==What is it?==
Earlier this year, my husband spotted a steam mop on Groupon and got the idea in his head that having a steam mop would make our life a whole lot easier...well, from a cleaning point of view anyway. He didn't end up getting the one he saw, but instead, after extensive research, he bought this model from Vax.
The theory behind steam cleaners is that they clean with steam rather than water, so they remove more bacteria, and are more hygienic. I used to hate mopping the floor, and after wringing the mop out a couple of times, seeing the water turn brown as it means you either have to keep going back and forth to the kitchen to replace the water which is time consuming, or basically wash the floors with dirty water.
==Price and Availability==
My husband bought this from Ebuyer, where he picked it up for around £80, and managed to get some cashback through our Top Cashback account.
==What's in the box?==
I'll admit it, I have got to an age where the delivery of a steam mop excited me. Oh yes, I could barely contain myself as I rummaged through the box, flicked through the instructions, and insisted that despite it being a Friday night (yes, really) we should try out the mop immediately.
Within the box we discovered the mop itself (obviously), two mop head Velcro attachments (more on them later), a carpet glider, a bottle of Vax detergent, a measuring jug, a cooling base, and the instructions.
==The Big Sell==
Vax claim that the unique feature about this cleaner is that it uses TwinTank Technology to combine steam with detergent, giving a more hygienic finish than steam alone. It claims to eliminate 99.9% of harmful bacteria for up to seven days. It is suitable for use on different types of floor including laminate, tiles, lino and wood, although Vax themselves state that these surfaces must be SEALED prior to use because otherwise you could damage the surface. It also comes with a carpet glider to refresh carpets and rugs. In terms of design, the contoured head pivots to allow you to reach into tight corners, and the pads are machine washable, making it easy and convenient to prepare for your next mopping session.
This cleaner has some useful features, which I've summarised below as a quick guide:
* Heats up in 1 minute
* 8 metre cord
* 3 heat cleaning levels
* 1600w power
* 3.3kg weight
Compared to the upright vacuum cleaners I have used in the past, this little chap looks a little thin on the ground, being very narrow and lightweight. The head is pivotal, which means he can get into nooks and crannies, and the whole look is very minimal and smart. I like the simplicity of the design, as it doesn't overwhelm me with buttons and flashing lights, but simply gets the job done with minimal fuss. It also makes storage very easy as he fits into our utility room cupboard without taking up too much room, and being so light makes him ideal for taking up and down stairs.
The great thing about this cleaner is that it's so easy to use, even technophobes should be able to cope. Once you've read the instructions, it's very easy to remember for next time, which is useful for me because I have a tendency to lose instruction manuals. The measuring jug you are given helps you to top up the two tanks to the correct level. So, there's a water tank at the front, and a detergent tank at the back. These just slide off, and you fill them according to the measuring jug. For the water tank, the measuring jug will tell you to fill it twice and transfer to the tank, and for the detergent tank, the amount of detergent and water is marked on the measuring jug. This means you don't have to guess or faff with measuring specific amounts, as the jug is purely for this purpose.
The mop comes with a cooling pad, which I would recommend you take with you the first time you use it (and subsequently), as it protects the floor once the steam is being produced and you need to put it down for any reason. Don't do what my mother-in-law did in work, and leave it on a bare floor as it WILL leave scorch marks!
To get started, this little chap couldn't be simpler. You simply plug him in, press the button on the front, and wait until the second light comes on to show he is ready to use. This takes up to a minute so is much quicker than having to wait for the kettle to boil to fill a mop bucket. However, USEFUL TIP ALERT - try to plan ahead which socket you plug the mop into, as it's very easy to find yourself needing to walk across a damp floor to unplug it if you use one inside the room you are mopping. This sounds basic, but it took me a few attempts before I got the hang of this!
To start mopping, simply place your foot on the base to tilt the body of the machine, and use the trigger handle to release the steam as you glide around the room zapping those germs away.
So, I've already mentioned about being careful where you plug this cleaner in, however the 8 metre cord does make life easier on this front, as it's usually possible to plug into the hall socket and still reach into the corners of the rooms leading off the hall. There is storage on the body of the machine to wrap the cord round, should you find it's getting in your way in smaller rooms.
When I read reviews on this mop as part of our research, I saw some criticism that the trigger to release the steam has to be held down in use. Since using this mop, however, I think of this as an advantage, because I don't want to completely saturate the floors, but instead I can choose when and how much steam to release. On the wooden floors, for example, although they have been treated and sealed, I don't like getting them TOO wet in case it causes any damage, so I tend to hold the trigger down intermittently rather than steaming the entire room. The mop head is still carrying steam and detergent even when you're not pressing the trigger. There is a little bit of a hissing noise when your hand is on the trigger, but it's not very loud at all and I'm happy with the quietness of this machine.
