19 reasons why you need the i-mop
Since the introduction of the earliest i-mop in 2015, users have been blown away by its phenomenal blend of agility, speed, cleaning power, and ease of use.
The i-mop has revolutionised hygiene standards, cleaning routines, and labour costs in cleaning operations. Now, years – and literally hundreds of design and feature upgrades – later, the i-mop continues to change the game.
But what makes it so special? Let’s dive in.
1. Eliminates manual mopping
Mopping has been the traditional way of cleaning small to medium sized floors for decades. While it's not the best method (most mops have a dirt removal rating of only 30-40%), in many applications, they're the only option.
Conventional walk-behind floor scrubbers are great for cleaning warehouses, shopping centres, sports halls and large open spaces. But you still need a mop to clean in the 50 – 1500 square meter range as floor scrubbers are just too bulky.
The i-mop changes this completely. It can be used essentially anywhere you can use a mop, while still matching the “big box” scrubbers in the open spaces. The i-mop cleans under and around tables, benches, and in tight spaces without issues thanks to the mobility of its 360 degree titanium swivel joint.
2. Almost double the cleaning power of conventional scrubbers
The i-mop has twin scrubbing brushes spinning at 350rpm. This means the i-mop is almost twice as powerful as a comparable size floor scrubber.
How does this work?
To compare the cleaning power of a floor scrubber, take the kg’s of pressure on the brushes and multiply it by the revolutions per minute (rpm). The resulting figure can be compared against other scrubbers to give you an indication of how effective the floor scrubber will be.
Let’s take a look at the i-mop vs a comparable size conventional scrubber:
(Note: Many floor scrubbers including the i-mop have different options of brush stiffness available. This theoretical comparison on cleaning effectiveness is based on like for like “regular” brush stiffness.)
This isn’t just theory; the i-mop is proven to clean better, compared to regular mopping and conventional “big box” walk-behind scrubbers. This is even backed up by before and after ATP testing:
3. Makes cleaning safer
When you clean with the i-mop instead of a mop, you make both the cleaning process and the building environment safer.
Cleaning with a conventional wringer bucket is hazardous. Operators must balance on one foot to wring out the mop. After mopping, depending on atmospheric conditions the floor is wet for 5 to 15 minutes (sometimes longer). This wet floor time is called “hazard time” and is a highly dangerous period when slips and falls can occur.
When the i-mop is used, all of the OHS risk that the mop wringer bucket presented is eliminated, and the floor is typically dry within 10 – 30 seconds of cleaning. Compared to the “hazard time” of conventional mops, the i-mop reduces slip & fall risk by 95%.
4. Cleans floors faster
The i-mop is proven to be faster in side-by-side floor cleaning comparisons.
Faster setup: The i-mop xl holds 4 litres of water, enough to clean 400 square meters. A mop bucket holds 10 litres of water, taking 2.5 times as long to fill up. A comparable walk-behind scrubber would typically require 10-15 litres of water to clean 400 square meters, taking 3-4 times as long to fill up.
Faster to clean: An operator can confidently clean at full walking speed with the i-mop, including around objects due to the unique manoeuvrability. A walk behind scrubber is bulkier and requires more caution around obstacles. And a mop just doesn’t compare!
Faster to pack up: Compared to a mop and bucket the i-mop is faster to pack away, even after rinsing your recovery tank and cleaning the squeegee and brushes to keep them in top working order.
5. Smarter battery technology
The i-mop uses the latest lithium-ion technology as its power source. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is a more expensive type of battery compared to other common types such as lead acid or gel.
There are several key advantages of the i-mop Li-ion batteries:
- Opportunity charging: You can opportunity charge an i-mop battery without affecting its overall life. With some types of batteries if you use say 10% of the battery and then put it on to charge, that 10% discharge counts as a whole cycle; and a battery has a limited number of cycles. When you use an i-mop for a few minutes, then pop it back on charge with the batteries depleted by say 10%, you only deplete the overall battery life by 10% of a full discharge. In other words, you can use (or charge) an i-mop whenever you like – for as long as you like – without worrying about the overall life of the batteries.
