Our windows get grubby quickly. From insects flying into them to birds leaving little gifts, there are plenty of things that will cause them to become dirty, smeared, and stained. What if we told you that there is a vacuum for your windows? It might sound like a strange concept, but it’s true.
Karcher is one of the leading brands for window vacs, and it’s easy to see why when you consider their exceptional range of pressure washer and regular vacuum cleaners. Are you ready to find the best Karcher window vac?
This detailed comparison guide will take you through everything you need to find the best Karcher for cleaning windows.
What Is A Window Vacuum?
An important question, and one commonly asked, is what a window vacuum actually cleaner is. It’s a kind of steamer and vacuum cleaner, usually very compact and lightweight so that it can be held on one hand. Some even come with extendable rods so that you can reach higher windows with ease.
Many window vacuums will come with accessories, such as a squeegee, to ensure a smooth clean and a flawless finish when you vacuum the window.
The suction is gentle so as not to damage or scratch the glass, collecting all of the dirty water in an effortless motion. In fact, Karcher has a fantastic video on what their window vacs are and how to use them.
What Can You Use A Karcher Window Vacuum For?
The primary use for a Karcher window vac is, well, your windows. They have been designed for simple and streak-free cleaning that will leave every pane of glass looking brand new. But what other applications does this window vacuum have?
The shape, size, and weight of these window vacs make them ideal for use in several different areas of your home. This includes mirrors, tiles, and even shower enclosures.
The gentle way in which they operate means that they are not a risk to the various surfaces in your home, and it can even be used to clean car windows and exteriors. They could even be used on electric hobs as well as floors and furniture.
The important thing to remember is that these are not like a standard or handheld vacuum cleaner. They are meant for window work, which means their capacity and capability is smaller – even if they are highly effective at their job.
If you’re a little short on time and want a quick overview, here is a brief look at what makes the best Karcher window vacuum cleaner and what to look out for.
#1 If you are looking for a cheap model that does the job well, the WV1 is the perfect pick for you. It does lack some of the accessories you find in later models, but still has a great running time of 25 minutes to get your windows clean.
If you want value for money without spending too much, the WV2 or the WV2 Plus is the best choice. The lithium-ion battery provides an excellent run time without costing as much as models like the WV5 and WV5 Premium.
#2 The WV2 Plus only cost an extra £10 when compared to the standard and you get all of the basic accessories that you see with the later models. The spray bottle is absolutely worth investing in as it makes cleaning windows a lot easier.
#3 The anniversary edition comes with all three blade sizes as well as a range of accessories and a great battery life. However, this model has been discontinued by Karcher.
#4 The WV5 Premium and WV6 Premium are the same as the standard models other than the fact that they come with extra accessories for a little more money.
#5 The WV6 and WV6 Plus are the latest additions to the Karcher window cleaner range, improving on the run time of 35 minutes for the WV5 and WV5 Premium window vacuum cleaner.
Comparing the Karcher WV1, WV2, WV5, WV6
Karcher has four main models for their window vac range. While you may have heard of or seen the tenth-anniversary edition, this model is no longer available on the Karcher website and has been discontinued. So, for this guide, we will be focusing on the four key models.
Comparison Chart for the Karcher WV1, WV2, WV5 WV6
Below, you will find a detailed comparison chart for the key specifications of the main models. However, we have also included information on the Premium model for the WV6 and WV5, as well as the standard WV2.
|WV1||WV2||WV2 Plus||WV5 Plus N||WV5 Premium||WV6 Plus N||WV 6 Premium|
|Dimensions||130x250x275||120x280x320||120 x 280 x 320||125 x 280 x 325||125x280x325||126 x 280 x 310||126 x 280 x 310|
|Run Time||25 min||35 min||35 min||35 min||35 min||100 min||100 min|
|Charge Time||100 min||120 min||120 min||185 min||185 min||170 min||170 min|
|Spray Bottle and Cloth||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Runtime and Charging
Each model of Karcher window vac actually has quite an impressive runtime. The most basic model, the WV1, can go for an easy 25 minutes before it needs to be charged. On the other hand, upgrading to either of the WV2 models or the WV5 will give you 35 minutes instead.
