Bissell SpotBot Pet Deep Cleaner - Absolutely Indispensable!

Mar 9, 2012 (Updated Mar 17, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Cleans carpet thoroughly; little work required; convenient/available for immediate cleaning of spots

Cons:Holds odors; loud; dirty water tank has no closure; water/formula tank hard to remove

The Bottom Line: I recommend this product to anyone with pets or children who stain the carpet often and needs a quick, effective solution for cleaning up the mess.

Firstly, I want to note that this machine is not a steam cleaner and it is not handheld; it is a carpet spot deep cleaner. In order for it to work as intended, it requires that you use a cleaning solution in addition to water and does not produce steam. Bissell does have a handheld steam cleaner, but it is not the machine pictured here. Hope that clears some things up!

I purchased the SpotBot when we got our new carpet over two years ago. We had two dogs at the time (now three), and though they were house-trained, we were taking no chances with our nice, new carpet, since the dogs still had occassional accidents. Getting on our hands and knees and scrubbing the spots with a cleaning solution when the dogs had accidents was just not working. You could no longer see the spots once they were dry, but you could certainly smell them during the warmer parts of the year.

Enter the Bisell SpotBot Pet Deep Cleaner!

What Bissell says about the Bissel SpotBot Pet Deep Cleaner (

WalkAway™ while it sprays, scrubs and suctions the stain for you!
- Hands-free stain cleaning with preset cycles
- Unique Spiral Brushing® helps lift dirt and stains
- 3 inch stain tool also included
- Sprays and suctions to dry in one step
- 32 oz dirty tank capacity

The SpotBot® Pet portable deep cleaner is a revolutionary, easy way to deal with unexpected spills and messes, as well as set-in stains. To clean a spot or stain, fill the tank with water and solution, plug it in, set it on a stain, push a button and WalkAway™. With a push of a button, the Automatic Smart System™ allows you to customize the way SpotBot® Pet will treat the stain. Use the Surface Stain setting for a fresh mess, and the Set-In Stain option for tougher stains. SpotBot® Pet then releases solution and water deep into your carpet’s fibers, scrubs the stain with its Spiral Brushing® and suctions the dirty liquid up, leaving the spot clean.

Key Specs

- Cleans carpet, upholstery, and stairs
- Weighs 19 lbs
- 16' power cord


- Stain tool
- 2X Pet Stain and Odor Remover Formula
- User Guide
- One Year Warranty

My Experience

The SpotBot is both convenient and easy to use. Now, when the dogs have one of their accidents, cleaning the mess is simply a matter of:

- Removing the SpotBot's tank (by pulling up on it) and filling it with a mixture of water and the 2X Pet Stain and Odor Remover Formula that is included with the SpotBot. Labelled white lines on the tank indicate how much of the tank should be filled with water and how much of it should be filled with formula. Since the formula is concentrated, not much of it is needed.

- Replacing the tank on the machine

- Plugging in the SpotBot and sitting it on the spot to be cleaned

- Pressing either the "Surface Stain" button for new and/or easy to clean stains or the "Set-In Stain" button for old and/or difficult stains.

And that's it! You can literally "walk away" and do other things while the SpotBot cleans the stain, just as Bissell claims. If you need to pause or stop the cycle, there are "Pause" and "Stop" buttons, which can be pressed at any point during the cycle. If you've paused the cycle and are ready to continue it, press the "Pause" button again (the button is actually labelled "Pause/Resume"  and the cycle will pick up right where it left off! Before running the cycle, however, you will need to make sure that your dirty water tank is completely empty or empty enough to hold water released during the cycle. If the dirty water tank becomes too full during the cycle, the SpotBot will sense this and stop cleaning, though it will keep running. You will notice a change in the sound of the SpotBot when this happens; it becomes louder.

I estimate that the "Surface Stain" cycle runs for about two minutes, while the "Set-In Stain" cycle runs for about four minutes. Once the cycle is complete, the SpotBot will beep. The beeping will occur once about every 10 seconds until you either press "Stop" or"Pause", or unplug the machine. The SpotBot can be used up to 4 times before the tank needs to be filled again. This number will be dependent on the cycles you select. For example, if you used the "Set-In Stain" cycle the most, you would need to fill up the tank more often than you would if you used the "Surface Stain" cycle the most, since the former cycle runs longer and uses more water/formula than the latter. 

Once you are done using the SpotBot, you simply wrap the 16' cord around the pull-out panel on the side of the machine and put it away. The newly-cleaned spot will be nearly dry and extremely clean. (It will stand out from the rest of your carpet, though I've found that this is only temporary, at least if the rest of the carpet is not very dirty). Since the only spots on which I ever use this machine are dog urine spots, I've gotten on my hands and knees to have a sniff of the spot to make sure it's truly clean and doesn't simply smell like a mixture of urine and cleaning solution. The SpotBot, in combination with the 2X Pet Stain and Odor Remover Formula, always gets the urine spots clean! There is no smell, even during the hottest months! For reference, I always use the "Set-In Stain" setting and clean the spot right away.

I have also used the stain tool that is included with the SpotBot, which works very well. The tool attaches to a clear tube that wraps around the bottom of the SpotBot. When the SpotBot is being used to clean the carpet, the water/formula mixture travels from the tank and through this clear tube to be released onto the floor during the cleaning cycle. When you want to use an attachment/tool to clean upholstery or stairs, the end of the clear tube needs to be detached from the machine and the tool/attachment should then be attached to the end of that tube. When cleaning with the stain tool, you press a trigger on the tool to release formula onto the spot and then scrub with the bristles on the tool. When you are satisfied that you've scrubbed enough, you then suction the spot with the tool until most of the liquid has been removed. Thus far, I have only used the tool to clean the arms of my beige recliners, which can get very grimy, and this tool always gets them spotless!

There are some things I do dislike about the SpotBot:

- This thing holds odors. The SpotBot releases air as it's working, just as many vacuum cleaners do. Since I use the SpotBot to clean up dog urine, the smells that come from the machine when it's in use are rather unpleasant.
- The water/formula tank can be hard to remove from the SpotBot. I can imagine  someone with a condition such as Arthritis or moderate/severe Carpal Tunnel (or anyone with weakness or grasping issues in their hands) being unable to remove the tank at times. 
- The dirty water tank has no closure. There is a flap on the SpotBot that closes over the opening of the dirty water tank when it's on the machine, but if you drop this tank on your way to emptying it, you're going to have a big, nasty mess on your hands.
- It's loud! I wouldn't say that it's as loud as your average vacuum cleaner, but it's pretty close.

I consider these drawbacks a small price to pay, however, for something that I've found so invaluable. My last carpet was a stinky mess because we could not find a better way to clean up our dogs' accidents and prevent spots from smelling. We tried countless cleaning solutions, sprays, powders, etc., but nothing worked until the SpotBot. Now we have something that we can use to completely remove the mess and clean the carpet as soon as the accident occurs. It's not some huge, tedious carpet shampooer or steamer that no one feels like taking out and using just to clean a single spot. Ridding the carpet of a spot using the SpotBot takes a matter of minutes and barely any work is required of the user. All I have to do is fill up the tank, press a few buttons, and the SpotBot takes care of the rest!

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