Why Does My Bissell CrossWave Smell? (Here’s the Fix)

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The Bissell CrossWave keeps the cleaning solution and dirty water separate to make sure you are always cleaning with fresh water and formula. However, the machine can sometimes become smelly.

So, why does a Bissell CrossWave smell or stink?

A Bissell CrossWave can smell if you don’t empty the contents of the dirty water tank. As dirty water gets pushed through the filter, it will become gross and stinky. Make sure you do not let the dirty water level surpass the full line and clean the filter frequently to prevent Bissell CrossWave from smelling.

If you have pets around the house, your machine may also become smelly sooner than later.

Whenever a Bissell CrossWave becomes smelly, you can always clean the filter and soak it in water, but getting a new filter sounds like a better idea. Let's learn how to get the smell out of a Bissell CrossWave.

Why does a Bissell CrossWave smell or stink?

A Bissell CrossWave will smell or stink if you don’t empty the dirty water tank, clean the filter, or clean the brush roll regularly. As each component gets dirtier, the machine will become smellier. 

There is also the possibility that it ran through spilled food or organic waste. As the dirt gets pushed through the filter and into the dirty water tank, residue left on the filter can cause an unpleasant smell.

If this is the case, then you need to carefully and thoroughly clean each component of the machine.

How to get the musty smell out of Bissell CrossWave?

There are four things you can do to get the musty smell out of a Bissell CrossWave. All you need is the right know-how. Here are each tip explained further in greater detail:

1. Clean the dirty water tank thoroughly

After using your Bissell CrossWave, you should always empty and clean the dirty water tank. Here is how:

Grab the handle in front of the dirty water tank to remove it. Then, press down on the release button. To remove the top of the tank, simply grasp and pull it up.

Empty the dirty water into a sink, then rinse your tank with running water. While you’re at it, you should also clean the filter on top of the dirty water tank.

2. Clean the filter or replace it with a new one

While the dirty water tank is removed from the unit, remove the filter from the top of the dirty water tank by pulling it 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.

Remember, make sure that all of the parts are dry before reassembling. The filter should remain relatively dry. It is, however, safe to be hand washed to clean.

Do not install the filter while it is wet. If you do not allow the filter to dry properly, mold and mildew can grow, causing an unpleasant smell. 

We recommend replacing the filter every 6 months, or when it becomes dirty and does not wash clean. You can easily buy a new Bissell CrossWave replacement filter right here on Amazon.

Once dry, place the vacuum filter back into the dirty water tank top. Then, replace the top of the dirty water tank. The dirty water tank, including the filter, is now empty and clean!

Also, you can get notifications to clean the machine if you connect Bissell CrossWave to Wi-Fi.

3. Clean the brush roll thoroughly

After cleaning both the dirty water tank and filter, it's important to clean the brush roll thoroughly as well. Make sure your machine is turned off and unplugged from an outlet. 

Grab the front of the brush roll window and pull upward to remove it. Remove the brush roll by grabbing the brush roll tab, and pulling up.

To clean both the brush roll and brush roll window, rinse each under warm water. The brush roll chamber can get dirty too, make sure to wipe it with a paper towel or cloth to clean.

Let your brush roll and brush roll window dry before you reassemble them.

If the brush roll has become too dirty, you need to replace it with a new one. You can easily buy a new Bissell CrossWave replacement brush roll right here on Amazon.

Once dry, place the brush roll back into the unit by inserting the brush roll end into the right side of the foot.

4. Use vinegar as a natural deodorizer

If you have cleaned the dirty water tank, cleaned or replaced the filter, and cleaned the brush roll thoroughly, but your Bissell CrossWave is still smelly, your last resort is to deodorize it with white vinegar.

Vinegar is not only an effective deodorizer, it also can kill most types of mold and mildew. 

Running a Bissell CrossWave with white vinegar in the cleaning solution compartment or directly in the tank can help to remove any mildew within the machine components as well.

To deodorize the filter and the brush roll, simply put white vinegar inside a spray bottle and mist the liquid on both parts. Allow both the filter and brush roll to dry and reinstall them back into the machine. 

Bottom Line

Now you know why a Bissell CrossWave is smelly or stinky. 

By cleaning the dirty water tank, filter, and brush roll regularly, you can keep your Bissell CrossWave from smelling. Also, make sure the dirty water level surpasses the full line.

If the machine is still smelly, you can deodorize it naturally with white vinegar.