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How we test hard floor cleaners

Our experts put hard floor cleaners to the test in our labs to determine how well they'll work on your floors at home.

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Hard floor cleaners aim to take the hard work out of mopping your floors. So how do we find out which ones work well in a home setting?

Our expert testers

Our experts have seen all types of household appliances come through the CHOICE labs over the years, and they focus on the basics so that when it's time to buy, you can be sure the hard floor cleaner you pick will work well in your home.

How we choose what we test

With a wide range of products available, what makes us choose one hard floor cleaner over another to test? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.

We survey manufacturers to find out about their product range, check market sales information and also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers.

They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would. We do this so we can be sure the hard floor cleaners are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.

How we test hard floor cleaners

Floor cleaning

We apply four stains – coffee, mud, jam and soy sauce – to laminate flooring. We then mop the stained floor with two push and two pull strokes of the hard floor cleaner before evaluating cleaning performance. 

Floor drying

We measure how long it takes for our laminate floor to dry after mopping. The shorter the time, the higher the score.

Ease of use assessment

Our expert testers assess:

  • how easy it is to fill and empty the clean and dirty water tanks
  • how easy the controls are to use and whether there are any indicators to alert you to an empty clean water tank or full dirty water tank, as well as battery level indicators
  • how easy it is to move the cleaning head on the floor
  • how easy it is to clean the roller (either automatically or manually).

Test criteria explained

The CHOICE Expert Rating (our overall score that determines which products we recommend) is made up of:

  • floor cleaning (40%)
  • floor drying (20%)
  • ease of use (40%).

Our test lab

We maintain a lab that is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you the right results.

Lead image: Courtesy of Eufy.