Why I love my Mint Robotic Floor Cleaner
21 Reasons the Mint Robotic Floor Cleaner is one of the best household purchases I ever made
I hate vacuuming and mopping floors. The noise, the mess. The day I caught my first glimpse of the Mint Robotic Floor Cleaner, I have to admit, my heart fluttered. Then it raced. But I held off. Wish I hadn't.
After months of research, comparing robots, reading reviews, and saving my pin money, I took the plunge. It's the best household purchase I've EVER made!
On this page: 21 quick reasons why it just may be the best gift you'll give to yourself or to someone whose life you'd like to bless with ease and simplicity.
Don't let the little robot's cute shape fool you. This GPS-guided gem is a workhorse. This floor cleaner both dry-mops and wet-mops your floors while you do almost anything else. For wood, tile and linoleum floors, it may be the best household purchase you'll ever make.
Not only is the Mint available at a good price, but it saves oodles of time. As I type this, my robot is mopping my kitchen floor, tucking under the cabinet kick plates, scooting beneath the microwave cart.
Here are 21 fabulous reasons I'm glad to have this cute little robot cleaning my hardwood, tile and linoleum floors.
1. This GPS-guided gem sweeps and mops the floor while you do almost anything else - Like a Swiffer on wheels!
Take a shower, hang out with the kids, or go for a walk with your sweetheart while the robot cleans your hardwood, tile and linoleum floors. Here you see it standing upright on its charging cradle. Not shown: The GPS cube that tells it where all the furniture legs and wall edges are, so it cleans gently around and along all of them.
The 5200C is the top of the line model. Unlike older models, it comes with the turbo charger and charging cradle. Recharging is fast and convenient.
Unpack the box and you find everything you need to get started cleaning your floors right away.
First out of the box, the sleek, classy, black Mint 5200C, along with its turbo charger and charging cradle, two reusable white dry-mop cleaning cloths and one reusable blue wet-mop cleaning cloth. Then the Cube, which comes with two C-batteries all ready to go so you don't have to run out to the store before you use your new Mint. Finally, at the very bottom, in their own separate box, the dry-mop and wet-mop cleaning pads.
Charge her up for a few hours, attach the dry mop same as you would a Swiffer, turn her on and watch her go. Caution! The first few days, it's easy to lose time watching her work.
2. Shhhh, this floor cleaner is whisper quiet
Super advantage for apartment dwellers: Your next door neighbors won't hear a thing.
This machine is so quiet, that if you live in an apartment like we do, you never have to worry that the Mint will disturb the neighbors.
You can clean your floors in the middle of the night if you want to!
Included: 2 cloths like the white ones shown here. I'm glad I ordered this pack, because I need four of the white cloths to clean my floors every day. The third cloth in this pack is made for an older model and does not fit the 5200C, so I tossed it into my dust-rag bin. It makes a great duster!
3. Dirt-snatching microfiber cloths come with the machine
Included in the package, two white dry-mop cloths & two blue wet-mop cloths.
If you are trying, as we are, to reduce your use of disposables and excess packaging, reusable microfiber cloths capture all the dirt, so you never have to buy plastic-wrapped, one-use cleaning cloths again. I love 'em!
After cleaning, remove the cloth from the pad, scrub the cloth out in the sink, hang to dry, and it's soon ready to go to work sucking up and capturing more dirt.
These microfiber cloths grab the diesel street grease that accumulates on our floors every day, like magic.
If you have allergies, the Swiffer cloths are kind to you because they trap and hold the dirt and you never have to touch it. Use them in place of the microfiber cloth and your floors will be dusted clean as a whistle.
4. Or use your Swiffer or Target brand dry cleaning cloths
If you love the disposable Swiffer cloths, go right ahead and use them with your floor cleaner. It's designed for them. I like the multi-use microfiber cloths, but I had a couple of leftover boxes of Swiffer disposables on hand, and tried them out. They work beautifully.
I haven't tried other brands, but the manufacturer says the Target brand works, as do any that are interchangeable with a Swiffer cloth.
