Best Carpet Stain Removers – A Buyer’s Guide

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Last updated on December 1, 2020 by

Let’s face it. Messes happen. Whether a glass of red wine topples over or a toddler takes their artwork to the wrong surface, stains are a common complaint in most households. When messes get onto the carpet, they may leave unsightly stains.
Removing carpet stains can be tricky so there are a plethora of methods for getting stains out, including a carpet cleaning machine or professional services. Other times, you may just want to DIY and clean the carpet stains by hand. That is where carpet stain removers come in!
There is a large variety of cleaning products out there, to the point that it can overwhelming knowing what to select. This is especially true with carpet stain removers, as there are water-based, oil-based, and pet-related carpet stains, among other things. For that reason, knowing what your stain can help with selecting the carpet stain remover best for you.
We have assessed and rated a selection of top-quality carpet stain removers for your convenience. We know that you want to get to work on busting those stains as soon as possible so we have saved you the extra time of combing through carpet stain removers.
Carpet Cleaner Reviews
There are a lot of carpet stain removers on the market, but wanted to narrow down the options so you can spend less time fretting about which to buy and more time removing the stains for good!
Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover
Up first, we have the Puracy Natural Laundry Stain remover. It removes a variety of common stains from a wide variety of surfaces, including carpets, other linens, and clothing.
Natural formula
Safe for families and the environment
Works on dark colors and delicates (ideal for pre-treating laundry)
Made in the USA
Hypoallergenic, non-toxic, cruelty-free
Spray bottle does not come with additional tools for scrubbing the stain out
May be less effective on stubborn, set-in stains

