When it comes to house cleaning chores, I’m probably not much different than you. I can find a thousand things I’d rather do than sweep and mop floors. That’s why I love robotic vacuums. I’ve been using the Neato BotVac 80 for over a year and absolutely love that I rarely need to vacuum because it’s set to do this task automatically every other day. The BotVac works great for vacuuming carpet and hard floors, but it lacks a mopping feature to make it the perfect all around floor cleaner. I’ll admit that I don’t mop that much. Jeanne usually does that task once a week for the kitchen and the bathrooms. When I was offered the Ecovacs Deebot D45 bare floor cleaning robot for review and saw that it had a mopping feature, I thought I’d be a hero for getting rid of another weekly chore. Let’s find out if the Deebot has become a hero or a zero in my house.
What’s in the box?
Ecovacs Deebot D45
Dustbin with replaceable filter
2 AAA batteries for the remote
4 Side brushes
Cleaning cloth plate
Microfiber cleaning cloth
The Ecovacs Deebot D45 is a cute little robot cleaner. At 11.5 x 10.3 x 3.15 inches, it’s noticeably smaller than my Neato BotVac. As far as looks, it’s made of shiny white plastic with a blue top and chrome accents. The only button that you see on the device itself is the power button which is backlit to show battery charging status while the unit is docked.
The D45 has six groups of sensors that allow it to detect objects in its path and there’s a soft bumper strip that prevents the vacuum from causing damage to furniture that it might bump into while it is cleaning. It’s also equipped with three groups of advanced sensors that can detect a drop-off larger than 3.1 inches so that it won’t fall down stairs.
When you flip the D45 over on its back, you’ll find that it has two wheels, a battery compartment and a dirt suction slot.
The battery is replaceable and features a small wheel between two battery charging contacts. According to the Ecovacs website, the D45’s battery allows for up to 90 minutes of cleaning before it needs to return to the dock for a recharge.
The D45 comes with four long reach side brushes. Two of them easily snap into the bottom of the vacuum, that leaves two extras that can be used when the first two wear out.
If you’re familiar with robot vacuums or any vacuum for that matter, you might be wondering where the brush is. Well, the Deebot D45 doesn’t have one. It sucks up the dirt through the slot on the bottom that you see surrounded by yellow plastic between the wheels.
The D45 has been designed to be used on hardwood, linoleum, tile, marble or other hard floor surfaces. It’s not designed to be used on rugs or carpet.
As I had mentioned at the beginning of this review, I was very interested in the mopping feature. That feature requires the included plastic plate that snaps into the bottom of the vacuum and has a detachable, reusable, and washable microfiber cleaning cloth.
The dirt bin is accessed by flipping open the top cover. The bin has a handle that allows for quick and easy removable to empty the dirt.
The dirt bin has a filter that can be cleaned and replaced. Everything is easy to disassemble, clean and then reassemble.
To use the Deebot vacuum, you first have to charge it on its dock. Then if you’re like me and have carpeted floors that butt up against a hard surface floor, you need to create a barrier to keep the Deebot from trying to clean the carpeted area. I did this by rolling up a rug.
My first test of the D45 was my kitchen floor. I left the table and chairs in the room to see if the Deebot would have problems getting stuck while cleaning under the table.
Our kitchen floors can get pretty dirty since Max’s food dish is in there next to the stove. He has to be one of the sloppiest cats on the planet. He leaves kibble crumbs all over the place. I hoped that the D45 would be able to clean the mess.
The Deebot D45 is controlled with the included handheld remote. The remote has buttons for different cleaning methods that include auto for full room cleaning, edge cleaning and spot cleaning. At any time during cleaning you can press the pause key to stop cleaning and then the arrow keys to move the vacuum. The home key is used to return the D45 back to the dock. There’s also a scheduling button that you can press to create an automatic daily cleaning event that will occur at the same time each day from the time that you first press the button. Unfortunately there’s no way to customize the schedule to run every other day or at certain times on certain days. All you get as far as scheduling is one event that happens the same time every day.
Once the vacuum is charged it is ready to go, pressing the auto button on the handheld remote will start automatically cleaning. For the first cleaning test I decided to just vacuum and would test the mopping feature on another room. I set up a camera to capture the entire cleaning event and then sped it up so you could see how it moves around the room.
My kitchen is very small as you can tell from the video. I can mop the whole thing in less than 5 minutes. The Deebot ran for a whole hour! If you watch the video, you will see that the Deebot rolls forward until there is an obstacle. Then it turns a few degrees and rolls forward again until it reaches another obstacle, rotates a few degrees and rolls forward again… over and over. I prefer the Neato BotVac’s method of cleaning, which allows it to travel in straight lines like mowing your grass. I wasn’t too convinced that the Deebot would be able to pick up all the little crumbs left on the floor, but after 1hr, I am happy to say that the floor was clean.
I then wanted to test the mopping feature but could not find any information in the included manual about how to go about using it other than snapping the plastic cloth holder on the bottom of the vacuum. Even the Ecovac website lacked information about using this feature. I didn’t know if I was supposed to squirt cleaner on the floor and then use the automatic cleaning mode or if I was supposed to drench the cloth in cleaner and run the vac. When I contacted the PR company who sent me the product, they said that the cloth was to be used for dry mopping like a Swiffer. I wasn’t too happy to hear that since my definition of mopping includes water and cleaner. They then responded again to tell me that I could put cleaner on the cloth and clean that way, which is what I did.
I soaked the microfiber cleaning pad in water with Mr. Clean cleaner, attached it to the plate and snapped it on the bottom of the D45. I then placed the unit in my tiny bathroom and pressed the auto button. As I watched it clean for awhile, I noticed that it would get stuck in the middle of the floor and only move an inch or so forward or backwards. I figured out that the wheels on the D45 were having traction problems on the damp vinyl floor. After 45 minutes or so of cleaning (for a small 6′ x 6′ area), the D45 finally stopped cleaning. I inspected the floor and it appeared to be clean, so the mopping feature did work. It just takes a very long time.
I tested the D45 on my office floor and after it was finished I picked up the vac to put it in my photography area to take another picture of it. When I picked it back up again there was a bunch of dirt on the table. For about 30 seconds I couldn’t figure out where all the dirt came from, but when I picked up the Deebot again, I saw it falling out of the suction slot on the bottom. I then figured out that it was falling out of the suction slot. If you look at the image above, you can see that the dirt bin has an open slot on the bottom that matches the suction slot on the bottom of the vacuum (see the two red arrows). The yellow arrow is the vacuum port that pulls air through the dirt bin, suction slot and the floor below. So as you can see, there’s nothing to really hold the dirt in the bin.
I have mixed feelings about the Ecovacs Deebot D45. I like the size, the handheld remote and how easy it is to clean out the dirt bin. However the Deebot is too slow, lacks decent scheduling and then there’s the mopping feature which could use improvement. Yes, it does work, but you can’t schedule it to wet mop since you have to manually wet the cleaning cloth. Am I being unfair? Possibly. I know that Deebot does sell a more advanced model that has a built in water reservoir for mopping. But the DM85 model is $200 more than the D45 I’ve reviewed here. If all I had were hard floor surfaces, I think I’d like the Deebot D45 better. But it looks like we’ll continue mopping the old fashioned way at my house. At least for now…