Does A Bissell Crosswave Work on Carpet?

If you've been checking out the Bissell Crosswave, you might be a bit confused. It's labeled as a wet/dry vacuum, but the company never seems to say "for use on carpets." So what's up with that? We've researched the company's specs to find out if a Bissell Crosswave works on carpet?

The Bissell Crosswave does work on carpet. It's perfectly safe and great for small touchups and quick cleans. However, it doesn't work as a traditional vacuum - so it may not be as effective as you'd expect. 

Keep reading, and we'll explain precisely why it isn't like other vacuums. We'll cover just what makes it different and how that can affect your results. Plus, we'll help you decide if it's the right tool for you or if you're better off with a different kind of carpet cleaner.

A high powered vacuum used in cleaning the carpet, Does A Bissell Crosswave Work on Carpet?

Can You Use Bissell Crosswave To Vacuum Carpet?

You can safely use a Bissell Crosswave to vacuum your carpet. But the company doesn't promote it for use on carpet, just area rugs. It turns out there's a good reason.

While the Crosswave is a vacuum, it's ideal for tile, sealed wood, laminate, and other similar surfaces. It vacuums up light messes, but it doesn't have the force of a heavy-duty vacuum. It can clean light messes off the carpeting, but it's going to have a hard time with ground-in dirt.

It's not a carpet cleaner [and not marketed as one]. If you want to run it over small sections of carpet while mopping your hard floors, this is the all-in-one tool for you. But if you have young kids or several big, hairy dogs, it's unlikely to meet your needs. This is primarily because it doesn't use a traditional bristle brush, like most vacuums.

Dirty black sandals stepping on the clean carpet

Bissell Crosswave Carpet Brush

The Bissell Crosswave uses a microfiber and nylon carpet brush roller. This makes it perfect for hard floors since the roller loosens dirt without scratching.

Most vacuums use bristle brushes. These can get further into the carpet fibers and work up the ground-in dirt for a more efficient clean. However, they're not great for many hard surfaces, as those bristles can scratch the flooring.

Inverted cleaning robot showing its brushes

If you only have small areas of carpeting that aren't heavily used, the Bissel Crosswave carpet brush can do a good enough job to meet your needs. Just vacuum regularly so that the dirt can't "sink" too far into the carpet before you try to extract it.

However, if you have lots of pet hair to collect, you probably need bristles. Similarly, a busy household with lots of feet tracking dirt in and out all day may realize that they're vacuuming all day just to keep up.

Bissell has started offering a new add-on brush roller that's designed for carpets. If you typically like your Crosswave but need something tougher for the carpets once in a while, this might be enough. With bristles, this style can dig a bit deeper.

Click here to see this brush roller on Amazon.

Bissell Crosswave vs. Carpet Cleaner

The Bissell Crosswave is a collection of vacuums. Various models include the Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro, Cordless Max, and the standard Floor and Carpet Cleaner.

The specifics vary, depending on which model you're comparing. However, all offer fairly strong suction and fast rotating brushes. For example. the Crosswave Floor Cleaner has a brush that moves at more than 3000 RPMs.

This fast speed helps move a lot of dirt - but it still isn't the same as a traditional carpet cleaner. No matter how clean your carpet looks, "invisible dirt" is still left behind. For example, pollen or dead skin cells.

According to Bissell, your carpet might hold as much as a pound of these "hidden soils" per square foot. This will speed up the wear and tear on the carpet. It takes regular washing to remove this dirt, preventing carpet damage.

This is, of course, where a carpet cleaner comes in. Without the same deep-reaching bristles, the Bissell Crosswave doesn't wash the layers of the carpeting as efficiently.

It can remove surface dirt and even get out new stains that are still near the "top" of the carpeting. But to clean the entire carpet, even deep down, you still need a carpet cleaner.

Using a high powered vacuum in cleaning the carpet

Bissell Crosswave Carpet Cleaning Solution

Like most companies, Bissell Crosswave markets its own brand of carpet cleaning solution. This helps prevent damage to the machine, like too much foam caused by a homemade solution. Similarly, it's easy for an amateur to use the wrong materials and damage the floor.

For cleaning carpets only, find the solution labeled "area rug cleaner." It's safe for any carpet. Keep in mind that the Crosswave isn't a deep-carpet cleaner in the first place.

Or, you can pick up one of their multi-surface cleaners. It will list "area rugs" as one of the uses, which means that it's fine for your carpeting as well.

Click here to see this Bissell Crosswave solution on Amazon.

If your Crosswave is still under warranty, keep in mind that using another solution can void that warranty. As a result, you may want to follow the manufacturer's directions and save yourself some trouble.

But if you're not worried about that, then there are lots of "unofficial" solutions that are perfectly safe for cleaning floors. To avoid ruining any parts of the machine, be careful to clean the machine thoroughly when you're all done.

Rinse out both water tanks well. Take out the brush cover and brush, rinsing both in warm water. Wipe down the spray nozzle and brush compartment as well.

Diluted Bleach

Bleach is a useful disinfectant but not the most effective cleaner. It's very harsh, so use it carefully. Avoid getting it on your hands or breathing it in.

Also, keep in mind that bleach should never be used on porous surfaces like wood. Stick to sheet vinyl, which won't absorb the bleach and discolor.

Mix a ratio of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. The Crosswave tank, which holds 28 ounces, is about five teaspoons.


When used for floors, vinegar uses the same proportions as bleach. Mix 5 teaspoons into the 28-ounce Crosswave tank.

Vinegar is safe for more surfaces than bleach, making it easier to work with. You can even use it on most kinds of carpets!

Still, stay away from natural carpet fibers like silk. Don't use it on marble, granite, or unsealed floors.  It's also not appropriate for grout or waxed floors, as it can break them down. Use it lightly on wooden flooring for the same reason.

Other Cleaners

Cleaning materials on a white background

If there's another cleaner you prefer, you can probably use it in the Crosswave as well. Remember, you can void the warranty doing so - so be cautious.

Make sure it's safe for the surface. If you've never used it before, test a small area first.

Some people like to mix laundry detergent. The biggest obstacle here is the foam. It can damage the carpet or clog up the parts of the Bissell Crosswave, ruining it for future use.

Washing the carpet using an orbital washer

If you want to try laundry detergent, stick to an HE [high efficiency] kind. This produces less foam and is less likely to jam up the spray nozzle.

Be sure to reduce the chance of problems by thoroughly cleaning the machine when you're done.

In Conclusion


The Bissell Crosswave uses a microfiber and nylon brush to clean the floors. This doesn't have long bristles to agitate the dirt from deep in the carpet. While you can use it on carpeted floors, it won't do as much to get heavy dirt from deep below the surface out.

This special brush is great for hard flooring surfaces, as it can clean efficiently with no risk of scratching. If you want something to mop your floors and run over the carpet while you're at it, this is a great all-in-one tool. However, if your home has lots of thick, plush carpeting, this probably won't be able to replace a standard vacuum.

Similarly, if pets or people are tracking in heavy amounts of dirt, this probably just isn't going to be able to get as deep of a clean as you need.

If you enjoyed this article, try reading:

Does A Floor Steamer Clean Carpets?

Can You Use Carpet Shampooer On Hard Floors?

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