One of the most popular upright steam cleaners on the market at the moment is the Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi. It’s a versatile model with a detachable handheld cleaner, convenient triangular cleaning head and a separate tank for detergents.
In this Vax S86-SF-CC review, we’ll start by going through the main features in detail, before summarising the positive and negative comments from buyers. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether this is the right steam cleaner for you and your home.
Overview of Vax S86-SF-CC Features
- The Vax S86-SF-CC steam mop comes with a combination of detergent and steam cleaning technology. This allows you to tackle difficult cleaning tasks while leaving your carpets and hard floors smelling fresh.
- Three head options are included for scrubbing stains, cleaning hard floors and gliding over carpets.
- 10 tools are included with the model for a variety of cleaning purposes (such as tiles, ovens and grout).
- Vax claims the detergent and steam combination kills up to 99% of bacteria.
- The built-in handheld cleaner is perfect for cleaning higher areas (although the handheld is a pure steam cleaner – no detergent).
- The cleaning pads are easily washable.
- A triangular floor head provides extra manoeuvrability when cleaning your home.
- The Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic comes with a two year guarantee in the UK.
In-Depth Look at the Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Mop
Appearance and Design
The Vax S86-SF-CC is a stylish and modern machine. The triangular head gives it an almost futuristic appearance, and is convenient for getting into corners or other tricky places.
The cleaning head has three sections. The first contains stiff brushes for getting into corners or working on stubborn dirt. The next is a larger plastic designed for mopping hard floors. And the final section is a glider for cleaning carpets and other fabrics.
Filling up the S86-SF-CC is relatively easy. There are separate tanks for the detergent and water, and each can be removed for fast filling at a tap. One of the great things about the Vax S86-SF-CC is that it only needs 60 seconds (or less) to heat up.
It’s also relatively lightweight for such a full-featured steam cleaner. At just 3.7kg, it’s light enough for extended cleaning sessions and is easy to manoeuvre around the home.
One thing to note is that you must hold the trigger continuously when using the cleaner. This can be tiring after a while, but gives you complete control over how you clean.
Steaming Time and Water Capacity
The S86-SF-CC has a capacity of 400ml and a steaming time of 12 minutes. This puts it towards the lower end of steam cleaners, but should still be long enough for most jobs. It’s also less of an issue as the machine can be ready to use in less than 30 seconds, so you won’t have to wait long after refilling.
Note: The detergent container is separate from the main water tank and is slightly smaller at 200ml.
The S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh comes with 10 accessories, so there aren’t many jobs around the home it can’t handle. Here are a few of the included tools:
- Window and upholstery tool and cloth
- Carpet glider
- Detail nozzle
- Large plastic brush
- Metal brush
- Small plastic brush
- Grout brush
- Concentration tool
The Vax S86-SF-CC provides space to hold up to six tools. This might sound like a minor feature, but having tools to hand can make cleaning faster and less stressful. Unfortunately, the model doesn’t have a holder for the hose, which might be annoying when storing the machine.
This is probably a good time to mention the detachable handheld, as this can be considered a major accessory. You can attach tools to the handheld either directly of via the hose, so it provides a lot of freedom when cleaning with the S86-SF-CC.
The RRP of the S86-SF-CC is £150, which we think is just about acceptable – but at the upper limit of how much we would pay for this model. However, there are often excellent deals available for this model, and it’s sometimes possible to buy it for less than half the RRP. At anything under £100, we think the model provides strong value.
- The 8 metre cable provides a reasonable cleaning radius.
- The detergent leaves behind a pleasant citrus smell.
- It doesn’t leave floors soaking wet after cleaning.
- The included microfibre cleaning pads are simple to wash.
- Vax offers a 2 year guarantee when you buy the S86-SF-CC in the UK.
Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Reviews
The Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic has received largely positive reviews from buyers, and has hundreds of four or five star reviews on shopping sites. Here’s a selection of positive comments from buyers:
- A reviewer starts her review by writing that she almost couldn’t imagine being without the model now that she owns one. She likes that the S86-SF-CC is effective at cleaning carpets and other surfaces, and is surprised at how quickly it heats up.
- Another writes that the S86-SF-CC is easy to put together and gave her laminate floor an excellent clean. She also adds that it tackled greasy kitchen marks with ease.
- A buyer feels the S86-SF-CC excels at some jobs, but you need to be aware of its limitations before you buy. He thinks it’s perfect for cleaning grout, ceramic floors, taps and similar areas, but struggled to get rid of cheese that had become baked into the oven. Overall, however, he thinks the manoeuvrable design and versatile features make it a good model to buy.
- A reviewer likes that the cable is relatively long, so you don’t have to keep changing sockets. She also says that the tile cleaner is a “delight to use.”
It’s not all good news for this Vax appliance though. Here’s a selection of negative comments:
- A reviewer was not impressed by the S86-SF-CC’s design, and feels that the handheld unit is too heavy to be convenient. She also adds that the tools are fiddly to attach and often fall off.
- Some reviewers have reported problems with the detergent not coming through when cleaning. This is unfortunate, but is likely to be an isolated issue with a particular batch (and would almost certainly be covered by Vax’s guarantee).
We think the Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic 10-in-1 handheld and steam mop is an excellent model with lots of useful feature. It’s not quite as good as the Karcher SC1.020, but it comes close and has some advantages such as an upright design. The detachable handheld cleaner, detergent cleaning function and range of accessories mean there are few tasks around the home it can’t tackle.
While it’s slightly let down by small design oversights, such as the lack of hose storage, it’s a versatile model that provides great value for money if you can find it for less than £100. Click here to view the price of the S86.