Best Spot Cleaners for 2020

Pet stains, alcohol, and any other liquids can turn your carpet into one big ugly mess. The remedy? Have a look at these nifty little machines called spot cleaners. Although spot cleaners aren’t supposed to clean your entire house, you can for sure use these cleaners to take on many everyday household messes.

Best Spot Cleaners


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Our Recommended Spot Cleaners


Best of the Best!
Also Great
Budget Option
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable...
BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain...
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Bissell 3624
Bissell 2694
Bissell 1400B
• 13 lbs
• 22 ft. Cord
• 96 oz. Tank
• 10 x 14 x 14 in
• 9 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 37 oz Tank
• 6.5 x 12 x 14.5 in
• 9.6 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 48 oz Tank
• 8.2 x 17.2 x 12.5 in
The 3624 is Bissell's most powerful spot cleaner. It uses a combination of superior suction, scrubbing action and cleaning solutions to remove spots, stubborn stains and embedded dirt.
Permanently remove tough spots and stains with the Bissell 2694 Spot Cleaner. The built-in Heatwave Technology helps maintain consistent water temperature.
The Bissell 1400B removes deep-down dirt, spots, and stains quickly and effectively. This spot cleaner is specialized in cleaning stairs, area rugs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.
Best of the Best!
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable...
Bissell 3624
• 13 lbs
• 22 ft. Cord
• 96 oz. Tank
• 10 x 14 x 14 in
The 3624 is Bissell's most powerful spot cleaner. It uses a combination of superior suction, scrubbing action and cleaning solutions to remove spots, stubborn stains and embedded dirt.
Also Great
BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain...
Bissell 2694
• 9 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 37 oz Tank
• 6.5 x 12 x 14.5 in
Permanently remove tough spots and stains with the Bissell 2694 Spot Cleaner. The built-in Heatwave Technology helps maintain consistent water temperature.
Budget Option
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Bissell 1400B
• 9.6 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 48 oz Tank
• 8.2 x 17.2 x 12.5 in
The Bissell 1400B removes deep-down dirt, spots, and stains quickly and effectively. This spot cleaner is specialized in cleaning stairs, area rugs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.

Our Recommended Spot Cleaners

If you’re searching for an excellent spot cleaner, you’ve come to the right place.

BISSELL 2458 Review

We start our top 5 with the Bissell 2458 Spot Cleaner. Searching for a spot cleaner for pets that can help you eliminate pet stains from any place?

BISSELL 2458

This Bissell spot cleaner got you covered. You can carry this unit to many places on the house thanks to its convenient carrying handle. It has a strong power rating of 5.7, making it easy to get rid of many carpet stains.

A stain that is hard to reach? No problem, the five flex hose has enough reach to tackle hard to reach places with ease. The Bissell 2458 is an easy to use cleaning machine for pet owners! Imagine your puppy making a mess underneath the staircase; no problem with this cleaning took.

BISSELL 2458 Spot Cleaner

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review

You probably know Rug Doctor as a brand that manufacturers full-size carpet cleaners. Lo and behold, they also sell spot cleaners. The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is perfect to clean those messes your pet makes on the carpet that the bulky upright carpet cleaner can’t reach.

Rug Doctor

The vibrating brush on the nozzle helps to loosen up the dirt and debris. Three rows of stiff bristles are likely to deal with that pesky stain on your carpet. Deep cleaning that spot on your carpet won’t be a problem anymore.

Compared to the other spot cleaners in this list, the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner has an enormous water tank. The disadvantage of such a tank is the size and business of this unit. It makes cleaning stairs a bit more tricky.

If you’re searching for a quality spot cleaner, this Rug Doctor is one of your best bets. It has great agitation to stains thanks to its strong suction and spinning brushes.

The price of this Rug Doctor might put you off, as the unit is slightly more expensive than the other picks in this list. You might also dislike the somewhat larger nozzle, not fitting in the tightest spots.

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner

Bissell 1400B Review

This so-called little green spot cleaner from Bissel is put on the third spot. It’s a classic little carpet cleaner capable of cleaning those nasty pesky pet stains without a problem. The Bissell 1400B is sold for a couple of years already, and for a good reason. The unit is a bestseller thanks to its dependable mid-range spot cleaning abilities.

