Vacuums work well at removing dust and debris from rugs and rugs, but won’t help with spills or stains. Carpet cleaners, on the other hand, are designed to remove stains with hot water, cleaning solution, and suction power. While vertical carpet cleaners are best suited for deep cleaning an entire carpet or carpet, smaller portable carpet cleaners are great solutions for spot cleaning and stain removal.
Using a portable carpet cleaner is simple: first fill the tank with hot tap water and cleaning solution. Then spray the mixture on the affected area and rub to remove the stain. The suction vacuum is then used to suck up dirt and liquid to deposit them in a separate “dirty” tank. Most models are designed to work on both carpets and upholstered furniture.
Read on to learn more about how to choose the best portable carpet cleaner for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Cleaner
- BEST FOR MONEY: Bissell Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
- BEST FOR PLACES: Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner
- BEST STEAM: COSTWAY multi-purpose steam cleaner
- BEST LAPTOP: BISSELL 20037 Pet Spot Eraser
What to consider when buying the best portable carpet cleaner
Before choosing the best portable carpet cleaner for your needs, there are a few factors that you should consider. While you can assume that all carpet cleaners work the same, there are several features that can affect their functionality. Here are some of the most important design features to consider when purchasing the best portable carpet cleaner.
Portable carpet cleaners typically have a tank capacity of between 3/4 gallons to 1 gallon, or 96 to 128 ounces. Some models only have one tank, while others have two tanks: one for water and one for cleaning solution. A larger capacity tank allows you to clean more before stopping to refill. Designed to clean small areas, the water tank capacity of portable carpet cleaners is unlikely to be a critical feature, as you are unlikely to use a full tank of water in one cleaning session.
A portable carpet cleaner should be easy to move around your home, so it’s important to buy a lightweight one. However, the more powerful a portable carpet cleaner, the heavier it tends to be. Most models on the market weigh less than 14 pounds. This is the weight of the machine itself and does not include the added weight of a tank full of water and cleaning solution.
These aren’t everyday devices, so portable carpet cleaners should also be compact enough to fit easily in a closet.
Cord lengths for portable carpet cleaners typically range from 14 to 20 feet. Generally speaking, the longer the cord, the better, as a longer cord will allow you to easily maneuver the vacuum without having to search for a new wall outlet. A cord length of 15 feet or more is ideal. For cleaning hard-to-reach areas and car interiors, a hand-held cordless model is the most convenient option.
Power and suction
The wattage rating of a portable carpet cleaner is typically measured in amps. Since these devices are supposed to be light and easy to use, their motors are small, usually between 3 and 10 amps. While you might think that a higher wattage rating means higher performance, some of the best models on the market only run at 4 or 5 amps.
Suction power is an important factor because you want your portable carpet cleaner to leave as little water as possible on your carpet. Not only is it annoying that your rug or carpet takes a long time to dry, it can also lead to mold growth.
Portable carpet cleaners are designed to be durable, and since they’re used relatively infrequently, they should easily last for years. One item that tends to require replacement is the hose. The hoses of portable carpet cleaners sometimes break and leak, so you can research which carpet cleaner manufacturers sell hoses as spare parts so that you can easily replace yours if it breaks down.
Our top picks
Now that you know more about portable carpet cleaners, it’s time to start shopping. These recommendations are based on factors such as durability, tank capacity, weight, cord length, and suction power.
Bissel is the biggest name in carpet cleaners, and it’s the most powerful of their portable models designed for home use. It is designed for use on carpets, stairs, upholstery and car interiors.
The Spot Clean Pro comes with two handy tools, a 6-inch stair tool and a 3-inch tough spot tool, as well as a sample vial of the brand’s Pro Max Clean + Protect formula. It has a 96 ounce tank capacity and a convenient 20 foot cord. He weighs 13 pounds.
The Bissell Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is a versatile machine, offered at a lower cost than other appliances. It can be used to clean carpets, upholstery, stairs, rugs and car interiors. It has powerful suction capabilities, easily removing stains from soft surfaces in your home.
The portable carpet cleaner from Bissel has a lot of advantages: it has removable water tanks that are easy to fill and clean, each with a capacity of 48 ounces. It comes with a hydraulic flushing tool attachment that allows you to clean the hose after use. It includes a 3-inch stain remover tool as well as a sample-size vial of the brand’s cleaning solution. It has a 15-foot cord and it’s also quite light, weighing only 9.6 pounds.
This carpet cleaner from Bissell is designed to remove stubborn animal stains and uses DeepReach technology that penetrates even high pile rugs and carpets.
What sets this device apart is that it offers automatic cleaning, which means you don’t have to put in the same amount of elbow grease as with a standard carpet cleaner. It has preset cleaning cycles that automatically spray, scrub, and vacuum for a completely hands-free experience. It also has a 15ft hose and a cleaning tool attachment so you can clean a spot manually if you want to.
SpotBot Pet comes with a trial size Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost formula and weighs 14 pounds.
While most carpet cleaners on the market are extraction cleaners that use hot tap water, some people prefer the performance of a steam cleaner. While standard carpet cleaners do a great job of removing stains, they are not capable of sanitizing. However, steam cleaners remove most bacteria, viruses, and pathogens, as well as bedbugs and molds. Another key benefit of a steam cleaner is that it can be used on both hard and soft surfaces.
The COSTWAY multi-purpose steam cleaner can clean tiles, glass and metal surfaces as well as carpets. It takes 8-9 minutes for the water to heat up to the maximum temperature of 226 degrees. Once the water is hot, the machine will run for up to 45 minutes.
This portable carpet cleaner has a 16 foot power cord, a 51 ounce tank and comes with 19 handy accessories for cleaning different types of surfaces. The total weight of the steam cleaner is 16.42 pounds.
The Bissell Lithium-Powered Cordless Carpet Cleaner is lightweight and convenient for areas that don’t have access to an electrical outlet. It weighs just 4.6 pounds and uses a built-in brush and vacuum tool to remove stains.
This portable carpet cleaner has a clean water tank that holds the cleaning formula, which does not need to be mixed with water, and a dirty water tank. This device can remove red wine, coffee, edible grease, motor oil and more from carpets, upholstery and car interiors. The suction nozzle is removable for easy cleaning. The Pet Stain Eraser comes with a bottle of the brand’s Professional Spot & Stain + Oxy cleaning formula.
Portable Carpet Cleaners FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about portable carpet cleaners.
Q. Is a vertical model better than a portable carpet cleaner?
Vertical carpet cleaners and portable carpet cleaners serve different purposes. The upright models are designed for cleaning entire rugs or carpets while the portable models are designed for spot cleaning.
Q. Do I need to clean the tank of a portable carpet cleaner?
Ideally, the reservoirs of a portable carpet cleaner should be emptied and cleaned after each use.
Q. Do professional cleaning companies use portable carpet cleaners?
Some cleaning companies use more powerful steam cleaners to remove stains from carpets while others use portable carpet cleaners.