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Vax Steam Fresh Home steam cleaner review: our verdict on Vax's latest cleaning must-have

Versatile, powerful and with more attachments than you can shake a stick at, we put the Vax Steam Fresh Home to the test against some common household chores.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Mar 26, 2024

Vax Steam Fresh Home

Price on writing: £139 | Buy now from Amazon

Our rating:

What we like
  • Comes with tools for all sorts of jobs

  • Slices through even the toughest grime

  • Works great on chunky tiles

  • Small, light handheld attachment

  • Well designed head

  • Carpet attachment

What we don't like
  • Gets through solution quickly

  • Water tank leaks when not attached to main cleaner

  • Long flex can get in the way

Key specs

Type: Upright and handheld | Heating time: 30 seconds | Steaming time: 15 minutes | Variable steam?: Yes | Water tank capacity: 260ml (Solution tank capacity: 130ml) | Weight: 4.6kg | Wattage: ‎1600W  | Included accessories: 250ml Vax steam detergent, 3 microfibre pads, carpet glider, hose, flat surface tool, 4 x small flat steam cleaning pads, large scrubbing brush, deep scrubbing brush, window tool, detail nozzle, grout brush, replacement filter, accessory bag | Guarantee: Two years

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Vax Steam Fresh Home

How we tested

Mumsnet editor Poppy tested the Vax Steam Fresh Home in her 3 bedroom house across the space of a month. She used the steam cleaner for everyday housework and clean-ups, as well as carefully testing each of the many features on a myriad of household chores. she took detailed notes on the ease of use, effectiveness and quality of the steam cleaner.

Related: The best steam cleaners and steam mops

Our verdict

If you're looking for a steam cleaner that can do it all, look no further. The Vax Steam Fresh Home doesn't just sort your kitchen floor, it has attachments to tackle grime on all manner of surfaces, and it can even give your carpets a spruce up.

I was very impressed with how little effort you have to put in to cleaning with the Steam Fresh Home - its powerful jet of steam does all the work for you, even on dried-on dirt, what's more, its array of attachments mean you can just point the steam at the offending area and blow the grime away, like a reverse Ghostbuster.

I found the cleaner got through detergent very quickly in upright mode, and the tank leaks if the handheld unit isn't replaced in the upright cleaner. Despite these small foibles, I'm definitely glad to have the Vax Steam Fresh Home to hand for tough dirt and stains.

What's in the box?

Vax Steam Fresh Home

In a word: a lot! The steam cleaner comes in pieces so you'll need to do some light assembling, and all the parts click easily together with no tools required. In addition to the main upright steam cleaner, you'll also find:

  • Hose with ergonomic handle

  • Flat surface tool

  • 4x small steam cleaning pads

  • Large scrubbing brush

  • Deep scrubbing brush

  • Window tool

  • Detail nozzle

  • Grout brush

  • 3x large triangular steam cleaning pads

  • Carpet glider attachment

  • 250ml VAX Citrus Burst Steam Cleaning Solution

  • Additional Filter

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How easy is the Vax Steam Fresh Home to set up and start using?

Once you've clicked all the pieces into place, both tanks need filling before you can get steaming. There's a water tank and a detergent tank to fill, and if you live in a hard water area, it's best to use a water filter unless you have a water softener installed.

The water takes about 30 seconds to heat up, then you're ready to go. I must admit, my steam cleaner arrived with the carpet glider and one of the triangular pads already attached, so I was a little confused by the instructions at first. Once I realised my mistake, the steam cleaner was ready to glide swiftly and effortlessly across my kitchen floor.

Related: The best cordless vacuum cleaners

What can you clean with a steam cleaner like the Vax Steam Fresh Home?

It might be better to ask what you can't clean with the Vax Steam Fresh Home, and the answer would be unsealed wooden flooring. Not content with making our hard floors and surfaces sparkle, there's a carpet glider attachment for refreshing dingy carpets. While it won't be as effective as a proper carpet cleaner, it gives your carpets a disinfecting lift, leaving them only slightly damp.

The main use for a steam cleaner is as a steam mop for keeping hard floors clean. The heat and power of the steam removes the need for scrubbing or even applying pressure as you clean. The tiles in my kitchen have quite deep grooves between them, which can be hard to clean, and the steam from the Vax Steam Fresh Home managed to clean them better than a conventional floor mop or robot mop has done in the past.

Taking all the extra attachments for a spin has left my house pretty spotless. There are brushes for shifting burnt-on dirt from your hobs or oven, a grout tool for between tiles, a detail nozzle for hard-to-reach places and mini microfibre pads for hard surfaces. There's even a window tool for squeegeeing your glass while you steam.

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Vax Steam Fresh Home

What's the Vax Steam Fresh Home like to use day-to-day?

No cleaning job is too tough or gross now I have this steam cleaner on my side. I love how its nozzles and gismos can reach into corners I wouldn't otherwise be able to reach, and the power its steam delivers.

On a practical level, I do find the ultra-long power cord gets in the way a bit, but there is a handy hook on the upright cleaner to keep it out from under your feet at least.

I really like that the handheld unit detaches from the main upright cleaner, making it light and nimble for use all around the house. If I spot some dried-on toothpaste or burnt food on the hob, it's gone in seconds with the right tool.

It's relatively easy to store, too. There are hooks to wind the power cord round and holes to store some of the tools. The main head detaches easily, making the cleaner relatively flat to store - I have it hooked onto the back of a door in my utility room. I could do with the accessory bag being a bit bigger so all the extra bits and pieces all fit comfortably, but they could all go comfortably in a bag for life.

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Vax Steam Fresh Home

Does the Vax Steam Fresh Home offer good value for money?

With an RRP of £139, I think the Vax Steam Fresh Home offers great value for money. Its versatility means it's useful for all kinds of jobs, whereas you could spend a similar amount or more on a steam cleaner that only cleans floors.

Vax is a trusted brand and Mumsnetters speak very highly of its vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners. The Steam Fresh Home is thoughtfully designed, high quality and powerful machine, and I'd thoroughly recommend it.

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About the author

Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.

Poppy is also an award-winning, best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be Happy, The Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She won a The Week Junior Book Award in 2023, her books have been translated into several languages and she's been featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer.

About Mumsnet reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of 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.