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Yes, This Internet-Viral Carpet Cleaner Is Absolutely Worth the Hype

yes,-this-internet-viral-carpet-cleaner-is-absolutely-worth-the-hype
Yes, This Internet-Viral Carpet Cleaner Is Absolutely Worth the Hype

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My couch is where I work, eat, and sit and talk with my partner (or my cat)—and the signs of heavy use are embedded into its seat. (Think food and drink spills and one too many pet accidents of both the wet and smelly variety.) To clean up messes, I’ve used all manner of spot removers and enough elbow grease to make me sweat, but to no avail. The reminders of messes past persisted: yellow-brown splotches of varying sizes that are all the more evident in sunlight. After many failed attempts to get rid of the stubborn stains, I sprung for the popular Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner ($125)—and if the TikTok ads and positive online reviews are to be believed, it could make light work of the task.

The Bissell Little Green skyrocketed to internet fame, as users filmed themselves using the spot cleaner to remove various spills and stains from carpets, couches, and other upholstered surfaces. In videos, you can see the machine sucking up a wide range of fresh and set-in stains caused by coffee, red wine, or condiments—catnip for overzealous cleaners like myself. My colleague and Well+Good senior food writer Maki Yazawa also sold me on the machine. She has owned a Little Green for close to a year, and it has been helpful in cleaning up after her two pets as well as other wet messes that arise without warning. As it turns out, much of the hype surrounding it is justified.

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About the Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner

Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner — $125.00

Size: 17.25”W x 12.5”H

Weight: 9.65 lbs.

Cord length: 15 ft.

Hose length: 4 ft.

Water tank capacity: 48 fl. oz.

Attachments: 3-inch Tough Stain Brush, Spraying Crevice Tool, HydroRinse Self-Cleaning Tool

Also available on Amazon, $124

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact for storage
  • Easy to assemble, use, and clean
  • Comes with three separate attachments
  • Removes stains from carpets, couches, and other upholstered surfaces
  • One-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Better suited for fresh stains as opposed to set-in stains
  • Unideal for cleaning large-surface areas
  • Only compatible for use with Bissell’s cleaning solutions

The Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner uses water and suction to pull up fresh and set-in stains in a snap. As its name suggests, it is small in size, at least in comparison to other models. While small, what takes up the majority of its frame are two 48-ounce tanks to keep clean and dirty water separate. The machine comes with three attachments—namely, a brush tool, a crevice spray tool, and a self-cleaning hose tool—as well as a trial size of the brand’s spot and stain remover to add into the clean water tank.

Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner review

Assembly

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Photo: Author

The Bissell Little Green requires little assembly, and entails only a Phillips-head screwdriver. Included in the box is a physical instruction sheet, but if you have a computer or smart device at the ready, you can download the instructions (PDF). The instructions are presented with clunky pictures that can make the steps difficult to follow. However, I managed to assemble the machine singlehandedly within 20 minutes.

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Photo: Author

Use

Using the machine is as, if not more, straightforward as assembling it: Fill the clean water tank with water and cleaning solution, plug it in, and power it on. It’ll whirl to life, and while I have to yell over the machine to communicate with my partner, it isn’t so loud to make me worry that I’m disturbing my next-door neighbors. The noise doesn’t scare my cat into hiding either, which might also mean that the sound it makes isn’t much of a nuisance.

I put the Little Green to work immediately, starting with fresh cat vomit stains on my carpet—a situation that conveniently arose the same day the machine was delivered to my apartment. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s important to first test on an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t cause further damage to an upholstered surface. Unfortunately, I’m impatient, but fortunately, the machine didn’t do my carpet more harm than good.

I used the Little Green with the three-inch Tough Stain Brush. The attachment features a spray nozzle that, when activated by a trigger button, dispenses the solution onto the area you want to clean, as well as bristles that help work the cleaner into stains to lift them. I sprayed, brushed, and repeated, and not without some elbow grease, until the edges of the stain were virtually invisible.

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Photo: Author

The brush also works to suck up excess moisture—my favorite part of the cleaning process. I could see the liquid being sucked into the machine, all of which was deposited into the machine’s dirty water tank. The liquid drawn into the tank was a muddy brown color, and there was a certain satisfaction in knowing that the machine was visibly collecting muck, including stray cat hair that my vacuum had apparently missed.

Take note: the Little Green’s suction is powerful, but not so much so as to sop up all the excess wetness the machine leaves in its wake. The surfaces I’ve used it on—including my carpet, and yes, my old couch—continued to show signs of moisture after several hours. It might have been because I was too trigger-happy with the brush’s spray nozzle, and I left surfaces soaked, rather than lightly damp. (You’ve been warned.)