- Fast charging: The Li-ion batteries on the i-mop are incredibly fast charging. Most walk-behind “big box” scrubbers will require charging for a minimum of 6-8 hours before they can be used again. Not the i-mop. In fact, after just 1 hour of charging you can use your i-mop for another hour! (More on this in point 17)
6. Uses less chemicals and water to clean
When you first begin cleaning with the i-mop, we recommend using water – and only water.
Mopping with detergent leaves chemical residue on the floor. This attracts dirt and makes your floor look dirty. The sheer mechanical scrubbing action of the i-mop is more than enough to dislodge most soiling and to remove this residue. Therefore we recommend using just water with the i-mop and only introduce chemicals on a periodic or as needed basis. This alone can significantly reduce chemical usage in cleaning processes.
Specially designed brushes: The i-mop uses specially designed brushes which minimise the amount of solution required for effective cleaning. Here's how it works:
The i-mop releases the water in the centre of each brush (not in the middle of the bristles area or in front of the brushes like some scrubbers). Then, the bristles of the i-mop are carefully offset to capture the water within the body of the brush and minimise the amount of water that escapes out of it. This means that less water is dispensed onto the floor per second than would be required in a comparable scrubber. This is how the i-mop reduces water usage in cleaning operations.
Per point 3 the i-mop XL holds 4 litres of water, enough to clean 400 square meters. To clean the same area with a mop bucket you should change the water at least every 200 square meters. You would therefore require 20 litres of water to clean the same area. A comparable walk-behind scrubber would use around 8-10 litres.
7. Fun to use
Believe it or not, cleaning floors can be fun. If you are used to mopping them, you won’t believe what a pleasure it can be to clean with an i-mop instead. It's literally a cleaning revolution!
It's common for people who previously saw cleaning the floors as hard work to completely change their view once they try the i-mop. Suddenly, the floor cleaning part of the routine is now the best part!
If you're used to a conventional “big box” walk-behind scrubber, you’ll also fall for the i-mop. You’ll get your floor-cleaning done faster and easier, giving you time back to spend on other cleaning tasks – or take a break.
8. Super easy to use
The i-mop was engineered with lots of user feedback, resulting in unique ease of use. The controls are simple with visuals rather than complex words to read. In fact the only thing an operator must learn is the black “Eco” button, which reduces the water usage by 40%.
The i-mop xl & xxl have a battery on the left and right side of the scrubbing deck. There is no mixing them up. Not only will the batteries not fit on the incorrect side, they have a colour coded clip and holder (grey on one side, blue on the other) so you don’t waste time trying to insert them incorrectly anyway!
The tanks are specially designed so it is impossible to mount the water tank where the recovery tank goes, and vice versa. There are no finger-twisting elastic or rubber straps to wrestle with while getting the tanks in position. The clean water tank clicks on with a heavy duty metal clip, and the recovery tank uses a powerful magnet in the handle to pull it into place. Super fast and easy.
You realise the value of the intensive design process when you feel how easy it is to control an i-mop. The centrally mounted handle means your hands are free to sit anywhere on the handle grips, not wedged in between an uncomfortable side wall that some scrubber handles have. Single handed operation is easy.
9. The most portable floor scrubber
The unique design of the i-mop means that it is incredibly easy to transport around.
It has heavy duty transport wheels built into the deck. These are specially placed to maximise the clearance of the i-mop from the ground when being wheeled around. These wheels are like those on roller blades with very little friction, making it really easy to manoeuvre.
When you need to pick it up, the i-mop has an integrated handle in the deck. Want to pick up an i-mop and head upstairs to clean the bathroom? No problems. At 23 kg’s for an i-mop xl, you can put an i-mop in the boot of most vehicles or even in the back seat. Try that with with a comparable 120kg walk-behind “big box” floor scrubber!
