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Best spot carpet cleaners – reviews, rating and buying tips

best spot carpet cleaners

Best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains and urine

Last update: April. 2018

Treating pet messes and pet urine smell is not a big deal when you have a suitable spot carpet cleaner. Although there are about over 20+ portable versions, there are a few spot carpet cleaners for pet stains as they have some exclusive features which are all optimized for cleaning stains easily.

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How to choose a portable carpet cleaner – Quick buying tips

Choosing a spot carpet cleaner for pet stains is quite simple. Here is a few suggestions about the important factors that you need to look for and some cleaning tips to remove the stains effectively.

Automatic cleaning vs. manual cleaning

An automatic spot carpet cleaner will clean the stains on it own. All you need to do is to put the machine on the stain and walk away. If you do not have much time, then an automatic spot carpet cleaner will be a great companion.

The only automatic portable carpet cleaner that has been well known is Bissell Spotbot handfree unit 33N8.


Pet hair cleaning

Some carpet cleaners will lose suction when dealing with pet hairs. Therefore if you have to clean a lot of pet hairs (especially long hair), you should find the model which is capable of cleaning pet hairs too. Many spot carpet cleaners from Bissell, Rug Doctor and Hoover have a motorized pet hand tool are very beneficial to remove dog hair/ cat hair out of the carpets.

Pet urine smell cleaning

Cleaning pet urine can be a trouble. In most cases, if you want to remove the pet urine completely you might need to treat the urine before cleaning the stain with the spot cleaner. A spot carpet cleaner or an upright machine with spray or a pre-treater will attack the urine messes before cleaning which will be very efficient in urine removal. For the DIY cleaning solution, you can try vinegar and baking soda (diluted in water, spraying, blotting to remove the urine) or check for some commercial enzyme cleaners to remove the urine.

Cleaning the wool carpet

Wool carpet is made from natural materials, therefore, it tends to be worn or shrink if you do not know how to clean the wool. When cleaning the wool carpet, you should only use cool/ luke warm tap water with a spot carpet cleaner with high suction power and do not bleach the carpet because it will destroy the wool fibers. The best spot cleaner for wool carpet is Rug Doctor because it has the strongest motor power, ensuring to suck up most of the water out of the carpet.

Cleaning old stains with a spot cleaner

Old stains settle down to your carpet for a long time therefore treating those old stains require a bit more effort. You should pretreat the old stain with a proper formula (read more: how to choose a formula for maximizing cleaning results) so that the stains will be loosened. After that, just use a spot carpet cleaner to remove the old stain and it works very well for any spot model you have.

DIY natural formula for spot carpet cleaners

There are quite a lot of substances available in your kitchen that you may use with a spot unit. Some folks try to clean the stain with ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, borax and even with hydrogen peroxide. When making a DIY cleaning solution, you should try a little at the hidden corner on your carpet to avoid the carpet damage as not all of the carpets can suffer such DIY cleaning solution.

Best brands to consider

Famous brands in spot machines include Bissell, Rug Doctor, Hoover, Dirt Devil and Dyson. Each brand and their unique model will have its own strengths and weaknesses. You should read our comparison chart of spot cleaning machines to figure out which one is more efficient for you.

Consider the versatility of the machine

Think of your cleaning demands. Are you mostly clean the pet stains or you want to have an “all-in-one” spot cleaner that is capable of cleaning stains, stairs, upholstery, auto-detailing, trouble corners, mattress and more? If you are about to clean only pet stains, then you might choose a handheld model such as Bissell Stain Eraser, or if you want a full-size portable unit with higher performance, check for Rug Doctor Portable (the model with the highest motor power of 10 amps.).

Best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains comparison table 

On this table we feature the best spot carpet cleaners from a dozen of models for you to review and to compare. Each model will have its own exclusive features such as automatic cleaning, spot attack cleaning, commercial grade level cleaning, cheap price and more.

