SmartNewHomes

From the best cleaning robots to the best jet washers, the best tech out there for a squeaky clean home.

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  • Spring has officially sprung, bringing with it an irresistible urge to deep clean, declutter and get everything in order so we can relax and enjoy the long, lazy summer days ahead.

    Everything needs zhuzhing up once the sun's out and you can save a fortune on cleaning services if you buy the tools that will let you deep clean with ease, time after time. The latest tech will whip away old stains, improve your indoor air quality and even sanitise your hands.

    We take a look at the best innovations on the market for keeping our homes sparkling and germ-free.

    Best vacuum cleaner

    Cordless vacuums are superb for convenience, but if you want to clean your home from top to bottom, you need power that lasts longer: you need a mains-powered vacuum cleaner.

    The Miele Blizzard CX1 (from £300) is bagless, so the cyclone cleaner’s suction stays strong. The top-of-the-range models also boast a superb turbobrush for lifting hairs and a lifetime HEPA filter to clean the air as it passes through, ideal for anyone who has allergies.

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner

    A stick-style cordless vacuum cleaner will transform the way you clean. For spot cleaning, you’ll reach for it as a quick fix: it’s a 21st century dustpan and brush. But you’ll also find yourself cleaning one room at a time, when it needs it, rather than blitzing the whole house once a week (or fortnight, or month...).

    Dyson cordless cleaners don’t disappoint. They’re best in class for usability, thanks to great manoeuvrability, an excellent powered floorhead and a wall charging dock that ensures your vac is always fully charged and ready for action.

    We recommend the Dyson V7 Animal Extra (£299). At less than half the price of the brand’s newest models, it’s easily good enough in our book. Clever tools include an adaptor that lets it articulate, so you can clean under furniture without bending down.

    Best carpet cleaner

    It’s tempting to think that hired carpet cleaners are better and more powerful than retail models but the VAX Platinum SmartWash (£299) outperforms them, leaves carpets dry after an hour and will save you money in the long term. What’s more, if you buy direct from Vax then it comes with a free lightweight steam cleaner.

    Motion sensors mean that the Vax automatically dispenses detergent, so you don’t need to press a trigger. Its brush bars – themselves coated with an antimicrobial treatment – have bristles that agitate the carpet and get the detergent deep into the carpet fibres, using an antibacterial solution that kills more than 99% of bacteria.

    A rinse mode lifts the detergent and a dry mode ensures that carpets are ready for use as soon as possible. It’s also versatile: Vax’s patented Spinscrub hand tool, on a 2.5m hose, removes dirt and germs from stairs, upholstery, pet beds and even the car.

    Best hard floor cleaner

    After vacuuming, hard floors need a good mop to really get clean. Or better still, a clean and polish. The AirCraft PowerGlide (£249, pictured) looks a lot like an industrial floor polisher and has two rotary pads for scrubbing hard floors with plain water or detergent. The stick cleaner is rechargeable and the pads are machine-washable.

    If you only have a small amount of wood flooring to clean but you want something better than a mop, look at Bona spray mops (£39.99) which keep floors much drier than a traditional mop and bucket.

    Best steam cleaner

    Most steam cleaners are upright stick models designed for floor-cleaning but we love the versatility of cylinder-style models like the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B (£199.99).

    Four bar pressure and 110g/min of steam cuts through grime fast. Its two-litre water tank means there’s enough H2O onboard to clean the whole house, without working on your biceps.

    As well as floors, it comes with a smaller head, for lifting dirt from mattresses and soft furnishings, and tools for cleaning smaller stuff like taps, grout, hobs and ovens. The tools are stowed onboard so they’re always to hand.

    Best jet washer for cleaning patios

    As we face another year where outdoor entertaining is a priority, it’s time to take your spring cleaning outside.

    Kärcher pressure washers (from £99.99) turn tap water into serious cleaning power. Affordable models like the Kärcher K 2 Power Control Home (£139.99, pictured) include a patio attachment with rotating jets that make light work of all outdoor flooring, including decking, while its lance is super handy for cleaning garden furniture, the car and more.

    Best cleaning robot

    Robot vacuum cleaners are much more sophisticated, yet cheaper, than they were a few years ago. They won’t replace your vacuum cleaner but they’re a nice luxury that can keep an open-plan space free of dust and crumbs.

    The Proscenic 850T (£229) is affordable, can vacuum and mop, and is small and slim enough to fit under most furniture. Give it plenty of time to work and it will make it between all the chair legs and miraculously pick up the crumbs under the dining table.

    You can schedule the cleaning and even control it by voice if you have Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

    Best for cleaning the air

    Air quality is a growing health concern, indoors as well as out. Cooking, cleaning products and the “off-gassing” from new paints and furnishings all add to indoor air pollution, along with traffic fumes and pollen brought in from outdoors.

    The Blueair Blue 3210 (£159, pictured) takes the Swedish brand’s most stylish, compact and room-friendly model and adds an air quality sensor. That means it can automatically set the right purification level, ensuring clean air without wasting electricity.

    This small machine is perfect for the bedside as it’s the right size to keep the air in a single room clean. It’s quiet by night and looks good, with five colours of fabric pre-filter to choose from.

    If you want to clean the air in your whole home, take a look at the larger Blueair HealthProtect range of air purifiers (from £639), which clean the air of not just invisible particulates, dust and allergens but also bacteria and viruses. Germs are captured and killed, not recirculated. 

    Blueair purifiers are quiet and can be controlled by app or voice (Amazon Alexa).

    Best for cleaning hands

    Get hands clean as everyone enters – or leaves – the house with the INEOS Sanitiser Dispenser (£179, pictured). It can sit on a hall table or be wall-mounted. It dispenses no-nonsense hand sanitiser that’s 75% pharmaceutical grade alcohol, killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

    At 300ml, the £11 refills are big enough to last the average household 2-3 months. It’s rechargeable, touch-free and you can set the sanitiser dose to between 0.5ml and 2ml.

    A smaller, simpler option is the EKO Aroma (from £49.99) which dispenses either liquid soap or hand sanitiser touch-free, perfect for beside a sink or basin. Again, you choose how much is dispensed each time: 0.8, 1.4 or 2ml.

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