Detailing the car interior can be hard without the right tools. Carpets can especially be a problematic area since they are magnets for stains and potential spills or leaks. With a portable carpet extractor, you can clean those without a fuss.
We’ve done an extensive research to provide you with the most detailed, accurate, and factual information about the best portable carpet extractors available on the internet now.
If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what is the Best Portable Carpet Extractors for Auto Detailing, then I recommend below As the best ones.
Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Table of Contents
How to Choose a Portable Carpet Extractor?
When you’re choosing your portable carpet extractor, you have to look out for several features that make it viable. In short, these are the features to look out for:
- Cleaning performance
- Vacuuming Power
- Ease-of-use and accessories
- Heating ability
- Tank Capacity
- Additional features such as pump pressure
Let’s talk about each feature in more detail so that you can get a better idea of how we chose these portable carpet extractors on this list, and how you should pick them.
1. Cleaning Performance
The cleaning performance of a portable carpet extractor means the capability to remove all types of stains and debris from carpets with ease. That’s what you’re buying one for, right?
It shouldn’t take the portable carpet extractor more than 15 passes to completely remove any stains from the carpet, regardless of whether they are dry or still wet. Having enough vacuum power is a good thing, but it’s also important how well the carpet extractor uses that power to provide a high level of performance.
A good way to tell if the performance is on a good level is to take a look at the vacuuming power of the carpet extractor, although that is by no means a defining factor.
2. Vacuuming Power
Powerful portable extractors will have the ability to clean carpets without using the maximum power – most of them will have two-stage or three-stage motors, and the vacuuming powers will normally start at 12V.
That’s already a very powerful carpet cleaner that will help you clean your car interior in less than an hour. However, for carpet cleaning, these extractors will normally not need to use their entire power capacity.
It’s recommended to use some portable carpet extractors at their minimum power, which should be enough to get rid of the stains on the carpet. For battery-powered extractors, the batteries will get drained significantly faster if you use it at the highest power levels.
Since we’re talking about portable carpet extractors, the portability is obviously a huge factor. It’s desirable that the carpet cleaner has a long hose. This will allow you to clean your car interior without moving the extractor too much.
Another feature in the portability category is whether the extractor is corded or cordless. Cordless portable carpet extractors will be battery-powered, and they won’t need to be plugged in anywhere you might be using it. However, some will also be corded. In that case, you want a long cord to come with the carpet cleaner.
Other features to look for in the portability aspect are: wheels, handle for transporting the cleaner, lightweight structure, and slim design.
The price will also play a factor in your decision, which is understandable. But with portable carpet extractors, the rule seems to be that you’ll get much more quality for higher prices. But that doesn’t always seem to be the rule.
We have found some very good portable extractors that come at very modest prices. For example, this product by Bissell brings a lot of joy at a very affordable price of $147.
5. Ease-of-Use and Accessories
Is the carpet extractor easy to use? Does it have easy access to the filter so that we can clean it easily? Does it have a long-enough hose so that you can use it at almost any distance? Does it have wheels?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when you’re looking at a portable carpet extractor. These details might seem small, but when you are using the extractor, they can make a great deal of difference.
Carpet cleaners with reusable filters will save you some money in the long-term, but you will need to constantly clean them, too. Pick the option that seems to work best for you in this respect.
Also, analyze what sort of accessories and attachments come in the package. Additional attachments for the cleaner are always welcome, and they can offer you additional usability.
6. Heating Capability
Not every portable carpet extractor will offer you this function. Cleaners with a heating capacity will spray hot water onto the fabric, making the stains more easily removable and the experience easier and better.
While this is not a definitive factor that separates a good cleaner from a bad one, it’s always useful to have this function.
Most professional cleaners will have this option. However, car cleaning experts will tell you that portable car cleaners should be able to provide a great level of performance even without this function.
7. Tank Capacity
For most portable carpet cleaners, you will have two tanks: the refill tank and the recovery tank.
In the refill tank, you will find a cleaning solution or water that the carpet cleaner can spray onto the carpet and enhance the cleaning performance.
The recovery tank is where the dirty water from the carpet will start to collect. You will have to empty this tank every now and then as it fills up.