I find this cleaner to be very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, and despite being six months pregnant I can still carry this around the house and up and down the stairs with ease. It is light and not at all bulky, and is much easier to carry round than a bucket full of water and mop. The pivotal head is very good at reaching into corners, and especially for getting close to skirting boards in the edges of rooms, although obviously it is limited by the size of the head so for example in our bathroom where the toilet is quite close to the wall, it's too large to fit in the gap so I have to do this bit with a separate cloth.
The cleaning pads which came with this machine have been used heavily since we've had it, and so far have cleaned up well in the washing machine, despite my paranoia that the Velcro might not be as effective after washing. They attach to the base by Velcro pads, and I've not had any issues with them coming loose or detaching themselves. The only issue I had once was that a bit of the fabric got caught in a bit of rough wood by the fireplace (must have missed that bit when we were sanding!) and it ripped slightly, but I cut it off with scissors and it's been fine since. We haven't had to replace the pads yet, which is good considering how often we would have replaced a traditional mop head, although we have got so much use out of them they are starting to look a bit worse for wear now.
I don't really notice any discernible fragrance once I've used this machine, despite the Vax detergent claiming to be Citrus based. However, I notice the rooms do smell fresh and clean in a natural way, rather than smelling of chemicals. We have a cat who has a tendency to throw cat litter across the floor after using his tray, and he's losing a lot of fur at the moment, but once I've vacuumed and mopped, the rooms smell so much fresher. It also doesn't take too long for the floors to dry compared to traditional mopping, as it's only steam rather than water, so they get damp rather than soaked. Although obviously this will depend on how trigger happy you are! I do like to wait for them to dry fully before walking across the room, however, because otherwise it feels like I'm just treading dirt into a nicely cleaned floor.
Once you've finished cleaning, the instructions advise emptying the tanks each time to avoid any limescale building up, so for this reason I tend to use the mop in a few different rooms until the water and detergent are all used up, otherwise you end up wasting detergent if you have to throw it away. When the tanks are full, I can do the majority of rooms in our house, which is good considering we only have carpet on the stairs and all the other rooms are tiled, laminate or wood.
The 8 metre cord allows you to reach a few different rooms without having to unplug and plug back in too often, and I find mopping much quicker now I'm not stopping to replace the water in the bucket when it gets dirty. I also have peace of mind that my floors are hygienically clean, as well as looking and smelling fresh, due to the steam killing off harmful bacteria. I find this very easy to use, and with just a minute to heat up it takes no time at all to get going. Added to this the ease of storage and lifting up and down stairs, I think it was well worth the money we paid.
The tanks should just glide off the body of the machine for refilling and emptying, but sometimes I find it a bit of a struggle to remove them. I thought it was just me at first, but my husband has the same issue.
Also, this is not a complete cleaning system in that you will have to vacuum first, otherwise any bits that are on the floor will just be pushed around the room rather than being picked up by the mop, but I think this is the case with any mop.
Vax recommend using no other detergent than their own brand (well, they would wouldn't they?!), which isn't the cheapest, costing around £9.99 for 1 litre. However, you don't have to use detergent every time, as it works with just steam as well as detergent. Personally, however, I would prefer to use the detergent for peace of mind that (a) I am killing more bacteria than using steam alone, and (b) I'm not going to damage the machine by using whatever cheap non-branded cleaner is in my cupboard.
==Would I recommend?==
As you can probably tell, I am really impressed with this cleaner. It has made life much easier in our house where most of the floors are non-carpet. I haven't actually used the carpet refresher attachment yet, but so far I think it has proved to be an excellent investment for us. It's lightweight, easy to manoeuvre, and leaves floors smelling fresh and clean. I am convinced this is more hygienic than traditional mops, as I'm no longer spreading dirty water round the floor, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking to make life easier.
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
I live with two Great Danes and a builder so keeping the house clean feels like a constant battle. For this very reason most of the floors on the downstairs level of my house are wood and tile. For years i've been going to war with the dirt with my trusty Vileda mop and bucket. However, after cleaning the kitchen floor one day and feeling like the effort wasn't worth it i decided to invest in a steam mop.
After shopping around i discovered that there weren't many offers available so nipped to my local Argos and bought one for around £90. I did debate whether this was a lot of money to mop my floors but justified it on the basis of a hoover costing a similar price and i would be likely to use this just as often.
The product comes in quite a large box. The mop comes in two separate pieces. In addition the box also contains a bottle of detergent, a cloth for the bottom of the mop, a plastic base for storage, an accessory for use on carpets and an instruction manual. There should also have been a measuring jug but this was missing from my box. Unfortunately i was too keen to try out the mop to return it for another one.
