The Best Pet Cleaning Products That Work Hard (So You Don’t Have To)

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Most of us can’t imagine living without our pets, but it sure would be nice if they picked up after themselves, wouldn’t it?

Keeping pets clean and well-groomed—their coats combed and shiny, their nails short, their tear stains wiped away—is one thing; finding the pet cleaning products that will help manage the dirt they track in, the floof they shed, and the occasional potty accidents they leave behind—that’s a whole other ball of fur.

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Here at The Dog People, we’ve put a lot of pet cleaning products to the test, incorporating more in-house testing of pet sprays, wipes, vacuums, hair removers and more by tapping the expertise of our team of dog-loving writers (as well as an obliging pool of Rover company dogs) along the way.

We reviewed some of our most recent, most popular articles about pet cleaning products and, with shopping editor Gwendolyn Elliott and certified dog trainer Shoshi Park, came up with this list of tried-and-true pet cleaning products we stand by.

The Best Pet Cleaning Products for Picking Up After Your Pet

From vacuums that suck up doggy debris and detail your car upholstery to non-toxic floor cleaners and reusable hair removers, these products clean so well, you’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life.

Vacuum Cleaners

Best Basic Upright Vacuum: Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Bagless Upright (Verified Review)

Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, purple

If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner made specifically for pet hair that won’t break the bank, the Eureka Pet Bagless is what you seek.

With five height adjustment settings, this vacuum has strong suction that works on everything from linoleum to high-pile carpet. Other practical features include a lightweight body (12 pounds), easy-to-clean dirt cup, and a convenient cord rewind. Just be sure to keep the brushes, filter, and tools clean: they are easily clogged by too much pet hair.

Verified review: “This is a low-budget, economical vacuum with a lot of suction and some great features. It’s lightweight but still solid, seems like it could take some coffee-table corner bangs without crumbling, and has a nice headlamp at the base. I love the ability to clean down to bare floors, which is especially useful before mopping or steaming. The positives strongly outweigh the negatives [the clogging of the attachments]. Overall, the vacuum is very intuitive to assemble, use, and maintain.”

We sourced this review from our article, The 20 Best Pet Hair Vacuums That Actually Work.

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Best High-End Vacuum: Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner (Verified Review)

White canister of Miele C3 Cat and Dog Vacuum

This vacuum is an investment in every sense of the word—but if you can afford it, the Miele is an absolute BEAST. There’s a reason it’s known as one of the best vacuums for pet hair you can buy. One Rover employee with a high-shedding husky mix says that her Miele is “the best thing [she] ever bought, hands-down.”

With an air-cleaned, sealed filtration system, the Miele actually tackles pet odor along with dog and cat hair, pet dander, and regular old dirt. The dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool get those hard to reach areas, while the “turbo brush” attachment goes to town on cat hair.

Verified review: “I love everything except the need for a vacuum bag and non-washable, reusable filter. I could really see this vacuum shining in a home with a lot of deep plush carpet. It did a great job vacuuming our hardwood floors and the two rugs we have and was fantastic on the car’s carpet. It feels very solid, well balanced, and runs nicely, leading me to think it will hold up over the years.”

Update: After using the Miele for a month, our reviewer is officially hooked. She donated her trusty Dyson to Goodwill. Her exact words: “We’re Miele people now.”

We sourced this review from our article, Miele Vacuum for Cats and Dogs Review: Read Our Real-Life Experience Before You Buy.

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Best Handheld Vacuum: Shark Rocket Corded Handheld Vacuum (Verified Review)

Shark Rocket corded handheld vacuum, red

The Shark Rocket is extremely useful for cleaning up furniture, stairs, and car upholstery. With a long power cord and stretch hose, it’s easy to maneuver. The vacuum’s dusting brush and foot-long crevice tool work well for hard-to-reach surfaces and furniture.

The True Pet motorized brush is designed especially for pet hair. It doesn’t quite have the “oomph” needed for deep carpets but does just fine on shorter carpets and bare floors. For the price and versatility, this is a good deal in handheld vacuums, particularly for car cleanup.

Verified review: When compared to other pet cleaning product models such as the Bissell Pet Hair Remover, “the Shark Rocket is more versatile, achieves better suction, generates less fan air and noise, works better on different floor types and conditions, and is easier to operate and clean in general.”