Bissell 1400B

It comes with multiple attachments to ease the cleaning task. You can attach the tough stain brush to tackle those pesky stains, and you can add a separate water tank to store hot water.

The Bissell 1400B spot cleaner is without a doubt a remarkable spot cleaner and got all the praise it deserves. Check out the customer reviews on Amazon by yourself.

Bissell 1400B Spot Cleaner

Bissell 3624 Review

The Bissell 3624, second in our list, is a spot cleaner with a powerful motor to quickly clean embedded carpet stains. This portable device has a decent-sized detergent tank and attachment to tackle the most stubborn stains on your carpet.

Bissell 3624

As you can’t compare this spot cleaner with a full-size carpet cleaner, it works great for smaller places, such as your furniture.

The hose that comes with the SpotClean Pro is a little short, and it can be difficult to empty the dirt tanks, but overall it is a good pick, and the reviews online will attest that.

Bissell 3624 Spot Cleaner

Hoover FH11300PC Review

Our top pick is the Hoover FH11300PC Spot Cleaner. It is a mean little carpet stain killer. As it is a portable unit, you can bring it to any place you need it to clean. Mud in the hallway? Stains on the staircase? No problem! Let the Hoover do its work.

Hoover FH11300PC

This portable spot cleaner enables you to give your carpets a longer lasting life. De Hoover FH11300PC is a handy device to have around your home, particularly for those who have kids and/or pets.

If you’d like a portable easy-to-use spot cleaner that also delivers a deep and hygienic clean, you should consider getting this Hoover FH11300PC Spot Cleaner for your home.

Hoover FH11300PC Spot Cleaner

Best Spot Cleaning Machine Buying Guide

Carpets can be such a pain to keep clean, especially when you have children or animals. Although hand-scrubbing can remove surface-level dirt, it’s often not enough to lift stains that are trapped deep in the carpet nap. Spot cleaning machines are an affordable, portable way to get rid of small stains on your carpets.

Best Portable Spot Cleaners

While the basic functions are the same from one spot cleaning machine to the next, models differ in terms of attachments, reach and water housing. For example, some spot cleaners have one tank while others have separated clean and dirty-water tanks. There are cordless and corded models and a variety of brush features.

Our buyer’s guide covers all the information you need to know about the functions and features on spot cleaning machines. Also included in this guide is a FAQs section. In this section, we answer questions about cleaning chemicals, maintenance, water temperature and more.

Weight Considerations

One of the benefits that spot cleaning machines offer is their manageable weight. Their weight ranges from 5 to 20 pounds. However, these machines usually fall within the 10 to 15-pound range, which most people can handle.

You should look for one that weighs less than 10 pounds if you have arthritis or other mobility issues. The type of carpeting you have should also factor into your decision. An ultra-lightweight machine is advisable for use on plush carpeting to prevent denting the nap. Tip: Smooth wheels glide better on carpet than ones with tread.

Remember, the weight provided in the spot cleaner’s specs is the weight of the machine when it’s empty. Be prepared to add a few pounds to the full weight. For instance, a tank that holds one-half gallon of water will add roughly 4 pounds to the total weight.

Wheeled Versus Wheel-Free

Although all spot cleaning machines are lightweight, some do have wheels. Typically, the models on the heavier end of the spectrum are equipped with wheels. If you live in a one-story house and can’t carry a lot of weight, a machine with wheels is ideal.

Portable Spot Cleaners

The ones with wheels often have a luggage-style handle that telescopes. This type of handle allows you to roll the spot cleaner without bending over. Machines that are on the light side of the weight range don’t come with wheels or a luggage handle. Instead, they have a fixed or rotating handle.

Size Matters

Spot cleaning machines and oversized don’t go in the same sentence. Of course, each one varies in terms of dimensions. If your house or apartment doesn’t offer a lot of storage space, figure out where you can store it beforehand (under the sink, on a hall closet shelf, et cetera) and measure the space.

Make sure you factor in your stairs if your place has them. If your stairs are carpeted, chances are you’ll be using a spot cleaner on them from time to time. Measure your stairs, so you can ensure the machine you choose will fit.

