A home is meant to be lived in, and that usually means things stay tidy for about five minutes after you’ve cleaned them. Let’s face it, life is messy, but that’s also what *brace for a cliché here* makes it awesome. Whether it’s kids insisting on having their spaghetti lunch in the living room or a rowdy game night resulting in a red wine spill on the floor, your carpet has hopefully seen its fair share of stains. They’re a bummer, but also, they’re a sign that your carpet is serving a purpose beyond just looking pretty. Caring for the carpet properly after the stain, however, is necessary for its look and longevity, and that’s where these carpet spot cleaners come in.
Carpet spot cleaners are essentially a compact steam cleaner and vacuum rolled into one machine that you can use on relatively small, isolated parts of your carpet, couch or car to remove stubborn stains. They’re great for grabbing from the closet and deploying as soon as stain hits, as they’re usually fairly lightweight and portable. They also tend to be quite easy to use, with a simple plugin machine and a hose attached you can use to get the cleaning job done.
We’ve consulted numerous qualified sources online and weighed the most important features against one another to find you a comprehensive list of the best carpet spot machines on the market for your home. Whether your stains tend to be pet-specific (hello house training), you’ve got kids or you’re generally clumsy and would prefer to have nice rugs than not, there’s a machine for you on this list. Before using one of these machines on your nice carpets make sure there’s a “W” on the tag or other cleaning certification so you know it’s safe. A damaged rug is no better than a stained rug.
Also, we want to briefly address that this list is largely comprised of one brand, BISSEL, as they’re a qualified leader in this space. Their machines are consistently top-rated and offer the most dependable and effective performance for users. Normally we’d prioritize variety in a round-up like this, but since they were clearly the frontrunner across the board during our research we felt it was our duty to offer the best recommendation
1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Carpet Cleaner
This machine from Bissell was, across the board, the favorite amongst all of the rankings we read through. It’s one of the most powerful stain removers for carpets, upholstery, carseats and more. It has powerful suction for removing dirt and other dried matter, scrubbing that penetrates deeply to lift up stains and a professional-grade cleaning solution that’ll remove that seemingly impossible pet stain instantly. It also has stain protect power included that not only cleans but prevents future stains as well with their powerful formula. It has a compact design that’s portable and easy to fit in different spots in your home. The 3″ tough stain tool is great for using on all sorts of stains and it also comes with a 6″ stair tool for taking care of the entire surface in one swipe. The 20″ chord ensures you’ll have plenty of room to move around when cleaning, and the 96 oz. tank holds plenty of cleaning formula so you won’t have to stop and refill mid-stain removal. Whether you’re the go-to cleaner in a household filled with kids or live alone and need some stain assistance, this compact powerful machine is a great choice.
2. Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner
This alternative from Bissell is another great option for stubborn relatively small carpet stains. It’s got a strong spray that deploys easily and a suction mechanism that’ll remove those off-color particles you want gone. The tank capacity is only 48 ounces, so a bit smaller than the previous option, but this machine is more compact and much lighter when at full capacity because of that. The fill tank is removable which makes refilling easy, and the 3″ tough stain tool is the perfect size for tackling your typical splotch. The included stain formula from them is designed to loosen up and lift soils and stains easily, and the small size makes it easy to store if you’re short on space. One thing to note is that this cleaner requires cleaning after each use to avoid mold growth in storage, but the included hydro rinse tool makes it easy. That being said, if the idea of having to clean your cleaner is more than you can handle, there are plenty of other self-cleaning options out there.
