Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner Review

This is one of the most popular of the handheld steam cleaners.  It retails at a very reasonable price, but is it value for money?  It’s the old story, it depends what you want it to do and what your expectations are.
First, the technical information.  It heats up in about 2 minutes and gives you steam cleaning time of around 8-10 minutes.  It is designed for use without detergent. It has a 3 metre power cord and comes with a 7 piece accessory kit, including concentration nozzle for targeted cleaning, brush tool for various surfaces, squeegee tool for glass and upholstery cloth, which is machine washable.  It comes with a water jug for easy filling with tap water.
The design is nice and compact and it’s not too heavy.  It can be used one handed, which was found to be very helpful.  The trigger does have to be held down to produce steam, but this didn’t seem to be a problem for most customers.  Something that did concern a number of people is that the machine is designed to be used only when upright.  Steam production does not work well if it is held at an angle.  This limits some of its usefulness, as you may not be able to get it into various nooks and crannies in an upright position.
The cleaner is good on glass, cleaning it quickly and easily and leaving only a little streaking. Customers found it useful for windows, mirrors and shower screens.  The consensus was that it is reasonable in the bathroom, on soap scum, limescale and grout, but it doesn’t take away the need for a bit of elbow grease as well. The brush attachment it comes with isn’t very robust though.
In the kitchen, it won’t leave your oven sparkling if it has baked on grease, but it will help by lifting some of the grime and grease away from the oven and hob.  The majority view was that it doesn’t do as good a job as a chemical oven cleaner.
People were very happy with the model’s ability to refresh fabric and clothing.  It was found to work wonders on the sweaty armpit areas of garments, a plus if you own fabrics which can’t just be bunged in the washing machine.  It was good for sprucing up upholstery and for deodorising.  It also worked well in place of an iron, at getting creases out of clothes.  Customers found it useful for spot cleaning carpets or upholstery – but you wouldn’t expect to be able to use it to clean a whole armchair or sofa.  It was also good at defrosting freezers.
A gripe was that the power cord isn’t very generous at only 3 metres.  It isn’t recommended for use with an extension lead.  This is something to bear in mind and it’s worth working out where you would intend to use it and where your power sockets are.
Overall this unit performed pretty well for a handheld steam cleaner at a reasonable price and is deservedly one of the most popular models on the market.

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