This month, coincidentally as the UK is being tormented left, right and centre by storm after storm, each bringing rain, hail and snow in turn, I was offered the chance to review the Kärcher FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner.
I own three dogs and a cat and quite often I feel like I'd be quite at home on the rodeo circuit when I'm trying to wrangle them all at once or even one by one to clean their paws before they're let loose on my carpets and rugs (which are of course cream because I'm just that sensible).
Kärcher says the FC 5 hard floor cleaner is suitable "for all sealed hard flooring including laminate, tiles, stone and wooden floors" so it seemed like it could suit my home quite well because the flooring by the backdoor is luckily stone, and brown, but it means it's in a near-permanent state of needing to be cleaned. So when Kärcher invited us to review their FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner (£399.99 RRP) I was keen to put it to the test.
I'm a big fan of cordless cleaners and like so many people, I'm time poor most days, so I'm always looking for something to do a good job, quickly.
What initially appealed to me about the FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner is that it does two jobs at once. Usually, you have to vacuum those pesky pet hairs up before mopping don't you? This cleaner vacuums while it cleans so it saves an extra job and some time, or so I hoped before starting my review.
First impressions on the Kärcher FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner
Opening the box I noticed there wasn't too much to do to put it together. Essentially you just have to slide the handle in and pop the microfibre rollers on.
Inside the box was:
- The FC 5 hard floor cleaner
- A stand for the cleaner (it needs this to stay upright when not being used)
- A small bottle of Kärcher branded floor cleaning solution
- Two microfibre rollers (you can buy more and my first thought was that for regular use I'd need more quite quickly, my stone floor is hard going so I seem to go through cleaning cloths, sponges and mop heads quite easily)
- A charger for the built-in 25.2V battery
- An instruction sheet and booklet
It came with a little charge, indicated by the green shining lights on the back of the cleaner. But I topped it up, charging for around four hours, until it was fully charged to give me up to 20 minutes use.
To use, you take the fresh water tank out and add warm or cold water and add a cap full of the Kärcher cleaning solution (up to 400ml or be guided by the max line).
The dirty water after cleaning filters into the tank at the back of the cleaner which is easily removed and cleaned.
Kärcher suggests dampening the microfibre rollers before using too. They are colour coded so you know which one to put on which end.
This only took a few minutes so without prior warning to Danny, Chris and Mia and their 12 muddy paws, I started cleaning.
Being dark, the stone does hide paw prints and dirt quite well, but that just cleaned look gives me a nice sense of satisfaction (albeit usually just for a few minutes).
The one thing about our stone floor is that there are grooves and dips so mopping doesn't always get it as clean as it could be, hands and knees scrubbing usually does, but it also requires about four times as much free time, so I was interested to see how the Kärcher cleaner would perform.
It took, if I'm honest, very little effort on my behalf to use. The grip on the handle is brilliant, it's completely non-slip from top to bottom, inside and out, and it has a natural pull forward when you use it (similar to the Vax cordless vacuum cleaner I recently reviewed). Not all cleaning devices have this.
As for how well it cleaned?
It didn't take long to dry, only a couple of minutes, which is brilliant if you own pets or have children who like to follow you around, and it really did a decent job.
(Listen with sound if you want to hear how loud/quiet it is)
It missed a few grooves and there's a small gap in the middle of the rollers so you get a gap in between (I think this is what another reviewer on the brand's own website might have thought of as a streak) but if you move the rollers to the left or right and go over the section of floor again, it solves this.
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Floor when dried
Overall, it did a better job than the mop for far less effort on my part.
And it takes only a few minutes to rinse everything clean.
The microfibre rollers dry on the cleaner's stand, allowing you to keep everything together - that is if you don't have a dog who thinks they're brand new dog toys. Danny took an instant like to them when I was unboxing.
I thought I was going to hate it after the set up stage, to be honest. I just could not get the handle to slot in without some serious force.
I even looked at a Youtube video to see if I was doing it wrong because there's a wire at the back of the handle to consider, but instinctively you look at it and know how it should go in. And your instincts are right. But in my case, it was just so stiff. I ended up balancing one end of the cleaner against a wall and just shoving as hard as I could until it slotted in fully.
But once that was over and done with, and I got to grips with using it, I really liked it. It does a good job for the time it takes to clean, it really does vacuum while it cleans, and I was pleased with the results and how long it takes to dry.
I plan on using this a lot more over the coming weeks and months and updating the review here to give a good feel for long term performance.
At £399.99 (RRP) it's quite pricey, although it's currently on sale on Amazon for just over £310, but if it makes my job of cleaning everyone's muddy foot and paw prints on my stone floor easier, I think I'd give it serious consideration if I were looking to buy.
I only have two hard floor areas - my kitchen and conservatory which has the stone flooring shown in the review, and another small room with wooden floor - so on the cost, I'd say take two things into account: the time you usually have to spend cleaning and how much hard floor space you have.
If your home has a good chunk of hard flooring, I think you'd get a lot of use out of this potentially and the cost might not seem so large in comparison to the use you'd get.
Many thanks to Kärcher for sharing their hard floor cleaner with us for review.
Kärcher FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner Review: How Does It Handle Paw Prints & Pet Hairs?
Ease of Use (Putting Together)
Value for Money