Part of Vax’s ‘S’ series steam mops and cleaners the Vax S7 steam mop represents the ‘basic’ model of the range, designed to provide a balance between value for money and cleaning power. But how does the S7 compare to the other cleaners in Vax ‘S’ range? Such as the impressive Vax S86-SF-CC? And, is it worth the money?
Vax S7 2-in-1 – Overview
The S7 is one of Vax’s ‘mid-range’ multifunctional devices which merges a steam mop and a steam cleaner into one compact device. Whilst it does have some areas that disappoint (more on this below) these do not hamper it’s performance and it still offers the excellent cleaning power – as you should expect by Vax products. It’s powerful bursts of high temperature steam are very effective at cleaning and kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and dust mites – making sure your surfaces are hygienic too.
Inside the box:
Comparing the contents of the box with what we would expect to see arrive with most steam cleaners the S7 does not disappoint. It features a good compliment of cleaning accessories and attachments that help make this device hugely versatile.
Inside you’ll find a selection of cleaning brushes from softer plastic brushes to clean tiles, grout and work surfaces to stiff wires brushes for the more challenging tasks like cleaning barbeques and grills trays. There is even a stiff plastic scraper to cut through grease and stuck on food; and an attachment to clean upholstery and windows. Vax really have included almost everything to allow this device to be used for almost any purpose.
The attachments can be stored safely in the supplied accessory bag when not in use to help make sure they do not get misplaced. It would have been nice if the device body had a storage mechanism that allowed some of the attachments to be stored for easy access whilst cleaning. Other models by Vax do sport this feature and it has obvious advantages.
How to put it together…
The S7 arrives in 3 basic parts: the handle, the mop body and mop head. They lock together using a push and click system making assembly very easily and quickly. The extra accessories and cleaning attachments can obviously be fitted/removed from the mop as needed.
The S7 is also very portable and weights a feather light 2.7Kg (a worthwhile point, particularly if it you plan on using it in different rooms in your home). The power lead is also a rather lengthy 8m long. In virtually all homes this should easily allow rooms to be cleaned without the need to change sockets.
A large rubber button on the front of the mop body switches it on and begins the heating process. Beneath the button are two clearly visible indications lights. The top light indicates the mop is switched on and the light directly beneath this will illuminate when the mop has heated enough to produce steam – which should take less than 30 seconds.
Interestingly though there is no detergent tank or mix with this mop. Whilst we believe using a lot of detergent undermines one of the key benefits of using a steam mop, it is understandable why Vax typically includes the option to use detergent on a good number of their mops. However, we feel this is no real loss as you can still get superior anti-bacterial cleaning without using any chemicals – which is always a plus!
So how do you use it?
The first step to using the S7 is filling the tank with water and this needs to be done before the mop is switched on. The water tank is located on the top, back of the S7’s body and features a quick-release button for easy removal. Once removed the tank can hold up to 400ml of water and Vax provide a warning not to overfill the tank. Again, this is where Vax shines; and they have included a handy measuring jug with a small spout so you can get the exact amount of water into the tank – and without spilling any too.
Included with the Vax S7 is a micro fibre cleaning pad that attaches to the mop head. This is attached by a Velcro style mechanism for great hold and easy removal. This cleaning pad is all that is required to clean hard floors such a tiles and vinyl. This is really where a steam mop shines over it’s traditional counterpart. A few simple press of the steam release trigger and a slow backwards and forwards motion is all that is required to easily clean floors. The best part is no residue is left behind and the steam dries almost instantly – so no more wet floors.
To refresh carpets the ‘carpet glider’ needs to be attached to the mop head over the cleaning pad. This provides a smooth surface to glide over the carpets whilst the cleaning pad is still required to absorb any dirt lifted. A common mistake some people make when using the cleaner to refresh their carpets is that they use too much steam and soak their carpets. Because the carpet is so wet it may even begin to smell as it dries because it is not drying quick enough. It is important to use only sparring bursts of steam and to not use the cleaner like a carpet shampooer.
The cleaning pad can be removed and reused many times. Once the pad is attached an overlap on either corner of the mop head can be seen. Simply placing your foot on the overlap and lifting the mop upwards will remove the pad for cleaning. This is feature common to Vax mops and is designed to prevent burns whilst trying to remove the pad from the mop immediately after use. The cleaning pad can then be washed, ready for its next use.
Vax obviously put a lot of consideration into their mop design, but it is disappointing to see another one of their range that does not come with a cooling plate to help protect your flooring whilst the mop is cooling. This is such a minor item could be easily included.
Using it as a steam cleaner:
Using the mop as a steam cleaner requires a little adjustment: essentially the mop needs to be dissembled. A white press in clip releases the mop head and a small metal locking pin releases the handle. The mop body can now be used as a compact steam cleaner.
To us, this seems a little clunky – especially since a good number of other models have a small removable cleaner housed in the mop body. Typically the steam cleaner can be removed with a single button press – which is a much more elegant solution than disassembling the mop.
However, a very nice addition to this model is the inclusion of a flexible hose that can be attached to the steam cleaner. If you’ve ever tried getting a bulky steam cleaner into a shower cubicle or even positioning one whilst cleaning your cooker surface it becomes quite clear how this can be useful. The steam cleaner can remain lowered or even resting on a work surface whilst the flexible hose (with a cleaning attachment on the end) can do the hard work, preventing any strain and allowing for a greater degree of movement.
To release bursts of steam whilst the unit is operating as a steam cleaner there is an additional button on the handle of the main body. Pushing this will release the steam.
What we think about the Vax steam mop S7:
If we were comparing the Vax S7 to any other brand of steam mop and for the same price, the S7 would clearly come out ahead because of some of its fast heat up time, impressive performance and wide array of useful attachments and cleaning functions.
The Vax S7 steam mop is certainly a mixed bag of impressive features in some areas and disappointment in others and, whilst impressive, lacks any real luster in our eyes. This is because Vax have produced other models in a similar price range with much more impressive features that really make them shine.
So whilst the S7 does represent very good value for money (particularity as it is currently up to 70% off here) we think that if you’re looking for a lot more bang, without too much extra buck, it would be worth looking at the S86-SF-CC before deciding on the S7.