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Can the Rug Doctor spot cleaner banish stains?

Which? tries out new portable carpet cleaner

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner promises to make removing stains easy

The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is a compact carpet cleaner designed to tackle smaller problem areas such as carpet stains or stairs. Rug Doctor claims it is ideally suited to busy households, families or pet owners where spillages or muddy footprints are a regular threat to the sanctity of your carpets.

Costing £155, it’s cheaper than most full-sized carpet cleaners, and less cumbersome too. Rug Doctor says its motorised scrubbing brush helps to easily lift away stains, when used with Rug Doctor carpet cleaning detergent. 

The extendable handle should make it simple to wheel around your home too, if you’ve got a trail of destruction to clean up.

To find out what our researcher thought of this carpet cleaner when she tried it out at home, read the full first look review of the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner.

Why buy a spot carpet cleaner?

Spot carpet cleaners offer deep carpet cleaning on a small scale, ideal for isolated stubborn stains, but are they any good? 

In 2015, we tested the Bissell SpotClean alongside a selection of carpet stain remover sprays to find out if it could tackle stains better than sprays alone. To find out whether its extra cleaning power translates to better results, head to our full Bissell SpotClean review.

At £100, it is cheaper than the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner, but still a lot more expensive than a bottle of our best carpet stain remover and a sponge, which will set you back less than five pounds. So if you’ve just got a problematic stain and don’t want to invest in a new appliance, try one of our Best Buy carpet stain removers instead.

If your carpets regularly get mucky, it might be worth upgrading to a full-sized carpet cleaner. These usually include a hand tool accessory for stairs and spot cleaning, and we’ve found Best Buy carpet cleaners starting from £200.

Should I hire a carpet cleaner instead?

With household storage at a premium, another cleaning gadget might be the last thing you want cluttering up your home. You can hire a carpet cleaner from your local supermarket or DIY store for a one-off clean for around £30 per day.

To see if a rental model does as good a job – or better – than a shop-bought model, we tested the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro, which is similar to the model you can hire in stores. Find out how it compares to carpet cleaners you can buy by heading to our carpet cleaner reviews.

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