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Best Carpet Stain Remover: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated: 15 June 2021

The spotless carpets will put your mind at ease so much you won’t have to worry about stains either those caused by pets, kids or even you yourself. This would mean no food, grease, pet or wine stains. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Yet your carpets and upholstery are anything but flawless. Your carpets are stained. They are stained with all kinds of stuff and in multiple places. The upholstery around your home is no better.

You are tired of the situation and can’t seem to find a solution. But there’s a way out. In this article, you will find out about the best carpet stain removers, their types, how they work, how to choose the best together with answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding carpet stain removers.

Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision.



Editor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
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Best Overall: #1 Best Seller in Commercial Carpet Cleaners & Deodorizers - Bissell Deep Clean Pro 4X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Carpet Shampoo Review

Bissell Deep Clean Pro 4X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Carpet Shampoo
3,875 Reviews
Bissell Deep Clean Pro 4X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Carpet Shampoo
  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
  • Our most powerful formula for tough, ground-in dirt and stains.
  • Removes tough odors.
  • Safe on carpet, area rugs and upholstery.
  • Great for heavily soiled areas, stubborn stains and underlying odors.

Top Choose For Pets: #1 Best Seller in Small Animal Odor & Stain Removers - Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator Review

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
  • ELIMINATES STAINS, ODORS AND RESIDUE If it’s gross, it’s gone. Not just the stain, but the stink. From stinky yellow pet urine and feces to vomit and other organic spills, our professional strength formula tackles them all.
  • ENZYME ACTIVATED The key is getting to the problem deep-down. This spray contains natural enzymatic bacteria that are activated on contact with odors and stains, feeding on ammonia crystals and organic matter until they are completely eliminated.
  • CERTIFIED GENTLE AND SAFE Chlorine free and color safe. Safe to use around pets and children. No hazardous propellants, no residue left behind. So gentle it’s been Certified Safe for all carpets, earning the Seal of Approval by the trusted Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
  • EVERY SURFACE, EVERY TIME For use on carpets, floors, furniture, clothing, litter boxes, kennels, carriers, all pet living and sleeping areas -- anywhere stains happen.
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED An Amazon best seller for a reason. If your stains and odors aren’t gone, neither is your money. We’ll refund it in full

For Most Types Of Stains: Shaw R2X Carpet Stain & Soil Remover Review

Shaw R2X Carpet Stain & Soil Remover
  • Cleaning stain-resistant carpet and rugs, including wool
  • Cleans and protects at the same time
  • Shaw r2x can also be used on water-safe fabrics, including furniture, clothing, automobile carpet and upholstery
  • It's also appropriate for treating most types of stains, including oil-based stains
  • This easy-to-use spray cleaner can be used as a spot cleaner or for wall-to-wall carpet cleaning.

Safe For Pets And Kids: Woolite INSTAclean Permanent Pet Stain Remover Review

Woolite INSTAclean Permanent Pet Stain Remover
  • 2 pack of pet stain Remover. Permanent stain removal in 30 seconds
  • Instantly and permanently removes tough stains like urine, feces, vomit, tracked-in dirt, mud, Blood
  • Eliminates tough pet odors and discourages pets from resoiling
  • Safe for kids and pets when used as directed
  • Oxy stain Destroyer Formula starts working on Contact to mobilize, lift, and penetrate the stain at the source to remove stains in 30 seconds

Great In Odor Removal: Resolve Pet Expert Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner Review

Resolve Pet Expert Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
  • Eliminates pet odors with Odor Stop Technology.
  • Freshens with a light, clean scent.
  • Freshens with a light, clean scent
  • Also works great on everyday stains like red wine, grape juice, and greasy food.
  • Safe to use around pets and kids.

For Carpet Cleaning Machines: OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner Review

OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner
392 Reviews
OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner
  • For use in Any Carpet Cleaning Machine
  • Deep Cleaning Action Removes Dirt & Lifts Stains
  • Vacuum thoroughly to remove loose dirt
  • Pre-treat tough stains with OxiClean Carpet & Area Rug Remover Spray.
  • For home owned & rental machines follow the machine's recommended detergent to water ratio instructions.