To get started i removed the two halves of the mop and clicked them together which was really easy to do. The mop has two containers on the main section which are removed to fill with water in the largest and a mix of water and detergent in the smaller container. Removing, filling and replacing these containers was also very easy. There is a dial on the front of the mop which can be used to adjust the strength of the water / detergent to suit the area to be cleaned. I switched mine straight to the highest setting! Attaching the fabric cleaner to the base is very simple as is automatically attaches when the mop is rested on top. The mop then needs to be plugged in and switched on. There is a blue light on the front to indicate the product is powered. This is then followed by a green light to indicate the product is ready to use. I was surprised that the green light came on within approximately 1 minute of turning on the power.
The mop is really simple to use and after a few blasts of the steam button i was off. The manual states that the steam button should be pressed at intervals but i find that i have it pressed most of the time which doesn't cause any malfunction. The mop glides very easily across the floor and requires very little force to clean. The mop itself can be quite heavy and i have to admit my arm was aching after a while (but i can be a bit of a wuss!). The mop also has a swivvle head so its really easy to get under furniture and around bends. The mop cleans without dispensing a lot of water so the floors dried extremely fast. The only thing it seems to struggle with is corners as the mop has rounded edges.
The instructions indicated that the mop could work for around 15 minutes per cleaning session. I assumed this was to allow it time to heat up again. However, i mopped 3 floors without a break and the mop didn't indicate that it needed to recharge. The chord is nice and long so I was also able to mop both the kitchen and hallway without unplugging and relocating to a closer plug.
I was amazed (and slightly disgusted) at the amount of dirt and grime that was on the cloth after use. But both my tiled floor and wooden floor sparkled, smelled very fresh and were dry within minutes. I removed the cloth from the bottom of the mop and popped it straight in the washing machine. After washing the cloth looked like new again. I stored the mop in the utility room on the plastic base where it safely cooled and fitted neatly in the corner.
One problem i have found with the mop is that if its stored without emptying the water containers it can leak into the storage base. Not sure if this is a slight fault with my mop or whether this is something typical of the product. I would also be cautious when removing the cloth after mopping as it can be quite hot. However the mop cleaned floors with very little effort from me and took very little time.
I now use my mop that often that i've found one cloth just isn't enough. Sainsbury's currently have a set of 4 cloths (2 x tough cleaning microfibre cloths and 2 x white cloths) for £9.99 instead of £24.99. I've invested in these so have plenty to keep me going.
I wish we had bought this machine sooner as it's a brilliant way of cleaning hard floors and so simple and much better than the Flash power mop we've been using for the last couple of year.
We have a tiled kitchen floor which is a dark black colour and even though it looks amazing its very hard to keep clean and we've noticed recently that the grout between the tiles was starting to look a bit grubby and we wanted something that would really do some hard, deep down cleaning. My husband was able to find this Vax machine on sale for £60 which I think is a great price, purchased from Sainsburys although I believe it was on offer.
The Vax bare floor pro is described as effortless cleaning for all sealed hard floors. On the box it gives the reasons why you should buy it which I think is a great way of advertising the product. It says:
I break down grease and grime
I am lightweight and manoeuvrable
I am environmentally friendly
I eliminate 99% of harmful bacteria for up to 7 days
The machine is an upright machine and looks much like a vacuum cleaner. There is a straight handle at the top which is fairly easy to grab and hold on to. The machine does claim that it is lightweight and I find it ok to carry around but when I am actually cleaning with it I find it a bit heavy after a while and need to stop and restart just to give my arm and hand a bit of a break. My husband finds it quite lightweight though so maybe I am being a bit of a wimp! At the bottom there is a triangular shaped plastic pad to which you add the blue washing pad. This swivels about a bit so its really good at getting into the corners of our kitchen floor because I can move the head about and turn it to get into different spaces. The pad is washable after use which is great because it does get rather mucky each time we use it, this however just tells me that the Vax is working really well!
The machine uses something called Twin Tank technology as it uses both steam and detergent to wash the floor. It's very simple to set up and begin to use. There is a tank at the front of the machine to which you add the water and then there is another tank at the back to which you add the detergent. The machine comes with a handy measuring cup indicating how much of each product you should handy which is helpful because I always forget when I come to wash the floor. Once that is filled you plug in the machine and turn it on and after a minute or two on e it has warmed up and started to produce steam it is ready to use. A green light will come on at the front of the machine telling you it's ready to go.
There is a little foot icon on the floor pad which you step on to recline the unit and then you are ready to clean. You basically push this machine backwards and forwards the same way you would a vacuum cleaner whilst at the same time pumping the trigger on the handle in short bursts to release the steam. It recommends short bursts so you don't over wet the floors. You can see where you have been as it will be wet but I find that the floor dries amazingly quickly and what I love about it is that the floor does not smell like detergent. I used to hate the smell of the Flash cleaner as it really got into my lungs and made my asthma play up but with this machine you do not get this nasty smell.
