Our In-Depth Review
The Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub FH40010B is an upright model-cleaning machine. An upright vacuum means the motor and all the features are stored on the unit and you have to push the vacuum over the floor to clean it.
The SpinScrub brushes are only activated in the wash mode. Also, the cleaning solution will only be released on wash mode, but you also have to pull the trigger on the top of the handle to make the cleaning solution come out.
The Hoover FloorMate has “Dual Tank Technology.” This basically means the top tank holds the water and cleaning solution.
The lower tank is where the dirty water is stored. It is very easy to fill up the upper tank. A measuring cup is built into the cap. Fill the cap up to the line with hard floor cleaner and dump it into the tank.
Then fill the large tank up to the fill line. Put the cap on and you are ready to clean. The dirty water tank fills up as you clean up your floors. It won’t overflow, but will stop sucking up water if you have reached its capacity.
The tanks are clear, so it is easy to see when you need to empty out the dirty water tank, or fill up the upper tank with more cleaning solution and warm water.
It doesn’t have a hose, or wand on the back. This is strictly a vacuum and hard floor washing machine. It also can’t wash hard flooring stairs. It simply isn’t designed for this type of cleaning.
Key Selling Points
The first setting is the vacuum. It cleans up dirt and debris on your floor.
For most hard floor cleaners, you have to get out a regular vacuum first.
The Hoover FloorMate can do this first. Then with a turn of a dial, you can switch to washing your floors.
The wash mode activates the SpinScrub brushes. Detergent and clean water are mixed in the upper container.
The cleaner releases this mixture onto the floor when you pull the trigger on the handle. At the same time the SpinScrub brushes go to work cleaning your hard flooring.
After a few passes, the floor will be clean. At the end of the cleaning cycle, switch to the dry mode on the FloorMate. You have to go slowly over what you washed, and the hard floor cleaner will suck up the water.
Performance: Using the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Hard Floor Cleaner
The Hoover FloorMate FH40010B did a very nice job washing hard floors. We were impressed with the small size and ease of maneuverability. The FloorMate effectively washed hard flooring.
It isn’t the best as a dry vacuum for hard floors. Also, even though it has a mode for drying the floor, it doesn’t completely dry your hard flooring. It will still be a little damp for a minute or two after you clean.
Vacuuming Hard Floors
First we tested the vacuum with larger particles. We crushed up some cheese crackers and dumped them on the hardwood floor. The vacuum couldn’t suck up some of the larger particles because it has a very low clearance. These objects simply didn’t fit under the lip of the hard floor cleaner.
Just to see what the FloorMate was capable of, we lifted up the vacuum a little to get the large particles underneath, and it sucked up large debris then. So it will suck up large particles, but a lot doesn’t fit underneath the vacuum.
Small particles were cleaned up pretty easily. We tossed white flour on the floor and there were cleaned up effectively.
Getting the edge clean was a little difficult. From the side, the FloorMate left about a quarter inch of flour, but it was sucked up from a head on approach.
Washing Hard Floors
The biggest surprise for us was how light and easy the Hoover FloorMate was even when we washed the floors. The tank with the warm water and detergent isn’t really large.
You only use two ounces of hard floor cleaner mixed in with the water tank. This liquid doesn’t add a noticeable amount of weight.
Our first test involved cleaning up spills on the hard floor. We poured colored water on the floor and then sucked it up. The Hoover FloorMate did this very effectively.
There was just a bit of residue left over, so we suggest washing this spot with the cleaner after sucking up a spill. This way, if it was grape juice or apple juice, you won’t have any sticky stuff left to dry and harden on your floor.
For floors with smudges or stains dried on, the washing mode was wonderful. It cleaned up the floor nicely, but you have to use this slowly.
Because this machine is rather light, you could get moving a bit too quick. Remember to slowly go back and forth on the flooring. Let the SpinScrub brushes do the work for you, and you’ll be happy with the end result of the washing mode.
To release the detergent, you have to pull the trigger right below the top of the handle. You can release any amount of cleaner that you’d like, but we suggest holding it down when you go forward slowly one time, and then release the trigger.
Go back and forth a few times to wash and vacuum up this detergent. The dirty water gets sucked up and goes into the lower tank for storage.
We found a few old stains stuck to the flooring, and these were cleaned up, but we had to operate the machine slowly. Another test we ran was writing with marker on the flooring.
We used a Crayola marker. Don’t do this test with a permanent marker, because we don’t know if it would work on a mark like this.
With this regular marker, the FloorMate smudged it off as it went forward, and then sucked it all up making the floor totally clean as it went back over it.
Once again, the main piece of advice would be to work with this floor cleaner slowly. You could be tempted to push this lightweight machine quickly, but you won’t have as clean a floor, as you would like. Washing floors is not a quick process with the Hoover FloorMate.
Drying Hard Floors
The final setting for this hard floor cleaner is the Dryer. This turns off the SpinScrub brushes, and it sucks up all the liquid that is on the flooring.
Yes it does get most of the liquid up, but not all of it. There will still be some residue on the floor. It only takes a few minutes after you operate the Hoover FloorMate to be totally dry, but it isn’t right away after it passes over wet hard flooring.
