The Best Carpet Deodorizer Options in 2021 (Buyer’s Guide)
Carpeting is soft, absorbent, and subjected to frequent use by adults, children, and even pets, so it’s no wonder carpet becomes a catchall for stains and odors. With the traffic, spills, and worse (think pet urine), carpet can begin to smell quite unpleasant. Over time, the odors that emanate from the carpet can make the whole room smell “off.” Unlike sweaty clothing that you can toss in the washing machine, you have to treat carpet in place and that requires a good deodorizing product.
Carpet deodorizers come in a variety of types, including powders, foams, sprays, and concentrated liquids. But they have one goal—to neutralize bad odors in the carpet fibers, so your room smells fresh again. The best carpet deodorizer will eliminate disagreeable odors without damaging the carpet and will leave your room smelling fresh and clean.
- BEST OVERALL: Carpet Fresh 280129 Super Pet Carpet Odor Eliminator
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- UPGRADE PICK: Glade Carpet and Room Refresher
- BEST MACHINE SOLUTION: Hoover AH30330NF CleanPlus Concentrated Solution
- BEST 2-STEP DEODORIZER: Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner
- MOST ECO-FRIENDLY: Bodhi Dog Natural Dog Odor Carpet Powder
- BEST ENZYME DEODORIZER: Emmy’s Best Powerful Pet Odor Remover
- BEST FOAM-IN DEODORIZER: Febreze Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam
Types of Best Carpet Deodorizer
Carpet deodorizers come in three main types: powder, spray, and shampoo, and each applies a little bit differently. Most carpet deodorizing products are safe for use on all carpets.
Deodorizing the carpet with a powder product is the quickest way to freshen it up. Sprinkle the powder evenly over the carpet, let it remain for the time designated on the container, and then vacuum it up. Many powdered carpet deodorizers contain baking soda, which helps absorb odors and leaves a fresh fragrance behind. Powdered carpet deodorizers are typically used to freshen an entire carpet rather than for spot treating.
Spray deodorizers most often clean and freshen small areas, rather than an entire room of carpeting. In the case of a spill or a pet accident, the product’s instructions might suggest saturating the spot with the spray and then lightly scrubbing or patting with a dry towel to help draw some of the offensive liquid and potential stain out of the carpet.
Whether it’s applied with a carpet-cleaning machine or a spray-foam canister, carpet shampoo can help dislodge dirt and debris while neutralizing unpleasant odors. In the case that you’re using a carpet cleaning machine, you’ll add concentrated cleaning liquid to a water reservoir, and the machine will spray the liquid deep into the carpet and then suck the water back out through a wet-vacuuming process.
To apply a spray-foam shampoo, hold the canister upside down and spray the foam in even, sweeping layers. The product’s instructions may suggest either brushing or mopping the foam into the carpet and then allowing it to dry completely before vacuuming away the residue.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Carpet Deodorizer
Except for powder deodorizers, other carpet products are often cleaners first and deodorizers second, so consider the source of the odor before choosing a product. For the freshest, longest-lasting results, you might need to eradicate the underlying cause of the smell. For example, sprinkling powdered deodorizer over pet urine is unlikely to remove the problem since the urine has soaked the carpet pad and perhaps even the subflooring beneath. To get rid of that type of odor, you’ll have to use a liquid that absorbs beneath the top layer of carpeting and contains the ingredients needed to counteract the smell.
Carpet deodorizing products come in a host of fragrance choices, from soft floral to mint and even eucalyptus, so you can choose the scent you like best.
Some carpet deodorizing products contain antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients, which can be effective against odor-causing microorganisms in carpeting. These are found in carpet shampoo products intended for use in carpet cleaning machines and in sprays designed to thoroughly saturate areas of the carpet.
Type of Carpet
Most of today’s carpet deodorizing products are safe for use on all types of carpet. However, before using one, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small bit of carpet in an unseen area. This can help ensure the product won’t change the color or feel of the rug before applying it broadly. Powdered products containing baking soda are safe for use on most carpet types, but concentrated cleaning liquids (used in carpet cleaning machines) might be safe for one kind of carpeting but not another. If a product is not suitable for a specific type of carpet, the label will contain a warning to avoid its use on that type of carpet.
Our Top Picks
Carpet deodorizer products are designed to treat a range of odors, from cigarette smoke to lingering mustiness to smells left behind by pets. The best carpet deodorizer for your home will depend on the type of smell you’re trying to eradicate.
Carpet Fresh 280129 Super Pet Carpet Odor Eliminator is formulated to neutralize pet odors and other smells. This deodorizer sprays on as a quick-dry foam that rapidly penetrates carpet fibers to neutralize unwanted odors. Users just shake the can, and then spray the carpet lightly and evenly, with no mopping or blotting necessary. Carpet Fresh soaks in and removes most types of odors—even a strong pet urine scent—to leave the room fresh and smelling clean. Allow the carpet to dry, which usually takes less than an hour, and then vacuum to enjoy an odor-free room.
