5 Best Portable Spot Carpet Cleaners

5 (100%) 78 vote[s]

Bissell 3624 SpotClean
Cord: 22
Tank: Single
Power Rating: 5.7 amps
SpotBot Pet Handsfree
Cord: 15
Tank: Dual
Power rating: 3 amps
Bissell Multi-Purpose
Cord: 15
Tank: Dual
Power rating: 3 amps
Hoover Spotless Cleaner
Cord: 14
Tank: Dual
Power rating: 5.7 amps
SpotClean Pet Pro
Cord: 22
Tank: Single
Power rating: 5.7 amps

Best Spot Carpet Cleaners

When you have to deal with a stain on your carpet quickly, you want to have a portable spot cleaner on hand. A few models offer some great options to keep your place clean and fresh.

1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner, Corded — Best Multi-Surface

Bissell-3624-SpotClean-Professional-Portable-Carpet-CleanerThis spot cleaner weighs in at just over 13 pounds. You get maximum reach with the 22′ power cord and 5′ hose. This is rated as the best multi-surface cleaner because it has a 6″ stair tool and a 3″ tough stain tool to handle any carpeted or upholstered surface.

The single tank holds up to ¾ gallon. Because there is only one tank to hold both clean and dirty water, you should take care that dirty water does not get back into your carpet as you work.


  • Multiple tools
  • Powerful suction
  • Long reach


  • Hose prone to cracking
  • Sprayer may clog

Check Full Review: Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro

2. SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology 33N8 — Best Hands-Free

The power cord is a little short at 15′, but the 5′ hose lets you reach far. With 3 amps of power, you get enough suction to get out stains. A little heavy at 14 pounds, you can still easily carry this spot cleaner around your home. It has two tanks to keep clean and dirty water separate.

SpotBot-Pet-handsfree-Spot-and-Stain-Cleaner-with-Deep-Reach-TechnologyYou can place this machine over the stain, choose from two preset cycles, and walk away while this spot cleaner does the work, making this product the best hands-free spot cleaner.


  • Hands-free operation
  • Long hose
  • Two tanks


  • Hands-free cycle may not remove all water from carpet
  • May leak around rubber seal
  • Hose tool may clog

3. Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner — Best Value

The standard Little Green Machine weighs less than 10 pounds, allowing you to transport from place to place with ease. There is one tank for your solution mixture. A second tank holds the dirty water. Although the hose and power cord are both shorter than on some of the other models, it still provides a lot of reach.

Bissell-Multi-Purpose-Portable-Carpet-and-Upholstery-CleanerThe 3” tool can get into small areas, while 3 amps of power provide enough suction to pull out stains. This machine is lighter than most for easy use. This machine is rated as the best value because it does what it is designed to do for under $100.


  • Very lightweight
  • Dual tanks


  • Dirty water tank may leak
  • Tanks hard to clean

4. Hoover Spotless FH11300PC Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner — Best Self-Cleaning

Hoover-Spotless-Portable-Carpet-&-Upholstery-Spot-CleanerThe small footprint makes this model easier to store in smaller spaces and to use when cleaning stains on stairs. The 15′ power cord and 5′ hose give you a shorter reach than some.

The FH11300PC is very lightweight at under 10 pounds. The self-cleaning port flushes dirt and germs out of the hose for you.


  • Self-cleaningt
  • Very lightweight
  • Powerful suction


  • Hand tool degenerates easily
  • Sprayer may clog
  • May leak

5. BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable 2458 Carpet Cleaner — Best Single-Tank

The 22′ power cord and 5′ hose provide maximum reach. 5.7 amps of power gets more of the dirty water out for quicker dry times. At just over 13 pounds, this cleaner can be carried from room to room as needed.

BISSELL-SpotClean-Pet-Pro-Portable-Carpet-CleanerAlthough this model has a single tank for clean and dirty water, a trapping tool is designed to contain pet messes and prevent them from mixing with the cleaning solution.


  • Stain trapper tool
  • Easy to clean


  • Single tank
  • Weak suction

Buyer’s Guide

Spot carpet cleaners are designed to be portable so that you can easily bring them out when needed. Powerful suction lets you clean up stains from accidents or pets. There are no wheels as with a full-sized carpet shampooer, but these models are created to be lighter and smaller for ease of use. Some models have two tanks to keep dirty water locked away, so this is a major factor to consider based on the type of stains you need to tackle. The lighter weight makes it easy to carry, even up stairs. The smaller size allows you to store it in the closet or on a shelf when not in use.

Video Tutorial: How to Use Spot Carpet Cleaner

How These Models Work

First you will mix the special cleaning solution with hot water right in the tank, then you can simply spray the solution on the stain. The handle tool works to rub the cleaner into the stain while removing the dirt with the water. When you are done, just take the tank out to get rid of the dirty water.

Special Features and Functions

The small size makes these spot cleaners easy to use and store. Long power cords and hoses make it easy for you to reach multiple stains in one go. Hand tools give you the control you need to clean up stains precisely.


