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Ultimate Pet Carpet Cleaner Machines Guide

Pet carpet cleaner machines speed up and simplify the process of cleaning up pet carpet stains and remove bad odors. These carpet cleaners come packaged with specially designed brush-heads to scrub the stains off affected carpet spots and areas. They are also equipped with powerful suctioning mechanisms to lift off the dirt and water mix from carpet fibers, ensuring that the carpet becomes clean.

Pet carpet cleaner machines replace the arduous tasks of manual scrubbing and then using a wet vacuum or manual blotting. When used with recommended pet carpet stain and odor removers or formulas, the cleaning impact is further boosted. In this guide, we go over what pet carpet cleaners are, the best pet cleaner machines, and look into their similarities and differences compared to standard carpet cleaners.

What are Pet Carpet Cleaner Machines?

Pet carpet cleaning machines are very much the same as regular home carpet cleaning machines, but packaged with extra tools and/or pet cleaner formulas. These extras are designed to make carpet cleaning and hygiene maintenance easier for pet owners by addressing messes such as pet hair, pet urine or poop, and their associated bad odors.

Pet carpet cleaners come in both portable spot and upright deep cleaner models, something that we go over in greater detail later. Below are the three most common special extras or features present in pet carpet cleaners and absent in standard carpet cleaners packages.

  1. Pet Hair Collection Basket

    Bissell Pet Hair Collector basket

    Bissell Pet Hair Collector basket (red)

    This feature is specific to Bissell branded carpet cleaner machines. It is a special filter feature that separates the pet hair out and prevents them from contaminating the water tank. The objective of the pet hair collector is to stop the pet hair from entering the dirty water tank.

    It works as intended, but doesn’t really add much to the functionality of a carpet cleaner. Without this collector basket, Bissell’s regular models have a lint screen to prevent debris like pet hair from entering the water tank.

    Some pet owners who have used this machine found that the pet hair does not make it up that far to be caught in the water tank. Instead, these users reported that most of the pet hair was getting stuck in the nozzle area. (Perhaps a tool to help remove pet hair from the nozzle would make more sense?)

    The pet hair collection basket is built into the cleaner itself and cannot be purchased and attached separately to the cleaner. Examples of a popular pet carpet cleaner machines with a hair collection basket is the Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Premier and Bissell DeepClean Deluxe 36Z9 Pet Carpet Cleaners.

  2. Pet Stain Removal Brushes and Tools

    These are special attachments and nozzles with brush-heads other features designed to clean out pet stains. An example of this is the Pet Stain Trapper tool from Bissell. As you can see from the picture, it has a collector for containing heavier wastes such as fecal matter or vomit. (Regardless, it’s best to scrape off as much of the mess as possible before using the tool.)

    Even if these attachments are not included in package, they can usually be purchased separately for use with the brand’s numerous other carpet cleaning machine models. For a package that already includes a pet stain cleaning tool, you may want to consider the Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Premier Pet package (included attachments change over time, so check before you purchase).

    The new Hoover Power Scrub Elite FH50251 pet carpet cleaner comes with a 2-in-1 pet stain tool. One has antimicrobial bristles for minimizing mold and mildew after cleaning. Another comes with tough rubber nubs instead of more malleable bristles.

  3. Pet Stains Cleaner Formulas/ Odor Removers

    Pet urine, stains and odor removal formulas or solutions are often packaged with pet carpet cleaners. These are usually offered as a small trial size bottle for consumers to try out. These pet carpet stains and odor cleaner are basically pet carpet cleaner formulas specially formulated to eliminate not only the pet stains but also the odors that come with them. Examples of these include the Hoover 2X PetPlus Pet Stain & Odor Remover and Rug Doctor Pet Care Carpet Cleaner Combo Pack.

    The Rug Doctor Pet carpet cleaner formula and urine eliminator formula sprays work are pro-enzymatic formulas that remove both stains and odors. These formulas are designed to work with Rug Doctor branded machines like the Rug Doctor Deep Cleaner for home users.

Best Pet Carpet Cleaner Machines

Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Premier Pet Upright Cleaner

Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Premier Pet Upright Cleaner The Bissell DeepClean 17N4 is an inexpensive all-in-one upright pet carpet cleaning machine package. With both a 12 inch cleaning path and a smaller pet stain cleaner tool accessory to tackle spots and stains, it is suitable for keeping the entire home’s carpets and rugs clean. This full-powered upright cleaner features a special pet hair collection basket that captures pet hair before it reaches the water tank. This feature differentiates it from other regular upright Bissell carpet cleaners.

