Foster Puppy Keyser Söze Puts the Bissell SpotBot Pet Vac to the Test


Spring and summer are puppy season at our farm. Not that we have puppies being born. Good God, no. It’s that our fostering program focuses on puppies while we have the annual run of baby goats in our backyard. (It’s a safety issue for us: Small puppies pose no threat to the kids.) This past summer, we fostered and placed nine puppies, including the adorable Beagle mix, Keyser Söze. While I adore puppies, as you know they are SO MUCH MORE WORK than adult dogs. High among the factors in that is their lack of house training.

Generally, we keep puppies on hard surfaces as we work on training, but it’s just not always practical or possible. And so, the rug in my office suffers some pretty major indignities each year. Keyser has a stubborn Beagle streak in him, and so three weeks after his arrival, we were still only about 60/40 on our outdoor/indoor potty ratio. So I literally teared up a bit when we were given the opportunity to test the Bissell SpotBot.

One of Keyser’s charming quirks is that he thinks cleaning up potty is a game. One where the objective is to snatch the paper towels from my hand and run to shred them immediately and with great ferocity. It makes cleanup decidedly less “fun” for me. So a cleaning robot? One that makes enough noise to keep a dog away, but not totally lose their minds barking? Sign me up.

Let’s play! (Photo by Lisa Seger)

As soon as the SpotBot arrived, I followed the directions for preparing it for use. I filled the wash tank with the required amount of water and the two cleaning solutions provided. And then I waited.

Keyser quickly gave me an opportunity to test the machine. 🙁 I used a paper towel to blot the excess, and when he ran away with it, I plugged the SpotBot in, placed the brush over the offending spot and hit the button for the “Surface Stain Cycle.”  Lots of whirring, gurgling, rotating, and suctioning followed, and three minutes later the machine beeped and the spot was gone. All that was left was a slightly damp, fresh scented circle where the pee used to be. Amazing.

The machine has other settings, including a longer running one for set-in stains and a manual setting that works with a hose attachment. Honestly? The Surface Stain setting is probably all we will ever use. It’s just so easy and efficient. And we are pretty on top of accidents at our house.

The one minor concern I have is that the longer/more times it runs, the more water gets left behind. The machine suctions up most of the water it deposits, but it does leave some behind and there was a noticeable damp spot on the wood floor under the rug. Probably I just should get a rug pad to eliminate that issue.

Overall, I am very pleased with this new tool in our puppy-raising arsenal. At $150, it beats the heck out of the hassle of renting a steam cleaner. I, for one, welcome our new pee-cleaning robot overlord.

All hail the Spot Bot. (Photo by Lisa Seger)
All hail the SpotBot. (Photo by Lisa Seger)


Quality: The SpotBot does a great job at not only cleaning your pet’s “oopsies,” but also at showing you just how dirty your carpet was before the oops. While I’m embarrassed at the amount of dirt in the tank, I am also super-impressed.

Style: It’s a cleaning robot. It doesn’t need to be stylish

Creativity: It’s a great solution for a very specific problem.

Value: At $149.99, it’s not cheap, but considering how often we foster dogs and how many of them come un-trained, it’s a no-brainer for us. It reduces the amount of time I have to spend cleaning, and anything that does that is worth its weight in gold around here.

Bottom Line

The SpotBot Pet does a super-efficient, hands-free cleanup that makes it an invaluable tool for people with puppies, older dogs with incontinence issues, barf-prone dogs, or diggers who come in with muddy feet. It is a great way to tackle stains before they set in, and while it will address older stains, too, I think it’s greatest strength is the ease and thoroughness with which it deals with relatively fresh ones.

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