After use my floor looks really shiny and very clean. I love the fact that it eliminates 99% of bacteria for 7 days as we have a dog who lives in the kitchen and two small children so its nice to know that when they eat their food off the floor (yes, they do that and no, I can't stop them picking up the odd grape they have dropped) it's not going to be dirty or pick up lots of bacteria.
The Vax is really easy to store as it's upright so you can just pop it in the cupboard although the manufacturer reminds you to make sure that you do not leave the stick steam cleaner in one spot on any surface for an extended period of time with the wet pad attached as this may damage the floor surface so I always remember to take the pad off. What's nice is that there are hooks on the handle too to allow you to wind the cord around it so this is packed away neat and tidily as well.
All in all this is a great machine for cleaning my floors and I would recommend it to anyone. It comes with a 2 year guarantee which is definitely a good example of how well it is built to last.
A couple of months ago I was happily cleaning away after reading how many calories one can expect to lose just doing house work alone. It's a pity that even if you can burn over more than a thousand calories in a day by lifting and using appliances that my hands get the brunt of all the work when it comes to bleaching or using harsher chemicals and apart from having to wear awful rubber gloves, or douse myself in hand creams afterwards. At least when it comes to cleaning floors, help comes calling in the form of my faithful and reliable Hometek Steam Mop, my second after discovering this product under Lakeland's own name model five years ago. Since then I haven't looked back - Hometek is the number one steam mop where I'm concerned - but as the years have gone on, it hasn't been plain sailing of recent when it comes to doing more than just steam cleaning tiles and vinyl hard floors. Lakeland's own model was replaced in 2011 with the Hometek "Elite" - a much physically thinner but still as light steam mop model and I found it effortless to use on hard floors backed by its high power element and the ability to clean floors effectively without leaving surfaces over wet. The Elite isn't without problems though - it isn't as well built as the previous "bulkier bodied" steam mop by Hometek and mine has begun to show signs of slowing down, powering up the steam generator when it feels like it, not when I activate it by pulling down the handle after waiting for the mop to heat up.
One crucial reason to why I keep going back to the brand is simply because I have bought microfibre replacement pads that seem to last longer than the mops themselves and the pads are easy to wash, cheap to buy and durable. Thus as I tried to look online to find the same mop again, the prices that sellers have marked up the Hometek Elite with is now too highly priced for my liking. My original one cost me £46 a year ago and that's a price I'm prepared to pay for a basic model like the Elite - not £89-99 or more. Steam mops are just the healthiest way to go, eradicating the need to use harsh chemicals - although with this Vax steam mop, you have the option to use chemical based detergents - whether that's an advantage remains to be seen!
Since Vax UK have merged with Chinese company Techtronic Industries (TTI) in 1999 who also happen to own Royal & Dirt Devil U.S (acquired in 2003) Hoover U.S (acquired in 2007), the Vax company continue to spin out new machines every couple of months. Some machines dependent on their type are already available in the U.S under TTI's umbrella-companies, whilst other products like the S2 Pro and S2 Master steam mops by Vax have seen heavy promotion and discounted cost prices for UK buyers - crucial at a time when there's a recession on. Initially I was hesitant about the S2 Pro despite heavy advertising and reviews appearing about this product - after the disaster with the "string pull" triangular Efbe-Schott steam mop I bought last year when I lived away from home, I've been at two minds when it comes to steam mops that have a triangular style floor head as well as a pivotal swivel, both of which the S2 features. Luckily, the newer S2 Bare Floor Pro no longer has a toggle-stretch mop head but one like the Hometek that attaches to the base via Velcro pads.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Make & model: Vax S2/S Bare Floor Pro - updated model to original Master & S2.
* Velcro-attach floor head with 2 microfibre machine washable pads.
* Twin Tank Technology - able to use detergent & water for cleaning floors, or water alone.
* 2 x 500ml bottles of detergent also supplied & measuring cup.
* 1600-watt steam generator motor & 3 heat cleaning levels.
* 0.5 litre water tank capacity, 8 metre cable, 3.3kg (claimed).
* Heats up in 1 minute, 1 bar total pressure; max temperature 140°C.
* LED indicators to show when machine is ready, loop handle & trigger release, safety floor base holder.
* 0.3litre solution tank, can only use Vax Steam Detergent liquid, retail prices £4-99 to £9-99.
* Dedicated site: www.vaxsteam.com
* General price £79-99 to £99-99 new: £58 to £78 refurbished.
* My price £69-99 from Scottish Hydro Shop.
* 2-year guarantee from Vax UK.
General Design & Quality
Out of the box, the Vax S2 Bare Floor Pro is quite a good-looking machine that has been made with a lot of durable, thick plastics. Smooth and curvy, the steam mop wouldn't look out of place in a modern home and I'm pleased the handle spine is long enough to accommodate for six footers like me! Decked out in a dark grey and white contrasting framed design, I find the S2 is easy on the eye and it only took a few seconds to bolt the handle to the main body as well as disregarding the plastic bags that keeps the long 8 metre cord in place before manually wrapping around the quick release hooks top and bottom at the rear.
