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Upon opening and unpacking the carpet cleaner the first thing I noticed was its sheer size Ė itís much bigger than a previous Vax carpet cleaner that Iíve used in the past. This does make it a little cumbersome and awkward to use in tight spaces but fortunately it comes equipped with a hand held device which is great at getting into tight corners or using on the stairs. Itís a shame that on full stretch the cord canít reach the top 2 steps on a standard staircase. The carpet cleaner also sucks up spilled liquids with ease (with or without the hand held device) but a detachable turbo rotating brush in the hand hand device would have been beneficial for washing carpets.
This carpet cleaner also comes with a pre treatment wand which, when not in use, attaches to the back of the handle. Rather than providing a jet of cleaning solution to the stubborn stain instead it sends out a wide spray so In order to use this effectively you must use it at very close range. Both the pre treatment wand and the hand held device securely attaches to the carpet cleaner and both have a hose which is used to dispense the solution but on both attachments there is nowhere for the hose to store and I was forced to tuck it into the attachment which can sometimes result in solution dripping from the end of the hose.
Itís performance in large rooms is superb. I have 2 children and a black Labrador and Iím forced to hoover each day so my carpets always look clean but after using the Vax Ultra Rapide 2 for the first time the dirty water was jet black! It really does lift dirt that my hoover couldnít reach. A large room can be cleaned relatively quickly but the instructions state that you should press the button to release the solution on the forward stroke and release it (to suck up the water) on the backward stroke but I found that holding the button down longer and scrubbing the carpet in several strokes then releasing it to suck up the solution worked best.
My main gripe about the Vax Rapide Ultra 2 is the solution container. Itís easy to detach from the carpet cleaner but Itís large size makes it very heavy to carry and the instructions arenít clear on exactly how much water it contains Ė after painstakingly using a measuring jug to fill it I worked out that it holds 4.5 litres of water - this equates to 6 fluid ounces of solution. I wrote this on the side of the solution so I wouldnít forget in future! A measuring tool would have helped. The unit does come with 2 bottles of solution, one being for pretreatment and both leave a pleasant but not overpowering smell on the carpets after use.
After using the cleaner for a certain amount of time an indicator tells you when the dirty container is full. This is easily detached and emptied through a cap which screws off with a simple half turn. The dirty container can become clogged with dirt in certain places and as such can be a nuisance to thoroughly clean.
The carpets are virtually dry immediately after use due to the unitís Dual V technology Ė so much so that my dog had no issues with damp paws and lay down straight away.
Overall the Vax Ultra Rapide 2 has a few issues and is in no way perfect but it is still an excellent carpet cleaner in both large and small rooms and Iíd highly recommend it. It comes with a 2 year guarantee.