This page contains all the information you could ever want to know about Britain’s leading carpet cleaner brand, Vax, and answers many commonly asked questions about their products.
Formed in 1977 by Alan Brazier with a prototype carpet cleaner, its first major product launch came in 1979. Its iconic ‘orange tubs’ were a huge, instant hit and broke new ground in the flooring industry.
Today the company has over 400 employees, mostly working in Droitwich and Birmingham.
The Top 5 Vax Carpet Cleaners Compared
Last update on 2018-08-20 at 00:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Which Vax Carpet Cleaner Is The Best?
As you can see in the comparison table above, the Vax range of carpet shampooers spans a lot of price points, motor power, and weight. There’s no doubt the V124A is the most popular model in the UK and it’s the only one with heated clean. On the whole, it’s probably the best Vax model. To see how it compares to other brands, check out our 5 Best Carpet Cleaners Guide on the front page.
However, it is on the heavy side, so if you have back problems or just don’t want to be totally exhausted after cleaning your carpets, maybe look at the VRS801 – it’s powerful but light, and a fair bit cheaper than the 124A.
Vax Carpet Cleaner Reviews
We’ve reviewed most of the models you’re likely to run across, whether it be in a supermarket, local retailer, or eBay. If you have an idea of which model you’d like to know more about, go take a look! Our reviews are honest, independent, and detailed.
- VRS18W Power Max
- VRS5W Rapide Spring
- W87RPC Rapide Classic 2
- VRS801 Dual Power Max
- Rapide Ultra 2 (W90-RU-P)
- Dual V (V-124A)
- 6131T 3-in-1 Multivax
- Rapide Deluxe (V-026RD)
- All Terrain (V-125A)
- Rapide Ultra (W90-RU-B)
- Rapide Spring Clean (W91-RSBA)
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Vax Carpet Cleaners Work?
Yes, they really do. As you’d expect, they aren’t as effective as professional models but they’re more than good enough for most needs. Especially if you haven’t cleaned a room for a while, you’ll notice a huge difference. You’ll see after a few seconds how dirty the water in the tank gets – and to think that was buried in your carpet not long ago!
Here’s a great demonstration of a Vax in action. Skip forward to 27:00 minutes to see the results. Quite clear!
How Good Are Vax Carpet Cleaners?
They are very good. Not all popular things are good, but when it comes to cleaning our homes, we British tend to make rational decisions. Vax are the best-selling brand in the business.
That said, I really like the new range of Bissell machines, and if you have the budget and a large home, you should consider the Rug Doctor models. (Follow the links in the menu if you’re interested.)
Are Vax Models Good for Pets?
Good enough for most cases. If you just want to clean up ‘accidents’ – perhaps involving some urine – then maybe a small portable cleaner is best so you can just target the affected area. If we’re talking about lots of pets shedding hair all over the place, then get the most powerful model you can afford.
Do Vax Carpet Cleaners Kill Fleas?
Vacuuming alone should be enough to kill fleas, so when you add the potential for drowning and heating the little pests, a carpet cleaner would seem to be effective in reducing their numbers. I haven’t seen any really good studies about it, though. My guess is that the V124A is your best bet against carpet mites and the rest, since it has a heated cleaning component.
What Accessories Are Good?
Any nozzles or attachments that let you clean upholstery or stairs are really, really good to have. These will normally let you clean under the skirting board and in your car, too, so it’d be worth paying a little extra to get them.
Where Can I Buy a Vax Carpet Cleaner (and Solution)?
We always recommend Amazon because it’s an extra layer of customer protection, but these are popular products so you can find them in Asda, John Lewis, Tesco, your local hardware stores, and even sometimes in Lidl!
Vax Carpet Cleaner Instructions
Instructions for Vax Carpet Cleaners
You can find user manuals for most models here. They contain assembly instructions and explain the various quirks of the various machines. A typical problem is with the trigger – should you use it when going forward or pulling backwards? Does it release shampoo or suck up water? It varies from model to model so you should really have a quick look through the manual of the machine you book. Annoying, I know!
As an example, with the V125 you squeeze the trigger to release the shampoo onto the carpet when pushing forward (slowly, of course!). You keep hold of the trigger on the backward stroke, then you repeat this whole procedure but with the trigger released. So you have 2 ‘wet’ motions and 2 dry ones. (Of course you can do more dry strokes if the carpet is still damp.)
How to Use a Vax Carpet Cleaner on Stairs
Basically the same as on a normal carpet, but using the attachment and special nozzle. If your model doesn’t come with these you won’t be able to clean your carpets. Look for models with long cord lengths so you can reach the middle of the stairs with few problems. Also consider buying a portable carpet washer – it’ll be much easier than trying to balance a heavy machine precariously on your stairs.
How to Assemble a Vax Carpet Cleaner
Assembly instructions come in the manuals, but for a general idea of how to put one together skip to around the 13 minute mark in this video:
How Much Solution Should I Use In My Vax Carpet Cleaner?
Let’s ask Vax themselves: “For carpet washers without a separate solution tank, add 40ml of solution to every 1L of water.” For models with a tank, it should say in the manual how much to use. (There’s no one size fits all answer, unfortunately.)
Why Won’t My Vax Carpet Cleaner Work?
There are 2 main reasons:
The water sprays might be blocked. Use a pin or similarly slender object to clear them. They can be found under the brush – you’ll likely need to remove a panel to get at them.
There’s also the possibility that some cleaning solution has hardened and blocked some pipe somewhere. Pour some boiling hot water into the tank and run the washer for a couple of minutes, using the trigger now and then. This should help blast away whatever is congealed inside the machine.
It’s a good idea to give your machine a little ‘warm-down’ after each use to prevent this shampoo build-up. You can use the method outlined above, but you’ll only need to use warm water since there isn’t any blockage and the shampoo will come out easily.
Why Is My Vax Carpet Cleaner Leaking?
It might be because of the rubber seals. What’s supposed to happen is that your water tank sits in the unit and is flush against the edge, snug against the rubber seals. When that happens properly, there’s no leaking.
If the tank isn’t ‘sat’ properly in the unit, there can be some leaking. Try to get the unit to sit properly and all should be well.
My Vax Carpet Cleaner Is Overheating
Most probably a blocked hose or nozzle – check those first.
How To Unblock My Vax Carpet Cleaner
This official (and terribly low quality) video from Vax is about a vacuum cleaner, but should be helpful:
My Vax Carpet Cleaner Has No Power
First, check the fuse. Swap your fuse with the one from your kettle (which you know is working). That’s going to solve the majority of problems. Other causes might be a power cut, a problem with the electricity outlet, or a problem with the cable.
It’s also possible that your model overheated – many modern machines have a thermal cut-out – which means they turn off when they get hot. It takes a couple of hours for it to cool down to the point where it might turn on again. Read more on that here.
My Vax Carpet Cleaner Isn’t Picking Up Water
The most common solution to this problem is to remove the brush bar (underneath at the front).
Where Is The Serial Number on a Vax?
Go here and click ‘see how to find your model number’.