Welcome back to Once and For All, where we figure out whether the stuff people rave about, cherish, and form their entire identities around is actually worth the investment. We’ve looked at cast iron pans, linen sheets, and more, and today, we’re investigating Bissell’s Little Green cleaning machine.
God knows why clumsiness is still a cute trope in the female protagonists in rom-coms—yada, yada, it makes freakishly beautiful, otherwise unrelatable women seem more human, more real. But there’s nothing more real than smashing your shin on a bed frame and sending an entire smoothie across the floor and up the wall, and it isn’t the teeniest bit endearing. Maybe the imperfect hot girl with mussed up hair and an ever-present ketchup-spill is “down to earth” and “quirky” in the movies, but in reality, it just means we’re covered in bruises and absolutely everything in our house is covered in stains, which is honestly pathetic, not romantic.
But, hey, I’m still trying to find a husband, and like my Jewish grandmother would say, “you’re not gonna attract a man with dirty floors, honey.” She’s right, and that’s why I decided to take cleaning my apartment a little bit more seriously. I’m here to loop you in on my secret weapon (and new favorite hobby): Bissell’s Little Green machine.
Maybe you’ve seen one of the dozens of mesmerizing TikTok videos where a year’s worth of gunk is sucked up by its tiny, yet powerful green hose. I recently learned that the genre of ASMR I like best is called “process porn”. Nothing soothes me like the gentle pace and soft drone of an episode of How It’s Made. After months of watching other people suck up dirt in amazement, I decided to live the dream, and tested out the mighty machine myself.
What is it?
The Little Green comes in a few iterations, but the one I put through the ringer, and the most popular with over 45,000 reviews on Amazon, is the Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner. The viral mini cleaning device allows you to “wash” things you normally couldn’t. It works on everything from carpets and rugs to furniture, car interiors, and even (as I can personally attest) a disgustingly dingy mattresses that your bitch of an ex-roommate left for you to deal with. Gross, yes. But think of it as a blessing for you, my reader, that I have truly gross surfaces on which to push the Bissell to its limits.
Here’s how it works: All you do is fill the clean tank up to the solution line with Bissell’s spot removing formula, add warm tap water to the water line, and turn on the machine. It is literally that easy. A button on the hose allows you to spray an even coating of the treatment solution on the area you’re hoping to clean, which the brand recommends leaving to saturate for a few minutes, before returning to scrub and suck up all the debris lingering on your soft surfaces. It’s a pretty simple machine for how effective it is.
A little more about my new best friend Green—he’s less than 10 pounds, arrives 95% assembled, and comes with enough Bissell x Febreze Spot & Stain liquid to get you spot-removing right away. There is a large 48-ounce tank so you can clean a pretty large surface area before you have to pump & dump the most satisfying gray-brown liquid you’ve ever seen.
I’m not saying my entire fragile mental state depended on whether or not this machine would live up to my expectations, but thank God I started with the mattress. It delivered a satisfying strip of clean white in the hose’s wake that sent shivers down my spine. After some trial and error, I learned it definitely best to spray the treatment, let it sit for a few minutes, and then go in with a fresh spray-and-suck combo.
It’s rare that something so viral is actually worth its weight in gold, but for less than $125, the Little Green will make the difference between having an apartment that looks meh, to having an absolutely immaculate space with a carpet so clean you don’t hesitate to lay on it face first. I was really amazed at the fact that it was able to get a months-old (aforementioned) smoothie stain out of my heirloom rug, which I had been avoiding due to fear of it being unfixable. I made sure to follow the directions precisely, vacuuming first, then pre-treating the stain with some Resolve and letting it sit for a good ten minutes before spraying it down with the machine and scrubbing maniacally. It took a few passes, but for such an old stain, it was basically erased.
There weren’t really any downsides to the Little Green, but I would just say to manage your expectations if you plan on tackling an entire sofa like this one lady on TikTok. When I tried to tackle a very dirty, very cheap rug that I plan on tossing after moving, I could tell just how much effort it would take to make the entire thing look like new again. Which is not to say it couldn’t be done, just that if you have a bigger project, you’re probably better off purchasing a bigger model, or going the professional route, when it comes to something like priceless family heirlooms.
Cleaning doesn’t have to suck—but this lil pal does.
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