How to use Bissell CrossWave – operation, maintenance and troubleshooting explained

Learn how to use Bissell CrossWave to clean rugs as well as carpeted and hardwood flooring around the home

A Bissell Crosswave 3-in-1 hard floor, carpet and rug cleaner in living room
(Image credit: Bissell)

Wondering how to use Bissell CrossWave? If you can't afford a separate carpet, area rug and hard floor cleaner because of budget or space constraints – this 3-in-1 machine is just the thing for you.

If you're stuck between buying one of the best vacuum cleaners and best mops, the volume of vacs and mops can be overwhelming. So this appliance can clean up the decision-making process if you have carpeted, tiled, laminate or wooden surfaces underfoot.

Already bought this machine but lost the instructions? Manuals can be a minefield of gibberish as it is. But if you've misplaced your paper pamphlet, you might be perplexed when it comes to how to use the Bissell CrossWave. 

So we spoke to the cleaning experts who gave us an easy-to-follow explainer on how to use this multi-functional device. So you don't have to cry over spilled milk... or anything else that needs cleaning up.

How to use Bissell CrossWave

We've set out a comprehensive guide to using a Bissell CrossWave which includes how to put together the product straight out of the packaging and how to use Bissell CrossWave to clean all types of flooring.

So whether you want to know how to clean a carpet with one of the best carpet cleaners available to buy on Amazon, or want to make stains vanish when cleaning vinyl flooring – look no further as our all-encompassing advice is covers everything under one roof.

And while this tutorial touches on how to use a Bissell CrossWave that plugs into a mains socket, our Bissell CrossWave cordless max review covers the pros and cons of the wireless version.

What is the Bissell CrossWave?

'The Bissell CrossWave vacuums and washes floors at the same time.' says Lara Brittain, kitchen expert, Currys.

'The CrossWave washes floors by using a revolutionary cleaning solution (Multi Surface Floor Cleaning Formula). It’s dual action multi-surface brush roll uses microfiber to mop floors while nylon bristles scrub and pick up any dust or debris.'

'The SmartClean fingertip control, which is located on the handle of the Bissell CrossWave, allows the right amount of formula to be dispensed for whatever surface is getting cleaned. In addition to this, the Two-Tank technology cleans consistently with a clean fresh solution while recovering dirty water and dust/debris from the floor which is being cleaned.'

'Once finished using the Bissell CrossWave, just pour out the dirty tank contents for a quick clean-up! To thoroughly clean the product after using it, simply use the storage tray on the device, which allows you to clean the brush roll (located at the bottom of the CrossWave).

'For easy maintenance of the product, the Bissell CrossWave also includes an easy remove brush window on the device and a removable brush roll for convenient cleaning on other surfaces.'

How to assemble your Bissell CrossWave

When buying a Bissell CrossWave, you may be surprised to see that it comes part assembled and you'll need to fit a few parts together to get it ready for use. But the good thing is that you don't have to be a specialist to prepare your wet and dry vacuum cleaner for operation. All it takes is three quick and easy steps to set it up.

How to:

  1. Start by sliding the handle into the body until it clicks.
  2. Fill your clean water tank with the desired amount of water.
  3. Slide the tank into the back of your machine until you hear a click.

A woman wearing light grey jumper and grey denim jeans demonstrating how to use a BISSELL Crosswave 3-in-1 carpet, rug and hard floor cleaner

(Image credit: BISSELL)

Using a Bissell CrossWave

  1. To start the machine, plug it into the mains socket, then choose either the Hard Floor or Rug setting.
  2. Recline your machine and the brush roll will start spinning.
  3. Hold the trigger for ten seconds to prime your machine with water and cleaning solution. Your CrossWave is now ready to start cleaning.
  4. When you are done cleaning, the Easy Clean Storage Tray lets you easily store your product between uses and serves as a method for cleaning and drying the product.
  5. Assembling the Easy Clean Tray is easy too. Simply line up the arrows for each piece and simply slide the Storage Tray into the Drying Tray.

How to clean a Bissell CrossWave

Rather helpfully, you shouldn't need to get your hands dirty when learning how to clean a Bissell CrossWave. This is because the brand's designers have created a tray which works as a self-cleaning unit and a storage solution.

Via video demonstration, and with the steps outlined, cleaning your cleaner couldn't be easier.

You will need:

  • A Bissell CrossWave machine
  • Water
  • Paper towel or clean, dry cloth

How to:

  1. To clean your Bissell CrossWave machine, place it onto the storage tray.
  2. Pour water into the Bissell CrossWave storage tray, filling up to the link showing the maximum amount of water allowed.
  3. Turn on your Bissell CrossWave machine by pressing the Hard Floor button.
  4. Recline your Bissell CrossWave machine backwards while in the storage tray. Let the machine run for 10 to 15 seconds until all the water is picked up.Then unplug the cord from the outlet.
  5. If any moisture is left over in the Bissell CrossWave storage tray from cleaning, wipe it dry with a paper towel or cloth.
  6. Remove the Bissell CrossWave brush roll window by grabbing the front and pulling up.
  7. Put the brush roll upright onto the Brush Roll Drying Tray to let it dry. Then reinsert the Bissell CrossWave brush roll
  8. Then lock the pull tab into place by pressing downward.
  9. Reinsert the brush roll window by lining up the tabs with the edges of the foot.
  10. Push the brush roll window back into place until you hear a click. Your CrossWave is now clean and ready to use again.