We sourced this review from our article, Bissell vs Shark: The Ultimate Handheld Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Smackdown. See our list of the best handheld vacuums for other handheld options.

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Poop Bags

Best Eco-Friendly Poop Bags: Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags (Verified Review)

Box of Earth Rated poop bags

Earth Rated’s poop bags are hands down one of the best poop bags available. These pet cleaning products are extra thick, 100% leakproof, and have a subtle lavender scent to keep stinkier smells at bay.

Verified review: “These recycled plastic bags are so durable and trusted, they’re on every floor at Rover HQ (a dog-friendly workplace, natch), so company colleagues and coworkers will never be without a bag when it’s time to take the dog for a walk. Flimsy bags of questionable capacity are no match for these 100 percent leak-free, extra-thick poop picker-uppers. We’ve tried and tested them again and again and again.”

We sourced this review from our article, The Best Zero-Waste Products for Dogs, Cats, and Pet-Filled Households.

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The Rover Store’s Original Poop Bags

Box of The Rover Store poop bags

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our very own Rover Store’s Original Poop Bags, offered in a four-pack of 15 bags per roll. Each one meets the most stringent industry standards for compostability and biodegradability (more about that here), so you can toss it and forget about it. Pairs with the Hydrant Poop Bag Dispenser.

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Stain Removers, All-Purpose Cleaners, Soaps and Shampoos, and Wipes

Best Stain and Odor Remover: Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover (Shoshi’s Review)

Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover, spray bottle

This enzymatic cleaner tackles stubborn stains with “activated oxygen technology.” Pet safe, chlorine-free, and color-safe, Rocco & Roxie’s stain remover is a powerful antidote to accidents and ammonia smells. It can even lift out deep-set stains on carpets, rugs, and furniture.

Shoshi’s review: “Enzyme-based cleaners like this are truly a miracle invention. They help remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones that, when left behind, pups tend to return to and re-mark.”

We sourced this review from Shoshi’s article, The Top 20 Dog Essentials That Every Pup Parent Should Own (but May Not Realize It).

For more about removing dog pee smell, see our guide, Dog Pee Smell on the Carpet: How to Get Rid of It for Good.

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Best All-Purpose Pet Wipe: Nature’s Miracle Paw Wipes/Coat Wipes (Shoshi’s Review)

Package of Nature's Miracle Deodorizing Bath Wipes

Shoshi’s review: When there’s no time for a full bath, these babies are amazing. They help remove allergens, dirt, and anything stinky that your dog might have rolled in—dead fish, anyone? Apply them to the paws or spot wipe on the coat.

We sourced this review from Shoshi’s article, The Top 20 Dog Essentials That Every Pup Parent Should Own (but May Not Realize It).

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Best Pet-Safe Laundry Detergent: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Detergent (Editor’s Review)

Bottle of Seventh Generation detergent

Editor’s review: Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is made of 96% plant-based, earth-friendly cleaning agents so you know it’s safe for pets, people, and the planet. It’s formulated for sensitive skin, making it a great pet cleaning product for washing up dog beds, blankets, toys, and anything else that needs a spin through the washing machine.

I also have three kitty litter boxes so when I have to wash them out, I do it at the utility sink in the laundry room using this detergent as soap—it suds up nicely and after a good scrubbing, leaves them smelling fresh (no easy feat)!

It’s ultra-concentrated so a little goes a long way (53 loads’ worth), and a just a drop or two is great for pre-treating stains before putting an item into the wash. You can use this detergent in standard or high efficiency (HE) washing machines. This is a hardworking laundry soap that comes in handy for lots of purposes in our pet-filled house!

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Best Pet-Safe Multipurpose Scrub: Baking Soda & Vinegar (Shoshi’s Review)

Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Look no further than your kitchen pantry for this classic, hard-working combination pet cleaning product that quickly and effectively removes stains and odors.

Shoshi’s review: “I frequently use baking soda and vinegar to clean up surfaces around the house. It’s just as good as most multi-purpose cleaners (if not better!) and costs almost nothing. For deep-set stains, I sprinkle some baking soda, spritz it with vinegar and let it sit for ten minutes before scrubbing. Combined, the ingredients turn into a scratchless paste that works like a charm.”

