I know, usually I’m dropping reviews about gaming headphones and smartphones. But today, we’re doing something a little different. I’m going to review the Karcher FC 5 Floor Cleaner. Odd flex, I know, but hear me out. I live in a two bedroom two bathroom apartment with another human. I travel A LOT. I work weekends A LOT. I hate cleaning A LOT. When I do have a day at home on the weekend, the last thing I feel like doing is opening my cleaning cupboard and giving the house a good scrub. My Player 2 is actually pretty domesticated and usually jumps in to ensure the place is clean but I know it grinds him that I’m not eagerly jumping in too. With only two of us it seems borderline ridiculous to hire a maid service (though occasionally we buckle).
Giving up my day to cleaning floors doesn’t rank high on my to do list
Which is why I was keen to give the Karcher FC 5 Floor Cleaner a go. Here’s what you need to know: it’s touted as a mop and vacuum cleaner in one (sort of but not really). It can be used to clean tiled floors, hard wood floors and laminate flooring (I think, at least I presume so. I’ve never had laminate flooring so I’m not 100% on what the cleaning protocol is). My biggest issue with these cleaning gadgets is I find they tend to be nothing more than glorified mops that don’t really clean the way I’d like. Plus they’re a bitch to clean. How incredibly wrong I was in this case.
My experience with the Karcher FC 5 Floor Cleaner
Let’s break down exactly how this worked. Out the box you get the yellow Karcher and it comes with a station which can be used to store it upright (YES!) and is also a cleaning station. You have two water tanks. One is for clean water and you add 400ml of water along with some of the universal detergent included in the box. You’ll need to purchase this as it runs out. You can get the universal detergent but you can also get specific detergent for varnished or waxed floors as well. The other tank is specifically for the dirty water that the Karcher “vacuums up”. I filled up the tank and tested it out on a few tiles. I shed hair like a sheep. So before mopping I usually need to vacuum up the bits of my DNA that insist on removing themselves from my head and onto the floor. The Karcher immediately removed the hair as well as the dirt on the tiles (I had a mud mark from my sneakers that had been left at the door after I’d traipsed through someone’s new garden).
The Karcher is rather loud and “pulls” a bit. I found it pretty scary to start but then quickly got the hang of it. It needs gentle downward pressure and a push along. It cleaned the tiles in a single wipe and left very little moisture afterwards. So the tiles dried extremely quickly (I’d say around 3 to 4 minutes?). I was able to clean my entire apartment extremely quickly (much like running a vacuum over the floors) and only needed to refill the clean water tank once. When I’d finished cleaning the floors the dirty tank was relatively easy to clip out and remove. I could then pour the dirty water down the drain (I was horrified at how much dirt the Karcher actually sucked up!). I’ve found, in the past, that removing dirty water tanks is a giant headache as I end up spilling the water while trying to unclip the tanks. I thought the engineering of the Karcher was really good because not a drop was spilt! Yay. You do need to watch that dirty water tank though as there is a maximum limit to the amount of water that can sit in there.
Once you’re done using the cleaner you can set it up in the station and it can run its own self rinsing function which then cleans the now dirty rollers. You can also remove them and rinse them but… obviously I’m going with the self rinsing option. Quicker than expected and rather painless.
How does it work?
The Karcher FC 5 Floor Cleaner has two rotating microfibre rollers. These are moistened by the constant supply of clean water which allows them to pick up both dry and damp dirt – all the while the dirty water is suctioned away (the vacuum effect I mentioned in the start of the post). The rollers are automatic. So you’re not having to scrub away, they do that for you. And that is potentially my biggest criticism of the Karcher – it’s a strong beast and you need a bit of upper arm strength when using it because it does have a tough pull to it. It basically saves you a bucket load of time because you don’t need to vacuum first, rinse out mops and the like. If you live in a tiled apartment like I do it is a dream. Also the self rinsing thing is kind of awesome if you’re lazy… and I am.
Worth the dosh?
You’re looking at dropping R3499 on the Karcher at most of the big normal retailers. You can find out more by visiting their website as well. It seems like a big spend but when I look at time saved, dirty water not spilt on the floor and the 6k robot vacuum cleaner in comparison – I think it’s worth it. It is also beautifully made and engineered. So if taken care of properly, should last.
Please note: All photos were taken before I used the Karcher, because cleaner is prettier. Photos taken by Dane Remendes (DM me if you’re looking for a rad photog – he’s good!).
Disclosure: I was gifted a Karcher FC 5 Floor Cleaner to test out.