Why Does My Carpet Smell Worse After Cleaning

This is a common question many distressed homeowners have. The main reason your carpet may smell worse after you’ve cleaned it is because the padding or backing got wet and was not properly dried. This will cause a sour smell due to mildew growth, which will only continue to get worse until you reclean the area and dry the padding or backing properly. The next time you clean your carpet, set out fans aimed directly at the area and leave the windows open, in order to allow the spot to dry fully.

Final Thoughts

The best carpet stain removers are designed to treat both new and old stains, depending on the type of stain, whether it’s oil or water-based, or organic. There are many powerful sprays on the market to choose from, but I’m confident that you’ll be able to find the right type of spray for your carpet needs, in my top six lineup. Each of these products is designed to handle even the toughest stains, whether it’s five minutes old, or you’re dealing with a stain that’s several weeks or months old. I hope this guide has helped you to find the right product based on the type of stains you normally deal with, the kind of carpet you have, and whether you’re looking for a stain that specializes in handling fresh or older stains. Remember, with the proper upkeep and a little elbow grease, you can keep your carpet looking clean for several years to come.