Some products can eliminate unwanted odors in carpet without costing a lot of money, such as this Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover. This product was designed to neutralize odors and eliminate up to 99.9 percent of bacteria, making it a good choice for pet urine, spillover from a leaky diaper, or even vomit stains. Woolite also removes the visible part of the spill, so no one should know it was there. To apply, simply spray the product on the carpet stain to thoroughly saturate it. Let the solution remain for one hour, and then blot residual dampness with a clean rag, and let the carpet air-dry. This affordable carpet deodorizer comes in a pack of two 22-ounce spray bottles.
While cleaning, enjoy the scent of a gentle tropical breeze with the Glade Carpet and Room Refresher. It deodorizes and leaves a mild, fresh scent behind. This powdered carpet deodorizer works to spot-freshen smelly spills in a single area or can be sprinkled over the entire carpet for a whole room pick-me-up. This product is designed for use on dry carpet. For spills, blot up first and let dry, vacuum to remove dirt and debris, and then sprinkle with the carpet and room refresher. Leave the powder on for a few minutes, and then vacuum again to remove excess. Some of the powder will work its way deep into the carpet fibers for long-lasting odor neutralizing.
For long-lasting deodorizing and cleaning, check out the Hoover AH30330NF CleanPlus Concentrated Solution Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer. This carpet deodorizer is designed for use in a Hoover carpet cleaning machine (or similar carpet cleaning machine) that forcefully sprays the solution deep into the carpet and then sucks out the excess. Before use, mix the solution at a ratio of 5 ounces of solution to every 1 gallon of water, and dispense it on the carpet following the machine’s instructions. Allow the carpet to dry completely before walking on it.
Getting strong odors and tough stains, such as spilled drinks, blood, vomit, or other liquids, out of carpet might require the 2-step process of Capture Carpet 4 lb Cleaner and Deodorizer. Before applying the dry powder, treat the area with Capture Pre-Mist (sold separately), which goes to work immediately to break down the spilled substance. After that, sprinkle on the Capture Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer powder, and work it into the area with a small sponge or brush. Let the area dry and then vacuum away the residue to reveal the clean and odor-free carpet beneath.
Those who have pets or kids are sure to have messes, but can worry less about toxic chemicals when they clean and deodorize carpet spills with Bodhi Dog Odor Natural Carpet Powder. This plant-based carpet powder removes odors and stains and is safe to use around kids and pets. It contains finely ground corn cobs and a proprietary blend of other natural ingredients. A little of this powder goes a long way to help eliminate cooking and pet odors, smoke smells, and even the heavy odors of sweat and mildew. Simply sprinkle the powder onto the spill, let it dry, and then vacuum it up.
Many carpet deodorizers neutralize the smell of animal urine, but Emmy’s Best Powerful Pet Odor Remover goes a step further. Animals often come back to the same spot to do their business because they can smell the residual odor of pheromones left behind in traces of urine. Emmy’s Best eliminates the scent so well that a pet shouldn’t know it’s had an accident in that spot before. The enzymes in this strong odor remover break down pheromones and other organic smells and leave behind the fresh scent of lavender. Apply the product by filling a spray bottle (not included) with the solution and saturating the area. After 10 minutes, place a clean white towel over the area, and set a heavy object on top. Leave the towel and object in place overnight. Then, in the morning, remove and vacuum the now-fresh carpet.
From Bissell comes Febreze Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam deodorizer and cleaner with Gain scent. The foam was formulated to eliminate carpet odors and leave an entire room smelling fresh and clean. The product should be sprayed on a just-vacuumed carpet (or small area) where it will foam up, making it easier to get uniform coverage. Before the foam dissipates, rub the carpet with a mop or a sponge, allow it to dry completely, and then vacuum the carpet. The Bissell Febreze carpet foam removes trapped odors such as smoke, sweat, and cooking smells and leaves the carpet soft and clean. The ingredients also help keep carpet fibers from absorbing future spills.
Tips for Using the Best Carpet Deodorizer
Light carpet odors often can be eliminated with an inexpensive powdered deodorizer. Still, if the carpet is dirty or stained, as well as smelly, you might want to go with a spray cleaner, foam, or carpet cleaning machine.
- Blot up spills and spots promptly to keep liquids from soaking beneath the carpeting.
- Vacuum thoroughly before using a carpet cleaning machine. Debris can clog the device and reduce its ability to suck the dirty water back out of the carpet.
- Apply a carpet cleaning or deodorizing product only as directed on the container’s label. Don’t mix two different types of cleaners, which can sometimes cause toxic fumes.
FAQs About Your New Best Carpet Deodorizer
If this is the first time you’ve deodorized or cleaned your carpet, you likely have a few questions.
What is the best way to remove a pet odor from a carpet?
As pet urine dries, it becomes more alkaline, and bacteria begin to grow, so tackle pet urine problems promptly. Use a dry cloth to get as much liquid out of the carpet as possible, and then apply a spray cleaner and deodorizer made for neutralizing pet urine odors. If the spot continues to smell, you might want to use a carpet cleaning machine.
Why does my carpet smell like dog pee after shampooing?
You might not have used a carpet shampoo that contains ingredients that will neutralize pet urine odors. Alternatively, the machine’s suction might not have been powerful enough to suck up the dirty water.
Do different types of carpets require different carpet deodorizers?
The deodorizing agents in a product are not what might harm certain types of carpet. The cleaning ingredients, however, could result in discoloration, shrinkage, or stretching. Each product is different, so you’ll have to read the label before use.