French interior designers don't do carpets. I've spent numerous Anglo/French dinner parties telling everyone how you can't beat the feeling of wandering around in your house in bare feet or jumping out of bed and feeling soft, warm carpet beneath your feet. They just roll their eyes at me, tell me to buy a pair of slippers and start saying how disgusting it is to have carpets in bathrooms/toilets and how it's impossible to keep carpets clean. OK OK, I give up.
Guess that means that we're stuck with oodles of lino everywhere in our house then. Admittedly, it's posh high-quality lino - but all the same, it's not soft or warm like carpet. And above all, it's WHITE ! In a house with two dogs, two adults and three kids ! Needless to say, trying to keep our floors even semi-reasonably clean is like fighting a losing battle ! They're covered in doggie-footprints, child-sized footprints, whatever pureed fruit or vegetables Pierre has discovered and flung about today, felt-tip colouring that accidentally went over the edge, spilt orange juice and various other UFOs (unidentifiable filth occurences).
I normally resort to using whatever I've got to hand, regardless of what chemical nasties it contains, but now that Pierre is about to start crawling (even if he's a lazy-bum and seems more than happy to stay where he is and let his two big sisters run around and get everything for him at the moment !), I'm trying to cut down on toxic substances that he might come into contact with.
When I was asked to review a product from the No Chemicals range of cleaning products, I cheekily asked if they had anything for cleaning floors, actually expecting them to say no. Floors that need mopping are usually filthy, so how could something without chemicals possibly get them clean ?! Well, they do - they have a floor mop, so I've been testing it out.
When it arrived, it looked just like a Swiffer mop. You screw up the telescopic handle that makes it really easy to hide away in the broom cupboard (does anyone have a broom cupboard these days ? we don't, we use the garage, but it sounded good !). The rectangular mop head looked just like my old mop head, which I used with a variety of chemicals and cleaning products, so I didn't really hold out much hope. But I clicked the button to pull off the mop part, ran it under the tap to make it wet (I thought I'd better use pretty hot water and quite a bit of it to give it it's best shot), clicked it back on the handle and set off to the filthy bit of floor between the dining room and the kitchen - our maximum spillage zone !).
I pushed it around on the floor rather half-heartedly and was amazed to see that it did that thing in the floor-detergent adverts where it leaves a nice white streak in the filthy black floor ! I was gobsmacked and kept going. It got all the grime up with no problem at all ! Which is even better than my old mop WITH cleaning products !
I did have to stop half-way and go and rinse it out, but that just shows how much muck it was picking up. It's dead easy to put it on and off so having a quick rinse is no problem anyway. My only very slight criticism, and I'm really nit-picking now, is that the mop head did flop over the wrong way a couple of times when I was swishing around corners or trying to get into awkward gaps, but I got around this by pulling it across the floor narrow side on. Most of the time it worked like a dream.
I was absolutely amazed at how clean the floor looked, and how quickly I'd got the job done. My one regret is that, obviously, with chemical-free products that work with water, you don't get the nice smells left by detergents, but I burnt a nice vanilla-scented candle and plugged in an air-freshener to get the "clean" smell instead !
From looking on the website, it's even better than I thought. As well as cleaning dirt and grease, which I can vouch for, it apparently also eliminates bacteria - wow ! It's "ideal for wood, tile, laminate and stone floors", but I can also add lino to that list. "The mop head can be used dry for dusting or wet for cleaning all hard floors around the home." I had already thought about trying it out dry to clean the dustbunnies out from under the bed, so now I definitely will ! "To clean the mop head, hand or machine wash with detergent but no fabric conditioner. Guaranteed machine washable at least 100 times at 60°C." That already makes it pretty good value, but I've washed all my filthy floors and just needed to rinse it under the tap and dry it on the radiator to get it clean so it should last for a really long time.
I said on my recent review of the e-cloth hob-cleaning cloth that I had no idea how they've managed to create a cloth that gets really ingrained dirt off with just a bit of water, but this is the same. I honestly wasn't really expecting this to live up to my expectations, but it has actually far exceeded them. If you've got small children or pets, it's really reassuring to know that you can get clean floors without resorting to harsh toxic chemicals. It's easier on the pocket and the environment too.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £10.99