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I brought home a new puppy on December 19. As I prepared for his arrival, I knew that I needed a good pet cleaner on hand. Luckily, my experience as a foster family for a revolving door of dogs has already taught me which pet cleaner is my favorite: Clean Carl’s Pet Mess Products.
Full disclosure, I was sent the Clean Carl’s product for free in April to test out. But I can definitely say that I’ve loved the product and despite the gift, I’m sharing my honest review here. I have tested the product for ~8 months to make sure I really like it before sharing my thoughts with you!
I keep both the Clean Carl’s Pet Mess Zapper and Clean Carl’s Pet Mess Remover on-hand for all of the messes my puppy makes. So far, we’ve only had #1 accidents in the house. However, I know from experience that Clean Carl’s can stand up to cat vomit, dog poo, and everything in between.
I have genuinely found that Clean Carl’s works faster and leaves less of a stain or odor behind than other products I’ve used. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot! While there are other products out there that get the same clean carpet results, Clean Carl’s is the least stinky. My apartment ends up smelling normal – not like harsh cleaners or poo.
Key Features of Clean Carl’s:
- Industry approved. Clean Carl’s is approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute thanks to its efficacy!
- Satisfaction guaranteed. Clean Carl’s also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
- Eco-friendly. The formula is claimed to be environmentally friendly on their website, although they don’t share what their metrics are for that. The Zapper is 100% non-toxic biodegradable agents, but again I’m not quite sure what that means.
- Pet- and Kid-Safe. The website also states that the formulas are safe for kids and pets, but again they don’t give more information beyond that. I still keep my Clean Carl’s well out of reach of my puppy!
- Hypoallergenic. The website states that the Remover is safe for allergy sufferers.
The Pet Mess Remover
I love how the Pet Mess Remover changes color as it hits the stain, showing you instantly that it’s working. It foams up a bit, showing you that the oxygen formula is working. The Remover works best on solid, smellier, or colored messes (read: vomit and feces).
The Pet Mess Zapper
The Zapper, meanwhile is an enzymatic cleaner. That means it works by breaking down proteins, starches, and oils in a stain to eliminate the mess on a molecular level. The Zapper is best for wet messes like urine.
This enzymatic cleaner uses “good bacteria” to help clean. It works through “natural competition for food and resources, the non-pathogenic “good” bacteria can help to displace pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, which benefits human health.” (According to the Clean Carl’s website).
Where Can You Use Clean Carl’s?
I’ve primarily used Clean Carl’s on carpet so far, but I’ve also spritzed the rubberized mats that I keep in Niffler’s pen, my couch, and my laminated wood floors. I haven’t noticed any residue or stain from the cleaners (or the original messes).
I even got my apartment deposit back despite hosting multiple litters of kittens, foster dogs, and a puppy. Clean Carl’s rescued me through more vomit and diarrhea than I care to admit.
How to Spot Clean with Clean Carl’s Pet Mess Remover
- Clean up any solid waste with paper towels and gloves.
- Spray the affected area until wet.
- Gently blot with a clean, damp cloth.
- Repeat as needed.
- Let air dry.
How to Use Clean Carl’s as a Pre-Spray
- Remove any solid waste with paper towel and gloves.
- Spray a light, even layer over the affected area.
- Let dry on its own, as the product keeps working for up to 80 hours after application to get way deep into cracks and crevices!
For particularly stubborn messes (like depicted in the video below), I found I had to use quite a few repetitions of scrubbing and water. This particular mess was very soft diarrhea from a foster dog that had sat on my carpet for at least 4 hours.
I was genuinely surprised afterwards with how clean my carpet appeared! You can see in the very first frames of the video how gross and dark the spot was – even after I’d removed all the solid waste.
Kayla founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant who’s worked with hundreds of private clients, thousands of shelter dogs, and dozens of working detection dogs. Kayla’s dog and cat behavior advice has been featured in NPR, the Chicago Tribune, and Pet MD. She’s an avid adventurer who is currently doing #vanlife on the Pan-American Highway with her two border collies and a cat. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams. You can get 1:1 advice with a Journey Dog Training team member here.