Vax Floormate Cordless HF85-FM-C Review
- Cordless convenience
- Ample battery life
- Easy to set up and store
- Good cleaning
- Dries and cleans at same time
- Some unclear instructions
- Clear detergent hard to see on floors
- Expensive consumables
- Review Price: £199.00
What is the Vax Floormate Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner?
For once the name says it all – it’s a dedicated hard floor cleaner that, like the Vax Air Cordless Lift, runs on batteries. We’ve been impressed with Vax’s cordless efforts thus far, but the Floormate Cordless is a little different. Does it make a good case for investing in a hard floor cleaner?
If you have enough hard floors, yes. A combination of four spinning cleaning bristles, a vacuum system for sucking up leftover water, and a neat, easy-to-use design make cleaning all sorts of hard floors a breeze. It’s a definite time saver.
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Vax Floormate Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner – Design & Setup
There’s plenty of intelligent, straightforward design in the Vax Floormate Cordless Floor Cleaner. For example, while the upright form makes it quite tall, the handle folds down so it fits in tighter spaces.
It’s a nice detail and everything about the design is easy to get on with. The two reservoirs – one for clean water and detergent and one for dirty water – clip on and off easily, as does the plastic guard on the cleaner head so you can clean the four spinning brushes.
This makes the Floormate easy to assemble and get cleaning quickly. In fact, the hardest part of getting started are the somewhat conflicting instructions. You need to fill the cleaning reservoir with warm water and some of Vax’s liquid floor cleaner, but the instructions on the bottle and those in the instruction manual differ. It also isn’t clear how much the cap holds, which would make it easier to measure.
Still, it’s a small issue that’s quickly negotiated.
Vax Floormate Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner – Cleaning
Once you do, the benefits of a hard floor cleaner – particularly a cordless one like this – are obvious. The Vax has two neat tricks. First, it takes all the elbow grease and effort out of cleaning hard floors; second, it sucks up all the water it puts down, leaving your floors almost perfectly dry.
It’s simple to use, too. Hold down the trigger on the handle to put down water and detergent, then flick down the thumb switch to either scrub using the spinning brushes or scrub and dry at the same time. This lets you systematically focus on one area, clean it and dry it and then move onto the next.
The only serious problem is that the provided cleaning liquid is totally clear. It’s hard to see on some surfaces, so sometimes you need to look closely to see if you’ve put down enough liquid or if you’ve missed a spot when cleaning.
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The drying system works well, though it isn’t faultless. It’s basically a mini vacuum cleaner system – it sucks up any standing water into the waste water reservoir as you clean. It won’t leave floors perfectly dry, but it’s enough that they’ll dry within minutes afterwards and they’re safe to walk on straight away.
This system also makes the Vax ideal for cleaning up spillages – rather than waste several trees’ worth of paper towels, just fire up the Floormate and suck it all up. Neat.
The fact that the Floormate is cordless is vital, too. The provided battery is replaceable – it comes with a charging dock – and is interchangeable with other Vax cordless cleaners. The freedom this provides is invaluable – I wouldn’t have used the Foormate Cordless as often as I have if it meant moving from socket to socket. The battery is good for 30 minutes of use, which is enough to clean a two-bedroom flat with all hard floors.
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Vitally, it cleans well, too. It tackles most stains and most surfaces with aplomb, making short work of even sticky, dried-on residues. It won’t, in case you were wondering, work miracles on tired floors overdue some serious TLC (or retirement), but neither will a mop.
The four spinning scrubbing brushes do a decent job of lifting tougher blemishes and stains – hover over an area with them scrubbing and they’ll gradually, but not too violently, dislodge stubborn spots.
It’s a fine balance, though, as they’re strong enough to scrub most stains but not so much that they could damage delicate floors. The trade-off is that you might, every now and again, have to grab a scouring pad to get rid of well-established dirt. You know, the kind you ought to have cleaned ages ago before it became so stubborn.
Overall, it does a fine job. The Floormate Cordless is very convenient, simple to use and cleans better than a standard mop, while leaving the floor dry in mere minutes.
Other things to consider
There are running costs to consider with the Floormate – each bottle of Vax floor cleaner costs around £15. One bottle is enough for five or six cleans of a two-bedroom flat, but anyone with more hard floors may get through bottles faster. You can’t use other cleaners, either, so you can forget about resorting to your preferred supermarket own brand.
We’d also recommend anyone with delicate flooring, such as old parquet floors, avoid the Floormate. It’s fine on any newer or well-maintained hard floor, but the combination of scrubbing and vacuum suction could cause problems on less secure surfaces.
Should I buy the Vax Floormate Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner?
If you hate cleaning your floors the old-fashioned way, definitely. The Vax Floormate Cordless is easy to use, cleans very well and is ultra-convenient. It takes all the pain and mess out of cleaning hard floors and it’s a decent step up if you currently use a steam mop, or are considering buying one.
The only product we’ve seen that bears comparison is the Bissell Vac & Steam, which is a steam mop and vacuum cleaner in one. It has a few potential advantages, such as fragrance discs that leave things smelling as clean as they look, and you can clean carpets as well. Of course, steam mops also have the bacteria-killing element, though the Bissell won’t leave floors as dry and isn’t cordless.
And we can’t stress enough how important that cordless bit is, really. The convenience it affords softens the somewhat high price, though the Floormate is good enough for it to be good value in the long run.
The Floormate is one more answer to keeping your home clean as painlessly and conveniently as possible. If that sounds good to you, it’s money well spent.