Pets are great companions and often add an element of fun and fulfillment to your home. But even the best-trained pets can have accidents. When that happens, you’re left with a mess that can haunt you for years to come.
So whether you’ve got a stubborn pet who likes to go potty on the carpet or you just want to have something handy for an inevitable accident, pet odor neutralizers are a must for all pet owners.
Since there are many brands and products on the market, finding the right one can be a daunting task. But have no fear! We’re here to help you find the best pet odor neutralizer for you and your unique situation.
- Do You Really Need a Pet Odor Neutralizer?
- Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Odor Neutralizers
- Top 12 Best Pet Odor Neutralizers 2022
- 1. Best Overall Odor Neutralizer: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator
- 2. Best Premium Odor Neutralizer: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
- 3. Best Budget Odor Neutralizer: Nature's Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- 4. Best Carpet Cleaning Machine Odor Neutralizer: Bissell Pet Pro Oxy Urine Eliminator
- 5. Best Lightly Scented Odor Neutralizer: Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- 6. Best Outdoor Odor Neutralizer: Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator for Pets
- 7. Best Organic Odor Neutralizer: Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle
- 8. Best Odor-Neutralizing Air Freshener: Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel
- 9. Best Hard Floor Odor Neutralizer: Simple Solution Hardfloor Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- 10. Best Odor-Neutralizing Candle: Pet Odor Exterminator Candle
- 11. Best Aerosol Odor Neutralizer: Big D Odor Control Fogger Aerosol
- 12. Most Gentle Odor Neutralizer: Mad Lemon Pet Odor Eliminator
- Everything You Need to Know About Pet Odor Neutralizers
- Wrapping Up
Do You Really Need a Pet Odor Neutralizer?
The first thing you should consider when shopping for an effective pet odor neutralizer is whether you actually need one or not. For accidents in the house, you may be able to take care of spots before they become problematic with a simple solution of water and vinegar, or vinegar and baking soda.
However, depending on what type of odor you’re tackling, this may prove insufficient. These home remedies may only work temporarily, and won’t eliminate all odor-causing compounds. This can leave you with faint lingering odors, which may encourage to re-soil old spots.
Also, using improper methods when treating stains and odors can cause them to chemically set into carpets and floors. Consequently, this may require you to seek professional help to remedy. To play it safe, you should consider a product that’s specifically designed to neutralize and eliminate pet odors and stains.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Odor Neutralizers
You might not realize it, but there are a huge number of considerations to make when choosing a good pet odor neutralizer. There are tons of reputable companies making high-quality products for many types of pet odors. Below are just some of the things you should account for when shopping for a pet odor neutralizer.
Types of Pet Odor Neutralizers
Besides countless brands and formulations of pet odor neutralizers, there’s also many types of neutralizers. We’ve covered this in more detail later in the guide, but here’s a brief rundown of the different types of neutralizing products we’ve found:
- Sprays: Neutralizing formula that comes pre-diluted in a spray bottle to directly spray odorous areas.
- Concentrates: Concentrated neutralizer formulas require you to mix with water before use.
- Carpet cleaner formulas: Formulated odor neutralizer solutions designed specifically for use in carpet cleaning machines.
- Aerosols: Odor neutralizing formulas that come from a pressurized aerosol can.
- Air fresheners: Passive fresheners made of gels and oils that work to neutralize odors in the air.
- Candles: Candles specifically formulated to neutralize intense pet odors in the air while they burn.
Oxidizing Agents vs Enzymes
While only one product on our list uses oxidizing agents, they’re fairly common in this type of product. Likewise, enzymes are common among pet odor neutralizers. However, the two generally aren’t compatible with one another, and offer distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared side-by-side.
We’ll cover this topic in our more detailed rundown later in the guide. For now, just know that enzymes are typically more effective as a long-term solution than oxidizing agents, while oxidizing agents handle stains exceptionally well and work quickly.
Since pet odor neutralizers are cleaning products, they may contain harmful chemicals that present a danger to your pets and other loved ones.
While harsh chemical ingredients are easy enough to spot and avoid, even natural ingredients can pose a threat to your pets. For example, citrus oils are toxic to cats and dogs, when they’re exposed to a concentrated dose. Likewise, there are many essential oils that can present a danger to your fur babies.
You should also keep an eye out for product certifications from the FDA, EPA, and other established institutions that work with companies to ensure they manufacture and sell safe and effective products.
Besides keeping your pets and family safe, it’s important to consider what type of surfaces you plan to clean. Some products work with all (water safe) surfaces, while others are specifically formulated for certain surfaces, such as carpets and hard floors. You’ll want to consider not only the ingredients but also the manufacturer’s label and warnings when determining which cleaners are suitable with certain surfaces.
