Here we have the latest Kärcher variant for cleaning windows. We've always used the traditional method of a bucket, sponge and rubber squeegee to clean our windows, so it has been very interesting to see how effectively this 3.7v battery driven vacuum based method works, and additionally the other uses the cordless Kärcher WV5 Premium Window Vac can fulfil for its £99.99 RRP.
In the Box
Included with the Kärcher WV5 are the main vacuum unit with a separate battery charger, a spray bottle that has a window cleaning pad attached by Velcro, and a starter pack of window cleaning concentrate liquid to be used with the spray. There is also a sheet of pictorial instructions that are truly simple to follow.
Design and Build
Straight out of the box the WV5 Cordless Window Vac has the Kärcher 'feel'. Built with the Kärcher traditional yellow and black strong and solid plastics, the main unit, in particular, is brilliantly designed and engineered by the German company. The suction blade is 280mm wide, with an adjustable edge guide that winds out of both ends up to 10mm. All the parts that can be removed click smoothly into place with minimum effort, and during use you appreciate that the whole package is specifically made to make everything easy for the user. Even the rechargeable battery is designed for simple click-in replacement when necessary.
We all want windows where the glass appears not to be there, allowing us to see through it clearly, so the idea of cleaning our windows is to reach just that pinnacle of attainment. This Kärcher system starts with our adding 20ml of window cleaning concentrate to the spray bottle and then topping up the bottle with water to its maximum level. We attach the cleaning pad to the top arm of the bottle via Velcro. Now we finely spray the window with the liquid and use the cleaning pad to loosen all the detritus that has stuck to the glass. At this stage we have a fairly wet and smeared window as you can imagine. Next we press the button on the Cordless Kärcher Window Vac and use it as one would a conventional squeegee. Incredible! That's what we thought, anyway. The sucking vacuum immediately removes all the dirty water and leaves a clean and streak-free glass window. The true bonus over a traditional squeegee being that you are not simply scraping all the dirty water onto your window sills and walls but instead it has gone altogether. This is particularly relevant when cleaning the insides of your windows. It is clean and efficient - simply amazing!
A very important additional window cleaning facility is that you can remove any condensation that appears on the inside of your windows, and once again you remove the problem water away from the window cleanly and efficiently.
Well, once we saw how well this Cordless Kärcher vacuumed the water from our windows, we couldn't wait to try it for household spills. We spilled some water on the floor and set it to work - all sucked up and dry in no time. We spilled coffee on our table and this too was all cleaned up with the Kärcher. Just like a handheld cleaner becomes a necessity for odd household dust and muck, this handheld water vacuum has become a necessity for liquid mess.
Cleaning the Kärcher
The on-board water tank holds 100ml, which allows for a reasonable amount of window cleaning anyway, but it is very easily emptied by pulling out a simple attached rubber bung and pouring the waste down the sink. Alternatively, it is possible to remove the water container completely for a good rinse out under the tap. The rubber suction squeegee can also be easily rinsed under the tap.
Battery Life and Charging
When fully charged the 3.7v battery has around 35 minutes of running time, which allows about 105 square metres of glass to be cleaned. To be honest, we found it difficult to discharge the battery when cleaning windows; it is one of those cord-free appliances that just keeps going. It also has an excellent battery charge condition indicator, incorporating three green level light bars just above the on/off switch. The simple plug-style charger fills the battery from empty to full in three and a half hours. Additionally, as already mentioned, the battery is easily removable for replacement when necessary.
The vacuum method is definitely the professional modern way to clean windows, and the Kärcher Cordless WV5 Premium Window Vac is a well-designed and manufactured piece of household equipment that will continue to clean windows and pick up liquid spillages well into the future.