What to look for in a portable carpet cleaner?

Before purchasing a small upholstery cleaning system, several factors may be important to consider. One crucial point many people think about is the length of the cord. Knowing there is enough reach to get to every corner in the biggest room of the house lets consumers know cleaning any room is possible using the same carpet cleaning machine.

Suction is a critical issue. If the machine does not pick up enough water, then it can make it hard to get the carpet to dry. The longer the flooring stays wet, the more chance mold can grow or dirt and dust can collect on the wet surface causing it to stick to the fibers of the carpet.

The number of tanks makes a difference because larger jobs can soil the water quickly requiring many water changes. Separate tanks prevent this issue, but it means there are more frequent refills because it cuts tank amounts in half. Cleaning up pet messes can dirty the clean water when there is only one tank making it important to sanitize the cleaner every use. Consumers must weight these options and consider how much weight the machine weights with the number of tanks to determine which product best suits his or her needs.

How many amps the cleaner pulls is another point to consider. The more powerful the cleaner, the more electric it uses, but it also offers more cleaning strength. Getting the most water back up out of the fibers is beneficial for many reasons. The material drys faster preventing dirt from collecting. Dirt and debris are less likely to stain fresh carpets if the material dries quickly. Plus, mold growth and mildew is less likely the more water a person can pull back up out of the carpet when cleaning it with a machine. This statement is true for whole carpet and spot cleaning.

Accessory tools like brushes, wands, and scrubbers make a difference to many people. For light soil areas, a simple solution application and suction job work well, but for greasy or deep stains, an agitating brush or rollers can get down into the fibers to power out the dirt. Weight is a big deal for some people. The heavier the unit, the harder it is to move it around to clean up multiple locations. People with lifting restrictions may need to go for the lighter choices. The size is another consideration because some units are wider or taller than others requiring a bigger space for storage.

How do you spot clean carpet by hand?

One of the first things to do when you see a stain on the carpet is to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Carpet cleaning specialists suggest people never scrub the area even if it is in a circular motion. The movement of fabric across the carpet can wear down the fibers and make the area look worn, or later cause raveling. Furthermore, rubbing the dirt, grease, sauce, mud, wine, or juice can make the stain spread getting bigger, and possibly affecting the padding. These stains will continue to reappear after cleaning and may never come completely out of the carpet.

After blotting the area, the next step is to use a solution like a dish soap and alcohol, vinegar and water, or baking soda and peroxide. Putting the items in a spray bottle is an excellent way to distribute the cleaning solution. If you have a portable wet and dry vacuum, this tool will help remove the cleaner after you apply it.

One cleaning solution that will work for multiple stains consists of a cup of warm water, a half a teaspoon of some type of dish cleaning liquid, and two tablespoons of 91 percent alcohol. It is extremely important to only use a small amount of dish liquid because taking the suds out of the carpet will be a never-ending task otherwise. The leftover suds will attract dust and dirt making the spot look worse as time passes. Another concern is to always make sure you have a wet and dry vacuum when you use rubbing alcohol. Otherwise, your carpet backing will break down.

To clean the spot, you should first spray the area with the cleaning solution. You can use the back of an old spoon to spread the mixture gently into the stain if necessary. Then, let the solution sit for just a minute or two and use the wet vacuum to pull up the moisture. It may take several applications to get out the stain, and you can also use straight alcohol, but do not add any more soap. Always remove the liquid with the vacuum because damp drying it will not remove enough moisture to prevent the liquid from reaching the padding.

For people without a wet vacuum, it is best to use the baking soda and vinegar or peroxide mixture. You can also use a carpet shampoo or dish liquid solution as long as you only put down a small amount. Any standing liquid will soak into the carpet backing and the padding making it impossible to sop up with a dry towel. If you only have rags and cleaning supplies, then it might be best to put as little liquid on the flooring as you can while cleaning to prevent saturating the carpet. Spot removers are excellent for this application.

Why does my carpet look worse after cleaning?

There are three primary reasons why a carpet may look dirtier after attempting to clean up a spill. One reason could be from rubbing the stain with a paper or cloth towel. Another reason is because of using too much water or cleaner. Excess liquid will draw dirt and dust to the area over time making a stain appear worse. If the floor is still wet, then the stain will look darker at first. A final reason carpet can look bad after cleaning is from using too many suds. This problem occurs with dish liquid and carpet cleaners.

Does cleaning carpets make dirtier?

The answer to this question is yes and no. No, cleaning the carpet does not make it dirtier right now. However, once you begin cleaning the carpet, it will need regular cleaning to keep it looking fresh and dirt-free. Just like any new object, a clean carpet will begin to look dirty faster because of how bright and vibrant the shampooing process makes the material.

On a positive note, cleaning carpets often reduces allergens and maintains the material. The carpet will last longer with a good cleaning every so often. Plus, clean floors maintain the value of the home. Routine shampooing keeps the floor color more even and makes ground-in stains less apparent over time.