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Best Dog Shampoo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo (Shoshi’s Review)

Bottle of Earthbath oatmeal and aloe shampoo

Earthbath’s Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo is a gentle formula that will leave your dog’s coat soft and shiny without irritating sensitive skin. Scented with vanilla and almond oil, Earthbath is soap-free, biodegradable, and 100% natural. (It also pairs with the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe dog conditioner.)

Shoshi’s review: “I love the way my dog smells after a bath with this shampoo! I’ve used it on my pets for years, and it’s great for those with both sensitive skin and those with a thicker coat.”

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Best Pet Safe Multi-Surface Cleaner: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate (Shoshi’s Review)

Two bottles of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Multi-Surface cleaner, basil scent

This plant-based solution is the sort of wunderkind that can remove dirt and stains from just about any surface. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are all cruelty-free, biodegradable, and safe for pets. For more of the non-toxic household cleaners we love, check out our list of favorites.

Shoshi’s review: “I’m kind of obsessed with Mrs. Meyer’s products. They make my home smell so good! I especially love the basil scent, which is fresh and unexpected without being too perfumy.”

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Best Pet Safe Floor Cleaner: Method Squirt + Mop All Floor Cleaner (Shoshi’s Review)

Bottle of Method Squirt and Mop floor cleaner, lemon ginger scent

Method’s Squirt + Mop Floor Cleaner is tough enough to remove dirt, grime, and stains but gentle enough to use around pets and kids. The plant-based, non-toxic formula takes care of messes on all sorts of floors. Their lemon ginger formula, as with all Method products, is eco-friendly.

Shoshi’s review: “I love Method’s line of non-toxic, plant-based products. This floor cleaner smells great and does a great job of taking care of everyday dirt and the occasional “presents” my pets leave behind.”

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Best Dog Deodorizer Spray: Pet Pleasant Nourishing Lavender Pet Spray (Shoshi’s Review)

Pet Pleasant Nourishing Lavender pet spray

Refresh your dog’s coat between baths with this deodorizing spray by Pet Pleasant. The formula uses calming lavender and primrose essential oils and is cruelty-, paraben-, and sulfate-free. Just spray your pup’s coat, towel them off and give them a quick brushing to remove excess dirt. If this pet cleaning product doesn’t get the job done, you’ll get your money back, guaranteed.

Shoshi’s Review: “I love that this deodorizer uses essential oils instead of chemicals to leave all my pets (it works on both dogs and cats) smelling fresh. I can’t say for sure that the lavender scent calms them but I’m a big fan.”

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Best Hand Sanitizing Spray: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer (Shoshi’s Review)

Spray bottle of Dr. Bronner's peppermint organic hand sanitizer

This hand sanitizing spray by eco-cleaning guru Dr. Bronner is a chemical-free solution to clean hands on the go. Made with just four ingredients, all certified organic, this little bottle is the perfect size for pockets, cars, purses, and backpacks.

Shoshi’s review: “Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer sprays are my favorite for carrying along on walks or when I’m training a dog. A couple of spritzes from this pocket-sized bottle doesn’t just get my hands clean, its oils give me a little burst of calm that lingers on my hands until I can get a proper washing in.”

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Best Rubber Gloves: Elgood Reusable Cleaning Gloves (Shoshi’s Review)

Two pairs of Elgood rubber gloves, blue and purple

No matter how tough the cleaning job, rubber gloves will keep you protected from the grossest of the gross. Elgood’s Cleaning Gloves are durable but lightweight with a non-slip grip on the palm and fingers for maximum dexterity. BPA- and latex-free, these 13-inch gloves are a great option for bathing your dog or cleaning up around the house.

Shoshi’s review: “I really only use rubber gloves for the dirtiest of the dirty jobs. Dog got sprayed by a skunk? Check. Dog rolled in a dirty diaper? Check. I like these gloves because they are super durable and have soft cotton lining inside for comfort.”

