Written by Cheryl Tan
Household chores take up a lot of time, and vacuuming and mopping are one of the banes of my life. I usually end up just leaving out the mopping since it’s such a hassle to fill a pail of water, lug it around my house and wring out a wet mop by hand before I can start to clean the floor.
Now there’s the Karcher FC 5 Cordless floor cleaner, which is a 2-in-1 vacuum and mop solution and I’m actually super impressed. Unlike other 2-in-1 products which separate the vacuum and mop elements, the FC 5 uses microfiber rollers that are moistened as the “mop”, and dust, hair, debris and the dirty water are all sucked into a tank together.
In the box, you get the vacuum itself with two sets of rollers, a large bottle of multi-purpose floor cleaning detergent, a smaller bottle of essential oil-esque liquid, the docking station and the charger.
To use, charge up the vacuum, fill the fresh water tank at the front with clean water and add a capful of detergent and essential oil. Ensure the dirty water tank at the back of the vacuum is securely fastened, then turn the machine on and off you go!
This vacuum can be used on a variety of floor surfaces, from tiles to stone floors and even parquet. I tested it out and found that the rollers only moisten the floor instead of leaving it sopping wet, so as long as the surface can withstand a wipe of water, you’ll be safe.
What I enjoyed the most was the fact that the rollers automatically spin, propelling the machine forward on its own accord. This reduces the amount of effort needed since all one has to do is steer the vacuum in the direction they’d like to clean, instead of having to push and pull the whole time.
At the back of the head, there’s a squeegee and the vacuum slot which even allows for liquid spills to be vacuumed up relatively easily. A soft drink was accidentally spilled and cleaned up before I could whip out the FC 5, but the floor was sticky after a while, so I did a once-over with the FC 5 and the rollers managed to clean off the residue and leave the floor back in original condition.
I was also impressed by the self-cleaning function. After vacuuming is done, users can just place the vacuum back in the docking station and fill the reservoir at the bottom with about 200ml of fresh water, turn the vacuum back on and let the self-cleaning function run. This draws the clean water through the rollers and into the dirty water tank, removing dirt and hairs from the rollers and leaving them clean for the next use.
I found that it worked pretty well, and a light rinse of the rollers after that left them looking quite white, albeit not the pristine bright white it was at the start.
Each battery charge results in about 20 minutes of cleaning time, enough to vacuum around 60sqm. This is generally adequate for a quick clean of most Singaporean households, considering that there are areas that don’t get vacuumed under too often, like sofas or TV consoles. If you’re doing a thorough vacuum, you might have to charge up the vacuum in between cleaning sessions to get the whole house done.
The only downside is that the vacuum is heavy. Weighing 4.4kg empty, it goes closer to 5kg when it’s filled with water and that’s a lot to be maneuvering around for about 20 minutes. It’s a definite arm workout though, so maybe that’s a plus.
The Karcher FC 5 Cordless floor cleaner (S$798) is now available at major retailers such as Harvey Norman, Courts, Best Denki and Gain City.