A relatively compact carpet cleaner, the Bissell PowerClean is easy to store yet it has the power of its much larger rivals. The lack of spot-cleaning tools may limit its appeal, but quality stain removal make it a great choice for cleaning floors.
- Powerful cleaning
- Quite compact
- Easy to use
- No spot cleaning tools
- TypeA standard upright carpet cleaner with a motorised brush for cleaning floors; it has no-spot cleaning tools
The problem with the majority of carpet cleaners is that they’re huge beasts that require plenty of space for storage. If you’re looking for a model that’s smaller and can be more neatly stored then the Bissell PowerClean could be for you. This compact machine is easy to push around yet it performs as well as larger machines. The only thing missing are spot-cleaning tools.
Design and features
- Simple design
- Compact and comparatively lightweight
- Very easy to use
Power is rarely an issue for the majority of carpet cleaners, but it usually comes by way of a large and bulky form factor. Not so with the Bissell PowerClean, which is a relatively compact carpet cleaner weighing only 5.6kg and measuring 1090 x 360 x 255mm. That makes this carpet cleaner a little bigger than a regular upright vacuum cleaner, and a lot easier to store than much of the competition, such as the Vax Platinum SmartWash.
The minor downside of this design is that the motorised brush bar at the front is narrower than on rival cleaners, so you’ll need to clean carpets using a greater number of swipes; that’s the trade-off for having a more compact cleaner.
There are two tanks in this machine. The smaller 2.36-litre tank is for cleaning solution and water. There are marks on the tank to indicate the level of water and where to top up with detergent. Personally, I prefer machines that have separate compartments for detergent and water, since it means you’ll only use the cleaning solution required for a cleaning run.
At the bottom of the machine sits the 1.72-litre dirty water tank. This has a float in it that will cut off power once it’s full. When cleaning, it’s likely that you’ll need to empty this before you’ve run out of detergent.
Both tanks lift out easily enough and are quick and simple to empty (dirty water) or refill (cleaning solution).
Bissell has used a clever design for its PowerClean cleaner. To move it around, you tilt the handle back, which leaves the dirty water tank in-situ. This means you have less weight in your hand as you push the cleaner around.
I found it easy to manoeuvre the PowerClean: it glides easily over carpet –although, like other carpet cleaners, it lacks the nimbleness of an upright vacuum cleaner.
With the power on, the motorised brushes spin around and the cleaner constantly sucks. To add solution you have to squeeze the handle on the top, which releases cleaning solution through the floor head and onto the carpet. You shouldn’t be too trigger happy with this, as I found it quite easy to go through a tank by depressing the control for too long. Carpet washers that auto-dose are marginally easier to use.
- No spot-cleaning tools
- Excellent performance on all surfaces
- Quite loud
To test the Bissell PowerClean, I put it through my usual range of tests. I started with a dried-in ketchup stain on my test carpet. Although it took a few swipes over the stain with the Bissell PowerClean to get the mess out, it had completely disappeared by the end of testing.
Likewise, the dried-in mud test proved to be easy for the machine to tackle, removing all traces of the dirt after a few sweeps.
Next, I moved onto the more challenging carpet tile test. As a result of numerous deliveries, the tiles of the office floor can become quite messy with ground-in dirt. Cleaning solution alone isn’t good enough to tackle the mess, as the Karcher SE 4001 proved. The Bissell PowerClean had no such issues, getting the tiles back to their near best.
Where the Bissell PowerClean falls down next to rivals is with the lack of spot-cleaning tools, supplied with the Vax Platinum SmartWash. If you have stains in hard-to-reach places, such as in the corners of rooms, on stairs or on upholstery, the floor tool here will likely prove insufficient for such intricate cleaning.
Along with other carpet cleaners, the Bissell PowerClean is pretty loud at 82.9dB. Fortunately, this isn’t the kind of appliance that you’ll use on a daily basis.
You might like…
Should you buy it?
If you want a small(ish) carpet cleaner that can clean floors brilliantly, then the Bissell PowerClean is for you.
If you want greater flexibility with spot-cleaning tools, or you want to clean very large areas, look for an alternative.
If you need to tackle a wider variety of stains that would be better handled via spot-cleaning tools, for example, then the larger Vax Platinum SmartWash may be a better option. However, for cleaning floors, the Bissell PowerClean is a brilliant carpet cleaner. Compact, well priced and powerful, it’s easy to store and simple to get out when you need it. If you’re after something else, check out my guide to the best carpet cleaners.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every carpet cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other carpet cleaners
It comes with a motorised floor head only.
No, this can clean floors only.