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Photo: Author

Indeed, I also used the Little Green on my couch to get rid of the aforementioned yellow-brown splotches. While the said splotches haven’t vanished, they’re no longer as obvious to my discerning eye. It might be perhaps that these stains have set into my couch’s fabric, and it would likely entail more work to eliminate them entirely. However, any new stains and spills that have appeared since I received the Little Green haven’t stood a chance against the machine—and, hey, I’ll take wins where I can find them.

(The Little Green also comes with a Crevice Spray Tool, which is helpful for tackling stains in hard-to-reach corners and in between seats. I haven’t used this attachment, as I’ve found the Tough Stain Brush to be most effective at dealing with the messes in and around my apartment.)

Maintenance

After every use, Bissell recommends cleaning the machine after every use to prevent it from getting stinky. This means cleaning the brush, dispensing the tanks’ contents into the sink or toilet, and rinsing the brush and tanks with water. It also involves using the HydroRinse Self-Cleaning Tool—another attachment that comes included with the machine. You simply attach the HydroRinse Self-Cleaning Tool to the Little Green’s hose, press the trigger, and it’ll flush the hose of any residue. Simple enough.

What I love about the Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner

It’s easy to use (and clean)

Once I learned how to use the Little Green, which involved little to no learning curve, it was a simple process. You just fill its clean water tank with the right amount of water and cleaning solution (the tank has markers to indicate just how much of each is required), and you power it on. Perhaps the hardest part is the elbow grease entailed to whisk away stubborn stains, but even then, it’s much easier than using a stain remover and a rag. As mentioned, cleaning the machine is also a painless process—that is, if you are willing to make the effort to ensure it’s rinsed off the residue it picks up.

It stores neatly

The Little Green comes with a 15-long power cord and an eight-foot-long hose, which might sound like a tangled mess waiting to happen, but both the cord and the hose wrap around the machine for storage. As someone who lives in an apartment with a limited amount of storage space, I also appreciated its size. The machine measures 17.25 inches long and 12.5 inches tall, and its oval shape fits nicely into the corner of my coat closet: out of sight, but within easy reach whenever I need it.

It’s versatile

The Little Green touts itself as a carpet cleaner, but it has also been helpful in removing stains and spills from other upholstered surfaces around my home, such as my couch and mattress. Yazawa told me that her partner also uses the machine to clean his car interiors. Given this, it makes the machine quite versatile. Again, you’ll want to make sure to test it on an inconspicuous area prior to use. That way, you don’t end up with more of a mess than you started out with.

What I didn’t love

It isn’t as effective at removing set-in stains

In my experience, the Little Green was more effective at getting rid of fresh stains as opposed to set-in stains. I would imagine the latter would require multiple passes with the machine or something much stronger. This might be a tradeoff for folks looking for a solution for old stains, but the machine can go some way to improve their appearance. However, as someone who has tried various spot removers and cleaners, including a very loud rental wet vacuum cleaner (Sorry, neighbors!), I’ve found that no such method has been able to eliminate tough stains altogether—a task that might best be left to a professional cleaner.

It isn’t ideal for large-surface areas

The Little Green’s small size isn’t ideal for large-surface areas. I attempted cleaning my entire carpet with it, but I ended up giving up a quarter of the way through the process. It was a struggle to maneuver the hose over the length of my carpet, and it involved schlepping the machine around, which, albeit lightweight, ended up being extra—and unnecessary—work. This isn’t to say that you can’t use it for larger messes, but I would much rather use it for spot-cleaning messes as they arise.

The cleaning solution comes at a recurring cost

For the Little Green to be effective at its job, it requires using the Bissell’s own cleaning solutions. Per the brand, other options aren’t ideal as they can damage the machine, or worse, your fabrics, over time. The trial-size version is eight fluid ounces, or about three uses. The standard-size version (32 fluid ounces) will last you much longer, but it’s a little over $30 per bottle—and if you use the machine more frequently, the costs can quickly add up.

Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner: My honest take

If, like me, you often deal with hard-to-remove stains or wet messes (like, ahem, cat vomit) on your couches, carpets, or other upholstered furniture, the Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner is absolutely worth it. Sure, there are other—and admittedly, cheaper—alternatives to clean up accidents, but the machine handles the hard work of the task. At a little over $120, it’s also inexpensive in comparison to other models on the market, and if you plan on using it often, it pays for itself over time. Plus, its small-but-mighty size makes it easy to store between uses—ideal for apartment dwellers or those living with limited storage.

Why trust Well+Good

Danielle Calma is a commerce writer who researches, reviews, and recommends the best products for shoppers. She has covered several topics with a focus on home and cleaning products for Well+Good.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Written by Living Smarter

Living Smarter is a leading well-being lifestyle development striving for excellent user experience by providing quality information about trending supplements on the market.

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