Looking for the best portable carpet cleaner to remove stain spots on carpet and upholstery. A portable spot cleaner is a handy tool to remove spots from carpet wherever you find them, even in your car or truck. The best portable carpet cleaner removes spots more effectively than a regular carpet cleaner while being easier to transport and to store.
The best portable carpet cleaner allows you to leave your big, bulky carpet cleaner stored while you take care of quick cleanups from pets and children on the floor, chairs, couches, stairs, or in vehicles.
If you have pets, you know that vacuuming is only half the battle. It’s true that your vacuum cleaner can tackle the dirt, dust, and crumbs, but for spot stains, you need a spot carpet cleaner to give your home the best carpet cleaning. The best portable carpet cleaner uses agitation, cleaning solution, and warm water to remove tough dirt and stains even deep down in carpet and upholstery.
A spot carpet cleaner is designed to remove pet stains, stains and dirt on stairs, drink and other stains on upholstery, mud stains from the entryway, and any number of other stains that are just part of living.
What should you look for when choosing the best portable carpet cleaner?
A portable spot cleaner needs to have the power to suck dirt and cleaning solution out of your carpet leaving it with as little water as possible. Without that powerful suction, your carpet remains wet, it takes longer to dry, and can be at risk of mold and mildew while drying. No matter how dirty or stained your carpet gets, you need the most power possible to do the best cleaning job.
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Transport and Storage
Dragging out your regular, bulky carpet machine every time you want to remove a spot or stain from your carpet is a pain. Plus, most carpet cleaning machines are not as effective on spot stains as a portable carpet cleaner. They are best at cleaning large areas of carpet.
The best portable carpet cleaner is designed to remove tough stains and dirt anywhere in your home or vehicle. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to store. A portable spot cleaner allows you to quickly address a stain before it becomes set in. The faster you attack stained carpet or upholstery, the more likely you will get the stain out completely and end up with the best result.
Most modern carpet cleaners use twin tanks, one for solution and one for dirty water. That’s because using the same water that you just pulled out of the carpet to continue cleaning, just adds that dirt back into the carpet. Make sure any spot cleaner machine you choose has separate water-solution and dirty water tanks.
Portable carpet cleaners are lighter and more compact than full-size carpet cleaners and have smaller solution and dirty water reservoirs. Smaller means lighter, but if you need to do heavy cleaning you may find that you will run out of cleaning solution mix. If you regularly do heavy cleaning of stairs or upholstery, you will want to choose a model with larger tanks so you don’t have to refill and empty as frequently.
Inevitably you will have to empty the dirty water tank and refill the water-solution mix tank. Do you have to unplug the portable carpet cleaner and take it to the sink to refill? That’s inconvenient. The best portable carpet cleaner has removable tanks so you can leave the cleaner behind and take just the tanks to the sink for refilling.
Your cleaning reach is limited by the length of the cleaning hose and the power cord. Stains don’t always happen near an outlet, especially if they are on the stairs, so having a long cleaning reach can definitely be an advantage. If you need the length, make sure the model you choose has it.
A portable carpet cleaner generates the suction, but it’s the attachments that do the cleaning. Attachments allow the suction to get into tight spaces and provide the agitation necessary to remove deep down dirt and stains. Without the right tools, a carpet cleaner will not be as effective. If you have a choice, choose a model with rotating or moving brushes in the cleaning tool to provide better agitation without as much work.
Some users prefer a manual tool without moving brushes that allows them to put more pressure and agitate more effectively. If you don’t have the strength or don’t want to do the work, moving brushes are the choice.
A long warranty protects you against defects in materials and workmanship. Look for models with at least a 1-Year warranty or longer.
We searched house cleaning forums, social media, manufacturers sites, consumer sites, retail sites, and customer review sites to find the most popular and highly rated carpet spot cleaner machines.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these portable carpet and upholstery cleaners is the best carpet cleaner for your needs!
A popular spot cleaner from Hoover, the Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner has the suction you need to get out deep down dirt and stains, comes with hygienic deep cleaning tools, and incorporates Hoover’s patent-pending Self-Clean Technology that helps prevent odors and bacteria by flushing the hose clean after every use. Its compact and lightweight design is easy to transport from room to room, level to level, or out to the car. It uses a spray, scrubbing, high-performance stain cleaning formulas, and suction to remove everyday stains and dirt from carpet on floors and stairs, upholstery, and your vehicles.
