Vax VRS18W Power Max Carpet Washer Review

Vax VRS18W Power Max Carpet Washer Review

A good budget choice for cleaning carpets, though it’s very loud and lacks an upholstery tool.

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The Vax VRS18W Power Max is an inexpensive carpet and rug cleaner with a lightweight design. It could be a good choice for family homes as it’s affordable yet large enough to deal with cleaning whole rooms. Find out how this carpet cleaner performs in this review.


  • 1 litre clean water tank
  • 7 litre dirty water tank
  • Comes with Vax AAA cleaning solution included
  • 25 cm cleaning width
  • Mains powered with a 5.9 m power cord

Weight: 5.6 kg
Power: 500 watts


This carpet cleaner can be used for refreshing whole carpets and rugs or just cleaning up after spills and accidents. It does a great job of removing dirt from the carpet, as evidenced by the colour of the dirty water tank after using this machine for a few minutes.

To get the best results you need to go over the same spot a few times, which means doing a whole room can be quite time-consuming. It’s also best to go over carpets a few times without applying shampoo once you’ve finished to help dry the carpet out.

The Vax VRS18W is an upright carpet cleaner, and doesn’t come with an upholstery tool. This means it’s only really suited to cleaning carpets and rugs, not upholstery or stairs.

This machine is better for freshening up carpets rather than dealing with tough stains. If you’re looking to clean stains rather than whole carpets, you should consider a spot cleaner like the BISSELL SpotClean Portable Spot Cleaner.

The Vax VRS18W is very good at picking up pet hair. One negative side-effect of this is that the filter clogs quite quickly, so it needs to be cleaned frequently. One way around this is to dry vacuum the carpet first to remove any hair, and then use the Vax VRS18W to shampoo and clean the carpet. Of course this is more time-consuming, and it would be better if the filter was designed differently so that it wouldn’t get clogged up.

One potential issue with the Vax VRS18W is that it’s an older model (released in 2013), so it can be very hard to find replacement parts should one of them break.

The worst thing about this machine is the noise it makes: the Vax VRS18W produces a very unpleasant high-pitched sound that can be quite uncomfortable to listen to.

This carpet cleaner is fairly light at 5.6 kg, but it’s still quite powerful and delivers real results.


Can you use this carpet cleaner on long-pile carpet?

Yes, the Vax VRS18W can be used on long-pile carpets, though they might take quite a long time to dry afterwards.

Can it be used on upholstery?

No, this machine doesn’t come with an upholstery tool.

Which shampoo should you use with this carpet cleaner?

In theory any carpet shampoo should work, though a good choice would be Vax Ultra Plus.

Pros and Cons

  • Effective at cleaning carpets
  • Free carpet shampoo
  • Light
  • Easy to use
  • Good at picking up pet hair
  • Very noisy
  • Filter clogs quickly


If you don’t mind the excrutiating high-pitched noise the Vax VRS18W makes, it’s a great budget solution for cleaning carpets. Bear in mind it doesn’t have an upholstery tool, which can be a bit limiting.


A popular alternative to the Vax VRS18W is the Vax VRS5W Rapide Spring, which usually costs even less than the Vax VRS18W and has very similar specs. Like the Vax VRS18W, it lacks an upholstery tool which means you can only use it for cleaning larger surfaces.

One good alternative that does come with an upholstery tool is the Vax V124A Dual V Upright Carpet and Upholstery Washer, which is more expensive than the Vax VRS18W but is much more powerful (1350 watts rather than 500), and is more versatile.

For some more alternatives, see these recommended carpet cleaners.

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