Skip to Content

How to Deep Clean your Steam Cleaner for Pet Owners

Sharing is caring!

How to deep clean your pet steam cleaner.

How to deep clean your Bissell steam cleaner- for pet owners.

I’m not sure how dirty a steam cleaner gets if you don’t have pets (or long hair), but we’ve got two dogs, me with long hair, and two toddlers so ours gets absolutely filthy very quickly. It’s nice to take some time and do a good job cleaning these machines out. We do a basic cleaning after every use- which is why I try to do most of the house in one go. If you do a good job maintaining your machine then hopefully it will last longer and work better for you. My main “thing” is sewing and the one thing sewing has taught me is that maintaining machines is VITAL for keeping them in working order.

Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.

  • Time
  • Bissell Pet Steam Cleaner
  • Toothbrush 
  • Screwdriver
  • Long stick (I used spare kebab stick which was a bit too thick to get all the way in, but it did a decent job)
  • Big sink (I used my kitchen sink. You could try a shower, but it’d be helpful to have a sprayer that comes off if you do that). 


I’m going to start with my normal cleaning process, then I’ll get into even deeper cleaning.

Unplug your machine. Remove the tank of dirty water and the guard in the front of your cleaner. For our Bissell Pet steam cleaner, you just turn the little black knobs on the top and it pops right off. In the picture below, I’ve removed the brushes too but ignore that for now- that’s the DEEP deep cleaning portion.

Pour out the dirty water and rinse.

Taking apart your steam cleaner to clean it out.
When you remove the top from the tank, you’ll notice  the red trap grabs a lot of the hair. Remove that and dispose. I make sure to rinse out the dirty and “clean” portions of this tank. I also make sure the top is cleaned thoroughly. I use a thin kabob stick to push through any of the thin areas that have hair stuck- NOTE I do not use this near the inner tank because I don’t want to tear it.

I take the shield and use the kabob stick again, along with running hot water, to push the hair through. Dispose of hair. This is such gross work, but I find it really satisfying, haha. 

Once you’re done this, you’ve got the typical every use cleaning taken care of.

Cleaning out the tank and shield on the steam cleaner.   Cleaning out the tank and shield on the steam cleaner.

STOP HERE if you don’t have four hands available and don’t need to deep, deep clean. We’ve only taking this part off ONCE (today for writing this) and we’ve had the machine for a year or two. You can do some of this cleaning without removing this piece, but it’s much easier if you remove the screws. But it did take my husband and I working together to get it back together correctly.

If you don’t want to remove the screws, you can still use a toothbrush to get into some of the hard to reach areas and pull out any hair that’s gotten stuck if it’s easy to reach.

FIRST, take a photo or mental image of how this is put together. You’ll need to remember how to put it back together after!

Then you can screw the screws on either side of the brushes. Pop out the black end pieces and save the screws somewhere safe. Make sure not to lose the bands- those are important and make the brushes spin to clean your carpet. I rinsed the black pieces out, then I soaked the brushes in the sink.

I used a toothbrush to clean the brushes thoroughly and pull off any hair or grossness.
Taking apart the cleaner for deep cleaning.

I also used a toothbrush to clean all of the harder to reach areas in the front of the vacuum where the brushes go. YUCK.

Use a toothbrush to get in hard to reach areas.
Clean the brushes thoroughly.

Once everything is clean, I put it all back together. My husband needed to help me put the screws back in… the bands that turn the brushes kept falling off as I tried to get it all back together so he was able to hold part of it while I got the rest. They HAVE to be in the correct position or your machine won’t work properly.

After you just replace the front shield and the tank. Done. Clean steam cleaner- just like new. Yay! I feel so satisfied after cleaning this thing!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I really appreciate the time you’ve taken. Please share, like, and pin my post if you enjoyed it. Follow me on social media and subscribe to my email list to keep up to date on all of my latest projects!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sharing is caring!