The broom and mop have been around for possibly thousands of years, in one form or another, as our best way to keep floors clean. We’ve (mostly) replaced the broom with a vacuum, but what about the mop? Can an electric mop really do the job better?
When it comes to cleaning tools, my feeling has always been that simpler is better. The easier it is for me to use a tool, and see its benefits, the more likely I will make it a part of my routine. That’s often what maintaining a clean home is all about: making it as painless as possible. There is a reason brooms are not commonly used anymore, and it’s because we can get the job done faster and better with a vacuum.
With that in mind, let’s think about what your typical mop is lacking, what can be improved upon, and how an electric mop addresses these problems.
- 1 Pros of Electric Mops and Scrubbers
- 2 Cons of Electric Mops and Scrubbers
- 3 Our Picks
- 3.1 Daily Cleaning
- 3.2 Small Area Scrubbers
- 3.3 Heavy Duty Floor Scrubbers
Pros of Electric Mops and Scrubbers
- Can clean large areas quicker than manual mops or scrubbers.
- Reduces Physical Work – Less strenuous on your arms, shoulders, and back
- Hand Washable Pads and Brushes
- Easy to get started cleaning – No need to prep and dispose of mop water for the daily clean models
- Can clean any type of hard flooring (Tile, hardwood, linoleum, vinyl tile, etc).
Without a doubt, a spin mop reduces the amount of physical work you have to do. Just like an electric toothbrush performs more brushing action than a manual toothbrush, a spin mop will agitate more stuck-on gunk off your floor than a regular old mop. Steam mops also help break loose dirt, dust, and liquid residue without much effort.
Depending on the type of mop or scrubber you’re considering, you will be able to reuse the pads or brushes and easily wash them by hand or machine. Unlike manual mopping, you’re not dealing with a large amount of liquid on the floor for most cleaning purposes. It really depends on the type of scrubber and cleaning solution you’re using. For the day to day cleaning, using our recommended Bissell SpinWave it’s easy to get started and doesn’t require much liquid to clean.
For something like the Fine Dragon Cordless Power Scrubber, is a great low-cost option for cleaning tile but doesn’t soak up any liquid. It’s primarily for breaking up the grime from your bathroom tile or shower.
There are many options to choose from, and we’ll go through some of the best products for daily cleaning and deep scrubbing.
Cons of Electric Mops and Scrubbers
- More expensive than a manual mop
- Scrubbing pads will need to be replaced eventually
- Deep cleaning will require commercial grade equipment
- People will always complain about cordless model’s battery life
If you’re trying to clean up an area that has been neglected and built up a ton of stains and dirt, then you’re going to have to make repeated passes or use heavier equipment. That’s true for manual or electric mops. For the day to day cleaning of your home, however, a simple electric spin mop or scrubber will not only make your home’s floors look cleaner but make it easier to do.
That convenience comes at a cost, and you will have to spend more money on an electric mop. You’ll also have to buy replacement pads or scrubbing brushes occasionally.
For cordless models, they will not be able to scrub the entirety of the top of your pool liner right after you scrub your 10′ x 10′ walk-in tile shower. While they are handy, many people have unrealistic expectations for a small NiMH or Lithium Ion battery. Just read the capabilities we’ve laid out here and have an understanding of what you can expect before buying.
Here’s a summary table of the picks from each category: Daily Cleaning, Small Area Scrubbers, and Heavy Duty Floor Scrubbers.
The Daily Cleaning mops are meant to be used for cleaning large areas quickly but don’t specialize in deep cleaning.
The Small Area Scrubbers are exactly that and can’t quickly clean a large area but are great for focusing on dirt and grime in small areas.
Lastly the Heavy Duty Scrubbers are capable of cleaning large areas and can clean a variety of flooring types. Oreck is our choice for the top machine in the category. It doesn’t include any attachments with the machine, so you will need to buy the ones that you need separately. They are inexpensive and we’ll go over the details of each one below.
There are a ton of products in this category that try to combine way too many features into one device, and they end up performing none of their intended tasks well. For example, the Bissell CrossWave tries to both mop and vacuum at the same time, but it just ends up being an incredibly weak vacuum with a high price tag. I’m no fan of these Frankenstein all-in-one devices.
That’s why you’ll see that the devices in each of these 3 categories perform their tasks well. So let’s start with something Bissell did get right: the Bissell SpinWave.
Bissell SpinWave Powered Hard Floor Mop, 2039A
The Bissell SpinWave is to mopping as the Hoover Linx is to vacuuming, except it has a cord. While the SpinWave isn’t cordless, it still fits the same role of quickly cleaning up messes and keeping it simple.
But most important of all: it does it well.
Whether you like to mop your tile floors daily or just once a week, the SpinWave is highly capable and brings more to the table than a regular mop or steam mop.
- Includes soft touch pads for gently cleaning hardwood floors and scrubby pads for tough messes.
- The spinning pads make it glide across the floor which reduces physical effort needed to clean.
- Spray dispenser is built in.
- Safe on sealed hard floors.
