Best Portable Carpet Cleaner — 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

Are you tired of cleaning small stains in your carpet by hand or having to set up your full size carpet cleaner to do it? If that is you then the best portable carpet cleaner is definitely an item that you should considering purchasing.

There are few tools that are as handy to have around as a portable carpet cleaner. You never know when that next unplanned spill or pet accident will take place on one of your good looking carpets. Any carpet expert will tell you that the sooner you start working on getting a carpet stain out the better chance you have of getting it out completely. Having the ability to attack that stain quickly with a portable carpet cleaner could potentially save you some big money on a carpet replacement.

Not everyone is familiar with these handy go anywhere carpet cleaning devices. That is why we have taken the time to do several reviews on the top model portable carpet cleaners and to also give you some other useful information when it comes to shopping for them too.

A Quick Overview of Some of the Best Portable Carpet Cleaners

Here are some of the key features of the top portable carpet cleaning models. More in depth reviews will follow after this overview chart.

Rank

Carpet Cleaner

Cord Length

Key Features

Rating

Price

1

​Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

​22 Ft

  • Enhanced suction power
  • Extremely portable
  • Features many carpet cleaning tools
  • 2-year warranty

2

Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner​

14 Ft​

  • Self-cleaning suction hose
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Removable dual tank technology
  • Easy to store

3

BISSELL 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner​

15 Ft​

  • Dual action spray and suction cleaning
  • Compact and weighs only 10 lbs.
  • Two tank design
  • Made from recycled materials

4

BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology​

​15 Ft

  • 400 rpm spiral cleaning brush
  • Hands free technology
  • Easy to store and carry design
  • Deep reach capable

5

​Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Machine

15 Ft​

  • Excellent suction
  • Oscillating motorized brush
  • Removable dual water storage tanks
  • Retractable carrying handle

Reviews of the Top Portable Carpet Cleaning Models

Here is some good information on what the better performing portable carpet cleaners have to offer you if you decide to purchase one:

#1 Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

This will undoubtedly be one of the easiest portable carpet cleaners you will ever use. Few companies know how to clean carpets better than Bissell and they have done a really nice job designing this excellent spot and small area portable carpet cleaner. It’s even the choice of many professionals to use in this role.

Here is a portable carpet cleaner that features great suction and offers you a variety of ways in which you can clean your carpets. It will even clean dirt and grime off of other types of surfaces as well.

One of the best features on this model portable carpet cleaner is its extra-long 22 foot power cord. That means you can clean most any stairway or room rug without ever having to plug the cord into a second outlet to reach any part of it. Its convenient 13 pound weight when combined with the longer power cord makes this one of the most easily portable carpet cleaners you could possibly own.

Bissel includes several handy carpet cleaning accessories in with this product package and also includes a free sample of their top carpet cleaning formula. It comes with a generous two year warranty to back up your purchase too.

Pros

  • Enhanced suction power
  • Extremely portable
  • Features many carpet cleaning tools
  • 2-year warranty
  • Extra-long 22’ power cord
  • Great spot cleaning ability

Cons

  • 13 pounds may be too heavy for some users to conveniently move around
  • The brush attachment does not use rotary cleaning motion
  • A little tough to clean after using

#2 Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner

Here is another portable carpet cleaner that is built by a company that knows a thing or two about cleaning carpets. Hoover is a big name in the business and this model portable carpet cleaner does not disappoint. It can easily handle a variety of different carpet cleaning tasks.

Its good suction and excellent power tools make this portable carpet cleaner perfect for cleaning such things as smaller rugs, carpeted steps and area rugs. It can handle cleaning most any type of carpet stain too if you get to cleaning it right away. This model portable carpet cleaner is even strong enough to clean up stains that have gone deep into the carpet fibers.

One of its better features is the two detachable water storage tanks that are built into this model. It makes them very easy to fill and clean. The 14 foot power card it comes with is also long enough so that you do not have to constantly unplug this carpet cleaner in order to move the machine where you need to use it.

The base on this unit’s extremely stable too. Even when it’s full with water it will not easily tip over as you use it. It’s a very good portable carpet cleaner to have on hand so you can get to cleaning any tough stain with just a few short minutes of prep time.

