The idea of a window vacuum conjures up all sorts of benefits: one device to remove all the dirt and wick it away so you don't need to worry about a rag and bucket situation, the end of filling up a bucket and carrying it to the windows around the house, never having to worry about cleaning windows again... While the WV 6 Plus N window vac from Karcher does one of those things, it doesn't quite manage the others. The vac itself is just for getting rid of the water left behind by the manual cleaning you'll still have to do. And to its credit, our testing found the window vac capable of delivering a clean, dry, streak-free window. But unless you've got a lot of windows and glass or tile surfaces to clean, the hefty price tag may not be worth it.
There are vacuum cleaners for just about every cleaning job – floors, cars, wet spills – but a vacuum cleaner for windows? Karcher claims the battery-powered WV 6 Plus N window vac cleans windows perfectly in no time at all, without any streaks. 'No time at all' may be a little optimistic, but from our testing it does leave a streak-free finish.
How does it work?
You first spray the window with the detergent/water mix and wipe it with the microfibre pad to remove most of the grime, then immediately vacuum the dirty water residue from the glass with the window vac. The result is a clean, dry, streak-free window.
Our tester tried out Karcher's WV 6 Plus N model on windows (inside and outside surfaces), mirrors, car windows and bathroom wall tiles to gauge its performance. He found it reasonably easy to use and was able to get a nice streak-free finish. Since outside window surfaces are often fairly dirty, you might want to give them an initial clean with a hose or cloth to avoid clogging the microfibre pad with too much dirt. Or if you can't be bothered, have a jet hose ready to wash off the dirt.
Is it worth the money?
The Karcher window vac is better than a cloth, bucket and squeegee for people who have lots of windows and glass sliding doors to clean, but at around $225, it's not a cheap product. Whether or not it's worth it will come down to how much you value your time and energy if you have a lot of windows or wall tiles and like to keep them clean.
What's included in the kit?
The Karcher window vac set includes the window vac itself with 2 squeegee attachments (a 280mm wide one and a 170mm attachment for use on smaller areas), plus a spray bottle with a microfibre pad attachment, detergent concentrate, power cord and instructions.
You can buy extra detergent sachets, though regular detergents from the supermarket will probably work just as well. It's also possible to use the vac with plain water only as long as the surface isn't too dirty. People who clean their windows on a regular basis can just use tap water instead of a detergent/water mix and still end up with a streak-free finish.
The WV 6 has a 3.65V lithium battery and runs for 100 minutes on a full charge, with charging taking just under three hours.
Karcher WV6 plus kit all laid out. Shows the two vac attachments, battery operate vac, squeegee bottle and micro fibre attachment.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.