Whether your pet is young or old, it’s bound to have accidents sometimes. You’ll need a great cleaning product to keep your home clean and discourage your pet from creating messes. But there are hundreds on the market, so which pet odor remover should you choose?
Don’t worry, we’ve done all of the research and testing for you. To help you choose your best option, we bought and tried all of the top brands. The result is this list of the 11 best pet odor eliminators available in 2020.
For each brand, we’ve put together detailed reviews, comparing price, type, effectiveness, ease of use, fragrance, guarantees, and more so you can make an informed decision.
If you’d like to know more about your options, take a look at our comprehensive buyer’s guide. Finding an effective, affordable pet odor eliminator doesn’t have to be hard!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
The 11 Best Pet Odor Eliminators
1. Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray – Best Overall
Enzymatic cleaners like the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator are a game-changer for getting rid of lingering pet smells. These cleaners break down biological waste like urine, vomit, and blood by attacking fats and proteins, eliminating stains and smells without resorting to harsh chemicals that damage surfaces. We found this cleaner to be the best overall for breaking down pet odors.
Hepper Bio-Enzyme Cleaner is safe on any surface, from carpet and wood to porcelain and steel, making it great for stubborn stains. It also comes in a 32-ounce bottle, meaning that once you order it, you’ll have enough to last you for ages, even on tough stains. This cleaner is also fragrance-free, so you don’t have to feel like you’re drowning in scent whenever you clean.
Although we love enzyme cleaners, it’s important to note they aren’t ideal for every surface. The enzymes might break down certain dyes and stains, resulting in discoloration. It’s best to test a small amount of cleaner in an inconspicuous spot first and switch to a different cleaning method if necessary.
You might have guessed, this is our own product – but we love it so much we just have to share it, and hope you get to own one too!
2. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel – Premium Choice
If you have room in your budget, our premium pick is the Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel. This pricey gel is easy to use, plant-based and works on many types of odors.
This gel, sold in 63-ounce containers, absorbs and neutralizes odors including cigarette smoke and pet smells. The natural formula includes pine needle, lime, clove, and cedarwood, and there aren’t any perfumes, alcohols, or phthalates. It has a Safer Choice label, meaning this product is non-toxic, non-GMO, and safe for children and pets.
Though the natural fragrance dissipates after about 24 hours, it may be too strong if you’re sensitive to smells. We found this product easy to use, and though it’s more expensive, the gel lasts one to two months before evaporating fully. We did find reports of boxes arriving broken or already evaporated, and Fresh Wave doesn’t offer a guarantee.
3. ANGRY ORANGE Pet Odor Eliminator Spray
The ANGRY ORANGE 24 oz Ready-to-Use Citrus Pet Odor Eliminator Pet Spray is somewhat expensive and has a strong smell but works on many surfaces.
This product comes in 24-ounce spray bottles and is safe for pets and children. It’s strongly orange-scented. This spray is simple to use and fairly effective on hard floors and soft fabrics.
We found that this product’s smell could be very strong, causing coughing or sneezing in sensitive pets and people. The spray bottle may leak or arrive broken, and the product may leave a sticky residue behind. Overall, we found that the strong smell did a better job masking than eliminating pet odors. ANGRY ORANGE doesn’t offer a guarantee.
4. MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag – Best Green Choice
Are you looking for an environmentally-friendly option? You may want to try the MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag, which we found to be the best green pet odor eliminator.
This inexpensive product comes in reusable 200-gram bags, sold in a choice of three colors. The bags are filled with air-purifying charcoal made with sustainable, fast-growing moso bamboo. This product is fragrance-free, non-toxic, and long-lasting. Each bag can cover 90 square feet and will last up to two years. Charcoal absorbs molecules from the air including moisture, which will help prevent mold and mildew. When you’re finished with this product, you can pour the charcoal into your garden as fertilizer.
This product could be a great option if you’re sensitive to sprays and chemicals or looking for an eco-friendly option. There’s no smell at all, and you can recharge the charcoal by letting it sit in sunlight. However, this product may not be fully effective and doesn’t work as well in cars. It doesn’t work as a stain remover, and the company doesn’t offer a guarantee.
5. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator
Another great choice is Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator, which is an effective bio-enzymatic option with a great guarantee.
This product comes in fairly-priced 32-ounce bottles. The formula contains enzymatic bacteria that feed on ammonia crystals and organic matter, thoroughly cleaning fabrics and other surfaces. This product is safe for pets and children, chlorine-free, and certified for colorfast carpets by the Carpet and Rug Institute. It works on a wide range of surfaces, has stain-removing capabilities, and can be used in laundry.
When we tested this product, we found that it worked very well, removing pheromones and keeping dogs from returning to the same spots. Though it’s easy to use, it does have a chemical odor and may leave a sticky residue. Rocco & Roxie offers a great 100% money-back guarantee.
6. OUT! Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Another inexpensive option is the OUT! Pet Stain and Odor Remover, which has a strong chemical smell and an enzyme-based formula.
This cleaning product comes in very low-cost 32-ounce spray bottles. It’s easy to use and works on many surfaces, including fabric, hard floors, and laundry. The formula uses enzymatic bacteria to more fully remove stains and odors. This product is safe to use on carpets, with a Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute.
We found the chemical smell sweet and somewhat cloying. The spray bottle isn’t particularly well-made, easily becoming stuck or leaking. This product also doesn’t fully remove stains and odors, leaving pheromones that will attract your pets. OUT! doesn’t offer a guarantee.
7. Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 Odor Destroyer
Another option is the Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 Odor Destroyer, which is low-cost and easy to use but not especially effective.
This cleaning product comes in inexpensive 24-ounce spray bottles. It works on hard and soft surfaces, though it’s not safe for wood floors, leather, or suede. This product is unscented but doesn’t work as a stain-remover.
We found this product less effective than expected. It’s not fully odorless and doesn’t contain enzymes, so it won’t remove pheromones and will leave odor-causing molecules. The spray bottle isn’t especially well-built and may arrive broken. Nature’s Miracle doesn’t offer a guarantee.
8. Bright Air Solid Pet Odor Eliminator
The Solid Pet Odor Eliminator from Bright Air is an affordable gel option sold in a range of scents. However, it won’t remove stains and isn’t especially effective.
This product comes in very low-cost cost 14-ounce containers. You can choose among essential oil scents like mandarin orange and lemon or lavender and fresh linen. To use this product, you just remove the liner, replace the lid, and let the tub sit a room of your choice. It works for up to 60 days and contains no phthalates, triclosan, or BHT.
When we tested this product, we liked that the plastic container was recyclable and BPA-free. The fragrances aren’t very strong but do have a chemical smell. We found that this product didn’t work very well on pet odors and can’t remove stains. Bright Air doesn’t offer a guarantee.
9. DampRid Absorber Odor Eliminator
DampRid’s FG01FSLV33C Moisture Absorber Odor Eliminator is reasonably-priced and effective on mold and mildew but isn’t fully safe for kids and pets and doesn’t work on all odors.
This product, sold in six-packs of 10.5-ounce containers, is fairly-priced and non-toxic. The pack contains three lavender vanilla removers and three unscented removers. Each contains moisture-absorbing crystals protected by a tamper-resistant lid. They work for up to 45 days and cover 250 square feet each.
We found these crystals effective on mold and mildew, absorbing moisture from the air. Unfortunately, they don’t work as well on other odors and aren’t as effective if you live in a dry climate. If the containers tip, the crystals can easily fall out, making them less safe in the home. The fragrances may also be too strong. DampRid doesn’t offer a guarantee.
10. Bissell Pawsitively Stain & Odor Eliminator
This product is sold in well-priced 32-ounce spray bottles. It’s an easy to use carpet spot cleaner that’s designed to remove stains and accompanying odors. It works on carpet, upholstery, and water-safe fabric, though we did find that it contains peroxide and may bleach fabrics. Conveniently, you can buy refills through Bissell.
We found that the spray bottles weren’t well-made and tended to leak. The product works fairly well on fresh stains but isn’t as effective on slightly older stains. There’s a light scent, which may be too much for sensitive noses. Bissell doesn’t offer a guarantee.
