Best Spot Cleaner for Stairs, Carpets and Area Rugs

Spot cleaners are relatively small and compact wet-dry vacuums, intended for quick and thorough cleaning of stubborn spots and stains on the carpets, area rugs, carpeted stairs, car seats, upholstered surfaces, and similar.

Most spot cleaners feature two tanks, one for cleaning solution and another for dirty liquids, a flexible cleaning hose with the cleaning brush, and a relatively strong suction motor. By combining the cleaning solution, rubbing effect of the brush, and vacuum suction, cleaned surfaces are left somewhat wet/moist but thoroughly cleaned.

Updated: August 30, 2020.

spot cleaner for stairs 1

On This Page:

- Intro to Spot Cleaners

1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

2. Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

3. Rug Doctor 93390 Pet Portable Spot Cleaner

4. Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

5. Sanitaire SC6060A Restore Portable Spot Carpet Extractor

6. Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner

7. Hoover BH12010 ONEPWR Spotless GO Cordless Carpet

8. Bissell 2117A SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner  


Intro to Spot Cleaners

In order to clean thoroughly, spot cleaners combine several cleaning methods:

- cleaning solution is applied over the dirty area. The cleaning solution is usually a mix of water and cleaning formula/detergent, although some companies in order to simplify things a little bit also offer ready-made cleaning solutions in proper water/detergent ratio.

To help with the cleaning, one may also apply a pretreat solution for cleaning extra stubborn stains.

In order to improve cleaning, most spot cleaners allow the use of warm (up to 140°F/60°C) cleaning solution, with some even having onboard heaters for keeping the cleaning solution warm.

- using manual or motorized brush, cleaning solution is rubbed into the dirty area, allowing the detergent to detach the dirt from the carpet/upholstery fibers.

- relatively strong suction removes dirty liquids and store them in the dirty liquids tanks. Two tank design ensures that all surfaces are cleaned using a clean solution.

puppy on the carpet

Spot Cleaners vs. Carpet Washers/Shampooers

In essence, spot cleaners and carpet washers/shampooers clean using the same principles, but they differ in size and weight, brush design, cleaning range, list of cleaning tools, and similar.

For large open areas, carpet washers are an excellent choice since they allow the users to deeply and thoroughly wash carpets, removing all kinds of dirt, leaving the carpets looking 'almost' new.

On the other hand, spot cleaners are suitable for cleaning smaller areas and messes, which are often unreachable by full-size carpet washers.

For people having pets and kids and the need to often clean various types of stains, spot cleaners can save plenty of time and effort.

Note: When Your new spot cleaner arrives, be sure to read the manual thoroughly in order to get accustomed to the new cleaner. Also, when used as recommended, cleaning formulas and solutions are safe for pets and kids, so be sure to use them accordingly.


1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

bissell 3624 spotclean

Bissell 3624 SpotClean is a corded carpet spot cleaner, featuring 22 feet (~6.7 m) long power cord and 4 feet (~1.2 m) long flexible cleaning hose, ensuring long cleaning reach using single wall power socket.

The unit is rated at 5.7 Amps, providing plenty of suction for removing dirty liquids from cleaned surfaces. Bissell 3624 doesn't feature water heater, however, the use of warm water (140°F/60°C) is recommended for improved cleaning.

Bissell 3624 weighs 13.2 pounds (~6 kg) and is far from being the lightest spot cleaner on the market.

bissell 3624 cleaning tools

By default, Bissell 3624 SpotClean comes with manual cleaning tools, including 3" Tough Stain Tool and 6" Stair Tool.

If required, other tools may be ordered later, including Powered TurboBrush Hand Tool, 4" Upholstery Tool, Sliding Crevice Tool with Brush, Spraying Crevice Tool, Deep Reach Pet Tool, etc.

Bissell also manufactures a broad range of cleaning formulas suitable for use with Bissell 3624 and other Bissell's spot cleaners, including Boost Carpet Cleaning Formulas, Pretreat Formulas, Professional Formulas, 2X Concentrated Formulas and similar.

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro comes with a trial-size bottle of Pro Max clean + protect cleaning formula.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


2. Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

bissell 2458 spotclean pet pro

Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner combines manual scrubbing action, strong suction and the cleaning solution for cleaning tough messes and dried stains for carpets, upholstery, car seats, stairs and similar surfaces.

Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro is rated at 5.7 Amps and features 22 feet (~6.7 m) long power cord and 4 feet (~1.2 m) long flexible cleaning hose.

Bissell 2458 doesn't feature water heater, however, the use of warm water (140°F/60°C) is recommended for improved cleaning.

Cleaning tools include 3" Tough Stain Tool and Stain Trapper Tool. Also, by default, Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro comes with two trial size bottles of Pet PRO OXY Urine Eliminator cleaning formula.

Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro weighs 13 pounds (~5.9 kg) and features two tanks, with a tank capacity of 96 oz.

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro vs. Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro

Many people wonder what is the difference between Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro and Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro - both units are very similar units, differing only in the color and the set of available tools by default:

- Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro comes with 3" Tough Stain Tool and 6" Stair Tool,

- Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro comes with 3" Tough Stain Tool and Stain Trapper Tool.

Also, Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro comes with a trial-size bottle of Pro Max clean + protect cleaning formula, while Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro comes with two trial size bottles of Pet PRO OXY Urine Eliminator cleaning formulas.

Both units are excellent spot cleaners, but if You have pets and have the need to clean after Your pets rather often, then the Bissell 2458 is somewhat better option.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


3. Rug Doctor 93390 Pet Portable Spot Cleaner

rug doctor 93390 1

Rug Doctor 93390 Pet Portable Spot Cleaner is an excellent spot cleaning machine coming with Handheld Dual Action Pet Tool, two separated tanks, gentle wheels, telescopic handle, and featuring few more very interesting details.

Physical dimensions of Handheld Dual Action Pet Tool are 16.02 x 10.94 x 15.63 inches (~40.7 x 27.8 x 39.7 cm) and it weighs 18.91 pounds (8.57 kg) - for a spot cleaner, it is not the most compact and not the lightest unit on the market.

Thus, unlike many other models, Rug Doctor 93390 Pet Portable Spot Cleaner comes with telescopic handle and transport wheels, allowing the user to pull the unit where it is needed the most.

But, its Handheld Dual Action Pet Tool features rubberized bristles that are very efficient in removing pet hair, tough and dried stains, pet odors, and other similar types of dirt from carpeted and upholstered areas.

To improve the cleaning, Rug Doctor 93390 comes with Rug Doctor's Pure Power Pet Stain & Odor spot cleaning concentrate, which is biobased cleaning formula, safe for pets and kids when used as recommended and effective with pro-enzymatic action that helps remove pet stains and odors and other types of tough dirt.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Rug Doctor 93390 Pet Portable Spot Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


4. Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

bissell 1400b multi purpose

Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, also known as Bissell 1400B Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner is very compact and relatively lightweight spot cleaner.

Bissell 1400B feature physical dimensions of 8.25 x 17.25 x 12.5 inches (~20.1 x 43.8 x 31.8 cm) and it weighs only 9.65 pounds (~4.37 kg) with empty tanks.

Tank capacity is 48 ounces, allowing the user to clean relatively small areas, compared with other Bissell spot cleaners, especially Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro and Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro. But, Bissell 1400B 'Little Green' is intended and designed for cleaning of spots and smaller areas.

Bissell 1400B is rated at 3 Amps and comes with 15 feet (~4.6 m) long power cord and 4 feet (~1.22 cm) flexible cleaning hose with manual scrubbing 3" (~7.6 cm) Tough Stain Tool.

Also, the unit comes with a trial size of Bissell's Spot&Stain Cleaning Formula.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bissell 1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


5. Sanitaire SC6060A Restore Portable Spot Carpet Extractor

sanitaire sc6060a spot carpet extractor

Sanitaire SC6060A Restore Portable Spot Carpet Extractor is commercial-grade spot cleaner that appears very similar to Bissell 2458 SpotClean Pet Pro and Bissell 3624 SpotClean Pro spot cleaners, being rated at 5.7 Amps, having 22 feet (~6.7 m) long power cord, two separated tanks, tank capacity of ~0.75 gallons, and weighing 13.25 pounds (~6.0 kg).

But, it also comes with 5 feet (~1.53 m) long flexible cleaning hose, 6" (~15cm) Hand Tool and a trial-size (8-oz) of Ultimate Carpet Cleaner + OXY (SC25A).

