Updated November 2018

Best Spot Cleaners


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Best Spot Cleaners Updated November 2018





SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
Check Price at: 1 store
A solid cleaner that delivers impressive performance but not without a design flaw or two to consider.
A portable spot cleaner that works! Consistently scored highly when it comes to power.
Cleaner hose is prone to tears and cracks, with many reviewers noting the issue. Leaks sometimes, unfortunately from the dirty water tank. This generally starts small and increases over time, although it should be noted that most reviewers were still satisfied by the cleaner’s ability to clean their carpets.


Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner
Check Price at: 1 store
A lightweight machine that offers portable power. Best used on carpet – its upholstery results are mixed.
A lightweight and durable spot cleaner that works well to pull stains out of carpet. The vacuum offers plenty of power, too, to help users save their floors.
While a good option for carpets, it doesn’t have the same results on upholstery. It also doesn’t seem to reliably steam clean surfaces, which can impede its effectiveness.


Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner
Check Price at: 1 store
A lightweight and easy-to-use spot cleaner.
Does well in small areas and is easily moved from one location to the next. Reviewers appreciated how consistent the temperature of the hot water was during use, making cleaning small spots easy.
Not easily taken apart for cleaning, which causes issues keeping the water tank clean and sanitized. Difficult to clean larger areas and leaks over time.

Rug Doctor

Portable Spot Cleaner
Check Price at: 1 store
Among the most powerful we’ve reviewed, but it is not without its flaws.
Packs a lot of power into a relatively small package, with reviewers consistently noting that its suction ability is quite strong. Its brush also received praise for its design – it helps make cleaning spots and stains quick and easy.
Water tanks, both clean and dirty, have a propensity to leak fairly consistently. Additionally, the water tank lacks a flat surface, making filling it into quite the chore.


SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner
Check Price at: 1 store
An affordable and effective spot cleaner, Bissell’s SpotBot is a good option if you’re planning on using it gently.
An effective spot cleaner that is easy to use. The “hands-free” design wins points for consumer ease-of-use, too, allowing you to walk away and attend to other issues while your carpet is being cleaned.
Hose is a frequent source of frustration, with many reviewers claiming that it cracks easily. Sometimes excess water from the cleaning cycle requires a bit of extra work to extract, too.


Customer Reviews

A spot cleaner can be the difference between carpets you’re proud of and floors that you’d rather hide than show off. It’s important to find the perfect solution for your needs. Leaking water, poor hose design, and lackluster suction are all common issues that plague spot cleaners on the market today.

We understand that your time is valuable. Spending time sifting through thousands of reviews is probably not your idea of a productive afternoon. That’s why we do that for you! We compared five of the best spot cleaners on the market, carefully analyzed customer reviews, and worked on answering some frequently asked questions that surround spot cleaner purchases.

Spot Cleaner Reviews Guide

Clean, lush carpet is a luxury that many enjoy. It is not, however, one that is often enjoyed for long. Carpets are prone to collecting all manner of stains and odors and can quickly become a source of embarrassment rather than one of pride. That’s where spot cleaners come in. Different from conventional carpet cleaners, spot cleaners offer a similar feature set in a smaller, and typically less-expensive, package. Spot cleaners are useful for almost anyone with a carpet or rug. Despite our best efforts, these surfaces are exposed to dirt and spills almost every day. They can quickly become unsightly with stains, not to mention a bit unhygienic in general. Spot cleaners can be used in conjunction with a more traditional vacuum cleaner to help keep those carpets and rugs clean and in great shape. And if you pick the best option for your needs, all of this can be done with minimal frustration and fuss.

Note that spot cleaners can be sometimes be used on upholstery, too. This makes them ideal for anyone who is looking to keep their sofa as clean as their carpet – as long as the machine works for the material in question. The best way to determine whether a spot cleaner will work for your upholstery is to check the specifications of the machine in question and look at what the manufacturer (and other reviewers) say about its intended use. Not all spot cleaners will work well with upholstery, but some can work quite well.


The Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner offers a lot of power in a small package. It is especially useful for individuals who prefer to use exclusively hot water when cleaning their carpets as the machine is great at keeping water temperature consistent. It is also lightweight and can easily be moved and adjusted to reach the best angle while cleaning.

How they work

Spot cleaners can clean carpets in different ways. Most of them tend to use a mixture of specially-formulated cleaning solutions, warm water, and suction to remove stains and spots from your carpet. Some of them, however, can offer impressive results without the need for a cleaning solution. These spot cleaners often offer more powerful suction than the alternatives as well as a water temperature regulator that helps ensure that hot water is consistently dispensed. If you’re hoping to clean your home with a minimum of cleaning solution, you’ll want to look for machines that offer high levels of suction as well as hot water. With that said, don’t forget to be aware of the dangers that hot water present and use your spot cleaner cautiously.

Factors to Consider

Size, Weight, and Portability

If you’re looking for a cleaner for a relatively small space, then you might want to consider portable, light-weight cleaner options. These machines are easily moved and cleaned and can help avoid back strain or injury. If the surface area in question is a bit bigger, that’s also something you should consider. In that case, you’ll want to ensure that the length of the cleaner’s cord is adequate for your needs.

Suction Power

In order to effectively clean stains and spots, a spot cleaner must have a good deal of suction power. If they don’t, you might find yourself simply adding water on top of the existing stain rather than cleaning your carpet. Some machines are stronger than others, which is why it’s important to do your homework before making a purchase.

Design and Cleanability

Because you are using these machines to remove dirt and other unpleasant materials from your carpet, the machine can quickly become quite dirty. A machine that is easily disassembled for cleaning, then, is a machine that will ultimately be more pleasant to have around the house. Spot cleaners without this design might end up full of mold or mildew and become quite malodorous, so make sure to keep yours as clean as possible.

Types of Spot Cleaners

There are a few different categories of spot cleaners. There are hands-free options, for example, that take much of the work out of the cleaning process, as well as manual cleaners. Hands-free spot cleaners typically still require manual effort to suction up remaining water after the cleaning cycle itself has completed, however, they can still save quite a bit of time. Manual cleaners tend to work just as well. The choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.


The Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner is great at cleaning spots both large and small. It offers suction to spare and effectively removes even old stains. If you’re looking for a powerful and diverse spot cleaner, the SpotClean might be the option for you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best spot cleaner for carpets?

The best overall spot cleaner for carpets, according to our careful analysis, is the Bissell SpotClean Professional, which offers customers an extremely powerful performance. It is not without its issues, but its ability to clean tough stains makes it a top contender regardless.

What is the best upholstery cleaning machine?

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is perhaps the best option for an upholstery cleaning spot cleaner. Reviewers specifically praised the machine’s ability to effectively clean upholstery as well as carpet.


The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Kelsey Roadruck
John Morgan

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