Update: After 6 months of using my Bissell Powerease Wet & Dry Hard Floor Cleaner, Model 5200W I am still very pleased. Here are a few additional comments:
Recommend this product?
1 - After each use I clean out the filter and the dirty water/debris container. Since I have many cats the filter collects lots of cat hair and it does a better cleaning job after the filter has been cleaned. In a household that's pet-free or just 1 or 2 animals the filter may not need cleaning after each use.
2 - I purchased additional filters ($5.99 at Bissell.com). I found that after wet cleaning the floor and cleaning out the dirty water container and the filter, the wet filter collected dirt more easily so I would just pop in a dry filter instead. I also had a filter split (rendering the vacuum useless) so I was glad I had an extra one.
3 - This is a no-brainer but the dirty water should be discarded after each use. I also rinse out the dirty water container and filter and let them air dry before using it again.
Bottom Line: It's a keeper. If it breaks I'll buy a new one!
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I purchased a Bissell Powerease Wet & Dry Hard Floor Cleaner, Model 5200W after my disappointment in the Hoover Floormate which I returned to the manufacturer after its poor performance during their 30-day free trial. The Bissell Powerease was half the cost ($69.99 plus another $5 off coupon) of the Hoover unit ($149.99) so I was a bit skeptical, although it did have better on-line reviews than the Hoover.
The Bissell Powerease vacuums, washes (with their special solution), and dries (not with heat) sealed hard wood floors, vinyl, or laminated floors.
Out of the box the only assembly required is to insert the handle into the unit and screw it in place. The handle remains in an upright position. The unit weighs about 10 pounds and there's a handle on the side of the unit to transport it from room to room. It comes with a stationary cleaning brush and a terry cloth type pad - both slide into the bottom of the unit. There is also a pleated filter that's located in the lid of the dirt collection tank. The manual says to clean it periodically, but from what I experienced after two uses it will have to be done each time – after vacuuming and/or wet cleaning. The path of the unit is only 11" and it has a 22" cord. The unit comes with an 8-ounce sample of cleaning solution and the machine uses approximately 2 ounces with each fill.
There are 2 tanks - one holds the Bissell hard floor cleaning solution mixed with clean water, the other holds the dirty water and/or debris vacuumed up. The tank that holds the solution has a measuring line for both the solution and water and it is easy to fill. Both the cleaning solution tank and dirty water tank are easy to remove and clean and they easily snap back into place. The unit is quieter than a regular vacuum cleaner. The handle is fairly comfortable and the unit is easy to maneuver in the vacuum mode, slightly harder to push in the cleaning mode. The power button is on the side of the unit and trigger for solution is in the handle. You don't have to turn off the unit to change from vacuum to wet clean, nor do you need to empty the dry dirt before you begin to wet clean. However, I found the filter to be filled with debris after I vacuumed and felt it did a better job when cleaned and emptied before proceeding with wet cleaning. To go from vacuum to wet clean you "flip" the unit, in other words, you turn it around. The unit is marked which side is for dry vacuum and which side is for wet cleaning.
Vacuum – 4.5 stars
This is a selling point for me. I have numerous cats and they're always tracking litter or crumbs, not to mention cat hair. Except for my hand vac I've yet to find a vacuum that actually picks up the litter that's tracked out of their litter boxes or dried food crumbs. But was I ever surprised!! It did indeed pick up their mess!! I'll note that at this point since it vacuumed the floors so well I really didn't care whether it would wet clean the floors. I had finally after years of searching found a vacuum that actually works on hard floors.
Cleaner – 3 stars
The first time I used the Powerease I used the stationary scrub brush to clean the kitchen floor. It's supposed to be for floors that aren't a smooth surface such as tile with grout or vinyl. First I vacuumed the floor then flipped it to wet clean. The solution trigger is located in the handle and it's easy to use. It will take some practice to figure out how much solution to apply, in other words, how frequent to hold the trigger button. The solution flows through the brush onto the floor. I worked in small sections at a time, holding the trigger button, then releasing it and going back and forth. My initial reaction was it looked like wet streaks on the floor, however, after several passes of holding the trigger button, then releasing and making several passes, it seemed to "smooth" out. It didn't surprise me that there was a streaky look when the solution was applied because it's flowing through the stationary cleaning brush versus the Hoover which had brushes that spin. The brush did a satisfactory job of removing stuck on dirt. This unit doesn't have a heat drying function like the Hoover (which performed poorly). However, once you let go of the solution trigger it begins to squeegee up the water and does a nice job of almost drying the floor. And once the floor dried there was no sign of any streaking and I was pleased with the result. I will note that when the solution trigger isn't depressed and the unit is squeegeeing the water, the unit is not as easy to move back and forth. After I finished I emptied the dirty water tank and rinsed it out. I also had to rinse out the filter as it was also filled with dirt and cat hair.
A few days later I decided to clean the same floor using the cloth pad. I followed the same steps as noted with the scrub brush. A lot more solution got on the floor and it didn’t leave the streaky effect that the brush did. It also did a satisfactory job of getting up stuck on dirt. However, the squeegee didn’t dry the floor as well as it did with the brush. There did seem to be a lot more liquid on the floor than with the brush. This may also improve with practice as to how often to hold and/or release the trigger button or it may just be a characteristic of the pad since it would tend to fill with liquid. I also think I will purchase a few more pads since it got very dirty and I think I would like to change pads during the cleaning process. I cleaned the pad in the washing machine and air dried it.
I noticed that once I was finished and turned off the unit, water did seem to collect underneath and I will probably set the unit on a towel to allow it to drain.
Outcome: After two uses I'm very pleased, especially with the vacuum feature. It will take some more uses to get the right balance for applying the solution and whether to use the brush or the pad.
1 – Lightweight
2 – Compact
3 – Strong vacuum suction
4 – Easy to maneuver
5 – Reasonable price
6 – 2-year warranty
1 – Need special solution
2 – Filter needs to be cleaned after each use
3 – Extra cleaning pad and filter to purchase
4 – Water puddles under the unit when finished cleaning
Amount Paid (US$): 64.99