Best Laundry Detergent for Pet Odor

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best laundry detergents for pet odor

There are many amazing benefits to owning pets, but there are also a few downfalls.

Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles we can encounter as dog owners is when our pup is smelling less than fresh.

While regular grooming and bathing your dog can certainly help with controlling foul smells, the reality is that we are going to have to deal with it from time to time.

Investing in a good laundry detergent is a great way to combat pet odor in your dog’s bedding and even on your own sheets and clothes.

Below are our best picks.

Best Laundry Detergent for Pet Odor

1. Defunkify Active Wash Laundry Detergent

Defunkify Active Wash Laundry Detergent Powder, Sustainable, Plant-Based and Eco-Friendly, Active Wear Odor and Stain Remover, Free and Clear, Unscented and Safe for All Ages - 55 oz (92 Loads)

This laundry detergent is made from eco-friendly, plant-based enzymes which are approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program.

While it’s specifically made for athletic wear, it’s superior ability to lift away dirt and strong odors mean it also works well for removing pet smells.

Free from any kind of phosphates, dyes, chlorine and artificial fragrances, you don’t have to worry about you or your dog having an adverse reaction to it.

Also, the product is safe for all machines, creates minimal mess while you’re using it and there’s very little measuring involved, as one small scoop does a full load.

PROS

  • Plant-based enzymes
  • Unscented
  • Safe for all machines
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Did not work for everyone

2. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Laundry Booster

Fresh Wave Odor Removing Laundry Booster, 24 fl oz

This laundry booster is reputed to fight stubborn odors, however, there are no harsh chemicals used – only all-natural, plant-based ingredients.

The biodegradable plant extracts from cedar, pine needle, lime and clove remove smells from blankets, towels, pet bedding and other fabrics rather than simply masking them over.

It’s also suitable for high-efficiency machines and an excellent deodorizer for carpets and area rugs.

Made with the environment in mind, the product is completely recyclable and non-toxic, which means it’s safe for use with both pets and children.

Just keep in mind that if you’re not into ‘Pine-sol smell’, then this is probably not for you.

PROS

  • No harsh chemicals
  • Natural, plant-based ingredients
  • Suitable for high-efficiency machines
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Some did not love the smell

3. LaundraPet Premium Laundry Detergent

Alpha Tech Pet LaundraPet Premium Laundry Detergent

Designed specifically for pets and vet offices, this laundry detergent provides you with a great value, as one bottle is able to tackle up to 96 loads of laundry.

Compatible both with high efficiency and regular washing machines, the triple formula not only removes pet odors, but it also gets rid of even the heaviest soils and stains.

This makes it a perfect option for dog beds, dog blankets and washable pee pads.

The product comes with a money-back guarantee, and as an added bonus, it meets EPA (Environment Protection Authority) standards, so you can be sure you’re making a good choice for the planet as well.

The only problem is that it has a strong smell.

PROS

  • Designed for pets
  • Concentrated formula
  • Compatible with high-efficiency machines
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Quite a strong smell

4. Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost

Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost 32 fl oz, Laundry Bio-Enzymatic Formula, Breaks Down Urine, Blood, Vomit, Grease And Oil

You can use this laundry booster in addition to your regular detergent, or put it directly on fabrics as a spot pre-treatment for removing particularly difficult stains and odors.

It utilizes a bio-enzymatic formula that attaches to the source of the smell, whisking it away and leaving a clean, fresh scent behind.

Additionally, the product comes in a handy 32 fluid-ounce container and requires just a quarter of a cup per load. And the best thing is, it’s also effective in cold temperatures.

That said, while it doesn’t contain any potentially harmful phosphates, unfortunately, it does contain parabens.

PROS

  • Can be used as a spot pre-treatment
  • Bio-enzymatic formula
  • Effective in hot and cold temperatures
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Contains parabens

5. Out ProWash Workwear Odor Eliminator Detergent

OUT ProWash Workwear Odor Eliminator Detergent, 22 Fl. Oz.

You might love this laundry detergent for its ability to get deeply rooted smells out of your own clothing and activewear, but you’ll be surprised how well it works on your dog’s laundry, too.

It’s safe for use on all kinds of fabrics and in both regular and high-efficiency washers. Plus, it quickly removes dirt and even the deepest-seated stains caused by pets, food, cosmetics, etc.

Lightly scented and without phosphates, you can use the product alone as a detergent or as a booster, and while it’s relatively small in size, it’s also very reasonably priced.

PROS

  • Safe for high-efficiency washers
  • Light clean scent
  • Reasonably priced
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Small bottle

6. Rockin’ Green Active Wear Laundry Detergent

Rockin' Green Platinum Series Active Wear Laundry Detergent Powder, 45 oz. - All Natural, Biodegradable, and Eco-Friendly

This high-performance laundry detergent has a specialized filth fighter enzyme blend made from plant-based ingredients.

It penetrates deep down into fabrics of any kind to permeate and completely remove stains and odors, so the material is left clean, residue-free and deodorized.

