Hose and cord storage
Multiple boosters available
Can only clean one spot at a time
We purchased Bissell's Spotbot Pet so our writer could put it to the test in her own home. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you are a pet owner, you may love your beloved furry family member to pieces, but one of the annoyances that comes with owning a pet are accidents or messes left around the house, including hairballs and potty accidents on the carpet, couch, and other hard-to-clean surfaces. Learn more about how the Bissell Spotbot Pet saved our furniture.
Performance: Automatic or manual mode
The “Spotbot” name is a great description of how the Bissell Spotbot Pet works. We first tested out the automatic cleaning cycle on a section of carpet where our cat had recently thrown up. We had already cleaned up the hairball itself but wanted to get rid of the residue from the carpet fibers. All we had to do was put the Spotbot unit over the spot, press the appropriate setting (we used “deep clean” but the normal setting can get the job done) and it went to work. The scrub brushes moved around at various speeds while the cleaning solution was applied and then suctioned up. After around six minutes, the unit beeped to tell us it was done. We picked it up and voila! No spot. We were pleasantly surprised that the Bissell Spotbot Pet really did live up to the hype. One of the only drawbacks is that it can only clean about a spot that’s about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.
Because we had extra water and cleaning solution already in the unit, we tackled some older stains that our pets and kids had left on our couch. We used the hand-held tool with the tough stain tool attachment. It is easy to connect to the hose and has a trigger to spray the cleaning solution onto your surface before working on it with the bristles. The only tricky part for us was working on the vertical surfaces of our couch because the cleaning solution tended to run down instead of in line with our cleaning. We found that the easiest way to work on these areas was to spray just a little bit, then work it into the upholstery quickly using the tough stain tool.
We also used the Bissell Spotbot Pet to clean crayon marks, spilled salsa, and baby spit-up out of our carpet. It worked great on each mess. We had previously been using a carpet cleaning spray on small messes and dragging out our full-sized carpet cleaner machine for periodic cleaning. This unit is small enough to be as convenient as the handheld carpet spray but effective enough as a deep clean machine.
Design: Hand-held and easy to store
Our laundry room is overflowing with attachments to our vacuum, steam cleaner, garment steamer, and other household appliances. While they are all useful, we often lose them or don’t remember that we have them when it comes time to clean. The tough stain tool attachment can be stored directly on the Spotbot unit itself, which we loved. Our unit also came with a HydroRinse self-cleaning hose tool, which does have to be stored separately. We put it next to the extra cleaning solution so that we would be able to find it when we wanted to clean out the Spotbot hose.
The Bissell Spotbot Pet unit was easy to move around the room. It has a built-in handle that we used to position it just over the spot we wanted to clean, as well as move it over to the couch. It is light enough to lift up and stow away on a shelf.
Setup Process: Use with solution
Like most appliances used for deep cleaning, the Bissell Spotbot Pet does require a little bit of setup before it is ready to use. Fortunately, the instructions manual is easy to follow and includes diagrams. The smaller of the two water reservoirs is for warm water mixed with cleaning solution. It has markings directly on the side to make sure the mixture is correctly proportioned. We took the reservoir over to the sink separately and filled it with warm water. Then, we added the Bissell cleaning formula up to the fill line. We screwed the pressure cap back on and put the reservoir back in place.
Once we were done, emptying the dirty water was easy as well. We emptied and rinsed both the clean water and dirty water reservoirs. We let them dry overnight before storing away the Spotbot.
Bissell notes that we should thoroughly clean the black valve located in the dirty water tank from time to time. We didn’t notice any significant build-up, even after six uses. For peace of mind, we cleaned it after we cleaned up the majority of our older stains and messes.
Price: An expensive appliance
The instruction manual says to only use the Bissell Spotbot Pet unit with Bissell cleaning solutions. These add to the overall cost, especially if you have to throw away any unused solution when you are done cleaning your spot. You can store the unit with cleaning liquid still in the clean reservoir unless you have added the Oxy Boost. We would not recommend doing this for long periods of time, however, as it may add wear and tear to your unit over time.
All we had to do was put the Spotbot unit over the spot, press the appropriate setting and it went to work.
There are other stain-fighting boosters that are available as well. We thought that the Oxy Boost formula was well worth the extra cost for its ability to deep clean carpet fibers. It also comes in a pet-specific version. Other boosters include a Pro Formula, 2X Pet Stain and Odor, and a Professional Spot and Stain Plus Oxy. Some of the boosts do contain hydrogen peroxide, so it’s important to clean your hands after use since it can be a skin irritant.
We did notice that some of the proceeds from the sales of the Bissell Spotbot Pet went towards helping homeless pets through the Bissell Pet Foundation. While not a big factor in our review of the unit itself, we did like knowing that the company loves animals as much as we do.
Competition: Depends on your surface
Steamfast SF-370WH Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner: For a similar portable spot cleaning unit that works well on tile and hard surfaces, the Steamfast SF-370WH Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner has a lot of attachments and is just as easy to use. The Steamfast does not have a great attachment for upholstery, so if you have fabric upholstery that often needs cleaning, this might affect your decision.
Hoover ONEPWR Spotless Go Cordless Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner: If you need a deep cleaning unit you can pick up without worrying about cords, the Hoover ONEPWR Spotless Go Cordless Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is another popular choice. While it’s more portable, it does require the user to operate the hand-held hose to manually clean the mess. It is ideal for stairs and other hard-to-reach areas, but it’s missing the automatic “set it and forget it” option.
Buy it if you get pet messes often.
Pets are messy but this unit was so easy to use that those messes weren’t even an annoyance. We wish we had bought a Bissell Spotbot Pet years ago and have recommended it to all of our animal-loving friends.
- Product Name Spotbot Pet
- Product Brand Bissell
- MPN 2117A
- Price $179.99
- Weight 16.01 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 9 x 17 x 13.5 in.
- Warranty 2 years for defective or malfunctioning parts