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476 of 482 found the following review helpful:
Works for me!Jul 28, 2003
By Sandi Hultman
We struggled between buying this unit and the comperable Dirt Devil offering, when we saw them at the local discount stores. Liking the stiffer dual-rotating beater-bar style brushes on the Bissell better than the much softer brushes on the spinning disk the Dirt Devil had, we settled on the Bissell. At the store, the only negative factor for the Bissell appeared to be it's one-year warranty, versus the two-years offered with the Dirt Devil.
We did not consider a cordless model, presuming they would be less powerful. We also did not consider a model without scrub brushes.
I used our new Bissell briefly last night on a couple of recent pet stains, and it did a good job. Today, I used it on all the rest of the pet stains on our light living room carpet, many of which were old. Almost all of them lifted well.
The Bissell clean tank will hold a full 8 oz. (3-4 oz. cleaning product and 4 oz. water), compared to the Dirt Devil that only holds a total of 6 oz. It does a decent job of suctioning up liquid. Many with the Dirt Devil seem to complain that it's suction is inadequate, and we did test its suction at the store and agree that it is weak.
The manual doesn't document the total clean tank size, how many ounces the "Formula" fill line is at, or how many the "Water" fill line is at, but I measured them. This way I know the proper dilution, if I choose to mix some of the cleaning product into a regular spray bottle for pretreating convenience, without hauling the heavier unit around. (They suggest leaving the pretreat on for 3-5 minutes.)
Note that once you've filled the clean tank, if you have a lot left over you do not have to empty it. You can save it for next time. (The disadvantage to doing this is that you would no longer have warm water to help you clean better.)
The 20' cord was more than adequate for us to get to the areas we needed to clean. Others complain that the Dirt Devil's cord is too big, but I'm not sure if that means diameter or length. The cord on the Bissell flows nicely. It isn't stiff and doesn't stay too curled up to be able to be used easily. It even had a convenient velcro strap that stays attached, to help you manage the cord for storage.
The unit is really easy to fill, operate and clean. Both the clean tank and the dirty tank detach and reattach very easily. Even the beater brush cartridge removes easily for cleaning. It only took me a few minutes to have it ready for storage again. Dirt Devil users complain that reattaching a tank is not always easy.
This is not a full size steam cleaner and I don't think it's fair to expect it to behave like one. It's great for the purpose it's designed for. Be sure to vacuum your capet before using it, if you haven't done so recently. This will minimize the amount of hair etc. to clean out of the brushes when you are finished using the Bissell. I did not do this, and it still wasn't bad to clean out the brushes.
The unit has a solid and durable feel to it. Dirt Devil users seem to think that unit is flimsey and has an awkward manual solution/water sprayer.
I think the product works well and would recommend it over the Dirt Devil. I am happy with it
195 of 197 found the following review helpful:
One powerful little cleanerJun 03, 2003
By Samantha Rupinski
I have mostly hardwood in my home, but I do have a little bit of carpet, so I bought one of these for the small spots and spills. I have 3 kids and 2 dogs, so it seems that accidents are a daily occurence. I used this Spotlifter on some old pop stains that have been on the carpet for months, and it got them out no problem. I couldn't believe how well it worked and how dirty the water was that came out of my carpet. It worked so well that I decied to try it on my couch and chair, and it did a great job on them as well. Next stop was my car's interior, which was no small feat. It made my 6 year old minivan look and smell almost new. Buying this Spotlifter was definitely money well spent.
98 of 108 found the following review helpful:
Do not WASTE your money!Feb 29, 2004
By Susan Shams
I feel bad about giving this review, but I must. This is the worst machine ever created. Let me say that I think Bissell has excellent quality machines (Little Green) but this is not one of them.
First of all, this machine has absolutely NO suction to it whatsoever. I managed to trigger out around a cup full of solution, and the spotlifter only 'sucked' 1/4 of it back up. My carpet was soaking wet. I had to lug out my Hoover Steamvac to suck up the rest of the water. Naturally, I thought I had a faulty spotlifter, so I exchanged it for another one. I got the SAME thing, a spotlifter without suction.
Secondly, the trigger mechanism is horrid. Instead of it releasing a steady stream of liquid, it is spray oriented, where you must continuously spray it like a spray bottle. That becomes extremely tiresome, and it actually hurts your hands, as when you 'try' to suction the liquid, you have to tilt the machine forward and it is very cumbersome and large.
