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474 of 488 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

versus
623 of 664 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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474 of 488 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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290 of 307 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Got Steam Heat!, 9 Mar 2011
By 
Diziet "I Like Toast" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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623 of 664 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends what you want it for., 6 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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44 of 48 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled by some reviews, 12 Jun 2013
By 
R. Girdwood "castorsprite" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I hesitated when ordering this item as it has so many different ratings. Some people say it is fantastic and some say it doesn't work.

All I can think is that the ones that say it doesn't work are expecting too much, it is not a magic wand you still have to clean after loosening the grime, it is'nt just going to disappear. I found it very useful on the cooker, tiles, grout, those fiddly brackets on the shower and around places hard to reach like the mastik around the back of taps etc. Great on stainless steel.

A gift for 25, we fight over who gets to use it.
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129 of 144 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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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Performer, 20 Mar 2011
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
I was really impressed with this handy little steam cleaner. With a useful length cable, it is stable when standing and fitted comfortably in my hand so wielding it round the kitchen and bathroom was a breeze. The 260ml tank capacity gives sufficient steam for 10-15 minutes use and the push and turn screw makes it easy to tell whether it is fastened correctly. The `ready to use' indicator came on within a couple of minutes of turning it on and I particularly liked the positive lock on the handle preventing accidental escapes of steam. A dial allows you to vary the steam from a gentle waft in order to sanitize work surfaces, loos, etc right up to a powerful jet to really blast away dirt. The useful tools/attachments include a filling jug, a scrubbing brush head and a window squeegee which separates into two parts, one of which becomes an upholstery attachment on which can be placed a cute washable fabric `sock'.

It performed surprisingly impressively for me. Cleaning the windows was quick and easy and left them gleaming without elbow grease. Although it said it was not intended for outdoor use, my windows swing inwards so I was also able to tackle the outside and it cut through the grime easily and left them sparkling. Where it really comes into its own is blasting out gunge from otherwise impossible to reach crevices, such as under the taps, around the edge of the cooker or sink and around the edges of the double glazing. It cleaned up the kitchen and bathroom grouting a treat and I even used the nozzle to clean away the dirt around the edges of a light coloured carpet but if you intend to do this, follow the advice and do a patch test first. I used it to freshen up our mattress and I imagine those with toddlers/pets will find this useful to sanitize those little `accidents' on the carpet!

It's great for a quick whizz round the kitchen or bathroom and really takes the time and effort out of other tasks, such as window cleaning, all without having to resort to chemicals. For me, it's a star performer and useful addition to my cleaning cupboard.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE....., 7 Aug 2011
This review is from: Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner (Kitchen & Home)
Like everyone else I read the reviews on loads of these before buying this one (I mainly decided on this because I like VAX - they recommend you contact them directly if any issues and they resolve).

It's brilliant, really easy to use, lightweight and the water amount is sufficient to last long enough for a good few little jobs - oven, dishwasher e.t.c - I use this on loads of stuff, a sort of pre wash for oven dishes, down the side of the integrated dishwasher door - anywhere and it does what it's meant to do. Please don't confuse this with a jet/powerwasher though - otherwise you'll be disappointed, like someone else said - it doesn't clean for you but it certainly makes it a lot easier

As a little added assistance to any housewives justifying buying "another gadget" - I told my husband that the house was guaranteed to get a deep clean anyway whilst I tried it out in the first couple of days (oh, and I told him he could use it on his bikes!)
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42 of 48 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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