Review: A puke stain with the Bissell SpotBot Pet

Sometimes, my dogs puke. This is because they eat everything from grass to flip flops to sheets of paper towel soiled with grease. Twice, Ruby got into a huge bag of dark green iron pills and had to get her stomach pumped. Several weeks ago, Malcolm puked out a grass-and-kibble stew, which I didn't discover until I got home hours later. All of these incidents had left seemingly indelible stains on my carpets and couch. Enter SpotBot Pet, a not-so-little cleaning robot that claims to work any stubborn pet stain &mdash be it puke, pee, or butt juice &mdash out of carpets and upholstery. It has three modes &mdash one for surface stains, one for deeper stains, and a manual mode for use with the attached hose. The SpotBot Pet has two fluid tanks &mdash one for a cleaner-water mix and another that dirty water gets sucked back into. Below the dirty water tank is a pair of nylon bristle brushes and little vacuum cleaner heads that simultaneously scrub stains out and suck dirt in. Its diameter is 8 inches, so any stain bigger than that might require two treatments. The SpotBot came with a trial size of Bissell's Pet Stain & Odor advanced formula cleaner, which supposedly works for pee, puke, and butt juice. Perfect. A full cycle of the set-in stain takes about five minutes and is deafeningly loud. It didn't bother me that much, though &mdash after spending days trying to scrub canine vomit out with soap and water and Nature's Miracle, I was beginning to think the couch would just have to sport a puke stain motif forever. I was willing to listen to this Bot do its deed. Five minutes later: The couch was soaking wet, but the stain? Gone! It was awesome. I tried it on an area of carpet stained with pee, too, and it worked great. At $140, it's a tad pricey and it's heavy and loud, but it works, and it doesn't require any manual labor other than picking the thing up and placing it on top of the stain. Product Page (Bissell)

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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13 Responses to Review: A puke stain with the Bissell SpotBot Pet

  1. randalll says:

    I have a harder time with stuff my dog spills than with stuff that comes out of my dog. Would this thing get Dairy Queen Blizzard out of my red couch?

  2. God of DIrt says:

    Finally! Something of use to the cat pw3d! Of course, Kidz-n-Pets has the same effect for far less money. Again, must be a dog thing.

    BTW- Nature’s Miracle doesn’t work if you use it with other chemicals, such as soap.

  3. Sean Eric FAgan says:

    Other than the noise, the biggest problem I have with the thing is that it’s so easy to tell where the spot was — because it does a great job of cleaning a perfect circle.

  4. Reverend Loki says:

    We have one of the original spot bots, and it does a great job. We also have two cats, and so far they have not been able to create a mess it could not handle.

  5. Lonin says:

    I have one as well, and it does a great job. I do have to second the “loud as fuck” sentiment though. Then again, I’d rather listen to a loud robot for 5 minutes than have to get my face a few feet from some concoction of dog fluids.

  6. dculberson says:

    Could you say “butt juice” one more time? ‘Cause that’s great.


    I’ve resorted to the manual method of “scoop the chunks up with paper towels and scrub the rest out with a spray cleaner and brush.” It works but something like this would be a lot less … personal.

  7. xzzy says:

    Yes, by far the biggest flaw with this thing is that you get these perfectly clean circles all over the house.

    Using it usually triggers a conversation to get the whole rug shampooed.

  8. michael millard-lowe says:

    hmmm clever me…I bought a spot bot in the u.s. (I live part of the year in france) and broght it back here. I pulgged it into the wall (with a transformer of course, not the crappy kind either) the spot bot worked for a total of 3 seconds and quit..I am wondering if I have a defective model or what? (i regularly buy and use u.s. appliances in france with my tansformers and never had a problem before..) any help for this out there (I dont want to drag it back the next time I head back over to the u.s.

  9. Liana says:

    I just bought a spotbot and am not overly excited about it. 2 days ago I used it on dog urine. It seemed to do the job. Well now there is a horrible stench in the room and come to find out that area smells horrible of pee. I just spent the last half hour or so scrubbing by hand, using the auto mode and then the manual mode again. And it still smells in here. And I know it is only from that spot. I am just not pleased with this thing. How do I get the pee smell out of my carpet??

  10. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I were just discussing last night as we SpotBotted our dog pee, the SpotBot is one of the best investments we’ve made in the last year or so.

    It’s quick and does what it’s supposed to do.

  11. bearsinthesea says:

    We love ours. It replaces the on-your-knees scoop-spray-suck-scrub with simply trying to figure out how many circles it will take to cover the entire mess. Would buy again A+++. I also suggest getting the pet odor version of the shampoo, and the oxyclean additive.

    And the clean circles eventually go away on their own.

  12. murray says:

    I have the regular Spot Bot, and it does a great job with cat spew. However, I only use the manual mode. The auto mode uses too much solution and doesn’t suck enough of it up, so it leaves the carpet soaked. And it does tend to leave light circles in old carpet – or irregular light areas when you use the manual mode too aggressively. Overall though, the thing is fricken awesome.

  13. Kathleen says:

    I came across this quite by accident. We rescued two pups (a brother and sister) from having to go to the pound. The first week we had them we put them in a big dishwasher or stove box at night. Well low and behold, I was waking up to pup pee and poop on the carpet! This guys were little and the box was BIG! Well, the little girl was hopping until she could grab the side of the box and pull herself out! She would do her business and hop and climb back into the box! Needless to say we went and bought a dog crate the next day after I caught her climbing back into the big box. Meanwhile she had peed a lot, I used my Bissell upright steamer and used the stuff that they make that “says’ it will get rid of pet odors…. well it didn’t! So I keep trying various pet stain cleaners and one day I thought okay, what I am still smelling is the bacteria left behind from the pet urine! I grabbed my bottle of Listerine but the generics will work too! I actually poured some in with the Bissell cleaning solution and walla! Smell disappeared once and for all! I would recommend that you test the Listerine on your carpet (like inside a closet, under a couch etc.) first to make sure it will not ruin the carpeting. But I swear by the stuff. You can even use Walmart’s equate brand or any other cheaper version of Listerine and it will work wonderful on smells in your fabrics of any kind. Good luck!

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