Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. However, I have personally used all of the mentioned products myself.
Somehow, it seems like a lot of effort to get the mop and bucket out to clean hardwood, kitchen, bathroom or other uncarpeted floors. After the hard work of cleaning, then there is the chore of cleaning up the mop and bucket. Fortunately, there are some quick, easy ways to clean your non-carpeted areas which work for those with a busy lifestyle (and these days that’s most of us!)
The tips in this article are especially helpful for parents or pet owners who would otherwise have to keep the kids or pets from knocking the bucket over as they run around. Also, you’ll find these methods interruptible, so if something comes up while you’re cleaning, you can easily leave equipment out for later.
Low-tech, low-cost: The Libman Freedom Mop
The Libman Freedom mop is hand-powered, stores the solution in a small tank on the handle, and doesn’t require any batteries or electricity. You pull a trigger at the top of the handle and and the mop head sprays a fine mist of cleaning solution directly onto the floor which then gets soaked up by the microfiber pad at the bottom of the mop. The pad can then be washed in the washing machine.
The Libman Freedom mop is eco-friendly, due to it being hand-powered and not requiring specialized cleaning solutions (you can even use just water if you’re allergic to cleaning products), and it doesn’t require any disposable parts.
The Freedom Mop is just one of the mops in the Libman lineup but probably the most useful one for the busy person,because you don’t need to do all the set-up and cleanup you would do with a regular mop and bucket.
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t require electricity or batteries
- Use whatever cleaning solution you like
- Set up and cleanup is fast and easy
- Good swivel on the mop head, can get into tight spaces and under overhangs
- Can be difficult to fill (and empty/clean) the removable solution tank without mess
- After using, have to put a filthy microfiber pad into the washing machine
- Like most mops, won’t pick up large particulates, e.g. bits of cereal
I’ve been using this for years now and it continues to serve me well. The model I have is shown below from Amazon:
Medium-tech, medium-cost: The Swiffer Sweeper-Vac
Although the Swiffer Sweeper-Vac won’t do any wet mopping, it’s perfect for picking up particulates like large crumbs, bits of cereal, pet hair, etc. It’s a light sweeper which can vacuum, and it runs on a rechargeable battery. It is especially designed for hardwood or kitchen floors, and is not for carpeted areas. in addition to vacuuming, it uses disposable Swiffer sheets, so it also traps some dirt at the same time.
It works for the busy person because you can store it anywhere nearby more easily than a vacuum cleaner (e.g. in that annoying space between the washing machine and the wall!), and you can get it out and use it more quickly and easily than a regular vacuum cleaner.
- Easy to use
- Good swivel on the head, can get into tight spaces and under overhangs
- Much lighter & easy to carry than a standard vacuum cleaner
- No cords to get in the way
- Set up and cleanup is fast and easy
- Requires disposable Swiffer pads and (much less frequently) disposable Swiffer vacuum-filters – these costs will add up over time
- There is very little warning as to when the charge is running low
- Takes overnight to recharge the battery
The kit shown below contains everything you need – sweeper-vac and all. This one is a newer model than the one I own, and probably a much better one: I noticed it has really good reviews:
High-tech, high-cost: The iRobot Scooba
The Scooba by iRobot is a floor-mopping robot. You fill a small tank with its cleaning solution, set it down on your non-carpeted area, and press a button to start. It does all the rest. It works by making a random path all over the room. You can specify a no-go area by a ‘virtual wall’ – a tool which generates a signal for the robot not to cross that line.
This works especially well for the busy person because it doesn’t need you to even be there while it mops. You can set it going and then do an errand, or relax, or do other tasks.
- Will do the entire job for you – doesn’t require you to be present while it mops
- Is capable of following straight edges, so the edges of the room can get done
- Puts down only clean, fresh solution, and transfers the dirty water into a separate dirty water tank
- Is capable of light vacuuming as it goes
- Has a low profile so it can get under typical kitchen countertop overhangs
- Fast recharge time (about 2 hours)
- The required cleaning solution works out much cheaper per use than a brand-name floor cleaner with a mop & bucket
- Relatively small tank size. Works fine for smaller areas or large infrequently used areas, but large very frequently used areas may need to be cleaned more often than once a week.
- Needing to delineate no-go areas if you can’t enclose the room with doors (e.g. having to use ‘virtual walls’ technology)
- ‘Virtual walls’ creates a fuzzy no-go line rather than a precise line – the Scooba won’t cross it, but it can be hard to figure out how to position the line super-precisely
- Can’t get into extremely tight spots that a regular mop could – e.g. on either side of the toilet in a small bathroom.
- Moderately noisy – about the same amount of noise as an averagely loud dishwasher.
We owned a Scooba. It was a wonderful feeling to set the Scooba running, and then head out to do errands and come back to a clean floor. I can attest it felt amazing to think that a robot was mopping our floor! That said, it’s going to do better on some types of spaces than others – see the “cons” list above. For example, if you have a floor rug in the middle of the mopping area, that’s going to be a little bit of a hassle to set up barriers or virtual walls around these 4 edges.
The bottom line for cleaning uncarpeted floors
All of these methods of floor cleaning are fast, easy to set up and (most importantly) are less arduous than a mop and bucket (or regular vacuum). On the other hand, they won’t necessarily get your floor any cleaner than you would with a mop and bucket. Ultimately though, if you’re more likely to actually use one of these methods because it fits with a busy lifestyle, then your kitchen floors will actually get cleaned a whole lot more often!
Easy faster cleaning = more time for relaxation.
And best of all, these methods are still cheaper than hiring a cleaning crew to do it for you!