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578 of 597 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vax S4 Grime Master
I have borrowed steam cleaners from friends before but was delighted to get one of my own. I would say this is by far the most compact and easy to use steamer I have used. The steamer can be operated using one hand. (Some of them I have used required you to hold the steamer in one hand and a hose connected to it in the other which is very awkward). This allows you a...
Published on 24 Mar. 2011 by M Low

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710 of 757 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "This product is not designed to be used at an angle" VAX
The only reason I award one star is because no stars is not an option.

I ordered this a few days ago on free delivery and, as ever, Amazon excelled and it arrived this morning.

I had high hopes, not least because of the very favourable reviews hereon. I decided to try it out on our Ikea chair pads with white cotton covers. The result: after a lot of...
Published on 19 April 2012 by kyta


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578 of 597 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vax S4 Grime Master, 24 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I have borrowed steam cleaners from friends before but was delighted to get one of my own. I would say this is by far the most compact and easy to use steamer I have used. The steamer can be operated using one hand. (Some of them I have used required you to hold the steamer in one hand and a hose connected to it in the other which is very awkward). This allows you a free hand to steady yourself if you are reaching into corners or a free hand to clean with after using the steamer.

It comes with a range of attachments - these include a simple 15cm long nozzle, a small circular brush that fits on the end of the long nozzle, a window-cleaning attachment and a couple of elasticated flannel covers that fit into the window cleaner for use on furniture. Of course, you can also use the thing with no attachments at all. There is also a plastic beaker for measuring the correct amount of water that you can pour in to the tank (260ml).

For those of you who have not used steamers before it does not eliminate the need to use elbow grease but what it does do is make cleaning much easier and quicker. It is also great for crevices that are difficult to clean. The steam forces the dirt on allowing you to wipe it away.

I have used the steamer on tiles and shower screen in the bathroom. It is great for cleaning the scum of the grout. There is a round brush attachment that comes with the steamer but I always use an old toothbrush with the steamer for this job. It is also great for mirrors, sinks and toilets. What is does is removes the germs that you cannot see as well as they dirt you can see.

It great to cleaning the inside out outside of oven and grill doors but you cannot use it inside because of the danger with electrics and steam! I have also used the steamer to clean the kitchen tiles and the gas hob. It makes the job of cleaning anything greasy so simple, after a blast from the steamer you merely wipe away with a cloth.

The manual indicates that the elasticated covers can be used for mattresses as well as furniture. I found that the covers were of no use as it was not possible to make contact with the mattress. This would involve tilting the steamer forward which results in water dribbling onto the mattress. I did manage to steam the mattress without this simply by holding the steamer level and allowing the steam to fall onto the mattress. At least this freshened the mattress up and hopefully eliminated some bacteria.

I have a leather sofa so could not test this function out. I have used a steamer before to freshen my vertical blinds and this is the next item on my cleaning list.

A steamer is not a product that most people will use everyday. For some jobs it is invaluable and with the nice compact size, the S4 Grime Master is more likely to be used on a regular basis.
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334 of 354 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Got Steam Heat!, 9 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I've seen steam cleaners advertised around the place and they seem like a good idea. So I was happy to get an opportunity to try one out. O.k. so - it is good, it is useful, but it's not going to suddenly turn your home into a gleaming germ-free palace. A little elbow grease is still going to be required and it's not going to take over every cleaning job in the house. But for some jobs, it has quickly made itself pretty well indispensable.

What do you get for your money? A 3metre/10ft mains cable. That is a sensible length, I think. Long enough to give you flexibility to move around, not so long that you'll be tripping over it. A range of attachments - these include a simple 15cm long nozzle, a small, stiff brush that fits on the end of the long nozzle, a window-cleaning attachment and a couple of elasticated flannel covers that fit into the window cleaner for use on furniture. Of course, you can also use the thing with no attachments at all. And a plastic beaker for measuring the correct amount of water that you can pour in at one time (260ml).

The instructions are all in pictures - no multiple languages. They are straight-forward. Unscrew the large grey nob and pour in 260ml of tap water. Screw down the nob, plug in, switch on - make sure the safety catch is set to ON while it is heating up. A red light shows that the power is on and a green light signifies when the machine has reached a working temperature. There is also a calibrated switch which allows you to select the power of the steam jet.