Updated Enzymatic Fromula: Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator Review

Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator
  • FOR SEVERE DOG MESSES: Powerful enzymatic formula works to eliminate tough stains and odors from dog urine, diarrhea, vomit and other bio-based accidents.
  • LIGHT FRESH SCENT: Dog odor control formula gets your home smelling clean again.
  • ENZYMATIC FORMULA: Continues working as long as any bio-based mess is still present.
  • DISCOURAGES RESOILING: Removes the odor from even the toughest dog messes.
  • TRUSTED BRAND: From the maker of Nature’s Miracle products, the pet stain and odor removing brand you trust… because it works!

Instant Results: Folex Carpet Spot Remover Review

Folex Carpet Spot Remover
8,732 Reviews
Folex Carpet Spot Remover
  • Excellent for cleaning any color fast carpet or material that can be safely dampened with water.
  • Carpet spot removers instant size 32 ounces Safely removes tough spots and stains from colorfast carpet, rugs, upholstery, and clothing. Does not leave a sticky residue. No rinsing or vacuuming necessary.
  • No rinsing, no vacuuming or waiting to see results!
  • Instant results, simply apply to the stain, gently agitate with finger tips and blot with absorbent cloth stains will disappear instantly.
  • Non-toxic and completely non-irritating to normal skin

Professional Grade: Spot Shot Professional Instant Carpet Stain Remover Review

Spot Shot Professional Instant Carpet Stain Remover
1,168 Reviews
Spot Shot Professional Instant Carpet Stain Remover
  • Professional grade to instantly remove the toughest carpet stains without scrubbing
  • Safely cleans and deodorizes carpets and prevents stains from reappearing
  • Safe for most carpet, rug and fabric types. Must have for Facility Managers, Shop Owners and Custodial businesses
  • No rubbing, scrubbing or vacuuming needed after spraying the affected area
  • Works on pet stains, greasy foods, motor oil, red wine, blood, grape juice, shoe polish, cola, mud, coffee, permanent marker, and lipstick stains

For Tough Water-Based Stains: Chem-Dry Carpet Stain Extinguisher Review

Chem-Dry Carpet Stain Extinguisher
  • Removes tough water-based spots from carpets, upholstery and fabrics
  • Uses the cleaning power of carbonation to lift spots to the surface for more effective cleaning
  • Green Certified - Safe and non-toxic for your family and pets and no harsh solvents that can damage your carpet
  • From the world's leading carpet and upholstery cleaner Chem-Dry

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About the best carpet stain remover

All You Need to Know About the best carpet stain remover

In order to know the best carpet stain remover, it’s important to understand how stain removers work, the type of stains found on carpets, the types of carpet stain removers and several other factors. Let’s consider these factors one after the other.

What Is A Carpet Stain Remover?

Essentially, carpet stain removers are products designed to remove stains from carpets. However, while these stain removers are designed for carpet, they can also be used for the same purpose on several other surfaces such as upholstery.

The majority of carpet cleaner stain removers are chemical-based and are known to work in various ways. In line with customer’s agitation for safety within their homes, most of the commercial products are now eco-friendly and biodegradable.

How do stain removers work

Stain removers work by different mechanisms based on the active ingredients and composition of the remover.

The best pet stain and odor remover for carpet use several mechanisms, some of which are carbonation, power spraying nozzles and can pressurization which are able to disrupt the stains physically at their centre. Important chemicals are capable of focusing on and targeting certain stains.

Surface active agents or surfactants stress stain molecules and envelop them with water molecules while breaking them up. Enzyme cleaners are slower in their action, they may require hours/days to completely remove a stain.

Microbes, essentially bacteria, act on the molecules of the stain and feed on them. The chemical reactions that take place during the process facilitates the activity of the bacteria. With proper application and time frame, the bacteria will consume the stain together with the odor-causing organic materials.

Oxygen-based stain removers essentially initiate a chemical reaction that makes the stain molecules colorless. This is the reason some of the stains cured with oxygen-based cleaners are visible under UV light. These cleaners are most effective with water-based stains.

