Steam Cleaners

Jul 1, 2010
8,677
2
0
#21
Thanks, Tom. I've got a shop vac that wouls suck the chrome of the bumper of a 55 Buick. Sounds like I need one of your cleaning machines to go with it. It'd pay for itself in a couple of years, I suppose.

Tim
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#22
New cleaner - Bissell Big Green Commercial Upright Deep Cleaner - observations part I

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I recently started looking seriously at different options for a low cost steam cleaner that does floors and carpet on a commercial level without "the van". After researching for what seems to be forever and a day, I made a decision today to purchase yet another Bissell product. This time I got the Bissell Big Green Commercial Upright Deep Cleaner. While this cleaner is well above what a normal household would normally pay for a steam cleaner, I will offer my experience and observations as time marches on and compare it to the one in the OP for those who may be interested and have the need for such a tool.



Pictured above are both models. The first two images are the new Big Green Commercial unit and the last is the Bissell ProHeat 2X I have had for years that the thread was actually started from. My observations and experience with the ProHeat 2X have not changed and it's still running and cleaning like a champ. Simply put, I still love it. With that said, the volume of work I will be doing for business requires something further up the chain. I looked into many different manufactures and the associated products, read the reviews, talked to professionals, repair shops and contacted the manufacturers to see how long it would take to get replacement parts [including commonly back ordered parts] along with the time for delivery of said parts/associated shipping costs and the local repair shops turnaround time as all of this will affect my business. While most of you may not be concerned with those aspects, they are important to me and may one day become important to you as well.

My first impressions;

I was pleasantly surprised that right out of the box, it was ready to go. I took off three components [top assembly/valve/safety, dirty water tank and then the water/solution tank] and simply filled the solution tank up to the water line. Then I added two cap fulls of the normal Sam's Club steam cleaning solution I have used for years to what looks like a gallon and a half tank to 2 gallon reservoir. Placed it all back together and right out of the box, hit the power. 5 minutes from box to cleaning. My immediate observation is that I went further than I ever did before without stopping to dump/refill the waste/solution and water.

What normally took 6 to 7 change outs now took 1 and the carpet seemed to be cleaner at first glance. Eh, whatever. First impressions aren't always what they are cracked up to be. It was when I opened up the waste tank that I stopped in my tracks. I literally sat there dumbfounded at my kitchen sink looking into this tub of what looked like a concentration of dirt in the waste I had never witnessed before. It was so thick that you could not see past approximately less than a 1/4 inch of waste and my carpet was just cleaned not too long ago with the other cleaner. I was impressed.

Went ahead and finished what would have taken a lackadaisical 3-4 hours downstairs [moving furniture, taking breaks, cutting the wax paper, sipping an adult beverage now and then] and finished in a very lackadaisical hour. I was done. I couldn't believe it. Went ahead and finished the whole house, vacuumed, cut the wax paper and put everything back within the time it used to take to do a quarter of the house. I knew the other cleaner had a disadvantage I didn't speak of [only inquired about], which was tank capacity but I found out today what kind of time savings that actually is when you want to get the job done, done right and quickly.

Enough about that. Let's talk about the end result. Did the thing work or not?

In a word? Absolutely :) . Not only was it quicker, it actually cleaned up more than the other one and dried faster. Within 30-40 minutes of steam cleaning, I was vacuuming. No, the carpet wasn't wet. It was ever so slightly damp but well beyond the fear of electrocution by hours. I have mentioned the sheen before with the other cleaner. This one does the same thing but at a different level. It produces a very consistent cleanliness and sheen throughout the carpet, dries quicker than the Pro 2X and has an overall professional end result. In other words, it talks the talk and walks the walk, this time, quickly and with professional results.

More later. I'd like to share with you how I arrived at my decision to purchase this over a Rug Doctor, Hoover or other highly thought of or recommended steam cleaner along with other aspects that I have discovered tonight. After a date with the pillow and more use, I will be happy to share my observations.

