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 (Rug Doctor 93300) 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.
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Features & Benefits
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.
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Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Overall Review
Powerful Suction Motor
One clear advantage this unit has compared to Bissell spot cleaners is the higher motor amperage. At 10 amps, the motor is as powerful as some full-sized upright carpet cleaners. It gives the machine a better suction. That means that more water (mixed with dirt particles) from the carpet can be suctioned back into the dirty water tank. This lifts more dirt off the carpet. It also helps to dry the carpet faster.
Motorized Turbo Brushing Feature
Most standard handtools that come with portable carpet cleaners are not motorized or powered. Having a motorized (turbo) brush vibrates carpet threads, which theoretically helps to get the dirt and stain particles off more easily. According to a number of happy users, having a motorized brush tool does help with cleaning results and stain removal. Still, there are other users who consider the motorized brushing feature unecessary.
With the Rug Doctor portable cleaner, users can choose to use the brush manually without the extra motorized vibrations, since the motorized brush is controlled by pressing a separate power switch. It may even be a good idea to try cleaning with and without motorized (turbo) brushing and compare the experience and results for yourself. A trigger on the brush controls the flow of the cleaning soap.
Easy to Use
The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner comes fully assembled and ready to use. Most users have no difficulty using it the first time. The clean water/cleaning solution and dirty water tanks are easily removable for filling or emptying.
Durable and Easy to Maintain
One of the nicer features of this well-engineered machine is a lack of small parts that could easily be broken off. It is a simple and sturdy machine in appearance as well as in fact. The Rug Doctor portable machine is extremely easy to maintain. The main things to pay attention to are to rinse out the tanks and dry them after use, to keep soap and debris from accumulating and solidifying or harming the machine parts.
Easy to Move and Maneuver
The retractable handle is similar to the handles found in high-quality luggage. This is a real plus, as it makes moving the Rug Doctor from place to place an effortless task. When retracted and locked, the handle becomes a convenient carrying handle should it be necessary to carry the appliance. This is an ideal cleaner for those who have stairs to clean, or stairs to climb to reach spots that need to be cleaned up.
Great for Pet Owners
Many owners of the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner are pet owners. It cleans extremely well, and works for pet messes and accidents. Pets don’t mean to make our lives difficult, but they sometimes lapse into urinating or defecating on carpets, or throw up if they get sick. Things happen. This portable Rug Doctor machines helps to make things right quickly. It’s also easier to bring out and use than having to lug around a regular upright home carpet cleaner.
Great for Cleaning Auto Interiors
Another major group of users purchase this for cleaning their car interiors, such as the car carpets, seats and other upholstery. The long 5 1/2 feet hose and 15 feet cord allows for flexible movements. Besides cleaning out occasional coffee spills, the size and power of this machine works very well for general auto interior maintenance – keeping the inside of the auto clean.
Auto detailing is expensive. Going the DIY route with this lightweight Rug Doctor cleaner helps to keep the inside of the car clean while saving money.
Things to Look Out For
It’s A Portable Spot Cleaner – Not For Cleaning Entire Rooms
This Rug Doctor model is meant for cleaning spills and stains. It’s not meant for cleaning entire rooms. It is designed to be small and lightweight, and would be tedious to use if you want to clean an entire room with it.
Rug Doctor offers two larger model (can be rented/purchased) that is meant for cleaning entire rooms and the home. See the Rug Doctor professional-grade cleaner review and/or Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner review to learn more.
For general carpet maintenance (eg. for whole house cleaning), besides the Rug Doctor, Hoover and Bissell offer a number of upright home-use models. The entry level ones feature a much bigger capacity than the Rug Doctor portable, but do not cost much more (see top upright cleaner models).
To learn more, check out the different types of carpet cleaners here.
Dirty Water Tank Has Side Opening
The dirty water tank is designed with a side opening, probably to allow users to clean and dry the dirty water tank better. Unfortunately, some users did not see it when they were removing the tank to empty this, resulting in the dirty water spilling. When removing and emptying the dirty water tank, try to do it in a well-lit area at least for the first few times to get a good hang of it.
Carpet Rinsing Tip
This spot cleaner does an excellent job of removing soils and stains as well as quickly and efficiently sucking up excess water. Several users have discovered that if they go over a deeply stained area a second time using only water, and then using the Rug Doctor to suck the excess water up, any residual soap left behind will be removed. This tip is especially useful if you have children and pets and do not want them to be negatively impacted by carpet cleaning chemicals left behind.
No Internal Water Heating Element
You can add hot water to the machine for cleaning carpets. Note that just like the larger Rug Doctor model, there is no internal heater or heating element in this portable machine to keep the water hot or warm. Although having a built-in water heater sounds helpful, it is not included in any of the best home carpet steam cleaners. For well-designed machines with high cleaning power, a built-in heater component may not help as much with the cleaning as it sounds.
However, if having a heating element is important to you, check out the Bissell Little Green ProHeat carpet cleaner which has a built-in heater. Another option is the Bissell SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner 5207 which has Heatwave technology to maintain warm water temperature.
Use Rug Doctor Branded Detergent
As with other models of carpet cleaner machines from Hoover and Bissell, the Rug Doctor portable machine is designed to work best with their house-branded cleaning detergents. In fact, the manual states that “using non-Rug Doctor cleaning solutions may harm the machine and will void the warranty.” The package does with a small 8 oz trial size bottle of detergent formula to help users get going.
The most popular Rug Doctor formulas people purchase with this machine are the Rug Doctor Pet Formula (removes oil and protein stains) and Rug Doctor Professional Portable Machine & Upholstery Cleaner.
Should You Buy The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner?
The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is a compact, rugged, and powerful cleaning machine that is both easy to operate and maintain. It cleans extremely well and exhibits exceptional quality workmanship. It may cost a little more than the average compact portable model, but it is higher powered and built-to-last. The Rug Doctor brand is not known to produce a lot of different carpet cleaner models. Instead, they make sure that whatever model they offer is high quality.
Ready for clean carpets?
Not sure if the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is right for you? Check out other top choices in the Portable Carpet Cleaning Machines Reviews section, where you can compare the Rug Doctor Portable with other best performing small lightweight cleaner models.
The next Rug Doctor model up is the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. This is a bigger machine meant for regular home carpet cleaning.
Limitation: We put every effort to provide the most accurate and helpful information but we cannot provide any warranties on this information. Please always research and use your discernment before you try the product or make a purchase.