Once the green light is on, flick the safety switch to OFF and press the trigger. That's it really. It takes about 2.5 to 3 minutes to heat up. 260ml of water doesn't seem a huge capacity but it lasts for long enough. I didn't time it but I'd estimate between 5 and 10 minutes at 'full throttle'. Once it's empty, I think it is a good idea to let it cool down before you refill it. I didn't and as I poured in more cold water, it spat at me.

So does it work? Well, as I mentioned, it depends. It is absolutely brilliant for cleaning nooks and crannies. For example, the joins in my white uPVC double glazing seem to attract particularly stubborn dirt and this just blasts it out wonderfully. It is also excellent for cleaning the cast iron grill tops on my cooker (the little brush attachment is quite useful here). It is rather less useful for cleaning the oven. For a start, in a confined area, you quickly can't see a thing through the clouds of steam, especially if you forget to take your glasses off (yes, I know that's obvious now, but it didn't occur to me then). It also didn't make a great impact on the (formerly white) grouting between my (black) kitchen tiles - but I suspect that the grouting has perhaps yellowed with age, rather than dirt.

I tried the window cleaning attachment. I didn't really hold out much hope for it, but was very pleasantly surprised. It did tend to drip rather a lot, but it really cleaned my greasy kitchen window a treat. So that, in conjunction with blasting the seams in the window frames, makes for a Job Well Done! Generally, though, it seems to work best on small areas rather than over large work tops. It does work on large work tops, but clearly the effects are rather more diffuse.

Before you empty it, let it cool. Basically, this is a hand-held steam cooker. If you take the filling nob off before it cools, steam shoots out under pressure from both sides. It probably says that somewhere in the instructions but, well, you know...:-)

So - all in all, a very useful addition to my armoury of cleaning products. It is, perhaps, a little specialised - i.e. nooks and crannies - but I have no other tool as good at doing what this does as well as this does what it does well. If you see what I mean. I haven't tried the furniture attachment as most of my furniture is covered in throws, so it's a bit superfluous. But, on top of doing what it does etc., it also does it with no chemicals (aside from H2O), no abrasives and no detergents. Yes, so now I've got Steam Heat!.. (Sorry - just couldn't resist it :-)).
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710 of 757 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "This product is not designed to be used at an angle" VAX, 19 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
The only reason I award one star is because no stars is not an option.

I ordered this a few days ago on free delivery and, as ever, Amazon excelled and it arrived this morning.

I had high hopes, not least because of the very favourable reviews hereon. I decided to try it out on our Ikea chair pads with white cotton covers. The result: after a lot of gurgling and spitting and some steam, not a steam-cleaned pad but a sodden pad, looking beige instead of white.

The steamer comes with a label asking that those with a problem phone VAX before returning; it's the first time I've seen such a sticker on an appliance. So, I phoned VAX and explained the problem. What I really wanted to know is this: did I have a faulty steamer and should I seek a replacement from Amazon? The answer I got from VAX astounded me: "The product is not designed to be used at an angle because the heating element is in the base." VAX didn't need to explain the technicalities, since I understood immediately: you lose steam power when you tilt the steamer and end up with a mixture of steam and gurgling water (and sodden chair pads!)

Amazon's photos show the steamer being used at an angle and Amazon's description states "1 × Matress (sic) / Upholstery tool". By contrast, VAX told me: "the machine is not designed to do this", despite VAX's User Guide, on page 5, containing a drawing of the steamer being used at an angle of 45 degrees to clean the arm of a sofa!

When I pointed out to VAX that the Mattress / Upholstery tool, when attached to the steamer, sits at an angle of 45 degrees, thereby making it impossible to steam the bottom of a chair without tilting the steamer itself 45 degrees, they still advised that the steamer is not designed to be tilted: "it must be held straight". (It also strikes me that if I wanted to steam-clean a dress hanging up, I'd need to tilt the steamer 45 degrees backwards with the same loss of steam.)

