Hearing only good things about these I was both intrigued but also slightly confused about exactly how they work. Unfortunately the sales assistant at John Lewis wasn't sure either so she was not knowingly undersold i.e. I didn't buy one. Seeing a good deal a bit later however I took the plunge and am happy to report it paid off. First impressions were that it's lighter than it looks which is a good thing but also well-constructed. The phone-like mains charger is a bit wimpy however with a thin cable so you will need to take care with that.
I first used it with window cleaner spray but was rewarded with squeaks, smears and a half empty bottle. After a bit of research I settled for a clean bucket of warm soapy water (Fairy liquid does the trick) and a cloth. Apply and wash window leaving it nice and wet then turn on the Karcher and vac away. The steadier your hand the better to work down in straight lines. If it squeaks your window is not wet enough - it will mark and not do the job properly (think windscreen wiper). Once you get the technique however it really is uber efficient in its task. When you reach the bottom of the window you can twist it so it angles into the corner and sucks up every last drop before vaccing any excess off the window sill too. Its worth waiting a minute or two for it to dry completely and buffing any marks with a dry duster for that perfect finish.
Very happy with this, it's fast and leaves a great finish on my house windows (inside and out) as well as the car and bathroom tiles/mirrors. I have even been known to give my stairs a quick vac with it too! The only drawback is battery life - if you have a large house and want to do inside and out you may struggle on one charge. Also, I wouldn't rush to buy the full kit unless its on offer but the smaller blade is worth investing in if you have small or pivoting windows that you need to manoeuvre this through.
The questions I ask myself with any new gadget/device are :
1) Do I reach for it every time I need to do the relevant job?
2) Would I replace it if it broke?
In this case it's a yes to both so case closed and my grumpy unreliable window cleaner can ever-so-politely do one.
on 27 November 2012
The Karcher WV50 window vac was purchased primarily to get rid of condensation, and only secondary for window cleaning. However, the device has proven excellent in both instances. Getting out of the shower or bath used to require cleaning down the walls with a towel to try and remove as much condensation as possible. It also required the use of a dehumidifier. Both of these necessitated extra energy consumption: obviously for running the dehumidifier and also for trying to dry the wet towel during the winter. I'm pleased to say that the window vac has reduced the need for the dehumidifier and removed the need for having to use a towel for the walls.
Due to the size of our bathroom it normally takes about 10 minutes to go over everything with the window vac. After this some of the other windows around the house windows are also cleared of condensation. As such, the device is probably running for about 15 minutes or so before being recharged for later or next day use. There is no problem at all with the window vac running for this length of time, and I'm sure that we could get longer use from it if required. Recharging takes about an hour under such conditions. Streaking is minimal, but may be present in places if your windows are perhaps a little greasy or you inadvertently go over bits that you have already dried.
The device works well and quickly clears condensation, even from heavily condensed windows and walls. It also easily sucks up the inevitable pools of water that lie on the sills when the windows run.
The only thing to watch is to ensure that the dirty water reservoir isn't overfilled. Once the water reaches the maximum fill level mark then the reservoir should be emptied, which can be done quickly and easily. [Emptying is just a case of pulling out a rubber plug from the reservoir, pouring out the contents, and then replacing the plug.]
We haven't used the window vac for cleaning windows with the proper recommended Karcher window cleaning concentrate. In fact, we haven't used window cleaning concentrate of any kind. To save money we've simply used a bucket of water, sponge and washing-up liquid. Providing that the windows are wet enough and are not allowed to dry then the window vac makes an admirable job of cleaning them. Soap suds can be applied quickly and easily and then just as quickly vacuumed off. On the whole the windows are relatively streak free--certainly well within the bounds of acceptability. And, of course, if there is any streaking then all that needs to be done is to re-wet that part of the window again and quickly re-vacuum. Undoubtedly, by using the recommended window cleaning concentrate (or even a good similar product) the windows will probably be more or less completely streak free.
