I love testing out new things! Recently the folks at Bissel sent several of us Walmart Moms their new Symphony All-In-One Vacuum and Steam Mop (for sale at Walmart for $198.96).
The Frugal Village Homestead is an old turn of the century home. I can’t really say Victorian, because there is a certain ornateness that is missing–but it’s a big, classic, old fashioned home with plenty of gorgeous wood trim, the beautiful wood staircase (which the insurance adjustor told us “if it was ever destroyed you couldn’t ever afford to replace it!”). . . and hardwood floors throughout. Seriously–in the 3000 square feet our master bedroom has wall to wall carpeting, and the kitchen and bathrooms have vinyl. Everything else is hardwood.
If you imagine that I live in this beautiful perfect house you are fooling yourself. I really don’t like cleaning and my house is usually about 2 steps away from utter chaos. Any day of the week you are likely to find dirt tracked in from the garden, fluff-balls of dog hair in the corners and crumbs under the dining room table. We sweep and vacuum the area rugs with some regularity, but pulling out the mop and bucket or the old style steam mop was just too much of a pain. So I was very interested to see how the Bissel Symphony would work out–if it could vacuum up the light stuff I usually swept, and mop at the same time. . . well, it just sounded too good to be true.
Straight out of the box the unit was pretty simple. There were only two pieces to snap together. Not only that–but there was a handy label on the side of the machine telling you how to get started! The unit turns on the steam (either low or high) and the vacuum separately–so if you only wanted to use one feature you could. It has an adjustable handle, which is nice, and a dust cup with “dry” technology to collect just the dirt from the vacuuming and not get it all wet from the steaming.
To add your water you just flip down a little section on the back of the unit. I liked the design–the part that flips down is also a channel for the water with quite deep sides–so you can easily pour into it and aren’t trying to aim the water down some small hole at an odd angle or anything. The little measuring cup comes with the machine :) Right below the spot you add the water is a see through section where you can easily see how much water is in the unit. When it’s time to remove your cleaning pad (there are two washable ones included–one plain, one with extra scrubbing power)–you simply step on the tab and lift the rest of the machine off. Then you peel the pad off using the large tab. Very easy. Finally the dust cup is simple to empty–you just push a lever and the refuse falls into your trashcan.
How does it work? Really well! As you can see in the photo it sucked up all the dirt and left a nice streak free finish that dried quickly (I used the “low steam” on my wood floors). It’s a tad bit different to use than a regular vacuum. The suction part is in front of the microfiber pad–so when you push forward the debris is sucked in before the pad passes over that spot. However when you pull the unit back towards you, the microfiber pad is blowing steam and dragging over the dirt before the vacuum has a chance to suck it in. So you have to push forward across a dirty area, bring the unit back along the same line, and then push forward again to a new spot. No big deal–just different.
Once I took my pretty before and after photos in the front entry, I decided to give the Symphony my version of the ultimate workout. The disgusting kitchen floor. It gets swept pretty regularly–pretty much because it has to be. The amount of dirt that is tracked in both from people and dog coming in the kitchen door (which is our main entrance) or coming up from the basement, plus the amount of food that is dropped while cooking and cleaning up. . . let’s just say it’s a lot.
After using the Symphony (I used the high steam this time) my kitchen laminate floor looked better than it had in a long, long time. But the pad was really, really dirty. I’d like to get another pad or two–that way I could do a thorough job downstairs without having to stop and wash the pad.
All in all I’m extremely pleased with this machine!
- Easy-touch digital controls allow for a seamless switch between functions to match the cleaning power that is needed for every mess
- Moisture won’t build up in the tank while cleaning thanks to Dry-Tank Technology
- The bottom empty dirt bin and washable vacuum filters keep the system clean and running at peak performance
- Filling the water tank is simple with an easy-fill opening, the large capacity means there’s no need to stop and refill in the middle of cleaning
- Designed with a Quick Release Mop Pad Tray, you can easily change out your mop pad
- Bissell microfiber mop pads are infused with microban to help eliminate odor causing bacteria
- 2-year limited warranty
- Model# 1132