Mint Automated Floor Cleaner Review

OK, I’ll admit to a fascination with robotic floor cleaners.  I’ve owned a Roomba since 2006, so when I had the opportunity to review the Mint Automated Floor Cleaner from Evolution Robotics, I eagerly volunteered.  The Mint would address a limitation of the Roomba, because it is targeted specifically at hard surface floors, something the Roomba doesn’t do well.  About a third of the floors in my house are either wood or vinyl, so I had plenty of area to test out the Mint.

The unit I have is the  model 4200, the original Mint.  There is now also a Mint with Pro Clean, a Mint Plus and a Mint Plus with Cradle.  The features for my model are:

  • Sweeps and mops
  • Multi-purpose cleaning pad
  • Microfiber sweeping cloths
  • Microfiber mopping cloth
  • NorthStar navigation
  • Sweeping run time 3 hours
  • Mopping run time 2 hours
  • Sweeping area per cycle (max) 800 sq ft
  • Mopping area per cycle (max) 200 sq ft

In the package are the Mint unit, the navigation cube, a wall wart for charging the battery, 2 dry sweeping cloths, 1 wet mopping cloth and the instruction manual.

A closer look at the top of the unit reveals three buttons: power, sweeping mode and mopping mode.  The 3 indicator LEDs signify connection with the navigation cube.

On the bottom is the jack for the charger.  At the top of the photo is the removable cleaning pad.  It’s held in magnetically.

The cleaning pad can accept either the reusable cloths supplied with the unit or compatible Swiffer (not WetJet)  disposable dry and wet cleaning cloths.  I used both, but preferred the convenience of the disposable.  To save money I purchased the store brand.

The navigation cube (seen above) allows the Mint to hug the edges of the room.  Without it the Mint will still clean, but it covers a smaller area and doesn’t get along the edges.  To position the cube for best reception it should be put in the middle of the area to be cleaned, pointing away from the walls with a clear shot to the ceiling.

Before I could use the Mint to clean the dining room, I  moved most of the items on the floor.  The unit will snake around the chairs, but they have to be spaced so that it will navigate between them.  It was just as easy to just move them.  The following link has a short video of the Mint dry mopping my dining room.  In the above photo and the video you’ll see the navigation cube on the table.

This is what the disposable dust mop looked like after running over the dining room floor.  While it didn’t get all the dust bunnies in the corners, it did a reasonable job capturing dirt and cat hairs.

A bigger challenge for the Mint was our kitchen.  We’re blessed with twin 3-year-old grandsons and a 5-year-old granddaughter.  During their numerous stays with us, they’ll consume vast quantities of food and drink, a good portion which winds up on the kitchen floor.  Here I was able to give the Mint a decent workout, using the dry and wet mopping modes.  I used both the included reusable cloth wet mop and a disposable one.  They both performed the same, and unfortunately neither would remove yogurt and other liquids that the kids spilled.  I had to resort to a manual mop and elbow grease to clean several spots.  I also ran into an issue with the Mint’s wedge shape.  It jammed itself under the dishwasher and couldn’t back out.  I had to pull it out.

The hardwood floor of the kitchen area abuts our carpeted family room.  As the Mint contacted the carpet, it stopped and turned around.  The kitchen area also abuts the sunken dining room.  Sensors on the device ensured it wouldn’t fall over the edge.

The Mint is meant only for solid floors, so I also tried it on the vinyl flooring in a bathroom.  (Note the navigation cube on the seat.)  The Mint has enough power to service several rooms without recharging.  Again I needed to use a manual mop to remove footprints left by the ankle biters’ muddy shoes.  I also found  that the device is too large to get in smaller spaces and I completed the cleaning job with a hand mop.

As much as I’m fascinated with the Mint, a reality check is in order.  In the photo above you have a Swiffer on the left costing about $25 and the Mint on the right costing about $200.  Using the disposable pads the consumable costs are the same.  With the Swiffer I’m able to add muscle to the process to remove heavily soiled areas, something I can’t do with the Mint.  With the Swiffer I am able to get into smaller areas by turning it sideways, also something I cannot do with the Mint.  To be perfectly frank, in the time it takes the Mint to clean one of my rooms, I can do all the solid floors in my house with the Swiffer.

There is a place for the Mint.  For the D.I.N.K.s (dual income, no kids) among us, being able to set up the Mint to clean the floors while we’re out to work has its advantages.  This is a great device to use for daily touch ups, however, it’s no substitute for using a vacuum and regular mop.  If you keep on top of  the cleaning it may prove its worth and for the early adopters, it does have conversation value.

 

Product Information

Price:$199.99
Manufacturer:Evolution Robotics, Inc.
Retailer:Evolution Robotics, or various retailers
Pros:
  • Ease of use
  • Unattended operation
Cons:
  • Expensive compared to alternatives
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, Reviews

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Dmitriy December 22, 2011, 1:02 pm

    great review!

    i’m going to buy Mint, but have some questions.

    first of all, i live in russia. so no mint’s and swiffers here :)
    i can buy it from amazon but i’m absolutely don’t understand how to choose cloths for it.
    please, post some links to cheap models of cloths.

    and can you check for voltage of power adapter? it’s only 110 or 110-240 volt?

    thank you.

    1
  • Bill Kuch December 22, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Dmitry,

    As I type this I’m looking at the mains adapter and is states 100-240v 50/60Hz. You should be all set.

    I went to Amazon.com and selected the Mint. If you scroll down the page it lists several options for durable and disposable cloths. Might as well buy them from the same place.

