If you have attended any cleaning shows in the last couple of years or kept your eye on developments in the cleaning industry you will have no doubt been involved in the on-going mania surrounding the i-mop scrubber dryer. This refreshing new piece of cleaning equipment has hit the market by storm with its sleek, contemporary design and incredible functionality. There has been an enormous response to it since its release and it continues to steal the show at any exhibition – but apart from how it looks, what is it about this piece of equipment that companies are flocking to buy? We thought we would put together a full i-mop scrubber dryer review to see if it really does stand up to the hype.
Straight away, the very look of the i-mop indicates this isn’t your ‘run of the mill’ piece of cleaning equipment. Straying from the traditional, heavy-weight scrubber dryer styling one is more accustomed to seeing in this market, the i-mop is refreshingly slender. With soft curved tanks and uncomplicated control pad the i-mop looks as futuristic and revolutionary as the name suggests. The aircraft aluminium shaft, titanium hinge and durable plastic water tanks come together to look more like a high end mode of transport than a cleaning machine but that really is part of the appeal.
The scrubber dryer deck:
The most blunt way I have heard the i-mop described is that it is quite simply ‘a scrubber dryer deck on a stick’ which illustrates it’s ease of use, complete flexibility but also it’s cleaning ability. To be fair, although primitive sounding, it really does describe exactly what the i-mop is. Cue the ‘why didn’t I just think of that?’ moan. The standard i-mop has two rotating brushes of 9 inches each offering a cleaning path of 18 inches (the same as many other scrubber dryers on the market). However, unlike it’s 175 RPM competitors the i-mop cleans on 350 RPM ensuring a much more efficient clean than standard models on the market. There are now also XL & XXL versions of the i-mop which offer up to an impressive 25" working width enabling the operator to cover a massive 1000m² per hour of cleaning.
In comparison to other machines the slender and ergonomic imop has been engineered to keep full pressure on the cleaning brushes to assist in the deep cleaning of floors. As no weight pressure is lost due to wheels or other obstructions, the i-mop keeps 22Kg of pressure on the brush pads – almost double that of a conventional scrubber dryer.
The i-mop also now comes with a fantastic range of accessories including colour coded brushes along with patented and innovative buffer pads including twister pads in varying grades. These are all easily replaced without tools in one simple click. There are also various other accessories, designed to make your life easier, including trolleys and storage lockers to ensure the i-mop takes pride of place in any cleaning line-up.
What I find fantastic about the i-mop is that it is cordless. No more trip hazards or having to locate illusive power points. Due to the fact it is cordless means that the i-mop can be used at any time through-out the day with minimal disruption, making it especially useful in terms of spot and re-active cleaning. The i-mop is powered by lithium ion batteries, which when in use will last for up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Further to this, with two sets of batteries continuous cleaning can be achieved as 80% of the charge is replenished in an hour. Also, as a bonus, the i-mop deck draws power from alternate batteries to ensure they do not over heat and last longer.
The i-mop contains two tanks – a 4 litre fresh water/cleaning solution tank and a 9 litre recovery tank. These can be emptied and filled above a sink and easily clipped on and off without tools and disruption which is great for small janitorial sink stations and confined areas. There are also a range of floor cleaning solutions available which really compliment the cleaning power of the i-mop. We recommend using Pro 4 Biological Washroom Cleaner & Pro 44 Biological Multi-Purpose Cleaner for optimum cleaning results.
Many compare the i-mop controls to a washing machine dial as they are stripped back, simple and straightforward. If you’re looking for a piece of cleaning equipment which is quite literally ‘plug and play’ from the box (minus the plug as it is cordless!) then the i-mop will really appeal to you. The control pad, located on the top of the machine handles, contains a battery life indicator, control dial and low water/re-set switch. That is all. No more selecting multiple options, just turn the dial to what operating mode you want: Solution + Brush, Brush, Brush + Vacuum, Brush + Solution + Vacuum.
When you power up the i-mop for the first time is when you truly realise this machine means business. As you compress the handle levers you see and feel the i-mop powering up towards an impressive 350 RPM. When in motion, the one thing that really stands out is how effortlessly it moves, almost like a hovercraft where the user inherits none of the machine weight. The self-propelling design means that the i-mop moves as fast or as slow as you do in any angle which feels almost liberating.
Once the cleaning is complete the clean down and maintenance is very straight-forward as all components to be cleaned (tanks, brushes and squeegees) are easily clicked off to be cleaned above a sink and stored in a small broom cupboard for next time. No more parking of a scrubber dryer in a huge holding area!
For this imop review we used the machine for our requirements (a large reception area and office corridors) Comparing the i-mop firstly to a standard mop and bucket and secondly, a standard walk-behind scrubber dryer there really is no contest. In terms of efficiency, flexibility and cleaning power it really is a one horse race with the i-mop coming out as a true contender for the title of best hard floor cleaning machine. Not only did we find this machine stopped us from having to carry around dirty water but it also stopped us from having to re-arrange the layout of the area we were cleaning as the i-mop smoothly cleaned under tables and fixtures and along the side of the wall. From the unboxing of the machine through to using the controls it really is as simple as it should be, with no complicated icons, gauges and buttons that require an engineering degree. Once cleaning is complete, it also dismantles quickly and easily to enable access for cleaning the machine down and to store away in a small cupboard. The only negative we have found so far for the i-mop is why was this not brought to market sooner! We certainly give the i-mop a huge thumbs up and look forward to seeing what the next development is with the i-range of products. 10/10