Vax pressure and steam washer
Combining a 2kW pressure washer with a steam cleaner into a single unit is a time saving solution. Assemble the pressure hose and lance, connect it up to water and electricity and then the pressure washer is ready for immediate use. Furthermore, it only takes a minute or so to switch between pressure washing and steam cleaning so that, having forced away all the dirt from around the barbecue, one can hygienically steam clean the barbecue itself as well as areas that might have been contaminated by household pets.
The cleaner is in orange and black. It stands upright on its wheels and can be easily rolled around from place to place. There is a standard hose water inlet connection near the bottom of the machine to the rear and a screw connection for the high-pressure outlet hose at the front. The pressure hose and the mains cable respectively are approximately 20 and 16ft long approximately. The former enables one to cover a large area without having to move the washer itself too often while the latter keeps the mains plug well away from water splashes even if one is using a mains extension lead.
While the pressure hose, gun and lance are dismountable, the 5ft steamer hose is permanently connected. The three-position power wash / off steamer switch is covered with a plastic shroud for safety and there is a safety warning in the instructions that the pressure washer should only be used with an RCD (residual current device).
There are mounting brackets on board for the standard parts and accessories, including the pressure hose and the power cable. This ensures that everything is to hand and it is easy to select and fit the appropriate nozzle. Three nozzles are provided: jet, turbo (which I used most of the time) and, according to the instruction booklet, a Solution nozzle. In fact, the instructions are out of date as the latter has been superseded by a Soap nozzle.
The detergent solution facility is only for use with low pressure accessories and with suitably diluted Vax detergent concentrate. Not having the solution, I was not able to try this out. However, it appears to be a straightforward task. Overall, when working on very dirty areas, it would seem that the best approach would be to initially go over the area with the detergent solution and then leave it a few minutes to loosen the dirt prior to using either the turbo or the jet nozzle.
The steam cleaner just uses water and there is a warning label on the machine's water reservoir that distilled water should be used. Here I must admit that, by the time I had read that note, I had already filled the reservoir with ordinary tap water. In reality, one would probably use demineralised water which is easier to obtain than distilled. Once it has warmed up, which takes a minute or so, one brushes over the area to be cleaned and degreased while at the same time pressing the trigger on the gun to give short bursts of steam. (One is warned not to hold the trigger continuously to avoid "over-wetting").
When the instructions are updated to take into account the Soap nozzle I would expect that it will also cover the issue of distilled water. In addition, it would be useful if the significance of the warning “…to prevent frost damage. Keep in a dry place above zero degrees…” was highlighted.
Overall, the Vax PowerPlus Steam VPW2S is a very useful tool for those who need both a pressure washer and a steam cleaner to do a thorough clean around the patio and barbecue. In addition, although there is a warning label in the box that says “Not for use on vehicles” there are vehicle washing accessories listed in the instruction booklet that can be purchased separately.
Having it all in one neat package means that, as and when needed, it can be put to work without wasting time having to search all over the place for various bits and pieces. While I think that it is quite expensive at a list price of £279.99 (but probably available at a lower price) many will consider that it is worthwhile because of the added convenience.
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