Created with no parabens, dyes or artificial fragrance, it contains tea tree oil – an all-natural ingredient that’s well known for its ability to clean and sanitize.

Although it’s not ideal for sensitive skin.

The product is compatible with all washing machines (high efficiency included) and is eco-friendly as well. For best results, make sure to follow the instructions on the back.

PROS

  • Enzyme blend
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Mild tea tree oil scent
  • Compatible with all washing machines
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Not for sensitive skin

7. Skout’s Honor Professional Strength Laundry Booster

BEST PICK

SKOUT'S HONOR: Professional Strength Laundry Booster - Stain and Odor Removal Additive - 3X Concentrated Solution for Laundry Use

This triple concentrated laundry booster gets rid of hard-to-combat pet odors, like urine, feces, vomit and alike, and is safe for most fabrics and all washing machines.

It features a proprietary green surfactant (named BioKore) to eliminate tough stains, while a molecular deodorizer singles out and destroys bad smells at their source.

Furthermore, it has a very light lemon scent and it uses non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients instead of hydrogen peroxide and other potentially harmful additives.

Boasting a money-back guarantee, it’s also worth mentioning that the product comes with Skout’s Paw Pledge, which means each bottle sold provides an entire day worth of food for a needy animal.

PROS

  • Concentrated formula
  • Safe for all washing machines
  • Light scent
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Couldn’t find one

8. Sport Suds Sport Detergent

Sport Suds Sport Detergent | Odor Remover Sport Wash 500g Zipper Pouch 40+ Loads

This laundry detergent is made with natural ingredients that are hypoallergenic and non-toxic, so you won’t find any bleach, dyes, phosphates, sulfates or perfumes in it.

Designed for high efficiency and front-loading washing machines, it works by breaking up and washing away lingering smells, and can be used on everything from workout clothes to dog mats.

There’s also no gunky buildup or residue leftover afterwards, which minimizes the chances of it causing irritation to the skin.

The product comes in a foldable zippered pouch, therefore making it ideal for slipping into your bag or carry on. But it only does up to 40 full loads of laundry.

PROS

  • Natural ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Designed for all machines
  • Compact and lightweight

CONS

  • A little pricey

9. Sweat X Sport Extreme Laundry Detergent

Sweat X Sport Extreme Laundry Detergent, High Performance Sports Wash for Activewear and All Fabrics, 45 Loads

One of the best products to eliminate persistent odors from gym clothing and other activewear, this concentrated laundry detergent is also perfect for tackling pet smells.

Using NANOVASIVE technology, it scrubs away body oils, sweat and hard-to-lose pet stains that are built up over time without causing damage to fabrics.

It’s also compatible with all types of washing machines, including high-efficiency models.

The product is non-toxic and biodegradable and there are no dyes or harsh perfumes, so it’s not only good for the environment, but for everyone in the house.

My only complaint is that it has a watery consistency.

PROS

  • Super concentrated
  • Compatible with high-efficiency machines
  • Non-toxic
  • Very little scent

CONS

  • Watery consistency

10. Zero Odor Laundry Odor Eliminator

Zero Odor - Laundry Odor Eliminator & Deodorizer - Great for Pet Bedding & Sweaty Workout Clothes -(64-Ounce)

This laundry detergent uses patented molecular technology to get rid of stubborn pet odors, without masking or covering them up with fragrances or perfumes.

Not only does it leave your dog’s bedding, as well as your own clothes smelling great, but it also helps to clean and deodorize your washing machine each time you use it.

Safe for normal and high-efficiency washing machines, the product contains non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients and works well for almost every fabric.

Unfortunately, the label doesn’t state the name of the preservative and colorant.

PROS

  • Concentrated 
  • Safe for high-efficiency washing machines
  • Non-toxic
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • Unknown preservative and colorant

What to Look for in a Laundry Detergent for Pet Odor?

Effectiveness: Ideally, look for a product that’s specifically geared towards pets, but most detergents that are meant for activewear will work well.

You want something that will attack the odor at its source and completely get rid of it rather than something full of artificial fragrances that will simply cover up the smell.

Safety: Laundry detergent can be harsh and irritating to your dog’s skin.

Find something made from natural, plant-based ingredients that’s free from bleach, parabens, hydrogen peroxide or brighteners.

Compatibility: Be sure the laundry detergent you select will work with the kind of washing machine you’ll be using.

While it’s okay to use high-efficiency laundry detergent in a regular washing machine, using regular detergents in a high-efficiency washer is not recommended.

What Can I Do If My Laundry Still Smells?

Laundry detergents are used to removing stains and odors from fabrics, and if you’re willing to select the best products, these might work well on their own.

Laundry boosters are a more concentrated formula that’s used in addition to detergent in order to add extra power to the load.

However, you can also use some natural products to help freshen up your laundry.

These include baking soda, which is a natural odor absorber, and white vinegar, which also works to lock onto and whisk away unpleasant smells.

There are harsher, more chemical-based alternatives you can try, such a borax, but these are not advisable for anything that will come in close contact with your pet’s skin.