My Bissell Steam Cleaner Smells Like It's Burning

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The Bissell steam cleaner uses hot water and steam to clean and sanitize hard floors and other hard surfaces. Since the cleaner does not need chemicals or cleaning agents to remove germs and bacteria, the device can be considered an environmentally friendly option and can be useful for those with chemical sensitivities or allergies. While the cleaner should operate well with few difficulties, if the unit starts smelling as if something is burning, some investigation is needed.


Water Tank

The Bissell steam cleaner may have a burning smell if the device is operated without water in the tank. While the lack of steam from the nozzle should alert users to the fact that something is amiss, some may try to continue to operate the machine before checking the tank. To refill the water tank, lift the tank up and out of the cleaner base, and then unscrew the cap. Take the cap and the cap insert out and fill the water tank with clean, cold water and replace the insert and the cap firmly. Set the water tank back on the cleaner base and make sure the tank is firmly positioned before resuming use.


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Power Supply

Although the steam cleaner is a fairly simple machine that does not require excessive amounts of power, Bissell recommends the use of a 120-volt grounded outlet. If the power cord on the steam cleaner is not fully connected to the power outlet or if the power outlet is less than 120 volts, the appliance may overheat and smell as if there is burning during use.


Blocked Spray Nozzle

Since the steam cleaner is used to clean a variety of hard surfaces, debris or residue can clog the steam nozzle and block the steam from exiting. Attempting to force the steam cleaner to dispense steam through a blocked nozzle can make the unit overheat, and a burning smell can result. The nozzle can be cleaned once the unit is disconnected from power. Simply remove the swivel head from the base of the cleaner and pour vinegar through the tube in the center of the swivel neck. If the vinegar does not flow through the nozzle, use a paper clip to clean out the brass spray tip carefully.



Unfortunately, sometimes a burning smell indicates a problem with the electrical system in the steam cleaner, however basic the system may be, or an electrical short in the power cord. If troubleshooting efforts do not resolve the burning smell, discontinue use and contact Bissell for assistance.


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