Sanitaire SC6060A doesn't feature water heater, but in order to improve the cleaning effect, it is recommended to use warm water up to 140°F/60°C, depending on the surface being cleaned.

Like all other brands, Sanitaire also recommends the use of their own cleaning formulas, according to the surfaces and dirt being cleaned.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Sanitaire SC6060A Restore Portable Spot Carpet Extractor Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


6. Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner

bissell 2694 spotclean proheat

Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner weighs 9 pounds (~4.1 kg) with empty tanks and features physical dimensions of 6.5 x 12 x 14.5 inches (~16.5 x 30.5 x 36.8 cm).

Unlike most other spot cleaners, Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat features a small water heater, keeping the water and improving the cleaning of larger surfaces.

Also, it comes with two separate tanks, one for dirty liquids and another for the cleaning solution.

With tank capacity of 37 ounces (~1 liter), Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat may easily clean a car interior, or larger carpeted staircase, smaller carpet, and similar.

Power cord is 15 feet (~4.6 m) long and is combined with 4.5 feet (~1.37 m) long cleaning hose.

Cleaning tools that come with Bissell 2694 include 3" Tough Stain Tool, Deep Stain Tool, and HydroRinse Self Cleaning Hose Tool.

By default, Bissell 2694 comes with a trial-size bottle of Professional Spot & Stain + Oxy cleaning formula.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


7. Hoover BH12010 ONEPWR Spotless GO Cordless Carpet

hoover bh12010

Hoover BH12010 ONEPWR Spotless GO Cordless Carpet is an autonomous spot cleaner, not limited by the length of the power cord.

Hoover BH12010 ONEPWR Spotless GO Cordless Carpet features physical dimensions of (L x W x H) 13 x 10 x 15 inches (~33 x 25.4 x 38.1 cm) and weight of slightly less than 7 pounds (~3.2 kg) with empty tanks.

Unit is powered by Hoover ONEPWR 20V lithium-ion battery featuring 2.0 Ah capacity and providing enough energy for 12-13 minutes of continuous operation - if required, another battery of 2.0 Ah (or even larger) capacity may be ordered later.

Since it is cordless, Hoover BH12010 doesn't feature water heater, although the use of warm water with temperature up to 140°F (60°C) is recommended, if the cleaned surfaces allow such cleaning.

Hoover BH12010 comes with flexible cleaning hose and 4" (~10 cm) manual Multi-Purpose Pet Tool.

hoover bh12010 features

When the unit arrives, it comes with a trial cleaning solution, but in the long run, additional cleaning detergents must be purchased.

Most popular cleaning solutions are:

- Paws & Claws Pre-Mixed Carpet Cleaning Formula,

- Oxy Pet Pre-Mixed Carpet Cleaning Formula.

Both of these solutions are detergent and water mix in the required ratio, allowing the user to just pour in the cleaning solution and start cleaning.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Hoover BH12010 ONEPWR Spotless GO Cordless Carpet Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


8. Bissell 2117A SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner

bissell 2117a spotbot pet

As its name suggests, Bissell 2117A SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner allows the user to clean the dirty spots automatically using two different cleaning modes one for fresh stains and another for tough, dried stains and messes.

With Bissell 2117A all that the user has to do is to fill the clean water tank, position the unit on the dirty spot, select the cleaning mode, and let the unit do the rest.

Bissell 2117A weighs 14 pounds (~6.34 kg) and features physical dimensions of 9 x 17 x 13.5 inches (~22.9 x 43.2 x 34.3 cm). It comes with two separate tanks, a clean liquids tank with a capacity of 30.6 ounces, and a dirty liquids tank with a capacity of 29.2 ounces.

Unit is rated at 3 Amps and features 16 feet (~4.9 m) long power cord, 5 feet (~1.53 m) long additional cleaning hose and 3" Tough Stain Tool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

Also, Bissell 2117A includes trial-size Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost cleaning formulas.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bissell 2117A SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Long Story Short: If You have carpeted and upholstered surfaces that often needs to be cleaned because of the various spots and stains, consider one of these cleaners - they are optimized for such situations and can save plenty of time and efforts.

When choosing 'the best' unit, be sure to choose according to your own needs and requirements and always, but really always read the Owner's Manual and other instructions - better safe than sorry.