As this has Vax's "twin tank technology," (the name alone blesses Hoover's U.S model) there are two tanks on this steam mop; one designed for cold tap water and the other tank designed solely for Vax's citrus blended steam floor detergent liquid. I was delighted to find two bottles at 500ml sizing in the box but I have only used this option once, as the general performance will shortly reveal.
Two washing machine washable microfibre pads are also included as well as the obligatory framed carpet glider attachment that most if not all steam mops come equipped with these days. Due to the power on board (1600-watts) though, this isn't the mop of choice for steaming carpets free of stains. You'd need twice this amount or at least 2200 watts with proper designed floor heads for that cleaning act alone and the glider provided here is intended to freshen up carpets. A base plate is also included so that the mop can rest on the floor safely after use and cool down.
General Performance & Downsides
Although I can't stand mess at the best of times, I waited around a month to see just how powerful the Vax S2S Bare Floor Pro is and how well it cleans. Firstly, I am delighted to find that like my Hometek steam mops; the Vax microfibre pads stay on due to the thick Velcro picker slabs on the base of the steam mop and how well the finely stitched microfibre pads feel in the hand and to the eye. In use they are very hot, so it makes sense not to touch them and once finished, the pad can be stepped on because it has outer sections of material aside from the floor head where the pad can be stepped on, taking off the floor head in an instant. Nothing unusual here since most steam mops with Velcro heads have a safe section to pull off.
The front and rear tanks removal both have two sets of three ribs down either side where in theory, pulling the tanks upwards should dislodge them easily from the front and rear of the mop. I have yet to be able to get used to this design function though.
Sometimes the tank release and sometimes they don't! So much for its flush built in design. The only way of getting the tanks out seems to be using a blunt edge of a butter knife on the bottom seal and I don't appreciate having to take out an inner tube just to put water or detergents in either - the Hometek's built in release cap and use of a funnel with a measuring cup may well be more old fashioned - but it's a heck of a lot faster and less time inducing - when there's no tank to be removed in the first place.
However, I am delighted that the S2 has a long 8 metre cord as this pretty much sums up the kind of travel I need to do in my kitchen without changing plug sockets as well as our large bathroom made up of delicate hard floor tiles, not helped by vestibules such as the toilet, hand wash basin and cupboards that a steam mop like the Vax S2 could handle. The user manual is well worded though and has plenty of colourful diagrams. It is a pity though that it is so complicated to read due to the machine's over elaborate controls and solutions to what to do if the mop clogs up.
Handling though is a bit of an issue for me. The S2 has a built in pivotal head that should allow the mop head to go around corners and into right angles with ease, not just due to its triangular floor head, thus also able to go left and right with a flick of my hand. Helped along by the thick looped handle, the Vax S2 looks like it could be an easy handler. Sadly though, it is anything but!
Compared to my Hometek mops at 2kg, Vax claim that the S2 has a general "lightweight" feel of around 3.3kg. Oh how I wish it were true! In reality, I find that in use, the mop weighs around 4kg to push and pull backwards not helped by the pivotal head that "crab" walks along the floor. The first test I tried the S2 on was in our large luxury bathroom for example, which are made of smooth marble. After giving the mop a minute to heat up and being told that it is ready by its green and blue LED lights on the main body, I found that the S2 was difficult to push and pull backwards in a straight line. Hard floor resistance seems to be an issue that the pads can't seem to meet easily unless floor surfaces are ultra smooth and eventually as the steam emerges through the pad, pushing starts to get easier.
However, it is at the detriment of my own hand getting a work out with the handle trying to keep the steam mop at one angle when going straight on floors whilst also being painful to keep my finger on the trigger. Most of the time the head wants to keep changing at an angle and dust on the floor seems to get pushed along rather than retained by the proper production of Microfibre sponges.
In the kitchen on our vinyl floor, I find that the Vax S2 Pro does give a good cleaning performance and stubborn dirt like grease and coffee stains can be removed quickly. However, give the mop some crumbs that aren't stubborn and they simply get pushed around rather than sticking to the pad! I hate to say it, but it seems to me Vax have been stingy on the way their Microfibre pads are made. They may look like they have good quality but when it comes to general use and cleaning ability; the pads tend to push dirt around unless it is stubborn, ingrained dirt and messes that have been spilt on a hard floor and left to stain for a couple of days or weeks! At least the Vax is quiet in use, which is some saving grace.
