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My home needs a carpet cleaner. It’s shocking how dirty your carpets are, and even if you are the kind of person that manages to vacuum every day there is a load of grime waiting for you. Living with pets, I knew that those dirt levels were going to be even higher than expected. I set my eyes on the Vax Rapid Power Plus, a machine that looks like it can deliver on its promises of a clean home. As soon as it arrived, I couldn’t wait to rip the box open and just get to trying it out.
I can say it is a fantastic model, but to find out the specifics behind that you’ll have to read a little further. It has a lot to offer, as well as some fun features that you don’t necessarily find in your standard carpet cleaner. Is it perfect? Nothing seems to be, but the flaws it has are ones I can happily overlook. It’s time again for another of my reviews, so chill out and read the details.
Vax Rapid Power Plus
Corded upright carpet cleaner
A little powerhouse that is ready to help in any way it can, there isn’t much that proves a match for it. With some great accessories and an incredible level of power, it excels at both washing and drying your carpets. Tight and effective cleaning are what this carpet cleaner is all about.
Presenting the Vax Rapid Power Plus
Nothing is without its faults, and this Vax carpet cleaner has a couple. Primarily, it is the noise and the weight, both of which are pretty high. It;s bulky to move around, and this isn’t necessarily something every customer wants. For a lighter model, I would recommend the Bissell StainPro 4; which I will be mentioning at the end of this guide.
- Fantastic at washing carpets
- Brilliant at drying carpets
- Gets right up to the edges
- Excellent accessories
- Quite easy to handle
- Ideal for homes with pets
- Large capacity
- Twin tanks and easy to empty
- It can be quite noisy as well as heavy
- Could be better with dried and old stains
– 5.2L capacity
– 14kg weight
– 8m cord
– 80dB noise
– 2-year guarantee
Design and Features
It has a chunky design, but in the best possible way. It gives it a modern look and appeal, and it is packaged safely so that it arrived unharmed. Looking past the aesthetics of this model, you also have to keep the assembly in mind. The actual construction of the carpet cleaner only takes five minutes, and all of the screws are provided.
The handle is the main part that needs assembly, and it will have to be attached to the main body of the machine. It’s actually quite comfortable to hold and use; all you need to do is pull it back while placing your foot on the floorhead to get it into a usable position.
The trigger will need to be held while you clean in order to get the detergent out, but it is conveniently placed where you hand would be anyway.
The floorhead is the star of the show for the Vax Rapid Power Plus. It features a set of spin scrub brushes on the underside that are ready to agitate your carpets gently and yet in a way that pulls up all the dirt. In addition to this you have the side brushes; both of which I will go into more detail about later.
I also love the fact that there is a clear nozzle on the front of the machine that allows you to see all the dirty water being sucked up. It shows you how mucky your carpet it, and also gives you hope when it starts getting clearer. This can also be removed easily for washing, which means you can make sure it doesn’t get clogged.
The hose is a reasonable length at 2.5m, and the thing that makes it so noteworthy is the fact that it is flexible. Therefore, it can be used for above floor cleaning effortlessly, and the process of doing so is really quick and easy. It can also be used with the attachments that come with the carpet cleaner for a more versatile range of movements.
It comes with twin water tanks as well, which is such an underrated feature. This means that clean and dirty water are kept separate at all times for the best results. The fact that it mixes the water and detergent automatically helps a lot too.
You pour them into separate sections (no need to measure) and the carpet cleaner does the rest. It even comes with a bottle of detergent, a bottle of pretreatment, and a bottle of post-treatment.
How Noisy is it?
It’s a loud carpet cleaner, and it makes the same level of sound that you would expect from a vacuum cleaner. At 80dB, it is at the maximum level allowed under EU standards – so not as deafening as it would have been a few years ago.
Cord Length and Storage
The cord length is 8m, which is nice for pretty much any home. It gives you more than enough reach to do a room or two at a time before you need to switch sockets. There is a cable tidy on the back for you to wrap the cord around neatly when you are done. You can just push the top hook down to free the entire cord when you go to use it next to make life a bit easier.
It’s a tall carpet cleaner, and while it is not massively bulky you will find it hard to slot it into small cupboards. Therefore, it is best to store it in larger spaces that have more room for movement.
The Vax Rapid Power Plus also comes with a storage bag for all of the accessories, detergents, and extras that come with the machine. This has a hangar attached so that it can be hung up in your cupboard.
Weight and Handling
It’s a chunky machine, especially when full of water, and 14kg is certainly a lot to try and lug up the stairs. With the long hose you shouldn’t need to do too much lifting, and the wheels on the back definitely help to make the process a smoother one. There are lighter carpet cleaners out there, one of which is at the end of this review.
The handling does feel clunky at first, and it takes more effort than expected to move it around and turn corners. This is usually because you aren’t used to handling a machine of this weight and build, so once you have had a few runs with it you will find that it becomes surprisingly smooth. The controls are quite easy to access, and the only niggle could be the need to hold down the trigger.
The capacity is actually quite respectable at 5.2L, and this should be more than enough for a large room (perhaps even two). As mentioned before, there are twin tanks to separate the clean and dirty water for better cleaning results. Each tank is very easy to remove from the carpet cleaner; you just need to press the release button and lift them away.
