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Vax's have moved on , and the up to the minute ones are a progression from our model , the 5130 . They have tweaked things but the principal is the same . I know the photo shows the 6131 model but that is exactly as ours looks , except it says 5130 on it . You never know you may get offered one second hand ,or this review may help you decide which brand to go for . I asked Ciao to add the 5130 but they have added a totally different upright Vax with absolutely noting in commom with ours. Reading the quick spec for the 6131 it is very similar , if not the same , as ours .
I have owned a Vax 2 in 1 for a few years now and thought I would mainly review it's wet carpet cleaning capabilities . We now also have a Bissell Rapide , which I will review at a later date , but first why we bought the Vax .
When we moved into our current home in 1999 we could not afford to change the carpets instantly . They looked to be not that old but were rather grubby to say the least . We borrowed an industrial shampooer from a relative , briefly , and seeing the jet black water which came from the carpets thought we'd invest in a home model ourselves .
So out we went in search of the right model for us . We plumped for the Vax 2 in 1 for a few reasons :-
It was reportedly a good vacuum cleaner and so would be handy if our main one went on the blimp . Vax were a good brand with a good reputation and we wanted something which would last and that we could also get spares for if needed .Spares are available on various websites as well as locally . It was a bang up to the minute model at that time . Also it looked easy to operate and seemed efficient .
Is this true , well yes and no . I'll cover this later .
We purchased our Vax and brought the huge box of tricks home in a taxi , as it was fairly heavy . At the time we paid roughly £159 but I think newer models are now much more reasonable . On unpacking there were instructions , a variety of tools and a free bottle of Vax cleaner alongside the Vax. The Vax is bright orange and looked quite tough . I have to say the machine has seemed to be tough as it has had a fair few knocks over the years .
It is a round , sturdy cylinder machine with the usual clip on top but has a choice of two inner filter parts .One is for use when vacuuming and one is the tank for use when shampooing .
Firstly fit your tough , paper dustbag which is quite easy to do .
Then place the filter part ( the one for vacuuming ) over the drum and clip on the top with the motor , and your away . You attach the usual flexi - hose , pipes and tools as normal . I do find it's quite a heavy machine even when only vacuuming . The castors do give good ease of movement but it's just a bit of a bulky machine . Despite having the necessary tools I do not use the Vax on the stairs as it's just too hard lifting and manoeuvring .
The large white filter is easily replaceable or removable for cleaning . There was a free dustbag with the Vax and these are quite tough especially compared to some . They do hold a lot of rubbish but that of course makes the machine even heavier . The motor is 1300 watts and nice and powerful but , as always when the bag starts to get full , the power of the suction decreases .
One of the things we do use it's vacuuming capabilities for is in the garage . We have no car and don't drive but have a huge double garage . The things that get stored in there are unbelievable , and so is the mess hubby leaves when he's messing about in there . The Vax is perfect for this . We now store it in the garage so it's handy . You will find the Vax needs a larger storage space than just a vacuum cleaner as there are a few more parts to it .The sturdiness of the Vax is a real bonus in the garage both for storing and using .
As our model is a 2 in 1 it is not really designed to pick up water spills but we have used it for this an odd time . Once when the washer flooded over it was really handy . As long as you use the shampooing parts and clean and dry all of it thoroughly after use .
So onto the carpet shampooing , the true aim of our purchase .
The first time we assembled the Vax for carpet shampooing it seemed a right palaver . Now I have it off to a tee :-
First you take the cylinder base unit .
Obviously when shampooing you make sure the dust bag has been removed as this part of the Vax is where the dirty water will go .
Take the middle section , which is where you will put the shampooer . This has a fill level . (What fascinated me when we first got it was there is what appears to be a ping pong ball set in the middle .I think this prevents dirty water getting into the clean bit without affecting the suction .) Line these two parts up with the guide lines .
Put in the recommended amount of shampooer and warm water .
Lift the top with the motor and make sure there is a small blue filter underneath . This will need cleaning and drying after use .
Place this on the top and clip the 3 sections together . This now resembles an ordinary vacuum but is much higher .
