The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner and the BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable are both first rate products from respected manufacturers. You could do much worse than buying either of these products. In order to determine which of these products is the best for your needs, you have to go beyond the specs and marketing buzzwords. Every ‘real world’ carpet cleaning situation is different, and the right tool for one job might not be the best for another.
Battle of the Spot Cleaners
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner
The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner makes convenience and ease of use their top priority. It’s smaller, light, more maneuverable and features water tanks that are extremely easy to empty and refill. For households with stairs, the Rug Doctor could be the perfect choice–easy to move around and use, but not at the expense of cleaning quality. The Rug Doctor Portable Cleaner claims to have twice the suction power of competing products, but the real test is its ability to clean spots and stains.
A unique feature of Rug Doctor products is the motorized scrub brush. The Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner is the only product of this type on the market with a powerful oscillating motorized brush. The motorized brush offers some unique advantages–it not only frees you from having to do the scrubbing yourself but does a more effective job. The motorized brush moves 1200 times per minute enabling it to attack the most difficult stains. More brush movement means a better job ‘feathering’ the carpet, or blending the cleaned area with the rest of the fabric. You won’t be able to notice that a spot was ever there!
One potential downside to the Rug Doctor stain cleaner is that it takes a ‘one size fits all’ approach to cleaning. The motorized brush is admittedly effective on a variety of stains and surface types, but for some cleaning situations specialized attachments are helpful. The only customization allowed by the Rug Doctor unit comes via a ‘retractable handle’. It might be easier to move around and use than other units but depending on your specific application the uniformity of the cleaning process could be an issue.
Power Cord Length – 15 ft
Hose Lenght – 5.5 ft
Tank Capacity – 64 oz
Weight – 15 lbs
BISSELL Spot Clean Professional
Based strictly on its ‘statistical profile’ the BISSELL Spot Clean Professional looks and feels like a more substantial piece of machinery than many competing units. It’s bigger and features a more powerful motor than the Rug Doctor Portable. There’s obviously a trade-off in the physical heft of the product–the BISSELL product might be a more ‘substantial’ device, but the Rug Doctor is easier to carry around. The BISSELL stain cleaner also has no wheels meaning that you’ll have to pick it up and carry it to move it from one place to another. The BISSELL does have a substantially longer power cord than the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner.
The BISSELL product also requires more ‘elbow grease’ than the Rug Doctor unit. While the Rug Doctor’s motorized brush does the scrubbing work for you, the BISSELL’s brush is manually operated. Depending on the specific cleaning application, however, this might be a good thing. Furthermore, the lack of a ‘specialized’ brush head makes the BISSELL stain remover more ‘configurable’. The ability to ‘reconfigure’ the BISSELL cleaner could be essential for certain jobs and applications.
The BISSELL Spot Clean Professional comes with a 6″ stair tool and 3″ tough stain tool, with additional tools, filters and cleaning solution varieties available for purchase. These specialized tools work well with the BISSELL’s highly flexible cleaning hose and gives the product the versatility necessary to deal with even the most unusual stains in the strangest locations.
Power Cord Length – 22 ft
Hose Lenght – 4 ft
Tank Capacity – 96 oz
Weight – 13.2 lbs
Bissell or Rug Doctor ?
Both the Rug Doctor Portable and the BISSELL Spot Clean Professional are excellent products with great reputations and legions of satisfied customers. The choice of one versus the other comes down to its application–what kind of stains do you need to clean and where do you need to clean them? The Rug Doctor Portable is likely the best choice for ‘random’ household stains including those caused by children and pets. Its portability and ease of use allow it to go wherever the stains are, and its motorized brush is also a welcome feature for this use.
The BISSELL Spot Clean Professional is likely the better unit for more specific cleaning needs. Cleaning upholstery, detailing the interior of the car and similar clearly defined uses are where the versatile configurations and superior statistical profile of the BISSELL shine. It might not be as easy to move it from place to place to tackle the ever-changing variety of stains, but for specific cleaning jobs it is a very powerful tool.