- Weighs less than 10 lbs.
- 2-Year Warranty
The spinning pads are attached via velcro pads on the bottom of the SpinWave. These hold up really well, but you have to be careful and get the center of the pad in the center of the rotating disk. Otherwise, it will not spin symmetrically. This system works well and makes it easy to remove the pads for cleaning. It’s not necessary to clean the pads after each use, but depending on what you’ve been mopping up and how dirty your floors are you might want to go ahead and wash them.
Here’s a demonstration of how the SpinWave works and how to attach the pads.
It’s very straightforward. The hardest part is getting the pads exactly in the center, but it’s just something you’ll get used to over time.
Bissell SpinWave – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to use Bissell Cleaning Solution or can I use the one I currently have?
A: You can use your own cleaner.
Q: Can I use the SpinWave on hardwood or marble floors?
A: The SpinWave is safe on sealed hardwood and marble floors. Be sure to use the correct cleaning solution for each floor type.
Q: Is the SpinWave hard to push?
A: No it glides across the floor when turned on. The rotating pads make it easy to move around.
Q: Is there a steam feature?
A: No, the solution is sprayed out of the front as a liquid when you press a button on the handle.
Q: How long is the cord?
A: 22 feet.
Q: Is cleaning solution included with the SpinWave?
A: Yes, you get a bottle of multi-surface cleaner.
Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop Hard Floor Steam Cleaner
Steam mops are even simpler than spin mops in that the only extra function they perform is producing steam. What some people may not realize is that you shouldn’t use any cleaning solution inside your steam mop. They take the water you add into the tank, heat it up, and produce steam. When you introduce a cleaning solution to the water and then evaporate the water, you are left with a residue of all the chemicals inside the cleaning solution. This will eventually clog up your machine.
To get the best performance and life out of a steam mop, you also should use distilled or demineralized water. Water from a tap, unless you have a home filtration system, will always have minerals and small traces of other chemicals in the water. When the water evaporates into steam, the minerals will be left behind and eventually will reduce the performance of the machine.
It’s not going to ruin the steam mop if you use tap water, but if you can use filtered water in the mop, then you will be better off.
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria and germs using steam.
- Flip-down scrubber allows you to clean up tough messes, grout, and dried-on spots.
- 3 Steam Settings
- Safe on sealed hardwood, tile, stone, marble, granite, linoleum, and laminate flooring.
- 2 Year Warranty
If you’re not completely satisfied with the idea of only relying on the steam from the mop to clean your floors, then you can spray any solution you normally would use onto the floor before hand.
Bissell PowerFresh – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to pump the handle to release the steam?
A: No pumping required. Just set the steam level by pressing the button on the body and steam will continuously come out. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t leave the steam mop sitting in one spot for too long while it is still turned on. Use the same button to turn the steam setting to off.
Q: Can I use this on hardwood floors?
A: Yes, but the hardwood must be sealed. This means that the hardwood was sealed with polyurethane after being installed so that the seams are covered as well. If you use a steam mop on pre-sealed hardwood that is laid leaving the seams unsealed you can damage your floor over time.
Q: Do the pads slip off the steam mop?
A: As long as you put them on correctly this shouldn’t be much of an issue. It’s best to put the front of the pad on first, then tuck it into the groove on the mop and work your way around, tucking as much of the elastic band into the groove as possible. This isn’t recommended by Bissell, but you can put the pads in a clothes dryer and slightly shrink them. They will for more snug after 1 or 2 cycles. Also, floors with a rougher texture will pull on the pad more. Allow steam to build up which will help lubricate the pad as you mop.
Q: How much water does the tank hold?
A: 15 Ounces
Q: How long from turning on does it take to produce steam?
A: About 30 Seconds
Q: What is the wattage of the Bissell PowerFresh 1940 model?
A: 1500 Watts
Q: How long is the power cord?
A: 23 Feet
Small Area Scrubbers
Floors are only a small part of what these scrubbers are capable of. You can scrub just about anything you can reach with these. There are a ton of companies selling these types of products on Amazon, and many of them are just repackaging the same product under a different name. They’re not necessarily bad, but I wanted to pull out the best model I could get my hands on. These scrubbers are cordless, so battery quality is one of the top concerns.
FINE DRAGON Cordless Power Scrubber
The telescoping handle makes this an extremely versatile tool to keep around. Not only can you easily reach all the tile in your shower or tub, but you can scrub things at ground level, such as a pool liner, without having to bend over. The longest setting is 49 inches, and the shortest is 40.5 inches.
The battery is what makes the Fine Dragon Scrubber stand out over other similar models. It’s a 10.8V/2000mAH Samsung Lithium-Ion battery. Many other similar products come with NiMH, which are more temperamental and difficult to maintain properly. This lithium-ion battery will charge in about 2.5 hours, which is a quarter of the time you see most NiMH batteries take. That’s a big difference. You can expect to get about 2 hours of runtime from this scrubber, but it really depends on which brush you’re using and what you’re scrubbing.