Single or Double-Tank Setup

Carpet cleaners come in one of two tank configurations – a single tank or a double tank. The dual-tank design can further be broken down into two separated tanks or one divided tank.

Best Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

You may think single-tank spot cleaners seem more convenient because there is only one tank with which to contend. However, they aren’t the most hygienic because you risk cleaning your carpet with dirty water.

The divided-tank cleaner does a better job of preventing the release of dirty water, but the partition isn’t full-proof. Separated dual-tank spot cleaners are the only machines that keep collected dirty water from mixing with clean water.

Tank Fill/Full Features

There are other features to consider besides one tank versus two tanks, like the capacity. Tanks can hold 0.25 to 1 gallon of clean water. If you have children or pets, you’ll want a spot cleaning machine with a capacity of at least 0.5 gallons, so you can clean all those tracked shoe or paw prints in one go.

Some machines are integrated with a shutoff sensor that cuts the power to the spot cleaner when the reservoir runs dry. This feature prevents motor burnout. Others cut off the machine when the dirty-water tank is full, so you won’t inadvertently cause the water to leak onto your newly cleaned carpet.

Fill and full lines on the tanks also help you avoid leaks. Some tanks are labeled as “dirty” and “clean,” so you don’t accidentally put clean water into the wrong tank. There are also spot cleaners with an indicator light that illuminates when the reservoir needs to be refilled or the dirty-water tank needs to be dumped.

Don’t forget to look at the shape of the tanks. Recessed grips make for easier transport to and from the sink. A reservoir with a flat bottom lets you rest the container on the bottom of the sink instead of holding it. Dirty-water tanks with a spout are the easiest to empty.

Suction-Based Drying

As you probably know, you shouldn’t walk on just-cleaned carpeting until its dry. Unfortunately, waiting for a carpet to dry can be an all-day affair. Most spot cleaning machines suction as they scrub and lift stains, but others require you to manually activate the suction.

Upholstery Cleaner

Either way, suction speeds up the drying time. Of course, spot cleaning machines that produce suction as you work are more convenient and efficient. Since spot cleaners are small, the suction won’t be mega-powerful, so try to avoid over-saturating the carpet with water.

Brush Attachments

Every spot cleaning machine comes with a brush or two. The most common brushes are those designed to lift set-in stains, clean upholstery or tackle stairs. Upholstery and deep-stain brushes usually measure 3 inches in width while stair brushes are twice the size. A few spot cleaners have brushes coated in antimicrobial material to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Brushes remain stationary, rotate or vibrate. Stationary brushes rely on good-ole elbow grease to remove stains. If you want to lighten your workload, rotating and vibrating brushes are your best bet. Some spot cleaners have a brush-motor switch that stops the brush from moving – a must-have feature for area rugs.

Lately, we’ve noticed that more manufacturers are offering a stain-trapper tool with their spot cleaners. This tool looks like a cup, and it has bristles. To use it, just place the trapper tool on top of a stain, turn on the machine for a few minutes, and the spot cleaner will extract the stain from the carpet fibers.

Hose Length

In addition to brush attachments, spot cleaners come with a flexible hose. The majority of spot cleaning machines’ hoses measure 5 or 6 feet long. The hose comes in handy when you’re cleaning stairs or upholstery, allowing you to keep the machine in one place as you work your way up a few stairs or across the sofa.

Portable Carpet Cleaner

Some manufacturers give you a way to flush the hose. A rinsing tool that connects to the hose is the most common option. However, there are a couple of spot cleaners with a rinsing port. The port creates a more powerful flushing action, but disconnecting and reconnecting the hose means more steps are involved.

Cordless and Corded Spot Cleaners.

Spot cleaning machines are available in cordless and corded versions. Although corded machines are the norm, cordless spot cleaners have an extra advantage in the portability department. People love cordless spot cleaners because they can use them to detail their cars. However, the usage time is limited because you have to recharge the battery periodically.

The only limit to corded machines is the length of the power cord. You can’t go wrong with a long power cord of 15 feet or more. As with the spot cleaner’s hose, there will be an onboard storage wrap. Quick-release hooks (like those you see on vacuums) save you the trouble of unwinding the cord.