What is definitely so is that even with a small amount of streaking (and I must stress that this is a very small amount indeed) our windows are still a lot cleaner than they would be by conventional window cleaning, such as spraying on normal window cleaner and then using a soft cloth to clean and `polish' the windows (a long and tedious job). And, of course, as the enclosed user guide states, if there is streaking then the rubber lip on the suction head can be easily removed and cleaned. [Even if you use a conventional window cleaning blade to clean your windows you will still find the window vac useful as it will suck up the water as it goes along, unlike the conventional blade that pushes the water all the way down to the window sills, which invariably have to be wiped clean afterwards.]
If you afford to do so I would also recommend the purchase of the smaller suction head. The supplied larger head and the additional smaller one can be easily swapped over, and the smaller one is useful for getting into tighter, more awkward spaces, and for dragging long ways along narrower window panes.
I have no hesitation recommending the Karcher WV50 window vac for both removing condensation from heavily condensed windows and walls, and for cleaning your windows.
on 2 February 2011
"what an ingenious piece of equipment. simple yet so effective!"
I never thought I'd see the day when i would actually look forward to ridding my windows of the dreaded winter condensation, and never having to buy cheap kitchen roll in bulk ever again. Having lived in an old stone house for the last 10 years, winter was always a dreaded season. (No other house in the area seems to have the same problem.) I saw the Karcher vac being advertised and demonstrated on a shopping channel, and thought I'd found the answer to my problem. HOW RIGHT I WAS! I ordered it from a company on Amazon for the same great price and with cheaper P&P.
Delivery was fast and the vac was put to use the following day. To say i was impressed was an understatement. It's lightweight, fast and so effective that I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a heavy condensation problem. I also use it on the shower cubicle after every shower, instead of having to spray it down with shower shine spray. Personally, I have no hesitations in giving this Karcher vac 10/10.
on 19 August 2011
A friend showed me one three days ago, and I was that impressed, I now have one!
For domestic use only - but an absolute treasure for anyone wanting to take the hard work out of window cleaning - and NO SMUDGES!! Just wash the window, tiles or mirror, and vacuum it all away, it's so easy to use & no mess.
I would recommend this product to anyone and everyone & the service from the supplier was second to none - WELL DONE!!
on 17 August 2012
I first saw this demonstrated on a shopping channel and thought that if it was half as good as it appeared it would be worth having. Recently I was reminded of this when a a neighbour volunteered that her husband had just bought one and he was busy cleaning every window in his house; he was thrilled with it. Having now bought one for myself and tried it out I was not disappointed. Whereas after my previous best efforts with many and varied window cleaners I always ended up disgruntled, failing abjectly to get the glass smear free, this produces truly amazing results with very little effort. I bought an e-cloth water spray can and used just a small squirt of Fairy Liquid in water as the solvent and it worked a treat. No need for expensive or specialist cleaning fluids! I applied it with a t-headed fur hand mop, cleaned the glass with it and then hoovered it off with the Karcher. That's all it takes to get brilliant results. I'd covered a lot of windows before needing a recharge. Cleaning it after use is simple. I didn't confine my use to windows and also cleaned a glass topped table complete with the best in finger marks and dried on food that our two grandchildren could apply, with equally impressive results. I've always resisted employing a window cleaner and now have no need or one :-).
on 6 November 2014
I feel a bit sad waxing lyrical about a window vac but this has made a big difference to my mornings. Having moved from a flat where we almost never needed to turn the heating on, to an older house, the amount of condensation since the weather has become cooler has been a complete culture shock. I'd been using a regular squeegee with an old towel to catch drips and ended up with a completely saturated horrible bath sized towel each day (which then needed washing & drying) as every window was affected plus the polycarbonate roof on the conservatory. I thought this would be worth a try as any improvement would be good, but it's better than I expected. It doesn't speed up removing condensation but makes it cleaner, drier and more efficient. You need to run the blade quite slowly down the window to allow the vac to suck up the moisture and then turn it 90 degrees and run it left to right across the window when the handle of the vac reaches the sill; then dab the blade across the very bottom of the pane to hoover up the last bits of water. It's astounding just how much water is on the windows - the tank is full after doing the windows in our bedroom alone! I've used it on the windows and polycarbonate roof for condensation, on the shower screen after use and on the car windscreen / windows to clean them. It takes practice when using it for cleaning to minimise streaks (entirely streak free is possibly an over statement) but it's phenomenal for condensation if like me you have to remove it every morning in the cold weather. The vac is lightweight and easy to use - the only down side is the amount of charge it holds; it leaves me about 2 windows short (4 bedroom detached house) so I have to do the really dribbly ones first, hence 4* rather than the full 5. Even taking that into consideration I still think it's a great little appliance and highly recommended for anyone with condensation issues.
