Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

Don’t you hate it when there are stains and spots on your carpet? One good way to prevent these messes from ruining your lovely floors is by getting the best portable carpet cleaner.

Portable carpet cleaners or carpet spot cleaners are compact appliances. They’re easy to carry and use. And, you can apply them quickly on new stains and spots to get rid of them.

They work like the bigger rug and carpet cleaners. But unlike the larger machines or shampooers, these are lightweight. They’re convenient because you can get them ready to work with little preparation.

This makes them ideal of small spills and messes. They’re also very effective because you can start working on the stain before it dries and sets.


Our Top Choices: Clean Spots and Stains From Your Carpet Quickly


What Is a Carpet Spot Cleaner / Portable Carpet Cleaner?

Carpet spot cleaners or portable carpet cleaners are compact, lightweight devices you can easy carry in one hand. They are designed to clean small areas of your carpets, rugs, upholstery and car interior.

As such, they work best for small messes. And, are useful for when you need to get rid of stains in between your main carpet cleaning sessions. Carpet spot cleaners do a good job in cleaning spills, pee or vomit.

Unlike the full sized upright carpet cleaners, they aren’t designed to deep cleaning or routine cleaning purposes. Instead, these smaller machines have limited cleaning capacity. As such, they’re not meant to replace your main carpet cleaner since they can’t cover an entire floor area.

Portable carpet cleaners often use tap water mixed with cleaning formula. It sprays the area with water solution then gently scrubs the area before using suction to pull out the stains. Some products come with hot water extraction ability. This improves their ability to remove stubborn blemishes.


Portable vs. Upright Carpet Cleaners

In this section, we explain the difference between the full sized upright carpet cleaner and your portable spot cleaner.

Upright Carpet Cleaners

Upright Carpet Cleaners look like your upright vacuum. They work similarly in that you push them around the floor to clean it. The difference is that these machines are designed for deep cleaning or routinely cleaning your carpets and rugs.

These machines are big and bulky. They also cost more than your portable units. But, they’re capable of giving your rugs and carpets a deeper clean.

Also, because of their size it’s easier clean your entire floor’s carpeting.

Portable Carpet Cleaners

These smaller, lightweight devices are meant for cleaning spots and stains. They work very effectively since you can pull them out anytime to quickly take care of small messes right after they happen. This prevents the spills or stains from settling in, which make them more difficult to remove.

Portable carpet cleaners often come with a short hose. At the end of the hose is a nozzle with a brush. The brush works to scrub the surface. This helps loosen dirt or stains to make suction easier.

Some models offer hand-off features. This means you can set them on the stained area, push a button and let the machine do all the work. In this case, the spray, brush and suction are located underneath the cleaner. This allows it to automatically do all the work while you go do something else.

Upright and Portable Carpet Cleaners Complement One Another

Both machines work in similar fashion. They lift soil, dirt and stains by using water mixed with cleaning mixture.

Ideally, the two devices work together. The main carpet cleaner takes care of your deep cleaning on a regular basis. In between these sessions, should spills or small messes occur, you can quickly take out the portable cleaner for spot cleaning.


Vacuums vs. Carpet Cleaners

As mentioned above, vacuums work differently from carpet cleaners. Ideally, you’ll vacuum your carpet first before giving it a clean.

This gets rid of the bigger dirt particles as well as those stuck in between the fibers. Vacuum cleaners do a great job in pulling out dirt and debris from carpets and rugs. But, they aren’t able to clean the carpet itself, including its fibers.

For that you’ll need a carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaners get rid of stains and discoloration from your carpet. They bring back the original color of your carpets and rugs, especially after a thorough deep cleaning.

As far as function goes, here’s the difference between vacuums and carpet cleaners.

  • Vacuums use a brush roll to loosen dirt. Then suction to pick up all the debris and particles from the carpets.
  • Carpet cleaners meanwhile use water, sometimes hot water mixed with cleaning solution. The machine sprays the carpet with the liquid. It then uses a brush to scrub the dirt and stains out of the carpet. Finally, it suctions the dirty water along with the soil and other particles into a water tank.


