Kärcher FC 7 cordless mop for a super effortless clean (review)

The Kärcher FC 7 is the ultimate cordless power mop for anyone with hard floors. It is fast, super-efficient, and above all takes little effort – it is a pleasure to use.

While nothing makes mopping a joy, it does a vastly better and faster job than a manual mop and bucket. Why? Powered rotating rollers use clean water (and optional floor cleaner solution) to scrub the floor better and faster than a human can. The dirty water is squeegeed away into the wastewater tank.

Now there is a science to mopping and I have tried enough powered and robomops to understand this. Our guide Five tips for choosing a robovac/mop covers this but in essence:

  • Simply swishing a manual mop over the floor does not ‘cut’ grease and grime. All it does is remove dust, as evidenced by the ever increasingly dirty water in the mop bucket
  • Most robomops just drag a static microfibre plate across the floor. There is no downward pressure, a.k.a. elbow grease and as it becomes quickly soiled and drags dirty water over the floor. At best, a maintenance mop.
  • A powered (cordless) mop usually has at least one rotating roller and a clean/wastewater system so your floor gets some elbow grease and clean water.

Kärcher FC 7 Cordless hard floor cleaner (mop)

WebsiteProduct Page
PriceThe base unit as tested is $799 with free shipping
FromKärcher online, CE retailers, hardware stores, SuperCheap Auto and more
Warranty2-year ACL and 60-day money-back guarantee
AboutAlfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG is a German family-owned company that operates worldwide and is known for its high-pressure cleaners, floor care equipment, parts cleaning systems, wash water treatment, military decontamination equipment and window vacuum cleaners
Country of ManufactureLikely Germany
MoreCyberShack power and robomop reviews

First impression – Kärcher Yellow

The concept is simple. Clean water tank, four motorised rollers (two forward and two rear), and dual squeegees to remove dirty water and detritus to a waste tank – all housed in the traditional Kärcher yellow, battery-operated mop. It is well-made, reflecting clever industrial design.

In the box – minor assembly required

  • 400ml clean water/detergent tank
  • 30ml sample of RM536 multi-purpose floor cleaner concentrate
  • Mop body and charger
  • Four colour-coded rollers (matching the colour coded motorised spindles)
  • 200ml dirty water tank and squeegee
  • Black rectangular floor stand for storage when not in use
  • Black cleaning station (a big tray and cleaning brush)

Setup – so simple

The most impressive thing about this is there is no ‘App’ to invade your privacy.

  • Plug-in the 30V/.6A/18W charger – a full charge takes about four hours
  • Slip-on and lock the rollers (only have to do this once)
  • Lower the body onto the wastewater tank (underneath)
  • Stand it up on the Floor stand (which prevents any water from dripping onto the floor)
  • Put half a cap of RM536 concentrate with water into the clean water tank and clip under the handle
  • Press power on and go

Let’s talk about store/charge/cleaning it

It is not a mop/bucket that you can store in a broom cupboard. It needs access to 240V power and a reasonably sized sink to empty the wastewater and clean the rollers (that is easy – more later). At present, it lives in our second bathroom but ideally, Smart homes need a smart design – more power and better connectivity. So, think about where you will put it.

Use – almost zero effort required

It only weighs 4.6kg and is effortless to move over hard floors. The front two rollers spin the opposite way to the rear, so the unit simply glides over the floor. This is most important to those with wrist aliments – there is virtually no stress on the wrist to guide it.

Like all mopping, you need a plan to avoid walking over the mopped areas. Ideally, that means starting furthermost away from where you store/charge/clean it. Mopped areas dry in seconds to minutes.

Our first run covered about 50m2 on one clean 400ml tank before discovering two minor weaknesses.

The unit has warning lights for low clean water and full wastewater. The water tank is 400ml, and the wastewater tank is 200ml. There is a disconnect. The easy answer is to half fill the clean water tank and empty the wastewater simultaneously.

I mopped the stone-tiled entry stairwell and foyer. I picked the device up and traipsed down the stairs, leaving a trail of dirty water as it spilt out of the waste container. Now it is my fault – but there is no warning when picking it up to keep the device ‘horizontal’ and not swing it around, especially down the stairs. Once I realised what had happened, I quickly emptied the dirty water tank, and all was well.

