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VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner review: a powerful gadget for tackling floor stains at home

How effective is Vax’s latest spot washer at tackling spills and stains? We put the compact floor cleaner to the test in a busy family home. Here’s our verdict.

By Rachel Erdos | Last updated Feb 1, 2024

Vax Cordless SpotWash review

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

Our rating:

What we like

  • Lightweight and portable cordless unit 

  • Effective on fresh and dried-in stains 

  • Powerful boost setting works well on stubborn stains 

  • Battery can be used with other Vax floor cleaning products

  • Three-year guarantee 

What we don’t like 

  • 25-minute runtime can feel short if you’re wanting to get stuck into tackling a few stains in one go 

  • Not quite as powerful as the corded version but more convenient 

  • Quite noisy when in use

Our verdict 

If you like the idea of having a gadget at home that can tackle floor stains and spillages but don’t have the space to store a bulky carpet cleaner, the VAX SpotWash Home Cordless is a great buy. 

This portable cleaner can shift fresh spills and dried-in dirt and it’s effective at giving rugs and sofas a thorough refresh. It’s cordless so it’s easy to grab and go when needed - I found it particularly convenient to use on stairs and in the car

It’s very effective at blitzing mud and food stains from carpets and rugs and it’s extremely satisfying to see stains take a pummelling and the dirty water tank fill up with filth in the process. 

It bridges the gap between having to scrub the life out of your carpet with a cloth and a spray cleaner (and then wait ages for it to dry) and having to store a cumbersome carpet cleaner. 

At £200, it’s not an essential household buy but it’s very effective at targeted stain removal and it provides an easy way to keep your floors, sofas, rugs and doormats free from dirt and germs. 

Read next: How to clean a floor, according to Mumsnetters

Key specs 

Clean water tank capacity: 1.1 litres | Dirty water tank capacity: 700ml | Weight: 4.5kg | Dimensions: 27 x 36 x 34cm | Cord length: N/A | Floor types: Carpet | Hose length: 1.25m | Guarantee: Three years

VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: How we tested 

Vax SpotWash stairs
  • Tested in a family home over the course of several weeks

  • Used on carpets, rugs, stairs, sofas and inside our car 

  • Tested all tools and brush attachments 

  • Used on fresh spills and dried-in dirt 

The Vax SpotWash has been used sporadically over the last few weeks to tackle fresh spills (cordial, pasta sauce) as well as dried-in dirt (mud, chalk, crayon). 

We don’t have any carpet downstairs (although we do have a large rug and doormats) but our upstairs area is fully carpeted and we have two sets of stairs to keep clean. I tested the spot washer’s ability to tackle on-the-spot stains and it was used to give our rugs and sofas a thorough refresh. 

Related: The best carpet cleaners for spotless floors

VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: What’s in the box?

  • VAX SpotWash Home Cordless main unit 

  • 4Ah ONEPWR Battery and charger 

  • Wide Path tool and brush attachments 

  • Messy Clean-Up tool and brush attachment

  • Crevice tool 

  • Vax SpotWash Antibacterial Solution

VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: How easy is it to assemble? 

Vax SpotWash cleaning solution

It’s very easy to put together. The main unit features two tanks for clean and dirty water - they both click into place easily and can be lifted on and off via handles at the top (clean water tank) and at the side (dirty water tank). There are clear markings to indicate how much water and solution you need to add and the battery is encased in a transparent box so you can see how much juice you have left. The hose is already attached to the main unit so once the battery has charged and the solution has been added you just need to attach the right cleaning head/brush for the job and hit the on button. 

Related: The best steam cleaners, tried and tested

“We've got one, it's great. The week after we got it I dropped a 6 pint of milk on the floor and it split. Don't think I'd have managed to clean that out the carpet without the spot wash!”

- Mumsnet user, Coulddowithanap

VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: what’s it like to use day-to-day?