Another issue that I discovered is with my experience of steam mop floor cleaning in general. Whenever I've used my Hometek mops, I can steam clean quite happily wearing socks because the steam that emerges is of a dry and slightly damp nature, only ending up with slightly damp socks in the process and floors that take a few minutes to dry out. Thus, I expected the same kind of result with the Vax since the S2 has a similar total watt power and similar Microfibre pad as the older Hometek products. Oh how wrong that assumption turned out to be! My socks were left soaking wet after use with the Vax S2 and both my floors took over half an hour to dry off. Bare Floor Pro? I don't think so!
The main problem I feel with the Vax S2 Pro is that it leaves hard floors overly wet and can therefore be too slippery. The floors get wetter when the stains don't disappear the first time either! This is more apparent with vinyl and hard floor that seems to take an age to dry after use with the mop and certainly if I didn't have my Hometek to hand to make as a comparison with, I would have assumed the Vax could cut the mustard in times of drying time. However, leaving my socks soaking wet and floors that take longer than expected to dry and slippy isn't professional in my book.
Whilst the solution tank is a good idea, it's a bit of a downside that as a new Vax steam mop owner, the only solution you can use is Vax's own expensive detergent liquid. The liquid works and it smells fresh. But then so does £1 Zoflora mixed with water! At least if I choose to add detergent to a floor that is being steam cleaned, I can add any floor-cleaning agent of my choice with Hometek! Sometimes I use Dettol's own floor cleaner and for the £3 for the Dettol's 500ml sizing, the detergent by Vax from £6 to £10 is a bit too much to believe in, no matter how citrus strong or how powerful the liquid is by promise and cleaning ability alone.
Another issue are the tank themselves - they don't have a fill line on the acrylic body, always requiring to use the measuring cup provided. If Vax went to less bother of adding a marking rather than the constant and permanent promotional advantage blurbs of the machine on the front tank, this mop would be better thought for the owner who wont' have time to measure water correctly!
Although the looped handle is a welcome design element on this mop, the Vax S2 Pro has a nonsensical trigger that I'm not that taken with. At least with the Hometek you switch it on, give it 15 to 30 seconds to heat up and release the handle and away you go! Not here though; a minute to heat up, select the temperature control you want and then have to keep my finger on the trigger on the underside of the handle for the steam to emerge at all times whilst also concentrating on steering the thing along the floor in the hope that it will stay put and not change angle! Oh the head is great at the way it moves with a natural disposition into corners though. Pity I can't control it much and after use when placed on the cooling tray, unless the Vax has a completely level floor to rest on, the machine stoops to the point that it can fall over either on its front or from behind.
Lastly, if the detergent solution isn't an incentive to buy more from Vax, the built in water filter is enough for yet another consumable to purchase, going from its original beige colour to dark brown. A hard water filter is added inside just after the water tank is taken out. Great if you live in hard water areas, but the simpler solution from Hometek is either using their own hard water softener product or flushing out the system with clear water and vinegar and Hometek mops use tap water - not distilled alone, as some other owners have reported and the Vax here, thankfully uses tap water although you can choose to use distilled water, if you feel it is necessary.
The user manual also suggests that any left over solution should be disposed of down the sink. Not here! Use the funnel you'll receive and put it back into the bottle if it hasn't been used!
Additional Optional Costs
Vax also offer a Coral weave pad for "stubborn" dirt if the Microfibre pad isn't as effective. That costs £15-99 compared to £6-99 for a set of two Microfibre pads. Other consumables range from:
Hard water filter replacement pad £9.99 to £19-99.
Vax measuring jug (yes, honestly!) £3-99.
It is a pity that for the price, Vax should really be able to extend the versatility of this steam mop with an extension hose that would give buyers a better incentive to buy this model and the ability of using the four-stage heat control to its better feature for cleaning above the floor line. For £100 of the general retail price, I would have expected better cleaning ability from the so-called cleaning experts Vax present themselves as.
Whilst it is modern, reasonably quiet, powerful, stylish and reasonably well built, I am not a fan of the Vax S2 Bare Floor Pro. Due to its heavy weight to push, difficult to remove tanks and leaving floor surfaces far too wet that then take too much time to dry, it may be a bonus of the articles that you get in the box that will impress buyers enough to give this product a five star rating.
Not being able to control the angle decently without having to maintain the angle I clean at for straight motion cleaning AND keeping my finger on the trigger for steam to release, isn't a convenience or a time-saving gesture either. Add in the costly Vax detergent solutions usage only and with no other versatility offered than just a steam mop for hard floors or freshening up carpets and the whole product looks like it is distinctly lacking in comfort and good value. For the price of around £100 that Vax themselves are currently charging on-site, the Vax S2 Bare Floor Pro looks and sounds professional. But, sorry Vax, at the very least and with all things considered, your S2 Bare Floor Pro is more Slow than Pro! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2012.
