Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review (2020 Updated)

After more than 3 decades of producing powerful professional-grade full sized carpet cleaners, the Rug Doctor has embarked on creating portable units for everyday use. The manufacturer has added the compact, lightweight and maneuverable Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner to its product line. This portable spot cleaning machine is designed to be small in size so that it can get into intricate spaces where ordinary cleaners are unable to access and clean.

The portable unit remains an excellent option for cleaning hard-to-reach areas on carpets, upholstery, rugs and more. Despite being small in size, this device is well-engineered to deliver the best suction power for stain removal and all-around cleaning performance. Our Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review highlights everything there is to know about this formidable small-sized carpet stain and spot cleaner.

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review (2020 Updated)Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review (2020 Updated)

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner made debut in 2014 and has since grown in popularity owing to its superior performance. It’s among the few spot cleaning machines featuring a hand-held motorized brush, with 2 times more suction than other portable spot cleaners. This user-friendly appliance exhibits a streamlined design for effortless portability and spot cleaning.

Apparently, the manufacturer engineered and developed this model to be the best in class with the aim of solving most consumer pain points. Its oscillating brush-head makes scrubbing much more effective than manual hand scrubbing, since it gets deep into carpet fibers and attacks the accumulated dirt and stains beneath. With heightened maneuverability and great suction power, it only requires 1-2 passes to pull stains deep in the carpets without leaving water puddles in the carpet.

Who Should Get the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner?

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is an excellent option for small families with kids and pets, or households with carpets that regularly see spilled drinks and muddy footprints. Being compact, lightweight and maneuverable, this portable spot cleaner does quick cleanup of everyday spills and pet accidents on carpeting, car upholstery, area rugs and more. Using the mini-motorized brush, it can tackle pet furs, mud marks and hard stains like tea and coffee.

This device is much smaller than a conventional carpet cleaner, and so it easily squeezes into tight spots to battle grimy carpets and upholstery. The unit features dual-tank design and flexible hose for quick and thorough cleaning. For faster drying, the mini-motorized brush can be put on hold, allowing it to blast the excess water off the surface.

Even while this model is ideal for cleaning up stairs, auto interiors and intricate spaces, we don’t recommend it for a full carpet. Similarly, it’s not a wise option for people who can’t spend a lot of time on their knees due to its petite stature. This model is great for lifting out minor stains and spot cleaning fabrics, but it doesn’t offer the same cleaning power as a full-sized shampooer.

Simply put, we recommend this item for people who own a small house with tough-to-reach spaces. Even while it offers great suction power, we don’t think it’s an ideal tool for commercial use. It excels in light to moderate cleaning chores.

Let’s now explore more details of this portable spot cleaning machine.

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review – Features & Specs

  • Suction Power

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner supplies twice as much suction power relative to other leading stain and spot cleaning machines brands. It uses a 10-amps motor, which is considered a lot of power for such a small-sized package. For the record, larger upright carpet cleaners – such as the Bissell SpotClean 3624 Professional Portable Cleaner – operate with less than 6 amps.

The 10-amps motor translates into powerful suction and better cleaning performance. This great suction is sufficient for extracting deep stains and odors more efficiently on hard-to-reach areas like stairs and edges between carpet and wall. It promises to clean virtually all types of difficult stains and turn your shabby carpets and rugs back to their pristine state.

  • Motorized Brushing 

One notable feature setting the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner apart from the competition is the oscillating motorized brush head that improves agitation. You no longer have to apply the elbow grease, because the rotary handheld brush does the scrubbing for you. Three rows of stiff brushes along with two edge brushes are located underneath the nozzle to give the machine great agitation power for quick and efficient cleanup.

The handheld motorized brush makes up to 1200 oscillations per minute, scrubbing and breaking up even the toughest stains deep within the carpet fibers. The sustained power of the rotary scrubber and the vacuum makes it possible to lift deep-set stains more effectively than a typical brush does. Deep down dirt and debris are no match for this kind of machine.

  • Dual Tank System

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner operates on a convenient and removable dual-tank system that keeps clean and dirty water separate without overlapping instances. The clean water tank can hold 64oz water capacity while the dirty water tank can contain 34oz of liquid. Due to the large tank size, few refill trips are needed throughout the entire cleaning session on a medium sized carpet or rug.

Both tanks have a detachable filter and cover that makes for easy filling, emptying and rinsing. Plus, the clean water tank has a marked fill line that takes the guesswork out of filling with water and solution. To load the water into the clean tank, simply pull up the cover and twist a locking cap underneath to take out the hose and seal.  Load the clean water until the first fill line and cleaning solution until the second fill line.

  • Extendable Handle & Easy-Rolling Wheels

Nothing can beat the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner when it comes to maneuverability and ease of use. It comes with an extendable handle and resilient carpet-friendly wheels which glide over carpeted surfaces without getting stuck. You’ll be able to roll smoothly from one spot to the next without stopping.

