~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Introduction ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Sadly im useless with household appliances, ive blown up many things from washing machines to computers to phones and even my beloved and faithful Henry hoover last year (I washed the filter out and used it while it was still wet....i didn't know this would blow it up), so my search for a new vacuum cleaner began. My whole flat is laminate....my 2 boys and carpets just do not go together! But at the time I had 2 cats so also needed something that was great for cat hair, I also needed a vacuum cleaner that was suitable for laminate but as I do have rugs it had to be suitable for other surfaces as I always vacuum clean my sofa, Henry had a powerful suction so when buying my new vacuum cleaner I didn't want to settle for anything less than 2000W, and I also wanted to move away from the bagged vacuum cleaner, I didn't like have to keep buying new bags, even tho they lasted a while it was still money I could be saving. So my requirements were pretty basic I think: bagless, suitable for pet hair, 200w and suitable for both carpet and upholstery/rugs.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Whats In The Box? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
While the vacuum cleaner is very important to me as I hoover 2-3 times a day the accessories also make my life easier so I was pleased to see this came with an array of accessories, including -
*Main unit - this is the main base of the hoover
*Dirt container - this the clear part of the hoover where you will see the dirt
*Combination floor head - this is the grey head that slides across the floor
*Telescopic extension tube - this is the silver metal tube that can be adjusted to suit different heights by the push of 1 tab
*tool caddy - this is a little clip that clips onto the tube of the hoover, it allows 3 attachments to be held onto the vacuum cleaner at all times
*Dusting brush - this is a little brush that allows you to get in behind radiators etc, its great for dusting
*Crevice tool - this is a also great for under beds, skirting boards, around awkward bits of furniture etc
*Flexible hose and handle - this is grey bend hose
*Turbo tool - this is great for pet hair and for ground in dirt etc
*HEPA pre-motor filter - this filter is specifically designed for allergy and asthma sufferers
*Anti-bacterial post-motor filter - this filter is designed to keep things anti-bacterial as bagless vacuum clearers are worse for bacteria.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ VAX C88 - VC-P-A ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The hoover is made by vax, the bestselling floor care brand. It is bagless so is money saving, and a compact cylinder shape so is great for storage and getting the vacuum cleaner around any furniture, and people who don't want to lug a heavy vacuum cleaner around, it also has the added bonus of a floor tool parking slot, to the handle and tools can be stored at the back of the hoover for storage purposes. Im 5ft 2 inches so a taller vacuum cleaner for me was always hard to push around which is why I loved my little Henry so much, but while this is a different shape to my henry I find it slightly smaller in size which I prefer. While being small in size it boosts a powerful 2000 watts and 220 air watts so is great for pet hair. It also has side to side suction, which means it sucks dirt up from the sides aswell as in the middle, meaning the floor is getting a thorough hovering and you don't need to keep going over the same parts, the vacuum cleaner is ideal for everyone with its many features that I will list below.
220 air watts
*1 L capacity
*suitable for both carpets and laminate
*Hose is 1.5metres
*weight is 4.90KG
*foot operated on/off and auto cord rewind button
*floor tool parking slot
*lots of accessories
Size H21, W26.5, D38cm
The vacuum cleaner looks quite stylish with its unique design, it is black with a dark grey base. The handle is orange and easily lifts up, the 2 buttons (on/off and the wire cable) are all orange and located towards the back of the hoover. Just behind the handle and 2 switches is the orange 'min - max' slider. Just behind the slider is a black piece of plastic that sticks out by aprox 1 inch, this is what holds the handle upright, there is a small grey bit of plastic on the handle that slots into the black part of the back of the vacuum cleaner .
2 large orange and black wheels ensure the vacuum cleaner moves with ease. The dirt container is clear so you can see how full it is, it has its own handle for lifting out of the unit, displaying the vax name at the front. At the very front is a grey pipe and metal handle with a chrome look, the head is grey and swivels for easy vacuuming.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Assembly ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The assembly of the machine was very easy thanks to a detailed manual with clear pictures on how to assemble the machine
1) Insert the Flexible hose into the hose inlet
2) Insert the telescopic extension tube into the other end of the flexible hose
3) Attach the combination floor onto the telescopic extension tube.
