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I'd been thinking about getting a steam cleaner for months for my kitchen and hall floor which is covered with cushionfloor. I was shopping in Sainsburys in August, not looking for a cleaner, but I spotted this one, reduced to £29.99. It's currently in Argos at £49.99.
My main criteria had been threefold all along: I didn't want to spend a fortune (£30 budget), it must be lightweight to use and it must either fold down to fit in a cupboard or be slim/flexible enough to fit under my stairs which is a bit of a squeeze. As you'll see, this Vax stick model ticked those boxes plus many more...
In the box, the cleaner and all its bits and bobs are packed in shaped cardboard protection. The handle is separate, and there is a funnel, a water jug complete with hard water filter, two cleaning pads and a plastic "carpet glider" attachment. The carpet glider is not referenced anywhere on the box, so that was a total bonus and surprise! The main body of the unit looks sleek and smart with a curved main body in bright white plastic with minimal branding or fuss to the design.
The floor pad or 'foot', is triangular, with edges approximately 250mm long and the triange is 200mm high at it's apex. The foot is black plastic on the upper surface with a spongey-type material underneath.
The handle fixes into the body of the cleaner by slotting it into the socket and a push-button clicks through when in place to hold it secure. It's equally easy to push the button to remove the handle again if you want to separate the two parts in order to store in a smaller space. The body of the unit is hinged to the cleaning pad, and stands upright without needing to lean it up against anything, and then it just pulls backwards to operate as any upright vacuum cleaner would. Overall it stands about 1.4m high, which is not too high even for a shortie like me, it's around the same height as my Hoover.
The water tank is filled through a very small nozzle, with the funnel supplied, at the back of the unit. There's a clear panel at the front so that you can see the water level.
The cleaning pads are white and fluffy, with a drawstring around their edge. These are placed over the 'foot' of the cleaner and the drawstring pulled tight and secured with a plastic toggle. This took a few moments to get an accurate and tight, secure fit.
The steamer has a generous 6m length of power chord and when plugged in, it immediately starts to hiss, indicating that things are kicking in, but the cleaner still needs to be switched on by pushing the on-board button to start the serious business of getting the steam up. Within a minute it was ready to go. There is no puffing of steam pouring out, so the room didn't get hot and steamy, which was one thing I was thinking might happen, the cleaner moved really easily over the floor, just leaving a wet track where it went.
My hall and kitchen floor isn't a huge area -10 or so square metres, but it's cleaned - brilliantly and with very little physical effort - in minutes. A full tank will give 10 minutes of steam cleaning, if you have a larger area. In fact it probably takes me longer to sweep the floor, which is necessary, prior to using the cleaner. There is a definite sensation of the cleaner "gliding" over the floor, although you do need to push it around, it's not quite the full hover-cleaner effect I might be portraying!
It's very easy to steer the point of the pad into corners and along edges of skirting boards and cupboards, and the cleaning seemed to be effective right to the edges of the pad. There was no 'finishing' off to be done after I'd used the cleaner.
If there are marks on the floor such as in our case, cat food sometimes, holding the cleaner still for 5 seconds or so over it will easily shift it. I haven't had any marks which the cleaner hasn't been able to deal with.
The box states that the weight of the cleaner is 2.2kg, and it's noticeably light in use, so I was delighted about that.
Previously I cleaned the floor with soapy water or various detergents but this was an altogether different kind of "clean". Drying time naturally varies according to how warm it is, but there is no tackiness to the floor afterwards, which had come to be the norm for some detergents I've used. I like to walk around in bare feet, and the feeling underfoot was quite amazingly different from what I would have previously considered to be a clean floor.
The eco-benefits of steam cleaning without the need for any detergents is a great thing, but I have to be honest and say that this wasn't a priority consideration in my purchase. Nevertheless, to get such fantastic results simply through steam alone without the need for detergents is very satisfying.
When I was all finished I was planning to remove the handle and store under the sink, but I found that the hinged feature on the cleaner meant that I could "wiggle" it into a space under the stairs. Being so light, it's easy to manoeuvre and lift around. The cable is wrapped around the on-board hooks for safe and tidy keeping.
After the event
My front door opens into the hall directly from outside, and my back door also goes directly outside off the kitchen, so with me and two cats in and out all day, this area gets pretty grubby. Needless to say, having reported such brilliant cleaning, the pad gets absolutely embarrassingly filthy every time! However, the unit is supplied with two pads so one can be washed while the other is used if necessary. It's essential that the pads are completely dry before use. The instructions say to wash the pads on a gentle wash with no softener, and I did this at 40 degrees almost immediately and it came out good as new again.
