Bissell CrossWave Multi-Surface Cleaning System Review - Hard floor and carpet cleaning Review

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We began testing in the kitchen over a large area of laminate flooring. As Bissell boasts that the CrossWave can even clear up a dropped bowl of cereal, we really wanted to put it to the test. We followed the instructions, used hot tap water and the supplied fluid in the clean water tank, and primed the system by holding the solution spray trigger for 10 seconds before cleaning.

Machines of this size are never going to be a peaceful piece of kit, so we really weren’t surprised that the CrossWave came in at a fairly rowdy 84-85dB. That is the sort of volume you would hear near a busy road. Not a deal breaker in our eyes though and very normal for a powerful floor cleaner.

A mix of milk, oats and a slight hint of panic were poured over the floor. Much to our surprise one pass forward over the area gave us a spectacular cleaning result and not a single oat or milk splatter remained. Pulling back, the vacuuming action further dried the area. In our summer, warm-weather testing the entire floor was dry in just minutes after cleaning. Given that laminate floor will suffer spills badly if too much fluid gets into the joins, the Bissell’s efficient cleaning and dry results are a real bonus.

The next challenge was the tiled floor in the conservatory where the dogs love to moult fluff and imprint muddy pooch paws after walks. The CrossWave continued to impress with exceptional cleaning performance on the tiles, sucking in mud, pet-hairs and general debris as well as washing, buffing and drying the floor. For pet homes with hard floors, we could easily see the CrossWave being primed and ready to go daily.

Low weight and flexible neck give the Bissell Crosswave very good manoeuvrability

Its overall performance is also enhanced but its light weight and superb manoeuvrability, quite unlike traditional bulky floor cleaners. It’s 5.2kg weight fully loaded with clean water is a fraction of a full-size carpet shampooer and it nips around with the alacrity of a stick-vacuum over hard floors. Navigating around table legs is easy and the body drops down to get under low obstacles. Over carpet, there is more resistance to overcome as the pile slows the wheels and the suction tends to grip the pile, but it remains relatively easy on the arm on any floor.

Bissell boasts that the CrossWave can be used to revitalise rugs and low-pile carpets rather than offer the deep-clean of its bigger carpet-specific models. That discounted our usual red-wine spill test. The same well-worn and well-used rug was looking a little dirty with a few crumbs and pet hairs dotted around so we gave it a once over with the CrossWave.

In terms of revitalising the rug, the CrossWave managed the cleaning equivalent of CPR bringing the dirty old pile back to life. It looked cleaner, smelt fresher and the hard debris had all been vacuumed up into the dirty tank. Feeling the surface afterwards, the rug wasn’t soaked but left slightly damp. Running the CrossWave over the rug again, this time without adding the cleaning solution, made it dryer still. Within an hour or so it was all but fully dry and good to walk on. A great result all round.

After these challenges, the roller brush was looking grim, with dirt, pet hairs and some carpet fibres entwined in the brushes and pads. Using the supplied tray, the self-cleaning regime was something of an instant triumph. The clean water in the tray disappears quickly, leaving the brush bar looking very clean through the clear front cover in 15 or so seconds. We reckon longer hairs might need some manual intervention for brushbar cleaning, but overall the self-clean works well.

Over the course of a few weeks testing, we found the best results were obtained on carpets with warm-to-hot water in the tank. Filling up from the hot tap is ideal as it both improved cleaning and further sped up drying.

Emptying the dirty water tank is easy enough if not pleasant. Turning out a mix of brown sludgy water, milk, oats, hairs and crumbs is never going to be a pretty job. We first poured the liquid down the sink while trying to stop the other debris and hairs from coming out and blocking the drain. The latter we then fished out by hand and threw in the bin. A dedicated sieve might be handy for this although those with a waste macerator in the sink need not be so cautious.

Mess and tricky emptying aside, we couldn’t help but be impressed with the CrossWave’s all-around cleaning abilities. Over a variety of hard floors and carpet cleaning tasks, it’s wet cleaning, effective brush-bar scrubbing action and powerful vacuum do a superb cleaning job and leave any surface almost dry afterwards.

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