This hard floor cleaner does an effective job on the edges of the floor, but you have to attack the edges head on. What this means is, if your floors are wet right up against the edge, you have to push the FloorMate forward, butting the head of the cleaner against the edge.
You can’t go from the side and pass over the edge with the side of the FloorMate. It will leave a small portion of the floor next to the edge wet.
You don’t have to worry about the filtration of the FloorMate if you plan on using it as a floor washer. If you want it to be your hard floor vacuum, then the air filter comes into play.
The filter isn’t airtight. A lot of small particles escape the vacuum and go back into circulation with this model. Using the laser particle scanner, which measures particles down to 0.3 microns, the Hoover FloorMate exhaust contains the same amount of dust that there is already in the air.
Whatever very small dust it sucks up will come back out. This doesn’t mean that when we vacuumed flour, the flour came back out. What it means is the microscopic dust you can’t see with your eyes that float in the air still escape out of the filter and exhaust of the FloorMate.
Ease of Use
The Hoover FloorMate is very easy to set up and operate. Also it isn’t a large, bulky, mundane machine. It’s fun, light, and manageable for any user. It definitely is easy to use compared to most motorized hard floor cleaners, and it is way better than the old school wet mop.
Cord Management and Length
There is a thick 27-foot cord at the back of this wet vacuum. This is definitely long enough to clean one large room at a time. The cord wraps around the back of the unit easily.
One nice option about the cord storage is you can turn the cord handle down and the cord drops right off the back of the unit. You don’t have to unwind the cord then. You still will have to wind the cord up correctly though.
On the bottom, you have to snap in the SpinScrub brush, which is real simple. You just have to match up one small part and push it right in. Then the front squeegee latches to the front of the Hoover FloorMate.
At this stage, you can use this as a vacuum, but not yet a washer. To prepare your hard floor cleaner for the washing stage, you need hard floor cleaner.
Hoover recommends that you use their product, which is simply called Hoover Hard Floor Cleaner.
On the top of the upper tank is the cap. This cap doubles as the measuring tool for your hard floor cleaning solution.
Fill up this cap, dump it into the tank and then fill the rest of the tank with warm water. Snap this tank into place and you are ready to clean up like nobodies business.
Most hard floor cleaners are large and stogy. This was light and very pleasant to use. In fact, we think this is the biggest asset to the Hoover FloorMate.
It doesn’t have a wide cleaning path, so it does take a little bit of time to clean an entire floor. The smaller 13 inch cleaning path does have its advantages though. You can weasel your way around toilets, and under cabinet overhangs.
The tanks lock into place easily, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them dislodging as you clean. There are two rear wheels at the back of the vacuum that roll smoothly.
This vacuum registers around 80 decibels when it is washing a floor in a larger room. In a small closed in bathroom, the noise reverberates raising the decibel level up to 88. This noise level is a little loud compared to a standard vacuum.
The Hoover FloorMate calls itself “bagless,” but we don’t know of any hard floor-cleaning machine that uses water as a bagged model. It stores the water in two different tanks. Just empty the dirty water tank when it is full.
Resting on top of this tank is the filter. The filter has a small circular stopper that captures any hair or large debris and prevents it from blowing out of the vacuum. You have to use your hand to dig this material out.
The filter rests on top of the tank. It is a washable unit, and if you use this for a hard floor vacuum, a lot of the debris will work its way into the folds of the filter. To clean it out, we bent the filter to fan it out and shake out some of the dust and larger particles.
To completely clean the filter, you can wash it under warm water, but you have to let it completely dry before snapping it back into place. The manufacturer recommends that you clean the filter when you notice a loss in suction.
We recommend that you clean it out often, especially if you use this unit as a dry vacuum. The filter doesn’t get much in its path for washing, but when using it as a straight vacuum, the debris can get pretty nasty in the filter.
Emptying the Dirty Water Tank
The FloorMate will actually stop sucking up liquid if the tank is full, so if you notice this, empty the tank and the machine will work properly again.
When the dirty water tank gets full, you push down on it to release the tank from the upright cleaner. There is a small unit that rests on top of this tank.
Set this unit, which has the filter in it aside. Now you can pour out the dirty water in this tank.
Value For Money
The Hoover FloorMate is an excellent floor washer but an average vacuum cleaner. If you have lots of hard floors that need regular cleaning, then this vacuum / washer combo is a good choice.
The price at around $130 is not too steep to have an excellent washer but to get to that level of vacuuming you’ll need a different vacuum cleaner.
Final Vacuum Verdict
We liked this model for one purpose, to wash hard flooring effectively. The fact that it maneuvers well, and it is lightweight were two wonderful options with the Hoover FloorMate.
This cleaner is not ideal however in a couple of situations. It isn’t great for large open areas, as it doesn’t have a wide path, and it takes a bit of time to scrub an area clean.
The other situation you shouldn’t be using it often is for a regular vacuum. Hoover tries to market this as more than just a washer, but it really should be used as a hard floor washer most of the time.