Bissell SpotBot Review – The Portable Carpet Cleaner for People with Pets

We love our pets, but we don’t always love the messes they make. It is inevitable that there will be accidents that need to be cleaned up. Young pets and elderly pets are more prone to having accidents in the home, though any pet of any age will have mishaps from time to time.

That is why it is important to keep your floors clean. Aside from accidents, leaving stains and odors in your carpet can prolong training times. The Bissell SpotBot Pet comes to the rescue. With automated cleaning for stains in your carpet, you can put the machine to work and walk away.

I will take a detailed look at the SpotBot in this review and give you all the information you need to help you decide if this pet stain cleaning machine is right for you.

Who is the Bissell SpotBot for?

The SpotBot is perfect for homes with pets, especially those that are currently being housebroken. It isn’t just for homes with pets, or for pets, either. There are several instances where this machine is best suited.

  • Multiple pet homes.
  • Homes training pets that still have accidents in the house.
  • Homes with stairs or hard to reach areas of carpeting.
  • High traffic areas that get stains like mud, grease or oil.
  • Cars with upholstery that need stain removal
  • Areas where small children (or husbands) make messes.

The list can go on. If you have carpet or upholstery and something that makes messes and stains such as pets or children, the Bissell SpotBot Pet is worth your time and research.

Likewise, if you don’t have carpet, there isn’t a need for this machine. There are other cleaners designed for hard flooring that will do a better job for you. You should also keep in mind that the power cord is only 16 feet, with an extra 5 feet of hose for hard to reach areas.

If your power outlet isn’t close enough for 16 feet of power cord to work well for you, there are other options with longer cords.

Dimensions, Features and Options

Let’s dive in. It is time to find out how this machine works, what its limits are and how it will work best for you.

The SpotBot has Two Cleaning Modes and a Third Cleaning Option

The Bissell SpotBot comes with two preprogrammed cleaning modes. There is a mode for new, fresh stains and a mode for older, set in stains. Depending on the mode you select, the machine will operate slightly differently.

If you need extra cleaning in tough to reach spots like stairs, or in the car, there is a third option using a five-foot hose with a power cleaning head attachment.

Before you can Clean you Need to Prepare the SpotBot

The tagline from Bissell “Set it and walk away” is a little misleading. Before you can select a mode, you have to prepare the machine.

The first step is to locate the stain and the cause behind it. You need to prep the area before cleaning the carpet fibers. Remove and large debris (yes we mean the poop, pick it up and dispose of it) or other solids that are in the stained area.

You will also need to take note of the stain size. The cleaning area for the SpotBot is about the size of the palm of your hand. Larger areas will need to have the machine moved to get it all, as the unit doesn’t move on its own.

Next, you need to make sure that the fill tank is empty and secure in position with the tank latch in place. You will then fill the water reservoir with warm water and cleaning solution.

NOTE: The Bissell SpotBot Pet will guarantee a stain removal but only if you use the Bissell brand Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost formula when you clean. You are free to use any carpet cleaner you like, but if the stain doesn’t come out, you can’t make a claim.

Once the tank is full and back in place, you will carry the device to the stained area and place the cleaning head directly on the stain. Plug the unit into the power outlet and select your cleaning mode.

The Surface Stain Mode is Great for Fresh Stains

If the stain is fresh, meaning it has only been a few hours or less (or the stain is still wet and hasn’t dried or set in), you need to use the Surface Stain mode button.

Once the set up is complete and the machine is in place, press the button and the machine will come to life and start work.

The Surface Stain mode is a faster cleaning mode that uses less water and more suction than the Set In Stain mode. This is because the stain itself is still wet so just enough solution is used to remove the stain particles and clean the carpet fibers.

More suction is used to remove the stain and debris with the water that is used. There are a series of LED lights around the control panel that let you know what is going on.

Once you select the cleaning mode the light atop the button will turn green, indicating it is selected and the machine is on.

The Orange LED next to the power button will tell you that the machine has power and is ready to get to work.

The other indicators let you know when those particular features are being used. The Brush, Spray and Suction indicators will turn green when they are being used and will turn off when not in use.

When the cycle is finished, the lights will go out and the indicator next to Finished will illuminate. You will also be alerted to the process by a beeping from the machine.

For Older or Tougher Stains Use the Set In Option

The second cleaning option is for old stains that are difficult to remove, or that were set in more than a few hours ago.