It has a set of dual rotation DirtLifter brushes for pet hair lifting and collection. The package also features a deep reach pet tool. Finally, the heatwave feature keeps the cleaning water solution mix warm, which is perfect for dealing with pet urine and excrement stains. To learn more, read the full Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Pet Cleaner review >>

Bissell Spotbot Pet Deep Cleaner 33N8

Bissell Spotbot Pet Deep Cleaner 33N8 Many home users prefer the convenience of a small portable cleaner that can be toted around to clear up pet stains and remove bad odors on carpets on-the-go. The Bissell SpotBot is a small spot cleaner that does just that. Compared to the Bissell DeepClean 17N4 Premier Pet, the SpotBot is smaller, lighter and more convenient to bring out and use. The disadvantage is that it’s not an all-in-one cleaner that is suitable for both spots and large rooms.

One of the best features of this particular model is the automation option that allows you to leave the cleaner working unattended while you deal with other chores. As far as pet carpet cleaning is concerned, its spiral brushing action makes it one of the best models in the market. This ensures not only efficient focus on cleaning the spot, but also deep cleaning to remove the dirt off the carpet threads. To learn more, read the full Bissell Spotbot Pet Deep Cleaner 33N8 review >>

For additional pet carpet cleaner reviews, check out these 5 Best Pet Carpet Cleaners for Removing Pet Stains and Odors.

Pet Carpet Cleaners vs “Non-Pet” Carpet Cleaners

All good home carpet cleaner machines can be used for pet stains cleaning. Almost in every case, the “pet” label is there to due to packaging differences or minor feature differences, rather than an indication of major machine hardware design differences. The case example below illustrates this.



For best results, consider using pet cleaning formulas, which all major brands like Rug Doctor, Hoover and Bissell offer. You could add-on a “pet stain tool” accessory, but it may not be necessary.

The Difference Between a Pet and Non-pet Carpet Cleaner (case example)

For example, the Bissell Proheat 2X Revolution comes in both pet and non-pet packages. The “pet” model (eg. Bissell 1548) comes in a different color, but it’s the same machine as the “non-pet” model (eg. Bissell 1551) . The “pet” model comes packaged with an extra pet stain tool accessory. This can be separately purchased and used with the “non-pet” labeled machine.

Other Bissell models are labeled “pet cleaner” models because they come in a different color and are packaged with a pet stain tool accessory and/or they include a trial sized pet stain cleaner solution. These pet related extras can usually be purchased separately.

Brands Have Different Pet/Non-Pet Cleaners Naming Approaches

All three major brands for home users – Bissell, Hoover and Rug Doctor – have their own pet urine removal and/or odor removal solutions.

All three brands are highly rated by pet owners, but the use of the “pet” label is most actively pursued by Bissell. Hoover and Rug Doctor hardly, if ever, add a “pet” label to their machines even though their best-selling carpet cleaners deliver high level pet stains cleaning results (Eg.Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe and Rug Doctor Deep Cleaner). In contrast, shoppers will find that Bissell has a myriad of “pet” and “non-pet” model numbers and names even for the same underlying machine design. However, Hoover is also starting to jump on the “pet” label bandwagon. It’s newer Hoover Power Scrub FH50251 model is named the Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner.

If you are unsure as to whether the carpet cleaner model you are interested in will be good for a home with pets, take a look at a few user reviews. If it’s a good one for pet carpet cleaning, you should see more than a few users with pets giving their positive feedback. You can look at some of the best pet carpet cleaners listed on this site.

When it comes to function, both portable spot and larger upright deep cleaners are effective for pet carpet cleaning. Below are the four most common special features present in pet carpet cleaners and absent in most ordinary cleaners.

Standard Upright vs Portable Spot Models

With pet carpet cleaners machines, you can either have an upright unit or one that is compact and portable. Upright carpet cleaner units are easier to maneuver over bigger surfaces and are convenient to use for carpet cleaning a whole room or entire home. They also come with a hose attachment that can work with additional tools and smaller brush-heads for cleaning spots, stains and upholstery. An example is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner.

The portable and compact units on the other hand are smaller and lighter units, like the Bissell Spotbot. They are more convenient to bring out and use. With our busy day-to-day living and activities, it can often be the difference between getting a stain cleaned right away or waiting till the weekend for more energy to lug out and use a bigger machine. Despite the smaller size, the cleaning mechanisms on these spot units also ensure more thorough cleaning making them perfect for dealing with pet messes. An example is the Bissell SpotClean Pro 3624.


When dealing with pets, keeping a house clean – especially one that is carpeted – is a pretty difficult task. It is safe to say that every pet owner will likely enjoy much more pleasant carpets by investing in a good pet carpet cleaner machine. The information above should help you understand how they work and what to look out for in order to make a great choice and let the pet urine stains or bad odors go.

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Emmeline Chu