Can you imagine, it was the day before Christmas Eve, 2011, family due to visit the next day - the house in uproar! 2 cats and 1 dog, that all lose their fur constantly, a coal/woodburning stove and all the dust produced from the - and my trusty old vacuum cleaner died on me.
To keep my living room looking clean and the carpet looking nice, I need to put the "hoover" around every day, and it has been known for it to be used again later in the day. Total nightmare sometimes, don't you just wish you could do it once and the carpet stays looking nice?
Time was not on my side that morning, and money certainly wasn't - usually if I had to buy something I would research carefully online, getting the best price, best delivery etc.. but not this time, I had to get a new cleaner and I had to get it now.
I had a look online at Argos, but couldn't stand the thought of all the Christmas shoppers, so I drove to our nearest B & Q, where they have a decent range of home electrical products.
This Vax U90 was there, and it was on some sort of sale/promotion of around £50 off, so with time not on my side and a price tag of £39.99 I bought it. I actually was very pleased with the price for brand name vacuum cleaner.
I researched it online when I got home and at that point, it was the best price around, so top marks to B & Q for their Christmas promotion.
The Vax is quite lightweight and easy to assemble. Within five minutes the Vax was ready to go. It is quite lightweight, therefore very manageable to get up and down the stairs, it has a nice long extending, flexible pipe, for vacuuming edges and furniture - it also has 2 pipe attachments, to make the flexible pipe longer, one of them with a very narrow end for getting into awkwards crevices/spots precisely.
I found the Vax very powerful, it sucked perfectly, It is the bagless kind - which I prefer, and when you first turn it on it is suprising quite how much dust and fluff is in your carpet as you can see it whirling around the case.
The lead is of a decent length, 2 metres which I find perfect.
It is 2000 watts with a 3 litre capacity, which when you have pets and a family can easily fill up!
The extendable hose can stretch to 2.5 metres
The weight of this machine is 6.7 kilos - which I find light and manageable
If there was a downside to this machine, I would say it can be very loud - personally this is not a problem to me, but may be worth mentioning..
I when first moved into my own house my mum bought me a cheap Argos vacuum cleaner just to see me through until I could afford a decent one. When the Argos one went bang, I found this Vax power 2 upright vacuum cleaner in the sale from Very.co.uk for about £50.
*3-litre dust capacity
*HEPA filter - traps dust and allergens
*2000W, 200 air watts
*Carpet height adjuster
*Includes crevice tool, extension tubes and flexible hose
*Flexible hose for easy stair cleaning
*10m cord length
*Model: Vax U90-P2-B Power 2
---- Appearance ----
Once the Vax had been delivered, I immediately noticed the box didn't look hoover shaped, oh dear! Inside the box was a few pieces of the hoover that had to be pieced together, this was pretty simple and only really involved attaching the base to the main handle, and erecting the part where all of the dust stays.
Once put together, the Vax looks quite appealing to the eye. It is mostly coloured in a nice silver colour, with splashes of orange dotted around to break the silver up. The base of the Vax contains the height adjuster, where you can adjust the height to the height of your carpet.
---- In use ----
The Vax is very easy to use, just un wind the cable from the back of the vacuum cleaner, plug in and away you go. The power button can be found by the base of the cleaner, and is easy to push down with your left foot, this is also where the lever to unclip the vacuum cleaner from the upright position is found. All you have to do is push your foot on the lever and the hoover will fall back in your hand. This past month, I've had a problem with the power as soon so as it's plugged into the socket and the plug turned on, the Vax starts up regardless, even if the button on the vacuum cleaner isn't switched on. This isn't really a problem for me, but for others, it might be.
Pushing the Vax around is quite hard work compared to the old Argos vacuum cleaner I used to have, I think this is more down to the suction then the actual weight of the cleaner. The suction is brilliant, it picks up everything, it has even picked up a hair clip and a cotton bud without any problems, not that I intentionally tried to hoover them up! The great suction power does come at a price, it makes the noise made by the vacuum cleaner very loud, a lot louder than my old Argos one. If my daughter is trying to tell me something as I am hoovering I can't hear a word she is saying, even if she shouts.
The three different height adjustments available are, low carpet, high carpet and hard flooring. I tend to keep the vacuum cleaner on the low carpet level and it does the job perfectly. I've got lino in my kitchen, and laminate flooring in my porch and back door way and the hard flooring level handles hoovering of these floor types well too.
The hose is easy to use, it is attaches to the vacuum cleaner on the left hand side at the bottom, then travels up and around the main body of the hoover and back down the other side and its held in place by a little hole on the bottom right hand side. It can be pulled out with a gentle tug. There is then the end nozzle to attach to the hose and you are free to go. I like using the hose on my sofa and stairs and it handle both of these jobs well. Obviously as stairs are so high they can sometimes be tricky to hoover, but as the hose is quite long you can hoover quite a few stairs before having to move the main body of the vacuum cleaner. The seat cushions on my sofa cannot be removed, so the only effect way of cleaning behind them is with the hose of the vacuum cleaner and it does the job well, it doesn't lose out on any suction.
The length of the power cable makes it easy to just plug in and go, I can plug it into the lounge plug socket and the vacuum cleaner can then reach all of my downstairs without having to stop and start constantly to re-plug in a socket somewhere closer. The cable is easily wound onto the main body of the vacuum cleaner so it makes for easy access the next time you want to use it.
---- Emptying ----
Emptying the vacuum cleaner is simple, the dirt catcher attaches to the main body by one catch, just pull this and it comes off with ease, the lid of the dirt catcher then just twists off from the base of it. The only problem I've found with emptying the dirt catcher is that the filter is attached to the lid so as soon as the lid comes of dirt and dust particles are flying off of it, I have to have a carrier bag handy to catch the stray bits that fall. Other than that, the base of the dirt catcher just needs a little hit and the dust and dirt come out easily.
The filter tends to catch and hold on to a lot of the dirt and dust and usually requires a good whack against a wall outside to get the remaining dirt out. I've found that if I rinse it out after a few uses I get better suction results.
---- Availability and price ----
Vax products are widely available from places such as Argos. This power 2 Vax, however, is slightly more difficult to come across, after a quick google I've found it available to buy from Very.co.uk , Tesco and Amazon, to name a few.
The price can range from anywhere between £50 and £100, so shop around.
---- Overall ----
I'd definitely recommend this Vax Power 2 if you are looking for a cheap, but decent vacuum cleaner. It's suction power is brilliant, and the long hose makes it easy to use. However, the sound and power button fault may put some people off.
If you prefer an upright vacuum, consider the Vax U90-P2 Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner / It can easily be stored in a closet, and a cable length of 10 meters lets you carry out a complete cleaning without having to use another socket / Whether the floor covering is a carpet or hard floor, the 1800 watts of power of the U90-P2 Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner removes dirt and dust with ease / Characteristics Type Bagless upright Power (Watts) 1800 Appropriate power (Watts) 180 Filter type HEPA Ergonomy Cable length 10 Others Colours Orange Weight (Kg) 6.6kg / Short name: Vax U90-P2