Pros: cleans well, heats the water, easy to use hand tool
Cons: Small tank, doesn't suck all the water out
Ive used hand steam cleaners with minimal success and when the carpet gets really dirty, I rent a rug doctor once a year to really dig out the dirt. But when I have mess to clean up, I need something fairly robust without going down to the supermarket to rent a cleaner. Enter the Bissell 9200 Pro Heat Steam Cleaner. Does it adequately clean the carpet in between rug doctor appointments?
Read on, Dear reader
What it is
The Bissell 9200 is a steam cleaner for carpets and bare floors.
Features and Commentary
The first feature to notice is the water heater function. Turn on the machine and then turn on the heater. Within a minute, the water heats up noticeably. It doesnt get scalding hot, but it does heat it up to a higher temperature. This is a nice feature that even the rug doctor doesnt have. However, you have to have the entire steam cleaner on and running in order to use the heater.
The tank that holds the water is an interesting, yet flawed contraption. There is a floppy plastic bag inside the front compartment that holds the clean water. This is filled up through a hole in the bag that is held on to the main compartment. Unfortunately, being a floppy plastic, the hole in the bag never stays attached to the compartment and after use has become permanently warped. Hard to describe, but annoying in practice, believe me.
The tank that holds the clean water is also the tank that holds the dirty water. The plastic bag keeps the clean from the dirty and as the clean empties, the bag deflates and makes room for the dirty water. Pretty clever and it works well for the most part.
The soap is held in its own container in the back of the cleaner. I like not having to add cleaner to the water everytime I refill it. This is a luxury missing from the rug doctor. As well, this feature allows the use of a handy dial on the front that switches between heavy cleaning, light cleaning or rinse. This way, I can wash and rinse a spot of carpet in one fell swoop.
I did notice a glitch that might be specific to mine. If you leave the dial on anything but rinse, the soap will slowly drain into the main water container over time. I guess it leaks a little. No big deal since rinsing is always the last thing I do so the dial remains there.
In use, the cleaner works quite well, but is not nearly heavy duty enough for more than a room or two. First, the water tank doesnt hold that much water, far less than a rug doctor. I havent measured, but it cant be much more than a gallon or so. This means you'll be emptying and refilling several times for medium sized jobs.
Second, the suction that gets the water out of the carpet isnt as strong as it could be. The carpet remains fairly wet afterward.
The water dumped out of the container is very dirty, so this is an indicator that the cleaner works very well. Even when rinsing, the water still runs dirty so Im confident that the machine is doing its job. As well, the carpet doesnt have the dirty dog smell that I often get when using the rug doctor.
The hand tool that comes with it is fairly good. It heats the water up through the tube so even using the tool, the water is nice and hot. However, it has no spinning brush to really clean the carpet. It has a stationary brush, but that isnt very effective. Regardless the tool works well and gets things like furniture fairly clean. I also like being able to enable the hand tool by simply flipping a switch. No need to attach hoses or water lines. It just works with the turn of a dial.
For those interested, the hand tool converts into a scotch guard sprayer. This is very handy if you want to protect your furniture, but its not a feature that gets lots of use.
This is a good cleaner for small jobs. But when it comes time for whole house spring cleaning, rent a Rug Doctor.