Best Portable Carpet Cleaner: Features
- Antimicrobial Multipurpose Tool uses agitation from rubber nubs to clean deeply in carpet and upholstery while staying germ-free and protected against bacteria, mold, and mildew
- It cleans its hose automatically using its patent-pending Self-Clean Technology that flushes the hose clean after each use removing dirt and bacteria
- This Hoover uses a combination of powerful suction and high-performance cleaning formulas to loosen and remove dirt and debris from carpets and upholstery anywhere in your home or vehicles
- Bonus Expert Clean Gel pretreats stubborn stains to eliminate them more easily
- Use its lightweight and compact design to reach and remove stains virtually anywhere around your home from carpet and upholstery to stairs to your vehicles and more
- Removable Dual Tank Technology separates clean solution mix from dirty water and makes the tanks easier to clean and refill
- Large 51-oz clean solution tank and 36-oz dirty water tank allow you to clean longer without refilling
- A 19-foot cleaning reach is provided by the 14-foot power cord and 5-foot vacuum hose
- Convenient water level indicator
- Lightweight at less than 9 lbs.
- 2-Year limited warranty
- 1 – 8 oz. Expert Clean Detergent
- 1 – 4 oz. Expert Clean Pretreat Gel
- 1 – Multi-purpose tool with anti-microbial properties to protect against bacteria, mold, and mildew
- Great for upholstery and stairs
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Easy to fill and empty
- Highly portable
- Wish it had an agitating head
- Some complaints of weak suction power
Whether you’re planning to clean your car or the stairs in your home, the Bissell 7786A SpotClean Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner has the power to do the job. Stains and dirt are a fact of life and it’s clear that vacuuming can’t get carpet or upholstery completely clean. Chemical spray cleaners are convenient, but some of it stays in your carpet or upholstery to attract more dirt later. This powerful BISSELL carpet cleaner and spot cleaner is designed to give your carpet and upholstery a deep down clean by removing tough stains and dirt.
- Tough Stain Tool delivers a powerful spray and strong suction to remove even tough deep-down stains
- Included 2-in-1 Spraying Crevice Tool cleans hard-to-reach areas in your home or car including between seats
- Cleaning with hot water is more effective than cold water and the HeatWave Technology maintains a constant hot water temperature throughout the cleaning process that removes dirt better and enhances the effectiveness of detergent
- Slim and lightweight design is highly portable for use on stairs or in your vehicle
- Removable water tanks make cleaning and refilling easier and faster
- Long 15-foot power cord
- Trial size Oxy Gen2® and 2X Spot & Stain Formula included
- 1-Year limited warranty
- Very lightweight and portable
- Easy-to-follow instructions
- Great spot and stain remover
- Nozzles could be larger
- Noisy operation
- Some reports of it being underpowered
With 2X the suction power of other leading portable carpet cleaners, the RugDoctor Portable Spot Cleaner features a powerful handheld motorized brush that moves 1,200 times per minute to deep clean each carpet fiber and break down stains. Powerful suction not only removes more dirt and stains, it also leaves carpets drier than other models. Its retractable handle and easy-on-carpet wheels make it easy to transport and store. Use it for cleaning those hard-to-reach places around your home, high-traffic areas, stairs, and even in vehicles. You have the control to feather spots out into the carpet or upholstery so they blend in with existing carpet or fabric. Perfect for extracting new and old pet stains, wine spills, coffee spots, odors, and more in your home, office, or vehicle. Not limited to just carpet, it can remove stains from area rugs, couches, mattresses, pet beds, car seats, and much more.
