Bissell CrossWave Leaving Streaks [8 Possible Reasons!]

Is your Bissell CrossWave leaving streaks on your floors? 

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Luckily, I have an extensive list of things you can try to solve the issue 🙂 

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The various reasons why your Bissell CrossWave may be leaving dirty streaks
  • How to fix each issue and get your floors looking sparkling clean again
  • And more!

Why Your Bissell CrossWave Is Leaving Streaks

Your Bissell CrossWave can leave dirty streaks on your floors because of the type of brush roll you’re using, how much cleaning solution you put in the tank, your cleaning technique, the amount of water accumulated in the brush roll housing, the type of floor you’re cleaning, and even due to a clogged filter.

How To Stop Your CrossWave From Leaving Streaks

Since this is a very frustrating issue for Bissell CrossWave owners, I wanted to write a comprehensive guide for you guys 🙂 

Try the steps below one at a time to stop the streaks from happening. 

Test your CrossWave after completing each step and proceed to the next one if the current step did not solve the issue for you:

1. Avoid Using Your CrossWave On Waxed Or Unsealed Floors

Bissell does not recommend using their CrossWave on waxed or unsealed floors as it can cause streaks or even damage the floors. 

So, if your home is fitted with these types of floors, I recommend you do the following instead:

  • To clean waxed floors, use your Bissell CrossWave to just vacuum the surface. Then, grab a moist cloth and a PH-neutral cleaning solution to clean it. Do not use a wet mop!
  • To clean unsealed floors, use your Bissell CrossWave to just vacuum the surface. Then, mix one cup of vinegar with one gallon of water and use this natural solution to mop the floor. Make sure you do not wet the floor too much and let it dry well.

2. Correct Your Cleaning Technique

Unfortunately, your cleaning technique may also be causing the streaks on your floors. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Bissell CrossWave:

  • Don’t press the solution trigger for too long. You only need to press it for one or two seconds at a time on the forward pass.
  • Release the trigger and move the Bissell CrossWave back and forth slowly in a straight line. This will help to evenly distribute the cleaning solution and prevent streaks.
  • Make sure you are using the correct mode for the type of floor you are cleaning. Some Bissell CrossWave models (such as the CrossWave® X7 Cordless Pet Pro) have a button that allows you to switch between cleaning modes. In “Hardwood Mode,” the Bissell CrossWave dispenses less water, which may help to prevent streaks.

Here is a video showing how to correctly use your Bissell CrossWave:

3. Let Your CrossWave Suck Up The Excessive Water Stuck in The Brush Housing

When too much water accumulates within the brush housing, your CrossWave can leave streaks on the floor. 

To fix this issue, stop pressing the solution trigger altogether for a few minutes and allow the brush to dry out. 

This will help to extract any remaining moisture from inside the brush housing.

4. Adjust The Amount Of Formula You Use

Using an excessive amount of cleaning solution in your Bissell CrossWave can cause streaks on your floors. 

This is because the excess solution is not being fully picked up by the brush roll and is being left behind on the floor. 

To fix this issue, try the following:

  • Use the multi surface pet formula, which is 7x concentrated and will make the solution less “watery”
  • Use the hard floor sanitizer or wooden floor formula, which are specifically designed for those types of floors that are more prone to streaks 

5. Avoid Using A Cleaning Formula Not Made By Bissell

While you don’t necessarily have to use Bissell’s cleaning solutions, these are optimized for use in their machines. 

This means that using Bissell’s cleaning formulas will make it less likely for your CrossWave to leave streaks or leave buildup in your machine. 

If you are using a different brand of cleaning solution, consider switching to an official Bissell one, like the one below:

Alternatively, contact the manufacturer of the cleaning formula you are using and ask them to tell you exactly how much of the solution you should use. 

6. Clean The Brush Roll

If your brush roll is dirty, it may not be effectively picking up dirt and grime from your floors. This can result in streaks being left behind. 

And if hairs are tangled around the brush, this can stop your Bissell vacuum brush from spinning.

This is why Bissell recommends running a self-cleaning cycle after each use (The Bissell CrossWave Cordless MaxPet Pro X7, and the Crosswave HF3 have this feature).

Once the self-cleaning cycle is complete, you can proceed to clean the brush.