FAQs

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Stain?

Many factors play a role in the time it takes to remove a stain with a spot cleaning machine. The average time it takes to get rid of a stain ranges from 2 to 10 minutes. A large, old stain takes longer to remove than a small, relatively fresh stain.

Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

If stains are left untreated for too long, they seep below the carpet fibers. Therefore, the carpet pile’s length also matters – The shorter the nap, the quicker you can get to the backing. Additionally, there’s also the water temperature, cleaning solution and type of stain.

Do I Need to Do Prep Work?

Yes. Before you pull out your spot cleaning machine and tackle that stain, you’ll need to prepare the carpet. The good news is it only takes a few minutes to get the carpet ready. All you have to do is vacuum the stained area. If you have a stick or a hand vac, this step is a breeze.

If the area is wet, blot the spot with a dry paper towel or cloth before you haul out your vacuum cleaner. You want to absorb as much liquid as you can to make stain removal as easy as possible. Be careful not to roll the vacuum’s wheels on the spot. You don’t want to grind in any dirt.

Is It Necessary to Use the Manufacturer’s Brand of Cleaning Solution?

Most manufacturers of spot cleaning machines sell chemical solutions made for their machines. It’s a no-brainer way to increase their profit. While some manufacturers claim that you should only use their cleaning solutions in their branded machines, you don’t have to follow their recommendations.

However, you can’t use just any kind of cleaning chemical. Stay away from soap that creates a high volume of suds. Try to pick a solution tailored to the type of stain you’re trying to remove, such as wine, urine or ink.

Can I Use It Without a Cleaning Solution?

For some stains, plain hot water will suffice. It depends on the substance and the length of time the stain has been on the carpet. If you have a baby who is still in the crawling stage, it’s understandable that you want to be cautious when it comes to carpet-cleaning chemicals.

If you’d rather avoid using chemicals when possible, you can always run the spot cleaning machine with only water. After you treat the area and let it dry, watch to see whether the stain reappears. If it does, you’ll need to add a cleaning agent and do a second round of treatment.

What’s the Benefit of a Solution Premixer?

You won’t find a premixer on every spot cleaning machine, but those that have one are definitely easier to use. A premixer is a built-in feature on the reservoir that combines the cleaning solution with the water.

As long as you fill the solution compartment and reservoir to their respective fill lines, the spot cleaner will dispense the perfect ratio of detergent and water, removing the guesswork of fluid measurements. Spot cleaners with a premixer allow you to turn off the soap-dispense function for water-only rinses.

Will the Machine Heat the Water?

There are cleaning machines that do heat the water until it reaches a boiling temperature, but those machines are actually steam cleaners, and they are a completely different type of appliance. Spot cleaning machines do not heat the reservoir’s water, but some are designed to maintain the water temperature.

Hot water helps dissolve dirt and stains, but you aren’t limited to using only room-temperature water. Most tanks can withstand water that comes out hot from the tap. To be on the safe side, check the owner’s manual.

Can I Use a Spot Cleaning Machine on Furniture?

A spot cleaner is great for removing stains from upholstered furniture. Some machines come with a specialized tool meant for cleaning sofas, chairs and mattresses. If yours doesn’t, you can use the stair tool in lieu of an upholstery brush.

Best Upholstery Cleaner

Before you dive in, test the fabric first. Some upholstery can sustain damage from a spot cleaning machine if it isn’t water-safe. Often, the furniture manufacturer will mark the tag to tell you whether you can use water on it.

Leather and suede are two materials that shouldn’t be treated with a spot cleaning machine. Fabric and microfiber are usually safe. However, vibrantly colored fabrics may bleed, especially if you use hot water.

How Much Maintenance Does a Spot Cleaner Need?

Like all appliances, spot cleaning machines do require maintenance. However, maintaining one isn’t complicated or time-consuming, and you don’t need to send it to a service outlet. Cleaning the tanks is the maintenance task you’ll need to do the most. Empty the collection tank and the reservoir after each use to prevent bacteria and mildew from forming.

