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BISSELL Spotclean Pet Pro review: Stain slayer

  • BISSELL's premium spot cleaner tested
  • It excels at removing stains and restoring fabric
  • Shame about the excess bulk

Written by Ryan Gilmore Published: 30 September 2022 Updated: 20 March 2023

As any car owner knows, an excellent vacuum cleaner is essential for keeping your interior clean. It pulls up dust, pet hair and even the odd Cheerio with no fuss and it’ll quite happily turn its attention to the living room carpet or stairs in an instant. Where it comes crashing down is when a stain is introduced.

If you have any type of embedded stain or an odour that you need to shift, a spot cleaner is one of the most effective ways of shifting them and leaving behind the fully cleaned fabric. There are cheaper solutions that will give you some success, but to nail a particularly nasty stain you’ll be needing something like the BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro.

BISSELL is perhaps the best-known domestic spot cleaner brand and the SpotClean Pet Pro is the most expensive of the brand’s lineup. Designed to remove stains and odours in one (especially from pet accidents), it’s a premium option from a brand that’s garnered a reputation for excellence. To see whether the cost is worth the results, we’re putting one to the test.

Built to last

The BISSELL being used on a car seat
The BISSELL being used on a car seat

The central point of a good spot cleaner is portability, these devices exist to reach the spots an upright carpet cleaner would struggle to reach, and as most cars aren’t designed to look like a room, a spot cleaner is the best way to properly deal with interior stains.

For a portable device, the SpotClean Pet Pro is a little on the bulky side. It’s brilliantly designed and full of neat ergonomic touches, it’s just rather big. The generous dirt tank, for example, features a clever locking system that means it’s always locked in the correct place and there’s no chance that you’ll accidentally spill the murky water onto your shoes. Perhaps the sole plus point to the size is that you won’t need to stop to empty the 2.8-litre tank very often. Cleaning an entire car seat removed a load of dirt and debris and yet barely filled the tank.

The rest of the design is just as clever, but still on the larger side. The 1.5-metre hose is neatly held in place and can be fully extended really quickly, the same can also be said for the 6.5-meter power cord. There’s a simple trigger to squirt the shampoo onto the fabric, although it does start to hurt your hands after a while.

The sturdy feel of every touchable piece is reassuring for the long-term durability of the device but also helps explain the hefty 5.8kg weight before any cleaning solution has been added. It’s a fair workout lifting the SpotClean Pet Pro around the car, especially if the cockpit is small and finickity to navigate. The best practice we found was to balance the body on the seat that wasn’t currently being cleaned, thankfully easily done with the generous cord lengths.

SpotClean verses dirt

The dirt captured by the BISSEL SpotClean Pet Pro
The dirt captured by the BISSEL SpotClean Pet Pro

Look at the brown sludgy in the tank, that came from a single seat in a car, a newish (2017) Vauxhall Corsa that’s semi-regularly vacuumed. That’s how good the BISSELL is at removing deeply-embedded dirt and grime from fabric, most of it pulled up with the first pull of the extractor. Most embedded stains were expertly dealt with too, but a fair bit of saturation from the included shampoo was required. The 750W motor is excellent, impressively powerful for something that tackles such a small area. That meant it not only pulled stains out of fabrics, it restored the pile too, making the fabric look and feel new.

Switching to the home and the SpotClean Pet Pro worked even better than in the car. It worked effectively on any fabric surface we could slip it on, effortlessly removing stains from a white rug and stone-coloured armchair. It expertly fills the void for any surface a regular carpet cleaner would struggle to reach.

Part of the appeal of a spot cleaner is that it pulls the dirt and shampoo out the fabric, leaving behind a relatively dry surface. The BISSELL faired relatively well here, flat surfaces were mostly dry with a single pass of the tool, with perhaps the odd second go required for any surface that had been particularly saturated in the name of stain removal. On curved surfaces however, the head did struggle to lift the liquid in one go adequately, it called for multiple passes and small adjustments to collect the shampoo.

The included Stain Trapper attachment is a clever gadget designed for use on particularly harsh, baked-in stains. It pulls the stain out of the carpet into a smaller tank for easier emptying and proved excellent for carpet stains.   

Any downsides?

the BISSELL on a car seat
the BISSELL on a car seat

The main issue we found during testing was that the BISSELL was an ungainly machine to move about. The big size meant that moving it through narrow openings (like rear doors) posed an impact risk while carrying the unit quickly led to tired arms. It may be powerful and commodious, but it really could do with being a little lighter, smaller or using some small wheels in the name of practicality. The size could also make storage an issue when the device isn’t in use, worth remembering when choosing a spot cleaner.

Other than the packaging concerns, the only other issue we found was the price. There’s no escaping the fact that the BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro is an excellent spot cleaner, it’s just that it’s priced a fair amount more than its competition.

Price and competition

The BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro is the most expensive domestic spot cleaner we could find, costing a fair few quid more than other spot cleaners from the likes of Vax and Rug Doctor. We tested the previous version of the Vax SpotWash and found that it was very nearly as capable as the BISSELL, and cost a fair amount less. The Rug Doctor may be hampered with design quirks, but the extendable handle and wheels make it more manoeuvrable.

The BISSELL’s sound build quality and clever design do go some of the way to explaining the price premium. Still, when you can find wet and dry vacuum cleaners that feature carpet extractors for not that much more money, it does become a little harder to justify.


The bISSELL cleaning a car seat
The bISSELL cleaning a car seat

The BISSELL Spotclean Pet Pro is an excellent way of fighting stains, it’ll do a lot better than a bottle of stain remover and it’s just about portable enough to be used on a car’s interior. Everything feels robust and well thought out, even if it’s about 10% bigger than it needs to be. Ultimately however it is worth the rather steep asking price because of its ability to restore fabrics that otherwise look fit for the tip. It’s powerful, straightforward to use and full of clever design features to ensure that you won’t end up covered in grime and wet fluff, all of which is what you ultimately want from a spot cleaner.


BISSELL Spotclean Pet Pro

Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro

Price: RRP £179.99 | VIEW OFFER


Ergonomic design
Excellent stain-removing abilities


A touch expensive

25 x 36 x 35.6 cm
Water tank capacity 2.8 litres
Motor 750W
Hose length 1.5 metres
Cord length 6.5 metres
Weight 5.8kg

Other items to consider:

Vax SpotWash Duo Spot Cleaner, RRP £139.99
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner, RRP £159.99
Henry George Wet and Dry Vacuum, RRP £294.99

How the product was tested:

The BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro was used on a variety of upholstered surfaces on a range of cars, both new and used. It was used to clean seats, carpet mats and the boot floor to examine how practical and portable it was. The BISSELL was also used on an upholstered chair and rug to examine how it performed around the home.

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