Pros

  • Self-cleaning suction hose
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Removable dual tank technology
  • Easy to store
  • Deeps cleans using good suction and well-designed carpet cleaning tools
  • 14’ power cord

Cons

  • Upholstery cleaning tool must be ordered separately
  • Some users think its loud

#3 BISSELL 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner

Here is an affordable and compact portable carpet cleaner that works really well on big and small stains or dirty carpet areas. It’s not surprising that it’s made by the reputable carpet cleaning company Bissel. It’s so compact and lightweight it can go with you anywhere you need to spot clean a carpet.

This product attacks dirty and stained carpet areas with a combination of accurate water spray and strong suction. With the right solution in the machine this becomes virtually a one step process. For extra tough stains it has a brush attachment that works much better than most.

It has a generous size 15 foot power cord too which allows for a lot of freedom of movement with it. Each of its dual water reservoirs hold up to 48 ounces of water in them too. It’s just the right size for cleaning up pet stains, stairway carpets or for doing the upholstery in your vehicle.

This portable carpet cleaner is one of the greener model carpet cleaners you will find too.  This is because a large percentage of the materials used in its construction are recycled materials. It’s nicely backed up with a one year limited warranty from Bissell too.

Pros

  • Dual action spray and suction cleaning
  • Compact and weighs less than 10 lbs.
  • Two tank design
  • Made partially from recycled materials
  • Excellent stain cleaning brush attachment
  • 15’ power cord
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Small water reservoirs
  • Not recommended for large carpet cleaning projects
  • No water heating capability on this model

#4 BISSELL Spotbot Pet Hands free Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology

Here is a portable carpet cleaner that not only works great on normal carpet stains but can help get out the ones that go deeply into even the thickest carpeting. It’s another great functioning portable carpet cleaning model from Bissell. It’s well designed and also built to last you a long time.

The best thing about this portable rug shampooer is it does its cleaning using an innovative hands free approach. It does this by utilizing one of the two preset cleaning options it has programmed into it. You just place it over the stain you want removed, set the machine to your desired cleaning level and then walk away and let the machine do the rest. Carpet spot cleaning could not possible get any easier.

It also has a generous 15 foot power cord so you can get to several stains at a time in one room without having to unplug it. This model carpet cleaner carries and stores easily too but it’s also one of the heaviest machines on our review list at 14 pounds.

The package this portable carpet cleaner comes also includes a variety of Bissell’s very good carpet cleaning solutions. There is also a one year limited warranty that backs this carpet cleaning product up.

Pros

  • 400 rpm spiral cleaning brush
  • Hands free technology
  • Easy to store and carry design
  • Deep reach capable
  • Two preset cleaning cycles
  • 15’ power cord
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Has to be moved several times to get out bigger stains
  • Heavy for some users at 14 pounds
  • Not good for cleaning auto upholstery
  • Has no attachments

#5 Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Machine

The same company that is known for making the best rental carpet cleaners in the marketplace also makes one of the better personal portable carpet cleaning products. This lightweight and compact portable carpet cleaner is excellent at doing such tasks as stain spot cleaning, cleaning carpeted stairways and also cleaning your car’s delicate upholstery. It even comes in Rug Doctor’s famous candy apple red color.

The best feature on this carpet cleaner is its oscillating cleaning brush. It allows you to get out even deeply embedded stains in any carpet or upholstery you are working on. The cleaning brush is also designed so it can get in hard to clean places that more traditional full size carpet cleaning machines cannot go.

If not for the cleaning brush the best feature would be its fold out handle and carpet friendly wheels used to move it. At 20 pounds you definitely don’t want to be carrying this carpet cleaning product around.

This machine also features better suction than most model portable cleaners have. That makes for thorough dirt pickup after shampooing and leaves little moisture behind so your carpet drying times are faster.

Pros

  • Excellent suction
  • Powerful oscillating motorized brush
  • Removable dual water storage tanks
  • Retractable carrying handle
  • Carpet friendly wheeled base
  • Comes in Rug Doctor’s famous candy apple red color

Cons

  • Heavy 20+ pound carrying weight (offset somewhat by the fact it can be wheeled safely across any type of carpet)
  • Have to old upright as you fill it
  • No water heating feature
  • The suction hose could use a little more length


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Portable Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide

Here are the key features to consider when you are looking to buy a portable carpet cleaning machine:

Suction

Without a doubt you want good suction on any portable carpet cleaning unit that you buy. This is because it’s essential to get up as much dirt as you can with your carpet cleaner so it leaves your rugs looking as good as possible. Strong suction will also pick up more of the moisture you put down as you clean so your carpet drying times will be shorter.