How to wash the brush roll and chamber

If you don't have a storage brush tray, there is another way you can clean your brush roll and chamber. This alternative method is a little more hands-on, but delivers satisfactory results as you can physically hold the component to inspect it of any dirt and debris.

'After using a Bissell CrossWave, it's recommended you clean the appliance thoroughly. This includes the removable brush roll, brush window and the brush chamber,' says Daniela, group brand manager, Bissell.

You will need:

  • Warm water
  • Paper towel or clean, dry cloth

How to:

  1. Make sure your machine is turned off and unplugged from an outlet.
  2. Grab the front of the brush roll window and pull upward to remove it.
  3. Remove the brush roll by grabbing the brush roll tab, and pulling up.
  4. To clean both the brush roll and brush roll window, rinse each under warm water.
  5. The brush roll chamber can get dirty too, make sure to wipe it with a paper towel or cloth to clean.
  6. Let your brush roll and brush roll window dry before you reassemble them.
  7. Once dry, place the brush roll back into your machine by inserting the brush roll end into the right side of the foot. 
  8. Then press down on the other end until it locks into place under the tab.
  9. The brush roll window can now be replaced by lining up the tabs on the edges of the foot.
  10. Then you can push the brush roll window back into place until you hear a click.

What to do if Bissell CrossWave brush isn't turning?

If your Bissell CrossWave brush stops working in the middle of cleaning, it's likely that there's an obstruction. We spoke to Constantine who shares her 3-step guide on how to fix the problem fast so you can get back to cleaning a floor in your home without any issues.

How to:

  1. Unplug your machine to reset the brush.
  2. While unplugged, remove the brush window and brush roll from your machine, by pulling the tab.
  3. Take out the obstruction that was causing the machine to stop working.
  4. Once the obstruction is removed, you may reassemble the brush roll and brush window.

How to empty the dirty water tank

As satisfying as it is to see fresh tap water go from clean to dirty – you do need to clean the tank ever so often. Murky or muddy water contains bacteria, so if left to sit, this water may smell and harbor germs which can become harmful in the home.

How to:

  • To remove the vessel, grab the handle in front of the dirty water tank and press down on the release button.
  • Grasp the top of the tank and pull up to remove it.
  • Empty the dirty water into a sink, then rinse your tank
  • Remove the filter from the top of the tank by pulling up.
  • Hand wash the filter and screen using warm water
  • Then rinse the float, located on the bottom of the dirty water bin's top.
  • If the inside area where the dirty water tank sits is dirty, wipe it clean with a rag or towel.
  • Leave the parts out to dry before reassembling.
  • Once dry, place the vacuum filter back into the dirty water tank top.
  • Then replace the top of the dirty water tank.
  • To replace the dirty water tank, insert the bottom first at an angle and push into place until you hear a click

What to do if there's too much water coming from your CrossWave

Your Bissell CrossWave uses a combination of water and one of the best cleaning detergents to remove dirt, debris and stains from your floor. But too much water can leave your floor saturated with water, and also cause some flooring types to swell (which can damage it, and/or cause it to rot).

To prevent this from happening, we asked Constantine to provide her three top tips to so that you use the right amount of liquid to lift refuse and waste material from your floor.

  • Make sure you don't prime the system for cleaning for longer than 10 seconds.
  • If you find your floors are wetter than you like, release the spray trigger to help recover excess water and dry your floors faster.
  • The clean water tank may also be leaking. Check the cap of the tank and make sure it is secure and leak free.

How to stop your CrossWave from streaking your floor

There's nothing more frustrating than streaky surfaces when you're trying to clean your floors. But, the good thing is that troubleshooting this issue to stop lines from appearing on your floor's surface is easier than you think.

Constantine shares her top four tips to avoid these bands from appearing for a spotless finish.

  • You might not be using enough fresh cleaning solution when cleaning – check you're using an ample amount.
  • Make sure to hold the trigger to leave an even finish on your floor.
  • Streaking can also occur if you use too much water during passes.
  • After making wet passes, release the trigger to go over the wet area without spraying. This will help dry floors faster.

How to fix loss of suction on your CrossWave

How to:

  1. Unplug and check to see if your clean tank is seated properly.
  2. Also, remove the dirty water tank and make sure there are no clogs in the hose below it.
  3. Remove the filter and clean both the screen and filter of any build up or debris and empty the tank before replacing it.
  4. Next, remove brush roll window by pulling up, and remove the brush by pulling up on the black tab.
  5. Check for any build up or clogs in the area leading up to the tank and remove.
  6. Check the brush for any build up of hair or string, and replace by putting the right side in first and lock the left side in by pushing down.
  7. Lastly, secure the brush window by inserting the tabs on the front and pressing down into place until you hear a click.

So there you have it. If you haven't yet purchased a Bissell CrossWave, it's worth noting that buying one can work out cheaper than hiring a carpet cleaning machine. How do we know? Because we've looked into how much it costs to rent a carpet cleaner.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.