The startup process is the same, except you will press the Set In Stain button this time. The same LED indicators will illuminate and shut off as the respective features are being used.

One of the largest differences in this mode, though, is that it runs longer. It also uses more water and less suction.

While the cycle is running the spray feature will activate more frequently. This is an attempt to get more cleaning solution into the carpet fibers to rehydrate the stain and allow the brushes to loosen and remove the particles.

The machine will suction all the water away; it will just do so less frequently to allow the solution to saturate the carpet fibers longer.

Once again, when the cycle is complete all of the LEDs will go out, the Finished indicator will illuminate and the machine will beep to let you know it is done.

The Hose and Tough Stain Tool are Your Third Option

While it isn’t an automated cleaning mode, you can remove the hose from the mount on the machine and attach the included “tough stain tool” which is an angled head with bristle brushes for agitation and particle lifting.

The hose will unwind for five feet which will give you plenty of space to clean hard to reach an area that you can’t place the machine on to clean for you. These areas include places such as:

  • Floor mats
  • Car seats
  • Furniture
  • Rugs
  • Stairs

You will also be able to cover a larger area because you simply use the hose and tool like a vacuum, moving back and forth over the area to be cleaned.

Because it isn’t an automated mode cleaning the machine will not shut down and beep to let you know the cleaning is done. There is, however, a 30-minute automatic shut off.

The machine will turn itself off after 30 minutes of being on in this mode. This is done to protect the motor, the tool attachment and to remind you to check the levels in the water and fill tanks.

You can turn the machine back on right away, as long as there is water in the reservoir and the fill tank has not been filled past the fill line.

The Two Tanks Work to Wet the Area and Clean it up

There are two tanks on the machine, as we have talked about. The water reservoir and the fill tank. You start with the reservoir full and the fill tank empty. By the time the cleaning has finished the fill tank will be full of the dirty water.

The fill tank should be filled to the appropriate fill level with warm water and cleaning solution. It is advised to add the warm water first, as some chemicals can be harsh when not diluted, which can damage the seals and o-rings around the tank.

Whatever chemicals you will use mixed with the water in the reservoir tank, follow their dilution instructions to fill the tank.

The fill tank should be empty before you begin, if it is not, make sure you empty it completely and rinse it clean to prevent odors and bacteria from building up.

As the machine runs, it will spray the contents of the water reservoir onto the carpet where the brushes and rubber agitators will rotate and clean up the stain. The motor will suction the water and debris up and deposit it into the full tank.

For heavily soiled areas or when using the hand tool and hose, you need to keep an eye on the fill tank.

There is a fill line that shouldn’t be passed with the collected dirty water. If it is allowed to go past the line, the motor and internal computers have a higher risk of getting wet causing damage to the unit or your floors.

Specifications Chart

Here is a detailed list of what the Bissell SpotBot Pet does and doesn’t offer so you can better gauge if it is right for you.

Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8
Dimensions 16.9 x 9.1 x 12.5 inches
Weight 14.1 pounds
Power Rating 3 amps
Heater No
Surface Types Carpet, upholstery, stairs, automotive interiors,
Power Source Corded
Power Cord Length 16 feet
HeatWave Technology No
Brush on-Off Switch Yes
Hose Length 5 feet
Tank Capacity 32 ounces
Carrying Handle Yes
Color Options 1 (“silver sparkle” on “jus tin silver”)
Tools Included 3 inch Tough Stain Tool
Warranty 2 years
Price Check on Amazon

Alternative Options

If you are looking for something different or want other models to compare with the Bissell SpotBot Pet, here is a couple of suggestions.

Bissell SpotBot Wireless

This robot is essentially the same as the SpotBot Pet in terms of capacities and cleaning value. One glaring difference, though, is that it is cordless. It has a 24 volt rechargeable battery to allow you to take it more places.

The machine has a 32-ounce reservoir capacity, though the fill tank is only 27 ounces. It is also lighter (8.1 pounds) to allow you to carry it further and to more places. Cleaning the stairs is easier with the cordless model and it is even rated for garage clean up if needed.

See the SpotBot Wireless on Amazon

Bissell SpotClean Professional

Staying the in the Bissell family the SpotClean Pro offers a slightly better-performing machine with a few added features. Besides the design being slightly different, and the unit comes in an alluring black color, the power cord is 6 feet longer (22 feet in total).

This longer power cord will come in handy if using for industrial cleanings such as office buildings or warehouses where power outlets may be few and far between. The hose, however, is only four feet instead of five.