    2
  • The Slapster December 22, 2011, 11:28 pm

    I’ve been sitting on the (robotic) fence for quite a while now. The Roombas are confusing in the sheer number of models & apparent specialty uses for each, and we recently went to an all-hardwood floor on the main level of our house, so the Mint is an attractive entry level at $200.

    Accounting for rugs & runners, I’d estimate there’s only about 60% exposed wood for it to handle, I’d mostly hope it could get places we typically don’t do like under the couch where the fur tumbleweeds live. 3 cats can generate an appalling amount of debris!

    Maybe I missed it in the review, but can the Mint get itself over transition strips? Say to get from hardwood areas to the kitchen where we have linoleum?

    3
  • Dmitriy December 23, 2011, 12:28 am

    Thank you for advice, Bill.

    4
  • Ginger December 23, 2011, 1:03 am

    I just purchased a mint pro 5200. It takes 2.5 hours to charge and lasts about 30 minutes. This doesn’t seem right, how long did the charge for your unit last before it needed recharging?

    5
  • Bill Kuch December 23, 2011, 6:19 am

    The Slapster,

    Good question. In my house the transitions are from hardwood or vinyl to carpet, so when it hits the carpet, it turns around. If the transition is smooth, it should make it over.

    We also have cats and you make a good point for using the Mint. It has been very effective in picking up cat hair, plus the cats find it amusing :-)

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  • Bill Kuch December 23, 2011, 6:26 am

    Ginger,

    That seems short for running time. I know I’ve gone at least 90 minutes before charging in sweeping mode and I probably could have gone longer. In that time I did the whole downstairs including dining room, kitchen and hallway.

    7
  • Andrew Baker December 26, 2011, 12:20 am

    I loved my Roomba when I was a “S.I.N.K” loved coming home every day to clean floors. But it eventually died. And I never replaced it. By that time I had a mortgage and the Roomba cost didn’t really fit my money flow.

    8
  • SmartKitchen February 28, 2012, 8:01 am

    I purchased a mint pro it takes a bit long to charge and lasts very short. Do yo think it has some kind of a problem, or normal?

    9
  • Bill Kuch February 28, 2012, 10:11 am

    I don’t know how to answer your question, because long and short are subjective. On the unit I have I am able to run dry mopping of my dining room and 2 bathrooms without recharging. I then set it to recharge and really haven’t kept track of the time, but it’s less than 4-5 hours. Perhaps you could contact the folks at Mint and they would have a better answer. Also, your manual should tell you how long the unit should run.

    10
  • Deborah Waldrep March 15, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I have had my Mint Floor Cleaner for over two years and LOVE it! My grandkids call it “Rosie” from the cartoon Jetson’s robot. There has never been a problem with it and it really cleans my wood floors. I am so glad that I purchased the Mint Floor Cleaner.

    11
  • Bill Kuch March 15, 2012, 5:21 pm

    We’ve named her Ethel and the Roomba is Robbie. The twin 3 year old Grandsons think they’re both neat and have figured out how to turn them on. It’s robo wars when they visit.

    12
  • Darla May 24, 2012, 5:31 am

    Does one wet swiffer cloth mop a whole room? It seems it would dry out somewhat.

    13
  • Bill Kuch May 24, 2012, 9:21 am

    Darla,

    I guess that depends on the size of the room, but I am able to do my dining room with one wet Swiffer. Towards the end of the cycle it does dry out somewhat, but it’s wet enough to still clean the floor. Also, one wet mop is enough for my kitchen floor.

    14
  • Victor Ng October 27, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Just bought one can’t wait to use it, Mint needs to charge for 16 hrs befors first use, I’m in the process of buying my first home and having the Mint for hard floors and the Roomba for the rest, I think my life will get easier, I hate doing floors

    15
  • Pablo January 20, 2013, 10:40 am

    Hello

    I will appreciate if somebody can tell me how long takes mint robot to clean a room of 6×12 meters. Tos

    Pablo from Argentine

    16
  • Bill Kuch January 20, 2013, 11:24 am

    Pablo,

    If my math is correct you are talking about a 775 sq foot room. On the Mint site is states that using a dry mop it will cover a 800 sq foot area. Using a wet mop it will cover a 250 sq foot area. On a full charge my unit has run for 90 minutes, so I suppose it will take about 90 minutes to dry mop your space.

    17
  • Pablo January 20, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Tks Bill i was thinking to buy a robot cleanner, as I Live in Argentine and there is not so much info about tris product I will appreciate your help. Do you know a faster and good robot for Washing floor.

    18
  • Bill Kuch January 20, 2013, 10:52 pm

    Pablo,

    I’m sure there are others, but I’m only familiar with two: the Mint and the Scooba. They’re now both available from irobot.com. You may want to check out their web site. I have no personal experience with the Scooba though.

    19
  • Shira September 8, 2013, 3:37 am

    My biggest complaint with the robot cleaners is that there is no call button, as on my cordless phone
    If it gets lost under a bed, sofa, oven, etc, I’m on my knees looking for it….big drawback. I agree, it takes me minutes only tp swifter my whole house. All my floors are either parquet or ceramic. I gave my Rumba to my daughter, after it kept telling me to clean rollers every 3 minutes

    20
  • Evan October 3, 2014, 3:03 am

    Terrific post! There’s not a lot of available info regarding window vacuums so I found
    this genuinely very helpful. Is this version good for cleaning
    up glass tiles, do you know?

    21
  • Bill October 3, 2014, 7:17 am

    It worked on my floor tiles.

    22

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