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Does A Bissell Crosswave Work On Carpet?

If you're looking into, or already own, a Bissell Crosswave, you may have noticed one odd thing. The company claims a variety of surfaces that the Crosswave can be used on - including vinyl, laminate, sealed wood, and tile. However, most indications are a bit vague on carpeting. It can be used on area rugs, but what about regular carpets? We've waded through all the company's official statements and checked with carpet cleaners to get an official verdict.

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The Bissell Crosswave works like a mop and vacuum. However, it's slightly different than most traditional vacuums. While it's safe to use on carpeting, you probably won't want to give up your regular vacuum altogether. These differences mean that it can vacuum dirt from the carpet, but it might not be as effective at getting out ground-in dirt. You'll still want to use your vacuum occasionally, and let the Crosswave stand in for spills and touch-ups.

Keep reading to learn more - what makes the Crosswave great for hard surfaces but not always the best choice for a vacuum? How do you use it on the carpet, and when? What cleaners can you use with the Crosswave? Finally, how does it compare to the newer Pet Pro? We'll cover all this and more, so read on!

Cleaning the room, long hair wrapped around a vacuum cleaner's turbo brush, Does A Bissell Crosswave Work On Carpet?

How The Bissell Crosswave Works

The Bissell Crosswave is marketed as a multi-surface wet/dry vac and all-purpose cleaner. It works much like a vacuum, with a microfiber brush roll that loosens dirt and grime. This microfiber roll means that it's safe for most surfaces, as opposed to a bristle brush that might scratch your floor. It can be used on linoleum, vinyl, laminate sealed wood, tile, area rugs, foam mats, and carpet.

The vacuum suctions away dirt while the spray nozzle dispenses cleaning solution. Between the solution and the brush, this tool replaces regular mopping. Better yet, it does both - the mopping and the vacuuming - simultaneously, saving you time. The system has two tanks, one for the cleaning solution and one for the dirty water. This means that you won't have to worry that you're just pushing the same dirty water around the floor.

The handle has three buttons, making it fairly easy to operate. On top are two buttons to select either the hard floor or rug settings. Also on the handle is a trigger button. When squeezed, this sprays the cleaner, allowing you to use as much - or as little - solution as you need.

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How To Use Bissell Crosswave On Carpet

The Bissell Crosswave does work on regular carpeting. However, the recommended cleaning solution is ideal for synthetic carpeting. It may not be safe for natural material, like silk or wool. Always spot test a small area first. Also, be aware that the Crosswave doesn't use a bristle brush, which can dig deep into the carpet to loosen dirt. While it's fine for touch-ups, you will probably still want to occasionally run a true vacuum over large areas of carpeting.

The Crosswave's biggest challenge, when used as a vacuum, is the inability to dig up ground-in dirt and pet hair. The microfiber brush is easy to clean and safe on most surfaces. You won't have to worry about grime and hair getting tangled in the brush like a roller, but bristle rollers just have a certain edge on getting deep into the carpet. This is probably why the company doesn't promote it as a carpet cleaner, though they do say it's safe on carpeting.

Cleaning the room, long hair wrapped around a vacuum cleaner's turbo brush

Can The Bissell Crosswave Be Used As A Dry Vacuum?

Right in the title, the Crosswave labels itself to be a wet/dry vacuum. For a lightweight vacuum at only 11.5 pounds, it has a surprising amount of suction. It can clean up spills and messes with no problem. While it can't always get to the deep, ground-in dirt, it's got more than enough power to lift up surface spills.

Can I Use Vinegar And Water In My Bissell Crosswave?

Technically, Bissell recommends that you only use their special cleaning formulas. If your Crosswave is still under warranty, using any other cleaners can void the warranty. Their blends are safe on all surfaces that you can use a Crosswave on. Your own personal cleaner may not be - for example, bleach isn't safe on a porous material like wood. 

Vinegar, like bleach, isn't always safe. It can also discolor natural stone tiles. However, vinegar is great for cleaning carpets. It's also safe on hardwood if you use it in a very dilute amount. Limit it to about five teaspoons of vinegar in the 28 ounce Crosswave tank.

Can I Use Laundry Detergent In My Bissell Crosswave?

Using laundry detergent in the Crosswave is a bit tricky. The biggest issue is the foam. Laundry detergent can produce a lot of foam, which doesn't always translate well as a carpet cleaner.

Too much foam can prevent the Crosswave from being able to spray and dispense cleaner properly. Even if you manage to get it out, it can leave behind a residue that dulls your hard floors. And in carpeting, it can be impossible to rinse out.

Then, once you're done, there is always the risk that the detergent gunks up or clogs the working pieces in the Crosswave. For example, if the dry detergent residue plugs up the spray nozzle, it might be difficult to get your Crosswave cleaned and working again.

If you really feel like you must use laundry detergent, definitely only use a liquid detergent marked HE (high efficiency). These produce the least foam. And be sure to thoroughly clean out the machine after. Rinse both the dirty and clean water tanks well. Remove the brush cover and brush, and rinse thoroughly in warm water. Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe down the brush compartment, and spray nozzle.

Floor washing with detergent bubbles

What Is The Difference Between Bissell Crosswave and Crosswave Pet Pro?

There are only a few differences between the Crosswave and Crosswave Pet Pro. However, these differences can be significant. First of all, the tank in the Pet Pro is twice as big. This extra size tank means you can cover all of your surfaces without having to stop to add more cleaner. 

Secondly, the dirty water tank has a special strainer for pet hair. This means you won't have to reach in to manually pull out clumps of hair. If you're squeamish about this sort of thing, that alone may be worth it. The strainer also helps prevent accidentally tossing the hair into the sink when you rinse, a mistake that could interfere with your plumbing if you aren't careful.

In Closing

A Bissell Crosswave is safe to use on carpeting, though it may not clean your carpets as well as a standard bristled brush vacuum. The microfiber brush is safe for multiple surfaces but may not dig up the deepest, ground-in dirt. Still, it's an effective way to vacuum up surface spills and dry messes. It's convenient to touch up the carpet in a pinch, especially if you are already cleaning your hard floors.

The Crosswave simultaneously mops and vacuums linoleum, vinyl, laminate, sealed wood, tile, area rugs, carpet, and foam mats. If you only have carpet to clean, however, you'll probably get a more efficient clean with a traditional vacuum.

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