The tank is larger, nearly ¾ of a gallon which will allow you to clean longer, or in more places before having to empty and refill the tanks. Along with the three-inch tough stain tool, you will also get the six-inch stair tool.

See the SpotClean Pro on Amazon

Hoover Spotless

The Spotless is another portable stain cleaner brought to you by Hoover. The machine is lightweight and easy to transport. The reservoir and fill tanks are easily dismantled for you to clean them out thoroughly.

It doesn’t heat water, but you can fill it with hot water to a higher temp than the Bissell machines. The hose is only four feet long with a 14-foot cord. All tools and hoses are treated with anti-microbial finishes to prevent bacteria from transferring to the machine from the carpet.

You will also be able to clean longer with a fill tank capacity of 51 ounces (fill tank capacity of 32 ounces) and it comes with a sprayer so you can pinpoint where the solution should go. Unlike the Bissell SpotBot pet, it isn’t automatic. You will need to manually use the hose to clean the stains.

See the Hoover Spotless on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

I am sure you have some questions about the SpotBot Pet. I will answer the common ones here. If you still need answers, feel free to use the comment section below.

Q. How come there are several different model numbers, they all look identical?

A. This is a great question. As we have learned from a lot of the robot vacuum vendors, a slight change in model number can mean a huge difference in the machine.

This, however, is not the case. There are several model numbers for the SpotBot Pet:

  • 33N8
  • 33N82
  • 33N83
  • 33N84
  • 33N88
  • 33N8K
  • 33N8M
  • 33N8Q
  • 33N8R
  • 33N8V
  • 33N8A

So what is the difference? Nothing. All of these machines are identical. The different model number is used by Bissell and the retailers to show where the machine is sold. Different countries get different model numbers. As long as the model number contains “33N8”, it is the Bissell SpotBot Pet.

Q. I see reports of problems with leaking tanks on this model, what is that all about?

A. It is true. There have been reported issues with the fill tank and reservoir tank leaking from time to time.

The problem is the o-ring seal that surrounds the water outlet between the tank and the housing. The o-ring is going to wear out, as all o-rings do. However, the problem here isn’t for normal wear and tear.

The o-ring has been known to roll or bind during removal and replacement of the tank. If the seal isn’t secure water will leak out. To prevent this, you need to make sure you pull the tank straight out, not at an angle.

When replacing the tank, it should also go straight in with little effort. You shouldn’t have to wiggle it or put it in using weird angles. You can get a replacement duckbill gasket, which is the flap that allows the water to come in. This doesn’t do anything for the O-ring, though.

The main problem is that Bissell doesn’t sell the O-ring needed to replace the item. If you call and the machine is still under warranty, you can get them to send you a one-time replacement. However, you won’t be able to use the machine until it arrives, which can take a couple weeks or more.

Instead, I suggest you take the old ring with you and head to a hardware store or home improvement centers like Lowes or Home Depot. They will be able to match the o-ring up with the same diameter, circumference and thickness and you can have the machine working the same day.

O-rings are sold in packs and separately, usually less than 50 cents each.

In Conclusion

The Bissell SpotBot Pet is a versatile cleaning machine for carpets where pets have accidents. You can use the machine at any time for picking up fresh messes before they set in, or removing older stains that have already dried.

The SpotBot Pet is also great at removing odors and keeping your floors looking and smelling great. Removing odors is crucial, as most pets in training will use the odor of previous spots to know where to go.

Two cleaning modes and a 16-foot power cord allow you to clean the affected area quickly and easily. Just fill the machine up, select your cleaning mode and let the machine do the work. Once it is done, you will be alerted and can clean the machine and store it away until next use.

If you have pets that are young and being trained or older with some urination or bowel issues, the machine is a must have for your home.

In a Nutshell

If you have pets that like to make messes on your carpets, furniture or in your car, the Bissell SpotBot is an essential tool for your stain fighting needs. Easy to operate and quickly run cleaning modes leave your carpet clean and fresh.

What I Like

  • Easy to operate, push button controls to select the pre-programmed cleaning modes.
  • Hose and tool attachment make the unit versatile.
  • You can use any carpet cleaner or deodorizer in the unit.

What I Don’t Like

  • Tank capacity could be larger.
  • With over a dozen tools to choose from, only one is provided with purchase.
  • Power cord is only 16 feet, which can cause problems in larger floorplans.

See Bissell SpotBot on Amazon


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