It’s simple to get to grips with once you’ve figured out the right sequence in which to clean. There’s a trigger on the hose that squirts cleaning solution onto the floor and the brush head can be used to add pressure and agitate the stain. The amount of cleaning solution and pressure used will depend on the type of stain you’re trying to shift. Bear in mind that the more solution you use, the longer it’ll take to dry - I found it a little too easy to over-saturate carpets initially but learnt to be less trigger-happy after using it a few times. 

The most satisfying part of the process is when you tilt the cleaning head and use suction to lift the stain and liquid from the floor (or stair or rug or sofa). The transparent casing on the cleaning tool means that you can see the filth being sucked right into the dirty water tank - something I found incredibly pleasing. 

It’s not the kind of product you’re going to use on a daily or weekly basis (with any luck). Certainly not in the same way that you’d use a vacuum cleaner or a hard floor cleaner. So its compact cord-free design is a major selling point. It fits neatly into our hall cupboard which means it’s on hand to whip out and tackle fresh stains when needed.

Read next: The best robot vacuum cleaners for hands-free hoovering

Vax SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: how effective is it at cleaning?

Vax SpotWash review cleaning

The cleaning solution itself is probably as effective as the kind of spray you’d expect to pick up from a supermarket shelf. However, this little unit takes stain removal to another level thanks to its dirt-pummelling brush heads and some super suction. 

I found it as easy to remove squished-in mud from light grey carpets as I did to eliminate blackcurrant cordial from a cream rug. I used it to give a small sofa a quick spruce up and even though I couldn’t detect any visible stains from the outset, it was horrifying (but gratifying) to see the dirty water tank fill up with filth after cleaning. 

It’s the kind of product that’s reassuring to have in your cleaning cupboard to tackle fresh spillages as they arise as well as to refresh upholstery, stairs and rugs on a regular basis. It’s said to kill 99% of bacteria (when used with the antibacterial solution) so it’s particularly useful if you’ve got babies at home that are going through the crawling, licking and drooling phase. 

Read next: The best budget vacuum cleaners under £200

VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner: how easy is it to clean?

Vax SpotWash review water tanks

It’s worth de-gunking the hose between cleans to keep the product in good condition. After using, it’s a case of emptying the dirty water tank, sliding off the cleaning tool head and submerging the hose in a bowl of lukewarm water. When switched on, the water will get sucked through the hose and end up in the dirty water tank. It’s not quite as straightforward as the Shark StainStriker which features a self-cleaning mechanism but it’s simple enough. 

Related: The best cordless vacuum cleaners for quick clean-ups

Does the VAX SpotWash Home Cordless Spot Cleaner offer value for money?

At around £200 it’s a pricey buy but it’s cheaper than investing in a cordless carpet cleaner and it’s much easier to store. It also comes with a reassuring three-year guarantee.

It’s more expensive than the Shark StainStriker Stain & Spot Cleaner and the Bissell SpotClean Pro but it’s a cord-free design that’s more convenient to move around and use. 

I’d say the cleaning quality is pretty similar to the StainStriker and they’re both just as noisy when in use. The StainStriker is a little lighter and I personally prefer the scent of the Shark products. 

If you enjoy the convenience of cord-free appliances though, this has the edge in terms of being able to use it on the go. And it comes with an interchangeable battery that can be used across all Vax floor cleaning products - handy if the battery’s running low towards the end of a clean as you can swap it out while charging a spare. 

About the author

Rachel Erdos is an Editor at Mumsnet where she commissions, edits and writes content with a focus on product reviews, homeware roundups and family travel.

She’s written buyer’s guides for publications including Expert Reviews and Coach as well as reviews and features for the Guardian, TripSavvy and Visit London.

As a mum of two, she’s always on the lookout for products that make life easier (and cleaning feel like less of a chore) at home and loves putting appliances and gadgets to the test to highlight best buys for families.

Read next: Meet Mumsnet's editorial team

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real people after extensive research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.