These are the only operational issues encountered, and it is all about getting used to it.

Mopping efficiency – the best

I first vacuumed the area with the Dyson V15 Detect stick vac because its laser light head and particulate matter readout make vacuuming a game – let’s find all that offending dirt. Result? The floors were dust and detritus free!

We usually then run Hobot Legee 7 robomop (the only robomop we currently recommend), but we knew we would have to test the Kärcher FC 7, so ‘Legs’ got the weekend off. Sadly, for ‘Legs’ the Kärcher did such a good job that it is worried about its future. On that note, there is a new Legee D7 four-in-one robovac/mop coming that might just be the answer for all-in-one cleaning.

As mentioned earlier, the wastewater was quite dirty. The Kärcher FC 7 does an excellent job because, unlike a hand mop or robomop, it uses clean water for the entire mop.

To my surprise, it took a lot less time than a manual mop (estimate 30+% less), and second, I did not have a sore wrist or back from stooping or tiredness from manually mopping – fresh as a daisy.

I also like the turbo boost button that momentarily speeds up the rollers to remove stubborn stains – and it works like a charm. The mop path is 30cm wide, and the water distribution is very even. Edge cleaning is very good.

There are two water settings. On the standard setting, the floor was dry within a minute or so of mopping. On the higher setting, there was too much water for this floor. That would be good for more porous stone surfaces.

Battery – good for 150m2

Four-hour charge and about 45 minutes running time – only impacted by excessive use of the boost button.

There is no app, and therefore you must rely on a three-bar LED to tell you charge levels. I estimate -130-150m2 from one charge.

It uses six lithium-ion cells in parallel. The battery assembly and batteries are spare parts. Or you could use a battery repack. Even if you use it weekly, at worst, it should last 800-1000 complete charge cycles – that is a long time!

Maintenance – minimal

Kärcher has an excellent reputation for several years of spare parts availability. Almost every part is available to order.

We don’t know how long the multi-surface micro-fibre rollers will last, but at $29 a set, this won’t be an issue. A stone roller set is available at $34.90 and presumably has longer fibres and more tensile resistance for stone floors.

The universal cleaner and stone cleaner concentrate are $14.90 for 500ml (use a few drops), and there are specialist detergents for wood oil/waxed (RM535) and wood sealed (RM534). Or use tap water – it is free.

Maintenance otherwise is to wash the rollers after use (up to 60°) in a washing machine. Or use the three-minute roller clean program and clean tray – that is it.

Noise – low

A quiet <55dB even on turbo boost.

Light Commercial use

It is a domestic device, but it can be used for larger areas – showroom floor etc. The limitation is changing the clean and wastewater tank every 50m2 or so.

Kärcher has a commercial range of stream vacuums if you need to remove grease and grime, e.g., a take way or café kitchen or disinfect to kill Coronavirus on hard surfaces.

CyberShack view – Kärcher FC 7 cordless mop

The barefoot test proves it, and it is so easy to use you won’t conveniently forget to mop anymore.

Kärcher is so far ahead of manual mopping and even the best robomop that it has no peer.

Which made me think about what else Kärcher could do? The FC 7 is the dual-roller is the logical replacement to the single roller FC 5 at $649 and the FC 3 at $449.

I could suggest steam or water heating; then I realised that it would be just as easy to use warm water in the clean tank. Steam is very dangerous on laminated or faux wood hard floors.

Rating

Bissel, HiZero and more have alternatives you could consider. But I suspect the Kärcher FC 7 outclasses these. Then there are the plethora of generic mops that may look good and work for a while, but parts are impossible to get.

So apart from being careful when you lift it down the stairs, Kärcher has nailed the design and the clean factor. And I would still vacuum first for a perfect clean – healthy home.

$799
9.3

Features

9.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Effortless and quick mopping for squeaky clean, streak-free floors
  • Not pushing dirty water around – goes into a tank
  • Terrific after-sales service and spare parts for years
  • Easy to clean andf maintaIN
  • If you hate mopping, this may change your mind

Cons

  • Take care when moving it downstairs – keep it level
  • Finding a place to put another floor cleaner device


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