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We purchased the Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner so our reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.
Many carpet cleaners available today are oversized and challenging to store, which is why the Bissell SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner is an appealing option for those who are short on space. This compact carpet cleaner promises big results in a small package: The brand says it can remove wine, mud, coffee, and other common stains, and it’s incredibly portable, making it a good option for cleaning your car, stairs, and other tricky areas.
To see if the Bissell SpotClean is worth the investment, I put it to the test, using it to treat a variety of common stains, as well as to clean a small dirty rug. Read on to see how I liked it.
Setup: Just unpack and go
Certain full-size carpet cleaners require assembly before they can be used, but not the Bissell SpotClean. This compact carpet cleaner comes fully assembled, right out of the box. All you have to do is fill up the water tank with hot water, pour in 2 ounces of cleaning solution, and pick the head you’d like to use—then you’re ready to start cleaning!
I really liked that I didn’t have to tinker around with various pieces and go find a tool kit to get this product up and running.
Design: Compact and basic
Unlike many other carpet cleaners, the Bissell SpotClean is compact and lightweight at just 13 pounds. On one side of the unit, there’s a space to wrap up the 22-foot power cord, and on the other, there’s a caddy where you can wind up the 5-foot flexible hose. The 3/4-gallon clean water tank is on one side of the appliance, and the dirty water collection is on the other. There’s not a whole lot to this little machine, but that’s part of its appeal, considering many other carpet cleaners are quite cumbersome.
The Bissell SpotClean comes with two heads that you can attach to the hose—a 3-inch tough stain tool and a 6-inch stair tool. However, the attachments are almost the exact same thing, except one is bigger than the other. I thought this was a little disappointing considering the price point of this machine; the least they could do is provide two different heads.
I also found the instructions for measuring the cleaning formula confusing. The “Quick Start” instructions make it seem like you can use the cap of the water tank to measure out 2 ounces of fluid, but the cap is really small and not conducive to measuring liquid. Instead, I just used the measuring cup that came with the bottle of cleaning solution.
Find other compact cleaning tools on our list of the best handheld vacuums.
Performance: Great for small areas
This carpet cleaner isn’t supposed to be used to clean full carpets. Instead, it’s really just meant to treat stains and clean small areas. I decided to test it out on a small 3 x 2-foot entry rug that had seen better days—it was originally green and white but had turned to green and brown over time. Ick.
I used the larger head to scrub at some of the dirtier spots on the rug, and I was amazed at how much dirt the tool picked up. The white spots were actually white again! However, I quickly realized that I was going to have to clean the whole thing because the clean spots stuck out like a sore thumb. Ultimately, I ended up scrubbing the whole rug with the hand tool—not the most enjoyable task since it relies on you for the scrubbing power. My arms were really tired after I finished.
The SpotClean’s impressive cleaning abilities are both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it will get out tough stains, making your carpet look fresh again. However, if the rest of the rug is also dirty, the clean spots will stand out, and you’ll probably end up needing a full-size carpet cleaner to get the rest of the surface to the same degree of clean.
Beyond this conundrum, I was impressed that I never needed to refill the clean water tank on this carpet cleaner. It’s comparable to the tank on a full-size cleaner, and it goes much further when you’re only cleaning small spots.
Stain Removal: Could be better
For a machine that’s specifically designed to remove stains, this carpet cleaner didn’t really impress me with its stain-busting abilities. To see how it would perform on common carpet stains, I smeared mustard, chocolate, salad dressing, coffee, wine, dirt, and permanent marker on an old rug. After letting the stains dry, I went in with the Bissell SpotClean, doing two thorough passes over each stain.
The chocolate, salad dressing, and dirt were mostly removed, but you could still see the mustard, coffee, wine, and permanent marker. The instructions do say that you may need to pre-treat heavily soiled carpet, so that may help with ground-in spots, but I still expected better results considering the marketing for this tool specifically references wine and coffee stains.
Need a spot treatment? Get help from one of the best carpet stain removers.
Storage: As easy as it gets
One of the major appeals of this portable carpet cleaner is that it’s small enough to store just about anywhere. All you have to do is rinse out the dirty water tank, wind up the power cord, and wrap up the hose; you can then stash the compact machine on a shelf in a closet or even under your sink. You can store one of the attachments on the machine, but you will have to find a home for whichever attachment isn’t in use.
Price: A little high for limited functionality
The Bissell SpotClean retails for around $140, which isn’t bad as carpet cleaners go, but if you take into account that it really can only be used for spot cleaning, the price seems a little high. For instance, there are some full-size carpet cleaners that cost around $150 and can be used on full carpets, as well as with a hand tool for spot cleaning. Personally, I’d rather have both options if I’m going to spend that much money.
Competition: Bissell has a carpet cleaner for everyone
Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner: Another one of Bissell’s popular carpet cleaners is the ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro, which is designed with the concerns of pet owners in mind. This full-size model more closely resembles an upright vacuum, and it has the ability to clean large carpets, tackle messes with its stain tool, and even vacuum and wash upholstery with its special 2-in-1 tool.
The Pet Pro is undeniably more versatile than the SpotClean, but it also comes at a higher price ($269). If you just want to get rid of the occasional stain, stick with the SpotClean. However, if your main goal is to get rid of pet hair, odors, and stains in your home, you may be better off splurging on the Pet Pro.
Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner: If your carpet cleaning needs are larger, you may want to upgrade even further to the Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner. This large appliance is most comparable to what professional cleaners use, and while it’s much more expensive ($469) than the SpotClean, it’s a more comprehensive solution for those who have wall-to-wall carpeting in multiple rooms of their home.
The Big Green delivers unmatched cleaning performance, getting deep into rugs to pull up dirt you didn’t even know was there, and it has a hand tool that you can use to target tough stains as well. However, this professional-grade tool weighs a whopping 40 pounds, so it can be a bit challenging to navigate around your home.