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Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner review

Refresh carpets and upholstery, and give rooms a new lease of life with this clever device

Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Vax Platinum SmartWash does an excellent job of removing both fresh and embedded stains from carpets. It’s easy to use, and while it’s an expensive cleaner, it can save you money in the long term by prolonging the life of your carpets and upholstery.

For

  • Remove fresh and stubborn stains
  • Can wash and dry
  • Easy to clean

Against

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Expensive

One-minute review

With over 40 years of experience, Vax is a well-respected floorcare brand selling some of the best vacuums. As well as offering a wide range of cylinder, upright and cordless vacuum cleaners, Vax also has a selection of carpet and upholstery washers. 

The Vax Platinum SmartWash carpet cleaner is claimed to be its most effective carpet washer to date, with Vax promising that it kills over 99% of bacteria trapped in carpet fibres as well as outperforming the UK’s leading rental carpet cleaners when it comes to removing stains.

Price-wise it’s a step up from existing Vax washers such as the Vax Platinum Power Max Carpet Cleaner, which costs £249, which the company claims removes up to 93% of bacteria. For smaller spills and targeted stains, there’s also the Vax ONEPWR SpotlessGo Spot Washer, which costs £149.99 and is also claimed to kill over 99% of bacteria. While you may find a cheaper carpet washer in the Vax lineup, the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner boasts the best features, and an ergonomic design, and promises excellent results.

It may not be the cheapest carpet washer you can find on the market, with its next-generation motion sense technology and intuitive design, it has all you need to keep floors and upholstery in tip-top condition yourself without having to pay for a professional. 

Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner price and availability

  • RRP: £299.99

The Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner will set you back £299.99 and is available at the Vax website, or at Amazon. 

Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Ideal for use on fresh and stubborn, old stains 
  • Easy to use design 
  • 3.5-litre water tank

Weighing 7.4kg and measuring 107cm high, the Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner can feel a little bulky when you first use it. It’s shaped like an upright vacuum cleaner but is a little more awkward to manoeuvre around your home. Once we got used to the feel of it, however, we found it easy to use. There’s a handle on the front of the body, which made lifting it up the stairs relatively easy.  

Setting up the machine is relatively simple. You simply fill the 3.5-litre water tank, connect the 2.5m hose and add Vax’s Platinum Antibacterial solution, which comes in the box. The main brush head built into the body is around 32.5cm wide, which means you can cover an ample amount of carpet in one glide.

The machine also comes with useful tools included for targeting smaller stains and spills – simply connect the hose and add your desired tool. These include the 2-in-1 antimicrobial tool for both multi-purpose cleaning and mess such as pet spills. The angular shape of this 2-in-1 tool means it can reach into crevices easily, which makes it useful for getting right into the sides of the sofa or on stairs, for example. We found this tool worked particularly well when we were trying to scrub out an old stain on the carpet. The kit also comes with a SpinScrub hand tool, which is designed more for targeting stains and stubborn marks on rugs and carpets.

We actually found that the multi-purpose Antimicrobial Tool was just as efficient for rugs and carpets, but it’s nice to have the option of a secondary solution. There’s also a 250ml pre-treatment solution included in the box, designed for tougher stains, and a handy accessory bag to keep all the tools, hose, and cleaning heads compactly stored when not in use.

After use, the parts were easy to clean as the solution and water containers simply unclip from the body of the cleaner, and the brushbars lift out for rinsing under the tap to get rid of any debris.

Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Easy-to-use wash and dry modes
  • Automatically mixes and dispenses water and solution
  • Brushbars with hygienic antimicrobial treatment

The USP of the VAX Platinum SmartWash’s design is that it’s the UK’s first carpet washer with Motion Sense technology and no trigger. This means that it can automatically wash and dispense clean water and antibacterial solution as you push forward, and dry the area when you pull back. We wanted to see how effective the Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner, how easy it is to transport around the house and how well it created an overall fresh feel after use.

To do this, for our first test we asked one very willing six-year-old to pour a berry smoothie all over the test carpet. Before we began cleaning the stain, we wiped off the excess smoothie with kitchen roll, then sprayed on a little pre-treatment solution. Then we pressed the release button with our foot and pulled the handle back to recline and slowly pushed the machine forwards while it automatically dispensed solution and water – indicated by the ‘Wash’ button on the side of the machine. 

We then slowly pulled the machine backwards as it switched to ‘Dry’ mode to pick up the solution. We found the combination of the solution and the power of the machine meant the stain was removed very effectively. The machine also measured 86 decibels on our Decibel Meter app during use, which didn’t feel too noisy. Our only concern was how wet the carpet felt after use. To fix this, we used the device on Dry mode for a little longer to suck up the last of the excess water and speed up the drying process. Afterwards, the area looked clean and fresh and you’d never have thought that a child had run riot with a berry smoothie 20 minutes earlier.

Our second test was to attempt to remove a dreaded old red-wine stain from the stair carpet. To do this we attached the 2-in-1 Antimicrobial Tool to the hose and worked it back and forth to dislodge the stain. It took a little while before we could see it start to lift, and you do have to aim the tool hose head in the right direction to ensure that the solution is delivered to the right spot, but we were eventually able to remove the stain, leaving the area looking clean. After use, the fibres of the carpet also looked invigorated and refreshed.  

Vax Platinum Smartwash Carpet Cleaner

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner?

Buy it if...

You want to clean carpets and upholstery yourself
The Vax Platinum SmartWash is well equipped for giving your carpets and upholstery a thorough clean, and it’s great for tackling areas with heavy footfall.

You have pets
With its 2-in-1 Antimicrobial Tool, this machine is a handy home addition for anyone with a pet.

You want to keep floors and upholstery hygienic
The machine comes with a 2-in-1 Antimicrobial tool, as well as Vax’s Platinum Antibacterial solution for the freshest of finishes.

Don't buy it if...

You have mainly hard flooring in your home
Unless you have more than one large room with carpet to clean, there isn’t much point in having a device as large and powerful as the VAX Platinum SmartWash . We think you’re better off buying a smaller device such as the Vax ONEPWR SpotlessGo Spot Washer. 

You have a small home
While it’s relatively discreet to use, and shaped like a large upright vacuum cleaner, this is still quite a bulky piece of kit with quite a few accessories, so you’ll need a bit of space to store it. 

You want a lightweight device
Weighing in at 7.4kg, this is a heavy machine, and even though it has a handle on it to make carrying it upstairs easier, it’s still cumbersome to manoeuvre. If you want a lightweight carpet cleaner, this isn’t the model for you.  

First reviewed: June 2021