Not expecting, or particularly wanting, a carpet attachment I was intrigued, if a little apprehensive about trying it out. On the leaflet inside it is somehow careful not to refer to the carpets being "cleaned" by the unit, it repeatedly mentions "refreshing" carpets and rugs. Before writing my review I gave it a little whirl on my bedroom carpet, which is cream.
The plastic adapter is triangular, measured to fit over the foot pad, it looks like one of those triangles on a snooker table to line the reds up! It clips securely on, and the operation is exactly the same - just plug in, switch on and wait a few seconds. I was dubious about how well the "glider" would actually glide, with the soft pad against the carpet and it wasn't hard work but it did take quite a bit more effort this time.
I wasn't expecting much but it definitely made a difference to the carpet. The only problem was - I suppose to be expected - I didn't pick a warm day, and the carpet took ages to dry. Even though it had been hammered home to me to only expect "refreshment" I would definitely say the carpet looked cleaner.
I wrote my initial review soon after purchasing, but needed to wait to get the product listed before I could post. This is a good thing because it's enabled me to report that it was not just the initial excitement that made this such a positive review, it's proved to be a fantastic purchase. The only trouble I have when cleaning the floor is that the pads don't stay exactly in place on the foot, no matter how tight I pull the drawstring, they still go walkies during the process. I generally have to stop and realign once during a clean.
Other than that, my only regret is that I didn't buy one months ago. For now at least, cleaning the kitchen floor has become a pleasure rather than one of the worst putting-it-off chores in the house. For my cats, however, they detest it. They took against it from minute one and are deeply suspicious of it. Hopefully they will get used to it because - sorry girls - I love it, and I expect it will be around for many years to come.
For quite a while I had been hankering after a steam mop/cleaner for my tiled floors so when my step son offered me his I jumped at the opportunity. If you would like a new Vax S88-W1M-B Steam Mop one can be purchased from Amazon uk for £45, wilko.com for £60 and £49.99 from Argos (prices correct Nov 13).
As my Vax Steam Mop is pre-owned it came ready assembled, I would imagine assembly would just be a case of screwing the handle into the body.
The Steam Mop only weighs 2.2kg so is very lightweight and makes cleaning floors effortless. I find the 6 meter cable a little on the short side as I have a tiled hall that runs from one end of my house to the other. It is a minor inconvenience to have to swap sockets half way through cleaning and I would have much preferred to have a 10 meter cable that seems the standard with Vax vacuum cleaners.
The water tank holds 280ml of water. I use filtered tap water in an effort to prevent a build up of lime scale. The Steam Mop is easy to fill via a small inlet on the back of the body of the Steam Mop. The Steam Mop takes less than a minute to heat up and start producing steam. Each tank of water will give you 10 minutes steaming time, the green light on the front of the body of the Steam Cleaner starts to flash red when the water is running low.
The accessories with the Steam Mop are a little lacking and I have already lost the jug and I have replaced the white micro fibre cleaning pads with Vax branded coral pads as these are much better for cleaning tiled and laminated floors.
The Steam Mop is super efficient at cleaning and takes very little effort to lift dirt and debris from the floor. I find I get the best cleaning results if I take the time to sweep the floors before I use the Steam Mop. All mud from the dogs paws and drips and splashes from cooking are easily removed. The floors are left clean and virtually dry.
I love using my Vax Steam Mop it makes keeping my tiled and laminated floors clean so easy and I find that I am happy to clean the floors each day as it is so quick and simple. I can not imagine going back to using my old mop and bucket which did not clean my floors as well and used to take an age to dry.
Another bonus for me is that I have no need to use floor cleaners, disinfectant or bleach to get my floors hygienically clean which is much better for my dog and my asthmatic Husband and children.
The Vax S88-W1M-B is also great for refreshing carpets and rugs and I have used it on my carpets in an effort to kill off dust mites and remove allergens. In all honesty I can not say I have noticed much of a difference in my family's asthma but it is nice to know that I am attempting to improve the air quality for them.
All things considered I highly recommend the Vax S88-W1M-B it is so simple to use and makes my housework go just that little bit easier.
Thank you for reading.
The Vax White steam cleaner is ideal for cleaning a wide range of sealed hard floor surfaces including tiles, lino, sealed laminate and sealed wood flooring. It's also perfect for refreshing carpets and rugs too so you can get your whole home looking spotless. Its easy to use, and its slim design makes it very easy to store / Powerful steam jets hygienically and effectively break down stubborn grease and grime without using any detergent, making it very environmentally friendly and economical too! / It also comes with a carpet glider, 2 microfibre cleaning pads and a measuring jug, to make cleaning your whole home effortless.