When I bought this, I thought I was getting a good deal on a steam vac. Oops. I obviously did not look very closely. Just so there is no confusion, this is not a steam vac. Instead, this unit is a passive device - the water is only as hot as you make it before you put it in. They do have a few specific cleaning solutions to add to the water, though, which probably helps it break down stains.
Recommend this product?
Once I got over my initial head-slapping, I figured I would give it a shot anyway. My initial experience was with some old stains in rugs, furniture upholstery, and car upholstery. It was surprisingly functional in all of these settings. Not all stains came out completely, but considering their different ages and sources (coffee, juice, and ewww-I'm-not-sure-what-that-is), it performed admirably well. Probably removed two-thirds of old stains completely, and attenuated the rest. Better than I expected.
But it's intended use, and where it performs fairly admirably, is on fresh spills. It's not much more than a glorified wet-dry vac with an integrated cleaning spray but it rests comfortably within this humble designation. It's light and easy to break out in a jiffy, and it has worked well for all of our recent spills (haven't challenged it with red wine or grape juice yet though).
I have not had any durability issues, but I've only had it for three months. It smells funky if you don't clean out the vacuum system after use, but otherwise, it's not consistently obnoxious. That could change with time. If you have pets, you'll need to swish the water around in the collection container when washing it out, and you'll probably be stuck with a little hair within the suction nozzle itself. Otherwise, it's not that painful to clean. I'd be happier if the width of the spray was a little more constrained - you have to keep the nozzle very close to the stain if you don't want to spray a few inches around it. People expecting a completely dry spot after use will be disappointed. Without steam and a stronger suction, I'm not sure it's fair to expect that.
Ultimately, I think most people will be happy with this unit's performance, but for those looking for a cheap alternative to a true steam vac, be willing to accept a few tradeoffs. Considering what this machine does, it's list price is on the high side - look for it on sale.
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Amount Paid (US$): 70