I am comparing the Vax to my other steam mop, the Black & Decker Handle Command Steam Mop, 1600 Watt - White/ Blue
The accessory bundle is what interests me the most. To be able to steam clean work surfaces, tiles and the hob, now that's really useful. Yes, I have tried and use a standard floor steamer on a kitchen top and although that works I did make a mess of things.
Extra long power lead. Good.
Two year warranty. Also good.
Steam ready in 20 seconds.
Replacement pads aren't expensive: 8 microfibre pads for £15 is reasonable (ooh, colours!).
Used as a floor mop:
Very bottom heavy because of the extra weight of the detachable hand steamer part, so the unit is not the easiest to move around. Having to hold the trigger in to get steam was really uncomfortable after a while.
Filling the water tank through that small hole is a pain. The opening in the container is very fiddly, you need a funnel.
The cleaning fluid smells pungent in the bottle, but I couldn't smell in when used with the mop. Cleaning fluid made no difference to the cleaning effect.
The mop left the floor wet, not soaked, but wet. OUr usual mop leaves them almost dry.
The triangular pad peeled back on two points of the three points and rucked up, so it had to be taken off and reset a couple of times. You also only get one pad in the box with the steamer.
Steam cuts out the second the trigger is dropped so it's STEAM! or cold wet rag.
The dirty pads are washed at 40degrees. The Black and Decker ones wash at 60 degrees, which is preferable for hygiene. You also shouldn't need to put a (microbe killing) detergent in with a steam mop. Surely the super heated steam should be enough? The Black & Decker Command Steam Mop has a "steam burst mode", giving an extra 5 second burst of, erm, steam when needed. That's worked perfectly. Also having the detergent is another running expense for the mop.
Used as a handheld steamer:
Squeegee tool for cleaning windows - Terrible. I maybe haven't gotten the hang of using it correctly, but it didn't help clean the windows and left a soggy wet mess everywhere. Glad I had my window vacuum to hand to clear it all up.
Scraper tool - Terrible. Didn't remove any grime.
Concentration nozzle - Meh. Yes, it does help melt crud from around taps a little, but that's it. Didn't help with anything like cleaning the washing machine soap dispenser or top of the hob.
In all cases the unit doesn't stop spurting out steam when the trigger is released, so be careful where you point it after switching off. Also it tends to cough unexpectedly a few moments after winding down and stopping, so again be careful where you put it.
Not what I want in a steam cleaner.