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Pet Hair and Shedding Tools

Best Reusable Pet Hair Cleaning Gadget: Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Removal Tool (Shoshi’s Review)

Fur-Zoff pet hair removal tool

This handy cleaning doodad is made of 90% foamed recycled glass, “the same stuff you put in your curbside recycling box,” according to its manufacturers. Yeah, it looks strange, but this porous grey block is just as efficient at removing hair from upholstered surfaces as a lint roller, without the added waste.

Shoshi’s review: “I’ve been using this odd little tool for years to remove cat hair from the couch and dog hair from the car. For the most part it works great and I love that it’s reusable and it doesn’t make noise or require batteries. Just be careful about pushing down too hard on the tool, on some upholstery it can cause abrasions.”

For more great pet hair removal gadgets, check out our list of favorites.

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Best Deshedding Tool: Furminator (Shoshi’s Review)

Green Furminator comb

The hard-working Furminator is a master deshedding tool. The brush’s narrow teeth grip thick undercoat fur without damaging the topcoat or causing pain or irritation. Every few strokes, push the “Furejector” button to slide off all the loose hair you’ve removed.

Shoshi’s review: “Anytime I dog sit a double-coated fluff, I can’t wait to bust out my Furminator and go to town. This comb is an expert at pulling out excess hair. It’s almost unbelievable how much it can remove in just a few minutes.”

For more about how to get rid of all that pesky pet hair, see our article, 13 Dog Hair Removal Tools That Will Change Your Life.

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Best Reusable Lint Remover: The Pick It Up Mitt (Editor’s Review)

Red Pick-It-Up Mitt for pet hair cleaning

This simple mitt is a great tool for removing pet hair from more delicate surfaces such as clothes and upholstery (the editor of this article swears by hers).

You wear it on your hand and a gentle swipe of the area picks up fur and hair into the mitt’s microscopic bristles; eventually, you’ll accumulate a mat of hair that you can just peel off or brush off into the trash. The soft material of this pet cleaning product won’t harm your clothes or other upholstered surfaces, and it’s a great, re-usable, sustainable tool you can use over and over and over again.

We sourced this review from our article, Spring Cleaning Tips: 14 Tools for Pet Hair Removal.

For more about pet-friendly and pet hair resistant clothing and fabrics, see our articles The Best Dog Mom Clothing: Pet Hair Resistant, Claw Proof, and More and The Best Dog Proof Bedding and Dog Hair Resistant Sheets

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Best Brush for Short-haired Dogs: Furbliss Dog Brush (Shoshi’s Review)

Blue Furbliss rubber dog brushes

A soft, rubber curry brush is ideal for short-haired dogs (and cats!). Used dry, the prongs gently remove hair and exfoliate, while wells in the brush’s backside hold shampoo for brushing during bath time.

Shoshi’s review: “I’ve tried out several rubber curry brushes and this one is my favorite. It not only pulls out excess hair better than some of the others, its closely spaced teeth make for a great massage. Maybe my favorite thing, though, is that when I’m done brushing out my pet, I can use the Furbliss on myself like a lint roller to remove the hair that got away.”

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Best Pet Hair Removing Lint Roller: Evercare Pet Plus Roller (Shoshi’s Review)

Green Evercare Pet Plus giant lint roller

Evercare’s super sticky tape rollers have always been must-haves for quick hair and lint removal. But with an ergonomic T-shaped handle and roller sheets 40% larger than on their standard rollers, the “Giant” roller is tops. Use it on your clothing, furniture, and car upholstery.

Shoshi’s review: “While I prefer to use reusable hair removers like the Fur-Zoff at home, I keep a lint roller with disposable sticky tape on hand for making myself look more presentable when, inevitably, I find myself covered in hair right before I’m about to walk out the door. Evercare’s roller gets the job done in short order so I don’t look like I just rolled out of a dog bed.”

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Further Reading

  • The Best Dog Paw Wipes for Busy Pets (and Even Busier Pet Parents)
  • Spring Cleaning Tips: 14 Tools for Pet Hair Removal
  • 8 Dog Supply Organizers to Declutter Your Pet’s Stuff
  • The Best Dog Mom Clothing: Pet Hair Resistant, Claw Proof, and More
  • The Best Dog Toy Storage Options
  • The 14 Best Poop Bag Holders, Pouches, and Packs for Full Rolls (and Full Loads)

Original Article