When I replaced the carpets in my hall and most of the ground floor with laminate it seemed that the floors looked cleaner for longer and appeared more hygienic than before. Especially important for me as eight paws speeding towards the kitchen/ breakfast after their early morning run in the woods seemed to promise less follow up work on a hard floor. You would think so, wouldn't you?
A daily vacuum, followed by a spray with floor cleaner and wipe over with my trusty Vileda was all I needed until the 'morrow's doggy trail.......or so I believed until I first used a steamer. Horror of horrors!
My attempt to protect my shiny new floor with jute runners had been a non starter. Within days I found the emphasis was on protecting the rugs and that jute does not wash. What I needed was an effective steamer. My majestic Polti Vaporetto de lux of yesteryear would have been overkill as I needed something that was light, didn't take up much room and without all the bells and whistles. A friend's recommendation that I try the Vax S2 Stick Steam Cleaner fitted the bill.
The one I am reviewing is not the new one widely advertised which includes a soap dispenser, but the original basic still available from Amazon for half price at £42.99.
The device came as a crisp blue and white body with water tank, the handle and a triangular floor head which was to prove beautifully manoeuvrable in use. Also provided were 2 micro fibre cleaning cloths one of which was to be fitted and tightened over the head, along with a small pad for curtains and a carpet glider, use of which I shall explain later. Easy to read instructions helped me connect the parts with the aid of the enclosed screws and I was ready to roll.
The first action needed was to fit one of the soft triangular pads over the head and tighten well. Secondly I removed the tank at the front of the body and filled with water from the provided plastic jug. Here I have removed a star as I needed a little strength of fingers, but soon had the knack and even my slightly arthritic digits managed ok. Once plugged in, a wait of a few minutes found that the orange LED light on the front of the machine was joined by its adjacent green one and the steam was at working heat. Now came the fun bit followed by the horror.
I pushed the Vax easily and slowly over the floor to the sound of a playful hissing of steam. I had been told by the booklet that my new toy would eliminate bacteria and allergens and would also break down grease and grime. "What grease and grime could be on my floor?", I asked myself. When I looked at the pad beneath the head I realised that my shiny laminate had been filthy and I shall be grateful for the spare at some time despite the pads being washing machine proof.
The water didn't need refilling until I was ready to try the bathroom vinyl; and fortunately here I found that things were not as dirty and was happy with the shine. It was at this point I found that the cord could have been a tad longer and I needed an extension. It would be churlish to remove a star though.
Very helpful was the lightness of the machine. I need a vacuum cleaner based in a bedroom as well as another in the hall cupboard as I find them too heavy to cart safely upstairs. This was joy as I walked upward with one hand free for the bannister.
I mentioned a carpet glider provided in the package. This is a plastic triangle which is placed between the head and carpet. With this in place the steamer freshens without soaking the fabric, although we must not expect it to actually act as a cleaner. I did like the effect, but haven't really bothered with it after the first couple of uses.
I have had the vax stick steamer for a few months now and would miss it greatly if I didn't have it to hand, although I would not have paid the full price for it. I use it only about once a week or fortnight to improve the daily wash and brush up and must stress that this is not the powerful all-singing-all dancing of the super steamers. However, there is no doubt that after use my home smells fresher and the laminate and vinyl have that squeaky clean look we hope is there when an unexpected visitor arrives. In my case the dogs have usually just walked in from a wet garden when I have unexpected visitors.
Note. The machine contains a hard water filter which turns brown when replacement is needed. Amazon are selling these for £10 and mine is nowhere near needing changing despite being in a hard water area.
I recently aquired a Vax S2S Bare Floor Pro and was so impressed by its efficiency I have thrown my mop and bucket in the bin! It was so simple to use and glided across the floor very easily. My floors were squeeky clean and smelt gorgeous after very little effort by me...the S2S Bare Floor Pro did all the hard work!The pads were easy to attach and the water and detergent compartments were simple to slide on and off. This really is a great product and and I highly recommend it!
The Vax Bare Floor Pro Electric Steam Mop is the newest addition to my little army of household cleaning gadgets. Only this is so much more then just a gadget, it is actually a really fantastic product. I have had my Bare Floor Pro Mop for a week now, and I have literally used it every day, sometimes twice a day because its brand new and I just love using it, even when the floor doesn't really need mopping (terribly sad I know, especially when us women are supposedly renound for getting stroppy when being bought household items for Christmas and Birthday presents).
I have rather a large fluffy, messy doggy, who insists on charging around the garden in the winter on a wet and muddy day (our garden has the habit of turning into a bog because we have pet ducks who love nothing more then making things muddy). He also likes to run, jump and then skid along the entire length of the lawn or play around with the ducks in their muddy puddles, just to make sure he has fully covered his paws and tummy in mud. Then he comes into the house and, although he is a good boy and stays in the kitchen when he is told to, deposits said mud all over my kitchen floor and up the kitchen units. So as you can imagine I have quite a large a mess to deal with and I needed something heavy duty to give everything a really good going over and make sure it was properly clean.