- Powerful, portable carpet and upholstery spot and stain cleaner with twice the suction power of competitors cleans tough dirt and stains even in hard-to-reach areas
- Handheld oscillating motorized brush moves at 1,200 strokes per minute to remove even deep-down stains and dirt from stairs, carpet, area rugs, upholstery, and vehicle interiors
- Retractable handle and large wheels make moving from room to room, level-to-level, or out to a vehicle easier
- Large removable water tanks with 64 oz. of capacity are easy to use and make refilling and emptying a breeze
- Cleaner feathers the spot being cleaned so when the spot is removed, the newly cleaned area blends in
- Use its two cleaning formulas, RugDoctor Platinum Pure with Oxy and RugDoctor Platinum Pure for Pets to remove spots, stains, spills, and odors you thought were there for good
- Cleaning reach up to 20.5 feet thanks to a long 15-foot power cord and a 5.5-foot vacuum hose
- Oscillating brush cleans a 4.5-inch path
- Weighs 15 lbs.
- Quality construction and materials
- Retractable handle makes it easy to transport
- Easy to use
- Motorized brush nozzle can’t be cleaned
- Some complaints that it leaves carpets too wet
The BISSELL 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner in Green features an eco-friendly design that contains at least 50% recycled plastic. One of BISSELL’s most popular spot cleaners, its strong spray and suction dry in one step and its effective stain tool deliver fast and easy dirt and stain removal from carpet and upholstery. Is this the best portable carpet cleaner for your needs?
- 3-Amp, strong spray and suction dry portable carpet and upholstery cleaner made from at least 50% recycled plastic
- Sprays and suctions dry in one easy step
- Constructed using at least 50% recycled plastic from products like automotive parts, home appliances, and scrapped films
- 95% reduction of PVC using in its packaging that also contains at least 50% recycled content
- Large 48-oz dirty water tank capacity
- Cleaning reach is 19-feet thanks to a long 15-foot power cord and a 4-foot vacuum hose
- Convenient carry handle makes transport easier
- Compact and lightweight at only 9-1/10 x 18-4/5 x 13-1/4 inches and 12 lbs.
- 1-Year limited warranty
- 1 – 3-inch tough-stain brush tool
- 1- Trial size 2X Little Green Formula
- Easy to use
- Very effective carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Compact, easy to transport and store
- Perfect for cleaning after pets
- Some reports of dirty water tank leaking
BISSELL is the leader in portable carpet cleaners and their Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner is the most powerful model in their lineup. That extra power means better suction to help remove dirt and stains faster and more efficiently. With as much power as some full-size uprights, it’s still easy to use and highly portable. Fill the clean water mix tank, choose a cleaning tool to attach to the hose, and turn the cleaner on. That’s it! Very effective attachments include a 3-inch tough stain tool designed to get into tight spots or a larger 6-inch tool designed for larger area cleaning. You get long cleaning times between refills thanks to large clean and dirty water tanks. You will appreciate the cleaning reach of this model which means longer cleaning times between replugs. Not only does it clean quickly and effectively, once you’re done cleaning, its compact size makes it easy to store. This flexible, portable cleaner is the best portable carpet cleaner for spot carpet cleaning, stain removal, upholstery cleaning, stairs, tight spots, or even vehicles.
- 5.7-Amp portable, corded carpet, upholstery, and spot cleaner
- Two cleaning tools give you powerful cleaning in tight spots or over a wider area of your carpet and upholstery
- It couldn’t be easier to use with the only steps being, fill the clean water tank with water and solution, attach a tool, plug it in, turn it on, and start cleaning
- The large, separate ¾ gallon capacity reservoirs keep dirty and clean water solution separate as well as increase the time between emptying and refilling
- Compact size stores easily out of the way and the built-in hose and cord storage wraps make things neat and tidy
- A long reach 22-foot power cord reduces outlet switching
- Lightweight at only 13.2 lbs.
- 2-Year limited warranty
Bissel is also known for its highly-effective carpet cleaning formulas like the Bissell 78H6B Deep Clean Pro 2X Deep Cleaning Concentrated Formula.
- 1 – 6-inch brush tool
- 1 – 3-inch brush tool
- 1 – 8-oz. bottle of Bissell Professional Deep Cleaning Formula
- Excellent suction power
- Flat bottom stands on its own
- Easy to use and highly portable
- Quality construction and materials
- Small spot cleaning area
- Loud operation
Best Portable Carpet Cleaner
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A portable carpet cleaner is the convenient and fast way to take care of spot dirt, stains, and spills around your home and in your vehicle! We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best portable carpet cleaner for your needs!