You can also use the tool caddy which clips onto either the telescopic tube or the hose handle to carry the crevice tool, ducting brush and the turbo tool so that they are always at hand.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ How To Use ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Once you have assembled the vacuum cleaner you need to operate it, simply pull the power cord (at the back on the right hand side) and plug it into the wall, you then adjust the settings on the main unit of the hoover by sliding the switch to either 'low' or high. The telescopic handle then needs to be adjusted to suit your height, simply push the button down on the handle to extend it. On the combination floor head there is a switch that you can change to make the vacuum cleaner suitable for either laminate or carpet, simply click it with your foot so its very easy to change between the 2 if you have different flooring in your home.
The on/off switch is located in top of the unit, it's a big orange button with the on/off symbol. Due to its location its very easy to hit with your foot, the cord button is on the other side of the unit and is also a big orange button, simply put your foot on the button to wind the cable back up, the plug will then sit just outside the vacuum cleaner.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ In Use ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
As soon as you turn the vacuum cleaner on you can hear how powerful it is, as mentioned above, the assembly and operating was very easy to use so once I had done the above steps I could hoover my laminate, when in laminate mode it easily glided over the floor powerfully sucking up anything and everything from straight ahead of the head aswell as to its left and right, being small and compact it was easy to push around the floor and my hovering time was very quick, im pretty thorough with my hovering, hovering under beds, sofas on a daily basis so the small added tools were very handy. I also liked the foot operated buttons, meaning I don't have to bed down.
Despite the face that I wanted bagless vacuum cleaner I was worried about dust flying around, especially as my 2 year old has pretty bad asthma, but I didn't figure a bagless cleaner to be bad for his asthma so long as I made the right choice, so no dust was flying around. This vacuum cleaner was great with no dust at all, there is a hot air system right at the back so I was particularly worried about dust escaping from hear, but it was fine with no dust at all.
The vacuum cleaner comes with a HEPA filter, what I didn't know before was that these filters are best for people who have allergies or asthma, the HEPA filters trap 99.97% of dust and pollutants including dust mites which means the vacuum cleaner is also safe to use when hovering sofas, kids mattress, kids rugs and toys etc.
Laminate - when using it on laminate make sure the switch is down on the floor head, this leaves the brushes hidden so it can glide over the laminate.
Carpet - when using on carpet push on the switch with your foot to see the brushes appear, this will brush the carpet upwards, listening anything that needs to be hovered up, leaving the carpet looking fresher.
Personally I don't really see the point of the low suction, if your going to vacuum then your going to vacuum properly, meaning you want it on full power, the low suction seems pretty pointless to my, while its quieter I do have to keep going over the same bits so for me I never use this option.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Any Other Important Info ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The motor is equipped with a thermal cut out, if for any reason the unit overheats the thermostat will automatically turn the unit off.
The blockage indicator is very handy, if there is something blocking any of the filters or the pipes then a red light will light up on the main unit of the vacuum cleaner so you know to sort the problem, as soon as the problem is fixed the red light will switch itself off. The red light also lights up when the dirt container needs emptying.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Cleaning And Maintenance ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The condition of the filters affects the performance of the hoover, so you need to ensure the filters are emptied and cleaned regularly, they must be completely dry before re-using......at least I know that now! I found the pre-motor (inside the dirt container) needs emptying every few days, whereas the post-motor filter needs emptying every few weeks.
The vacuum cleaner is far from low maintenance, needing to be emptied out once a week, sometimes twice a week. Its a simple and easy procedure but it does get a little annoying, especially being a busy mum, it would be nice just to wiz the vacuum cleaner around then put it back in the cupboard, but nope.