Safety for your pets, families, and homes are an important quality in choosing a good pet odor neutralizer. Clearly, ingredients with big scientific names can indicate harmful ingredients that you should watch out for. But you should also keep in mind that not all ingredients are as harmful as their names seem to imply.
For instance, polysorbate 80 is a surfactant and emulsifying agent commonly used in food and cosmetic products, while tocopherol alpha is a form of vitamin E. Both are non-toxic and safe for use around your home.
Meanwhile, there’s a common conflation between the idea of natural substances and safety. While it’s true that natural ingredients are typically safer than man-made chemicals, not all natural ingredients mean safety. Things such as essential oils can prove fatally toxic for your pets.
With all of this in mind, let’s check out our top recommendations for the best pet odor neutralizers we’ve found.
Top 12 Best Pet Odor Neutralizers 2022
1. Best Overall Odor Neutralizer: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator
- Type: Spray
- Safety: Safe for pets and homes (chlorine-free, no hazardous propellants, and color safe)
- Ingredients: Enzymes, non-ionic surfactant, odor counteractant, opacifier
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces
The Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator is a superior pet odor neutralizer. The manufacturer believes that its product works so well, it offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, where you’re guaranteed a full refund if your stains and odors aren’t gone.
It also works with all surfaces, meaning you can use it on furniture, hardwood floors, litter boxes, and even laundry, for those pesky stains and odors.
Despite its exceptional cleaning power, it features a gentle formula guaranteed safe for all carpets. In fact, it works so well, it’s earned a seal of approval by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), a leading institution in the carpeting industry that “certifies superior carpet cleaning products, equipment, and service providers.”
One major downside of the Rocco & Roxie spray we’ve found is that it has a particularly strong fragrance. As with nearly all odor neutralizing products, the smell should fade when the solution dries. It also beats urine and fecal matter odors, but if you’re someone who has a strong sniffer and you don’t like floral and cleaning fragrances, then this product might not be for you.
Instead, we might suggest using something more lightly scented, such as the Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover. It doesn’t offer the same money-back guarantee that Rocco & Roxie offers, but it is a comparable product that is also certified by the CRI.
- Offers full refund if product doesn't work
- Works with all types of carpet
- Works for laundry
- Seal of approval by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Has a strong fragrance
- Type: Concentrate
- Safety: Biodegradable and non-toxic
- Ingredients: Natural orange oil
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces
Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator is an exceptional pet odor neutralizer that, as the bottle says “smells like heaven, works like hell.” And that’s what makes it special—it’s incredibly effective on just about any pet stain.
Angry Orange is an all-natural, non-toxic cleaner that meets the FDA’s “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) standards, a huge benefit if you’ve got children and worry about their exposure to harsh chemicals. It’s also biodegradable, making it eco-friendly. And since it’s a concentrate, it means that a little goes a long way, as you dilute the solution with water.
If you love the smell of oranges, then look no further: this cleaner has a very strong citrus smell that will surely overpower any pet odor as it works to eliminate odor-causing compounds. However if you’re a person who’s sensitive to smells, you might want to look elsewhere. And while you might be tempted to use this stuff in your carpet or upholstery cleaner, you should take extra precautions when using this cleaner.
Concentrated orange oil has the capability of dissolving polystyrene, a common consumer-grade plastic that may make up components of machine cleaners, such as tanks and hoses. With this in mind, if you want to try it in a machine cleaner, be sure that you properly dilute the formula and immediately clean the tank and hose after use.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a good carpet cleaner-specific formula to eliminate stains and odors, you might want to consider something like the Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula. It’s only compatible with upright carpet cleaners and only works with carpets, but it will also ensure you won’t damage your machine.
Finally, you should be cautious using Angry Orange around your pets. The company claims it’s non-toxic and safe to use around pets. However, orange oil is toxic for both cats and dogs when ingested. Since many cleaners are toxic when ingested, this isn’t necessarily a concern specific to this product, but it is worth mentioning given the company’s statements about being natural and pet-friendly. For more on this, see our section on using pet odor neutralizers around pets.