Best Portable Carpet Cleaner Reviews

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

This is a portable carpet cleaner with professional cleaning ability. It is Bissell’s most powerful compact carpet cleaner. Its deep cleaning ability makes it our top pick.

As with the others in this review, this product is compact. What we like is that it comes with high end cleaning power despite its size.

The unit uses water and cleaning formula to get rid of spots and stains in your rugs and carpets. It sprays the area with the mixture and then uses suction to pull out the dirt and stain from the fibers.

To do so, you’ll be using the built-in flexible hose. The hose comes with a snap on head. This makes it easy to add different tools to it to get the cleaning job done.

The hose also lets you get to small areas that are hard to reach. You can use the Bissell SpotClean Pro for carpets, rugs as well as sofas.

The device comes with a removable plastic water tank. This 0.75 gallon tank makes it easy to fill with water and solution. It also makes it convenient to clean.

We like that the Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro works well on old stains and new spills. Its 22 foot cord gives you good reach. Plus, the 6” stair tool and tough stain tool let you take care of stubborn marks.

Bissell Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner 33N8A

The Bissell Spotbot Pet is what its name says. It is designed for pet owners who need to take care of pet stains and odors. Of course, it works just as well for regular carpet and upholstery spot cleaning.

The device works similar to the Bissell SpotClean Pro above. But, it does offer an extra hands-free feature. This lets you set the device on the stain and let it clean on its own.

We like the extra feature in that it frees you up to get your chores done or relax for a few minutes.

As with Bissell’s other portable carpet cleaners, you get a hose that comes with it. This lets you do the regular carpet stain and spot cleaning manually for stairs and upholstery.

The hands-free feature of the Spotbot meanwhile works great on rugs and carpets. It uses cleaning brushes that are situated at the bottom of the device. So, all you need to do is place the spot cleaner on the stain then turn it on.

This lets the brushes at the bottom of the device work on the area with the stain. As a result, it gives you hands-free cleaning. You can do other things while it does the work for you.

The Bissell Spotbot sprays the area with solution mixture. It then brushes the carpet fibers before using suction to pull out the dirt and stain. Its computer controlled action does everything for you.

All you need to do is press a button. It comes with 2 modes of cleaning. Which one you choose will depend on whether it’s a new or old stain you’re dealing with.

  • Surface stain cleaning is for new spills.
  • The Set in stain cycle for older ones that have set in.

When it’s finished, it will beep to inform you it’s done.

Bissell Little Green ProHeat 14259

This is one of the smallest portable carpet cleaners around. It is ideal if you want something that’s small and light yet with good cleaning ability.

The Little Green ProHeat weighs 11.6 pounds. It is designed for cleaning spots and stains. What makes it different from the two products above is it comes with a hot water heater. This lets you use hot water when getting rid of stains. The feature is built-in which makes it convenient.

The unit works by spraying the area with hot water and solution. It then suctions it up to clean and dry.
Note that while it does let you use hot water, it works differently from a steam cleaner. And, you won’t get the effects of steam cleaning with this device.

The Bissell Little Green ProHeat works well for cleaning your car’s interior as well as your home’s carpets and upholstery. Its 15 foot cord lets you move around with it easily.

To help with the work, the product comes with a Tough Stain Tool and Spraying Crevice Tool. Both attach to the hose for easy use.

Bissell Spotlifter Powerbrush Handheld Deep Cleaner, 1716B

If you want something even smaller than the portable carpet cleaners above, this is a good option. The Bissell Spotlifter is a handheld carpet cleaner.

This makes it significantly smaller and lighter than the other products in our review. You do give up cleaning power and coverage though.

Its size makes it more convenient as far as handling is concerned. But because it doesn’t pack as much power, it is better off for smaller messes and new stains.

The unit comes with an 18 foot power cord and a 12 ounce dirt tank. It uses rotating brushes on the head to loosen stains as well as dirt from surfaces.

This handheld carpet cleaner works the same as the portable models above. It sprays the area with solution, brushes and then suctions to clean. The difference is that you don’t get a hose with this one. The device’s nozzle head is what you use to clean the areas.