The lady I spoke with spoke with her manager and she certainly understood my point - she advised me to return the steamer to Amazon for a refund. I'll be taking her advice.

If Amazon read this and want the call reference, if they email me I'll send it to them. VAX have taped the call and I'm happy for Amazon to have the details. In any case, if what VAX told me is true then Amazon should change their product description.

I rather like VAX as a company and am looking forward to the arrival, from Amazon, of a VAX floor steamer. Please read this review in conjunction with all the very positive ones. I had hoped that VAX would have suggested I seek a replacement from Amazon - but, no, VAX state that the steamer is designed to be used straight, not angled - in which case VAX's inclusion of a Mattress / Upholstery tool is pointless.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends what you want it for., 6 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
The unit is ok to handle in operation but it isn't the most comfortable item to hold, esp for longer than a few minutes. The finish on the plastic seams is somewhat imperfect which means you have an uncomfortable line down the grip. Nor is the trigger easy to operate.

On the plus side it builds steam very quickly and generates a lot of pressure. For general purpose cleaning it is great and did a wonderful job on bathroom tiles, general dirt/grime. However, for the other use, which is sterilisation, I would have to question it's ability. The steam that comes out is under so much pressure it comes out more as a blast of high pressure warm air. You can pass your hand in front of it and feel warm rather than anything that could be described as hot. (I am not responsible if you try this yourself btw for any injuries!)

It's not really amazing on built up kitchen grime, carbon buildup etc on oven trays/racks. It comes with a brush attachment but this has plastic rather than metal bristles so I think you would be better using a metal brush separate to the cleaner rather than trying to use the attached tool.

The angle the unit has to be used at (more or less upright) also makes cleaning awkward. If you tilt the unit too far forward (and for most kitchen uses you probably will be) the unit splutters out water.

In conclusion. It has it's uses, it generates steam quickly and under high pressure but it's limited due to the steam not being particularly hot...it's more akin to a blast of high pressure air than the hot steam I was expecting. It's not the most comfortable item to use and for certain tasks can be downright awkward.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 23 April 2012
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This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I bought this steamer primarily to clean grout lines on our kitchen floor after trying out a different brand owned by a friend. My advice would be not to buy this steamer if you want to do anything that involves pointing the nozzle downwards (like grouting on a floor or using the upholstery cleaner) because instead of steam coming out it just pours boiling water out. Everything ends up soaked.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 28 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I am delighted with this product. Have already used it loads. It's brilliant on windows and UPVC window frames. Also brilliant results on kitchen tiles, cooker hood and cupboard doors. Yes, it does have a small water tank which limits length of use but this small disadvantage is more than outweighed by ease of use and great results.
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134 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Steam Ahead!!, 5 May 2011
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I've never been bothered to write a review before but having just spent the last two hours with this little beauty, I cant keep my mouth (or my fingers) quiet anymore...
I was a bit sceptical to be honest when a friend recommended this but I am now backtracking big time. It's an absolute pleasure to use (I never ever get excited about cleaning before you think here is one clean freak!) but not only is it very easy to use (why dont all instructions come with diagrams, so much easier than wasting time reading words!) it does what it states on the packaging. My mirrors and windows are now gleaming and streak free. I couldn't stop at that though, I know have gleaming tiles in my bathroom and kitchen. If it didn't move then it got steamed! I would highly recommend this cleaner, well worth the money. I also ordered it 10pm last night and with express delivery, arrived this morning, Gold Star to Amazon for this fantastic service. My final comment is that if a certain lager manufacturer made cleaners, then this would probably be the best steamer in the world!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I had never used a steam cleaner so maybe I had too high expectations. The box says "Breaks down grease and grime"; this is clearly overstating, should be better phrased as "helps a little dissolving grease and grime, provided it's not too hard".
I can only use it in maximum stream setting, anything else produces a delicate cloud of 1-2 inches, honestly can't see what's the use for this. Even at max setting the stream jet is not very strong.
Kitchen window: just OK, it helped a little dissolving the grease in the frame, though I still had to rub a lot and I think the effect of the kitchen cleaner alone would have been pretty much the same.
Glue stains at carpet linings: I want to think it also helped a little, though I had to scratch for ages.
Other carpet stains: no effect at all. I expected the stain remover product would work better after the steam, but it doesn't, it's just the same.
Window cleaning (without grease): just the same as cleaner+cloth (in time and result).
Cleaning around bathroom appliances: OK to remove grime from very narrow gaps between walls and appliances.
Radiators: little effect due to stream jet weakness (reaches only half-way or less).
Upholstery/mattress: it is supposed to "eliminate bacteria and allergens", I have no way to verify it, but given the relative weakness of the steam jet and the visible results, my guess is that it probably (again) helps a little.
I'm rating it 2stars and not just 1star because it was not so expensive as to make me furious, and I suppose it does have "some" antibacterial and antiallergen effect. (I was a bit paranoid about this given the *filthy* state of the flat when I moved in.) But I expected it would be much better e.g. for the radiators, so quite disappointing.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars S4 Grime Master - The Good and the Alright!, 10 Mar. 2011
By 
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
This product is a useful addition to the household cleaning equipment. It is not quite as powerful as I imagined but then it is much more compact than I imagined also. It heats up very quickly - it was ready for use within a matter of a little over 2 minutes. But, strangely, I got about the same amount of minutes usuage out of it regardless of the setting. I tried the steamer on max and achieved 2 minutes 30 seconds before the pressure dropped dramatically and the steam was of little use. The slightly odd thing I found was that when I put the steamer onto a minimum setting, I naturally got less ooomph but I didn't get any more usable time either! However, BY BEING VERY CAREFUL and emptying the rest of the water and refilling, I was back in action just a couple of minutes later! (Note: As the last review said, this is a steam item and could scold so it is important to hold the trigger until no more steam is expelled before gently opening it with a towel).