- A little goes a long way
- Eco and home-friendly
- Meets FDA-GRAS standards
- Strong citrus smell that will freshen any odorous area
- Overwhelming smell for sensitive people
- Can damage carpet/upholstery cleaners
- Precaution necessary around pets
3. Best Budget Odor Neutralizer: Nature's Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- Type: Foam aerosol
- Safety: Safe for your pets and home
- Ingredients: Enzyme blend, surfactants, isopropyl alcohol, fragrance, odor counteractant, preservative
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces (except untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk, and wool)
For budget-oriented pet owners, Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover is a miracle, coming at a lower price than many other neutralizers on this list. Made by a reputable pet odor neutralizer company, it comes in an aerosol can and sprays foam, allowing it to penetrate deeply into carpet and other fabrics to combat even the oldest of stains and odors.
Nature’s Miracle offers a money-back guarantee, adding to the assurance of the effectiveness of this product. And to tackle the worst messes, there are multiple varieties of specially formulated sprays for both cats and dogs meant to tackle tough stains and odors, as well as discouraging remarking of old spots.
Perhaps the weakest point of this neutralizer is that it features a harsh chemical smell. This is likely due to the use of isopropyl alcohol. But given that it’s meant to tackle harsh odors, it’s a trade-off worth contending with, especially if you’re on a budget and desperate to find a solution to pet odor problems that simple DIY methods won’t fix.
It’s also worth mentioning that this product is not intended for use on untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk or wool. There are a number of other odor neutralizers that won’t work on these surfaces, and regardless of what the manufacturer states, you should always do a test spray in an inconspicuous spot of the surface you’re treating before tackling the mess you’re trying to clean.
- Penetrates deep into carpets
- Money-back guarantee
- Specific formulas for cats and dogs
- Harsh chemical smell
- Not suitable for untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk or wool
4. Best Carpet Cleaning Machine Odor Neutralizer: Bissell Pet Pro Oxy Urine Eliminator
- Type: Carpet cleaner formula
- Safety: Eco-friendly formula, safe to use around kids and pets
- Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide, surfactants, silicone defoamer, citric acid, sodium citrate, acrylic polymer, sodium polyacrylate, fragrance
- Surfaces: Carpet
The Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula from Bissell is the only pet odor neutralizer on this list that is specific to carpet cleaning machines. It’s also the only neutralizer that contains hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing agent that works well to quash tough stains and odors.
This is a huge plus if you’re in the market for a good pet odor neutralizer that works with carpet cleaners, as it’s the only one on the list specifically formulated for this purpose. It’s formulated specifically for pet messes, made with biodegradable detergents and was given the “Safer Choice” label from the EPA.
Unfortunately, it also means it has a rather limited use. This means if your dog soils your couch, you’re going to need something else if your carpet cleaner doesn’t have a hose attachment. While you might be tempted to use it in a portable upholstery cleaner, the manufacturer specifically states that this formula is only for use in upright carpet cleaners.
In addition to its limited use outside of carpet cleaning machines, it does not contain enzymes. Since enzymes take time to work, simply spraying them on the carpet and then sucking them up would be ineffective anyway.
But while oxidation from peroxide chemically alters the coloration in stains and will tackle general odors, enzymatic formulas such as Rocco & Roxie Supply Odor Eliminator work better at breaking down organic components than peroxide in pet messes.
We’ve written in more detail about this below. Frankly, a combination of an enzymatic cleaner and this formula would serve as a great 1-2 punch against stubborn stains and odors in carpets if you have a carpet cleaning machine.
- Given "Safer Choice" label from the EPA
- Made with biodegradable detergents
- Formulated for pet messes
- Contains hydrogen peroxide
- Only for upright carpet cleaners
- Doesn't contain enzymes
5. Best Lightly Scented Odor Neutralizer: Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- Type: Spray
- Safety: Safe to use around children and pets
- Ingredients: Denatured ethanol, non-pathogenic bacteria, natural enzymes, mild detergent, fragrance
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces
If you have a sensitive nose, it can be difficult to find a good pet odor neutralizer that doesn’t have an overwhelming scent. Fortunately, the Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover from Simple Solution offers a solution. With its rather light scent, it’s a suitable alternative to other pet odor neutralizers which often have strong fragrances that work to freshen odors while the formulas break down odor-causing components.
The Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover is a concentrated formula that’s ready to use straight out of the bottle. This means it has the benefits of a concentrate, but doesn’t require you to mix or dilute it for use. The one-gallon variant also comes with an easy-pour cap that delivers the formula in a stream. This makes it easy for you to make targeted applications or refill spray bottles without messes.
Along with a gentle scent, this neutralizer is gentle on your carpets and upholstery, earning it a stamp of approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute. That said, the manufacturer states that it’s not intended for use on wool and leather, so keep this in mind if you have wool carpeting or leather furniture. And as always, remember to test the product on a small area before tackling a larger area to ensure you don’t ruin your floor, carpet, or furniture.
