For a cylinder steam cleaner, the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B is affordable and easy to use. It is quick to heat up and can be refilled whenever without having to wait for it to cool down. This makes it particularly suitable for deep cleaning, while it may be a little bulky for everyday use. It can be a bit noisy at higher steam levels, although you’re rarely likely to need that much power anyway. It could do with a couple of extra accessories, but the ones available are all of high quality.
- Large water tank
- Easy to fill
- Heats up quickly
- Powerful steaming
- Unclear steam dial
- Bulky for small jobs
- Review Price: £165
- Cylinder steam cleaner
- 290 x 270 x 400mm, 5kg
- Mop head with microfibre pad and carpet glider, squeegee tool with microfibre cover, two small round brushes, curved nozzle, scraper tool and two extension tubes
- 2-litre water tank
- 4-bar pressure
Cylinder steam cleaners are known for their versatility and the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B does not disappoint on that front. In addition to a mop head that can be used for cleaning tiled and laminate floors as well as carpets, it comes with various accessories for scrubbing kitchen grease, steaming soap scum off bathroom mirrors and removing dirt from grouting.
While it may be a little too bulky to get out for smaller jobs, it’s a great appliance for deep-cleaning your house in one go, assisted by the very generous and easily refillable water tank and the 7.5m operating reach. Read more on how we test and review products.
Design and features – Easy to use, though the steam level dial on the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B lacks increments
- Good range of accessories with on-board storage, but it could do with a few more
- A removable external water tank and a separate internal one make for easy filling for uninterrupted steaming
- With only MIN and MAX directions indicated, the steam level dial could be clearer
The Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B has a bulky blue-and-white body, movable on two large back wheels and a small front castor. The steam is emitted through a flexible hose that has the steam gun on the other end. The steam gun consists of an ergonomic, rubberised handle with a large steam trigger and a smaller safety lock below.
The cleaner comes with a good range of accessories, including a mop head with a removable carpet glider and two small round brushes for various scrubbing tasks. A squeegee tool is provided for steaming windows and mirrors and can be fitted with a microfibre cover, to use for cleaning soft furnishings or fabrics. A plastic scraper tool is meant to aid kitchen grease removal, while the curved nozzle is ideal for small nooks and crannies. All the accessories, including the two extension tubes, can be stored in slots at the back of the appliance.
However, the mop head only comes with one microfibre pad, while the Dupray Neat comes with three and the Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium with two. There’s also no metallic brush nor a larger brush for more efficient scrubbing.
The Smart 100_B steam cleaner pumps water from the external removable tank into an internal one, meaning it can be filled straight from the tap without having to wait for the machine to cool down. It takes only about two to three minutes to warm up and will then continue to pump and heat the water from the external tank while steaming is in process.
While the large power button and the three indicators (power, insufficient water and steam ready) are straightforward enough to comprehend, the steam control dial proves a little trickier as it lacks any increments or notches. This cleaner’s manual is full of recommendations for using “Medium level” of steam, but the dial doesn’t have anything to indicate where the medium might be as it can be turned 270 degrees between minimum and maximum.
Performance – The Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B cleans well, but it’s best at the minimum to medium range without excessive noise and water
- The cleaner makes quite a bit of noise and emits some water at higher steam levels, so it’s best not to go much further than half way on the dial
- Keep a dry cloth handy to mop up after smaller steaming tasks
- This steam cleaner refreshes fabrics and can make some stains look fainter, but it won’t get rid of deep staining
After attaching the two extension tubes to the mop head with the microfibre pad and this in turn to the hose, I used this steam cleaner to wipe some dried muddy footprints off textured laminate floors. It took only about 15secs to get rid of a sizable patch. I tried various steam levels, with something around medium proving best in terms of efficiency and the amount of water emitted.
My next test was intentionally trickier: a mix of tomato puree and coffee that had dried overnight on smooth kitchen tiles. As the stains were particularly stubborn, I opted for maximum steam power. After 30secs, I’d made good progress and after 1min I’d got rid of the whole patch. But the max setting was probably a little too much here as I was left with some red oily residue that was impossible to clean up with a tomato-saturated and soaking mop pad. Steaming at a lower level would have taken longer, but also provided less wet results.
I then used this cleaner for mopping textured bathroom tiles covered in dust and sticky soap scum. At a roughly medium steam level, it only took one swipe to restore my test area to its gleaming glory. But as the mop head is quite large, I needed something more delicate for doing the corners.
I removed the extension tubes and added the curved nozzle directly onto the steam gun. At the minimum setting, the cleaner was powerful enough to push away stubborn dust. It still left behind some water, so it’s good to keep a dry cloth handy when using this cleaner for smaller tasks.
I also ended up with extra water when using the small round brush on some grey grouting. But after steaming and drying the area, the grouting was restored to its former whiteness.
To battle kitchen grease, I used both the small round brush and the scraper tool on a metal grille and on the inside of the oven door, both of which were covered in burnt residue. The scraper worked better with the rack, managing to remove most of the burnt bits. Meanwhile, the brush proved more efficient for the oven door. To really get into the encrusted oils, I had to turn up the steam level, which meant being enveloped in steam and noise for a while.
I then used the squeegee tool for cleaning my bathroom mirror and shower screen with excellent results – even the more stubborn limescale was removed at a medium setting. Fitting the squeegee tool with the microfibre cover, I set about refreshing my sofa. At a near-minimum setting, the cleaner wet the fabric without soaking it. It left the colours brighter as well as rendering a stain on it much fainter.
Finally, I fitted the mop head and microfibre pad combo with the plastic frame of the carpet glider. The steam helped to refresh the colours, although it didn’t address any underlying staining, for which a proper carpet cleaner would be more appropriate.
Should you buy the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B?
Cylinder steam cleaners are best used for large jobs, as they’re a little too bulky for occasional cleaning or if you just want to tackle hard floors. If you’re not going to be doing a lot of cleaning then one of our alternative steam cleaner top choices will make more sense.
If a cylinder steam cleaner is for you, then the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B is an excellent choice, particularly if you want to clean continuously. Thanks to its separate tank, this is one of the few cylinder steam cleaners that doesn’t require a cool-down period before it can be refilled.