Pros: light weight, inexpensive, cleans well, carpets are dry in 4hrs.
Cons: dirty water tank needs to be emptied before clean water tank is empty.
I was looking for a carpet cleaner because my son moved out and his room had been abused for years. God only knows what was in his carpet. I thought about hiring someone to do the job but I would rather know what I am putting into the carpet. What attracted me to this unit were its size, price, and light weight.
Comparing it to other units in the store
I bought The Bissell Quicksteamer model 1770 from Kohls for about $64 on sale. The reason I chose it was that it was about half the size and more than half the price of some of the larger models. I could tell by the box that this would be easier to manage by myself. I knew if I got a giant one that I would have to store it in the basement and it would be such a hassle to drag it out that I would hardly use it. When I lifted the box and it was so light I decided that for $64 it was worth a try.
Setting it up to use
It is all packaged with styrofoam. The only assembly required it to attach the handle which slides in and then is secured with three screws. You will need a philips head screwdriver for this, but that is all there is to it. All the tanks and brushes are already attached. I did examine everything before using it.
The clean water tank
The clean water tank slides easily onto the back of the machine. Slides on or off in one easy motion. There is a lid that screws on with a screen and spout on top. when you invert it and slide it onto the machine the spout attaches to the machine and there is no leaking.
Filling the Tank
The tank holds 1/2 gallon of water at a time which is about enough to do an 8ft x 8ft square. Depending on how dirty a room is you might have to fill up the tank two to four times for a 12x12 room. There is a fill line for the cleaning solution that takes perhaps 1-2 oz at most of cleaning solution. Then you fill it to the next line near the top with hot tap water.
My Bissell Quicksteamer 1770 came with a 16oz bottle of fiber cleansing formula. I thought it was a generous supply considering the price of the machine. I liked the fiber cleansing formula because I thought it did a good job, was not real foamy, and had a light pleasant scent that did not smell chemically or too perfumey. I am real sensitive to these things so I was pleasantly surprised.
Dirty water Tank, Brushes and Nozzle
On the front of the machine the dirty water tank sits just one top of the brushes and nozzle. There are two clamp type attachments on either side that you have to release before removing the tank to empty or clean. Once you remove the tank you then have access to the nozzle and brushes for cleaning
The Dirty Water Tank
The dirty water Tank holds just about all the water that you will suck up with one tank of cleaning solution. It seems as though they should have made the tank hold just a little bit more because with foaming and sloshing of the water in use you really have to empty it before you have discharged all the water from the tank.
Once you remove the tank, you can take it and dump it into a sink or toilet. You will notice on the top is a small filter with a plastic cover that snaps off. Remove this and wash out the sponge filter. Removing this filter also aids in rinsing the tank out completely. You have to always rinse the tank out right away because if you let things dry in there it will be harder to get it cleaned out. Even though you can not completely open the tank I have not had any problems cleaning it out by running water into the three areas that are open. the hole to empty most of the water, the hole left by removing the filter, and the long narrow opening where it attaches to the nozzle. A little rinsing and sloshing and all the dirt is removed and ready to use again. If you are done using it you will want to leave it off the unit so that everything fully drys before storing it.
With the dirty water tank off, you can remove the nozzle by flipping the clip that holds it into place. You will want to remove it to clean it out if you see fibers in there or when you are done to clean it before storing it. Just run water into the top and bottom slit like openings to remove all dirty gunk. Do not let things dry inside or you will have a hard time getting them out. I find that frequently cleaning them out is easy and effective. To replace the nozzle push it into place and secure with the attached clip.
The Bissell quicksteamer 1770 comes with a brush that works as you push the steamer back and forth. The brush does not rotate or anything so if you are looking for the rotating brushes they have a different model that has them. For normal dirt and light stains these brushes work well. You can remove the brushes for cleaning by snapping them off the bottom of the unit, after removing the nozzle.
Using the Bissell Quicksteamer 1770
Make sure all parts are attached firmly and your tank is filled with solution and hot water. Plug it in and you are ready to go. The 20ft cord is long enough to do most rooms without moving it to another outlet. Make sure to start on the inside corner and plan your strategy to clean the whole room leaving a path to clean last so you do not have to walk over newly cleaned / wet carpet.
I find it best to work on small area at a time. Each room is different and depending on how dirty it is you will make these spaces smaller or larger. I like to go over it once with cleaning solution and then after sucking up all the dirty water I refill the tank just with plain hot water to rinse as much of the solution out of the carpet as possible.
To release cleaning solution or water there is a button on the handle that is extremely convenient and easy to push. When you hold it down it sprays water, when you don't hold it down it just sucks.
To turn the machine on you push the red lever near the floor on the back. That starts the vacuum. To release the handle there is another lever right next to it which releases the handle for use. to secure the handle again simple place it in a fully upright position and it will catch there.
Work the cleaner in a back and forth motion going over each area several times spraying solution. Then continue to vacuum the area until no more water is being sucked up. You can see the water coming in on the top of the dirty water tank so you will know when it is sucking up water. The Bissell Quicksteamer cleans a 9" path with each sweep.
As the clean water tank is getting low you will want to remove and dump the dirty water tank. Make sure to pull any hair off any of the connectors and clean out all parts before proceeding. Doing this will make your cleaner more effective and make cleaning at the end a snap.
How well it cleans
I have cleaned the room I bought it for and I have to say that this thing worked miracles. Before using the Bissell quicksteamer I thought for sure I was going to have to replace the carpet. Now it looks almost like new carpet. I can't wait to clean the rest of my carpets.
One thing I would point out. This room is not really using steam. I am not sure how they get away with calling it a steamer since it does not heat the water. The only steam might be from the hot tap water.
One thing that always concerned me was putting more water into the carpet and it taking forever to dry. I was totally shocked with the results. Carpets were dry in about 4 hrs. If you have an area that is heavily stained and you have to go over and over it it might take longer but even for this heavily dirty room it was dry in about 4 hrs.
Ease of Cleaning and Storage
The Bissell Quicksteamer 1770 is so easy to take apart and clean. Basically everything that gets dirty can be removed for cleaning. All parts are easy to remove and clean up takes only minutes. Once your Bissell Quicksteamer is dried you can put it back together wrap up the cord with the two cord holders and leave it in a closet ready to go for the next time. All you have to do is add solution and hot water and you are ready to go.
I would highly recommend the Bissell Quicksteamer 1770. For the money that I paid ($64) it was a steal!!! I think I will be using my new little friend for years to come. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me.