The vacuum cleaner obviously takes a little longer to clean than a bagged hoover so that's to be expected, but while that is very very frustrating at least its an easy job to do, I found this hoover very easy to empty, you need to lift the dirt container out by pressing the 2 release buttons either side of the handle, lift the part out then push down on the black button at the bottom of the container, make sure you are holding it over a bin as the black lid will then pop open and the dirt will fall out.
You then need to empty the pre-motor filter, this is a grey tube that sits just inside the dirt container, its attached by 3 grips, so just twist the pre-motor filter to the right a little to release it, this will allow the rest of the dirt out, hairs can get clogged to this so you may need to use your fingers to pull anything off. Then slot the pre-motor filter back into place and twist left to lock it in.
You then need to clean the HEPA pre-motor filter, which is located inside the dirt container at the back on the flat side. It looks like a black grid, to release the filter you need to remove the cover pushing on the black button on the grid then pull it away from the unit, you will see what this looks like black foam, empty into the bin, and again things like hairs can stick to it so you may need to use your fingers. This can be washed out but it does require 24 hours in sunlight to dry again, or do what I do and put it in the tumble dryer.
There is also a anti-bacterial post-motor filter located at the very back, I have had my hoover a year now and have not had to empty this at all, but I still take it out and check it every so often, as with the other post-motor filter you just pull it out, and check the black foam.
Other than that a simple wipe over of the machine keeps it in clean condition. Should the tubes get blocked you need to unplug the hoover and remove the blockage, my mum always uses 2 broken down coat hangers bended together to remove anything but I don't have that savvy so while this isn't mentioned in the booklet I sometimes run a shot full of water to clean the pipes.........again letting them dry before using again.
While its very easy to remove was/rubbish from the dirt container and the filters, the inside of the dirt container can get very dirty and smelly, and the only way to clean this and get rid of the smells is to hose it out......again not mentioned in the book but the book doesn't say about it trapping dirt to the inside of the dirt container, I live in a flat so put the dirt container onto the balcony, remove the post-motor filter and hose the inside, there are a lots of nocks and crannys inside the container and simply opening the lid and tapping it over the bin does empty it but it doesn't get all the bits stuck to the side that can cause the machine to smell.
The bottom of the combination floor head also needs cleaning every so often, or dirt can get stuck to the bottom making it hard to push across the floor, so this often gets washed out with the pipes on the balcony or you can use a wet wipe to get a wipe.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ My Thoughts ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I was very surprised with this vacuum cleaner, even tho it has a powerful 2000 watts, I wasn't expecting the same quality that my Henry provided me, my Henry was a ok size but was quite bulky and while it had wheels to pull across the floor, it did feel very heavy when pulling it, so as soon as I got this out of the box I was immediately pleased with its size. It is small but holds a decent amount with its 1 litre capacity, and is a perfect size for a flat, I hoover 2-3 times a day because my boys love playing in the floor and I cannot stand anything on the bottom of my feet, so with how often I vacuum clean I have to empty it every 4-5 days which takes approximately 15 seconds so it isn't a problem.
The fast it is bagless means I can empty it as soon as it starts to get full, where as with my Henry I noticed that as soon as the bag started to get full it would affect the performance of the hoover, with this I can take 10 seconds to empty it and start hovering again.
The powerful suction means im not having to keep going over parts of the floor, it sucks up from both left/right and in the middle saving time and energy, the suction is very powerful and when moving it across the floor, you can see bits that are not near the head being sucked across the floor to the hoover so I know my floor is getting a thorough vacuuming.
The added accessories mean I can dust and get in between heaters attached to the wall and under sofas and beds without having to do my back in by lifting them up. Thanks to the tool caddy I can keep these accessories attached to the vacuum cleaner at all times, unlike my Henry where I had to go on a hunt in the cupboards for them, with the Vax the bits stay attached to the hoover whenever I need them. The turbo tool is designed for cars, stairs and upholstery, I have a large corner sofa and large rugs so use the normal head on them.
The hose is an ok length at 6 meters, I have an long opened planned kitchen/living room but sadly if the vacuum cleaner is plugged into the kitchen it wont fit through to the bedrooms, the only place it will reach is from the hallway.
