Bissell 1960-3 QuickSteamer Plus Upright Cleaner

52 ratings (51 Epinions reviews)
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Bye-Bye Dirty Carpet!

Oct 25, 2001 (Updated Dec 23, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Inexpensive, Easy to Use; Great for Up-keeping

Cons:No heat, No Deep Down Brushes, Sometimes messy, Loud

The Bottom Line: Great for newer carpet and preventative maintenance! It does what it claims to do for a very reasonable price.


This is an upright that works with cleaning formula and hot water. I'm not sure why it's called a steam vac because there's no steam or heat generated by the appliance. It cleans only carpet (not upolstry) and it will only clean bare floor with an add-on that you can order but it seems like an ordinary mop would be less of a hassle.

My Goal
I wanted a cleaner that would most importantly make my carpets look like new, get rid of the dust, and get the Kool-aid stains out...and to do all of this without effort for very little money. My goal was achieved with this product!

My carpet
I just moved into a place with brand new yet cheap carpet that they didn't bother to scottchguard. After 4 months the carpet looked like it was 4 years old! It's light brown/beige. I do not have any pets (so I don't know how it's going to react to pet hair) but I do have 2 messy kids which should count for something!

Ease of Use
It takes about 1 minute to put together when you get it out of the box.

To prepare the cleaner, you fill the white container in back with two caps full of the cleaning formula and the remaining with hot tap water. The clean water container drops effortlessly into place. The box comes with a sample of the formula but it won't last long.

The water sprayer is used manually on the handle and can be sprayed with the index finger. You can control how wet your carpet gets.

The dirty water fills up in the blue tank on the bottom. Emptying the blue tank is a bit tricky because you have to slosh it out. If water starts to bubble out it just means if full and needs to be emptied. (I thought I broke it the first time it happend)

I'm impressed by the handle and glide. It's very easy and comfortable to push and pull -- it's even less effort than a vacuum. Comfort is important only because it takes hours to do all of the carpet.

Noise Level
This is loud and it's a high pitch so it bothers me a little. It is louder than any vacuum I've ever had. The only problem with that is you have to do the carpets at a time in which they have about an hour to dry so you can't do
it before or after the kids go to bed.

Time
They say timing is everything. My Bissell had it easy because my dirt hasn't been sitting there very long and isn't built-up and packed down. This is great for maintaining carpet. The instructions say to use it every 3 months but I'm lucky if I can go a week!

After cleaning the carpet will need time to dry. I have found that it was always dry in a very short amount of time. By the time I was done with the next room, the previous room was already dry.

Kool-Aid
We had a red Kool-aid explosion that happened about 2 days after the red wine cooler incident. I tried about 30 things. The only thing that would remove it was peroxide and even that took a bottle and 8 hours. After all that effort, I didn't even bother with the Kool-aid. So I was hoping this little cleaner would just eliminate the Kool-Aid stain in a matter of seconds. Of course it didn't and I didn't expect it to. I was very surprised when I noticed after 3 or 4 uses the red was gone! The cleaner did get everything that was dark. Some of them took a couple tries but everything has come up so far. The fresher the stain, the easier it is to get up.

Justifying The Purchase
If I collect anything, it's gadgets. I have a gadget for every task. I have vowed to no longer buy anything that say says "as seen on TV" because....well I think you know why. The point is, my husband makes me justify purchases for products that he doesn't think I'll use. The more it cost, the more I have to justify. One hand on my hip the other pointing at the floor...LOOK! LOOK at this! Do you want to buy me new carpet? Sold -- done deal.

Picking it Out
I originally wanted that little spot hand held machine until I read the reviews on here. I read and read until I was finally settled on a Hoover that cost $250. So we went to get it...but couldn't find it. I looked at Walmart, Target, Kmart, Sears, and Best Buy. Nobody had anything the other had and the only one I wanted wasn't in stock. Well I tried waiting, and 2 days past, and I just couldn't wait any longer. So I thought I would try this Bissell because it was significantly cheaper. I figured that I would just try it out and if it didn't do anything we'd take it back. My husband and I agreed that we'd be taking it back because it wouldn't meet our expectations. But it did a really good job. I'm wondering, if I spent another $170 how is it going to make my carpet any better than it does now?

Using It
The box says you'll only use it every 3-5 months. That's a joke, I need to use it every 3-5 days! It takes a whole day to clean all of the carpets in the house so allow a full day or do it in phases. The cleaning tank is rather small so it make take a few refills to clean a room.

Misleading Statements or Misconception
I thought I would get this for all of my little spills. Unfortunately it's a big ordeal to pull it out, fill it up, and run it for a little spill. The spray bottle and rag still win in these cases.

This is marketed as being "smaller". Yes, it only weighs 12 lbs but the closet doesn't care how much it weighs. It still takes up just as much room as a vacuum does. Mine is in my bedroom closet and I hate it there but it doesn't fit anywhere else!

The instructions say you can leave the water in for the next use. That's hardly accurate because it's going to be putting nasty stale water on the carpet and it doesn't work with cold water.

Allergen Cleaning Formula (in the green bottle)
The Allergen carpet cleaner can be found anywhere that sells steamers. You have to use their brand otherwise it may mess up the cleaner. The cleaner costs $9-$15.00 depending on where you buy it. The bottle is large but really won't last very long. I expected the carpet formula to be extremely
strong and give me a headache within moments. I was pleasantly surprised with a very mild clean aroma. My daughter has sensitive skin and it did not irritate her.

Bissell makes a concentrated spray bottle (blue) for tough stains that is sold in the same area as the formula. I highly recommend it because it takes the stains up a lot quicker and is also effective for the tiny spills between
cleaning's. Squirting some on your stains prior to cleaning really reduces the amount of time you'll need to spend.

Bissell also makes some "Boost" which is white sprinkles that you add to the the mixture which gives a deeper clean. It improves the cleaning but I haven't been able to find it in the local stores.

Who this isn't for
I'm guessing this isn't going to be for long-hair pet owners. There is a little filter on it that gets clogged easily. I have to clean mine every 3rd major use and I don't even have pets.

If your carpet has been dirty for a long time, I don't know if this is going to help you. It takes a few minutes to get out the easy stains so it make take a long time to get out the hard ones! It's not built with steam power or bristles to get any deep penetration. If you've got deep dirt, you'll probably have to get a more advanced steamer.

Who May Like This
Anyone who has newer carpet could get away with only spending $100 on a cleaner! This has cleaned dirty shoe prints, chocolate, milk, coffee, kool-aid, and spaghetti sauce and much more successfully for me.

If you plan on using frequently, this may do the job because it's easy to use and does a better job the more times it's used.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 80.00


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