Bissell Barkbath Portable Dog Bath & Deep Cleaning System review

REVIEW – Does your dog hate bath time? Mine does, and so do I. It’s messy and bending over the bathtub wreaks havoc on my lower back. The Bissell BARKBATH is a portable dog bath that’s supposed to make bathing your dog more comfortable and less messy. And hopefully, less traumatic for your fur baby. As a bonus, the BarkBath also doubles as a carpet and upholstery cleaner. I had the chance to try one out on my dog Zoey recently. Let’s see how it did.

What is it?

The Bissell BARKBATH is a portable dual Use 2-in-1 Portable Dog Bath and Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner.

What’s in the box?

  • BARKBATH unit    
  • 3 different size grooming clips
  • 3 different size spray nozzles
  • Tool tray
  • Pet shampoo tank
  • Pet cleaning tool
  • 20 oz. no-rinse dog shampoo
  • Pet cleaning tool clip
  •  Hose clip
  • HydroRinse tool
  • Adaptor tool
  • Deep cleaning solution tank
  • 3-inch deep cleaning tool
  • 8 oz. deep cleaning formula
  • Microfiber mat
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Mesh accessory bag
  • Users manual

Design and features

The BARKBATH has a portable design and weighs about 13 pounds. Pretty much everything you need to clean your dog is attached to or contained in the unit.

  The unit has an 8-foot hose and a 15-foot power cord, which makes it easy to use and move around. Both the hose and cord can be wrapped up on the unit when not in use, adding to its portability.

On either side of the unit, there are two removable water tanks, one for clean water and the other for collecting dirty water.

Another small tank hidden behind the clean water tank dispenses the no-rinse dog shampoo.

On the front of the unit, there’s a power button and the clean/rinse switch.

The top of the unit has a handy tool tray that holds the grooming clips and spray nozzles. There’s also a convenient carrying handle.

Bissell also includes a mesh drawstring bag to carry all of the other accessories.

Bath Time for Zoey

One reason I found the BARKBATH interesting was using it simulates brushing your dog. And one thing Zoey loves is being brushed. It also helps that it doesn’t require me to place her in a tub full of water. As you can see from the pic from her last bath below, Zoey isn’t very fond of that.

What you need:

  • Grooming Clips
  • Spray Nozzles
  • Pet Shampoo Tank
  • Pet Cleaning Tool
  • No-Rinse Dog Shampoo

Setting up the unit is simple. You just need to fill the clean water tank with warm water and put a small amount of shampoo into the Pet Shampoo tank. 

After attaching the Pet Cleaning Tool to the hose, you have to determine which size Spray Nozzle and Grooming Clip to use. There are 3 Spray Nozzles: short, medium, and long. And 3 Grooming Clips: fine, thick, and smooth. Bissell provides a chart to help you with that choice.

Using the chart, I determined that Zoey’s fur was best suited for the short Spray Nozzle and smooth Grooming Clip.

Note: Bissell recommends that if you have an anxious or easily startled dog to familiarize it with the unit before use. They even provide some tips on how. I used a modified version with Zoey before using it for the first time. 

Time for the moment of truth, I fired up the unit and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of noise that it made. It was similar to a small vacuum, nothing too startling. 

The cleaning process itself was easy, very similar to brushing Zoey (except for the water and shampoo part.) Holding the trigger on the Spray Nozzle releases a mixture of warm water and shampoo. Releasing it activates the suction, which removes the excess dirty water from your dog’s fur. To clean Zoey’s face and paws, I sprayed a cloth towel with the shampoo solution and wiped them down. The video below shows the BARKBATH in action.

I was concerned about how damp Zoey would be afterward, but by the time I was done, her fur was dry to the touch. 

I was also a little skeptical about how much dirt was being removed by the BARKBATH. But, as you can see from the pic of the Dirty Water Tank, it did a pretty good job.

Overall I was impressed by the BARKBATH. It was easy to set up and use. It took approximately 30 minutes to clean Zoey, who weighs a svelte 35-pounds. Afterward, her coat was noticeably softer, and she looked and smelled clean. 

Tip: The Spray Nozzle gets easily clogged by hair coming off your dog, so I would recommend having a small garbage can or bag nearby to put the hair into.

It cleans carpet and upholstery too?!

The BARKBATH is more than just a grooming tool for your dog. The unit also doubles as a spot cleaner for carpeting and upholstery.

What you need:

  • Deep Cleaning Solution Tank
  • Adaptor Tool
  • 3-inch Deep Cleaning Tool
  • 8oz Deep Cleaning Formula

As a spot cleaning tool, the BARKBATH does a nice job. I used it to clean some muddy paw prints Zoey left behind on one of my runners. As you can see from the short video and pics below, they were no match for the BARKBATH. It definitely would come in handy, especially if you have a puppy or younger dog since they are prone to accidents.

What I like

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Portable
  • Uses a lot less water and shampoo than traditional bathing
  • Does a great job of cleaning your dog
  • Spot cleans carpet and upholstery

What I’d change

  • A bit pricey
  • Spray nozzle gets clogged easily with dog hair

Final thoughts

Personally, I  like the Bissell BARKBATH. It’s easy to use, less messy and uses a fraction of the water of a traditional bath. I was pleased with the job it did cleaning my dog Zoey and equally impressed by how it cleaned up her muddy paw prints. Bottomline: It’s not perfect, and IMO slightly overpriced at $200, but if you’re looking for an easier way to clean (and clean up after) your pup, the BARKBATH is definitely worth a look.

Price: $199.99
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Bissell.

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