Tom
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#24
Hello, Amir. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for under $500.00. They were the only local dealer [commercial and retail] that carried them in stock here in Charlotte. If anybody wants to try this out before purchase, it can be rented at Lowe's or other tool rental places for around $25.00 a day without chemicals.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=127966

Tom
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
3
0
Seattle, WA
#25
Oh, that is pretty reasonable for a commercial piece and even more surprising that it is sold at normal stores as opposed to specialty dealers. I hate renting and returning things so have been known to buy things even if it is for one or two uses :p.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#26
You and me both, Amir. Time is money and the second time I rented something that I had to immediately return because it didn't work right was the last time I rented a tool. I was very surprised to find out that Bed Bath and Beyond had it in stock. Keep in mind that I had to go to their "big" store here in Charlotte which was 45 minutes away and not one of the closer stores but it was the only shop in town that had it in stock. The quickest I could get it anywhere else [store or online] ranged from 2 days to 2 weeks and the prices varied just as much.

I was a little disappointed when I read the manual last night. I noticed that there was no added accessories for cleaning flat floors [linoleum, wood, granite, marble] and no accessories in the box. This somewhat confused me because I had read many reviews that mentioned the flat floor cleaning abilities. The Bissell ProHeat 2X I have used for years had these accessories included with my original purchase but had to be fitted on before going from carpet to a flat surface. Even with the attachments, the residual water leftover was "acceptable" but definitely not "preferred". Last night I figured that I would just go straight from carpet to linoleum just to see what happened. I figured that the worst that could happen is that I would basically wipe up the excess water with a towel. To my surprise, it transitioned from one surface straight to the other and so long as you went backwards on the flat surface, no wiping up was even necessary with the only exception being at the transition point. I was pleasantly surprised about that. You could hear the scrubber going to town on the linoleum and when you backed the steam cleaner up, man.....was it ever clean. Pretty cool for not having to stop and add accessories and it still produced a better end result than the ProHeat 2X, even with the accessories. In fact, the only thing I wiped up was the transition area. The rest was pretty much dry by the time I came back from downstairs to go grab a Terry towel.

Tom
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#27
Okay, thought I would offer a six month follow up with the Bissell Big Green.

This unit has performed flawlessly the entire time, cleaning everything from carpets that looked new to carpets that IMO should have been replaced. The typical red stains that are hard to remove even from "the van" type of steam cleaning still remained but the end results were comparable. We had one instance to where the homeowner had committed suicide two days prior to being discovered. Blood and other human matter remained after the body was removed. This cleaner was able to get everything up with zero trace that anything had happened at all. I wish I still had the photo of the before and after to share with all of you but I can't seem to find it. You could not tell after cleaning where the body was.

The wood, stone and vinyl floors could use a little bit of improvement with this unit. For general cleaning, the unit works good but for a really good clean on a floor that has not had too much TLC we still clean by old fashioned scrubbing to achieve the best results.

I have found that straight water, a mixture of vinegar and water or a mixture of steam cleaning solution can all work well in this unit. If the carpet is really dirty, I just add more steam cleaner solution to the mix. If the carpet is generally clean, I use a mixture of vinegar and water and if the carpet looks to be in pristine condition, straight water will do just fine. On carpets to where there is a slight odor, I add a little bit of OdoBan to any of the solutions and 90% of the time, the odor is eliminated. Pet odor that has been embedded into the padding seems to be the one odor that remains, regardless of whether or not we use vinegar or OdoBan in the mixture.

So far, no maintenance has been required and the unit is still running like it was the day we bought it. I will revisit this after a year's worth of steam cleaning on a light commercial level. (We do not use it everyday. Often yes but not everyday)

Tom
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,522
291
260
Pleasanton, CA
#28
Yup, the commercial units like the rental ones, Rug Doctor etc., are the way to go. They don't need steam, just warm water. They are made to be rugged and reliable, and for storage they close down to a compact space. Every standard "consumer" type that I have been cursed to buy, no matter what the hype, has been a poorly designed piece of crap. They hold small quantities of water, they use narrow inputs to enhance their weak engines and rapidly plug up, the cords are lousy, they are made of cheap, friable plastic etc.
The expensive part for these is the soap and accessories, anyway. Used commercial units can be had cheap on ebay and pay for themselves the first couple of uses.

