It's an absolute beast, weighing 7.4kg, and costly too, but the Vax Platinum SmartWash is an excellent carpet cleaner. It can deal with the toughest of stains, thanks to its dual brushes and automatic mixing of solution and water, and comes with handheld tools for detail cleaning as well. Probably better suited to those with an expanse of carpet or numerous rugs indoors, this Vax is a great investment if you want to keep your floors looking like new.
- Three-tank system offers the perfect mix of cleaning solution
- Incredible power makes carpets look like new
- Handheld tools let you tackle spot stains
- Review Price: £299.99
- Carpet cleaner
- 1070 x 325 x 480mm, 7.4kg
- Dual motorised brush bar, 2.5m hose, 2-in-1 hand tool (anti-microbial and pet), SpinScrub
- 3.5-litre detergent capacity (water + solution tanks)
- 1.9-litre dirty water tank
Vax has a long history of producing some of the best carpet cleaners, culminating in last year’s excellent Vax Platinum Power Max washer. Today, the company is back with a refined, more powerful model – the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner.
Automated detergent mixing and a boost in power make this cleaner stand out – but it’s quite expensive and bulky, too. Do cleaning results make up for this? Let’s find out.
Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner design and features – Despite its size, it’s easy to push around
- This is a large vacuum cleaner, so you’ll need room to store it
- Three tanks for fresh water, dirty water and cleaning solution
- Handheld tools for spot-removal help finish the job
The Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner looks like a vacuum cleaner. Well, an absolutely massive vacuum cleaner. Measuring 1070 x 325 x 480mm and weighing a hefty 7.4kg, this is an absolute beast of a machine, so you’ll need some space to store it when it isn’t in use.
A carry handle on the front is useful for those times you do have to lift this machine, but I recommend wheeling it when you can.
Everything about this carpet cleaner is over-sized, including the large floor head with two brushes. These have blue bristles thanks to an anti-microbial coating, and are similar to the those on the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet.
Removing the plastic cover to access the brushes for cleaning is simple enough. And I also found I had to wipe down the inside of the floor head, too.
This carpet cleaner comes with three tanks, compared to the Power Max’s two. This is because this model includes a dedicated tank for the undiluted cleaning solution, which the cleaner mixes automatically with the warm water you put into the 3.5-litre main tank.
This is a vast improvement over the Power Max, where you need to mix the cleaning solution with the water, and avoids any wastage. You can pour what you don’t use back into the bottle. Vax provides two 250ml bottles of its Platinum Antibacterial Carpet Cleaning solution in the box to get you started.
Also included is a 250ml bottle of the company’s stain pre-treatment. Once you run out, replacing the 4-litre bottle of cleaning solution with cost you £45. Note that you must use Vax’s own detergent, or you’ll invalidate your warranty.
The third container is a 1.9-litre waste tank for dirty water. On any particular cleaning cycle, you’ll need to empty the water tank a couple of times for each full tank of water that goes in.
To prevent damage, there’s a float in the tank that shuts off the water inlet when it’s full. It’s possible to knock the cleaner when in use and have the float close up, but turning the machine off and back on will clear this. Once cleaning is complete, this tank needs to be thoroughly washed out, including the filter on top.
What’s particularly brilliant about the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner is how easy it is to use. Just turn it on, slip the handle back and push the cleaner forward; cleaning solution is dispensed automatically. Pull back and it goes into drying-only mode, sucking up dirty water.
There’s a Dry Only button that turns off solution dispensing completely, so you can run over a carpet at the end of cleaning to get it as dry as possible.
Although this Vax is a beast of a machine, it isn’t too hard to push around. In addition, there’s a fair amount of flexibility in the head to let you partially get under furniture, such as beds.
For close-up stain removal jobs or working on upholstery, you can plug in the supplied 2.5-metre hose and use the attachments. There’s a standard handheld tool, which can be used with the antimicrobial brush or the pet attachment with its rubber nodules. These are the same tools that fit on the battery-powered Vax ONEPWR SpotlessGo.
The Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner also comes with the SpinScrub tool, which has two automatically rotating brushes. With all of the handheld tools, cleaning solution is dispensed manually by squeezing the trigger, and you then vacuum up the dirt as you go.
Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner performance – Deals with the toughest of stains easily
- Tackles tough stains without issue
- Handheld tools are ideal for spot cleaning
- Makes old carpets feel like new
The short version is that the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner is an excellent carpet cleaner that can cope with the toughest of stains without breaking a sweat. My first opportunity to test its cleaning prowess came on the day it arrived, with the delivery driver using a sack barrow to bring it in, wheeling thick mud across the office floor. These stains were pretty harsh, but methodically running over them resulted in them lifting without much trouble.
To tackle a couple of tougher marks, I used the handheld SpinScrub tool, which cleared up the remainder of the mess.
Next, I spread a teaspoon of ketchup into my test carpet and left it to dry. This time, I use the pre-treatment spray on the stain first, and then tackled it with the standard floor head. A few sweeps of this mostly removed the mess from the carpet, leaving only a trace.
It was nothing that the SpinScrub tool can’t handle, however, with some manual scrubbing being enough to clear what was left.
For a more regular challenge, I tackled an old rug that had never been cleaned before. While the tank was full of filthy-looking water, the rug both looked and felt like new: it was brighter and the pile was softer.
I used the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner on Dry Only mode at the end, to suck up any remaining water, although it took a few additional hours before the rug was completely dry.
How much detergent you get through will depend on how dirty your carpets are and how often you have to go over them. I used the bulk of the first 250ml solution cleaning the floor of my 69m2 office, which had some harsh mud stains. I got through part of the second bottle of solution on tackling two rugs (around 10m2).
One downside is that this cleaner is very loud: I measured it at 84dB. This is around the same as loud city traffic. Fortunately, this isn’t a tool that you’re likely to use very often.
Should you buy the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner?
At close to £300, the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner certainly isn’t cheap, particularly for a machine that you won’t use all of the time. If you don’t have that many carpets around your home, then something else on our list of best carpet cleaners will probably be a better fit.
If you have an expanse of carpet in your home, though, then the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner comes into its own. Simple and unrivalled cleaning performance will get your carpets back to prime condition.
The Vax is also useful for those who have pets, with its handheld tools ideal for tackling any dirt that your furry friends may trail onto carpets and upholstery.
Ultimately, you should think of this carpet cleaner as an investment that will work out cheaper over time than renting a carpet cleaner. Given the quality of the clean here, the price is more than justified.