Capable of cleaning entire items, the W’air excels as a stain remover both on fabric and upholstery. Easily dealing with my test stains, this is a valuable tool for keeping fabric at its best. The relatively high price may make it difficult to justify for all.
- Simple to use
- Removes stains brilliantly
- Uses very little water
- Time consuming for large items
- UKRRP: £199
- TypeThis is a spot cleaner that can remove stains on all types of fabrics from clothes to sofas. It’s also capable of refreshing or cleaning entire items.
A washing machine might be the perfect appliance for cleaning a large number of clothes at once, it isn’t as capable of tackling spot stains or very delicate items that might require a trip to the dry cleaner. That’s where W’air comes in. Using a fine spray of water mixed with a selection of detergents and pre-treatment stain removers, this system is built to specifically deal with stains, to refresh clothes and handle delicate items.
Stain removal is impressive, but refreshing items can take a long time and the system isn’t cheap.
Design and Features
- Ships with separate detergent and stain removal treatments
- Small backing mat
- Simple to use
Decked out in bright white plastic with a carry handle on top, the W’Air looks a little like a child’s medical set toy. It’s relatively light (3.5kg) and pretty small (390 x 235 x 370mm).
Using the W’air is easy, with the product shipping with the cleaning detergent and pre-treatment packs that you need. It’s designed to be used on a variety of surfaces, including upholstery, clothes and delicate dry-clean only products. How you use it will depend on the fabric and result you want.
For refreshing and deep-cleaning, you don’t need the pre-treatment solution. Here, you remove the 250ml water tank, fill it up and add a few squirts of detergent – which is available in Spring Sunrise, Lavender Breeze and Citrus Burst flavours.
Then, you turn the machine on, lay your clothes on the provided map and move the wand head over the top, getting close without touching the items, covering all over. The W’air sends a delicate mist of water and detergent over your clothes, so that they become a little damp but not wet.
It is a little slow and painful covering a large item, particularly since the mat is rather small; I could only work on a small area at a time.
For refreshing items, you’re done once you’ve covered your clothes; for deep cleaning, you should then dunk your clothes in water (if they’re marked as suitable for this) and then leave them to dry.
For stain removal, you’ll need to use one of the two pre-treatment solutions, which should be applied directly to the fabric. W’air recommends performing a test on a discrete area first. The quick-start guide provides some advice on which pre-treatment to use, but the app goes into more detail, with a long list of stains to choose from.
Once the pre-treatment has dried, you can turn on the W’air and rub the wand head directly onto the stain to remove the mess. Again, items should dry in a few minutes, since very little water is used.
Given how slowly the spray comes out, I found stain removal quicker and easier than cleaning an entire garment.
Replacement solution costs £4.99 per bottle, regardless of the type, although you can get a discount if you buy two or more bottles at the same time. Given how little of each you use, the replacement cost is reasonable.
- Excellent stain removal
- Refreshes clothes well
- Energy savings depend on the wash type
To test out the system, I used my standard stain strip, which is a white cloth embedded with red wine, vegetable oil, ketchup, orange juice and gravy stains (left to right). I treated each stain with the recommended pre-treatment solution and then cleaned directly.
As you can see from the before and after pictures below, stain removal was exceptional. Squint and you’ll see the faintest trace of red wine, which is the toughest test. On this level, the W’air is better than any washing machine I’ve tested. Another go over the area would clean everything completely.
Refreshing clothes wasn’t quite as easy, taking a long time to do, particularly on a tricky item, such as a hoody. Sure, the final product smelt fresh, but for odour removal, I found it easier to use the Bosch FreshUp, which has the advantage of being battery-powered and small enough to slip into a bag.
According to W’air, the product uses up to 99% less water and 77% less detergent than traditional laundry. That’s certainly true for refresh cycles, with that 250ml tank going a very long way. For deep cleaning, you’ll also need a bucket or sink with cold water for a final dip, which of course increases water use.
While a bucket of water is less than what a washing machine uses on a typical cycle, there are other factors to consider. First, there’s time: the W’air is manageable for a single item, but you wouldn’t want to do a whole load using it. Second, clothes that come straight out of cold water are dripping wet; a washing machine’s spin cycle gets a lot of water out, so items dry faster when hung up.
As a result, for a single item being deep-cleaned or refreshed I’d use the W’air – but in my opinion, it’s more of a product for stain removal.
Should you buy it?
If you have delicate items or often have to deal with stains (either on clothes or furniture), then the W’air is simple to use and very effective.
It may use less water than a washing machine, but this product is more time-consuming for tackling large loads, so it isn’t really a direct replacement.
Ultimately, you’ll still want one of these best washing machines, since they’re still the most convenient way of cleaning lots of items at once. However, the W’air comes into its own for delicate items that you want to clean without the expense of a dry cleaner and for stain removal.
Excellent removal in my tests shows that this product can help refresh products that you may otherwise have thrown away. And, the fact that it’s versatile enough to use on upholstery, means that dirty chairs and sofas can be cleaned up, too. If you want to keep clothes in their best shape, the W’air is a great tool to have in your arsenal, although it isn’t cheap.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every washing machine we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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We test compatibility with the main smart systems (HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT and more) to see how easy each machine is to remote control. Smart washing machines only.
We test each machine with the same stains to see which ones are best at cleaning.
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Since it uses a fine spray of water and detergent, you can use it on all materials. It’s worth testing for a reaction on a hidden bit of material first, however.
Only the ones provided by the company. There’s detergent for cleaning and two types of stain pre-treatment.