I’m sure some of you—ok, many—may wonder why in the world I would review a floor cleaner. Honestly I had to think about it for a little while when they contacted me about taking a Hoover FloorMate Hard Floor Cleaner for a test drive, but it came down to this: I have three boys that make some really unbelievable messes all over our house every single day, unless they are asleep or not at home. I spend loads of time sweeping, vacuuming, scraping, spot cleaning, mopping. Some days I look under the table and think we live at one of those restaurants where they let you throw peanut shells on the floor. Crunch, crunch, crunch. We once had to clean an entire quart of tortilla soup off the floor, cabinets, refrigerator, and under the refrigerator when Builder Guy pulled a container off the counter. He was only three at the time, and I remember shuddering at the thought of all the messes to come. I’m here to say that everyday I learn about some new way the boys can create a mess for me to clean up. Thankfully they are growing up and I can sometimes say, “Please clean that up,” like this week when Builder Guy knocked a nearly full salad bowl into the floor, sending vegetables and vinaigrette flying to the far corners of the kitchen.
So yes, I feel highly qualified to give my opinion on cleaning products.
The FloorMate Hard Floor Cleaner is designed to vacuum, wash, and dry hard sealed floors such as linoleum, vinyl, laminate, tile, marble, bamboo, and wood. It is not designed for carpets or unsealed wooden floors, so if your wood slats have cracks between them, don’t use this product because water will seep under the wood and cause damage. I wanted to test it on our tile floors, especially the kitchen because that’s where the majority of our messes occur. Our kitchen and laundry room tile is deeply textured, which creates challenges for cleaning in the crevices and the grout.
The FloorMate comes unassembled, but it only took a few minutes to put it together.
First, you snap on the handle.
Attach the brushes.
Then attach the nozzle. Make sure you look over the nozzle carefully because after first use I found some shipping cardboard shoved in there pretty tight and out of the way, and of course it affected the FloorMate’s initial performance.
Then slide on the clean water tank.
The dirty water collection tank is already in place, and you just press the button down and pull it forward to see the filter. The cleaner is bagless, so some dirt and debris collects in the accordion filter as well as a small round filter below. The accordion filter comes out easily and can just be rinsed under warm water. The other filter remains mostly dry and you can just pull away the debris. The debris should be cleaned after each use and you’ll also want to rinse out the collection tank as well.
The handle has easy access to the power button and the trigger which releases cleaning fluid onto the floor.
The big button on the side lets you change cleaning mode on the fly.
There is a lever on the back for lowering the handle.
The back hooks hold the cord for easy storage.
And a white lever on the handle lets you fold the top half of the handle for more compact storage.
The FloorMate package I received came with the Hoover cleaner solution as well as some floor wipes, though I chose to use our vinegar/water solution. The measuring cap that seals the clean water tank is also a measuring device and the instructions say to fill it with cleaning solution then add to the water in the tank. That’s okay for the Hoover solution but not enough for vinegar solution, so I doubled the vinegar and it seemed to work fine.
I found the key working with the machine was to go slowly. In Wash mode, squeeze the trigger and go slowly over the area you want to clean, giving the brushes time to scrub. Then go slowly over the same area in Dry mode to suck up the dirty water.
I deliberately let the floor get dirty before cleaning, but ick. Not a good day for the 5 Second Rule.
After several trials, I feel I can definitively state that it works pretty well, though better on a completely flat surface versus deeply textured tile such as ours. The vacuum couldn’t always pick up some of the things on our floor, i.e. Cheerios. There were a number of spots that the brushes simply couldn’t reach and I hand scrubbed those, and for the same reason not all of the water was sucked back into the machine, though only about 25% remained on the tile and in the grout. If your floor has any food stuck to it, you may need to hand scrub to finish removing it.
If you are in the market for a vacuum or floor cleaner, the FloorMate is definitely worth considering because it combines functions, just remember to check your floor type first.
[Disclosure: I received this product from the manufacturer. The opinions expressed here are my own, as well as the photographs.]
The bottom line:
Pros: Combines three cleaning functions in one machine, scrubs pretty well on flat surfaces, works with vinegar and water cleaning solution, handle folds down for compact storage, beltless, bagless, easy cleanup.
Cons: Not as effective on deeply textured tile and deep grout, not for use on unsealed wood floors.
Materials: Plastic housing, rubber wheels.
Warranty: 1 year
Company website: www.hoover.com
[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]
[Disclosure: This blog earns a few cents on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in posts.]