All in all, I hated this machine. It was clunky and did not clean anything. It is horrifyingly loud for no reason. The rotating brushes actually mat the carpet to the floor. This is a very bad buy. If you are looking for something that is easy to use for those quick stains, buy the 'Little Green Clean Machine'. It is wonderful and has amazing suction. You actually get what you pay for.
26 of 28 found the following review helpful:
the best choiceAug 27, 2003
this little machine is worth every penny.. i have pets and just spraying and blotting up accidents was really grossing me out..i tried the dirt devil steam cleaner and please "do not buy that machine!" it cooks the stain and stinks.. yuk.. the bissell is amazing ..it scrubs and lifts out everything.. i've waited for something like this for a long time.. it even does steps..
16 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Surpisingly good machinefor the moneyJan 07, 2012
I nearly didn't buy the Spotlifter after reading all the negative reviews but I'm really glad I did. We have four cats and it's a constant chore keeping up with upchucked hairballs and food.
Several of the positive reviews came from people with multiple cats and dogs so I decided to try it out. It arrived today and in less than an hour, I not only picked up a room full of new spots but also the stains left from previously cleaned older spots. I did not buy the Pet cleaning solution offered as an option and just used the solution that came with the machine. I selected the Spotlifter with the cord because, while I like the convenience of a cordless machine, the 15-minute run time before requiring a charge would not cut it with four cats to keep up with. It would be great for a one or two cat household.
As to some of the complaints in the negative reviews, I found most of them to be either the result of not using common sense or failing to read the instructions. Yes, you have to tilt the machine to apply suction to the carpet. Logically, you may not want to apply suction at the same time you're cleaning with the brushes because you may want to keep moisture on and in the carpet while you're cleaning. And no, this is not a full blown upright carpet cleaner that will suck the threads out of the carpet if you're not careful. It will leave the carpet damp but it will suck up sufficient moisture to allow the carpet to dry fairly quickly. That's really all you need.
Another complaint was the wide spray angle. Here's where the user failed to use common sense. If you hold the unit eight to ten inches off the carpet and squeeze the spray trigger really hard, you'll get a swath of cleaner about 20 inches wide. If you're stupid enough to do this with valuable art objects in the spray path, they WILL get wet. However, the spray is very easy to control. You simply move closer to the spot and put less pressure on the trigger to control the width and amount of spray to match the spot you're dealing with.
The only negative I've found, and it's minimal, is that the clean fluid tank is small and I had to refill it several times while doing this major project. However, that being said, once the first thorough cleaning is finished it should be sufficient to handle new spots as they occur.
As I've written this review my carpet has had a chance to dry completely and it looks better than it has in over a year. Yellow spots that remained after previous hand scrubbing are simply gone.
This is a great little machine and I wish I had bought it months ago.
UPDATE: I have now had the Spotlifter about five months. It continues to function extremely well as indicated in my original review. I've gone through one 32-ounce bottle of cleaner as well as the original 8-ounce bottle that came with the machine. As I have used the spotlifter, I've picked up some tricks which may be helpful to other users. First, an observation: I was pleasantly surprise to find that the brushes rarely need cleaning. It picks up cat hair as it cleans then spits out hairballs as it works. These are then easy to pick up with a vacuum cleaner. Also, I've modified my cleaning technique by approaching a spot from several different angles to make sure all particles are hit by the brushes. This has eliminated the need to occasionally redo a spot after the carpet has dried. The only problem I've encountered in the five months is that it's difficult to clean spots close to a wall. With the machine against the wall, you are limited to working the spot from only two angles and there's a 1 1/2-inch area from the wall to the brushes that the machine just can't reach. Fortunately, I've not had many of those. Also, I don't hesitate to spray additional cleaning fluid while I'm using the machine though I always wait three minutes after spraying the spot before I start cleaing as suggested in the instructions.
After five months, I continue to be puzzled by the many negative reviews but I suspect that Bissel, like so many American companies, has eliminated its quality control department and substituted their customers as their quality control. That means they ship uninspected product to customers which will be replaced if there's a problem. Unfortunately, that creates a hassle and additional customer expense which, I suppose, is less expensive than quality assurance ahead of the sale...especially when some customers won't waste their time or the additional expense of returning a defective product. Too bad, because I don't think they can include lost sales from bad reviews as part of the equation. I may have gotten lucky but it's clear from the number of bad reviews that Bissel may be shipping a high percentage of bad product (50%?)knowing that many customers will simply junk the machine rather than sending it back. Too bad but if you get lucky, as I did, and the machine works, it's a great investment.
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