Rinse water and detergent solution capacity

One thing you don’t want to have to do is stop your carpet cleaning routine on a regular basis because you have very small water and debris storage tanks on your portable carpet cleaner. This could really drag out the job and make it very tedious to do. Try to find a portable carpet cleaning model that has water storage tanks that are at least 48 ounces in capacity. That way you have some decent working time before these containers need to be emptied or filled.

Cleaning brush action

You certainly do not want to do a lot of hand scrubbing as you use your portable carpet cleaner. That is where having a cleaning brush that works well comes in handy with any portable carpet cleaning model that you purchase. Try to find a unit that has an oscillating or back and forth motion on their cleaning brush attachment and that will make your carpet cleaning task much easier on you.

Cord length/Suction hose length

These are two important characteristics as far as your portable carpet cleaner’s mobility and ease of use is concerned.

There is nothing more monotonous than having to unplug your carpet cleaner every time you need to use it in a different area of a room. That is why you want to get a model that has plenty of power cord length. Preferably this will be 14 feet or more of power cord.

You also don’t want to be pulling the weight of the machine around with you as you are cleaning carpet because the suction hose is too small. A longer suction hose will make it easier to do your carpet spot cleaning and will also help you get into those hard to reach carpet areas without much effort.

Compact/Lightweight design

Most portable carpet cleaners are used all over the place in a home and some are even used in several different homes. That is why it’s nice to have a portable carpet cleaner that has a compact design to it. It just makes it easier to carry around and it will make it much easier to store too.

The other half of a portable carpet cleaner being easy to move involves its weight. Obviously the lighter a carpet cleaning machine is the easier it will be for you to move from place to place. This is especially true if you plan on using the machine in more than one home or business. So familiarize yourself with the weight of any portable carpet cleaning machine you are thinking about buying before you purchase it.

Attachments

Having multiple attachments for your portable carpet cleaner will help make it a much more versatile cleaning tool. Some attachments will even let you be able to use your carpet cleaner on other types of surfaces too. So if you have an opportunity to purchase a portable carpet cleaning machine that comes with several different attachments that can be a real bonus.

Warranty

Any time you are dealing with electric motors that work around lots of dirt and water you want to be protected in case of product failure. That is why having a good warranty to back up your portable carpet cleaning machine purchase is a very good thing. It’s highly recommended to get the longest and most comprehensive warranty coverage you can with this type of product.


The Proper Way to Clean Stairway Carpet with a Portable Carpet Cleaner

Without a doubt one of the main purposes that people purchase portable carpet cleaners for is to clean the carpeting on steps. It’s not a job that regular carpet cleaners do well at all in most cases. Here are some recommended steps that will make your stairway carpet cleaning task easier and help it turn out looking great:

Step 1: Pick up everything off the steps. Also make sure the steps and the top and bottom landing areas are free of any clutter.

After that is done take a carpet rake (these are very inexpensive to buy and won’t hurt delicate carpet fibers) and gently rake the stairway carpet you are about to clean to loosen up any embedded dirt on them. Start with the landing near the top step and work your way down.

Step 2: Next do a thorough dry vacuuming of the steps. Take your time here because the more dirt you get up in this step the easier the carpet shampooing phase will be. Again work from the top down.

Step 3: Now it’s time to apply the carpet cleaning solution with your new portable carpet cleaner. Start with the top step landing and work your way down. Use the rotating cleaning brush attachment if you have one to get up the deep down dirt.

It’s also important during this step to vacuum up as much water as possible before you move down to the next stair level. This will help make your finished carpet cleaning project look better and dry in less time.

Step 4: Allow the stairway carpeting to dry for a minimum of 12 hours.

Step 5: After your carpet is completely dry it never hurts to do another vacuuming before letting anyone back on that just cleaned stairway carpeting.

This is a time tested formula for getting stairway carpets to look great if you do it right.


Our Thoughts on Which Model Portable Carpet Cleaner Works Best

We really liked all of the portable carpet cleaners that we reviewed. Although none were perfect like with any product, the good features far outweighed the bad with each and every one of them. The one we liked the best though would have to be the Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner.

This model portable carpet cleaner just seemed to be a step ahead of the others in just about every category. It features such things as superior suction and a wide array of innovative cleaning tools. It’s also easy to use, well built and even comes with a good 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.

As we mentioned in our review of it we loved its 22 foot long power cord and that just puts this unit over the top for us.

So if you are searching for the best portable carpet cleaner be sure to check this one out some more. Once you do that you will come to find it’s a carpet cleaner model that is well worth buying.


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