Best Laundry Detergent for Pet Odor

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best laundry detergents for pet odor

While there are many great things about owning pets (particularly dogs), there are a few downfalls. Perhaps the biggest obstacle we can encounter as dog owners is when our pup is smelling, let’s just say, less than fresh.

While regular grooming and bathing can certainly help, the reality is that we are going to have to deal with this problem from time to time.

One of the best ways to combat bad smells in our pet’s bedding and on our own sheets and clothes lies in investing in a good laundry detergent that’s effective at dealing with pet odor.

Editor’s PickProductPrice
Best OverallLaundraPet Premium Laundry DetergentCheck Here
Best BudgetOut ProWash Workwear Odor Eliminator DetergentCheck Here
Best SplurgeRockin’ Green Active Wear Laundry DetergentCheck Here
Best BoosterSkout’s Honor Professional Strength Laundry BoosterCheck Here

The 10 Best Laundry Detergent Picks 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 powder is made from eco-friendly, plant-based ingredients which are gentle on the skin.

While it’s specifically made for removing body odors from 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 or artificial fragrances, you don’t have to worry about your dog having an adverse reaction to it. Also, it creates minimal mess (unlike liquids), and there’s very little measuring involved, as one scoop does a full load.

Just keep in mind that it’s not actually unscented as claimed on the package.

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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, but rather all-natural, plant-based ingredients.

The biodegradable plant extracts from cedar, pine needle, lime and cloves remove odors from blankets, towels, pet bedding and other fabrics, and it’s also multi-purpose, being an excellent deodorizer for carpets, area rugs, etc.

Made in the USA with the environment in mind, the bottle is completely recyclable, and the content is non-toxic and safe for use with both pets and children.

However, if you don’t like “Pine-sol smell”, then this one isn’t for you.

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3. LaundraPet Premium Laundry Detergent

Alpha Tech Pet LaundraPet Premium Laundry Detergent

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

It’s compatible with high efficiency and regular washing machines, and the triple formula not only removes pet odors, but it also gets rid of even the heaviest soils and stains, which makes it perfect for using on dog bedding, washable pee pads, and more.

The product comes with a money-back guarantee, and as an added bonus, the pure cleaning agents meet EPA standards, so you can be sure you’re making a good choice for the environment as well.

It does have a bit of chemical smell, though.

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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 technology that attaches to foul smells, whisking them away at their source rather than simply covering them up, and you can use it in high efficiency or standard washing machines, as well as in hot and cold temperatures.

Additionally, the product comes in a handy 32 fluid-ounce container and requires just a quarter of a cup per load. While it doesn’t contain any potentially harmful phosphates, unfortunately, it does include some parabens.

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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 stains and smells out of your own clothing and active wear, but you’ll be surprised how well it works on Fido’s laundry, too.

Safe for use on all kinds of fabrics, it comes in a liquid form that quickly removes dirt and even the deepest-seated smells, leaving everything fresh smelling and clean.

While the scent is somehow strong, you can either use it alone as a detergent, or as a booster, and while the bottle is relatively small in size, it’s also very reasonably priced.

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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 powder 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.

Free from any kind of artificial fragrances, dyes or phosphates, it’s won’t irritate your dog’s delicate skin, and it even contains tea tree oil — an all-natural additive that’s well known for its ability to disinfect and sanitize.

The product is compatible with most washing machines, including high efficiency, and is septic tank and eco-friendly. For best results, make sure to follow the instructions on the back.

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7. Skout’s Honor Professional Strength Laundry Booster

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

Boasting a money-back guarantee if you’re not 100% satisfied, this triple concentrated laundry booster gets rid of hard-to-combat pet odors, like urine, feces, mold, etc.

It makes use of BioKore (proprietary green surfactant) to lift away stains, while a molecular deodorizes singles out and destroys bad smells at their source.

Plus, it uses non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients, and it’s free from hydrogen peroxide and other potentially harmful additives.

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.

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8. Sport Suds Sport Detergent

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

Using only ingredients that are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and non-toxic, this laundry detergent doesn’t contain bleach, dyes or phosphates.

Suitable for high efficiency and front-loading washing machine, it works by breaking up and removing stains, deeply seated smells, and even gunky buildup.

Yet, there’s no residue leftover afterwards, which minimizes the chances of it causing irritation to your dog’s sensitive skin.

The product comes in a foldable zippered pouch, so it’s ideal for slipping into your bag or carry on, that said, it does only up to 40 full loads of laundry.

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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 lingering odors from gym clothing and other active wear, this laundry detergent is also perfect for tackling pet odors and removing dirt and fur.

Using NANOVASIVE technology, it scrubs away dirt and sweat, hard to lose stains and dander that’s built up over time. Still, it doesn’t cause any damage to the fabric, and is compatible with most types of washing machines, including high-efficiency models.

Other than that, the ingredients are non-toxic and biodegradable, so it’s not only good for the environment, but gentle on you and your dog’s skin. My only complaint is the watery consistency.

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10. Zero Odor Laundry Concentrate

Zero Odor - Laundry Odor Eliminator - Concentrate, 16-Ounce

This laundry booster is simple to use, and as it’s quite concentrated, a little bit goes a long way. Simply use two to four squirts per load of laundry in addition to your regular detergent for an extra boost that will help get rid of any stubborn pet odors.

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.

Made in the USA and safe for normal and high-efficiency washing machines, it works well for almost every fabric, and it contains biodegradable ingredients that are non-toxic for both humans and pets.

But sadly, this is a small bottle, and should only last for about 4-8 large loads.

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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 active wear 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, so 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 you can use high-efficiency laundry detergent in a regular washing machine, using regular detergents in a HE washer isn’t 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. Together, they help combat hard-to-remove odors and stains better than laundry detergent on its own can.

You can even use some natural additives in addition to laundry detergent and a booster. These include baking soda, which is a natural odor absorber, or 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 aren’t advisable for anything that will come in close contact with your pet’s skin.