Now, a larger recovery tank or refill tank DOES NOT improve the performance of the cleaner. It only means that you will have to empty the recovery tank or refill the solution tank less often, which is obviously convenient. However, you cannot expect a better performance from the cleaner, which is what some manufacturers claim.
8. Additional Features
Lastly, look for additional features on the carpet cleaner such as pump pressure, warranty, and wheels.
Cleaners with a pump pressure will help you spray cleaning solution onto the carpet and make the cleaning more effective. The pump pressure is measured in PSI, and the higher it is, the better the performance will be.
Note that hot water extraction is not the same as steam cleaning, which could actually damage your carpet.
Also look for warranty and additional features such as wheels.
The 10 Best Portable Carpet Extractor
After going through hundreds of different products we found on the internet, we found that these products are the best in terms of the above-mentioned features. Here are the 10 best portable carpet extractors you should look at.
1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
Bissell is arguably the biggest name in the field of carpet extractors. The SpotClean is among the most powerful portable carpet extractors from Bissell – with a 5.7A motor, this portable carpet extractor will be able to clean almost any type of stain.
While this product is corded, you will be able to use it relatively easily, as it brings you a good level of portability and ease of use nonetheless. It’s fairly lightweight and compact, as it only weighs only 13lbs. With 20ft. of cord, you will also be able to use this product in more remote places.
This Bissell carpet cleaner features very powerful suction that will allow you to clean carpets, upholstery, stains and all types of carpets. It also features a scrubbing action, where it will release hot water or solution for more effective cleaning.
Why Is This Carpet Extractor the Best Overall?
The most convincing factor is the powerful cleaning performance – you’ll be able to clean almost any type of stains from carpets, upholstery, sofas, and much more.
What we found a great feature is also the portability. It’s highly compact and easy to use, even if it is a corded cleaner. The cord is 20ft. long, so you will be able to use the product even in from a longer distance. And it only weighs 13lbs.
You also get some great additional features, such as a 6” stair tool for staircases, 3” stain tool for tougher stains, hot water pump pressure, and a trial version of Pro Max clean.
2. Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
Bissell delivers big with this product – it features a 12A motor, which is among the most powerful motors currently on the market when it comes to portable carpet extractors. While this is true that this product is slightly heavier and less portable – at 48lbs – it will provide you with very powerful cleaning performance.
This machine is primarily made for large-scale, heavy-duty projects such as carpet cleaning. However, it has several attachments that make this product a great option for car interior cleaning, upholstery, and sofas.
The Big Green will use hot water and cleaning solutions to get rid of sturdy stains, and it also features a superior suction capability which is better than most on the market currently. It has a large capacity tank of 1.75 gallons, allowing you to use the cleaner for longer without having to empty it.
What Makes this Carpet Extractor a Great Choice?
The most obvious advantage of buying this machine is the cleaning power. With the 12A motor, this machine provides enough suction to clean even the dirtiest areas. Although it is meant for large-scale projects, professional car cleaners will certainly appreciate the power of this product.
It has a long hose, a large capacity tank, and a relatively long cord, making the usage of this cleaner easy and painless. The cord is 25ft. long and the hose is 9ft. long, allowing you to clean in even more distant places.
But this product is great for car interior thanks to the hose attachments such as the 6” stain tool and the 6” stair tool.
3. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Portable Cleaner
The Rug Doctor deep carpet cleaner is among the most professional and powerful cleaners currently available. While it is primarily made for rugs and carpets, this machine will allow you to clean even finer details and smaller areas, which is typical of car interiors.
The normal cleaner without any attachments is relatively large, and might not allow you to reach remote areas of your car. However, with the upholstery and spot cleaning attachment, you’ll be able to do just that.
For extra usability, this cleaner has a long cord of 28ft and a relatively long hose of 7.7ft. That will give you a lot of flexibility, even if the product itself is not the most portable currently on the market. But it weighs only 24lbs., which is significantly less than the Bissell Big Green carpet cleaner.
Again, this product is aimed primarily towards professional carpet cleaning professionals, but it’s also great for everyday use. If you’re looking for a car interior cleaner, this cleaner will provide you with several useful options to do that. With the rotating brush head, this product will provide a superior cleaning performance.
4. Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet Cleaner
Hoover is another big name in the world of carpet cleaners. And this one delivers on the promises that Hoover provide for the cleaner. They say that it’s extremely easy to use thanks to the self-clean technology, which is true.
Mind you, this product is not meant for large-scale projects. Instead, this machine is primarily meant for smaller projects such as car interior cleaning – for that, it is perfect. Why?
With the self-clean technology, you won’t need to perform any maintenance on the product. It’s portable and very lightweight – it weighs only 9lbs.! If you’re looking for a great budget option for car interior detailing, then you simply won’t get a better deal than this.
This cleaner features a dual-tank technology, which will help you separate the dirty from the clean water and make the hot water cleaning even more effective. That’s crucial for battling sturdy stains on the carpet – there will be no dirty water mixing with the clean water or cleaning solution.
At the same time, you can expect the water from the cleaner to dry relatively quickly – in a matter of hours. And you’re getting all this quality for a very modest price, too.
5. Aqua Power C4 Quick Dry Hot Water Carpet Extractor
If you’re looking for a very powerful carpet extractor with several portability features, then you should take a look at this portable extractor. It’s the Aqua Power carpet extractor that you can use for both commercial means and for personal uses, such as car interior detailing.
While it does appear to be a big device, you will get several features and functions that make this device a great portable option. While it’s not as lightweight as some other options on this list, it will provide you with a superior cleaning power compared to some other products.
To help you handle the device’s height and weight, there is a handle on top of the machine that improve the maneuverability of the extractor. You’ll be able to move it around easily, and it also features wheels for easy transportation.
This portable cleaner is made to last. The body is made from aluminum and stainless steel, increasing the strength of the cleaner and its sturdiness. Some have even reported that this machine has lasted them for more than 25 years!
If you’re looking for a device that will last you longer, consider this cleaner. Yes, it might come at a slightly higher cost, but a few years along the line, you won’t regret it. It also features a large tank capacity of 4 gallons, which is among the largest capacities among the products we’ve reviewed.
6. Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
If you’re after the ultimate portable carpet cleaner, then you simply can’t get many products that are more portable than this one. It’s a handy little machine that will get rid of old stains and pet stains, as well as heavy stains and wet stains.
Arguably the best feature about this carpet cleaner is its portability. It’s very compact and lightweight, as it weighs only 14lbs. And it won’t take up much space either, so you’ll be able to store it almost anywhere in your home.
That’s perfect if you’re looking for a car cleaning solution. This product will fit even the tightest corners of your car, which is crucial since there are many tight corners in a car’s interior. A big selling point of this extractor is also that it’s environmentally-friendly – it’s made from 50% recycled plastic, and is free of dye, phosphate, and heavy metals.
With the 3” stain tool, you’ll be able to reach even the most inaccessible areas of your car interior. And the refilling mechanism is very easy and simple to use, too. Cleaning the filter is also easy, as you can pull it out with ease and simply clean it. You’ll see a sharp performance increase in no time.
7. Bissell 2694 SpotClean ProHeat
Here we have another quality Bissell product that you should consider for your portable carpet extractor. This product is the smaller cousin of the Bissell 3624 SpotClean. While it does bring a lot of portability to the table, we can safely say that it’s not as powerful as the above-mentioned product.
What this product has going for itself is the affordability. At just $119, you will be able to get a lot of quality for a very affordable price. It’s a highly compact carpet cleaner, and it won’t take up that much space.
Another very helpful feature of this cleaner is the fact that it’s a self-clean carpet cleaner, which means it will do most of the cleaning and maintenance on the cleaner on its own. The water tanks are removable, making it easier for us to refill and empty the tanks in no time at all.
A very useful feature of this cleaner is its portability. It’s a corded machine with 15ft. of cord available to us. But it only weighs 14lbs., which is a great thing to have since we’re looking for a portable and lightweight option that will allow you to store it in tight areas of your home. You’ll also get a 3” stain tool included in the package, which will really help you with those tight areas of your car.
8. Bissell BigGreen BG10 Commercial Deep Cleaning Machine
We’ve already featured one Bissell Big Green product on this list. However, the BG10 is slightly different from the above-mentioned Big Green cleaner. This one is slightly more powerful than its predecessor, as it features a deep cleaning 2-motor design. That’s enough for anyone who wants a great, professional cleaner for commercial use.
