Carpet Cleaners

Review Rug Doctor Portable Carpet Cleaner

Judy D. Evans
Written by Judy D. Evans

In this Rug Doctor portable carpet spot cleaner review, we’ll look at the pros and cons of this model. The Rug Doctor portable spot cleaner is the smaller sibling to the larger version often available for rent at the grocery store.

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is a formidable small-sized carpet stain and spot cleaner. After 30+ years of producing powerful and efficient professional-grade carpet cleaning machines, Rug Doctor has added the well-engineered, compact, and powerful Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner to its product line. The portable unit cleans out pet stains, everyday spills and accidents, car upholstery and carpeting, area rug spots and more.

Introduced in 2014, this model is rapidly growing in popularity both due to the good Rug Doctor name and it’s superior performance. Highlights include having a motorized hand-held brush, exceptionally high suction power, and a streamlined design for easy portability. All these features come together to make it a user-friendly appliance that makes spot cleaning (and life) easier. In this review, we will go into the details on what makes this portable cleaner machine a great choice, and what things to lookout for.

Product Features:

Motorized Brushing – The oscillating motorized brush-head is designed to make deep cleaning a quick and easy task. The Rug Doctor portable spot cleaner is one of the few that comes with a motorized handheld brush included.

High 10 Amps Motor – For a small portable cleaner, 10 amps is a lot of power. This translates to better suction and cleaning effectiveness. To compare, Bissell’s most powerful portable cleaner, the SpotClean Professional 3624 has less than 6 amps. A number of much larger upright carpet cleaners operate with less than 10 amps.

Lightweight – This unit weighs only 15 pounds when the tanks are empty.

Extendable Handle and Wheels – The Rug Doctor can be moved about on its carpet-friendly wheels and it is easily transported from one location to the next with its retractable handle. Not all portable spot cleaners have these two convenience features. One of the most frequent grouses regarding the Bissell SpotClean Professional 3624 is its lack of wheels.

Small Footprint – It’s dimensions is as follows: Height: 15.61″ Width: 16.03″ Depth: 10.93″. The handle height goes up to 33 1/2 inches when extended. The narrow depth allows the machine to fit on stairs.

4.5 Inches Cleaning Path – The brush has a cleaning span of 4.5 inches. This is a good size that provide adequate coverage when cleaning spots. Most Bissell spot cleaners provide a 3 inch cleaning path, with the option of purchasing a 6 inch accessory.

Large Two-Tank System – The Rug Doctor portable spot cleaner operates on a convenient two-tank system. The clean water tank has a capacity of 64 oz and the dirty water tank holds 38 oz of liquid. As the tank size is large, few, if any, refill trips will be needed.

Good Power Cord/Hose Length – A 15-ft power cord comes with the unit, together with a 5.5-ft flexible hose. This allows for flexibility and for maneuverability in cleaning, especially if the carpet spots are in various parts of the room, in hard to reach areas, or when cleaning automobile interiors.

Two-Year Limited Warranty – The Rug Doctor Portable carpet cleaner comes with a 2-year limited warranty for consumer household use. Should questions or problems arise, Customer Service can be reached by phone or by live chat.


This spot remover has twice as much power relative to other stain and spot removing machines. You’ll get the job done faster with this model than its competitors.

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner MachineThe Rug Doctor model has wheels to allow you to roll it around behind you, instead of having to lug it around like a hand held vacuum cleaner. The wheels are even carpet friendly, so they won’t damage the carpet or leave ugly, dirty tracks on the floor you’re trying to clean.

The Rug Doctor stain remover has removable tanks that let you fill them up with spot remover in the sink and empty where you will, minimizing the risk of making a mess with the nasty chemicals or dirty water. However, you do have to be careful of the hole near the top side of the water tank or you’ll spill the dirty water onto the floor.

The portable carpet cleaner is a money saver if you have to clean up spilled food, spilled drinks and pet stains out of the floor more than six or seven times a year. At that point, the purchase price of the unit and cleaners starts to become cost effective compared to the ongoing rental price.

The Rug Doctor portable cleaner can be used to clean your car as well as your home. In fact, it will get out those nasty spilled juice stains for a fraction of the price of the cost of detailing the car several times a year.


These units are heavy, though they are lighter than the professional units in the rental section of the grocery store. This unit is not an option if you cannot lift it up stairs, pull it from room to room or reach down to empty and load the reservoirs. This portable spot cleaner is heavy at twenty pounds plus the weight of the liquid in the reservoir.

If you spot clean your floors only three or four times a year, it is cheaper to rent the unit when you need it. Conversely, this unit is not suitable if you have all the carpets in the house cleaned several times a year – trying to clean all the carpets yourself with this unit takes forever and more money in Rug Doctor soaps than it costs for someone to pull up in a steam cleaning truck and clean your house.

The motorized brush just vibrates, instead of actually doing a lot of heavy lifting like a vacuum head.

Final Conclusion:

As you can see, there are truly lots of different reasons to go out and purchase the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner. The product is excellent in many areas and has always provided me with satisfactory performance. Despite a few cons here and there, the machine is sufficient and will get those stubborn stains removed, without much assistance on your end.

About the author

Judy D. Evans

Judy D. Evans

Spent 2001-2005 developing strategies for cleaning company formation in Tampa, FL. Spent college summers lecturing about marketing with no outside help. Spent childhood building my own cleaning company in Pensacola, FL.

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