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Do carpet cleaners also come in a portable format? Thankfully, yes, they do!
On this page, we have assembled the top portable handheld carpet spot cleaners on the market this year. For our hands-on test, we have dug down and focused on the models with the best price performance ratio and overall positive ratings by consumers online.
Portability is a key design factor when looking for a hand held cleaner that is capable of tackling all of the hard-to-reach stains and spots found in areas of your home or car that traditional full-sized upright shampooers just can’t reach.
Overall, any of the portable choices below are good cleaning investments but we do have a ranking process and also a clear winner for “best portable carpet cleaner of 2021”. Let’s take a look at all of the finalists as well as our most favorite model!
- Our Top 6 Handheld Cleaners
- Verdict & Review
- Bissell 3624 SpotClean
- Portable Shampooer Buying Guide
Our Top 6 Handheld Cleaners
Bissell 3624 SpotClean
Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
Bissell SpotBot Cleaner Blue 2117A
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Vacuum
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine FH50150
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC
1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean
The Bissell 3624 SpotClean is a consumer favorite and the best spot carpet cleaner we’ve ever tested. Its performance is solid considering it’s a mid-ranged priced model. The weight is approximately 13.2 pounds allowing users to easily move it around the office or at home.
Its motor kicks out 5.7 amps and maintains a powerful rhythm. You can take advantage of the tank that holds an impressive 96 ounces (around 3/4 of a gallon).
The SpotClean comes with a small 8 oz bottle of cleaning fluid. You won’t have to struggle with the assembly as it is easy to handle. It takes nothing to fill the tank with water and add the attachments. The package comes with 6 stair tools to scrub on your steps. Every home experiences tough stains that seem to have been with your carpet for years. You’ll appreciate the Tough Stain Tool tucked away in the box.
This model is best with attacking reluctant stains found on white shaggy carpet. Most of these are either dried or pushed down into the carpet further. Upholstery is more tricky for the machine to have a good performance. You can also enjoy a long cord that reaches up to 22 . The large hose is light and help with those hard to reach areas you’ve been dying to clean for months.
- Easy to move around and light to carry
- Powerful motor and cleaning
- The Tough Stain Tool is a lifesaver on old stains and removing hard pet waste
- The handheld attachment is simple and doesn’t scratch upholstery
- Cleaning and maintenance takes a bit longer than we’d like.
2. Bissell Multi-Purpose 1400B Portable Shampooer
The Bissell 1400B is successful when tackling stains and tough areas. It has a spray function and strong suction capabilities. This machine handles well whether you’re facing a large spill or a small one. There is no hassle when removing the water tank for emptying and refilling needs.
The machine offers an additional device known as the HydroRinse tool. This attachment is effective in targeting specific stains or spots that never vanish. Cleaning the hose is easy to do after each usage. Inside the box is the small bottle of Spot & Clean formula for use on stubborn stains.
It’s full weight is 9.6 pounds and makes transporting much easier. There’s a long power chord reaching up to at least 15 . The attachment hose can reach out to good 4 . The machine’s nickname is “little green” and known as the more compact device of its models. Users learn the machine is not only recyclable, its made of nearly 50 percent reused recycled materials. The 1400B stands out due to its “green” awareness campaign. Homeowners who are concerned about the environment can appreciate the goal of this portable carpet cleaning model. Both the tank and the hose are free of PVC.
- A recyclable machine and Eco-friendly
- The Tough Stain Tool is effective on tough stains
- Great machine for pet owners
- Not the best for long cleaning sessions over two hours
3. Bissel SpotBot Pet 2117A Small Carpet Cleaner
The Bissell SpotBot Pet 2117A is geared toward stains left by your beloved pets. There isn’t a lot of maintenance for this model as the brushes can dig deep for stains left from dog waste or vomit. Animal lovers will be happy to learn that for each purchase of the SpotBot, the company invests 10 dollars in their pet foundation.
This is great news if you care deeply about animals you’ve had for years. The 2117A is hands-free. You get to take advantage of the auto cleaning cycle allowing you to pick your own settings. Once the machine is up and running, there’s no need to hang around. You can leave the room and go focus on other tasks that need to be done.
The machine takes over and begins the cleaning process. The SpotBot also has advance technology giving you the opportunity to Deep Reach. The devices inside start at the bottom then move up for those hard deep stains.
It can handle surfaces such as the stairs, upholstery and low Pile carpets to name a few. The SpotBot impresses with nearly 400 movements through it’s spiral turn brush ending with a thorough removal of any stain. The hose attachment can reach to 5 inches.