Natural VS chemical carpet stain removers

How do stain removers work

Natural carpet stain removers take more time to bring about desired results than their chemical counterparts. However, the results given by natural stain removers although it might take longer tends to be more satisfactory than that of a chemical carpet cleaner spray.

More so, natural products have non-toxicity as against their chemical counterparts which might have some degree of toxicity to children and pets. The chemical products may also not be eco-friendly or biodegradable.

Types of stains found on carpets

There are different types of stains that can be found on a carpet on or other surfaces. The type of stains you need to clean will also determine the best carpet stain remover product for you. Certain types of carpet stain remover works best for certain stains.

The three types of stains found in the home are water based, oil based and organic based stains. You can tell the difference from their names. However, they are further explained with examples below if you have trouble differentiating them.

Water-based: This comprises any beverage or food that is not made of oil. Examples include beer, wine, cocoa, coffee and ketchup. Other types of drinks fall in this category as well as they are water-based.

Oil-based: This comprises stains that typically cannot be removed with soap because they contain oil. Examples include splatters of frying oil, grease, motor oil, engine oil and every other oil you can think of.

Organic: This category of stains are the really repulsive ones as they are organic, that is, they are from living things. Examples are pet urine, vomit, diarrhoea, sweat and even blood.

How to use a carpet cleaner

The way to use a typical pet stain carpet cleaner is peculiar to the carpet cleaner. It will be provided on the product by the manufacturer when your purchase the product. It’s left to you to follow the instructions appropriately to get the best results.

Best carpet stain remover types

Natural VS chemical carpet stain removerss

The best carpet cleaner for pet stains and other stains are usually of two types: oxygen-based and enzyme-cleaners. Both oxygen-based and enzyme cleaners are best carpet stain removers for old stains and new stains because they work well.

Several people have a preference between the two but we recommend testing both types to find out what works best for you and your precious carpets. Below are some details regarding both the best carpet cleaning solution for pet stains and other stains.


Upon coming in contact with the stain, oxygen-based carpet stain removers immediately release oxygen. The released molecules of oxygen then assists in the decomposition of the constituents of the stain.

Enzyme cleaners

The good carpet stain removers that are enzyme-based cleaners use microbes that feed on the constituent of a typical stain.

How to choose the best carpet stain remover

Choosing the best carpet stain remover 2021 for your carpet solutions is dependent on several factors as we have pointed out earlier in this guide. The most important factor being the type of stain you are dealing with.

Stains removed

The particular type of stain to be removed determines the best carpet stain remover product for you. Stains as stated earlier are chemically different. You can’t use a pet stain carpet cleaner on a red wine stain and expect it to be very effective.

Below is the best carpet stain remover for each kind of stain.

Remover for water-based stains
Types of stains found on carpets

Water-based stains are mostly beverage-based and food-based. The best stain remover for water-based stains are oxygen-based and carbonized cleaners. These two types of stain removers are able to decompose these stains and free them from the carpet and other surfaces.

Oxidized cleaners work best with water-based stains.

Remover for organic-based stains

Organic-based stains are really repulsive stains. Animal fluids, vomit, urine and blood are in this category. Unleashing a population of bacteria on the stains is your best bet to deal with these stains.

The best carpet cleaning solution for pet stains are enzyme cleaners or enzyme-based. They are the best carpet cleaner for pet stains and other organic stains because they eat up the microscopic proteins that constitute the stains, leading to a chemical reaction that removes the entire stain without a trace.

Remover for oil-based stains

Synthetic carpet fibres usually comprise petroleum. When oil-based splatters and drops fall on this, the result is a combination of both substances which makes it hard to remove oil-based stains.

Certain water-soluble tough carpet stain removers can sometimes break the bond. If not, DIY or homemade carpet stain remover sprays, usually consisting of a significant portion of dish soap known to fight grease can break the bonds between the carpet and the stain.

Versatile stain remover

There are products that can produce desirable results across all three types of stain. Most of these are made by combining one or two potent carpet cleaners.