11. Smiling Paws Pets Odor Remover
Our least favorite option is the Smiling Paws Pets Odor Remover, a bio-enzymatic option that doesn’t work well on hard surfaces, may arrive broken, and isn’t very effective overall.
This product comes in somewhat pricey 32-ounce spray bottles. It contains stain-removing enzymes and is safe for kids and pets. This remover is designed to work on many different surfaces, though we found that it didn’t work as well on hard floors.
These bottles may arrive broken and begin to leak quickly. The spray mechanism, in particular, isn’t very well-made. We also found that you may need to use quite a bit on each stain, so this product doesn’t offer great value. Smiling Paws does offer a great money-back satisfaction guarantee and will allow you to keep the product and your money if you’re unhappy with the results.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Pet Odor Eliminators
Now that you’ve read through our favorite brands, it’s time to start shopping. But which type of odor remover should you choose, and what are the biggest differences between each brand? Keep reading for our guide to your options.
What type should you buy?
How would you like to use your odor remover? The most common type is spot cleaners, typically sold in easy to use spray bottles. These products generally work as stain odor removers. To use them, you spray directly on the stain, let the product sit, and then blot with a paper towel. This type is fast and easy, though you’ll probably want to consider what surfaces you’ll be using it on. If you’re concerned about bleaching fabrics, check to see if the product includes peroxide.
A particularly effective variety of spot cleaners contains enzymatic bacteria, which feed on the organic molecules in stains, removing stains and odors at a deeper level.
Another major type is gel-based. These products work as air fresheners, improving odors without working on stains or specifically targeting the source of odors. These products may have particularly strong fragrances and are meant to last for a month or two.
Odor removers can also be made with charcoal or crystals. Charcoal options, like our green pick, the MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag, are made to purify the air by absorbing particles from the air. Charcoal is a highly porous material that absorbs odor-causing molecules. To recharge a charcoal purifier, place it outside in direct sunlight. In the sun, charcoal will release its collected particles. For this reason, charcoal purifiers should be kept out of the sun while in use. Therefore, they won’t work well in cars or elsewhere in the sun.
Crystal odor removers are most effective in damp, mildew-prone places. These crystals are specifically designed to absorb water from the air, so they can prevent mold from growing. These products may be less effective against some pet odors and may not work as well in dry climates.
How large is your budget? Though you can buy inexpensive pet odor eliminators, keep in mind that they may not work quite as well or may have a stronger chemical odor. Some of the inexpensive brands may require you to use more of the solution on each stain or odor. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you may appreciate the natural ingredients found in higher-end products.
Another feature you may want to consider is the smell of your product. Spot cleaners often have added fragrance which will mask unwanted odors. This can make the cleaning process more pleasant, but you’ll want to make sure you’re buying a product that will eliminate the odor itself. Gel cleaners and crystals, which work like air fresheners, typically also have strong scents.
If you’re sensitive to strong smells, you may want to look for an odorless product, like a charcoal air purifier. These chemical-free products can be a good choice if you have allergies or asthma. You may also want to look for products that carry the EPA’s Safer Choice label, which indicates safer chemicals that are better for you, your family, and the environment.
Though pet odor eliminators generally don’t come with warranties, some do offer great money-back guarantees. If you’d like to test a product risk-free, you may want to choose one with a satisfaction guarantee.
What’s the bottom line? Our favorite brand is the
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. This fully guaranteed enzyme remover works well on stains and odors. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you may be interested in Fresh Wave’s Odor Removing Gel, which is pricey but non-toxic, effective, and plant-based. Are you looking for an environmentally-friendly product? You may want to try the MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag, which is a compostable, sustainably-sourced option made with air-purifying bamboo charcoal.
If you have pets, you know they can be messy and smelly. Luckily, your house doesn’t need to be, with the help of the right cleaning products. We hope this list of the 10 best pet odor eliminators available in 2020, complete with in-depth reviews and a quick buyer’s guide, helps you find the best brand for your needs. No matter how many pets you have, keeping your home clean doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive!
By Kate MacDonnell
Featured image credit: Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator, Amazon