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Vax S86-SF-C review: Steam Fresh Combi 15-in-1

The Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combi steam mop is typically around £10 more expensive than the 10-in-1 Steam Fresh Combi model. For the extra money, the 15-in-1 adds variable steam control, extra usage time and includes a useful scrubbing brush attachment. Is it any good though? Find out in our Vax S86-SF-C review.

We like: Competitively priced. Innovative detergent cleaning system. Good usage time. Variable steam and scrubbing brush. Long power cord.

Not so good: Vax detergent is expensive but should last a decent number of steam cleans.

Our verdict: A great 2-in-1 steam mop and cleaner with clever detergent and steam cleaning. Plus, has every tool you’ll ever need. Go for this over the 10-in-1 version as the price difference is often minimal. 

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Detergent cleaning

Vax steam mop detergentVax’s Steam Fresh Combi models combine both steam and liquid detergent to provide a better clean. The detergent also leaves a pleasant smell in your room after cleaning. You’re going to have to use the Vax branded detergents however if you want to avoid invalidating your warranty. Typical prices for the detergent are around £6 per litre and this will generally last a decent amount of time as long as you add smaller amounts rather than the larger quantity suggested by Vax. The Vax 15-in-1 can always be used without detergent if needed but the detergent addition is one of the key features of this machine so we would use it, but sparingly.

Cleaning applications

2-in-1 steam cleaner and mopThe Vax S86-SF-C is a 2-in-1 cleaner with a steam mop for cleaning all sealed floors such as laminate, wood, tiles and lino; and a detachable handheld cleaner (which is removed by simply pressing a button) for other steam cleaning jobs such as tackling ovens & grills, tile grout, work surfaces, windows, upholstery, mirrors and shower screens. The Steam Fresh Combi can also be fitted with the carpet glider attachment for refreshing carpets. It won’t give them a deep clean but does a decent job of giving them a new lease of life.


There are two liquid tanks on the Steam Fresh Combi; a 260ml one for water and a separate 200ml one for the detergent. Heat up time is around 20 seconds which is the norm for most steam mops and you can get around 15-20 mins of steam from one water tank. The power cord, at 8 metres, is one of the longest we have seen on a steam mop and this is a useful thought as it saves having to move plug sockets as often as you move around the house.

Useful additional features

Using a steam mop to clean tiled floorsA couple of extra useful features stand out on the Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C steam mop. There is a variable steam function that allows you to tailor the level of steam for your type of floor surface, although at maximum setting a lot of steam is generated so is more suited to deep cleaning. The second feature is the built in scrubber brush for tackling tougher cleaning jobs. The bristles in the brush make much easier work of those hard to shift stains and marks. We also like the angled steam head on this model as its great for getting into those difficult to reach areas such as corners, near skirting boards or around kitchen unit plinths.

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.