- Light scent
- Easy pour cap (for 1 gallon size)
- Concentrated formula with no mixing
- Carpet and Rug Institute approved
- Not suitable for wool and leather
6. Best Outdoor Odor Neutralizer: Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator for Pets
- Type: Spray
- Safety: Orally non-toxic formula
- Ingredients: Enzyme blend, sodium laureth sulfate, opacifier, sodium saccharin, fragrance
- Surfaces: Outdoor surfaces
Whether you’ve got a small yard and lots of pets, artificial turf, or even roaming neighborhood cats, pet smells can present a problem, even outside. Simple Green’s Outdoor Odor Eliminator is a great solution to mitigate foul outdoor pet smells.
It’s safe for use on both natural and artificial grass, as well as other outdoor surfaces. It’s also safe for your pets, made with an orally non-toxic formula. This is a great safeguard against accidentally poisoning pets and other animals that may enter your yard.
To make applying it easy, Simple Green gives you two bottles: a large bottle that holds the neutralizer, and a smaller spray-style bottle with a hose attachment. You simply add an appropriate amount of solution to the bottle, attach it to your hose and turn it on.
The water mixes with the solution and sprays the water from the other end of the bottle. Additionally, it comes with a valve near the sprayer end so you can easily start and stop water flow without having to adjust water flow at the spigot.
While this neutralizer is safe for all outdoor surfaces, it’s not meant for use indoors. That means if you want to tackle outdoor and indoor odors, you’ll want to consider another product. We recommend the Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator, which is useful for both indoors and outdoors. Angry Orange also has the additional benefit of being a repellent for pesky feral and neighborhood cats, but unlike the Simple Green formula, it is orally toxic to cats and dogs and doesn’t come with the nifty hose sprayer bottle.
- Safe for use on grass and other outdoor surfaces
- Comes with a unique hose attachment bottle
- Orally non-toxic means it's pet safe
- Not for indoor use
7. Best Organic Odor Neutralizer: Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle
- Type: Spray
- Safety: Non-toxic, non-GMO, and non-hazardous
- Ingredients: Enzyme blend, nonionic surfactant, fragrance (essential oils), opacifier
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces
If you’re looking for an organic pet odor neutralizer that’s non-GMO and non-toxic, look no further. The Sunny & Hunny Pet Stain & Odor Miracle is a great odor neutralizer that works with all surfaces, including laundry. It also comes in a variety of fragrances, a luxury many other pet odor neutralizers don’t afford.
This neutralizer is also Leaping Bunny Certified by the internationally renowned Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. Leaping Bunny Certified means the company passes a rigorous set of Leaping Bunny standards in producing cruelty-free products that are pet-friendly. If you’re environmentally conscious or simply worry for the safety of animals worldwide, this neutralizer offers peace of mind.
The only major drawback we see with Sunny & Hunny’s neutralizer is that it’s significantly more expensive than other products, such as Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover. While Nature’s Miracle’s offering might work just as effectively on stains and odors, it’s not Leaping Bunny Certified and has a harsh chemical smell that Sunny & Hunny’s does not.
- Usable with laundry
- Comes in multiple fragrances
- All-natural, non-GMO, and non-toxic
- Leaping Bunny Certified (cruelty-free)
- More expensive than comparable products
8. Best Odor-Neutralizing Air Freshener: Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel
- Type: Air Freshener
- Safety: Non-toxic, non-GMO, and non-hazardous
- Ingredients: Lime, pine, cedarwood, anise, and clove oils, potassium acrylate acrylamide, sorbitan oleate, polysorbate 80, tocopherol alpha, and proprietary preservatives
- Surfaces: Air
So far we’ve covered a lot of pet odor neutralizers that attack odors at the source. Many of them, like Simple Solution’s Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover, are great for accidents and routine pet area cleaning. However, sometimes you have recurring odors that aren’t as easy to keep fresh, such as litter boxes. That’s where air fresheners like the Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel come into play.
Fresh Wave’s air fresheners are made with all-natural ingredients, and last longer than other similar air fresheners. While other air fresheners from leading brands like Febreeze may only last for 45 days, Fresh Wave’s lasts for 60 days. And you can rest easy knowing that this product is safe and free of harsh chemicals, as it was given the “Safer Choice” label from the EPA.
Since this odor neutralizer is natural, it consists of strong plant oils that attack odors in the air and leave a nice fragrance in their wake. They’re even powerful enough to tackle cooking and smoke odors as well as pet odors. And you can even take the gel out of the container and put it in another container from which the gel can evaporate. This is an added bonus if you’re picky about your home’s interior design.