The height adjustable handle is great, im just over 5ft and my fiancé is 5ft 8 inches so always has the handle extended a little longer than what I do so this feature is great to save back aches.
Its easy to empty and clean, but as mentioned above, the inside can get pretty dirty and smelly, if food is spilt I never use the clean to avoid mould growing so didn't think the inside would get as dirty as it does, but for some reason it can get pretty filthy, it doesn't affect its performance but as it's a clear colored container it doesn't exactly look nice. The booklet mentions nothing about this so there was no advice on how to clean it, but in the year I have owned it I have no problems with my method of hosing it out on the balcony.....just make sure the filter and container is dry before using again.
I have used the vacuum cleaner on both laminate and on m rugs and sofas the the performance is just as powerful on all things. The switch is easily changed by your foot on the combination floor head, when in carpet mode the brushes will show in the bottom of the floor head so is great for not only removing bits from the rug/sofa but also give it a good brush down.
I sadly no longer have my cats, due to health problems with my 2 year old my cats were missing out on any attention so I found them a loving home where they now have a garden but the vacuum cleaner was great for picking up their hairs, especially the long haired cat, she had black hair and with white carpets you could always see balls of black fluff which just made the carpet look dirty making the carpet look like an off white colour, and the turbo tool was the perfect accessory for using on cat hair!
Surprisingly its very quiet for such a powerful vacuum cleaner, I always vacuum again once the boys are in bed and thought it may disturb them but they cannot hear it.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * Any problems? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Despite the product having 2 years warranty when the clips in the small grey pre-motor went (inside the dirt container) it wasn't included in the warranty I was told and had to buy a whole new dirt container from Vax for £14.50 delivered, not a bad price I suppose but still annoying it wasn't replaced for free, maybe because I hadn't registered it....have I mentioned im no good with electronics?!
I always empty the filter and dirt container over the bin to avoid making a mess but dust always manages to escape, there is always quite a lot of dust when emptying it which isn't good because as mentioned above, my youngest has asthma. I have now started taking the dirt container onto my balcony to empty it out there so any dust cannot affect him.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Overall Thoughts ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I love this vacuum cleaner , its powerfull, lightweight and easy to use, thanks to its size its idea for older people who don't want a large heavy vacuum cleaner. I would like the cable to be a little longer, and not have to have to wash the dirt container out as it's a pain having to wait for it to dry, but overall id give 8/10.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Price And Availability ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I brought this from Argos £75 around 1 year ago, it can be picked up for around the £60 mark, or £50 on ebay. When i purchased it from Argos, the website stated it was reduced from £150, which i feel is OTT. Ive seen bad hoovers sell for £40-£50 so if you can get it for £50 id say you have a bargain.
When our dyson finally died we needed a new vacuum cleaner and seeing this on sale for less than half price in Argos (and being on a budget) I decided on this one.
What a result - it's lighter, easier to use, smaller and costs less than a Dyson!
The vacuum is nice and compact and fits easily in our under stairs cupboard, it has a telescopic handle which is useful to adjust for a longer reach when cleaning or a smaller pole when storing. It is extremely light and therefore great to carry up and down stairs and to use on the stairs itself (it also stands on it's back end so can sit on the stairs as you go up).
It's bagless so no expensive bags to buy and you can easily see when it is getting full. It is easy to empty as you just push a button to remove the waste tray and then push another one when it is over the bin to empty it. It has a filter which is simple to take out and rinse clean and you can actually rinse the whole waste tray out under the tap.
We have hard wood floors, carpets and tiles in our hose and it copes well on all three floor types (with a baby and two cats it can have it's work cut out!), there is a button on the head to change from hard floors to carpet. It also has a power lever to change the rate of suction and a handy attachment to clean curtains. The other two attachments are the standard crevice and brush tools which clip on to the hose so that they are always with you. There is a good long power cord on it which automatically retracts.
In summary this is an excellent little cleaner which is light and easy to use and store, easy to empty and clean and powerful enough to do the job.
Short name: Vax C88-VC-P-A