How To Use The Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner

This little carpet and upholstery cleaner works like a charm on pet stains!

For over a decade now, I’ve made it my personal mission to find and share tips, products, and ideas that make homemaking easier, and that’s why I’ll be showing you how to use Bissell Little Green machines in this post. Clean carpets and rugs can be tricky to maintain, so this little green carpet cleaner could make a great addition to your arsenal of cleaning tools.

I was initially introduced to the BISSELL Little Green Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner via TikTok, where I watched video after video of people using it to clean spills and messes around the house. Between its compact size and affordable price tag, it certainly held more appeal for me than a rental for carpet cleaning.

The Bissell Little Green is compact, easy to use, and does a great job on carpet and upholstery.

What Are People Saying About The BISSELL Little Green Carpet Cleaner?

To find out more about this mini cleaning machine, I started by checking out the Amazon listing and customer reviews. The sheer volume of rave reviews there is certainly impressive! Here are a couple that caught my eye:

  • “If they had 10 stars I would give them all… this was the best purchase of the year for me. It turned my couch from disgusting to almost new.”
  • “This machine got all the dirt out, and to think I just found out about it on TikTok!!!”

So far, so good! I was intrigued, so much so that I had to buy a BISSELL Little Green Carpet Cleaner to give it a try for myself! Several of the videos and reviews I’d looked at specifically mentioned the Oxy cleaning solution, so I made sure to buy that as well. (There was a small bottle of cleaning solution included with the machine, but it wasn’t the Oxy that supposedly packs more of a punch against dirt.)

A new puppy means new messes, which is where the Bissell Little Green Machine comes in!

Testing The BISSELL Little Green Machine

After unboxing the machine and setting it up, I tested it out on a pet stain on a rug and a slightly grimy upholstered headboard. I’m pleased to report that this little cleaning machine was every bit as effective at removing stains and dirt as the videos and reviews suggested it would be!

Little though it may be, this machine cleans much more deeply than your average stain treatment. Plus, it does a great job of rinsing out the dirt and debris and cleaning solution, which means I don’t have to worry about lingering residues.

The Bissell Little Green carpet cleaner is very easy to set up and use.

How To Use The BISSELL Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner

1. Unbox And Assemble

When you first open the box, have a Phillips screwdriver handy — you’ll need it to attach the hose storage bracket after you line up the screw holes. Once you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of attaching the flex hose and inserting a few other snap-on parts. The whole assembly and setup only takes a couple of minutes!

2. Vacuum The Area

Before using the machine, it’s important to vacuum the area you wish to clean to pick up any dirt, dust, and hair that may be sitting on the surface. A few passes with your vacuum make it easy for the Little Green to draw out deep, ground-in dirt and grime.

Simply add cleaning solution to the line on the tank, then fill with hot tap water and your little green carpet machine is ready to use.

3. Add Cleaning Solution And Hot Water To The Tank

Lift the clean water tank straight up to remove it from the machine. Unscrew the black cap at the bottom of the tank, then fill the tank with cleaning solution to the indicated level. Finally, add hot tap water to the tank until the level reaches the fill line (about 48 ounces), and add an ounce of Bissell Boost, if desired.

Replace the cap on the bottom of the tank, the replace the tank back on the machine by lining up the guides with the indentations on the tank and sliding it down until it’s seated. Attach the Tough Stain Tool (the brush head and cleaning solution dispenser) to the hose.

4. Pre-Treat Stains (Optional)

For severe stains or heavily soiled areas, you can improve the effectiveness of the machine by pretreating these areas. All you have to do is hold the cleaning tool just above the stain and press the trigger to dispense the cleaning solution.

Spray the stained or soiled area thoroughly, then let it sit for about five minutes before you start cleaning. (It’s tempting to skip optional steps, but I recommend taking a few extra minutes to do this one — it really helps break down stains!)

Spray the stain to pretreat, wait five minutes, then use the brush and solution sprayer that comes with the Little Green to spray and lightly scrub the stain.

