How to Use a Bissell Little Green Machine

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While versions of Bissell's Little Green Machine vary slightly by design, basic operating instructions are similar for all of them. Each Little Green ProHeat device features one tank for fresh water and cleaning solution and another that collects dirty water retrieved after cleaning carpets or water-cleanable upholstery. Some models also come with assorted cleaning tools that attach to the end of the hose, making it easier to target messes in specific problem areas such as stairs.

How to Use a Bissell Little Green Machine
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Bissell Little Green Machine Assembly

While the main unit of any Little Green Machine comes preassembled, you may have to attach the hose clip and cord-wrap pieces onto the base unit before using the device for the first time. The hose clip fits into the slot on the bottom front of the Little Green Machine. On models such as the 5207 series, this piece snaps into place.

Some models, such as the 1425 series, also have a hose storage bracket that attaches on the back of the base unit. To attach this piece, line up the screw holes on the bracket with the holes on the device. Insert the included screw and then tighten it with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

On the 5207 series, this piece snaps into place without screws. Select models also have a separate tool clip that snaps into place either on the hose-storage bracket or on the Little Green Machine base unit.

Getting Ready to Clean

All Bissell Little Green Machine devices are designed to use a combination of water and Little Green cleaning formula. Lift the water/solution tank off the base unit and then fill it to the marked water line with hot tap water. If you aren't sure which tank is which, the clean-water tank is always the one with the water and formula lines on it. Fill the tank the rest of the way or to the indicated formula line with Little Green formula.

On some models, such as the 1725 series, the formula goes in first. On these models, the formula line is the one closest to the bottom, and the water line is near the top of the tank. In either case, snap the lid or cap back in place after filling the tank and then click the tank back into place on the base unit.

Pretreating Tough Stains

Enhance the effectiveness of your Little Green Machine by pretreating stains and dried spills once you've filled the tank with cleaning solution and water. Unwind the cord and the hose from the Little Green Machine if you haven't already done so and then plug the device in and turn it on. Attach the desired spot-cleaning tool to the end of the flex hose. Hold the tool a few inches above the spot and then press the trigger on the hose to spritz the spot with the cleaning mixture. Wait five minutes before proceeding.

Cleaning Spots and Stains

Select the best cleaning tool for the job, such as the triangle-shaped tool for corners of carpeted stairs. Attach the tool to the flex hose and then press the tool directly over the area you wish to clean. Press the trigger on the hose while pulling the cleaning tool toward you to release some cleaning solution and then release the trigger. Repeat for heavily soiled areas.

If using a cleaning tool with a brush, brush the spot without pressing the trigger to help loosen dirt and debris. Go over the spot as many times as necessary, pulling the tool toward you to suck the moisture out of the area you're cleaning. If the area still looks dirty, feel free to clean it again.

Postcleaning Machine Care

Once you're through cleaning, turn the Little Green Machine's power off, unplug the cord and then empty the dirty-water tank into a sink. If you're cleaning a large area, you may need to empty the tank while cleaning once it's completely full. Rinse the tank out and reattach it to the base unit afterward. Wrap the cord around the cord holder, remove the cleaning tool from the flex hose and wrap the hose back onto its holder on the Little Green Machine.

Rinse out the cleaning tools as necessary, using warm tap water in a sink.


Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.

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