Hoover Oxy Spot and Stain Remover
Designed for carpet and upholstery, Hoover Oxy Spot and Stain Remover is a fast-acting solution for tough stains. Its oxy technology goes deep to remove dirt and colored stains. Optimal results are found when paired with a Hoover carpet cleaner.
Breaks down stains like dirt, sauce, coffee, wine, and more.
Permanently removes stains
Designed for use on carpet and upholstery
Made in the USA
In some cases, may bleach out carpet color
Unscented, may not remove odors associated with stain
UNBELIEVABLE! PRO Stain & Odor Remover
This carpet stain remover is UNBELIEVABLE! Its advanced formula is designed to target stubborn stains and remove associated odors. It does not simply mask them but rids carpet spots of stains and odors entirely. With active enzymes, this carpet stain remover is great for commercial or institutional use, and also works well in a household setting.
This carpet stain remover combats stains and bad smells
Great for pet owners cleaning up vomit, urine, feces, food stains, etc.
Also eliminates set-in stains, like wine, chocolate, and more
Best suited for fresh stain removal
Extra equipment may be needed: a pick or flat tool is optimal for breaking up the stain
Shout Aerosol Odor Spray with OXY Power
The results of this carpet stain remover will make you want to shout for joy. The Shout Aerosol Odor Spray is ideal for pet owners who are looking to take out stains and odors on contact. The aerosol formula is powerful on set-in stains without being too tough on carpets or furniture.
Ideal for larger swaths of carpet
Easy to use – spray foam is easily applied to the stain
Aerosol spray differs from spray bottle applicator
Foamy consistency may have a different effect on carpets compared to spray-on solutions
LIFTER-1 Carpet Stain & Spot Remover
If you have a long list of tough carpet stains, LIFTER-1 Carpet Stain & Spot Remover is a high-quality option. It works well on old and new stains, making it a great choice to have on hand for a variety of messes.
Effective on water-based and oil-based stains
Good choice for older, set-in stains
Good for broader swaths of carpet and spot treatment
Works on upholstery as well
Not enzymatic, may not be as good on pet stains or odors
The powerful formula can have a strong odor while cleaning
Try a test spot before treating large spots to avoid discoloration
Buyer’s Guide
Carpet cleaning sprays are made to remove and treat stains, including fresh stains and ones that have set-in over time. They are great for anyone looking to take out stains without the cost of fancy equipment or paying a professional cleaner.
When searching for a carpet stain remover, you should first think about the type of stains you are removing most often. Do you find yourself cleaning up after a messy toddler’s food or drinks? Has your pet had accidents on the carpet?
Choosing the proper type of stain remover will give you the best results for your carpet stain removing needs. For instance, if you use a spray that is designed for pet stains on an oil-based stain, you may end up with a bigger mess than what you started with.
Uses of Carpet Stain Remover
Carpet Stain Removers serve a variety of purposes. They are great for targeted spot-treatments or refreshing the life of your carpet. Without consistent treatment and upkeep, carpets can get dingy and deteriorate.
Without resolving stains, mildew growth or spread of bacteria can occur. Using a carpet stain remover can eliminate the risk of mold, mildew, and other harmful growth or odors for a healthier home.
Carpet stain removers can also remove smelly odors that make a home seem unclean. This is ideal for pet owners with animals who have had accidents or a tendency to eliminate indoors. In this case, you should look for a carpet cleaner with enzymes that break up the odor instead of masking them.
Some carpet stain removers are multipurpose and can be used on stains in other materials, such as bedding, clothing, and other fabric textures. This makes carpet stain removers an ideal tool for various purposes around the house.
Types of Carpet Stain Remover
All-Natural Carpet Stain Remover
Being mindful of the active ingredients in carpet stain remover is important, especially if you have small children or pets. Some may include harsh chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, or perchloroethylene. If you must use the more powerful cleaner, keep children and pets out of harm’s way and ventilate the area to avoid strong fumes.
On the other hand, there are carpet stain removers available that offer all-natural ingredients. Though they are safer, they may not be as effective with old stains as cleaners with more potent chemicals. As a consumer, it is up to your discretion which carpet stain remover you want to use.
Carpet Stain Remover for Water-Based Stains
Carpet stain removers for water-based stains are made to treat food and beverage stains. Many of them will also work well on oil-based stains. They often contain natural ingredients, making them safe for household use. Water-based carpet stain sprays often work best on fresh stains, and may not have as good of results on set-in stains.
Carpet Stain Remover for Oil-Based Stains
Of all the possible stains, oil-based can some of the trickiest to take on. Many synthetic carpets contain petrol, which oil and grease like to cling to. This is why older, set-in stains can be even tougher to remove.
Carpet stain removers that are designed for oil-based stains are usually very powerful and contain harsh chemicals. When using them, keep pets and children away from the area until the spot dries. It is also advised to take precautions to protect yourself, including wearing gloves, a mask, or goggles to avoid skin, eye, or respiratory irritation.
Carpet Stain Remover for Pet-related Messes
If you are potty training, have a senior pet, or a pet that inappropriately eliminates, you will want to opt for an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme carpet stain removers are designed to break down the proteins in urine, mitigating bad odors and lifting stains.
This type of spray is ideal for owners whose dogs or cats tend to mark in the home. Enzyme cleaners will ensure that odors are not masked but eliminated.
Age of the Stain
Ideally, you can treat stains as you get them, but if a mess happens when you are out of the house or your pet urinates on the carpet, it may be impossible to resolve them right away. Fortunately, there are sprays designed for new and old, set-in stains.
As mentioned, carpet stain removers that are designed for oil-based stains tend to be tougher on set-in messes. This makes them an ideal choice for stains that have been around for a while. With that in mind, consider that they often have harsher chemicals than all-natural or water-based options.
If using a carpet stain remover that is targeting older stains that have set into fibers, consider doing a test spot before cleaning to avoid discoloration. Additionally, use caution around yourself, kids, and pets as formula and fumes can be irritants.
Tips for Stain Removal
First, select a carpet stain remover that is designed for the type of stain you want to treat. Next, spray the stain generously and blot at it, working from the outside in. Be sure to treat more than the area that was stained so that the treatment is well-blended and covers the entirety of the stain.
While cleaning, liquid stains can be easily spread without being immediately apparent to you. Cleaning beyond the stain of interest will ensure you do a thorough job and get the entire stain to lift. After treating, blot from the outside to the inside and let dry for up to 24 hours.
With older stains, you may have to do repeated treatments. Sometimes a buyer will think a product was ineffective when it is more than the stain was not treated as early as it could have been. When stains have longer to set into the fibers of the carpet, they are often tougher to get out.
With stains that require repeated treatments, you may want to leave the carpet stain remover on the spot for longer and ensure it has time to set into the fibers. Be careful with extra powerful products because they may discolor the carpet. To avoid big splotches on your carpet, try a small spot treatment on an area of carpet that is not highly visible.
After spraying, blotting, and allowing the product to dry, assess whether there was any change in color. If not, you can assume it is safe to treat a larger area of carpet to remove the stain(s).
Now you can see, not all carpet stain removers are created equal. They are made in a variety of formulations for treating an assortment of carpet stains. Knowing the pros and cons of each can help you make an informed decision about the type of carpet stain remover that is best for you.
Understanding whether you should use an oil-based, water-based, or pet-stain focused carpet stain remover can dramatically increase your success with removing stains. It is also important to try multiple treatments for older stains that have had longer to set in. Diligence and informed use of the carpet stain removers will help substantially.
Additionally, using the stain removal tips above can help you achieve your desired results. Be sure to clean beyond the stain and blot after treating it. For older stains, you can also put a heavy object on top to help the stain remover set in deeper.
Remember that the sooner you treat a stain, the better odds you have of effectively removing the stain. Having multiple types of carpet stain remover around is never a bad idea, so then you are never stuck without the right product for the type of stain you need to treat. Stay prepared by having a water-based, oil-based, and pet carpet stain remover at all times.