If your Bissell CrossWave model does not have a self-cleaning function, simply clean the brush roll by following these steps:

  • Remove the brush roll from the cleaning head
  • Rinse the brush roll under warm water to remove any dirt and debris
  • Allow the brush roll to dry completely before inserting it back into the cleaning head

Rinsing Bissell CrossWave brush roll

7. Clean The Filter

A dirty Bissell CrossWave filter can cause the water to become stagnant inside the vacuum and drip out through the cleaning head. 

Not only that, clogged filters can cause your Bissell vacuum to overheat and damage the machine.

Bissell recommends cleaning the filter after each use, along with cleaning the dirty water tank, right after running a self-cleaning cycle.

Here is a video showing the full “after use” maintenance process:

To remove and clean the filter:

  1. Press the release button on the dirty water tank
  2. Remove the filter from the top of the dirty water tank by pulling it up 
  3. Hand wash the filter and screen using warm water
  4. Let the filter dry up completely before placing it back into the dirty water tank

8. Swap To Hardfloor Brush Roll Instead Of Multi Surface Brush Roll

If you’re using the multi surface brush roll on a floor that is prone to streaks (such as hardwood or tile), it may be best for you to use the hardfloor brush roll. 

Although the multi surface brush roll was designed for use on both hard floors and carpets, it may sometimes not be as effective on certain types of hard floors. 

In this case, you may want to consider using the hardfloor brush roll instead. 

To switch brush rolls on your Bissell CrossWave, follow these steps:

  • Turn off and unplug your Bissell CrossWave
  • Remove the plastic cover from the vacuum head
  • Pull out the multi surface brush roll 
  • Wash the brush roll and plastic cover, then let them dry thoroughly
  • Using a clean cloth, wipe the brush roll holder and inlet
  • Take the hardfloor brush roll, put it in the holder and clip it into place
  • Place the plastic cover back on the vacuum head
The four different Bissell CrossWave brush rolls

9. Purchase a New Brush Roll

If you have tried all of the above tips and are still experiencing streaks, it may be time to buy a new brush roll. 

Over time, brush rolls can wear out and become less effective at picking up dirt and grime. 

You can find replacement brush rolls on Amazon or through Bissell’s website.

What If The Above Fixes Did Not Work?

Unfortunately, if none of the steps above helped, it is likely that your Bissell CrossWave is leaving streaks because something is broken.

Contact Bissell customer support for further assistance.

Bissell CrossWave wet-dry vacuums come with a 2-year limited warranty, which covers:

  • Free of charge repair or replacement (with new, lightly used, refurbished, or remanufactured products or components) from the date of purchase by the original purchaser for two years
  • Applies to products used for personal, and not commercial or rental service
  • Does not apply to fans or routine maintenance components such as bags,  filters, brushes, or belts
  • Does not cover damage caused by negligence, neglect, abuse, unauthorized repair or any other use not in accordance with the User’s Guide


How often should I clean my brush roll?

Bissell recommends cleaning the brush roll after each use to ensure it keeps on picking up dirt and grime effectively. In addition, Bissell advises replacing the brush roll every 6 months to maintain optimal performance, or even sooner If you use your CrossWave frequently.

Can I use any type of cleaning solution in my Bissell CrossWave?

While you can use other brands of cleaning solution in your Bissell CrossWave, I recommend you stick to Bissell’s own formulas. The official formulas are optimized for use in Bissell’s machines, making it less likely to cause streaks.

Can I use my Bissell CrossWave on waxed or unsealed floors?

You can use your CrossWave on waxed or unsealed floors, but only as a regular dry vacuum. Do not use it to wash the floors as the wet function can cause streaks and potentially damage the surface.


If you’ve been struggling with dirty streaks on your floors while using your Bissell CrossWave, hopefully this troubleshooting guide has helped you to identify the issue and find a solution. 

By using the correct brush roll, adjusting the amount of cleaning solution you use, correcting your cleaning technique, and ensuring all components of your CrossWave are clean and in good condition, you should be able to get your floors looking flawless and streak-free. 

Remember to always follow the instructions in your Bissell CrossWave manual for optimal use and care of your machine, and to contact Bissell customer support should you need any further assistance!