on 22 January 2012
This is a wonderful product and although not what I would call cheap in the first instance - WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD!
I LOVE this product - well as much as you can love an inanimate object! Seriously though this is marvelous, its a Karcher so you know you are getting the best, but I was worried that if I purchased this whether I would have another unused gadget in my cupboard, but I was wrong. I HATED cleaning windows so much so that the inside got cleaned every blue moon and I paid a window cleaner to do the outside every month. This cost me six fifty a month which is 78 quid a year. I have now stopped my window cleaner and will do this myself with my Karcher. (I had to off set the cost somehow in these times)
This is so easy to use and never again will I shy away from cleaning windows. My sister in law bought one after seeing mine too!
I would recommend buying from this seller their service was abolutely brilliant - it was virtually despatched the next day!
on 18 April 2012
This is quite simply the best 'gadget' I have ever bought. I was swayed by the huge number of 5 star reviews for this product so felt confident I was not going to end up with another 'bread-machine' or 'icecream maker' that actually just sits in the cupboard. I ordered Tuesday, it was delivered Wednesday, and I immediately got it out the box and tried it and YES YES YES! Streak free, dry, clean windows with virtually no effort at all. I've never had glass so clean! Does exactly what it says on the tin. Well done Karcher. Didn't bother getting the PLUS version with spray bottle as so many people have slated the spray bottle as not fit for purpose. Simply used a microfibre sponge from the supermarket, a good squeeze of washing up liquid into a bowl of warm water, 15 second wash of the wondow, Karcher WV50 on and within 10 seconds, the window is done, not a bubble in sight. WOW. Great for outside and in. Simply amazing and definitely worth the money.
on 24 October 2012
I was so grateful for all the other Amazon reviews when I was mulling over whether to buy this - for me- expensive bit of kit. If I made more of an effort, surely I could do the ruddy windows by hand! But I have to agree with many others - it lightens the job tremendously, and I'm glad I did buy it. I was put off for a while by reports of the short battery time, but you can honestly do such a lot in those 20 minutes, if you switch the vac off when not actually in use. It must also help to make it so very light to handle, which, for me, is a big plus. Thanks to all the reviewers who advised against buying the extra bits and pieces - definitely not needed, just clean over the windows quickly with whatever you like, the vac does the main work. I would add, clean the lips of the vac gently with a cloth or kitchen paper to make sure you don't carry any soap or dirt residue to the next clean.
on 5 December 2012
We live in an old house with single glazed wooden windows. We get overnight condensation on the windows when it's below 10°C outside and dripping condensation in some rooms when it's below 5°C. Until now I would use a rubber squeegee and a thick towel to catch the falling water, and because of the effort would not do it every day.
This little gadget is very light and quick to use and makes quick work of all our condensation without the towel. What amazed me was the volume of water it removes. After a cold night we can fill the tank (100ml) just from the bedroom window (glass area 1.2 m²). The whole house (a 3 bed cottage with 7.1 m² of glass) often produces 280 ml each morning. The tank will take more than 100ml, but then cannot be used on it's side, so we always empty at 100ml. There are many places to pour water away as you go around the house and it's quick and convenient.
I reckon we remove 2 litres of water from the windows every week at this time of year that would otherwise add to the humidity levels of an already humid cottage.
One charge lasts about 3 days, but I tend to charge it each morning after use. I hope the battery lasts longer that the 4 years I got from my Dyson handheld vacuum which was on permanent charge, but even if it doesn't it was the best £48 I ever spent. We appreciate the winter countryside more because we keep the windows clear.