Vax SpotWash Home Duo Cleaner review: for cleaning mishaps big and small

The Vax Spot Wash Home Duo can help you clean your carpets and your sofas, and avoid nasty stains. We tested to see how it performed

Image of Vax Spot Cleaner Duo being used at home in a lifestyle shot
(Image credit: Vax)
Real Homes Verdict

The Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner claims to be a versatile tool for tackling stains and helping you through cleaning scrapes. We tested it to find out how useful it is.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great for spot cleaning and small sections

  • +

    Effective results

  • +

    Thorough cleaning system

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    You'll need a bigger tool to do a larger idea

  • -

    Time consuming to use

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The Vax SpotWash Home Duo cleaner promises to be a 'must-have cleaning companion', capable of handling mess in your car, on your carpets, and on hard floors. Kitted out with several cleaning attachments including antimicrobial tools, this cleaner should, in theory, hold the secret to serene cleanliness across your home. We tried it out ourselves to establish just how handy it really is, and whether it's worth your investment.

In our quest to find cleaning products that are worth their initial cost, this Vax SpotWash Home Duo Cleaner is certainly a popular choice with those who have already tried it, according to reviews online. It's also very aesthetically pleasing, with clean water leaving one tank and returning in various shades of grey and brown in the dirty water tank.

As far as design is concerned, this cleaner is nice and compact too, though this is an indication that, unlike larger carpet cleaners, it's designed for spot cleaning and smaller areas. If you already have the best vacuum cleaner, could this little helper be the remedy for spills and stains on carpet, upholstery and hard flooring? 

We put it to the test at home to find out, including checking how it dealt with accidents and historic dirt. 

Specifications of the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner 

  • Model number: Vax SpotWash Home Duo Spot Cleaner ‎1-1-142576
  • Capacity: 0.72 litres
  • Weight: 4.5kg
  • Accessories: Extra Wide 2-in-1 Wash Tool and Crevice Tool, Messy Clean Up Tool, 250ml bottle of VAX Spot Washer Antibacterial Solution
  • RRP: £130 

Unboxing the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner

The Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner comes in a compact cardboard box, and upon opening it everything was packed with cardboard, giving it eco-friendly unboxing credentials (something we love). 

The various tools and parts that come with this cleaner make it feel like a full cleaning set, which would be capable of tackling all sorts of stains on different textures. First impressions prove just how compact this cleaner is and how easy it would be to stash away (attachments included!). 

Image of Vax spotwash cleaner unboxed at home

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

The design of the model allows the hose to neatly tuck into the body of the model, with clips to hold together all of your cables too. To give you a full rundown of the attachments at play here, you have the extra wide 2-in-1 tool, which is great for getting up residual dirt on carpets and sofas and the messy clean-up tool which is best for spills and standalone stains. 

From there you have the carpet cleaning attachment, to force stains and dirt to the surface, and the same design for hard floors. The crevice tool is great for all those edges and corners you can't quite squeeze into and there's also an informative user guide, which is always great if you're new to tools like this. 

Image of the back of Vax spot wash duo

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

Who will the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner suit?

Busy family homes are the target audience for this cleaner. You can keep it in your cupboard and wheel it out anytime, like for a spillage on your kitchen floor or to tackle your stairs when they are looking a little discoloured. It's very portable, which means you can clean your car properly with it too, though note it does need plugging in unlike Vax's cordless ONEPWR SpotlessGo Spot Washer.

Though it's marketed as being great for anywhere, the tank is small, and it's definitely best used for spot cleaning or small surface areas. It is not designed for a full carpet or floor clean, but rather spills and small stains on practically any surface. 

If you want to seriously transform your entire carpeted area in your home, then I would look for a bigger model, like the Bissell Proheat 2x Revolution Pet Pro carpet cleaner. Those with pets are also likely to love this cleaner, as it brings up hair that's buried into surfaces very easily. 

Or, if you want to effortlessly clean a hard floor, you should check out the Vax ONEPWR Glide, battery powered floor mop and buffer.

Image of Vax spot washer water tank

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

What's it like to use the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner?

To get started, you'll need to fill the water tank of your machine up to the fill line with warm water. Add the solution that comes with your purchase, and screw on the top and refit it into the main unit. It's easy to release the attachments to swap out to something else. I started by using the widest 2-in-1 tool to tackle an area of carpet in my communal hallway that definitely needs some love. 

Image of Vax Duo SpotWash Cleaner

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

After turning the tool on, I used the trigger underneath to spray the cleaning solution onto the (grotty looking) carpet. I targeted the areas with the worst discoloration, and was impressed straightaway with the dirt it pulled up. Once the cleaner comes into contact with the floor, the suction works on the surface and pulls up the water with the dirt combined. I kept going in the same direction until all the water was gone, and my tank was filled with brown debris as a result. 

Vax carpet cleaner

(Image credit: Vax)

I loved seeing how effective this cleaner was thanks to the two-tank design. I think the fact that you can see the grime in your machine will definitely be a motivating force that keeps you on your cleaning routine, as you can see all ranges of hair and tiny bits of muck being effectively pulled up. 

