I have a relatively large amount of hard flooring (Amtico) in my kitchen/dining area. With a 5 and 6 year old at home, cleaning the floor was not a job I looked forward to and was something I put off. In the past I had cleaned the floor by firstly sweeping, lugging my heavy upright vacuum out, sucking up the debris, and then getting my old steam mop out to clean the floor. My old steam mop gave up last week which, to be honest, I had never been 100% happy with. So I was looking forward to trying out the Bissell Vac & Steam.
On unpacking the Vac & Steam, I was pleased to see that it did not need any fiddly assembly. No screwdriver required, just click the handle into the base. It also came with a quick start guide but, to be honest, it was pretty intuitive to use.
I was excited to read that one of the cleaner’s features was that you could insert scented discs into the mop pads. This is one of the aspects of steam cleaning that I have never liked; that you could not smell that “just cleaned” scent. With these discs you can now have this – which I loved. They were a little tricky to insert into the mop pads which caused them to snap, however, this does not affect the use of them and in fact, extends their use. You will also need to remove them when you wash the pad, which I only thought about as I was about to pop the pad into the machine. They are a great feature though.
The actual machine, once filled with water, heated up quickly. You can select a high or low level of steam (high for me… I am always ashamed when my daughter’s friends come round to play and go home with black soles on their white school socks!).
When the light on the handle stops flashing it is ready for action. You can use each of the functions separately or combined. The whole point of the product, for me, was that I can do two jobs at once. To operate the steam, you press the trigger on the underside of the main handle. To operate the vacuum simply press the ‘vac’ button once, on the handle. The machine sounds and glides over the floor like a conventional vacuum cleaner. It feels satisfyingly heavy (not too heavy), but gives you the sense that it is a well made product, and there is power behind the clean.
To see how good the cleaner was, before I used it, I did sweep and vacuum, so I was horrified at how much more dirt the dry vac picked up – I thought my floor was pretty clean! The steam aspect of the cleaner cleaned the floor well, and on stubborn spots I held the mop back on the area for 10 seconds. It also did not leave the floor too wet. Within a couple of minutes, the floor was dry enough to walk on. The only slight down side to the mop was that when you want to recline the cleaners handle to use it, you need to bend down to release the catch, you cannot do it with your foot.
In summary, I love this product. The main reason why is that it saves me time in cleaning my floor, as it is now a one stop process. It also means that my floor is so much cleaner – not only because the product is more effective than my old mop, but also because it is so much easier to use. I have been using it every other day, as it is no hard ship to get it out, whereas before it was a job I would put off.