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Lunch » Tags » Vacuums » Reviews » Dirt Devil Floor Keeper CE5500 Upright Wet/Dry Vacuum » User review

mop and bucket it's not

  • Nov 7, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: no dirty water, dries quickly

Cons: doesn't scrub like it implies

The Bottom Line: the best solution for my need, what's your need?

Do you know what you need? That is the deciding factor on the Dirt Devil Floor Keeper. I have 4 kids, 2 of which are under 3. Before I owned the Floor Keeper there were a few ways to clean a floor.

Method 1 was the traditional mop and bucket. There were a couple flaws to this method. Picture mommy with a filthy floor, mop, 2 "helpers", and a bucket of clean vinegar and water. Now start mopping. We all know that a mop is only as good as the effort you put into it so it isn't perfect either. After less than half a room the bucket is full of filthy water I am spreading across the floor to "clean". I am really lucky if the filthy water is only in the bucket and where I put it, not all over the floor and kids. The mop is also full of hair. As the mother of 3 daughters, hair gets on the floor on occasion and just one hair will get stuck in the mop and the only way to get it out is to pick it out or have it constantly redeposited because it never just comes out when you rinse the mop. Then your wet floor has to have time to dry while you wrangle toddlers away from the floor so they don't get it dirty or slip and fall. When your toddlers main play area is the family room, connected to the eat in kitchen, your main hard floors, this means you have to allow them into the formal areas (mostly unsupervised), allow them upstairs in their rooms (completely unsupervised) or clean the floor in sections. The Floor Keeper helps with all these issues. First there is no exposed water to play in. Next only clean water is dispensed and dirty water sucked up. Hair is sucked up as well. Lastly it sucks up the water, making the floor only slightly damp so it dries quickly.

Method 2 was the only real way to get my grimy, gunky floors truly clean. The good old fashioned scrub brush and bucket. This method not only has the same cons as the mop and bucket but you add mommy on her hands and knees. How is this a con? Because mommy on her hands and knees actually translates to "climbing apparatus" or "riding toy" in toddler-ease. This is also a longer, 2 step process. You have to scrub the floor then wipe it off with a rag. Add these 2 cons together and you get a toddler who not only wants to help clean the floor so is splashing dirty water out of the bucket but is now also stealing the rag, when not in use, and getting the dirty water all over the floor and sometimes even "washing" mommy. Again the Floor Keeper solves all these issues.

Method 3 is a bit more modern, the new "swiffer" cleaners. Now you do not have to deal with a bucket of soon dirty water. But you do have to deal with a quickly dirty "pad". There are different versions of this method. Some versions use pricey, pre-moistened scrubby pads. Oddly enough you get what you pay for here too. So the most expensive Swiffer brand has more scrub and durability to it than a generic or even Chlorox brand. Less than halfway through the floor though your pad is drying out and it is filthy. You can chose to replace it at this point, for a cost of course. Some of these use seperate pads that start out dry but they dispense solution and the dry pad picks it up. Now you not only have to buy pads but you have to buy solution (and with some brands, batteries). Though you do not have to worry about the pads drying out. Some brands you can "unofficially" just use a rag instead. Some brands you can also just refill the solution container with plain vinegar and water. But that doesn't solve the problem of the rag getting dirty. This method does leave the floor a lot less wet than the scrub brush or mop method so it dries quicker. This was my preferred method. The Floor Keeper however sucks up the dirty water into a seperate containment so it is not touching the floor again unlike the dirty water that is getting sucked up by the Swiffer pad and then being used to wipe the floor.

Not enter the Dirt Devil Floor Keeper. I am a bit leary because of the Dirt Devil name. My Dirt Devil vacuum stunk. But my Dirt Devil carpet cleaner was OK. The Floor Keeper is a bit larger than a stick vac. It is powered by cord so I expected a bit more power than a stick vac though. The floor keeper features an easily removable container that holds the filter and dirt for dry vacuuming. It also has a container to hold dirty water and clean water. It has 2 foot levers on the bottom portion and 2 foot buttons in the back. The first foot lever is the release the handle. The 2nd allows you to switch from dry vac to wet vac. The buttons in back are solution on and solution off. It has a cord wind area with quick release. On top it has the ergonomic handle with a button to chose off, dry vac or wet vac.

The first thing you are supposed to do is vacuum up the dry debris. You have the solution off button depressed and the lever set to dry vac. You turn it on to dry vac and you basically vacuum the floors. I, however, found that it is not any more powerful than a stick vac so I just sweep or use the bare floor setting on my vacuum.

Next you are ready to mop. You have to fill the container with water to the fill line which is fairly easy for normal vision to see. You are then supposed to add some of the Floor Keeper concentrated cleaner. I just use vinegar. You depress the solution on button. You lever it to wet mop. You then turn it on to wet vac. All in one pass it dispenses clean water and solution, scrubs and then sucks it up.

Now for the dirt. This mop is a good alternative for someone like me who does not want the children slipping, playing in the bucket, and doesn't want to use a dirty, disposable pad. How well it cleans though depends on how quick of a pass you make. It also depends on the type of floor. You get a better seel on a smooth surface. It cleans better on my hardwood floors because they are consistant and smooth so it gets a better seel. It doesn't get as good or consistant of a seel on my tile floors because of the grout. It does pick up light dirt and dust well. But if you have an area that needs scrubbed, scraped, or soaked it doesn't do it. Sometimes you can get a better clean with several passes. I must again emphasize though that I have 4 kids. What I end up doing is taking a spray bottle and hitting the bad spots ahead of time. This allows the bad spots to soak. Then when I get to them with the Floor Keeper it sucks up the water it dispenses plus the spray I did. Basically it is kind of like a pre-soak. The big advantages to this are what I have mentioned. No buckets, always using clean water and for me, quick drying is a big one. If it leaves your floor too wet you can turn off the solution and go back and just vacuum up more water. You will get it even dryer and suck up more of the dirty water to not be drying on yuor floors. For me it ends up being dry before I get to the end of the room though so I can usually just keep going and do the entire area without a second pass.

So all in all it really depends on your situation and what you need. If you want an "eat off it clean" floor this isn't for you. If you have the time to scrub the floor (without help) this isn't for you. But if you don't get gunk cemented to your floors, you have the time to use this daily, or you don't have the time or ability to mess with a bucket of water then this is the product for you. Do I think this is worth $100? Probably not. Would I buy it again? Probably. You are really paying for the convenience not the cleaning power. For my situation this is the best solution. Without it I wouldn't be able to mop but once every week or two. I would maybe be able to pass with a single swiffer more frequently but still not as often as I use this. I use this every few days at the very least. It isn't perfect but the best option available to me.

Durability is pretty good, I have had it fall over many times on the ceramic tile as well as my kids have gotten to it yet it still works fine and the all plastic body has not cracked at all. Capacity is decent as well. I can do my entire eat in kitchen with only one fill/empty or my slightly bigger family room.

Recommended:
Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 100

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Brandi ()
Ranked #459
stay at home, gear guru, stroller loving, sling addicted momto 6 kids
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The Floor Keeper is perfect for cleaning your hard floors, whether you have linoleum,tile hardwood or marble. Now hard floors don't have to be so hard to keep clean anymore, with the all-in-one that gets it done in 1 - 2 - 3, the new Dirt Devil Floor Keeper.
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