However, this machine is also a great option for home use. Thanks to its versatile options, you’ll be able to use this product on almost any cleaning project you might have – whether it’s your car, your home carpet, upholstery, couch, or other fabrics you need cleaning. Be mindful that you won’t get a hose included in the kit.
You’ll get two large capacity water tanks – one for dirty water, and one for the clean water. They are easily removable, so that you can easily remove the water from them and add water to the clean water tank.
The biggest advantage of this product is its powerful suction system. You won’t get a more powerful product, especially for the money asked and with the portability options that this product offers. Deep cleaning has never been easier than with this product.
9. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner
The Hoover power scrub carpet cleaner is a great lightweight and portable carpet extractor that you’ll be able to use for large-scale projects as well as for more detailed cleaning projects. Thanks to its great portability and lightweight design, you can take this thing anywhere you need and perform the cleaning.
But despite a portable design, you’ll still get a very powerful cleaning performance. With the rotating brush tool, this cleaner will effectively remove any stains from your carpet or car interior, whether it’s old and dry stains or wet and large stains.
You can add detergents or cleaners to the tank of the cleaner, and the water will automatically mix with the detergents. And at the same time, this product is very affordable, at least considering the quality you are getting for the money asked here.
You’ll get an 8ft. hose that will help you reach those remote areas and corners. You’ll also get a different variety of accessories, such as a s0tair tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool, and even a sample bottle of a cleaning solution.
10. Rug Doctor Portable Spot Vacuum Cleaner
Last but not least, we have the Rug Doctor Portable carpet extractor. This carpet extractor is a fantastic option for those who are looking for a great deal. It does cost less than some larger portable carpet extractors, but it still brings a comparable level of performance.
Firstly, it’s a very compact and portable device. It weighs around 20lbs, which is slightly more than some other products, but still enough to consider it portable. But the compact design is really what makes this product portable.
But the cleaning performance is where this portable carpet extractor shines. This thing will remove large stains, old and dry stains, wet stains, pet debris, and all other types of stains. Plus, you will get a 5.5ft. hose to go with the product, making it much easier to reach those remote corners of your car interior.
How often should I clean my car interior?
You should aim to clean your car interior at least once a month. Car interiors can get dirty pretty quickly, especially if you use your car for heavy-duty projects. But even if you only use your car for commuting, it is inevitable that debris, dust, and other particles will start to collect. If you have kids, regular cleaning should be even more important. If you do have kids, then you know how quickly the interior can get dirty.
How much does a portable carpet extractor cost?
Portable carpet extractors can cost anywhere between $100 to $500. However, if you’re looking for the highest level of quality, then you should be prepared to pay closer to the $500 mark. But it’s certainly not required for you to pay that much if you want a really good cleaner. We’ve found many great cleaners that cost much less than that and bring a very good level of performance nonetheless.
How do I start detailing my car interior?
We advise you to start with car seats since that is where most of the stains tend to collect. Also, if you start with the floor first, you might have to clean it again later on since it might collect even more debris once you start scrubbing and cleaning your car seat or other parts of the interior. The floor should be the last part you clean in your car interior.
Portable carpet extractors can help you with auto detailing, but they are also great for other cleaning projects that you undertake. They will help you clean carpets, upholstery, staircases, sofas, and much more. And there are many great products out there competing for the top spot.
However, after going through hundreds of products and after hours of research, we have found that the Bissell 3624 SpotClean(Check it on Amazon) portable carpet extractor is the best overall product in this category. That’s because it brings an amazing level of cleaning performance for a modest price, and it has great portability capabilities and is lightweight, too.
However, if you’re after a more professional and powerful carpet cleaner, then consider the Bissell Big Green Carpet Extractor(Check it on Amazon). This product brings you a professional level of performance; although it is slightly bulkier, it is also very portable thanks to the handle and a long hose.
For those who are budget-conscious, there are also many great options. But we believe that the Hoover Spotless Cleaner(Check it on Amazon) wins this category, but only by slim margins. We think that you’re getting a great level of cleaning performance and accessories for the money asked with this product. It’s easy to use and very lightweight, which is what you want from a portable carpet extractor.