Bissell SpotClean Pro portable carpet cleaner Review

Pros

  • Effective spill and stain removal
  • Great for stair carpets
  • Good on upholstery
  • Good-sized tanks
  • Powerful vacuum drying

Cons

  • Rather short hose
  • Tricky to fill and empty
  • Clean patches might be an issue
  • Can’t clean entire carpet

Key Features

  • Review Price: £149.99
  • 750W motor
  • Small stain tool
  • Larger upholstery tool
  • 2.5l clean tank
  • 6.6m cable
  • 1.3m hose

What is the Bissell SpotClean Pro?

For fresh spills and old stains alike, Bissell’s SpotClean Pro is a handy, portable carpet cleaner for small jobs. It has a powerful motor, decent-sized tanks and dedicated tools for carpet stains and general upholstery cleaning.

While the hose is a little short and emptying the bin is messy, the SpotClean Pro delivers stellar stain-busting performance and excellent upholstery cleaning. It’s rather limited compared to a full-sized carpet cleaner, but the SpotClean Pro is useful for targeting smaller areas.

Related: Best vacuum cleaner

Bissell SpotClean Pro – Design and features

So that old stain on the carpet has got to go, but you don’t need the bulk or hassle of a full-sized carpet shampooer. Or perhaps a glass of red has landed on your Axminster and time is of the essence. Enter Bissell’s SpotClean Pro.

This miniature carpet cleaner forgoes the floor head to offer spot-cleaning of carpets and upholstery. It’s a fraction of the size and weight of a typical upright carpet cleaner, easier to store, and quicker to set up when that accidental spill happens.

Plus the SpotClean Pro gives little away to full-sized cleaners in specification. The 750W vacuum motor and 2.5-litre clean water tank are right up there with the big boys. The waste tank, too, is plenty big enough to cope at the dirty end.

Its operation couldn’t be simpler. You start with a tank of clean, tap-warm water and detergent mix. This is sprayed onto your stain using the trigger on the wand. You agitate the solution into the carpet with the brush, and vacuum up the dirty moisture with the tool’s nozzle.

Weighing in at just under 6kg with the cable and one of the tools attached, the SpotClean Pro is super-light. It’s also super-easy to carry thanks to a smoothly contoured, centrally mounted handle. A full clean tank will add 2.5kg to that weight. For single spills or the odd stain, you can part-fill the clean tank to keep the weight and waste down.

Separate pegs on either side of the cleaner allow the hose and cable to be wound up for storage. The hose gets a rotating clip to keep the wand in place, and the plug has a moulded cable clip to the same end.

The cable runs a sensible, if not excessive, 6.6 metres in length. The hose provides 1.3 metres of reach from the machine, plus a few centimetres more with a tool attached. Balancing weight and storage convenience against cleaning reach, the SpotClean Pro keeps these parts fairly short.

Unlike cylinder-style vacuum cleaners, there are no wheels on the body of this Bissell. It sits solidly on the floor or a step. The cable and hose length limit ultimate reach, but it’s a whole lot easier to use on stairs than most full-sized shampooers.

Build quality is solid throughout. You can only store one of the two supplied tools on the cleaner itself. The other is likely to get lost in the back of the cupboard somewhere.

Bissell SpotClean Pro – Accessories

Frankly, the 2.5-litre clean tank is huge for a portable cleaner. It’s far more than required for addressing the odd spot or stain. Switch to whole-sofa cleaning or freshening up the car seats and it makes more sense.

A 236ml sample bottle of Bissell’s Professional cleaning fluid is supplied. It smells lightly perfumed and we rate this detergent highly. Typical dilution ratio is about 50ml to a full tank of tap-warm water, or double that for tough stains. If you don’t require a full tank of solution then you’ll have to gauge the detergent required accordingly. Bissell doesn’t help with that since there’s no measuring cup provided. We ended up weighing out the detergent on kitchen scales to ensure correct ratios.

That clean tank is relatively easily to fill, but you’ll have to negotiate the two-part lock-ring/valve assembly and draw out the attached tube. You are pretty much guaranteed to drip fluid all over the place whilst doing this.