Better yet, the unit is very portable with narrower dimensions than the competition, allowing you to move effortlessly across a variety of carpet styles. The wheeled-suitcase style of this cleaning machine lessens the load even more, and it provides the option of adjusting to the height of the user. In short, the extendable handle and easy-gliding wheels are convenient features making this machine more convenient to use than some of its rivals.

  • Lightweight & Small Footprint

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner weighs less than 15 pounds when the containers are empty. It’s lightweight enough to get into every concealed location where messes often hide such as under pet beds, furniture and even inside of vehicles, RVs and boats. You can wheel it indoors, outdoors and all over to ensure thorough clean up of spilled drinks, food and pet stains.

Even more, it has a small footprint with the handle height that extends up to 33.5 inches to allow the machine to fit on stairs and other difficult spots. The dimensions of this machine are 16.1 x 11 x 15.7 inches and works perfectly for people who live in a small dwelling or a massive mansion. Its slim and compact design makes for easy storage in closets, cabinets and more.

  • Adequate Coverage 

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner comes with a good power cord and hose length. It’s equipped with a 15-ft long power cord which allows you to clean a medium-sized room significantly easier without having to find a spare outlet over and over again. It guarantees that you have to work for a shorter period of time without plugging and unplugging the machine frequently before the job is completed.

Also available is a flexible 5-ft hose which provides sufficient maneuverability when it comes to cleaning up spills and stains in hard-to-reach spots on your carpets and automobile interiors. The hose and cord combined provide up to 20 feet of cleaning reach, which is more than enough for average sized rooms. Better still, the brush offers a wide cleaning path of up to 4.5 inches, making it possible to cover a larger area with just a single swipe.

  • Noise Level

We found the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner to be a little louder than most spot cleaners on the market. Many people hate appliances that emit a lot of noise, because they can be a nuisance to the family. However, this machine isn’t too loud to disturb your family’s peace and tranquility.

And, more noise is equivalent to more suctioning power and you can rest assured this device is going to deliver the best possible performance. For this machine, the level of noise isn’t too high to require earplugs unless you’ve got particularly sensitive ears. Generally speaking, it’s a perfect option for users who hate the idea of trading off the suction power and incredible performance.

  • Ease of Use & Maintenance 

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is fully assembled and ready to use on arrival. Most users, even complete novices, find it pretty easy to use. The clean water (or cleaning solution) tank and dirty water tank are easy to detach for filling and emptying respectively.

This well-engineered model is made to be durable enough to withstand any occasional knocks and bashes. There are no small parts that could easily be broken off, and the machine is sturdy in appearance and feel. It’s easy to maintain this portable spot cleaner by rinsing out the tanks and drying them after use. No soap or debris should be left to accumulate and solidify on the machine to prevent harming its parts.

  • Warranty & Customer Support

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is backed by a 2-year limited warranty for consumer household use. The warranty covers labor in the event the tool develops defects resulting from manufacturing errors, not regular use. There is also the option of purchasing an extended warranty in Amazon for customers who think the 2-year warranty period is too short.

When it comes to customer support, the Rug Doctor is very professional and approachable. Should problems arise, their customer service reps are always ready to address your concerns either by replacing defective parts or the whole product. You can reach their customer support on a 24/7 basis by phone or by live chat.

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review (2020 Updated)Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Review (2020 Updated)

What We Liked

  • 2X the suction power of other spot cleaning machines
  • Compact design for easy maneuvering
  • Dual tank system for keeping clean and dirty water separate
  • Great agitation on carpeted stairs and most fabric upholstery
  • Long cord and hose for a wider cleaning reach
  • Large nozzle provides a wider cleaning path than the average spot cleaner
  • Stellar customer support

Flaws but Not Deal Breakers 

  • The Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner is prone to leaking after extended use
  • The waste and solution tanks aren’t self-sealing and extra care must be exercised when emptying them
  • The cost is moderately expensive, but more affordable than the cost of professional cleaning
  • The small water/solution tank capacity isn’t ideal for industrial cleaning tasks

Final Thought 

Even though the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner isn’t completely without flaws, we wholeheartedly recommend it for households with kids and pets. This rugged, compact and powerful machine exhibits exceptional quality workmanship and gets stubborn stains removed with minimal effort on your end. Of all the leading portable cleaners out there, this perhaps showcases the best agitation due to the rotary brushes and great suction power.

It’s skillfully designed to scrub and lift away even the most stubborn stains and spots in a snap. It does eliminate stains and odors at the source by first injecting soapy water then scrubbing deep down to lift and extract them. It never leaves a soggy mess on carpets and rugs unless it starts leaking after extended use.

It may not be the cheapest carpet spot cleaner on the market, but it’s built to last for many years of great service. Its high-powered suction is ideal for light to moderate cleaning tasks, especially on hard-to-reach areas. However, this model tends to struggle on large jobs because the 2-liter capacity tank would require emptying numerous times.

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