Can you use laundry detergent in a carpet cleaner?

Many shampooing machines work well with laundry soap. The cleaning agents are similar to fabric cleaners for carpet and gentle enough for use in a spot cleaner. The key to using the laundry detergent is to never use more than a cap per gallon of water. If your cleaning machine only has a half gallon tank, then only use a half a cap of detergent.

Can I use Dawn dish soap in my carpet cleaner?

As long as you use a small amount of dish liquid, this detergent is safe for use in a carpet machine. Just like with a spray-on carpet solution, a machine mixture should not contain a large amount of suds. To use dish liquid, begin by adding a teaspoon of detergent to see how much it suds. If the solution is not strong enough to get rid of the dirt, then you can add another teaspoon. Oxiclean is another item you can use in the machine to cut the dirt and get rid of stains without too many suds.

Can I put a little bleach in my carpet cleaner?

A cap of non-chlorine bleach will not hurt a carpet cleaner. Using this amount of bleach can sanitize your carpet machine after cleaning up oily, muddy, or pet messes. If you want to try the bleach to clean a spot on the carpet, then it is best to try using it in an inconspicuous spot before using it on the stain to make sure there are no problems with discoloration.

How do I get my carpet white again?

The first step to getting a white carpet again is to use a vacuum and get up all the debris and dust. Then, choose which carpet cleaning solution you want to use. Since chlorine bleach is harmful to carpet fibers, it is a better idea to use a non-chlorine alternative, ammonia, or alcohol mixture in the cleaning machine. Remember to use a cleaner with low suds in a small amount to reduce the amount of residue it leaves behind. After laying the cleaning solution on the carpet, let it sit for a few minutes and begin pulling the liquid back up.

To prevent dirt and dust from sticking to the fresh carpet, it may be necessary to rinse the carpet once or twice after using the cleaner. Rinsing helps in two ways. First, running straight warm water through the carpet cleaner and using it on the flooring after the initial cleaning helps remove any excess dirt the first pass misses. This action also removes any extra suds and detergent to prevent dust from sticking to it and making the floor look dingy prematurely.

The key to keeping the carpet clean and preventing any damage to the padding and backing is to use a carpet cleaner with enough power to suck up the excess water. Any water left standing can attract dirt while drying. If the water penetrates the padding, then mold and mildew can grow if there is not enough airflow to dry the material. Mold begins growing in as little as 24 hours and thrives in moist, dark environments. Therefore, any mold spores that are floating throughout a building can grow in any wet carpet that takes more than a day to dry completely.

How often should you clean your carpet?

Angie’s List tells readers to clean floors that see lots of traffic about once a year or at least every 18 months. The popular consumer site also says all carpets should get a thorough wash and rinse every two years to maintain the flooring. Households with dogs and cats will need to clean the floors more often because of accidents and constant travel on the carpet.

Families, especially those with young children, and large households will also need to clean the carpets more often than homes with less traffic. Frequent spills and movement across the material will spread the dirt and cause more staining. Cleaning carpets in these homes may require routine seasonal or biannual schedules to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Many people with allergies will also need to clean carpets more often than most. Keeping down the pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other allergy-triggering items requires a rigorous cleaning schedule and routine. Just like changing the furnace filter every season to reduce allergy triggers, cleaning carpets is important.

Regular floor cleaning offers many benefits beyond allergy prevention. This task can keep the home or business looking great for visitors or customers. The building value will stay high with good, clean flooring. People feel better when they live or work in a neat and tidy environment. Regular care may extend the life of the carpet as long as stain removal is prompt, and the user follows proper floor care. Most carpet manufacturers offer care guidelines that include how to spot clean, how often to wash the entire floor, and safe products to use on the material.


When choosing your favorite model, you will want to decide on the most important factors to ensure you get a machine that will be able to accommodate you.


Hello, my name is Tara and I am a housewife. I like when my house is clean and I have bought a spot carpet cleaner recently. i’m going to share my experience with you!


  1. Thank you for your help. I am still considering between first 2 models but will make a decision soon.

    1. Hello, Gregory! I recommend to buy Bissell 3624 SpotClean. I think it’s a great choice for the price.

  2. Hallo Tara!

    Finally, I found a complete carpet cleaner guide and finally, I have a model which is just perfect!

    Thank you for the wonderful instructions and recommended models! You are amazing!

  3. I am trying to make a decision between Bissell 3624 SpotClean and SpotClean Pet Pro.

    Which one is better?

    1. Hello, Mary! I would recommend to buy Bissell 3624 SpotClean. You can check my review here.

  4. These are five great spot carpet cleaners. I really enjoy models that come with multiple tools, powerful suction, and a long reach. Features like water heating are also nice. The SpotBot Pet Handsfree cleaner is particularly good for deep stains and spot cleaning those pet stains that can prove hard to remove.

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