The dirty water tank is even more of a challenge. It’s a little over 2 litres to the fill line and has no filler cap. Instead, it relies on two open slots facing downwards at the top of the tank. That makes emptying something akin to those Christmas cracker puzzles where you chase a ball around a maze. You have to tilt and rotate the tank to get all the waste water out. Doing that without getting the dirty fluid all over your hands is even more of a challenge than those Christmas puzzles.

The two tools supplied are identical, save for scale. They have two or three rows of stiff bristles, spray nozzle and a vacuum slot. The latter is formed from a clear piece of plastic that runs over the front of the tool. Sadly, neither of these pieces is removable for cleaning; but they’re rinsed out easily enough.

Bissell SpotClean Pro – Performance

The SpotClean Pro’s 750W motor isn’t too noisy at 82dB. Better still, it delivers solid vacuuming suction to the tools.

Squeeze the trigger with restraint, though. The spray is a wide arc and puts down a prodigious amount of fluid in just a one-second burst. It also comes out under some pressure to jet into the carpet. That combination means it requires a little practice not to completely over-saturate the area. This isn’t a huge issue on carpets but can be problematic on upholstery, where excess fluid could soak into the cushioning.

In use, we found the hose frustratingly short. To tackle a single carpet stain, it isn’t an issue. Try to address a few spots or clean a large sofa and you’ll need to move the cleaner regularly. The hose did just about allow the tool to reach the high back of our sofa, but we had to shuffle the SpotClean along to clean the whole top section.

Both tools handle well and their bristles are a good size and shape to agitate the carpet fibres well. The suction, compressed into the small slot of the tool, works exceptionally well at pulling up the moisture and dirt too. We tackled a few spots on a hall carpet and the results were very good.

Moving to a blob on our stair carpet saw the SpotClean Pro come into its own. While plenty of full-size carpet shampooers have a hose and spot-cleaning tools, the SpotClean’s portability makes stairs so much easier. Cleaning was extremely effective, but the results threw up an anomaly we hadn’t considered before – namely ‘the clean patch’.

If the carpet is a bit grubby generally, then addressing a single spot or stain will show up the cleaned patch like a proverbial sore thumb. It certainly did on our cream carpeted step, where our Collie spends most of the day asleep. After treatment of a small area, the clean patch was very obvious.

On stairs this isn’t too much of a problem – we simply cleaned the whole step with the Spotclean Pro. If the stain had been in the middle of a room, however, you’d then need to clean the entire carpet – and that just isn’t practical with the SpotClean Pro.

That scenario would require a full-size carpet cleaner, such as Bissell’s StainPro 10. That model does spot-cleaning almost as well at the SpotClean Pro, rather calling into question the practicality of owning just the smaller unit. Hmm.

In terms of stain-busting and spot-cleaning performance, the SpotClean Pro can’t be faulted – and it made short work of our spilt-wine test.

We found the best procedure was to spray and then leave to soak for 20-to-30 seconds before agitating the area with the brush. You can do repeat spray/scrub applications if it’s a particularly tough mark. Then running the tool’s vacuum nozzle methodically over the area in stripes ensures a nicely clean and fairly dry finish.

The copious spray did prove a little challenging when we took the SpotClean Pro to our faux-leather sofa. Hang onto that trigger a little too long and the non-absorbent surface was quickly flooded with fluid running down behind the seat cushions.

It took a little while to get the hang of a quick, light spray before attacking the area with the brush. Results were top-notch, however, and the grained surface gave up plenty of worn-in grime to the SpotClean Pro’s waste tank.

Why buy the Bissell SpotClean Pro?

The SpotClean Pro is a neat little unit and works well for getting rid of old stains and emergency spills alike. It doubles as a good upholstery and car-seat cleaner too. The hose is a bit short, the spray rather generous and the waste tank is messy to empty, but these are fairly minor niggles.

Our only real caveat is that, assuming space and finances, a full-size cleaner such as the Bissell StainPro 10  simply makes more sense. It does everything the SpotClean Pro does, can clean an entire house and won’t leave you with obvious clean patches.

That said, there’s no denying the SpotClean Pro’s effectiveness in, well, cleaning spots like a pro.

Verdict

Compact, effective spot- and stain-cleaning in a neat and portable package – but watch out for clean patches.

Score


Score in detail

  • Usability 8
  • Cleaning performance 10
  • Features 7
  • Design 8
  • Value 8

Other

Type Cylinder