The Vax Platinum SmartWash entered our life at just the right time. We’d been living through Tier 4 and Lockdown No. 3 rules for weeks so had barely left the house. The carpets, especially in the living room, were showing signs of heavy use.
Added to this, landscaping work was being carried out in our garden. As a result, every time our kids, Helen and Izzy, went outside, they very often trapsed mud back into the house. Our carpets were in a dreadful state and I was keen to see how the SmartWash would tackle this situation.
Introdudcing the Vax Platinum SmartWash
The Vax Platinum SmartWash is a new addition to the Vax cleaning range. It’s an upright carpet cleaner designed for domestic use that arrives partially assembled. There isn’t much to do to get it up and running. Slotting the handle in place is the biggest part so you can have it up and running in less than five minutes.
I know it’s very rude to compare exes, especially in public. Nonetheless, I have previously reviewed the Vax Power Max carpet cleaner. The Power Max was a very good carpet cleaner, but the SmartWash is slightly more expensive and has some design elements that make it easier to use. I’ll make a couple of further comparisons as I write about the SmartWash’s performance.
That said, here are some essential details you need to know about the SmartWash. It has large brush bars at the front for general cleaning. It also comes with two hand tools that you can use for cleaning spots or upholstery etc.
There is a clean water tank that sits at the top of the SmartWash. Dirty water collects in a tank at the bottom. Both clean and dirty water tanks are removable to make it easy to fill and empty them as required.
The carpet cleaning solution goes in a small tank at the back. Again, this is removable to make filling easier. If you want to simply rinse your carpets with water (something you may want to do if you haven’t managed to wash all the solution out), just remove this tank when using the SmartWash.
Vax Platinum SmartWash in use
The SmartWash is very easy to use. Having the separate tank on the back for the anti-bacterial cleaning solution means you don’t have to measure any solution, which you do with rival products. With the SmartWash, you simply fill up this small tank and the cleaner itself takes care of mixing the correct amount of solution.
The clean water tanks needs filling with warm water (maximum 40˚C). With that done, away you go!
As you push the SmartWash away from you, the cleaner washes the carpet. As you pull it back towards you, it acts as a vacuum cleaner sucking the dirty water out of the carpet and it collects in the dirty water container, which usefully features a small filter for catching larger pieces of much caught up in the carpet.
There is a Dry Only button on the back of the SmartWash. If you press this, it will stop washing the carpet and just suck the water our of it.
It doesn’t stop there. As you pull the SmartWash towards you, it blasts the carpet with warm air. This aids the drying process so your carpets don’t stay damp after they’ve been washed. It won’t leave your carpet completely dry, but it certainly reduces the drying time.
Using the hand tools
The SmartWash comes with a couple of hand tools. These are easy to use. To get them to work, you insert a hose into a port at the bottom of the SmartWash. On the end of that hose you attach the hand tools. The main one in my opinion is the SpinScrub.
The SpinScrub makes for a superb spot cleaning tool. It enables you to spray cleaning solution on to a spot. The SpinScrub does exactly what is says: It’s motorised and it spins, agitating the carpet and working the cleaning solution into it before sucking the solution out again.
While the SpinScrub looks identical to the one you get with the Power Max, it has been souped up. It’s much more powerful. At one point I left the SpinScrub on the floor of our hallway while it was connected to the SmartWash. I was forgetting the brush is motorised and so it started carwling all over the carpet like a small animal! See the short video below to see the SpinScrub in action.
What you want to know is whether the SpinScrub actually works. The answer is yes, it works very well. I used it to clean up all manner of food stains, mud and (I think!) make up. There was the one stain the SpinScrub couldn’t shift and that was a strange, pink mark on my daughter’s carpet.
In fairness, however, I do not know what that stain was. It looked very much like some kind of paint or food dye and I think it would be a bit much to expect a carpet cleaner to shift such a stain.
There is one further hand tool, the antimicrobial tool for use on upholstery and carpeted stairs. I used this on curtains and our sofa. I wasn’t so impressed with this. It’s essentially a two-part tool with a removeable rubber component that just fell off. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t use this attachment very much anyway so while it was a touch disappointing, it wasn’t a deal breaker.
Other points to mention
There is one element of the SmartWash’s design that impressed me hugely. The clear plastic cover that goes over the main brushes can be removed giving you access for cleaning. This is very useful, especially if you are a pet owner. The reality is that wet animal hairs can collect in a carpet cleaner’s rollers and they occasionally need cleaning out.
The PowerMax didn’t offer this level of access to the rollers so cleaning it was very difficult to keep clean. I’m glad to see that’s been addressed in this model.
Concluding thoughts, price and availability
In terms of price, the Vax Platinum SmartWash has a recommended retail price of £299.99. It’s older brother, the PowerMax will set you back £249.99. Both items are widely available at outlets including John Lewis and Argos. Further information about the SmartWash can be found on online by visiting the Vax website.
For the additional fifty quid, I would recommend splashing out on the Vax Platinum SmartWash. If money’s tight, you’ll get a perfectly good carpet washer if you buy the PowerMax.
The SmartWash is well designed and it works very well. The antimicrobial hand tool was a bit of a let-down but that is a small consideration. Placing of the solution tank and the removable guard over the rollers make this a product that is both very easy to use and maintain. If, after months of having the family at home, your carpets need a good clean, the SmartWash would serve your needs well.