- Comes with cleaning solution
- Great for wine spills, couch stains and mud
- Approximately six sessions of cleaning before tank refill
- There is no on-board water heater
4. Rug Doctor Mini Rug Shampooer
The Rug Doctor gets you close to using a commercial carpet cleaner machine for your stains. The machine is inexpensive even with it’s robust powerful it shows when getting stains that seem impossible to clean. Tough areas are no challenge for the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner. It seems built to handle those tough areas. You will notice it’s a lot heavier at 20 pounds compared to the other machines mentioned but still ultra-compact in its form factor.
The handlebar is flexible and folds. When cleaning on carpet, you find there are support wheels to avoid a rough pull. With its big size, you get wider containers and a machine packed full of power. It can hold 64 ounces of dirty water and simple to empty. There’s a motor on the handled brush along with a 5.5- hose to use. The brush’s motorized movements help push in fluids for cleaning any stain and getting rid of it for good.
Use the cleaning solution to pay extra attention to odors, drink stains, dirt or pet waste. The Rug Doctor uses its powerful suction to beat old stains like coffee or oil found on carpets or couches. This same powerful suction makes it a great model for carpet shampooing as strong suction vacuum pressure is required to remove all absorbed cleaners.
The embedded technology is pristine as it scrubs with steam or heat which doesn’t cause damage to furniture or your precious items like expensive rugs for example.
- The price is affordable up against the strength of power
- Tackles hard stains with forceful suction
- Easy to store with a fordable model design
- A bit heavy to carry around with a full tank of water
5. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150
The Hoover FH50150 has 360-degree powerful brushes to deep clean tough dirt. The devices spin scrub brush system is designed for some of the hardest stains you’ll experience. All surfaces are cleaned equally by the suction from the dual v nozzle.
The machine allow for increase the dry time by using the machines heat force. It works great for mobile carrying as it weighs under 19 pounds. This makes it easy to use the device in various locations. It comes with an 8 inch attachment hose for hard to reach places. You get an upholstery, stair and crevice tool in the box. Users will also find cleaning solution as a sample bottle for areas needing more attention.
- Comes packaged very well
- Strong scrubber on tough stains
- Some parts can rust over time when in contact with water
6. Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Mini Carpet Cleaner
The Hoover FH11300PC Spotless is lightweight compared to its size. Its appearance is misleading in that consumers might think it’s heavy to haul around. The light weight helps you move with ease to various jobs. It’s great for cleaning all over your house and having to go up and down stairs. The company mentions that the FH11300PC is known as one of the lightest cleaning devices on the market.
Users get to experience the effects of deep cleaning where the Hoover scrubs and sprays at the same time. The device is excellent for daily messes from animals or normal stains. Once unpacking the box, you’ll discover a self-cleaning hose that extends to an impressive 5 . This helps when you are trying to reach and remove difficult stains for upholstery or your carpet.
Old stains don’t have a chance with the FH11300PC . They get rid of these permanently so don’t have to worry anymore how they hurt your home’s decor. Take advantage of using the dual tank technology. The Hoover is clever in it’s design as users can separation the clean and dirty water. The box also holds a multipurpose tool, pre-treat gel and cleaning solution.
- Safe to use on hardwood floors
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Cord isn’t as long as we’d like
Verdict & Review
The Bissell 3624 SpotClean stands out as our top choice. Its large capacity tank saves the day allowing for more water and it’s not hurting your arm. The Tough Stain tool helps eliminate stubborn stains such as pet waste or throw up. Users can enjoy the handheld device to work with most home upholstery.
Portable Shampooer Buying Guide
Small carpet cleaners come in handy for all sorts of needs. They are great with not having all the space to store a big machine. You also can’t take many cleaning tools with you as they’re too heavy.
Spot carpet cleaners are small enough to fit in a closet and mobile enough to get hard to reach areas. Everyone’s habits of cleaning vary on what they want done. Some have special ways to handle stains and dirt tracking through their homes. Portable spot cleaners take on the stain directly and often assembly takes only a few minutes. They are great for emergencies during parties or family events.
Who hasn’t experienced a bad spill of liquid or power only to not have the cleaner you need to remove it fast. We risk ruining our carpets for good and adding more expense to our household. A handheld carpet cleaner rules when you’re trying to move it throughout your home. They are great to carry by yourself since many are lightweight. You also won’t have to worry about sitting a big machine on your either. We all have experienced this and it’s never any fun. Users save more money when letting a smaller cleaning device handle household grime and dirt.
There’s a list of things to consider for your next portable shampooer inside your house or business. Think about these elements below before you purchase.
