Can You Use Portable Carpet Cleaner Solution In Upright?

When it comes to keeping your carpets clean and fresh, having the right tools is essential. One of the most popular choices for carpet cleaning is a portable carpet cleaner. These handy devices offer convenience …

Can You Use Portable Carpet Cleaner Solution In Upright?

When it comes to keeping your carpets clean and fresh, having the right tools is essential. One of the most popular choices for carpet cleaning is a portable carpet cleaner. These handy devices offer convenience and efficiency, making it easier to tackle those stubborn stains and dirt that tend to accumulate over time.

But what if you already have an upright carpet cleaner and are wondering whether you can use the portable carpet cleaner solution in it?

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between an upright and spot cleaner, and whether you can interchange solutions between them. Let’s dive in!

What is the Difference Between Upright and Spot Cleaner?

Before we delve into using different solutions, let’s understand the difference between an upright carpet cleaner and a spot cleaner.

Both machines serve the purpose of cleaning carpets, but they have distinct features and applications.

  • Upright Carpet Cleaner: An upright carpet cleaner is a larger, more robust machine designed to clean large areas of carpet thoroughly. They typically have a wide cleaning path and powerful motors, making them ideal for deep-cleaning entire rooms and even multiple rooms in one session. Upright cleaners are usually used for routine cleaning, tackling general dirt, and maintaining the overall cleanliness of carpets.
  • Spot Cleaner: A spot cleaner, on the other hand, is a smaller and more portable device. It is designed specifically for targeting and removing stains and spills in localized areas. Spot cleaners are perfect for dealing with accidental spills, pet stains, or any other isolated carpet mishap. They offer a quick and convenient solution for addressing specific problem areas without the need to clean the entire carpet.
portable carpet cleaner vs upright
Upright vs portable carpet cleaner

Understanding the differences between these two types of carpet cleaners helps us determine whether the solutions can be interchanged.

Can You Use Portable Carpet Cleaner Solution in Upright?

Now that we know the difference between an upright and spot cleaner, the question arises: can you use the portable carpet cleaner solution in an upright machine?

The answer is both yes and no, depending on the type of solution you are referring to.

  1. Water and Cleaning Solutions: Most portable carpet cleaners use a mix of water and a specific cleaning solution. These solutions are formulated to work effectively with the spot cleaner’s design, which is intended for localized cleaning. While there’s no technical restriction against using this solution in an upright cleaner, it may not be the most efficient choice. Upright carpet cleaners usually have larger tanks and a different cleaning mechanism, so using a solution meant for spot cleaning might not provide the best results for a full-room cleaning.
  2. Specialized Upright Formulas: Many manufacturers offer specialized cleaning formulas explicitly designed for use in upright carpet cleaners. These formulas are created to work with the unique cleaning technology of upright machines, ensuring optimal performance and deep-cleaning capabilities. If you want the best results for your upright carpet cleaner, it’s recommended to use the cleaning solutions specified for it.
  3. DIY Solutions: Some carpet owners prefer to create their cleaning solutions using natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. While these homemade solutions are safe to use in portable spot cleaners, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your upright carpet cleaner. Using DIY solutions not recommended by the manufacturer may void the warranty or cause damage to the machine.

According to Bissell, using formula designed for an upright carpet cleaner in a portable machine may result in excessive foaming and the possibility of resoiling, commonly referred to as restaining.

Can You Use Upright Formula in Portable? Reddit Advice

The opposite scenario is also something that carpet owners wonder about: can you use the upright carpet cleaner formula in a portable spot cleaner?

Reddit, the popular online platform for discussions, often has various opinions on the matter.

Several Reddit users share their experiences, and the general consensus is that using an upright formula in a portable cleaner can be done in certain situations, but it’s essential to exercise caution.

Here are some key points to consider:

Main Points
– Bissell instructions said to use portable formula, but sample formula provided was for uprights.
– Customer service confirmed using upright formula is fine if correctly diluted.
– Upright formula likely more concentrated for larger water tanks in upright cleaners.
– Guesses using upright formula in a portable cleaner may be less problematic.
– Price comparison: 40oz upright formula costs $21-25, 32oz portable formula costs $9.
– Suggests extracting any solution should work well in the portable cleaner.
– Disregards the “bottle” warning as a scare tactic.
– Bissell stated their specific portable model can use upright solution.
– Recommends using the product for portable cleaners.
– Emphasizes the importance of the right mix of water and solution for optimal results.
– Confused about the labeling of the formula and whether it’s for uprights or not.
  • Dilution: Upright formulas are usually more concentrated than spot cleaner solutions. If you decide to use an upright formula in your portable cleaner, consider diluting it with water to avoid potential damage to the machine and ensure even application on the carpet.
  • Compatibility: Some portable carpet cleaners may have specific requirements regarding the type of cleaning solution they can use. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines or user manual to see if using an upright formula is acceptable for your particular model.
  • Spot Test: Before using any new cleaning solution, including an upright formula in your portable cleaner, perform a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area of the carpet. This test will help you ensure that the solution doesn’t cause discoloration or damage to your carpet fibers.

FAQs: How Do You Clean an Upright Carpet Cleaner?

  1. What are the essential steps for cleaning an upright carpet cleaner?
    • First, unplug the machine and remove any remaining water or cleaning solution from the tank.
    • Take apart any removable parts, such as the brush roll, nozzle, and tanks, and wash them with warm, soapy water.
    • Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth.
    • Rinse all the parts thoroughly, ensuring no residue remains.
    • Let the parts air dry before reassembling the cleaner.
  2. How often should I clean my upright carpet cleaner?
    • It’s best to clean your upright carpet cleaner after every use to prevent the buildup of dirt and residue, which can affect its performance over time.
  3. Can I use any cleaning solution in my upright carpet cleaner?
    • No, it’s essential to use cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer for your specific upright carpet cleaner model. Using unapproved solutions may damage the machine and void the warranty.
  4. What can I do if my upright carpet cleaner is not working correctly?
    • If you encounter any issues with your upright carpet cleaner, refer to the user manual for troubleshooting tips. If the problem persists, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance.

Remember, taking good care of your carpet cleaner will ensure that it remains efficient and continues to provide excellent cleaning results for years to come. Happy carpet cleaning!


In conclusion, using a portable carpet cleaner solution in an upright machine can be done, but it may not yield the best results due to the differences in their design and cleaning mechanisms.

It’s always best to use solutions specifically formulated for each type of carpet cleaner to ensure optimal performance.

When it comes to using an upright formula in a portable carpet cleaner, Reddit users advise caution. Diluting the formula and performing a spot test are crucial steps to avoid potential damage and achieve satisfactory results.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for both your portable and upright carpet cleaners to maintain the longevity of your machines and keep your carpets clean and fresh.

About the Author

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Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

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