I saw the Vax Bare Floor Pro advertised on the TV on a special deal. £99.00 for the steam mop including postage, extra replacement pads and an extra bottle of cleaning detergent. I thought this was a pretty good deal, considering I saw it on amazon for £89.99 without the extra bits and pieces, so I went ahead and bought it. All together you get the mop itself, two deep cleaning pads, two microfibre pads, three bottles of detergent, a carpet glider, a stand, a measuring jug and the instructions. The pads are very good quality in my opinion and will last a long time before you need to replace them. I'm afraid I cannot yet tell you the price of the replacement pads and the detergent as they do not appear to be for sale anywhere at the moment, I assume because the product has only just come out. The mop also comes with a two year guarentee, which I think is fantastic in this day and age.
The steam mop itself is a really good size, and not too heavy. It is just the right height. It has a really nice long length of cable attatched to it which reaches all around my rooms with ease. I have measured the cable and it is coming out at 26ft there or abouts which I believe is approx 8 metres. You can wrap the cable around two handles when the mop is not in use and you can hook the cable over the top handle when you are using the mop so that it doesn't get in the way. The mop head itself is triangular shaped to allow you to get right into the corners. There are two chambers on the mop. One at the front for fresh water and one at the back for the detergent which you mix with water. You mix 50ml of detergent with the water and the bottles of detergent are 500ml so each bottle refills the mop with detergent 10 times. Each filled detergent chamber and water chamber allows me to steam my kitchen, bathroom and hallway floors twice.
You can steam all sorts of hard flooring with the Vax Bare Floor Pro. It is supposed to be fine to use on lino, tiles, laminate flooring and basically any sealed hard flooring. My kitchen and bathroom floor are lino and my hallway floor is brick and it has been fine to use the mop on that too. I also steam off the tiles on the hearth and this is fine. The steam mop can also be used to refresh the carpet. You just use the carpet glider over the top of one of the microfibre pads and then glide the mop over the carpet. It didn't make my carpet too damp, it dried very quickly and it lifted a couple of stained patches that had been in the carpet for a little while. I have actually been steaming my walls and bathroom tiles etc with the mop as well which I am sure you are not really supposed to do, but it has been doing a very good job on these too. The mop doesn't appear to leak doing this although the steam cuts out if you lift it above a certain height. Probably best not to lift it overhead anyway as I'm sure that is dangerous.
The mop is extremely easy to use. You just fill the chambers using the measuring jug, apply the appropriate pad to the bottom of the mop and switch the mop on. It says to wait a minute for the green light to come on indicating that the the steam is ready to go, although mine is ready within 30 seconds. You can adjust the amount of steam you want to use with a dial on the front of the machine. Then away you go. The steam cuts through mud, grease and grime to leave you with lovely clean floors. The detergent helps as well and leaves your house with a gorgeous, lemony fresh scent. The microfibre pads are highly absorbant so you don't end up wiping mud around everywhere if there is a lot to clean up and if you need a deeper clean you can use the deep cleaning pads which are a lot thicker and more "wooly". The steam kills 99.9% of all bacteria which is always nice to know. You can also use the mop without the detergent if you wish to. If you need to stop steaming for a moment to go and answer the door or the phone, you can just pop the steam mop on the provided tray/stand whilst you go and do what you need to do.
The Vax Bare Floor Pro is far superior to using a conventional mop. It is a lot cleaner for a start and much more hygenic. Once you have used the pads you just pop them into the washing machine so you are always using something clean and sterilized on your floor and the steam kills anything nasty. Also you don't need to keep going back to a bucket of dirty water to wash it out as you would do with a normal mop because as I said the pads are super absorbant so they suck in all the dirt. It should be mentioned that the Vax Bare Floor Pro does not work like a carpet cleaner which distributes clean water and detergent and sucks up the dirty water back into the machine. It just distributes the clean water and detergent as steam and then the pads mop up dirty water. I can assure you the pads are more then adequate to get the floor squeaky clean. I should know with the mess I have to contend with some days!
I think the Vax Bare Floor Pro is an absolutely fantastic product. I have literally been at my wits end this winter with trying to keep on top of the mud and dirt in the kitchen, a conventional mop was just not cutting it for me. The Bare Floor Pro is perfect. It does the job better then anything else I have ever used to clean the floor. The fact that you can refresh your carpet with it as well is an added bonus. The carpet smells lovely and lemony and the stains I have been trying to remove for quite some time have now gone.
I thoroughly recommend the Vax Bare Floor Pro S2ST Electric Steam Mop, I think it is well worth the money. Overall I would like to give it a 10/10 because it really does an excellent job of keeping my house squeaky clean.
Short name: Vax S2ST