The biggest problem with this odor neutralizer is that it won’t attack the odors at the source. If, for example, you’ve got old cat accidents on carpet that wasn’t properly cleaned, then using this neutralizer to address the smell that’s come back years later is simply slapping a band-aid on a much deeper problem. Of course, this isn’t an issue unique to this product, but rather a drawback of air fresheners.
But for use-cases such as taming odors from litter boxes and pet carriers between routine cleanings, this product is an exceptional neutralizer that will help keep your home smelling fresh.
- All-natural ingredients
- Lasts longer than other air fresheners
- Given "Safer Choice" label from the EPA
- Strong enough to tackle many kinds of strong odors
- Option to easily put gel in other containers
- Does not address source of odors
9. Best Hard Floor Odor Neutralizer: Simple Solution Hardfloor Pet Stain & Odor Remover
- Type: Spray
- Safety: Safe to use around children and pets
- Ingredients: Isopropyl alcohol, mild detergent blend, natural citrus oil and fragrance
- Surfaces: Hard floors (except untreated and unsealed hardwood floors)
Many pet odor neutralizers claim to be safe for all surfaces. But if you have expensive hardwood or other hard floors, and you want total assurance that you’re getting a product that won’t damage them, then the Simple Solution Hardfloor Pet Stain & Odor Remover is the product for you. It’s made especially for hard floors, and just as its Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover counterpart, it doesn’t have a terribly strong smell that other odor neutralizers may have.
It’s competitively priced with other odor neutralizers, so you won’t be looking at breaking the bank buying this stuff. And its patented 3-in-1 sprayer nozzle gives you options in how you want to tackle odors (mist, stream, or foam).
Because it’s designed for hard floors, it means won’t be using this on carpets, upholstery, or other fabrics. You should also exercise caution with this product on untreated or unsealed wood floors, as it can cause damage to the wood.
Generally this is the case with liquids, so it’s not a flaw with the product itself, but it’s still worth mentioning that the manufacturer explicitly warns against this in case you have floors like this and want to use the neutralizer for them.
Other than its incompatibility with fabrics, it’s a great neutralizer and the only one on this list specifically formulated for hard floors of all types.
- Made specifically for hard floors
- Versatile 3-in-1 sprayer nozzle
- Competitively priced
- Unsuitable for carpet and fabrics
10. Best Odor-Neutralizing Candle: Pet Odor Exterminator Candle
- Type: Candle
- Safety: Potential fire hazard (otherwise safe)
- Ingredients: Enzymes, paraffin, soy
- Surfaces: Air
If you’ve got pets and you’re the type of person that likes to burn candles, then you should really consider using the Pet Odor Exterminator Candle. Coming in many scents, these candles are a great alternative to passive air fresheners that will leave your house smelling fresh. That’s because as the candle burns, it releases enzymes into the air to attack odors instead of merely covering them up.
Not only does it work with pet odors, but it also works to tackle smoke and other household odors as well. At 13 ounces for each candle, Exterminator Candle claims that each candle lasts for 70 hours of burning time. Burning one of these for an hour a day, every day, a single candle will last over 2 months.
Like their passive air freshener counterparts, they don’t address the source of odors. These candles are also more expensive than air fresheners such as the Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel, but they also allow for greater control over when you use them than air fresheners. This can be good or bad, depending on your needs.
If you want to keep your home smelling good while you’re away, so you come home to a pleasant-smelling place, then this might not be for you. Since they’re candles, you’ll have to light them for them to work. However, if you like burning candles and have odorous pets, then this is a perfect product for you.
- Available in many scents
- Works for up to 70 hours of burning
- Suitable for many types of odors
- Does not work passively
- Presents a fire hazard
- More expensive than air fresheners
11. Best Aerosol Odor Neutralizer: Big D Odor Control Fogger Aerosol
- Type: Aerosol
- Safety: May be toxic from direct exposure/ingestion
- Ingredients: Acetone, n-butane, propane, other (unlisted ingredients)
- Surfaces: Air
The last aerosol product we mentioned, Nature’s Miracle, was a bit of a tease, wasn’t it? It’s an aerosol product, but the Big D Odor Control Fogger Aerosol is a true-blue aerosol product, rather than foam in a can. As such, it’s capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize odors, making it a great product for lingering pet odors that have absorbed into the room’s walls, floors, and furniture.
This neutralizer from Big D works either manually for spot spraying, or automatically to fumigate an entire room with the aerosol solution. For fumigation, it works a lot like “bug bombs” do, but for odors instead of pests.
