The Vax S6S Home Pro Compact Steam Cleaner is a cylinder-style steam cleaner with a design very similar to the Polti Vaporetto Airplus. It has seven tools stored on board, and a detergent tank built into the handle.
It has powerful, variable steam and, unlike the Polti, a good-for-corners triangular cleaning head. All together it's an impressive combination.
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The lightweight Vax is highly portable – it follows you around on wheels and at just 4.7kg it's light enough to carry without complaint. It comes with three extension tubes that give flexibility (you can use all three or just one or two) and a long reach.
Its cylinder design is very similar to the Polti Vaporetto Airplus. But the Vax stores its tools at the back, whereas the Polti has a large tray of tools hidden underneath the body of the cleaner. There are pros and cons to this – the Vax has fewer tools but they're easier to access.
Tools include: concentration nozzle, two plastic brushes, metal brush, window squeegee, upholstery tool, detail nozzle and scraper. These all attach after adding the concentration nozzle.
For floors, the Vax's large, triangular cleaning head attaches to the extension tubes and then clips neatly to the side of the body of the cleaner for storage.
Much like the Polti's deodorant tank, the Vax has a detergent tank built into the handle. You can fill this with the supplied detergent and then use a sliding control on the handle to choose how much, if any, detergent to use as you clean.
After filling the Vax with water using the supplied jug and funnel, you must screw on the safety cap and wait for 12 minutes for it to heat up. But in return it packs enough steam that it can clean for 40 minutes without being refilled. And it's surprisingly quiet.
The steam is variable, controlled with a knob on the body of the cleaner. It works well on its own for mopping and generally refreshing furnishing. But for cleaning it works best in combination with the detergent. This is stored in a tank on the handle. You fill it with a mix of detergent and water – again using the jug and funnel – then use a sliding switch on the handle to control its use. Teamed with a small brush and a bit of elbow grease, it was really good for listing ingrained stains.
The accessories are good and easy to access. The Vax may not have as many as the Polti but it has everything you need. And they all work with the extension tubes, so you can enjoy its long reach. Meanwhile the controllable steam is good for delicate curtains. The trigger has a safety lock, good for changing tools without accidentally steam-cleaning your fingers.
The large, triangular cleaning head, meanwhile, does a great job on floors. It's light in the hand and a pleasure to use. The Vax comes with two microfiber cloths that attach with Velcro, and then a carpet glider that this all sits in for cleaning – you guessed it – carpets and rugs. The glider is a simple piece of plastic that looks like the triangle you use to position the balls on a pool table.
It's powerful and quick for cleaning hard floors. And you notice how powerful the steam is. To avoid over-wetting you need to either tap the steam trigger for short bursts or turn down the steam using the knob on the body of the cleaner.
It glides over carpets beautifully, with just one annoyance: the cleaning head and cloth just sits in the glider. So if you lift it off the ground to clean a different patch you leave the glider behind. You'd get used to this with time but it's senseless – why not have it clip on?
After cleaning, if you want to empty the water tank you need to release the pressure first. You can achieve this either by leaving it to cool for 10 minutes or, if you're in a hurry, by letting steam out until the button on top of the safety cap can be depressed.
The Vax packs away fairly well but the extension tubes and cleaning head combined won't stand up by themselves or clip to the body of the cleaner. There is a cooling base for the head to sit in after use, but it didn't seem necessary. The cleaning pads are machine washable.
Yes. The combination of powerful steam and detergent does a good job of cleaning anything and everything using its triangular cleaning head and easy-to-access onboard tools.
Look out for reductions – at the time of writing it was available online for £30 less than the official price. It's a close-run thing between the Vax and the very similar Polti Vaporetto Airplus, so price might be the deciding factor.
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This impressive cylinder cleaner packs powerful steam, detergent and easy-to-access onboard tools.