The WV6 models knock it out of the park though, offering a staggering 100 minutes of battery life so that you can clean every window and glass surface in your house in no time at all. Every model of Karcher window vac comes with a lithium-ion battery for the best battery life possible.
The charge time is actually very good for a handheld vacuum of any kind across each of the models. The WV1 only takes 100 minutes to charge, increasing to 120 for the WV2 range and 185 for the WV5. However, the WV6 models drop back to 170 thanks to the advanced lithium-ion battery technology – helping to boost the runtime without needing to charge too long.
The lithium-ion battery is also removable in the VW5 Plus N. This is interesting as it is the only Karcher window vac on the market that currently has this feature. The anniversary edition did as well, but it is a discontinued model. All other Karcher window vacs cannot have their battery removed, which does reduce some of their versatility.
The VW5 Plus N also has the benefit of a charging station that contains a slot for a second battery to charge, something that is absent in the other window vac models. Other than this, they all use the same style charging unit as well as the same voltage.
Every model of Karcher window vac has exceptional cleaning capabilities, ensuring that you end up with sparkling windows without the risk of streaks or stains. Each model has good coverage, although the WV1 and WV2 series are only able to manage 55m2 and 75m2 respectively when compared to the 105m2 that both the WV5 and WV6 series are able to provide.
Put simply, this means that the older WV1 and WV2 range can clean approximately 15 windows in one session, whereas the WV5 and WV6 series are able to easily clean 32 windows.
The suction of the window vac is powerful, but not so much so that the glass will be scratched or damaged. It remains gentle across the entire Karcher range, with a soft blade that pushes the moisture down the window so that it can be sucked up in an efficient manner.
Edge cleaning is an important factor to consider with the window vac, especially as you want to ensure a window that is completely clean as opposed to mostly. While the WV1 and WV2 series are excellent, they lack the edge cleaning capabilities of the later models.
The WV5 and WV6 ranges are able to reach right up to the edge during the vacuuming process, allowing you to clean every speck of grime and dirt from your panes.
Weight and Handling
Every model is lightweight, which makes the handling smooth and comfortable. However, you will find that the earlier models are lighter than the new ones. The WV1 sits at 0.5kg, making it featherlight and barely noticeable as you work.
The WV2 series isn’t much different, weighing 0.6kg, so you’ll barely notice the difference between the two. The WV5 comes in at 0.7kg and the WV6 series is 0.8kg, so while you might feel a slight increase in heaviness with these ones it’s still not likely to impact the handling.
Of course, the WV5, WV5 Premium, and WV6 range comes with interchangeable cleaning heads. This makes cleaning different size window panes and surfaces a lot easier as you can just switch between the blades to find one that fits. For other models in the window vac range, you can buy blades separately.
The WV6 series comes with liquid silicone suction lips for the blades, adding to the gentle touch that they provide and also ensuring a really crisp and clean finish on your window.
Using these little machines is very easy. You take the spray bottle and cloth, spray the Karcher window cleaning solution onto the window, rub it in gently with the cloth, and then let the window vac do its thing.
For models that don’t come with the spray bottle (WV1 and standard WV2), you can use your own to apply the detergent.
All you need to do is place the window vac at the top of the pane and then gently pull it down towards the ground for a streak free finish. Do this across the window pane until it is clean and then move onto the next. Dirty water is directed straight to the tank.
Capacity and Cleaning
The capacity of a window vacuum is actually surprisingly large, especially when you consider the compact design of the machine. The WV1, WV2, and WV5 series all have a 100ml capacity for dirty water whereas the WV6 series increases this by 50%, leaving you with a 150ml capacity.
Emptying the tank is incredibly easy. The tank itself can be removed, but you can also pour the dirty water out through the nozzle and into the sink. Similarly, cleaning this window vac is very simple in that you only need to wipe the blades down with a cloth after use.
The noise level for all the window vacs in this guide is excellent, remaining low so that you don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone in your home or neighbours. The loudest model is the classic WV1 which sits at 53dB, whereas all the other models in the series are at 50dB instead.