1. Job Size and Type
The size of the job or the type is often an issue to consider. Whatever tool you pick, it needs to do the job well. For homes, that have entire carpets from wall to wall, a carpet cleaner that’s full size can handle this kind of work. A portable rug cleaner will have you on your knees cleaning every tiny spot you see. This can be time-consuming and you back will begin hurting. Use the handheld tool to get stains under furniture or on a few stairs. This is mainly what portable shampooer are the best for.
Also, think about what you’re cleaning. Is it a huge mess that’s taken over your entire carpet? Or did your beloved dog make a mess behind the couch? You won’t necessarily need a large cleaning device for a small spill. Using a handheld device will do just fine.
2. Total Weight
Cleaning is hard enough without having to drag a big machine with you everywhere you walk. You want something that’s light and manageable. Portable shampooers give you that benefit and it can make life easier, especially in big homes. Many people might only be able to lift a certain weight so having something small makes sense. If you work daily in the cleaning industry, a device that doesn’t slow you down is the best. Most heavier models have wheel support if you need to work on thick carpet.
There’s often some kind of handle a carpet cleaner will have so you can balance it better and have more control. Consider wanting the grip you can have when using a handheld carpet cleaner. Avoid those that might be easy to slip out of your hand and make your cleaning job harder.
For other cleaning tasks throughout your household, we recommend using a portable steam cleaner.
3. Manufacturer Warranty
Make sure you get a warranty with your portable carpet spot cleaner. This can cover any parts of the machine that become faulty. However, these devices are much different than other products you often purchase. The standard warranty runs for one to two years for the entire machine. Find out whether transporting the mini carpet cleaner is included in the warranty. Most homeowners discover the awful reality that the manufacturer might make you pay for these type of damages.
Keep in mind, you won’t be able to get coverage for the attachment hoses that come conveniently in the box. You could get a big surprise and be told the motor is the only item that has coverage. Do your due diligence and call the company to ask additional questions. Find the manufacturers online and call their support number if you’re further concerned about their warranty. No one likes purchasing a product that breaks and you’re out of luck. Warranties are meant to cover some portion of the machine. Don’t hesitate to find out until it’s too late.
4. Water Tanks
The majority of mini carpet cleaners have a tank attached. They are convenient enough to be carried with you. It’s a huge benefit when you’re moving from room to room. This can be one of the most daunting things about your overall cleaning job. How are you going to lug this thing up the stairs? Bigger size models once have a large tank with lots of room for water. The larger the tank will determine how often you have to it fill up. This can be a pain if the water is far away from where you’re cleaning.
You will get a lot of exercise and possibly stain the carpet more walking back and forth. You’ll either have to keep a water bucket nearby or be satisfied with the constant refills. Stains dried up in your carpet do better with portable cleaners as they use water heaters for more deep cleaning.
Think about the price and what you want to spend on a handheld carpet cleaner. If your household is budget conscience, then try those that are inexpensive and do minimal tasks. It always depends on what you need the carpet cleaner for and how much you intend to clean. Price is always going to be a factor as most of us are not looking to empty our wallets. Compare the prices up against the features you need for each mini cleaner you’re considering.
No one says the larger price is the best for any machine. With either cheaper models or more expensive models investing in a quality shampooer will save you money in the long run compared to hiring professionals to clean your carpet which average over $0.40 per square foot totaling approximately $177 on average!
When it comes to money you have to make that hard purchasing decision. If you can, try out the carpet cleaners at the store. Take the time to play with all of its features to see if they’re easy to operate. You might find a small cleaner that’s perfect for the number of stains in your home. Not everyone has spots everywhere on their carpet. A small carpet cleaner is awesome when wanting to quickly clean up spills at a party.
6. Cleaning Path Width & Attachment Variety
The path of a handheld cleaner is always important. You have to consider how much the attachments can clean in one session. Three inches is the industry standard for you to experience a good flow. Avoid those that seem to suck up items and get stuck every time you try to scoop something up. This only adds more time to your work.
The wider the path, you can get those hard to reach places in couches or for your stairs. You have more control and the path is focused on the area you’re trying to clean to pick up more. This saves a lot of cleaning time when the path can grab more than just one area of dirt. We’ve all come home to plant spills or tipped over a salt container. These elements spread quickly and often are not small. A portable cleaner with a great directional path will have that debris up in no time.
7. Max Power & Battery Size
There’s nothing great about a slow powered cleaner. Some devices sound as if they’re struggling to pick up your spills and remove a stain. The motors seem as if they’ll catch fire if you keep it on too long. Make sure to invest in a portable cleaner that packs a punch when working on spills, stains or handling a bigger job.
We often can tell how good the performance is when the power matches the cleanup. You want dirt sucked up instantly and not have to wait for slow removal. Always pay attention to the number of ramps a portable carpet cleaner has in terms of power.
Other Products We Considered
The Steam Cleaner Master editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.