It's one thing to clean up wine or cat pee on your carpet right after it happens, but it's an entirely different challenge once those stains have had time to set. Fortunately, the best carpet cleaner sprays for set-in stains can help remove stains that are days, months, or even years old.
When shopping for carpet cleaners, the first thing to consider is the source of the stain, if you know it. Some stain removers are designed to target certain substances, so it helps if you know what you're working with. If, for instance, you're dealing with dog or cat urine, you'll want a spray that's formulated to not only eliminate the stain but also your pet's temptation to "mark" that spot again.
Once you've considered the stain's origins, look at the spray's ingredients to make sure there's nothing that could be toxic to anyone in your home. Some carpet cleaners contain chlorine, ammonia, formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, or perchloroethylene — chemicals that can be harmful to pets and small children — so keep that in mind while shopping.
Below, I've put together a list of the best stain remover sprays to help you with your search. In addition to considering the above factors, I also scoured through reviews to figure out which sprays really work the best. Take a look to find the perfect solution for your carpet.
1. The Best For Most Stains
Capacity: 25 ounces
What's great about it: If you've got an old stain but aren't quite sure what the source of it is, this all-around carpet cleaner is a fantastic multi-purpose option. The tough, plant-based spray, which has a cult following on Amazon, works on a wide range of stains, like juice, grass, dirt, mud, and tomato sauce. The enzymatic formula is biodegradable and certified cruelty-free, and it's made without bleach or other harmful chemicals, so it's safe for pets and kids alike.
What fans say: "This is a little miracle! It lifted heavy, old, dark stains (combo of coffee, soda, oil, and pet mess stains) from very light carpeting after sitting 20 minutes. It's [an] excellent stain remover. I was stunned."
2. The Best For Pet Stains
Capacity: 32 ounces
What's great about it: With more than 7,500 reviews on Amazon, thousands of people swear by this impressive 4.5-star carpet cleaner. The formula features enzymatic bacteria that's great at breaking down organic matter (aka pee, poop, and vomit), neutralizing the smell and making the area fresh again. While it's safe for both kids and pets, a handful of reviewers found the fragrance a bit strong, so you may want to use care if anyone in your home has asthma or a sensitivity to scents.
What fans say: "This stuff is miraculous ... I have some old stains that have been around since our Golden Retriever was a puppy and she is now 9. I've tried EVERYTHING to get rid of these. They finally dissipated enough over time that they weren't too noticeable, except to me. I used this product on them, following the instructions given by the manufacturer. The stains are GONE."
3. The Best For Red Wine & Coffee
Capacity: 32 ounces
What's great about it: If your carpet stains are from a dark substance, like red wine or coffee, this potent carpet spray is the perfect solution. Formulated specifically for dark stains, it's capable of lifting even the toughest, most set-in stains of all colors and hues. The oxygen-powered, nature-based solution is bleach-free and completely safe for pets. In addition to wine and coffee, it works great on grape juice, soda, black tea, tomato sauce, and other dark fluids.
What fans say: "Amazing red wine spot remover. This red wine stain was actually a 3 wks old by the time I researched and order this product. I’m very happy."
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