The concentration nozzle did a great job of removing limescale that normally takes me a while scrubbing with scourers and kitchen creams. Dirt flies off effortlessly but more stubborn marks may need some pre-treatment.

The cloth tool is a useful addition for cleaning furniture. However the attachment is oval and so only fits one way. I would prefer it if the attachment was square and could fit at 90 degrees so that I could put it on sideways as that would enable me to clen the sides of the sofa without water seeping down!

Here's where I loved the cleaner. It took me just over a minute (with the help of a clean towel) to clean each window in my house. Using window cleaners and squeegees I would spend a whole morning cleaning the windows of my house. But now, even if just 1 steam did a window one side and allowing for the re-fill, I can have the whole lot gleaming in well under an hour! My only tip would be to wipe the lines where the steaming over-laps to prevent smears and also wipe the dirty water from the UPVC as this, rather oddly, stained quite badly!!! But the windows sparkled and with no chemical sprays or soap at all!!!

All in all, there were parts of it where I expected more and parts where I expected less but it is a worthy addition and I can think of so many uses for it. It will sit neatly around the house due to its size and it will be used time and time again. And for me, it is worth the money for the windows alone as I would have my money back after only 10 cleans from my local window cleaner if I used it just for that.

If you want a handy everyday all purpose cleaner then here it is. If you have a big problem or a particularly stubborn issue that won't go away then maybe this could be a little light for your needs.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great . VERY DISAPPOINTED, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I've been thinking about getting a handheld steamer for a while and seen many TV demonstrations with similar priced and powered units. I have a number of VAX products and have always been impressed.

The steamer is well built and came well packaged with clear instructions and a 2 year warranty.

However after filing the very small water tank with the recommended 260ml and waiting just under 2 minutes for the unit to be ready I was very disappointed with the VAX S4's performance.

In all the sales details is says its lifts grease and grime ....... grime maybe ..... grease not even close.

I thought this unit would be ideal for cleaning those hard to reach areas on the BBQ so this was the first test and the VAX S4 failed to even make an impact, worse still after about 5 mins of trying the tank was empty.

Next test the shower grout ... again made very little impact.

Windows, using the attachment came up OK, however as you can't use the unit at any angle trying to get a good finish is impossible.

Overall a well built unit and works with very light grime, if you are looking something with a bit of power this is not the unit for you, my advice would be to save your money.

Very disappointed in VAX this time.
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