Back when I was a kid, our German shepherds stayed outside a lot. They had a huge, grassy backyard and each other for company, and we played with them all the time. When it rained, they curled up in their dog houses. When the blizzards and sub-zero temperatures hit Montana, they came inside — but only to the laundry room, where their jumbo-sized Costco beds awaited them (they slept there most nights, too). The reason they weren’t really allowed beyond the laundry room?
Dog hair. If you have German shepherds or almost any dog, you know that sometimes, fur comes off your pup. But in spring and late summer, the shed is real. It’s no fun to constantly be covered in dog hair, shedding it yourself every time you get in the car or go to work. Thankfully, pet carpet cleaners are made to help you manage shedding, dog hair, dog vomit, dog poop, dog pee, and pretty much any other dog-related mess you can think of.
While there are several pet carpet cleaners on the market, my heart belongs to one. This post will be a review of my favorite carpet cleaner of all time, with a few honorable mentions towards the end of the article.
Why we needed a pet carpet cleaner
Unlike my when I was a kid, my husband and I decided we didn’t mind dog hair too much. We wanted Eira to hang out with us indoors and be reliably potty trained. But a few months after we got her, I got fed up with the hair stuck in the couch and carpet. The poop stains on our brand-new carpet that just would not come out no matter what I tried. And I didn’t even want to think about the pee Eira had snuck onto the carpeted bedroom floors! While I’d tried to thoroughly clean the carpets each time Eira had a potty accident, I knew that poop and pee particles still lingered. The thought was too much to handle.
To make matters worse, my then-two-year-old got the stomach flu one week and vomited everywhere. Carpet. Couch. Mattress. You name it, he was sick on it. By the time he got better, I felt like my house was drowning in dog poop and pee and toddler vomit.
So when my husband saw a carpet cleaner for sale at Costco, I knew I had to get it. The price tag was somewhat hefty, but I needed something that would give my carpets, couches, and mattresses a deep and thorough clean.
Later that day, my new Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Full Size Upright Carpet Cleaner came home to me.
My beloved Bissell pet carpet cleaner. With a toddler and dog always running around the house, I could not feel at peace in my home without it!
It looked complicated to use at first, but I quickly figured it out after scanning the instructions and watching a YouTube video or two. My husband took the dog and the kid out for a drive, and then I set out to clean all my carpets, rugs, and couches.
I had vacuumed everything before I used the carpet cleaner, but I was shocked to see how dirty everything still was. I emptied load after load of dirty water from the dirty-water-container. The dog hair all got efficiently sucked out of the nooks and crannies of the carpets and couches, as did all the remnants of vomit, poop, and pee.
By the time I finished, I felt a million times better. Since I used the hose attachment on the couches and mattresses, they only took about an hour to dry. The rugs and carpets took about three before they were dry enough to walk on. A small price to play for such cleanliness!
The Bissell pet carpet cleaner works by shooting a hot liquid — a mix of water and Bissell-specific carpet cleaner — into the carpet or couch.
With measuring marks on the Bissell itself and also on the cup you pour the cleaning liquid with, Bissell makes it easy for you to add the right amount of cleaner to the hot water for an optimal mix.
The carpet cleaner sucks dirt, dog hair, poop, pee, and grime out immediately while also leaving solution in the carpet fibers to soak up the last bits of nastiness. Then you pass the cleaner over the same area in suction mode only, and voila! Your carpet is clean.
Here’s a video of the Bissell in action. In this video, I’m cleaning up some dog hair that got left on the couch. Watch how easily the Bissell handles it!
My 3 favorite things about the Bissell pet carpet cleaner
- It’s easy to use and fairly easy to take apart and clean, which I do every so often but not every time I use it. It’s so easy to use, in fact, that I take it out twice a week to clean couches, rugs, and spots of carpet; twice a year or so to do the entire carpet surfaces in my house; and about twice a DAY in the spring when mud and dog hair are everywhere.
- It’s well made. I have yet to experience any problems whatsoever with the Bissell carpet cleaner, and I’ve had it for the better part of a year.
- It WORKS. I can literally bend down and sniff the spots on the carpet that had previously been soiled, and there’s no trace of stink.
Case in point: after Eira got spayed in September, she spent almost two weeks lounging around the house, unable to go outside for more than potty. She must’ve been feeling cooped up and rebellious after that, because a few days after going back to her normal routines, we woke up to the smell of fresh dog poop in our bedroom at 5 in the morning. What a wake-up call! Eira had just gone potty outside the night before — why was she pooping indoors? Who knows, but you can bet I immediately picked up the poop, which was thankfully not moist if you know what I mean, and tossed it. Then I got out my trusty Bissell.
But the very next day, Eira snuck into a room I’d only left barely open and took a nice, wet poo on the carpet. Talk about nasty! This time, when I tossed the poop, a huge brown stain was left behind. I gritted my teeth and got out the Bissell again, hoping and praying that it would clean the spot completely. After just one pass, the poop stain was gone. I did another pass, even though you only need to do one, just to 100% make sure the poop hadn’t left any traces in the carpet. Then I cleaned the pet carpet cleaner thoroughly.
If I hadn’t had the Bissell, I would still have a brown stain in my carpet. No joke.
Eira stands in the same location, now squeaky clean, where she left a wet poop a couple months ago. Thank you Bissell PetPro carpet cleaner for taking care of the mess!
2 things to keep in mind
There are two drawbacks I’ve noticed so far about the Bissell, but they’re by no means major.
- The thing is loud. If you watched the video, you know this. If the sound bothers you or your kiddos, wear earplugs or headphones or have them go to another room. If your dog doesn’t like the sound, let her head outside while you clean up.