That means you’ll have to clear any people, pets and plants from the room or home prior to fumigation. You’ll also want to abstain from entering the area for a while, as well as opening doors and windows afterward to properly ventilate any lingering aerosol and the intense smell in the air.
The Big D Odor Control Fogger is an extremely effective means of odor control, but it might be best left as a last resort, unless you plan to use it for spot spraying. It has harsher ingredients than other pet odor neutralizers, as well as a much stronger smell than even the highly potent Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator.
However, the Big D neutralizer is simpler and more effective at covering large spaces in a short time than any other neutralizer on this list. It should also be safe to use with furniture in the room, but if you’re particularly worried, you could cover or remove any furniture you want to keep pristine.
With its high effectiveness, versatility, and ease of use, it’s certainly a worthy consideration for spot spraying and deep odor problems.
- Works manually or automatically
- Penetrates surfaces and hard-to-reach places to neutralize odors
- Effectively neutralizes lingering odors
- Cannot use around people, pets, or plants
- Harsher ingredients than other odor neutralizers
- Very strong smell
12. Most Gentle Odor Neutralizer: Mad Lemon Pet Odor Eliminator
- Type: Concentrate
- Safety: Non-toxic
- Surfaces: All water-safe surfaces
- Ingredients: Alcohol C12-C16 (ethoxylated), 2-propanol, fragrance, other unlisted
We’re sorry to tell you this, but Mad Lemon Pet Odor Eliminator is not an alternative product made by the same company as the Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator. Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about Mad Lemon for a minute.
Mad Lemon Company’s ”inspired” lemon concentrate looks to fill the gap in the citrus-scented pet odor neutralizer market. Their disgruntled lemon to the enraged orange near the top of our list, it’s not quite as strong and effective as Angry Orange’s odor eliminator. But it also has a more forgiving scent, at least in terms of its intensity – by the time it’s dry, the smell should be all but non-existent.
Since it’s a concentrate, it offers the advantage of allowing you to customize the strength of the solution, allowing you to mix an extra punchy concoction for stubborn odors. Also, since it’s not a pure orange oil concentrate, nor is it an enzymatic formula, it is presumably safer and more effective in carpet and upholstery cleaners than other similar products on this list.
However, the ingredients list is rather vague, with some ingredients present in amounts less than required reportable levels. If you use it in a machine cleaner, be sure to take the proper precaution by thoroughly washing the tank and hose after use.
This is to ensure nothing in the formula has a chance to damage plastic and rubber pieces in your machine, since it isn’t explicitly sold as a carpet/upholstery cleaning formula. You should also be sure to take the necessary precautions around your pets before and after cleaning with this grumpy lemon juice.
If the idea of using a concentrated neutralizer is appealing to you, but you don’t want to drop an orange oil nuke inside your house, then you might want to consider going with the less potent Mad Lemon Pet Odor Eliminator.
- Smell isn't as intense as other citrus concentrates
- You can customize strength for tougher odors
- May work in carpet/upholstery cleaning machines
- Not as powerful as comparable concentrates
- Ingredients list is rather vague
Everything You Need to Know About Pet Odor Neutralizers
Types of Pet Odor Neutralizers
The right type of odor neutralizer for you can vary quite a lot depending upon the type of mess you’re hoping to deal with and a few other factors
Odor neutralizer sprays are solutions that come ready-made and ready to use. If you like simplicity, then choosing a good spray, such as the Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator, will help you effectively tackle odor spots. Sprays often come packed with enzymes to help fight odor-causing compounds and will work on most surfaces, as per the formula’s instructions.
Concentrates are concentrated formulas that require dilution and mixing with water before use. Concentrates offer a flexibility that other types of pet odor neutralizers don’t, allowing you to customize the strength of the resulting solution by adding more concentrate or less water.
This can make them more effective for stubborn stains and odors that normal sprays just won’t work on. Some concentrates, like the Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator, are extremely potent and smell great. However, it also means that you’re going to have to take additional steps in properly mixing the formula.
You’ll want to avoid using pure concentrate on odors, as some concentrates are toxic to pets in high concentrations. They may also cause damage to the surface you’re applying them to when applied at high concentrations.
Finally, if you want to use a concentrate in a machine cleaner, be sure to take precautions. The Mad Lemon Pet Odor Eliminator seems to be the safest concentrate we’ve found for this purpose. But you should always take necessary precautions to avoid damaging your expensive machine cleaners.