10. Can be mounted on a trolley as part of a complete system
If you clean a commercial or institutional facility you have more than just floors to clean. You’ll have furniture and fixtures to wipe down, surfaces to dust, and bathrooms to scrub. You'll probably carry some washroom consumables with you to replenish bathrooms, and maybe need a spot for rubbish too. Hence the need for a cleaner's trolley
So what has this got to do with an i-mop?
The difference is with any other type of floor scrubber there is no trolley designed to carry the floor scrubber AS WELL as all those other cleaning requirements. With a conventional floor scrubber, you waste time walking to and from the cleaners room; taking the trolley out, performing manual cleaning tasks, walking back to store the trolley, getting your floor scrubber, and then coming out again to where you need to scrub the floors.
This adds up to a lot of wasted “walking time” in cleaning processes.
The i-mop is part of the complete i-team system which includes specially designed i-land trollies. The i-land combines all items you need on a cleaners trolley plus mounts the i-mop on the front. The i-land + i-mop combination eliminates all that unnecessary walking as you're always carrying your i-mop with you.
11. You can use it on virtually any “moppable” surface
If you can mop it, you can i-mop it. Ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, granite, marble, travertine, concrete, terracotta, terrazzo, slate, vinyl, timber (timber decking as well) and cork are all floors that can be cleaned with the i-mop (and we probably missed a few.)
With the range of soft (for timber & cork), regular (standard brushes supplied with the i-mop which are good for most applications), hard (dirty and aggressive floors) and natural fibre brushes (specifically for sports floors) available, you can clean virtually all flooring surfaces with the i-mop. It takes 10 seconds to swap the brushes from one to the other, then you are ready to keep cleaning.
Remember, just like any other floor scrubber, if you use the i-mop on rough surfaces such as pavers or anti-slip flooring, you will wear out your brushes, squeegees and rubbers faster than on a smooth floor.
So what can’t you clean with the i-mop? Exposed aggregate, rough concrete, rough pavers, and really rough floors will wear out the wearing parts quickly. And perhaps some super-soft exotic timbers and other wacky floors that we’ve never heard of.
12. Easiest floor scrubber to maintain
The daily maintenance points of an i-mop are yellow for easy identification. Yellow cuffs on each end of the hose, yellow squeegee connector, yellow filter on the recovery tank, and a yellow indicator on the brush to tell you when they need replacing.
A crucial part of any scrubber is the floor squeegee. Most floor scrubbers will require some fittings to be undone (nuts, bolts or similar) to remove the floor squeegee. The i-mop has 2 specially designed pins that hold the squeegee, which pops off with a gentle pull – super simple, no tools required.
The suction hose on any floor scrubber can become blocked if it sucks up large particles. This part of the i-mop is easy to access. Remove the clean water tank and floor squeegee. Detach the hose cuffs from the handle and squeegee. Screw off the hose cuff on one end of the hose (they are the same on both ends so the hose can go either way), pull out the hose and rinse it out. All of about 6 seconds to have your hose off and in the sink for rinsing.
Why does all this matter?
The total cost of ownership (TCO) of any piece of commercial cleaning equipment is almost always closely linked to how well the machine is maintained. Well cared for machines have a lower TCO, and there is a conversely high TCO for machines that are not well maintained. By paying attention to the i-mop design, the i-mop makes daily maintenance as easy as possible for i-mop operators. This gives the best chance of ensuring a long operating life from your floor scrubber.
13. Fill up anywhere
You cover a lot of ground when you clean your floor with an i-mop. So you might find yourself far away from where you started cleaning – and where you filled up the tank the first time.
When you need to fill up your tank, as long as you have access to a tap you will always be able to fill up – even without a hose. The cleverly designed tank on the i-mop xl & xxl has an inbuilt stretchy fill hose, allowing you to fill up from virtually any tap, anywhere.
By enabling you to fill up on the run, the i-mop cuts out wasted time travelling back to the nearest cleaners room for a tank refill.
14. Smarter parking position for lower maintenance costs
The vertical position of the i-mop when parked is no mistake. This is part of the careful design to help minimise maintenance costs.