- After using the hose, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions and let it suck up a cup of clean water. Then it’s equally important to remove the house and let it hang or lay flat to dry out. I once made the mistake of not doing the clean water thing and then coiling the hose up in the closet. A couple days later when I went to use the pet carpet cleaner again, I noticed an extremely foul, fishy smell coming from the hose. Whatever bacteria had been left in there after the last cleaning had grown in spades and stunk the entire hose up. I now make sure to clean and dry the hose every single time I use it.
You’re probably dying to know where to find the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Full Size Upright Carpet Cleaner. Your wait is over! The link is below.
You’re welcome! You probably noticed that the price is hefty, and you might be thinking, why would I pay all this money when I can just rent a carpet cleaner from the Home Depot? I used to think the same way. But for one thing, the Bissell cleans better than a rental from Home Depot. Before I got my own carpet cleaner, I rented a Home Depot carpet cleaner for my couches and carpets. It costs around $30 to rent the steam cleaner for one day. Say you want to clean up every month — and if you live in a house with dogs, you should. By the time you’ve used the Home Depot steam cleaner once a month for about nine months, you’ll have spent the money you could’ve used to buy your own Bissell — which you can use anytime. Five times a day if you want. (And believe me, sometimes you’ll need to clean your carpets and furniture that often.) It’s worth the price and convenience to get your own steam cleaner.
Not only that, but it can be hard to clean stairs with a standard carpet cleaner. Not so with Bissell! The ProHeat 2X Revolution pet carpet cleaner comes with an attachment for cleaning stairs, so if Fido poops on the steps, you’re covered.
Which carpet cleaner should you buy?
The most important thing to remember is you should ALWAYS only use Bissell carpet cleaner with your machine. Why? Because it’s engineered specifically for Bissell upright carpet cleaners and because the manufacturer’s warranty is void if you introduce a non-Bissell carpet cleaner into the machine. Don’t take the cheap way out and buy a generic carpet cleaner.
Especially when Bissell’s carpet cleaning products aren’t very pricey. Really, they’re not. And the carpet cleaner comes with several samples to get you started and help you decide which type of carpet cleaner you like best.
Here are a few of my favorites for cleaning up pet messes.
Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator + Oxy Carpet Cleaning Formula
This stuff is magic for getting urine, poop, and vomit out of the carpet. All of the cleaners will do that, but there’s something extra powerful about this solution — plus it smells really good. This is my favorite carpet cleaner to use for the toughest, poopiest disasters Eira leaves on my carpets.
BISSELL DeepClean + Refresh with Febreze Freshness Spring & Renewal Formula
While this one’s not specifically for pets, it works wonderfully on pet messes and hair. I love to use it to clean my furry, slobbery, crumb-filled couches every week or two.
Additional pet carpet cleaners
Even though my Bissell is my favorite pet carpet cleaner ever, it’s not the only choice out there. Here are a few more fantastic choices for you.
For pet owners on a budget: the Bissell Spot Clean Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner
If you’re on a budget but still want easy access to a high-quality pet cleaner, try the Bissell Spot Clean Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner. It’s essentially the hose part of the Bissell I have, and it’s half the price of the upright cleaner but no less powerful at sucking up messes. Another huge plus here is that this carpet cleaner is easy to take outside to clean your car. If your dog gets carsick often or just leaves scads of fur in your car, this is a lifesaver.
Another budget-friendly option: the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner
This lightweight carpet cleaner can be hard to find, but it costs a third of the price of the Bissell ProHeat Revolution. It’s a solid choice for pet parents who need to pinch pennies but also want fresh-smelling carpets whenever the need arises.
Yet another budget-friendly choice: the BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner Machine and Carpet Shampooer
If you want to stick to Bissell but don’t want to pay for a ProHeat Revolution, this lightweight pet carpet cleaner is an excellent option. It’s a lightweight machine, making it easy to move from room to room, but it’s strictly for carpets. There’s no hose attachment for doing things like furniture, and the water tanks have a lower capacity than the ProHeat. Still, this is an excellent choice for pet-lovers who live in apartments or even big houses where there’s a lot of carpet to clean and you don’t want to drag a heavy machine around every time one of your dogs has an accident.
I’m happy to stick with my higher-priced Bissell Pet Carpet Cleaner. It’s paid for itself many times over by now. But I think we can all agree that a pet carpet cleaner is a must for potty accidents and beyond. There’s an option for every budget on our list! Just wait until you see the dirty water you’ll get out of your carpets. You’ll be shocked at how little a vacuum gets.
Happy carpet cleaning!
Eira loves “her” Bissell pet carpet cleaner.
Laura Ojeda Melchor grew up with two beloved German shepherd dogs—Clancy and her daughter, Bella. From the time her family brought Clancy home, Laura took on the duty of pooper-scooper and potty trainer. As a teenager Laura helped her mother care for Clancy during her pregnancy. She still remembers fondly the exciting, frigid winter night when the seven special puppies were born. Laura kept the youngest puppy—Bella—and potty trained her, too. She taught Bella important commands, took her for long walks, and spent hours throwing tennis balls for her.
In November, Laura brought home a sweet new puppy, Eira Violet. Eira is half Alaskan malamute and half German shepherd, and Laura loves her deeply. She chose not to use a crate to potty train Eira and was pleasantly surprised at the results. She now has a sweet, energetic dog who always uses the potty outside, plays well with Laura’s toddler, and enjoys long family walks in beautiful Alaska. If you were to meet Eira, she’d bound up to you with a wagging tail and get you running around the yard with her in no time.