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Vax SpotWash Home Duo review: Effortlessly lifts stains out of carpet and removes the dirty water too

Our Rating :
£127.54 from
Price when reviewed : £116
inc VAT

A spot cleaner that combines cleaning solution, scrubbing and suction to pull the most difficult stains out of carpet


  • Good cleaning ability
  • Not prohibitively expensive
  • Small enough to store easily


  • Requires manual scrubbing
  • Needs self-mix solution and warm water
  • More expensive than similar rival

Most carpets get the bulk of their cleaning from a regular vacuum cleaner, but that won’t help much when you spill a glass of wine. To get tough spills and stains out of relatively small areas of carpet you need a spot washer, such as this Vax SpotWash Home Duo.

This handy device is small enough to be stored under the sink, ready for an emergency, but packs in plenty of cleaning power. It sprays a mixture of water and detergent onto your stain, and has a combination brush and suction tool that scrubs the area and lifts the dirty water away again.

Check price at Argos

Vax SpotWash Home Duo review: What do you get for the money?

The unit is a similar size and shape to a mop bucket, standing 358 x 241 x 338mm (WDH) and weighing 4.5kg (without water). The handle on the top is surrounded by two U-shaped water tanks, one that takes a mixture of water and cleaning solution, the other to hold the dirty water that’s sucked back in as you clean.

On the outside there’s a hose and a place to wrap the power cable. The unit comes with a choice of three attachments that connect to the end of the hose – two combination brush and funnel tools plus a crevice tool.

The regular funnels could just be used for sucking liquid from the floor. However, there’s also a space under each for a detachable brush, which can be used when sucking isn’t going to be enough.

The larger funnel is 175mm wide and comes with two brushes, one with regular stiff bristles for carpet, rugs and upholstery, and a second with rubbery prongs intended for cleaning hard floors. The smaller 100mm option only has a regular scrubbing brush.

The third device is described as a crevice tool, with a long thin brush on one side and the suction funnel on the other. It can be used to brush into corners, then collect the water up again afterwards.

While having two funnels might sound useful enough, for cleaning different-sized stains, Vax has coloured the larger one white and the smaller one blue. It refers to the blue one as the “Messy” tool, and suggests you keep it for particularly unsavoury stains that might contaminate future cleans, such as pet mess.

The package also comes with 250ml of Vax Antibacterial Spot Washer Cleaning Solution. This has to be added to the water tank when you fill it, with guidance on the tank to show how much you need for each wash.

There are two volumes of wash marked: small area and large area. A small area wash requires 450ml of water and 50ml of solution, while a large area wash takes 850ml of water and 70ml of solution. So the supplied bottle will provide five small area cleans or three and a half large area cleans.

When you need a refill, the Vax Antibacterial solution is widely available from Vax, Argos and Amazon for £13/l. There’s also a cheaper non-antibacterial option available for £10/l.

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Vax SpotWash Home Duo review: What’s it like to use?

The Vax SpotWash Home Duo is easy to use. You fill the clean water tank with the required volume of warm water and cleaning solution, then plug the device into a wall socket. Choose one of the three attachments and connect it to the hose.

Switch the machine on and it starts the suction. However, the cleaning solution doesn’t come out until you press a trigger on the neck of the hose. This releases a spray of solution onto the area below the nozzle, so you can scrub it into the surface you’re cleaning with the brush, while sucking the dirty water back up the nozzle. It’s a simple but effective process.

The suction doesn’t leave the carpet bone dry when it’s finished, but it’s much drier than it would be after a conventional scrub. The carpet will still need some time to air dry, though.

When you’ve finished you can remove the tanks and empty them easily into the sink. The various attachments are easy to dismantle and clean down, and the device small enough to store away tidily until you need it again.

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Vax SpotWash Home Duo review: How well does it clean?

I tested the Vax SpotWash Home Duo by spilling a selection of problematic liquids onto an area of carpet, then used the SpotWash to try and clean them off again. My tests included mud, black coffee, blackcurrant squash and tomato ketchup. The spills were allowed to dry before I started cleaning.

As you can see from the picture below, the squash and coffee were removed relatively easily. A trace of staining from the ketchup remained after some scrubbing, but you would struggle to notice it if you didn’t know it had been there. The mud seemed to get deeper into the pile of the carpet and left more of a lasting mark, which proved tricky to remove with this device.

Vax SpotWash Home Duo review

I also washed a mat that’s used as a doormat and a place for my dog to sit. It did a good job here, lifting dirt from the lighter coloured areas and rejuvenating the darker ones. You can see the “half-completed” job in the image below, with the bottom half being the side that’s clean.

Vax SpotWash Home Duo review

Overall I was impressed with the results, though it was no better than the similar results I got from the slightly more affordable Vacmaster EasyClean Carpet Spot Cleaner.

Check price at Argos

Vax SpotWash Home Duo review: Should I buy it?

Although you still have to warm the water, mix the solution and get down onto your hands and knees to spray and scrub the stain, there’s a lot to be said for the suction on this device. This pulls the dirty cleaning water back out of the carpet and into its waste tank, making the job of cleaning much easier.

The Vax SpotWash Home Duo doesn’t leave the carpet completely dry and it’s only useful for relatively small areas, though it can certainly tackle the entirety of a small mat, and doesn’t need to be restricted to spots.

There are similar devices available from other manufacturers. If you can live without the crevice tool, the Vacmaster EasyClean Carpet Spot Cleaner is slightly more affordable for a very similar proposition.

If you want a bit more automated elbow grease, the Vax SpotWash Home Pet-Design has a rotating brush for additional carpet agitation. The Bissell SpotClean is slightly different as it only comes with the one manual brush attachment, but it has its own heating element that always makes sure the water is at its optimum temperature.

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