5. Clean The Area

When you’re ready to start cleaning, make sure the machine is plugged in and set it on the floor — don’t hold or carry it while you use it. Press the power button under the handle to turn the Little Green on, then press the trigger on the brush tool to dispense the cleaning solution over the area. Release the trigger and use the brush to lightly scrub stained and soiled areas.

After spraying and scrubbing, apply pressure to the Tough Stain Tool and pull it toward you to extract the cleaning solution and loosened dirt. The suction is surprisingly powerful, and it’s oddly satisfying to watch the dark, murky water zoom through the hose and into the reservoir.

6. Extract Excess Water

Once you’re satisfied that the area is clean, make a final pass over the area to extract any remaining moisture from your carpet or upholstery. Just press the brush tool down and pull it toward you without pressing the trigger — the goal here is to remove excess liquid not add more! Continue until water stops collecting in the dirty water reservoir.

I highly recommend the Bissell Little Green for anyone who has carpets and/or upholstery stains now and then.

7. Empty And Store The Machine

When you’re finished using the machine, rinse out both tanks and the brush attachment before replacing them. Wrap the flex hose around the machine and snap it into its clips, then wind the cord around the cord holders on the back of the machine.

Cleaning the machine before putting it away will not only ensure that it’s clean and ready to use again, but it will help prevent musty odors (or worse) from developing in the tanks or other areas of the machine.

To pretreat a stain, simply hold the sprayer above the stain and press the trigger.

More Helpful Tips For Using The Little Green Machine Carpet Cleaner

  • After cleaning a high traffic area, lay a clean, dry towel over the the damp spot to help protect it from the dirty shoes of anyone who accidentally steps on it.
  • Spilled wax, grease, or ink on your carpet? You may need to treat those carpet stains before using the Little Green.
  • If there’s a lot of cleaning solution left in the clean water tank after using the machine, you can leave it in the tank for future use. 
  • When emptying the dirty water tank, dump it out in your toilet or sink, then rinse with warm water before putting it back.
  • Before using the machine on upholstery, take a look at the stuffing or filling — dark-colored stuffing may discolor the fabric when it gets damp.
  • To avoid dirty water drips, place the entire machine over (or in) your sink before removing the dirty water tank to empty it.
  • If the dirty water is really dirty, you may want to dump it outside rather than down a drain to prevent plumbing issues.
The Bissell Little Green makes short work of pet stains.

More Bissell Green Machine Carpet Cleaners

In addition to Bissell’s Little Green machine, they now offer other models with additional features, including the Little Green HydroSteam Pet, Little Green Cordless (sounds handy for cars and boats!), Little Green ProHeat, and Little Green Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaners. I haven’t personally tried any of these new models, but if they’re anything like the original, I’m sure they’re just as effective for spot-cleaning rugs, carpets, and more.

The Bissell Little Green is so small and light it's easy to store and super easy to use.

The Last Word Of My Bissell Little Green Review

To sum things up, the BISSELL Little Green Carpet Cleaner is an effective, lightweight, and compact cleaning machine, and I’m already looking forward to testing it on other surfaces! It’s easy to carry, set up, and use, making it an ideal solution for cleaning carpeted stairs, furniture upholstery, car upholstery and car mats, boat carpets, and more.

If you frequently find yourself cleaning spills and stubborn stains on your carpet or upholstery, this little machine is a great tool for the job!

Do you have a carpet cleaning machine at home, portable or otherwise?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • I was given a non working one of these many years ago when we still had our dogs. Had to purchase an (inexpensive) new pump motor to get it running. It did a fine job, but some years later the pump motor rusted out nda died. No idea if Bissell ever managed to correct the water intrusion issue into the pump motor area or not.Now for spot cleaning we just bite the bullet and pull out the full size machine and use the spot attachment on it (also a Bissell).

  • I’ve used Spot Shot carpet cleaner . I used the one in the can. They do have a formula for pet stains. I never used it with our last Cat. Most steins I could easily dab with a baby wipe or cleaning rag.

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