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Does Carpet Cleaning Really Work for Eliminating Pet Odors?

dog on a carpet

Pets are a treasured addition to any household. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or any other furry friend, they bring joy, companionship, and comfort to our daily lives. However, with pets come inevitable messes, including urine, feces, and vomit, which can leave behind unpleasant odors. 

These odors not only create an unpleasant living environment but can also be harmful to the health of both pets and humans. This article will explore whether carpet cleaning can effectively remove pet odors.

Understanding Pet Odors

Before diving into the effectiveness of carpet cleaning, it’s essential to understand pet odors. Pet urine, feces, and vomit contain various biological components, including proteins, enzymes, and bacteria. When these components interact with the air, they release an unpleasant odor that can linger for an extended period, even after cleaning.

Pet urine, in particular, is a challenging odor to remove. It contains uric acid, which can form crystals that bond tightly to carpet fibers. Even after cleaning, these crystals can remain and emit an unpleasant smell.

Can Carpet Cleaning Remove Pet Odors?

Carpet or rug cleaning can effectively remove pet odors, but it depends on the severity of the odor and the cleaning method used. Here are some methods commonly used for pet odor removal:

1. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning, or hot water extraction, is famous for removing pet odors. This method involves using hot water and a cleaning solution to penetrate deep into the carpet fibers, breaking down and removing dirt, stains, and odors.

One of the advantages of steam cleaning is that it can kill bacteria and mold that may be causing the odor. The water’s high temperature and the machine’s suction power can effectively remove pet urine, feces, and vomit stains and odors.

2. Enzyme Cleaners

These cleaners contain natural enzymes that break down the proteins and bacteria in pet urine, feces, and vomit, neutralizing the odor. Enzyme cleaners are typically sprayed onto the affected area and left to sit for a specified time, allowing the enzymes to work their magic. Afterward, the area is blotted with a clean cloth or vacuumed to remove any remaining residue.

3. Odor Neutralizers

As products specifically designed to neutralize pet odors, these contain chemicals that react with the odor-causing molecules, breaking them down and rendering them odorless. While odor neutralizers may not altogether remove the source of the odor, they can effectively mask it, making it less noticeable.

Factors that Affect Pet Odor Removal

While carpet cleaning methods can effectively remove pet odors, several factors can affect the success of the cleaning process. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Severity of the Odor

The severity of the pet odor is one of the most significant factors in determining whether carpet cleaning can effectively remove it. If the odor is relatively mild, a simple cleaning may suffice. However, the severe odor may require multiple cleanings or professional-grade equipment to remove entirely.

2. Age of the Stain

If the stain is relatively new, it may be easier to remove than an older, set-in stain. Older stains may require more aggressive cleaning methods to remove the odor entirely.

3. Type of Carpet

Some carpets are more absorbent than others, which can make it more challenging to remove pet odors. Additionally, some carpets may be more sensitive to specific cleaning methods, which can cause damage or discoloration.

4. Professional vs. DIY Cleaning

Finally, whether you hire a professional carpet cleaner or do it yourself can affect the success of pet odor removal. Professional cleaners have access to high-quality equipment and cleaning solutions that can effectively remove pet odors. Additionally, professional carpet restoration companies have the expertise to identify the best cleaning method for your situation.


Proper cleaning and regular maintenance can help reduce the risk of pet odors and urine build-up and keep your carpets looking and smelling fresh and clean. With the right approach and assistance from expert cleaners, your carpets can remain free of pet odors and urine.

A&M is a carpet cleaning and flood response company with over 19 years of experience. Our pet odor and urine removal services are designed to eliminate even the toughest stains and odors from your carpets. We use top-of-the-line equipment and cleaning solutions that are safe for your pets and family, and our team of experienced technicians will work tirelessly to ensure that your carpets look and smell fresh and clean. Contact us today if you need carpet cleaning services! 

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