3. Bissell SpotBot HandsFree Pet Spot and Stain Remover
BEST FOR PETS
Pets are typically the primary purpose behind the purchasing of these machines, and we can see why. Pets create stains, typically not very large ones but damaging and unpleasant ones nonetheless. This machine is hands-free and does all of the cleaning for you via present cleaning cycles. All it takes is the push of a button and the machine deploys the spray, brush and suction triple threat to permanently remove both surface and set-in stains. So whether your pup just had an accident or you’re not sure how long it’s been there this machine will take care of it. It’s built with two hands-free cleaning modes, one for surface stains and one deep clean setting so no matter the job you’ve got it’s made for it. This machine also comes with a pet-specific Pet Stain & Odor Formula as well as a Pet Oxy Boost Formula made to remove everything your pet has to offer, and the spiral brushing of 400 cleaning revolutions per cycle makes it that much more effective.
4. Hoover Spotless GO Cordless Carpet Cleaner
BEST CORDLESS OPTION
Cut the cord with this portable carpet spot cleaner from Hoover that’s perfect for carrying from spot to spot around your home and refreshing the carpets that desperately need a lift. Don’t tether yourself to a socket in the wall while you clean, your pets certainly don’t do that when they’re making the mess in the first place. Clean in the hardest-to-reach places with this powerful machine complete with a ONEPWR battery that’s rechargeable and can be easily removed. The dual tanks keep the cleaning formula and dirty water separate, and it has a lightweight design that’s easy to lift up stairs or pull down from a cabinet when needed. It also has a 4″ multipurpose stain removal tool that’s great for pet, kid and adult messes alike.
5. BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Carpet Cleaner
EASIEST TO USE
This carpet cleaner from BISSELL, unlike the others, has a heating element incorporated that keeps the water temperature consistent throughout cleaning. The tank capacity is smaller than other machines at 37 ounces, making it easier to carry around, and the 3″ Tough Stain Tool is great for cleaning a variety of surfaces including standard carpets, stairs, car upholstery and more. Additionally, this machine comes with a Deep Stain Tool that’s great for lifting and removing embedded dirt, liquids and other stains easily. The ProHeat feature and Heatwave technology keeps the water at a consistently warm temperature throughout cleaning. The water tank is removable so adding more formula is simple, and the machine is self-cleaning so there’s no need to worry about mold growth or other bacteria gathering in storage.
6. Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet Cleaner
BEST FOR FAMILIES
This carpet spot cleaner from Hoover has a 5-foot long hose that makes portability and cleaning easy. The dual tank setup separates the clean water from the stain-filled water and it comes with a separate hose for emptying the dirty tank after easy use. It’s only nine pounds, making it lightweight and easy to carry while also being built to deploy a powerful deep clean when necessary on tough kid stains, pet messes or other common family occurrences. The multipurpose cleaning tool is antimicrobial to protect against mold, bacteria or mildew from growing in it, and at only 15 inches tall it’ll fit easily into most cabinets and storage places in your home.
7. BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner
BEST MULTIPURPOSE CLEANER
If your stains tend to occur on delicate chairs or plush sofas, this upholstery cleaner from BISSELL is made to handle them. This powerful spot cleaner contains all of the power of other BISSELL products in a design that’s safe to use on soft surfaces. The suction, pro-level cleaning solution and scrubbing action will remove the stain without damaging the surface of the furniture. They also have a pet-specific formula designed to eliminate urine odors with ease. The small stain brush works on all surfaces and the compact design enables you to travel to any tight space where your pet may have had an accident. It also comes with a specified stain trapper tool that keeps the liquids of the mess inside the tool rather than in your machine, minimizing the need to clean the machine afterwards.
8. BISSELL Cordless Portable Pet Stain Eraser
BEST BUDGET PICK
This carpet spot cleaner looks more like a mini vacuum cleaner than the rest of them, making it ultra portable, smaller and more affordable. It’s easy to use at anytime and is designed to permanently remove stains from urine, vomit, red wine, coffee, oils and other substances. The formula is stored right in the machine and doesn’t need to be mixed with water before use so it’s quick to start. The machine sprays, scrubs and lifts stains all in one step with a Spot and Stain brush that’s built into the end. The spot cleaner also keeps the stain inside a separate tank from the formula so you don’t have to clean it out after each use.