VAX steam cleaner review

Steam Cleanin’


[This post is a collaboration with VAX.]

Terry and I rarely watch “live” TV these days (Netflix marathons FTW! Remember the days when you had to remember what day/time your favourite show was on, and then watch it at that exact time? So quaint!), but on the rare occasions we find ourselves exposed to a commercial break, there’s always one commercial in particular that Terry dreads.

“TERRY, IT’S ON!” I’ll shriek from the living room, as he’s getting himself a drink, or cowering in a corner, hoping that “it” isn’t what he thinks it is. But it always is. It’s an advert for a certain steam cleaner, and it depicts a woman in one of those pristine TV-Commercial homes (You know the ones: they’re roughly the size of a football stadium, and always filled with soft, radiant sunlight? I dream of those houses sometimes. I wish I was joking.), using the device to quickly and easily clean her floors, her sofa, her oven, her…


You all remember my issues with cleaning glass, don’t you?

You also all remember how I’ve just spent two full months living in a house that was constantly being either dug up or remodeled, I expect? And how much MESS that situation generated?

In short, by the time Terry finished installing the last LED light in the kitchen last week, my house was an absolute mess. And I mean, I’d been doing my best to keep it clean, I really had. Every Friday, I’d devote several hours to deep-cleaning that week’s mess, so we could enjoy the weekend in a state of relative organisation. And every Monday, I’d wonder why I’d bothered, as I tripped over the pile of bathroom tile in the kitchen, or wondered if I’d ever see the hall floor again, so cluttered was it with power tools, and the other detritus of an extended DIY project.

Even once the work was over, the mess remained, despite my best efforts to remove it. In fact, a lot of the mess remained BECAUSE of my best efforts to remove it: let’s just say we have a lot of glass in our house, and you all know how I am with cleaning glass.

That’s why today I’m writing a post about a steam cleaner. Because I really don’t deal well with mess. It makes me stressed and anxious, and basically, if my house is a mess, I feel like my LIFE is a mess too. My house/life has been a mess for two months now, and, well, Christmas is coming, with all that the season entails. Last Sunday, for instance, we hosted a little get-together for  11 adults, two babies, and two toddlers. I really wanted the house to be clean for that. I wanted my mirrors and windows to be streak-free. I didn’t want to have to spend a full week endlessly cleaning and re-cleaning the mirror in the hall, and watching it get dirtier every time. So when the opportunity arose to try out the VAX Steam Fresh Combi Multifunction 15-in-1 Steam Cleaner (Which I’m just going to refer to as “the steam cleaner” from now on, yeah?), I jumped out of my chair, and I did a little dance. I mean that literally.

Anyway, the cleaner arrived last Saturday, and while it would be an exaggeration to say it saved my life, it totally saved my life. Because it cleans everything. Every. Thing. Yes, EVEN GLASS. I KNOW.

This particular cleaner has the ability to be used as both an upright cleaner, and as a hand-held unit. Although I was looking forward to being able to clean the kitchen floor without having to get down on my hands and knees, like one of the servants from Downton Abbey or something, I was most interested in the glass-cleaning capabilities of the hand-held unit, so I carefully detached it, and headed straight for my arch nemesis: the shower stall.

Oh, that shower stall. I mean: IT’S GLASS, so obviously I hate it. I clean it diligently after every single shower, but it still always looks streaky and awful, so I attached the “squeegee” attachment and got to work. Then, ten minutes later, I attached the ACTUAL “squeegee” attachment, having realised that I’d been using totally the wrong thing (the unit comes with a variety of little brushes, mops and other items, all designed to meet every possible cleaning need. Of course, I hadn’t bothered to switch my brain on before I switched the steam cleaner on, so I’d been using a little cloth thing, and wondering why it wasn’t really working…), and got to work for a second time.

The result?

I have a sparkling clean shower stall. Well, OK, other than that bit in the corner I couldn’t reach, but close enough. And, not long afterwards, I had streak and smudge-free mirrored doors on the bedroom closet.

After that, there was no stopping me. At the time of writing, I’ve basically steam cleaned everything: floors (using the unit as an upright cleaner), bathrooms, upholstery, GLASS… Thanks to Rubin doing his, er, bit, and smearing something unmentionable on the office carpet, I’ve steamed that too, and will no doubt tackle the rest of the carpets sometime before Christmas.

To cut a long story very slightly shorter: I like it a lot, and it’s been a huge help in getting my house – and therefore my head – back into order this week, just in time for us to start messing it all up again over the Christmas break. Although this has saved me a lot of time, however, I have to stress that it’s not made of magic, so if you’re thinking of getting one, you need to be aware that there’s still a bit of work involved. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of using it (I’m a bit slow on the uptake, though), and to work out exactly how much steam I’d need for different jobs. The first time I tried to clean the kitchen floor, for instance, I was left with pools of water everywhere, because I’d been a little TOO enthusiastic with the ol’ steam setting, and my complete inability to clean glass hasn’t been totally resolved with this either: I generally have to give my mirrors a bit of a polish once I’ve finished steaming them, or I’ll still have a few streaks. Overall, though, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this little device has saved my sanity. Well, I mean, it WOULD be an exaggeration to say that. But if you’d seen the state of my house last week, you’d know exactly what I mean.

Now, if only I could find a gadget which could change the duvet cover…

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  • Holly


    If you’re now sponsored by VAX, can life possibly get any better from here?

    December 13, 2014
  • Peggy Lyu


    My grandmother asked me what I want for Christmas… You have just remindes that I wanted a stem cleaner but I forgot it! I want one now!
    In the past two weeks my husband was sick and I worked a lot so my house was really a mess… I cleaned it today but I’d need a lot of time more… A steam cleaner would help me lot. I like yours..maybe I find it in Italy too…

    December 13, 2014
  • Liz

    December 13, 2014
  • Oh I think I need one of these in my life!! Last weekend, I spent HOURS cleaning windows and the glass in the front door, and then I sat back to look at my handiwork and the sun streaming through just highlighted that I’d made a complete smeared mess of the whole lot. I tried a squeegee thingy, I tried a dishwasher liquid that is supposed to not leave streaks, and I tried the old-fashioned vinegar and newspaper technique. It was all pointless. I’m not putting it on my Christmas list though, because that would be a present for the house, rather than me! x

    December 13, 2014
  • Liz Tea Bee


    I love that the pictures imply that you steam clean in fishnets and heels.

    December 13, 2014
  • I am a bit ashamed to admit that I already had my eye on one of these… along with one of those G-Tech Air-ram vacuum cleaners… I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for both ad campaigns. But it seems like both of these gadgets actually work! However, it’s just so hard to spend the money on them that should be going on important things, like dresses…

    December 13, 2014
  • Karlie


    My husband buys the house a gift that I get to open on Christmas. Things like pans and can openers. I think a steamer might need to be this years house gift.

    December 16, 2014
  • Ellesworth


    I’m cleaning up for Christmas today. (Well, uh, after I’ve finished checking blogs anyway.) My outfit: a twenty year old tee shirt with a hole in the shoulder, my baggiest, most comfortable jogging bottoms and holey socks. Then I read this post…. and a good minute looking at your outfit then down at mine and then back again. Ahhhh well.

    December 19, 2014
  • Selina


    I am such a sucker for infomercials, especially the steam cleaner ones. I am quite convinced that were I the owner of a steam cleaner my house would be pristine. It’s worth noting here that my house constantly looks like a tornado went through it, because not one of us is tidy! I’m pretty sure steam cleaners aren’t quite magical enough to deal with our mess, but I may yet ask for one for my birthday!

    January 4, 2015