NoBrand & ModelZoom Photo
View Price
Main BenefitsRating
1BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 14259Bissell strongest unit
Powerful suction
Compact and super lightweight
9.2
2BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree
Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8A
automatic feature9.0
3Rug Doctor Portable Carpet cleanerstrongest motor power of 10 amps8.8
4Hoover Spotless Portable carpet cleaner FH11300all-in-one model with irresistible price9.3
5Bissell Pet Stain Erasernew released handheld cordless model9.1
6Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleanerprofessional grade portable model9.2

Reviews and compare best spot carpet cleaners 2018

BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 14259

Bissell portable carpet cleaner with the most powerful suction
best spot carpet cleaners

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This is the portable carpet cleaner with strongest motor power from Bissell (9 amps rating). Thanks to this motor power, the Bissell Little Green offers the strongest suction level to pull up embedded stains on a lot of surfaces even shag, plush carpet.

Another interesting feature is that the Little Green Proheat 14259 has a built-in heater which can heat up cool tap water to optimal temperature for better stain removal. This model also has on-board tools, a sprayer to deliver more detergent to worst stains. If you are looking for a small but mighty carpet cleaner from Bissell, the Little Green 14259 is the number one option. It is very lightweight (about 11.6 lbs, which is just 1/2 of Rug Doctor Portable unit). The downside of this unit is that it uses a water tank of 48 oz which is a bit smaller than the Bissell Spotclean 3624 (which is 96 oz, or 0.75 Gallon).

You should notice there is another version called Little Green 1400 (and 1400B) which has a very similar appearance and cheaper price (about 20 bucks), but it does not have the built-in heater and it uses a weaker motor power (3 amps). You should check for the model number to get the correct unit.

BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8A

An automatic spot carpet cleaner, designed for pet stains and pet urine

best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains
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This is a rare spot carpet cleaner which has automatic feature, meaning that you can set the machine on the stain and then walk away, the machine will clean the stain by itself. Therefore, it is very convenient and time saving for cleaning pet stains because you don’t want to spend time holding the machine if you are so busy at home.

This Bissell Spotbot has a 3 amps motor rating which is similar to most of Bissell portable carpet cleaners like Bissell Proheat 5207F , Bissell Little Green 1400B , which guarantees to have sufficient cleaning power over the stains. However, it suction power is not as strong as Bissell Little Green 14259 therefore it is recommended that if you are dealing with worst stain, you should pre-treat the stains or urine (by using an enzymatic cleaner) to achieve maximal results.

Rug Doctor Portable Carpet cleaner

For commercial grade cleaning performance, best for old stains and highly recommended for wool carpets

best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains
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Rug Doctor Portable carpet cleaner is a professional portable unit which is great for all cleaning purposes such as stains, upholstery, stair and food spillage. It has handle and carpet friendly wheels which will not leave any mark on the wet carpet. The greatest part of this unit is that it has a powerful motor which is similar to upright carpet cleaner (10 amps. rating). With such kind of power, you can basically suck up any stain and sediments on the carpet. Besides, Rug Doctor is a premium brand which has been on the market for 40+ years so you don’t worry about getting junk and waste money. However, Rug Doctor Portable is built for workmanship, the unit is quite heavy which is about 20 lbs. therefore you it is recommended if you do not have to move upstairs and downstairs often

Hoover Spotless Portable carpet cleaner FH11300

Cheap price and full features

best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains
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The newly released spot carpet cleaner from Hoover is also highly recommended for pet stains because it is affordable, ergonomic designed and packed with new technologies which will ensure your carpet cleaner will have longer life time (self-cleaning technology). To tackle the stain this unit has a pre-treat gel in the package so you do not need to buy cleaning detergent separately. This model is one of the most popular choice as it balances the features and performance.

Read more: Reviews of Hoover Spotless FH11300PC

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner

Cordless handheld spot carpet cleaner 

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Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner is the newly developed pet stain cleaner from Bissell, another premium brand, which is designed as a handheld unit with optimized brush head so you can clean the stain with ease. It is very lightweight and it’s a cordless model so, in terms of convenience, this pet stain eraser gives you more maneuverability than others. Last but not least, it is cheapest among the great spot carpet cleaners for pet stains so if you need to tackle the stains mostly, this is a good option.

