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Review: Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop & handheld steamer

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Erin L

Erin L

With all the time we’ve been spending at home, it’s become more important than ever to keep it tidy. Especially if you have pets, you want to make sure your floors are tidy, but what can you do beyond a basic mop? Steam mops are a unique cleaning tool that boasts being great not just for floors, but for counters, grout, fabric and glass too. I recently had the chance to try out the Heavy Duty Bissel Steam Mop. This heavy-duty, multi-functional mop deploys heated water for a deeper clean with sanitizing properties.

Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop & handheld steamer

Officially called the Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop & Handheld Steamer for Indoor/Outdoor Use is incredibly versatile, and you can use it either as an upright mop with a long handle, or in shorter handheld mode for more precision. In this review, we’ll take a look at the impressive range of specialty tools that come with the Power Steamer as well as how steam cleaners work and what you can and can’t clean with this nifty tool.

What’s in the Heavy Duty Bissel Steam Mop kit?

The Bissel Power Steamer is designed to allow you to clean every nook and cranny of your home, thanks to the astounding 25 accessories that come included in the kit. You get some duplicates, but here’s the lowdown on the key pieces: bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewHandheld Pod: This is the main body of the unit housing the motor, water tank and it’s where you snap in all the attachments.
    1. Extension wand: The extension wand connects easily to the main body of the steamer and can be used alongside the Mop Pad Foot as a standard steam floor mop or with some of the other attachments for more difficult to reach spots.
    2. Mop Pad Foot:  The mopping foot pad is actually a pretty good size and can cover a bot more area than a traditional mopping sponge. Attach this to the Extension wand for a standard steam mop setting and use alongside the Scrubby Mop Pad for cleaning sealed floors.
    3. Scrubby Mop Pad: This microfibre pad is machine-washable and can be attached to the Mop Pad Foot for more intense floor cleaning.
    4. Flat Surface Tool & Mop Pad:  Can be used at the end of the Extension Wand or when the mop is in handheld mode and, combined with the machine-washable Flat Surface Mop Pad, is perfect for cleaning large, flat surfaces, like counters.
    5. Fabric Steamer: This connects to the Extension Wand or the main unit and can be combined with the machine-washable Fabric Steamer Cloth to clean clothing, upholstery and drapes or the Window Squeegee to make glass surfaces, windows and mirrors sparkle.
    6. Steam Squeegee: A plastic attachment with a rubber squeegee, this can make cleaning windows easier.
bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewThere are a handful of small precision cleaning tools in the package:
  1. Grout Tool:  Use this small brush with plastic bristles and a vertical orientation to help scrub grout lines clean.
  2. Black Bristle Brush:  A small, circular plastic brush to help you scrub in those nooks and crannies.
  3. Brass Bristle Brush: A similar tool but much more heavy duty than the Black Bristle Brush, this provides serious scrubbing power with its metal bristles.
  4. Flat Scraper Tool: This nifty, precise tool is great for scraping at those messes that just won’t budge!
  5. Angle Concentrator Tool: Need to clean a super hard-to-reach spot? This tool will focus steam at your chosen angle to target any area.
Also in the kit you’ll get a small tool box/caddy that can snap on to the bottom of the pod, and a wall mount and screws if you want to hang it.

How does steam clean? And is it antibacterial?

It may seem counterintuitive to clean without any chemical products but steam is actually a fantastic, chemical-free way to clean and sanitize your home. Steam cleaners heat steam to a minimum temperature of 212 °F (100°C) and emit powerful jets of hot vaporized water that can loosen dirt, kill germs as well as break up grease, stains and even mould. Since viruses and bacteria are killed at temperatures of between 175 °F and 212 °F (80-100°C), you can be sure that steam cleaning is an effective method of sanitization.

bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewWhat surfaces can you clean with a steam mop?

Although typically used to clean floors and fabrics, steam mops like the Bissel Power Steamer are designed to help you get rid of dirt across both flat and uneven surfaces in your home, car, garage and even outdoors! The range of accessories means you can use it to clean anything from patio furniture to windows and drapes. You can even clean your entire bathroom with a Power Steamer: getting into the grout, cleaning the tiles and even scrubbing the taps until they shine. What’s more, the Bissel model has varying steam modes and a steam trigger so you can control the intensity of your steam as you go.