Firstly, exposing the underside of the machine means you are kept aware of the state of the brushes, squeegees and caster wheels. This makes it easy to clean away debris or arrange maintenance before any significant damage or decline in cleaning performance occurs. This is important. On a conventional floor scrubber these components are typically less visible, and much more difficult to access as they are tucked underneath – and at opposite ends – of the machine.
The i-mop's vertical park position means the weight of the machine is never left sitting on the brushes. This can be an issue with conventional walk-behind floor scrubbers as generally action is required via a manual lever (or a button on electronically controlled models) to lift the brush off the floor. If this is forgotten, the brushes quickly flatten out meaning they will need replacing much earlier than they should – or than you would need to with an i-mop.
15. Dual brushes for better cleaning
Conventional walk-behind floor scrubbers in the sub 60cm scrubbing width range typically have one brush (we call these “single disc” machines). Conversely, the i-mop has dual brushes.
Why is this better?
On single disc machines, often the brush is on a very slight angle so the machine pulls forward, making it easier for the operator to push it. (Note: This does not apply to traction drive single disc machines which have a motor to drive them forward.) The weight and bulk of these machines (often 100+kg) make this necessary to ensure operators can move the machine around. This has a tradeoff, as the brush being on a slight angle will mean more pressure on one side of the brush than the other and an uneven cleaning result. Also it can lead to reduced brush life.
The dual brushes on the i-mop are mounted level, ensuring an even brush pressure right across the contact surface. And on floors with more undulation (such as grout lines), having separate brushes allows the bristles to contour more easily to the deeper recesses of the floor, allowing for better soil removal.
16. Clean right to floor edges, on either side
The specially designed deck of the i-mop means that you can clean right up to the edge with either side of the machine. Many conventional walk-behind floor scrubbers do not allow cleaning to the floor edge as bulky parts of the machine get in the way. On some models the brush is offset to the side of the machine which allows cleaning to the edge, but only on one side.
Not being able to clean to the edge of floors means that either the edge must be manually mopped, or not cleaned at all. This lack of scrubbing can result in a dirty line at the edges, commonly called a “tide mark”.
The i-mop fixes this problem. It cleans any edge or corner just as well – and as fast – as it does the main floor.
17. Continuous runtime
The typical run time for conventional walk behind floor scrubbers in the 40 – 66cm size range is around 2-3 hours. The i-mop xl has a run time of around 60-70 minutes, or 90 minutes with the Grey 14Ah batteries.
So the i-mop is not as good, right?
Wrong. The i-mop has interchangeable batteries. This means that you can click them out and pop in new ones. Remembering the i-mop is faster than comparable size scrubbers so you can clean more area in less time, if you do have an application where you need to clean for longer than 60-70 minutes, purchase an additional set of batteries.
In one hour you can charge the i-mop xl/xxl batteries enough to give you one hour of run time, so with 2 sets of batteries, you can clean 24/7.
18. Fully colour coded
Colour coding is a necessary requirement in many facilities. Blue for general areas, green for food preparation, red for bathrooms, yellow for infectious areas. The concept (very rightly so) is that a piece of cleaning material should only be used in one area to save spreading bacteria from one area to another.
But, if you want to stop using colour coded mops and begin using a floor scrubber whilst maintaining your colour coding program, you may have a problem. Colour coding basically does not exist in the world of floor scrubbers.
Except for the i-mop.
The i-mop can be fitted with colour coded tanks and brush rings, allowing you to have separate, fully colour coded tanks for all areas and maintain your colour coding regime.
19. Gives back to society
Water is a precious resource. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water.
The i-mop was designed to save water in the cleaning process, which it does. Not only that, the i-mop helps provide water where it's needed most.
How does this work?
To support communities around the world which have limited access to clean water, for every i-mop in use i-team Global contribute the equivalent of 18 litres of water per day to the Made Blue foundation. This contribution runs for a period of 3 years after the i-mop was purchased. Made Blue use this contribution in the establishment and conservation of critical water access points and distribution facilities.
When you use an i-mop you help create water. As well as save it.