5. Either way, changing the cleaning cloths is as easy as changing them on a Swiffer
Both the multipurpose cleaning pad and the Pro-Clean reservoir pad are designed to work just like a Swiffer. Attaching and removing the cleaning cloths is that easy too.
In this pic, you see the multipurpose cleaning pad positioned over a dry-mop, microfiber cleaning cloth. See those scalloped lines? They mark the slits the cloth edges fit into. The scallops grab and hold the cloth nice and tight.
Here's the dry cloth attached to the multipurpose cleaning pad. See those two holes on either end? Those pop onto corresponding buttons on the cleaner. Powerful magnets hold the cleaning pad firmly in place. It never comes off while cleaning! Yet it is easy to remove when it's time to change the pad or the cloth.
The Pro-Clean Reservoir pad and blue wet-mop microfiber cloths work almost the same way. The only difference is that they attach to a velcro-like strip on either side of the pad, instead of slipping into slits. That keeps the wet mop firmly in place while your robot mops the floor.
If you prefer to use disposable cloths, they attach exactly the same way without any fuss or hitches.
6. Non-toxic plain water gets the floors clean
Another Earth-friendly plus: Never again buy one-use plastic bottles filled with toxic, allergy-triggering cleaning solution. This little gem uses plain water in her Pro-clean reservoir pad, and does a great job with it! I suspect that's because the microfibers suck up and hold the dirt we ordinarily depend on detergents to wash away.
Easily fill the reservoir on the wet-mop pad, attach the microfiber cleaning cloth, just as you would to a Swiffer, and turn the cleaner loose.
The cube assures the machine doesn't miss a spot, runs along the edges and corners, and never does more than lightly tap your Queen Anne table legs with its soft bumpers.
7. Easily navigates around furniture
The battery-powered North Star GPS Navigation Cube ships with your floor cleaner. Place it on a table or counter near the center of the room, turn it on, and it maps the room and tells the robot where to go.
If you have a large house with hard surface floors and no boundaries, you might need more than one cube. Multiple cubes talk to each other and keep the machine on track from room to room in one go. My recommendation: Don't order an extra cube until you see how the Mint does your space with one.
8. Gently cleans around chair legs, toys and obstacles
If your house is like ours--full of musical instruments, craft projects and toys the grandchildren leave about, you may not always have time or desire to move things out of the way before setting the cleaner to work.
No worries. The Mint is gentle enough to clean around any object and maneuvers deftly around desk chair legs.
The only thing you really need to be sure to move out of the way before turning the robot on: Electrical cords or any other cording in which it might become tangled.
Now could someone please invent a robot that will dust the chair legs!
9. It cleans under the bed!
You'll never have to sneeze at dust bunnies flaring in a gust of wind again. This little workhorse goes right under the bed and grabs them.
We have two big under-bed storage boxes. I've placed them so the robot can get in and clean around them, right up to the wall, without any hassles. I've never had to fish it out from under the bed. Not once!
Watch the Mint Plus in action
Check it out in both dry and wet cleaning modes. (2 minute video)
10. Easy to corral
Won't cross a barrier, like a slightly raised door jamb
Our kitchen and bathroom floors are tile. Slightly raised door jambs, about an eighth of an inch high, separate the kitchen from the hallway and dining room.
The robot simply cannot cross them, so when I set it to work in the kitchen, it's confined to that.
11. Your carpets and area rugs are safe
Carpets present another barrier to the machine. It won't try to climb over and onto your carpets. I don't have carpets or area rugs, so I cannot give firsthand experience about them, but Amazon reviewers say their units have not crossed their area rugs or tried to climb onto their carpets.
Curious how this all works? Take a look at this 4-minute video. It shows how the Mint maps a floor, complete with a drop-off step and edges.
12. Cleans edges amazingly well
Approaching the floorboard, the Mint will turn now, and follow the edge in a straight line, back and forth, so every surface is mopped twice.
Elegant in its simplicity, the robot is engineered to get right up to the edges with its dirt-sucking micro-cleaning cloths. You don't have to go chasing after it to clean the edges by hand.