Remover substance

Best carpet stain remover types

While many carpet stain removers come in liquid form, only a few of them are applied as a liquid when it comes to removing stains. The liquid cleaner is usually a water-based surfactant and moisture is not good for the absorbent nature of most carpets. Therefore liquid carpet stain removers are only advisable when they are delivered in a foam


Carpet cleaner sprays are efficient products when it comes to removing carpet stains. A foamy cloud of stain remover is an effective method of applying a potent stain-removal solution while maintaining manageable levels of moisture. The lesser the moisture the better to achieve satisfactory results.


Powder-based cleaners are a distinctive and handy approach to fight both old and new stains. These considerably dampened powdered particles absorb stains, together with any odor and moisture accompanying them. Before use, it’s essential to remove as much as possible moisture from the stain to prevent having to deal with a sticky, powdery mess.

Active ingredients

The active ingredients of a stain removing product determine its suitability for the stain at hand. The active ingredients in a carpet stain remover are either enzymes or oxidizers.

If you have the time to wait, enzyme-based cleaners are the best options as the enzymes contained in them provide comprehensive cleaning action that not only completely eliminates the stain but also removes the organic materials that cause odor. They are the best for organic matter and body fluids of all kinds.

Oxidizers in oxygen-based products on the other hand merely eliminates the stain by making it colourless. The drawback here is that the stain can still be visible under UV light. These are more suitable for treating water-based stains although they can remove oil-based stains occasionally.


The effectiveness of a white carpet stain remover will be a function of its active ingredients and its capacity to tackle the particular stain you have on your carpet.

The majority of pet stains, such as kitty piddle and vomit, call for an enzyme-based cleaner so as to fully eradicate all odor-generating fragments of the stain. The origin of the offensive smell related to the smell of urine, uric acid, can be entirely removed with the application of natural solutions.

From experience, we found that it takes DIY solutions to be able to overcome grease-based stains as water-based surfactants are not able to blot them out properly.

Drying time

How to choose the best carpet stain remover

Powder-based cleaners and foam surfactant cleaners dry off very quickly, which makes them instant carpet stain removers. They are effective on a variety of stains and provide quick results. They are also able to remove old stains as the foams are able to go deep into the fibres of the carpet to dismantle the stains.

Liquid cleaners might take some time to achieve the desired results.


Enzyme-based cleaners are the first choice when it comes to choosing based on odor. They are known to leave no odor. The same cannot be said of chemical stain removers that do not mask/remove odors and also even add their own nauseous fumes to the equation.

Tips when using carpet stain remover

  • Select the appropriate stain remover based on the kind of stain you want to remove, knowing fully well that certain types of removers are more effective for certain kinds of stains.
  • Use the product that works best for the surface of the carpet/upholstery you want to clean.
  • Use the carpet stain remover according to the peculiar instructions of the product. Dilute the product accordingly before use if necessary and vacuum at the appropriate time if applicable.
  • Always do a color test on a non-visible part of your carpet/upholstery when you are not sure of the discoloration behavior of a particular stain remover.
  • Check the formula for the product to see if it’s non-toxic, eco-friendly and biodegradable before you use it.

Best carpet stain remover FAQ

What are the best carpet stain remover brands?

The list of the best carpet brands rated includes Bissell, Rocco & Roxie, Shaw, Woolite, Resolve and other. Each of them deserve the mention.

Are all carpet stain removers non-toxic

Not all carpet stain removers are non-toxic but the best pet stain and odor remover for carpet are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Some of the oxygen-based cleaners are toxic but the enzyme cleaners are generally non-toxic and lightly scented.

How to remove old stains from carpet

You can remove old stains from your carpets using the best carpet stain remover for old stains available in the market or by using a combination of homemade recipe-based white captain stain remover blends in conjunction with a good robot vacuum for carpet.

Can you use laundry detergent on carpet?

Yes, you can, but not on all types of carpets. You can use laundry detergent in a mixture with other stain-removal agents to blot out some of the most notorious stains from your carpets and upholstery.

Can carpet stain remover ruin my carpet?

Tips when using carpet stain remover

Yes, a carpet stain remover can ruin your carpet if it’s not the perfect one for your carpet. For example, a stain remover made for a leather carpet may ruin your carpet if you use a wool carpet stain remover.

The key is to use the appropriate stain remover for the appropriate material of carpet, upholstery or surface. For the best results, use the best steam cleaner with the best product.