The Karcher window vac series doesn’t have many tech features, and you will find that the WV1 and WV2 series don’t have any at all. The WV5 is a different story, however. These come with a 3-bar battery indicator on the main body of the window vacuum, letting you know when the charge is running low as well as when it has been fully charged.
The WV6 series takes the battery indicator up a notch, providing you with a minute by minute look at how much battery life is left so that you know exactly how much time you have left.
Karcher window vacs do come with several accessories, although they are not the same for each model. Here are some of the accessories that come with many of the Karcher models as a standard.
The cheap spray bottle set is a truly great addition to your window vac. The ergonomic grip makes this bottle very easy to handle, even over an extended period of time, and it is exceptionally lightweight. All models except for the WV1 and standard WV2 come with this accessory.
The microfibre cloths come with the spray bottle set, but they can also be purchased separately. After all, you’ll always need more when cleaning.
They are thick and very absorbent, which makes them ideal for glass, tiles, slates, marbles, ceramic, hardwood, vinyl, among other surfaces. They are also compatible with the extension poles, a handy extra to keep in mind.
The WV6 Premium and WV5 Premium comes with an extra microfibre cloth that can be used to wet the windows ready for cleaning.
This tool comes with the WV6 Premium and can be used to get really stubborn dirt marks off your windows. It’s very simple to use and makes a huge difference in the results. It can be bought separately.
These extension poles are great for cleaning windows on the second floor of your home. The poles are capable of extending for 1.2-1.9 meters and can be attached to the end of the vacuum, so you can easily clean those hard to reach windows and shower stalls.
There is also the option for a separate extension pole head that is equipped with a cleaning cloth. This allows you to wipe the windows down before and after cleaning. The microfiber cloth is also completely washable.
Not only do these extension poles help to reach the windows that would normally require a ladder, but they are embedded with an angle mechanism that will allow you to angle the head. Additionally, the poles are extremely lightweight and easy to use.
The extension pole, otherwise known as the handle, comes with all models except for the WV1. Additionally, models that come with the handle will also find there is an additional pole for the microfibre cloth to ensure even the high windows are dampened.
This streak-free solution is most certainly an extra that you cannot pass up. It is compatible with all Karcher models, and it will offer a more thorough cleaning without leftover smears and smudges. If your windows and glass surfaces need a tougher clean, this is the way to go.
Additional Karcher Window Vac Accessories
The good news is that Karcher window vacs tend to come with a great range of accessories that make life a lot easier. However, you also have the option of being able to purchase a selection of additional tools to improve your window cleaning capabilities.
This holster makes the cleaning process so much easier. Instead of having to waste time placing the washer on a flat surface and picking it back up again later, you can simply place the washer in your hip bag and go about your business.
Various Suction Blades
Many models come with one or two of the three Karcher suction blades. Being able to switch between these different sizes is a fantastic option to have, especially as it means you can achieve a finer finished and your desired results with greater accuracy.
What Detergent Can I Use in My Karcher Window Vac?
You should use Karcher brand detergent in your window vac. This is because it is the most compatible with your machine. It is also recommended by Karcher that you use their cleaning detergent. However, you will be able to use other brands effectively.
Can You Use a Karcher Window Vac Upside Down?
Yes, you can use a Karcher window vac upside down. Their versatile design means that you can use them upside down, sideways, whatever way works best for keeping your windows and glass surfaces clean.
Is Karcher Window Vac Good for Condensation?
Yes, Karcher window vacs are excellent for condensation. They are able to clear the marks up efficiently and quickly, leaving no marks or streaks behind.
Karcher is a reputable brand that has made a name for itself across the globe. There’s nothing quite like their window vacs in existence, and it certainly makes life easier for you when trying to achieve a perfect finish on your glass surfaces.
Each of the models we have here has been carefully compared and tested to ensure that you find the right fit for you. Despite all of them having strong reasons to purchase them, we recommend the WV6 and WV6 Premium.
The run time is exceptional, it comes with interchangeable blades, and it has the fantastic silicone lip to make window cleaning a breeze. The edge cleaning is a key feature for me.
What did you think of our Karcher window cleaner comparison guide? Were you able to find the best model to help you with your window cleaning duties, or are you still on the hunt? We love hearing from you, so let us know in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.