Is Bissell carpet shampoo worth it?
June 27, 2013 9:07 AM   Subscribe

We just rented a Bissell carpet cleaner and the shampoo was $22 per 32 oz. bottle. Over on the shelf they have some other brand for $10. I think I know the answer to this, but is the Bissell shampoo really better?

It does say it cleans 750 square feet and is "the most powerful deep cleaning formula."
posted by mecran01 to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not really.

I learned the hard way. You want to professionally steam your rugs. Those shampoos have too much soap in them, which is sticky when it dries and it all attracts dirt and then makes IT sticky.

I'd rather spend $99 a couple times a year and have Stanley Steamer do an excellent job, than fool with renting a machine and dealing with the shampoo.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:12 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Check the ingredient list. Often times, name brands and store-brands or off-brands have the same formulation.
posted by rachaelfaith at 9:12 AM on June 27, 2013

What ever you decide to do a tip I found that was really helpful is after running the cleaner once with shampoo is to run it again without shampoo to clean up any soap residue left behind. I use the hoover brand cleaners which are about half the price I think and it's fine, I do use vinegar in the water when I do a rinse as I think it helps remove residue, the vinegary smell fades, but just a plain water rinse will help. Honestly I can't tell the difference between the cleaners once I'm done.

I do however just use a cheap home carpet cleaner and not a rental quality one and tend to use cleaners aimed at pet urine and smell elimination more than pure cleaning power.
posted by wwax at 9:30 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]

I will definitely do the rinse. Should I use less soap to begin with? We've already opened one bottle but will return the other.
posted by mecran01 at 9:38 AM on June 27, 2013

No, don't use less soap, but off-brands are often just as good as name-brands, despite the Scary Warnings!!! from the manufacturer.

One thing that I find can help is to once-over the carpet quickly, then follow in 5-15 minutes with a thorough pass (after the soapy water has a chance to really bond to the dirt & oils).

There's no sticky soap leftover when the rinse cycle is used, so follow the instructions.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do follow the directions. Avoid getting the carpet too wet so that the backing gets wet. It can shrink or stretch, also discolor the pile, and take forever to dry.
posted by Cranberry at 12:20 PM on June 27, 2013

Bissell is like Gillette -- give away (well, cheaply rent) the razors, make money on the blades. It's a profit center for them. Most of the rental fee goes to the labor involved in renting the machine to you, checking it back in, cleaning and so on.

I have used multiple brands and mostly there isn't a difference. The "deep cleaning formula" language is just marketing, mostly, but you can get stain pre-treatment and odor treatment add-ons if you need them. I think it's actually most important that you simply do the cleaning regularly, as the granules of dirt in the carpet wear the fibers out as you walk on them, over time. If you need to do two treatments, that's amortizing the cost of the rental.
posted by dhartung at 3:29 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Our carpet is pretty terrible, so we're just trying to get it to the point where it looks less disgusting before we rent the house.

I was amazed at how much dirt was in the rinse water alone.
posted by mecran01 at 10:17 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older House/flat rentals in Lagos, Portugal?   |   School me about ODesk Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.