One common issue that users reported that this model has leaking. However, this is not exactly due to the machine defect, but the leak is coming from incorrect inserting the cap that hold the soap. You just need to push the cap (do not double click it) to the hole the it will stop leaking.

You can check for this instruction to stop leaking

Read more: Reviews of Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

All in one model – for upholstery, stair, stain, car detailing…

best spot carpet cleaner for pet stainsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner is the ultimate “all in one” portable model which has been rated as one of the best portable units over years. Among all of the portable carpet cleaners on the market, this unit is the most common choice due to its flexibility, high performance and durable.

This unit is somehow similar to Rug Doctor Portable carpet cleaner in terms of design, performance, and price, therefore, choosing which one mostly depends on the brand attraction. The unit is featured by a strong motor (6 amps), full-size water tank capacity (0.75 gallon- which is the biggest size of a portable unit), a lot of tools, lightweight and long warranty time. The downside of this unit is that it creates more noise than the spotbot or hoover spotless (due to the strong motor operation) but it is still accepted noise and you do not need to wear ear buds actually.

Benefits of a portable carpet cleaner

A portable carpet cleaner gives you more flexibility when cleaning stains, stairs, upholstery, pet urine and auto interior cleaning. It is lightweight, portable, a lot of hand tools in a compact design which is mostly less than 11 lbs. (just a half weight of an upright unit) therefore when you do not have wall-to-wall carpets at home, a portable unit will be a wise choice.

Do not under-estimate the cleaning power of a portable unit as some models can deliver equal suction power compared to the full-size upright unit too. Let’s take the case of Rug Doctor Portable machine, it uses a motor of 10 amps which is similar to an upright model to give the massive suction level. It is claimed to suck up back 75% of water on the carpet.

When dealing with dog and cat messes, a portable unit will be more efficient, as you will need less water, detergent and it allows you to maneuver around quickly.

Features you should look for when considering among popular portable carpet cleaners

Among top-rated portable carpet cleaner models, there are a few factors you should consider so that you can take the most suitable one.

Suction power is important

A portable unit often uses a motor of 3 amps or 3.5 amps to give a moderate suction power (for example, Bissell Little Green 1400B, Bissell Proheat Portable 5207F use motors of 3 amps rating) as they are designed for cleaning spots and stains only. A stronger motor rating can be indirectly translated into the suction power of the machine. If you are dealing with soiled carpets, heavy stains and old stains, a model with strong suction power will be better. If you need a quick cleaning for daily messes and stains, the model with a moderate motor will be just enough.

Rug Doctor Portable and Bissell Little Green 14259 are two models with highest motor power (10 amps and 9 amps rating, respectively). These units deliver mighty suction power (Rug Doctor is heavier than its rival)

Water tank size

Water tank size is the second most important factor because, a canister carpet cleaner will have different water tank size capacity, which affects directly to your cleaning convenience. Some models have generous water tank size which is equal to an upright model (for instance Bissell 3624 Professional Spot Clean – 0.75 Gallons). The bigger the water size, the more spot and stains you can clean at once. The lightweight canister unit will generally have a smaller water tank size.

Lightweight and compact design

Some portable units are quite lightweight such as Hoover Spotless, Bissell Little Green or Bissell Pet Stain Eraser, while Rug Doctor is quite heavy. Depending on your cleaning demands, you may pick a lightweight unit for better maneuvering, or a heavyweight machine for more robust performance.

Additional benefits

Some other additional benefits of a portable unit you may love such as automatic cleaning, built-in water heater, 2 water tank design, anti-microbial brush head, auto-flushing hose,…., they are varied from models to models. You may look for those added value to obtain more value to your machine.

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Spot carpet cleaner – where to buy?

There are a lot of outlets you can grab a spot carpet cleaner like the brand’s website or supermarkets like Lowes, Home Depot but the most convenient way to via amazon.com because many spot carpet cleaner prices there have discounts regularly. You may check our curated best carpet cleaner deals to save more money.

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