Won’t carpet stain removers leave an odor after cleaning the carpet?

Pet stain carpet cleaners and carpet stain removers may leave behind an odor. The best carpet stain remover spray leaves a light, clean scent of the product and not the stain. It removes the odor of the stain whether that is wine, beer, paint or kitty piddle.

What kind of tools or tactics work best when removing stains from carpet?

The tools that work best are carpet cleaners and vacuum cleaners. Some carpet stain-removing products are designed to be used together with a carpet cleaner or a vacuum cleaner.

This is why it’s important to read the recommended use for a particular product before buying it. You can rest assured of a satisfactory result when you use the best stain remover with the best upholstery cleaner.

These machines guarantee a total removal of stains on the carpet. However, not all stain removers are to be used with a carpet cleaner or vacuum cleaner. The key is to buy the appropriate product for the appropriate tool. Meanwhile, the best tactics depend on the specific type of stain and stain removal.

What is the best homemade carpet cleaning solution?

You can create homemade carpet cleaning solutions by mixing your own recipe-based blends customized to tackle the stain you are dealing with. Let’s examine one or two of the methods you can use to eliminate spots and splats.

The best homemade auto carpet stain remover depends on the type of stain you have at hand. You can make certain caustic mixes though you can use some of these household products alone.

When trying to eliminate a food-based stain, beer is a go-to product. The fermentation and carbonation of a bubbly brew result in essential reactions which are also found in some of the best car carpet stain removers on sale. Rinse well after removing the stain to prevent the yeasty, brewery odor of beer.

Vinegar is one of the best carpet stain removers for old stains. There are various recipes strewn across the web that are created to tackle a vast array of stains. Some cleverly combine cornstarch, laundry detergent and even borax to blot out the stain completely.

One of the best carpet cleaners for pet stains is the two parts water/one part blue dish soap/two parts hydrogen peroxide mixture that is known to serve as an instant carpet stain remover for old stains and new ones, even on upholstery.

You can add baking soda for peculiar situations that requires some abrasion. However, be sure to test for color safety as this mixture is known to discolor some fabrics.

Salt is another stain and odor remover, with more efficacy in liquid applications. It blots out ketchup stains thoroughly. After the removal of as much of the splat as possible, sprinkle enough salt over the stain and let the salt suck up the moisture. Then you can vacuum the stain once it’s dry.

To remove stubborn red wine stains, blot white wine onto the stain, sprinkle some salt, blot as many as five times and the stain will be fully removed.

When oil and grease stains are involved, shaving cream works magic. The foamy fix helps to reduce or completely get rid of one of these difficult stains in a dramatic fashion.

How long does a carpet stain remover last?

How long does a carpet stain remover last

Practically all good carpet stain removers have an expiry date specified on the packaging. After buying the product, find out its shelf life. Those that do not have a specific date will specify how long a product will remain effective once it’s first opened.

Take note of this and keep checking from time to time to ensure the product remains safe for use. Note that poor storage conditions can reduce the shelf life.

Verdict and Our Recommendation for 2021

Standard chemical stain removers are very potent as far as removing carpet and upholstery stains is concerned. Yet some of the toxic-free nature-based products available on offer are staking a claim too in the market.

When it comes to removing splats and spots, most stain-blasting users can conveniently bank on enzyme-based cleaners which are mostly non-toxic and have a post-use scent that is light and clean.

Of course there are a handful of decent, non-toxic, oxygen-based products that can be used on carpets where your pets and kids are always playing. Another important factor is that cheaper does not usually mean better as far as carpet stain removers are concerned.

Safety comes first. And so, our best carpet stain remover 2021 at homemakerguide is that non-toxic, eco-friendly, biodegradable and enzyme-based product that offers you the best price per pound value. This is the perfect product for your home and your budget.


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How We Tested
Our reviewers spent considerable time testing some of the popular carpet stain removers out there, so read our carpet stain remover reviews. To fully experience how the stain removers work, our testers tried the products on several kinds on stains (such as wine, kitty piddle, kitchen grease, food spills and even body fluids) and on several materials. We asked them to consider the essential factors when using these products. We’ve covered them in this piece so that you know what to consider before making a buying decision.
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