Brush cleaning is another routine maintenance task. Hair, lint and carpet fibers often get trapped between the bristles. You can easily pull out these particles with a comb. You’ll also need to rinse the brush and hose to remove dirt buildup. Occasionally, wipe the suction inlet clean and rinse or replace the filter if the collection tank has one.

What Happens If I Over-Shampoo the Carpet?

Uh oh. So you overshot the chemical measurement or used a high-foam soap, and now you have a bigger mess on your hands than you did before you started cleaning. Adding soap in too high of a concentration can make a stain worse, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the disaster.

First, turn off your spot cleaning machine. Grab a clean towel and apply pressure to absorb as much of the cleaning solution as possible. Then, run the machine on suction-only if that’s an option. If not, suction the area with a vacuum cleaner.

Let the area air dry. After it’s completely dry, run the spot cleaner over it with just water in the reservoir. Depending on the concentration of the cleaning agent, you may need to repeat the absorb/suction/dry process another time or two, cleaning the area with only water between each round.

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Spot Cleaning Machine?

There are a few ways to make spot treatment as easy as possible. Preemptively, vacuum your carpet twice per week (or more often if you have pets that shed fur). Never leave spilled liquids on the carpet long enough for them to make a dry stain, and always spray a stain-lifter before you use the machine.

Spot Cleaning Machines: Recap

Nothing detracts from a room’s aesthetic appeal quite like a stained carpet. Plus, stains are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. However, professional carpet cleaners are expensive to hire, rental machines are cumbersome to transport and neither solution makes sense when there are only a few spots to clean.

A better answer for small-stain removal is a spot cleaning machine. These appliances are lightweight, compact and effective. They are equipped with a tote or luggage handle, and there are many models with wheels. Each one comes with one or more brushes, some of which rotate or vibrate to give your arms a break.

best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains

Spot cleaning machines are safe to use on most carpet and fabric, and they are a lifesaver if you have stairs. You can get a corded or cordless model, and the suction feature that most have quickens the drying time. When you need on-demand spot-cleaning power before a stain sets in, a spot cleaning machine is the obvious solution.

Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s it for this Best Spot Cleaners Guide. We hope you found it helpful!

If you’re still having trouble deciding the Spot Cleaner that’s best for you check out our Bissell 3624 vs Hoover FH11300PC Comparison.

What is the Best Spot Cleaning Machine for Carpets?

Our Recommended Spot Cleaners

Best of the Best!
Also Great
Budget Option
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable...
BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain...
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Bissell 3624
Bissell 2694
Bissell 1400B
• 13 lbs
• 22 ft. Cord
• 96 oz. Tank
• 10 x 14 x 14 in
• 9 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 37 oz Tank
• 6.5 x 12 x 14.5 in
• 9.6 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 48 oz Tank
• 8.2 x 17.2 x 12.5 in
The 3624 is Bissell's most powerful spot cleaner. It uses a combination of superior suction, scrubbing action and cleaning solutions to remove spots, stubborn stains and embedded dirt.
Permanently remove tough spots and stains with the Bissell 2694 Spot Cleaner. The built-in Heatwave Technology helps maintain consistent water temperature.
The Bissell 1400B removes deep-down dirt, spots, and stains quickly and effectively. This spot cleaner is specialized in cleaning stairs, area rugs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.
Best of the Best!
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable...
Bissell 3624
• 13 lbs
• 22 ft. Cord
• 96 oz. Tank
• 10 x 14 x 14 in
The 3624 is Bissell's most powerful spot cleaner. It uses a combination of superior suction, scrubbing action and cleaning solutions to remove spots, stubborn stains and embedded dirt.
Also Great
BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain...
Bissell 2694
• 9 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 37 oz Tank
• 6.5 x 12 x 14.5 in
Permanently remove tough spots and stains with the Bissell 2694 Spot Cleaner. The built-in Heatwave Technology helps maintain consistent water temperature.
Budget Option
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Bissell 1400B
• 9.6 lbs
• 15 ft. Cord
• 48 oz Tank
• 8.2 x 17.2 x 12.5 in
The Bissell 1400B removes deep-down dirt, spots, and stains quickly and effectively. This spot cleaner is specialized in cleaning stairs, area rugs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.


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Last update on 2020-10-28 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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