13. Kick guards under counters are a piece of cake
Your cleaner scoops up dust and debris under the kick guards in the kitchen and bathroom. It's designed low enough to go under all those and many appliances as well.
14. Use the quick-clean option when you're in a hurry
Want a quick pick-me-up? With just a press or two of the buttons, you can set the quick-clean option so the machine runs through the big areas of the room and ignores the edges.
In the image to the right, though there's no way to show it, I've set the Quick Clean option. The Mint hasn't mapped the edges and is not cleaning carefully around the coffee table legs, the lamp tables or the rocking chair.
Instead, it traverses in straight lines, picking up the dust, hair and crumbs in the main parts of the room and ignoring all edges.
15. One charge goes a long way
The robot can dust-mop all the floors in a good-sized apartment like mine on one charge and still have power left to wet-mop the bathroom and kitchen.
16. Gently beeps to let you know the battery is low
When the battery starts to wane, the Mint beeps to let you know, and the blue power light changes to red. Not to worry! There's still enough charge to go quite a ways before the machine signals it's time re-charge.
When the battery is nearly depleted, a different pretty tune plays and the robot returns to its starting position and shuts down.
17. Recharges fast on its turbo-charger
When it's time to replenish the battery, pop the machine onto its turbo charger for a couple of hours, and it's ready to run again.
Time to recharge: Approximately 1-1/2 hours. If you don't have the turbo charger, plug into a standard outlet. Charging time is longer without the turbo charger.
When the battery is 80 percent charged, the red light changes to the blue "go" light. You can put the machine back to work then, or wait another half hour or so to assure it's fully charged.
18. Programmed to let you know if it gets stuck
On the rare occasion your floor cleaner gets stuck in a tight spot, it beeps a couple of sweet notes to let you know it needs help. Because of its ability to back itself out of a tight spot, and its ability to make 360 degree turns, it almost never needs help.
In the two-plus years I've had mine it has required my help only a few times, usually when it was up the hallway, two (open) doors from the Cube, tucked under the hall table. I suspect it was unable to get a clear navigation signal way out there. After all, I stretched the navigability limits!
19. The super-dust-magnet, reusable cleaning cloths dry quickly after rinsing
Hang then over a rod or rack and they dry overnight if you're using them before bed, or by the end of the day if you use them in the morning.
20. Picks up crumbs and hair
I wasn't expecting the machine to be so thorough, but was amazed at the crumbs, dried bits of goo, and hair this little worker picks up. I was shocked to see it got a big jam spill that had dried after the grandchildren made sandwiches in the kitchen. Next time I have a mess like that, I'll get a picture to post here!
21. Best of all, you get clean floors every day with virtually no effort!
If you live where dust creeps in every which way, like we do, that's a HUGE time saver. You can dust-mop and wet-mop your floors every single day and barely lift a finger.
Bonus Reason this robot is a good buy - Safe with your cats and dogs
Here, a cat named Smitty meets the the robot for the first time. All reviews I've seen by people with pets say the curiosity wears off quickly, and they have no problem setting the Mint to work. They also say it picks up pet hair well. I know it picks up my long hair, which I seem to shed a great deal these days!
New company, new name
Sometime after I purchased my Mint, iRobot bought the machine and changed its name to Braava. It looks like mine, and seems to have all the functionality of mine, but I haven't operated it yet.
As I write this, the Braava has a 4.0 overall star rating from 258 reviewers, 139 of whom gave it 5 stars and 50 of whom gave it 4 stars. Check the reviews for yourself and see what you think.
What do you think? Want one?
Here it is, cleaning along the stove edge. White on white. I know. One of the non-perks of living in a 100-year-old apartment building is that you don't get to choose your flooring, appliances or cupboard colors. Meh.
All the same, now that you've seen what it can do, can you see yourself putting the sleek, low-riding, clean-machine Mint Robotic Floor Cleaner to work for you?
How much would you like to own a Mint right now?
Now if only someone would invent a robot that will clean the blinds and dust the book shelves, my housekeeping dreams would be complete.
© 2012 Kathryn Grace