- Cordless with 10.8 V/2000mAH Samsung Li-Ion Battery
- 2 Hours runtime and 2.5 Charge time
- Brush Heads Included: Hard Short brush, Long Bristle Brush, Cotton Flannel Pad, Scouring Pad, Sponge Brush
- Telescoping Handle (49″ Maximum Length)
- 1 Year Warranty
Fine Dragon Scrubber – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use it to clean grout in my kitchen or bathroom?
A: Yes, the short, hard brush is best for this.
Q: Which pad is best for cleaning windows?
A: The sponge brush is best, but you might also use the cotton flannel.
Q: Is there a longer model available?
A: No, but the maximum length of this model is about 4 feet which is great for most uses.
CUH Cordless Power Scrubber
Let’s be honest about this product. It’s made in China and repackaged by many different sellers. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that if the product is good. Heck, the device you’re reading this article on was likely made in China. After scouring through these handheld scrubbers, I’m confident this is one of the better models. There are tons of uses for this scrubber, but one of the most common is scrubbing bathroom tile. However, you can use this to scrub grill tops, wheels, RV’s, and much more.
The one complaint I have is that the battery is NiMH. It takes about 10-12 hours to charge completely. This type of battery is less expensive than Lithium Ion, so that’s part of the reason you see the lower price tag. It’s not ideal, but it works.
- Versatility – You can scrub just about anything you can reach.
- Cordless – 3.6V NiMH 2100mAH Battery
- Waterproof Design
- 7 Scrubbing Attachments: Fine Brush, Crevice Cleaning Brush, Hard Brush, Fine Metal Brush, Crevice Cleaning Metal Brush, Hard Metal Brush, and Scouring Pad.
If you’re looking for another option for this type of scrubber and already own a cordless drill, you can check out this all-purpose cleaning kit.
- This kit contains medium stiffness nylon power brushes that will attach to your favorite cordless drill
- 3 different sizes and shapes of brushes for cleaning around your bathroom surfaces
- These nylon bristles will not scratch and can be used on tubs, sinks, baseboards, fiberglass shower enclosures, shower door tracks, and porcelain
- all three brushes have quarter inch QUICK CHANGE shafts,Cordless drill NOT included Drill NOT included
- All Drillbrush Products have a 90 day no questions asked Money back Guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with our product we will issue a full refund or ship out a replacement at the buyer's request. Cordless Drill NOT included.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the best way to ensure I get the most battery life?
A: When you first receive the scrubber, charge it completely for 10-12 hours before using it.
Q: Can I buy extra batteries?
A: Yes, use this link to buy them on Amazon.
Q: How long will it run on a single charge?
A: It depends on how intense you’re scrubbing. Anywhere from 30-60 minutes of constant scrubbing.
Q: Can you clean carpet with this scrubber?
A: Yes, you can use the soft brush to work in cleaner into carpet.
Q: Are there multiple speed settings?
A: No, just one speed. You simply turn it on or off. Speed will change depending on how much pressure you’re applying.
Heavy Duty Floor Scrubbers
There are multiple models I could list here, but for the sake of keeping it simple and getting the best bang for your buck, we’ll go straight to the Oreck ORB550MC Commercial Floor Machine.
There are a few more Oreck models, but for the price, this is an excellent choice.
Oreck ORB550MC Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine
This model by Oreck has a 3/4 HP motor and is capable of cleaning any flooring type. Whether you want to clean grout stains on tile or polish marble, this machine can do it.
There is another model that is more expensive and has a 1/2 HP motor, the Oreck Orbiter Ultra Floor Machine.
This machine does not come with any attachments, so you will need to buy the brushes and pads that you need separately.
You can even use this machine to dry clean carpet, but be sure to get the right brush or pad. Low-pile carpet can be cleaned with the bonnet pad, and higher-pile carpet can be cleaned with the carpet brush.
- Cleans Wood, Vinyl, Tile, Carpet, and other bare flooring.
- Up to 175 RPM to buff, clean, polish, sand, scrub, strip, or wax.
- 50′ Cord
- Weighs 24 lbs and has a 13″ cleaning path
This machine is versatile enough to strip, wax, buff, sand, and refinish any floor surface. It’s also a way to dry clean carpet, which means no dealing with water that can cause mildew if not properly extracted.
Here’s a table of some of the most popular pads and brushes you can use with the Oreck ORB550MC Floor Scrubber. The diameter of these brushes and pads is 12 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can this machine be used to apply wax?
A: Yes, but you will need to buy the appropriate accessory. This machine can also be used to prep the floor for waxing, such as stripping old wax or scrubbing the floor.
Q: Can this be used with a chemical stripper to strip and wax floor tiles?
A: Yes, no problem.
Q: Can it be used to clean a wood deck?
A: Yes, you can use the coarse buffer pad. It will make quick work of cleaning the mess left after leaves fall or built up residue from years of exposure.
Q: Does the ORB550MC come with a pad driver?
A: Yes, it’s included. It’s what you will need to use the pads instead of brushes.