I use a steam wand to spot emulsify spotted areas first. The steam wand can also be used to clean records.
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
3
0
Seattle, WA
#29
Thanks for the update Tom. Looked on Amazon and it is remarkable how many perfect 5 star reviews it has. Only small portion of our house has carpet but I am tempted to buy the thing just to have it. :D
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
3
0
Seattle, WA
#30
Hi Tom. Thanks so much for the review of the Bissel. Was checking out the Amazon bargains today and they have this unit for just $289 so I bought it :). If anyone is reading this in time and is interested in buying it, here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/BISSELL-Clean...X2CTR52V0BN8Y2N&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=1980506282

It doesn't say commercial though like yours. For the occasional use we have, I am hoping that differential is fine.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#31
<snip>It doesn't say commercial though like yours.<snip>
Hello, Amir. Good news! Mine doesn't say commercial on it anywhere. You just purchased the same exact model I have.....BUT at a smokin' hot price! :) If you have a wet/dry vac laying around somewhere, you now have the power to clean most every upholstered piece of furniture, curtain, rug or car seat ya' have! Congrat's my man. I really feel, even after all this time, that this was one of the best buys I have made in some time. As you may have read, I just moved. The original white carpet I posted about stayed with the house and the new owner stated.....and I quote....,"the carpet looks fantastic". That was the same 10 year old white carpet that we spilled a case of dark beer on, raised a child to the fine age of 5 on, had an indoor/outdoor dog the whole time on.....along with the other little to not so little "mishaps" that happened along the way.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and feel confident that you just made a great purchase. ;)

Tom
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
3
0
Seattle, WA
#32
Ah, that is a relief Tom. I kept thinking that this was some lower quality model. I had just a few minutes to buy it so I took the chance. Thanks again for the recommendation and long term report!

I also bought their "X2" cleaner but then read your post about using just water and vinegar? I will be cleaning near white carpet that is about 8 to 10 years old and pretty stained in some places. Should I avoid their cleaner?
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#33
Not at all, Amir. Some of those type cleaners are rather good, just expensive. Very expensive when you compare them to other types of cleaners that yield the same to better end result. For example, a small bottle at Lowe's or HD (off of memory) costs somewhere around $18.00. The gallon of carpet cleaner I get at Sam's Club, with an additional bottle that is about the same size as the $18.00 bottle only costs about 9 bucks.


Tom
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
1,620
295
135
Greater Phoenix Area
#35
I have the Bissell and I keep it loaded with fresh solution and its ready to go instantly.
We have two dogs and a cat that loves to hork on a regular basis.
The key to it is how quick you get to it.
When poop happens I have it cleaned up in minutes, then I just clean out and dry the waste take right away so it doesn't smell.

I am kind of weird about carpet, I like to watch movies laying on the floor and so I like clean carpet.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#36
A recent bump in this thread reminded me to offer an update for the Big Green steam cleaner. It has now been over two years since its purchase and so far, zero issues, zero maintenance to the cleaner or the accessories. I was able to take a couch that looked like it was ready for the trash and make it pretty close to new looking, cleaned countless houses and even fluids excreted from a suicide that had sat on the carpet for two days including the blood. The only type of stains that I have not been able to get out are the same things the professional carpet cleaning companies have issues with. That being "set in" red and purple stains. I only know of one company in Charlotte that has the ability to take these stains out and though I have tried my best to find out what their solution is, it is a guarded proprietary secret (still trying though).

From a business standpoint, this has paid for itself many, many times over and done me well during the time I have owned it. From a homeowner standpoint, I love the convenience of having something that is quick, easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store when mishaps happen or you just feel like the carpets could use some cleaning. I would rank this as one of the top 10 best purchases I have made for business and home. Still highly recommended by yours truly.

I agree bedman. You do get what you pay for. ;) Welcome to the forum BTW.

Tom
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,784
19
200
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#37
Close to 6 years later, no repairs and she still runs like a champ. No issues whatsoever. The carpet in the new house still looks new and it is 6 years old now. Just wanted to follow up with a long term update.

Tom
 

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