Product Type: Vax vacuums
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My Steamy Afternoon
Vax S6 Home Master Steam Cleaner
Member Name: CrazyEgg
Vax S6 Home Master Steam Cleaner
Date: 04/01/13, updated on 05/01/13 (605 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent cleaning results, variety of attachments
Disadvantages: Heavy, no water level indicator
The Vax S6 seemed a good buy as it was on offer for £79.99 rather than its normal price of £139.99. The manufacturer describes it as "ideal for total home cleaning", and provides a variety of attachments so that the unit can be used to steam clean hard and carpeted floors, windows, upholstery, tiles, oven grills and racks, as well as kitchens and bathroom surfaces generally. The steam cleaner should NOT be used on leather, wax polished furniture or floors, synthetic fabrics, velvet or water-sensitive materials.
The machine is very simple to set up. It took me about 15 minutes to read the instructions, unwrap, and assemble the unit. This simply required a hose to be attached to the front of the unit, which clicked easily into place. Using the jug and funnel provided I filled the steamer with the requisite 1.4 litres of water and waited the required 12 minutes for the red light to turn to green, indicating that steam cleaning could commence! The instructions for this process were all laid out clearly in words and pictures, 14 stages in total, none of which caused any confusion.
To release the steam the user simply pulls the trigger on the handle at the end of the hose. The ferocity of the steam is controlled by a dial on the base unit. At first I was not overly impressed and somewhat directionless in my steaming. Without using any of the attachments I steamed the inside of our glass oven door, in the hope that I would see the grease and grime lift and trickle away, but this did not occur. After steaming some cupboard doors I decided to tackle the main reason for purchasing the Vax S6 in the first place: the kitchen floor.
Our kitchen floor is tiled. The tiles are brown as the previous occupants chose them to blend with the brown wooden cupboards, brown wall tiles, brown doors and brown work surfaces. Such a range of brown closing in on one all the time means that I am generally not inclined to remain in the kitchen long. Since Baby started on proper food- puree and mash only- it has become increasingly difficult to keep the kitchen clean since spoons are thrown around, often full of food, and since much of her food is beige or brown it is camouflaged when it lands and may remain for some time, drying out and becoming hard to shift. Worse, the cupboard doors have a sort of groove design around them and food and grime becomes stuck in these when I attempt to wipe them down.
To tackle the floor I attached the three extension tubes and the floor head to the hose to form a type of broom. The floor head attachment has short, stiff bristles on its underside. Once I started cleaning these served their purpose well. The steam loosened the welded on porridge and the brush scrubbed them away. I applied quite a lot of pressure in doing this and felt that the 'broom handle' was not very strong. It felt as if it would break. I applied less pressure and the floor was still cleaned effectively, so this may be a concern that subsides when I become a more experienced steam cleaner. The floor head attachment pivots readily, and I was able to clean awkward corners and the edges of the floor easily. Not all the work was done by the steam cleaner however: I swept prior to cleaning and after steaming the floor was wet and needed drying. The debris that had been lifted also needed wiping away. The end result was superb, but it was certainly not the effortless cleaning of my dreams.
The success with the floor head attachment led me to go back and try the other attachments. There are three brushes included (one metal for cleaning grill pans), a scraper, a squeegee and a steam concentrator which has to be attached before any of these other attachments are used. The brushes were excellent: I used these around the grooves of our cupboard doors. They helped remove visible grime and also invisible grime! Once again, a cloth was needed to wipe afterwards to give a really good finish.
The squeegee gave a very good result on the kitchen window, though the blade is considerably smaller than a regular manual squeegee, being only 14cm long.
I cannot fault the cleaning power of this machine, the cupboards look very different. (Though still brown).
Downsides to the Vax S6 are firstly that there is no water level indicator. This is a shame since the instructions are at pains to point out that using the machine without water will damage it. I used it for about 30 minutes and there was still water left at the end. I suppose you know if it has run out because you won't get any more steam.
A further disadvantage is that you have to empty the water when you have finished. To do this you must up end the unit and it is quite heavy and cumbersome. You should not do it straight away as the water will still be very hot, and this means the unit has to hang around for some time after you have finished.
Some of the attachments store neatly in the unit itself, but the hose, extension tubes and floor head do not. Also, the power lead does not seem to wrap easily around the machine for tidy storage.
This is the sort of product you would use for occasional deep cleaning sessions rather than daily use, I feel. I can recommend it on that basis.
Summary: A powerful steam cleaner
|Ease of use:|
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