Carpet Cleaner Formulas
Made specifically for carpet cleaning machines, these are a great solution if you don’t want to risk damaging your carpet cleaner. Good carpet cleaning odor neutralizers, such as the Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula, are great at cleaning pet stains and tackling tough odors.
Since they’re designed for carpet cleaners, it means that they’re rather limited in their potential scope of uses. If you’d like to use a carpet cleaner to tackle odors in carpets, then we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner, such as the Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover, to pre-treat before using a carpet cleaner, in order to utilize the benefits of both enzymes and carpet-specific cleaning formulas.
Pet odor neutralizer aerosols are, as the name implies, an aerosol spray in a can. The solution comes out of the can in the form of either a foam, as in the case of the Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover, or an aerosol spray that mists in the air, such as the Big D Odor Control Fogger Aerosol.
Air fresheners are passive containers containing the odor neutralizer formula. They are meant to slowly evaporate into the air and tackle odors that permeate in the surrounding area.
Air fresheners don’t attack the odor at the source, making them unsuitable for odors caused by pet accidents throughout your home. Rather, they’re great for recurring odors caused by pets that would otherwise require constant cleaning, such as litter boxes and pet carriers.
Of course, they’re no substitute for routine cleaning. But unless you’ve got the wherewithal to clean your cat’s litter box multiple times a day to prevent lingering odors, then air fresheners like the Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel are a great intermediate option between constant cleaning and having foul odors permeating throughout your home.
Pet odor neutralizer candles are a great option to keep odors under control, and they add a great ambiance to your home. Candles work like air fresheners in that they don’t attack odors at the source, but rather eliminate odors in the air.
While regular candles may simply cover the smell, some candles, such as the Pet Odor Exterminator Candle, contain enzymes that will eliminate these bacteria. As the wax melts and slowly evaporates into the air, the ingredients in odor neutralizer candles will work to neutralize odors throughout the area, leaving behind a fresh scent.
Since candles require lighting, they’re not great for tackling odors when you’re not home. They also present a fire hazard that other neutralizers don’t. Still, they’re a great way to remove recurring odors, and are especially a great solution if you like burning candles.
Oxidizing Agents vs. Enzymes: Which One Should You Choose?
Oxidizing agents are chemicals that deliver oxygen to bond with organic materials to break them down. However, oxidizing agents cannot effectively break down all organic materials that cause odors.
For example, a compound that oxidizing agents can’t break down is uric acid, which is found in urine. As a result, treating a urine-stained carpet with an oxidizer can lift the stain and eliminate microbial activity that causes its initial odor. Uric acid will also lose its smell when it dries, but as soon as it’s exposed to sufficient humidity, the uric acid will cause the old odors to return.
Enzymes, on the other hand, effectively break down organic materials like uric acid. The bacteria and enzymes in a good pet odor neutralizer will work to break down odor-causing compounds by turning them into a gaseous form, allowing them to dissipate into the air.
The caveat with enzymes is that they take longer to work. This is because unlike oxidizing agents, which work on contact, enzymes need time to break down odor-causing compounds. They can take hours, days, or weeks, depending on the enzyme concentration and the amount of compounds there are to break down.
This makes oxidizing agents such as Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator more effective for quick and short-term solutions, while enzyme-based odor eliminators like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator work for bigger and more long-term odors that have found their way into your floors and carpet padding.
As we’ve mentioned before, a great idea to combat stubborn odors in carpets is to utilize an enzymatic formula and an oxidizing carpet cleaner. This way, you can utilize the full range of benefits of enzymes and oxidation to eliminate the toughest odors and stains.
Tips for Getting Rid of Pet Odors
The label on the pet odor neutralizer you choose should have all the information you need to effectively use it. However, it’s easy to overlook and forget simple precautions that could save you from a big headache caused by dealing with funky odors. That’s why we’re here to offer tips and simple reminders when choosing and using them.
Spot Test First
Will pet odor neutralizer products stain or damage your floor, carpet, or furniture? They might. That’s why it’s best to test them on a small inconspicuous area first. Even when a product says it’s safe for all surfaces, it’s important to do a small test spray, to ensure you’re not going to ruin your carpet or your favorite recliner.
When you go in with guns blazing, you run the risk of damaging the area you’re applying the solution to. When testing, ideally you should wait 24 hours after your test spray to monitor for adverse effects on the surface. You’ll especially want to do a test spray on delicate and expensive fabrics, such as silk, suede, wool, and leather.
Alternatively, if you’re unwilling to risk damage to your flooring, you can choose to use a candle or air-freshening gel-based pet odor eliminator—just keep in mind that they’re not typically as effective, so you might want to reconsider if you’re dealing with a particularly stinky mess.
