Why is the i-mop the best way to clean floors?

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.

So what is it that makes the i-mop so special? Let’s dive in.

1. The i-mop eliminates manual mopping.

Mopping has been the traditional way of cleaning small-medium sized floors for decades. And while mopping is a poor way of cleaning floors (most mops have a dirt removal rating of only 30-40%), mops have been the only option in many applications as a conventional “big box” walk behind floor scrubber is too bulky to be practical.

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 edges, small corridors, around checkouts in a supermarket, in the lifts and other floorspaces in the 50 – 1500 square meter range.

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;

comparison

(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 has been proven in side-by-side comparison against regular mopping and conventional “big box” walk behind scrubbers that it cleans better, backed up by before and after ATP testing;

averageCleaningPerformance

3. i-mop makes cleaning safer

When you clean with the i-mop instead of a mop, you make 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 an 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. Comparing the “hazard time” time of 30 seconds with 10 minutes shows the i-mop reduces slip & fall risk by 95%.

4. i-mop is the fastest way to clean floors

The i-mop is proven to be faster in side-by-side floor cleaning comparisons.

Faster setup: The i-mop xl holds 4l of water, enough to clean 400 square meters. A mop bucket holds 10l of water, taking 2.5 times as long to fill up. A comparable walk behind scrubber would typically require 10-15l of water to clean 400sqm, 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!

because you save time

Faster to packup: Compared to a mop and bucket the i-mop is faster to packup.

Yes - you do need to rinse out your recovery tank and clean the squeegee and brushes to keep them in top working order. But you don’t waste time trying to clean your mop out – or having to launder it!

5. i-mop has smarter battery technology

The i-mop uses the latest lithium-ion technology as its power source. Lithium-ion is a more expensive type of battery compared with other common types such as lead acid or gel.

And 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 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 to clean up a spill and 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. So 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” scrubber 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. The i-mop uses less chemicals and water to clean.

Fact: It is recommended when you first begin cleaning a floor with an i-mop you clean with just 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 minimize the amount of solution required for effective cleaning. (Yes this is a “down in the weeds” design feature but here is how it works!)

The i-mop releases the water in the centre of each brush, not in the middle of the area of the bristles 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 minimize the amount of water that escapes out of the brush. 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 4l 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 sqm, therefore you require 20l of water to clean the same area. A comparable walk behind scrubber would use around 8-10l of water to clean the same area.

7. The i-mop is fun to use!

Believe it or not, floor cleaning can be fun. If you are used to mopping floors, you won’t believe how easy and fun it is to clean with an i-mop instead. The i-mop is literally a cleaning revolution!

It is common for people who used to view cleaning the floors as hard work to completely change their view once they use an i-mop. Suddenly, the floor cleaning part of the routine is now the best part!

i-mop display

And if you have been used to a conventional “big box” walk behind scrubber, you’ll love the i-mop too. You’ll find you 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 images - no 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 fit 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 (and hurt your fingers on) to get 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.

Easy To Use

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 i-mop is the most portable floor scrubber

The unique design of the i-mop means that it is incredibly easy to transport around.

The i-mop 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 wheel the i-mop around.

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. Try that with a conventional walk behind floor scrubber!

Portable i-mop

At 23 kg’s for an i-mop xl, you can put an i-mop in the boot of most vehicles or even the back seat if the boot is full. Try doing this with a comparable 120kg walk behind “big box” scrubber!

10. The i-mop 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 clean. You will probably carry some washroom consumables with you to replenish bathrooms, and maybe need a spot for rubbish too. Simple...you need a cleaners 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, carrying your i-mop with you wherever you are with your trolley.

Trolley

11. You can use the i-mop on virtually any “moppable” surface.

The i-mop can be used on virtually any surface that you can mop. 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 some in this list.)

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 type of 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 super quick, so not recommended. And perhaps some super-soft exotic timbers and other wacky floors that we’ve never heard of.

12. The i-mop is the 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 or 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 super 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 total cost of ownership, 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.

Squeegee

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. If you can access it to turn it on, you will be able to fill up your i-mop from it!

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-mops vertical park position means the weight of the machine is never left sitting on the brushes. This can be an issue with conventional floor walk behind 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.

Scrubber

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 to make the machine pull forward, which makes it easier for the operator to push the machine. (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 groutlines), having separate brushes allows the brush bristles to contour more easily to the deeper recesses of the floor, giving 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 to the edge on either side. 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 right to the edge 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.

Edges and Corners

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 out the batteries and pop in new ones. So (and 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.

Continuous Runtime

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.

Coloured i-mop

19. i-mop 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 but the i-mop helps provide water where it is 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.