Review: Bissell Spotbot

You can barely see where the cat vomit was. And that’s pretty much the point…

I’ve cleaned up a lot of disgusting pet-related accidents in my day. Whether it’s a slimy cat hairball on the couch, dog diarrhea on the white carpet, or uncountable puddles of puppy piddle… I’ve cleaned it all. And over the years, I’ve had multiple tools for making the process easier. The Spotbot from Bissell is the only one I’ve purchased on 3 separate occasions. And after a weird design change and subsequent reversion — it’s a must-have for any pet owner. At least any pet owner with carpet.

Our original Spotbot was the same style as what you see in the photo. Basically it’s a dual purpose carpet shampooer. It has a traditional hose with a sprayer and suction nozzle, but it also has an “automatic” mode. Pet stains on the carpet are generally a puddle or pile, and after some paper towel work, there usually a “spot” that you set the Spotbot on top of, and press the button. It has a rotating brush, automatic sprayer, and suction nozzles which will scrub the carpet and pull out the stain with no user intervention. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the circular pattern on the rug where it did its thing. A few minutes earlier there was a gross spot, which I won’t describe in more detail.

It’s Easy, but also Better

The weird design change I alluded to above was that several years ago, Bissell decided that the “Spotbot” didn’t need the automatic circle thing. A hose with a scrubber wand was what people really wanted. (We didn’t) Since our original Spotbot was gone (Maybe in our house fire, I honestly don’t remember) I purchased the no-auto-circle-spot model. And… it was a tiny carpet cleaner. But that kinda sucks. And not just because I’m lazy. I mean, I’m lazy, but that’s not why removing the automatic bits was a bad choice.

When you’re manually scrubbing a spot on the carpet, it gets wet from the cleaning water. And you want to make sure you “get the whole spot”, so you scrub/spray to the edge of the wet spot. And then the spot grows, but you aren’t sure where the original spot was, because the carpet is a different color due to wetness and poop, so you go to the edge of the ever expanding area, because you really don’t want to miss the spot. And you end up with a 3 foot weird-shaped spot of mostly clean, entirely wet, carpet.

The automatic mode doesn’t have that problem. It cleans where you set it. It doesn’t move around like its Roomba cousin, it stays put and does its job. Which is to undo the job your cocker spaniel did earlier. But I digress.

It’s Back. It’s Easy. The Hose Might Still Suck.

The reason we got rid of our second (non-automatic) Spotbot was that the hose got brittle over the years and cracked. Like any good MacGyver fan, I duct taped it up several times, but it just quit working, so I threw it away. When I went to buy another, I was happy to see the automatic functionality was added back in. The hose on our new model will rarely be used, but it feels like the same material that got brittle and cracked with our old model. So be prepared for that. I dunno, maybe you’re supposed to rub lotion on it or something. (If you rub lotion on your vacuum cleaner hose, please do not tell me about it.)

BONUS TIP: One last thing, with every carpet shampooer I’ve ever owned, I quickly discovered that no amount of rinsing the dirty water bin will stop it from smelling like death on a rotten fish after it’s been sitting for a few weeks/months. So what I do is put a tiny glup of bleach in the dirty water bin after I empty it. NOT IN THE CLEAN WATER TANK. The bleach isn’t for cleaning, it’s for sanitizing the collection (dirty water) tank. If you put a tiny bit of bleach in there, it kills the vomit/poop/pee leftovers so your house doesn’t smell extra horrible the next time you turn on the shampooer.

BONUS TIP THE SECOND: The Spotbot also works for messes your kids make. Although their messes are sometimes bigger than the little automatic circle can handle. And the Spotbot can’t fix the mess kids make of your life, just your carpet. It’s a good machine, it’s not a magical machine.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
  • Get rid of messes without getting your hands dirty. This hands free portable carpet cleaner does all the scrubbing for you
  • Preset cleaning cycles that automatically spray, brush, and suction to permanently remove both surface and tough set-in pet stains. Just push the button to clean.
  • Equipped with two hands-free cleaning modes, quick clean for fresh stains and deep clean for set in stains, so you can get the right level of cleaning
  • Includes trial-size Pet Stain and Odor, Pet Oxy Boost Formula and a 3" tough stain tool. Hose length - 5 feet
  • Tank capacity: 32 ounces.
  • Power Source Type: Corded