Keeping Enzyme Formulas Moist
In order for enzymatic neutralizers to start working, they have to stay moist. This allows the bacteria to survive and reach the organic compounds they’re supposed to break down. While indoor treatments should naturally stay moist long enough to reach these compounds, outdoor treatments make this more tricky.
For example, if you’re using the Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator, you should avoid treating odors during the day. Instead, you’ll want to tackle them at sunset so the enzymes can work overnight to neutralize odor-causing compounds. This will prevent sunlight and high day-time temperatures from killing or evaporating the enzymes before they work.
Using Odor Neutralizers in Carpet/Upholstery Cleaners
You might be tempted to use a pet odor neutralizer in your carpet or upholstery cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about them before you go adding them to your expensive cleaning machines.
First, some pet odor neutralizers can cause serious damage to your cleaning machines. Products like Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator are all-natural, making them seem harmless enough. But since it’s concentrated orange oil, it can eat away at plastic parts in high concentrations.
As such, you’ll want to either avoid using it in a cleaning machine altogether, or at least ensure you’ve properly diluted the product. You’ll also want to immediately discard any leftover solution in the tank, and clean the tank and hose thoroughly.
Other neutralizers, such as enzymatic formulas, like the Sunny & Hunny Pet Stain and Odor Miracle, should be perfectly safe to use in machine cleaners. However, because these formulas use enzymes to break down stains and odors, using a carpet or upholstery cleaner could render the solution wholly ineffective. This is for two primary reasons.
First, many carpet and upholstery cleaners use hot water to help lift dirt and other unwanted particles from the carpet. The high temperatures may kill the enzymes before they’re able to neutralize the odor-causing compounds. Also, by putting them in a cleaning machine, you’re simply putting down the solution and sucking it right back up, largely diminishing the effectiveness of the enzymes.
For carpet cleaners, you’re best off using a product made for machines, such as the Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula. You can even use an enzyme neutralizer to pre-treat the odor, and hit it with the Bissell formula in your carpet cleaner to get the area truly clean.
Fighting Heavy Fragrances
The odors from pet odor neutralizing formulas are often strong floral, citrus, or “cleaning chemical” fragrances that are meant to cover or replace foul odors while enzymes and other ingredients work to eliminate odors. For most people, this isn’t often a problem.
But if you’re someone with a highly sensitive sense of smell, this can present a huge headache-inducing problem. You can try a lightly scented product, such as the Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover, but even that might be too strongly scented for you.
If that’s the case, you can sprinkle baking soda on or around the stain while the neutralizer works. The baking soda can help absorb some of the fragrance in the neutralizer. Leave the baking soda to sit for a while, and sweep or vacuum it up when you feel it’s adequately absorbed the odors.
Combining baking soda with proper ventilation in the affected room will help dissipate fragrances and lessen the severity of the smell. Hopefully, this will help you to avoid suffocating in the aroma of your chosen pet odor neutralizer.
Using Pet Odor Neutralizers Around Pets
Since vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide aren’t the most effective means of eliminating tough pet odors, you’ll likely have to resort to using pet odor neutralizers to take care of stubborn pet odors. But these products may contain harmful ingredients that could hurt your pets or family. Even natural solutions can prove harmful to your pets.
Unsafe Essential Oils
A perfect example of the conflation between natural products and safety, there are many essential oils that are unsafe for cats, dogs, and other animals. Essential oils such as pine, tea tree, and wintergreen oils (as well as citrus oils), can pose a serious threat to your animal’s health, particularly when exposed to concentrated oils.
Since many natural products use essential oils for fragrance, it’s important to keep this in mind. In most odor neutralizers, harmful oils only make up a small part of the overall solution, making them less dangerous. Nevertheless, it’s best to take precautions with your animals around these products.
Keep Neutralizers Away From Pets
When using a pet odor neutralizer, you’ll want to make sure that your pets are in a different area than the cleaning solution. Whether that means locking your cats up in a different room, or letting your dogs outside while you tackle odorous spots, it’s imperative to keep your pets far away from the fresh odor neutralizers. Even after a spot is dry, you’ll want to carefully monitor your pets in areas that have been cleaned.
We’ve covered a lot of different types of pet odor neutralizers, things to watch out for, and general tips on using them effectively. They’re great for helping to keep your home smelling fresh, free from unwanted stains, and helpful in discouraging repeated markings on floors and furniture.
The next time fluffy has an accident on your favorite rug, you’ll be happy you decided to pick a good pet odor neutralizer.