Emptying the dirty water tank can be done one of two ways. The first is removing the cap and pouring it out through the hole. The other is actually opening the entire thing up and tipping it out. The method you choose really depends on how full the tank is. Either way, both techniques are simple and free from hassle.
Inside the tank is a washable filter. This can be removed and needs to be kept clean to stop the machine from clogging. It is there to capture pieces of loose debris. Once you slide it out, you can rinse it using cool water and squeeze it out before putting it back in place. You’ll also find a float valve behind the filter, and this will ensure the carpet cleaner switches off automatically if it gets too full for your safety.
How Well Does It Clean and Dry?
The usual advice comes first; always vacuum before you use a carpet cleaner. Vacuuming removes large pieces of debris that could block your carpet cleaner, but it also helps to loosen the dirt in your carpet to make life easier for you during the washing process. The Vax Rapid Power Plus only works with carpets, and is not compatible with hard floors.
Its cleaning power on carpets is superb. The spin scrub brushes really work their way into the floor, reaching long forgotten dirt and pulling it up to the surface. So as not to over soak your carpets, you should not go over the same spot more than four times. However, you shouldn’t even need that many passes to get excellent results with this model.
Working alongside the brushes on the base of the floorhead, you also have the side brushes. Vax really get this right compared to many other brands because they reach right up to the edge of the room. Therefore, when all the work is done, you aren’t left with an obvious border that makes your room look like a picture frame.
Even the above floor cleaning is impressive. You can achieve this by plugging the flexible hose into the front of the machine and then connecting it to the detergent canister as per the instruction manual. You can then use the attachments with the hose for a better and more versatile clean. It should be noted that this carpet cleaner can foam a little at times, and so you may want to invest in a defoamer before you start using it.
There are two cleaning modes for you to choose from; quick clean and deep clean. The former of these is like a speedy rinse that gets rid of dirt but doesn’t go right down into the carpet. The big benefit of this setting is that it only takes an hour for the carpet to dry. The deep clean is the option you need if you want to really work the dirt out, but it will take several hours (possibly even overnight) for everything to dry.
How Well Does It Cope with Stains?
No carpet cleaner can fully remove stains alone, and that is just part of the unfortunate truth. However, they are amazing at reducing the appearance of stains, and when you combine them with a good pretreatment removal may even be possible. The Vax Rapid Power Plus is good at lessening stains, but it is not quite as powerful as the Platinum Plus in this regard.
Using the pretreatment on stains is your best bet, and you get a spray bottle of it with the carpet cleaner. If you apply this to the affected area before you begin the washing process, you have a much greater chance of getting rid of it or at least fading it to the point that you barely notice it. The removal process might take a few sessions, but there will definitely be a marked difference.
The Vax Rapid Power Plus comes with a nice selection of accessories. The first of these is the flexible hose that I have mentioned a few times already. It’s a really handy piece of kit, and all of the tools below can be clipped onto it for your convenience.
The mini spin scrub brush is ideal for the stairs, and it will help you work out mud you didn’t even think was there. It’s easy to forget that our staircases have some of the highest traffic in the home, and therefore it is only natural that they would get dirty quite quickly. It can also be used on upholstery and pet bedding.
There is a crevice tool that will reach right into any corners that the side brushes may have missed, which is quite a handy addition to have. It’s something that many carpet cleaners don’t have but really should. If you want to head for some above floor cleaning, there is also a rubber brush included that will offer fantastic results on a multitude of surfaces.
There is also a car cleaning attachment, which can be used as an upholstery tool as well. This is gentle on fabrics while also providing a thorough clean. It won’t soak your furniture too much either, so you don’t need to worry about any damp smells or overly long drying times.
How Does It Compare?Here are some other, similar, models of carpet cleaner for you to consider, just in case you want to look at other options before you commit to a Vax Rapid Power Plus.
Super light, easy to handle, and quiet. What more could you want from a carpet cleaner? It glides across your floors in an effortless manner, and even when it’s full of water you hardly notice it’s there. It dries floors in excellent time, and the controls are clearly displayed for your convenience. Affordable and made to be reliable, it’s the ideal model for anyone on a budget.
Similar to the Vax Rapid Power Plus, this carpet cleaner offers brains and brawn to your cleaning routine. There are two types of wash to choose from, each of which offer excellent drying times once you have finished your work. The accessories are excellent, allowing you to wash everything from the carpet and the stairs to the upholstery in your home and car.
To ConcludeIt is my hope that this little guide to the Vax Rapid Power Plus has been able to help you form a strong decision as to whether or not this is going to be the model for you. There’s a lot to think about when you buy a carpet cleaner, which is why I have made sure to list it all for you in a detailed manner.
The weight of the machine and the level of noise it produces are not ideal, and it could definitely be better with those really old stains. However, for the latter of these it’s nothing a little pretreatment can’t fix. Despite a couple of niggles, there is a lot going for this carpet cleaner. The above floor cleaning tools are certainly a favourite, and they make things interesting as well as a lot easier. When you put that together with powerful washing and a great range of tools, you have yourself a force of nature. Therefore, it gets an impressive 4.5/5 stars from me.
What did you think of our Vax Rapid Power Plus review? Do you agree with our thoughts on the carpet cleaner, or are there others that you think are better suited to the task? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.