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Spring cleaning: Let gadgets do the hard work

The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet and Car, £299.99, gets to work.
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet and Car, £299.99, gets to work.

This time of year means longer days, rising temperatures and dawn choruses. But it also means spring cleaning.

Time to open the windows, grab a mop bucket and get rid of all that winter muck. Fortunately, though, there are cleaning gadgets to take the agony out of the whole process.

So, in the interest of research, Derek Uchman snapped on a pair of Marigolds, to give them a spin, a whirl, and a skoosh.

Top picks

Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet and Car

It’s difficult to find the perfect vacuum – there’s always something not to like.

Vax, though, have managed to (almost) pull it off with their top-of-the-range machine.  Although cordless, it has so much suction, it’ll lift rugs when on full power.

The battery is detachable, so no need to throw out the whole machine when it fails to recharge properly (as they all do).

The brush is easy to clean, and the filter in the dust container pops out so you can empty it properly.

And finally, the long-reach hose has its own powered mini brush head, making it ideal for the stairs and the car.

The only negative point we found, is it sometimes struggles to pick up larger particles. But that’s no deal-breaker.

Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean Mop, £49.99, uses steam rather than chemicals for a hygienic clean.
Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean Mop

With the pandemic, there is now much greater emphasis on hygiene. Without resorting to chemicals, Russell Hobbs’s steam cleaning mop is a great way to ensure floors are safe.

Fill the tank with water, and you’ll get 15 minutes of steam time.

There’s even an adapter for carpets. The power cord is a generous five metres, and the microfiber pads can be thrown in the washing machine.

It has to be pointed out, though, that there are other steam mops available, and this doesn’t bring anything new to the party (although the price is pretty good).

The Roomba i7+ is £799 and links up with an app and can even empty itself.
Roomba i7+

Robot vacuum cleaners and I don’t traditionally get along. They’re always getting trapped. But Roomba (who are the market leaders) have now released the i7+ in which they seem to have come of age.

The i7+ will map a room as it cleans, giving you the option to allocate and vacuum a certain area.

There’s an app (of course), and it links up well with Alexa.

One genius innovation is that it empties itself into a bin on the charging dock. Fantastic. But what about it getting stuck?

Well, it hasn’t happened yet thanks to its ability to spot cables etc in real time. It’s also better at cleaning edges than a conventional vacuum.

Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner, £299.99, has some clever features such as a motion sensor.
Vax Platinum SmartWash Carpet Cleaner

Even if you take your shoes off at the door, carpets can get manky. Hiring a cleaner at your local supermarket, though, is a hassle.

A far, far better idea is to invest in this machine. It will pay for itself within a year or so, and it does a better job anyway.

Aside from giving a really deep clean (you’ll be horrified at how dirty the waste water becomes), it has some really clever features.

There’s a motion detector, so it cleans going forward, and dries when you pull it back. The shampoo solution is kept in a separate tank, avoiding the need to keep topping it up.

And, finally, it dismantles easily, so keeping it clean is a breeze.

The net result, is the Platinum SmartWash feel more like using a conventional vacuum cleaner, and you’ll find yourself grabbing it regularly it to do spot-cleans.

And the 2.5m extension hose comes with a powered hand tool to tackle the stairs and even your car.

The Tefal Pure Tex, £75, is ideal for cleaning cushions, sofas and other soft furnishings.
Tefal Pure Tex
£75 (from

Another steam cleaner, but this time it’s hand-held. Just the job for cleaning soft furnishings, chairs, sofas, beds and even curtains.

By its very nature, the water tank is quite small, so will need refilling a lot, but the machine is powerful (1700W) and produces 90g of steam per minute – better than some irons.

It comes with three pads for different jobs, and is able to perfume fabrics as well as clean and sterilise. And, if you have the luggage room, makes a great travel iron.

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