Fit the flexi hose and metal pipes as you would onto a vacuum cleaner .
There is a oblong brush suction tool which fits at the end of the pipes for cleaning . This has a press down lever for using the bristles or not .It also has a small hole in the top of it . There is a separate , similar tool without the hole for vacuuming .
The next fun bit is attaching a long clear plastic tube . You attach this with black plastic clips along the piping and put the bare end in the hole in the tool and the one with a metal end into the water tank .There is a cut out ridge in the top to accommodate this .The first time we did this it was a pain in the posterior but it's not as bad as it sounds , plus I think the newer models have amended this slightly .
Along the flexi hose , just before it joins the metal is a slide switch . There is a part on the tubing which you slide into this switch clip .When you are shampooing you slide this switch one way to release the water and back to stop the water being released . This is so you can suck up the dirty water .
So the Vax is all assembled and your ready to go . Obviously plug in and switch on the electricity supply . Another first time problem was we couldn't get any of the clean water to flow through the tubing to the cleaning head . It does get easier and you just seem to get the knack so don't give up easily .
This Vax seven years on + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Well it's still going strong but we have had a couple of problems . The tubing developed a split and so we need to replace it . Without this the Vax doesn't shampoo . Hubby tried a temporary mend but it didn't work and we will be replacing this tubing .
As I have already said one of the main problems is the bulkiness of this machine and the weight . Although I can carry it assembled upstairs for shampooing I would not put any water in it till it is in situ . After use I would bring down the dirty water tank separately .
Also after use you do need to rinse out the pipes , tools and tank to keep the Vax in tip top condition .I have a rotary drier in the garden and usual hang all the pipes including the tubing over this to drip dry after rinsing .
The setting up and dismantling can seem a pain but it only takes a few minutes . If you try and do a few carpets at once it makes the effort worth while .
You do need to have a good vacuum round first for best shampooing results . I have two dogs which means there are always dog hairs about . If you don't vacuum first these can block the pipes etc.
So finally what about results .+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Brilliant . When you vacuum the suction is ample to pick-up anything really easily . I tend to use my main vacuum cleaner on a day to day basis , simply as it's easier to manoeuvre .
When you wash you carpets you get excellent results . What you need to do is :-
Use the recommended amounts and products . Don't over soak your carpet or tackle a huge area at once . Start on a square about 3 or 4 feet across . Press the switch to apply the shampooer to this area , not using too much . Press the switch to suction only and run the tool over the area again . This sucks up the dirt and the dirty water . If you do this for the right amount of time the carpet won't be left very wet . I usually have a window or two open and by the time I finish my carpet , the starting part is nearly dry . If you run a vacuum over when it is properly dry that finishes of your carpets thorough , deep clean . Vax recommend you try a patch test first on a small out of the way piece of carpet first for colourfastness . I have never done this and touch wood have not had any problems . I try to use Vax cleaner which retails at Wilko for about £2.95 . It cleans without getting to soapy , has a fresh clean smell and is good at combating asthma aggravating dust mites .
If you have never used a carpet cleaner before get ready for a shock . Although we have two dogs they aren't mucky doggies and we never have shoes on in the house but despite this the colour of the dirty water is a bit of a shocker . It's not as bad as it used to be as we have had new carpets and shampoo fairly regularly . However it still makes you feel a mucky puppy .
The only reason I have bought another shampooer is it is a really quick one for a sudden need .What I find with the Vax is it's not much good in an emergency as it takes a bit of time to set up .
Despite all that I would still recommend my Vax , or another one from this company , as it does a great job at intensive cleaning , is reliable , guaranteed and you can gets parts and after care if needed .
I have left the specifications out but you can check things out at www.vax.co.uk but I will just say mine does not carry the tools on board or have automatic winding and storing of the cable . The black cable and moulded plug are tough and strong . The cable has a good length and I can use the Vax upstairs and plug it in downstairs . It also has a very full selection of tools supplied .
I hope my personal experiences of this product have helped and if you want to ask me anything with regards to it , I'll help if I can .
Thanks for reading Copyright Eiley .
I have put yes to the recommend because of results , but on ease of use I would not recommend .