Using Bissell Power Steamer Steam Mop

It does take a bit of getting used to. First things first, you’ll fill the relatively small water tank; Bissell recommends you use distilled or remineralized water. As I have reverse osmosis filtered water, I used that. You are not supposed to add any cleaners or chemicals. Plug the machine in and when it is ready, steam will start to blink. After about 30 seconds the steam light turns solid and that means the mop is now fully heated and ready to use. Next you’ll choose one of the two steam levels on the back of the handheld pod; there is low or high. When ready, pull the trigger and hold it in. You’ll hear the steam whooshing through the mop. Now you can start cleaning. I tried using the Bissell power steamer steamer mop on a variety of surfaces. I used it on our tile floors, hardwood, quartz countertops, shower enclosure, and grout. I also tried the fabric steamer on our dining chairs.

bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewHow well does Bissell Power Steamer Steam Mop clean?

On the floors, I felt it did just an OK job. It definitely took a few passes to wipe up dog prints. I guess the mop isn’t really using a whole lot of water (the tank only holds 12 oz of water, so that explains why you might need a few more passes. Similarly on countertops, it seemed okay, but did take some scrubbing to get it to clean thoroughly. It wasn’t until I tried it on grout that I became really impressed. Skeptical of the tiny grout brush and steam would have much of an effect, it powered away that annoying orange mildew from my shower without much scrubbing at all. Certainly having bristles on the brush helps break up what’s there, but backed by the steam, the Bissell Power Steamer does a remarkably good job of getting grout clean. And yes, I did curse my decision to go with small tiles on the floor! Next, I used the angle tool to power out the crumbs that accumulate in the crevice beside the stove and counter. It did a pretty good job. It did leave quite a bit of residual water, but that’s nothing that can’t be wiped up I guess I wasn’t thrilled with the job it did on windows. The machine is heavy and awkward to maneuver and though it does steam well, I found the windows needed to be wiped up with a cloth since there was—again—a lot of residual water.

Oddly intermittent steam?

bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewI did run into what I think is a bit of a problem where from time to time the steam mop would cut out. It would just seem to randomly stop putting out steam, and I’d need to release the trigger and pull it again to get it going again. Oddly this seemed to happen most often when I was using the floor mop and extension. I also used it to scrub our gas stove in the camper van and found it handy for that, and for cleaning other things in the vehicle too. While I used both the low setting and high, the higher setting was definitely more powerful and more useful.

Can Bissell Steam Mop clean clothing?

When it came to clothes I actually found the Bissell Steam mop to be a bit aggressive in the steam department, often leaving water drops on clothing… more-so without the cloth attached but you could say it’s almost too powerful for clothing

Bissell Steam Mop is HEAVY!

I should point out that this unit is quite heavy. The handheld pod weights quite a bit. If you’re using it on the floor, or with the extension attached, you don’t notice it so much as it’s kind of self-supporting. Trying to hold the unit at chest height to clean grout or windows or mirrors, it’s a whole different story. After doing just a few minutes of work, it feels like it weighs a ton, far more than its actual weight.

bissell, power steamer, heavy duty, steam mop, reviewOverall review: Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop & handheld steamer

The Bissell steam mop is a powerful, multi-use tool that’s amazing for cleaning hard floors, refreshing fabrics and even getting into small, hard-to-reach areas. I did like experimenting with the great range of accessories and varying levels of steam intensity though I found this steam mop is definitley better for some things than for others. If you don’t mind taking a few extra passes, it does a nice job on the floors and countertops. I found it was great on grout, and given all the new tile we have in our house, it might be worth it just for that. It was nice being able to steam mattresses and camping bedding with the wand too. Overall I wasn’t super excited with this mop when I first got it, but the more different things I’ve tried to clean, the more attachments I’ve used, and the more experimentation I’ve done, has me thinking this mop is a pretty handy gadget. Particularly for the price, it’s versatile and works well. The biggest downsides I’ve already listed; mainly that it’s heavy and sometimes the steam can be intermittent.  The Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop & handheld steamer sells for about $229CAD but I was able to pick this up on sale for $179 on Amazon. *A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using this link.
Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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  1. […] There are a plenty of companies advertising upright vacuum cleaners that claim to clean carpets quite well and you can always check out the user and critic reviews to see if those claims hold up. But before you buy one, understand that these carpet cleaners have limitations too. Carpet cleaners might be good enough to suck up piles of dirt and clean small stains, but you won’t be able to clean those tougher stains without some extra manual work. If you are haunted by such stains or you don’t want to take a massive vacuum just to deal with a couple of carpet stains, consider getting a spot carpet cleaner. The Bissel Little Green ProHeat carpet cleaner is a good case study to see what these types of vacuum cleaners bring to the table because it has quite the pedigree in portable cleaning products. […]

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