The only downside is that the water tank is relatively small, even when I filled it with enough water for a larger surface area, it only took me about half an hour to need a refill. Again, this is not uncommon for a spot washer, but if you are trying to tackle a bunch of stains around the house, expect the odd trip to the tap.

Image of Vax cleaner during testing

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

As well as large-area cleaning, I tried out the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo on a chocolate stain on my upholstered coffee table. I used the crevice tool as the stained area was very small, and I was very impressed by how quickly the stain came up, even on a cream material.

Cleaning and maintenance 

The dual-system design of this model does make clean-up a little bit of a faff. This is to be expected, but it's still quite a process, and not something to be done in a rush, like if you spill wine before a night out. To clean your tank, you need to empty it down your sink or toilet, and then rinse the tank to get rid of all the nastiness. Then, to make your hose feel brand new again, you need to remove your attachment and submerge the hose into a bowl of clean water. Turn your machine on and let it run this clean water through the system, to get rid of any residual dirt. Once that's done, you should have a completely clean tank and hose.

Though it took some time to do, I was glad that the cleaning process was so thorough. The idea of a dirty machine sitting in storage gives me the shivers, and it's nice to be able to see your machine being cleaned too. It also means you'll avoid any damp smells from arising. 

How does it rate online?

I wanted to test this particular machine after seeing the rave reviews about it online. It has a 4.5-star rating out of 5 on Amazon, and dozens of photos of water tanks filled with brown, sludgy water (always a good sign!). Users on Amazon liked that there was no overwhelming smell of the cleaning solution, that you don't need to exert yourself too much to get fantastic results and that the suction was so strong. 

Others who felt lukewarm about their purchase cited that they felt there was a long process with using this machine, which I would agree with. It takes time to use and clean up with this device, which not everyone has time for. 

On the Vax website, there's an overwhelmingly positive response for this cleaner, with users saying how effective it was to help clean up after their pets, and to keep carpets as good as new. 

Image of Vax SpotWash Home Duo Cleaner

(Image credit: Vax)

How does it compare to similar models and predecessors?

There's a very similar model from Vax to compare the SpotWash Duo to, which is the Vax SpotWash Spot Cleaner CDCW-CSXS. On paper, the two look extremely similar, with the dual tank design, and the draw of multiple attachments. During testing, though it's not marketed as multi-surface, the Spotwash Spot Cleaner also excelled at cleaning a variety of surfaces. That means the crucial difference between these two is that the latter has added a 2-in1 cleaning tool, meaning that cleaning your car, for example, will be a lot easier. However, both of these cleaners are too small for cleaning large areas.

When it comes to affordability, the Spot Wash Home Duo is £10 more expensive than the Vax Spotwash CDCW-CSXS. For that price you do get an extra tool included, which is handy if you're looking to get into crevices but if you're stretching your budget, it feels like the difference between the two besides the design is negligible. 

If you're looking for a spot cleaner with a larger capacity, then the Bissell SpotClean Pro is worth your attention. It can be filled with 2.9 litres of water before you start cleaning, meaning that the surface area you can cover when tackling stains or dirt will be much larger. 

If you're looking to give your entire carpeted area a once-over, then an alternative larger model like the Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max is more suitable. It works wonders on carpets and is adept for larger areas. For pet lovers, it also has the same talent for picking up hair. 

Is the Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner worth it?

The Vax Spot Wash Home Duo Cleaner is as impressive as it looks, with the dual tank system working expertly to bring up dirt and grime in your home. It's super effective when it comes to stains and general cleaning, and also has an extremely thorough cleaning process, so that your machine stays pristine and you can use it for years into the future. It's an affordable price, especially given just how many attachments you receive, and the fact that there's an included bottle of cleaning solution means you can get going straight away.

The qualifier with this machine is that it is a little too small for large surface areas, so if you've moved into a new place and need to totally revamp your carpets, you might prefer a full-siz carpet cleaner instead. However, if space is at a premium, and you tend to only deal with small spills, borrow a carpet cleaner for a deep clean, then keep this on hand for weekly mishaps and upholstery refreshes.

For a genuinely useful cleaning companion, this cleaner is truly a great choice, especially if your household is prone to stains and spills. 

About this review, and the reviewer 

Image of Molly Cleary author photo
Molly Cleary

Molly is the Ecommerce Writer across Homes shopping content, spending time reviewing products to see if they can earn a place in buying guides. She regularly tests cleaning products and machines in order to see if they're up to standard. 

This spot cleaner was tested in her home, as you'll see from the photos. This cleaner was also available to keep, allowing for this review to be updated over time, to see how the tool holds up. 

Molly Cleary
Ecommerce Writer, Homes

Molly is the Ecommerce Writer for RealHomes and spends her time searching the internet for the next best thing for your home. With previous experience within the Home section of TopTenReviews, another Future site, writing about everything from ride-on lawnmowers to robot hoovers, she has knowledge of all of those niche areas of your home and garden that you might need a new purchase for. Shopping and buying content are now her biggest area of focus, with an emphasis on cleaning products and home gym equipment.