Product: Mint Plus Floor Cleaner Price: $299 Rating: Strong Recommend* When we spotted the update to the white Yves Behar designed Mint floor cleaner that we know and love, we knew we just had to get our hands on a review unit. With the promise of a new Pro-Clean system that would get our floors cleaner than ever we could hardly wait to put it through its paces... Just like its predecessor, the Mint Plus is incredibly simple to use, three buttons are all you need. The design philosophy of the Mint Plus like the Mint is quite different from the philosophy behind the iRobot Roomba. Three simple buttons on a smooth device, one for dry sweeping, one for wet sweeping, and the other for power. The back of the device has a retractable handle which makes moving from room to room a snap. It is clean and simple design and it's something as fans of the sleek design aesthetic of Apple tech that we can appreciate. Unlike the Mint, the Mint Plus does not need an overnight charge to get started. The initial charge took 6 hours and it was easy to attach the dry sweeping cloth, position the NorthStar2 Navigation Cube and get started. Just like with the Mint, a friendly chime is emitted when the unit is turned on and a song plays when the unit is finished cleaning. Like with the Mint, you choose between a wet or dry cloth pad. The Mint Plus has a nice upgrade with the new Pro-Clean water reservoir for wet cleaning. As with the Mint, Swiffer disposable pads can also be used. For those unfamiliar with the Mint cleaning family, the Mint Plus is a floor cleaner and not a vacuum. The Mint Plus uses reusable or disposable Swiffer-style cloths to pick up lighter debris and pet hair onto the cleaning cloths. The new Pro-Clean system is a water reservoir pad that is used to keep the wet cleaning cloth damp. The Mint Plus, like the Mint, is great for those times between vacuuming sessions when the floor could use a sweep. Because we are an allergy aware household we consider ourselves frequent vacuum users and we were surprised at just how much dust and debris the Mint Plus picked up on its initial dry run. We were also happy to discover that thanks to the NorthStar2, and the low profile design of the Mint Plus, the device was able to clean under the bed, couch, and several other areas that we have trouble reaching. The Mint Plus performed well at cleaning up our hardwood and tile floors. The Mint Plus did not work at all on our low pile rug. In addition to the Pro-Clean system, the Mint Plus has another upgrade in the form of the aforementioned NorthStar2 Navigation System. Like the NorthStar it is a GPS-based system that is derived from the same tech inside those Sony Aibo robotic canines. The NorthStar2 now offers cube to cube cleaning which works well for those in large homes, as well as a pause/resume feature and a Quick Cleaning mode.
Dust and crumbs oh my!The Pro-Clean system did not require a refill while cleaning the entire apartment. The Mint Plus with the improved NorthStar2 did not get stuck when we used it on the surfaces it was created for. The one time it ran into trouble was when we put it on our low pile carpet. We were surprised at how well it was able to navigate the various nooks and crannies in the apartment especially considering the large number of boxes we had on the floor from a recent delivery. At one point, we were concerned that something had happened the Mint Plus, which we dubbed "Mintelmo" when we did not hear it (yes, we need a dog). After rushing over to make sure the Mint Plus was not stuck, we were delighted to find that it was busy cleaning under the bed and was not in fact stuck. Although not as thorough as a mop, the Mint Plus left our floors looking much cleaner. We were delighted to find that despite the Mint Plus not being as thorough as a mop, it was able to remove most of the remaining sticky residue remnants from an earlier cooking spill. Several spots still needed some TLC after cleaning with the Mint Plus, but having it wet clean the floors was a big help in improving kitchen cleanliness. We think that for most of the weekly cleaning, the Mint Plus would work out well and we would be able to save the mop for the bigger messes. Just as we mentioned in our Mint review, we'd love to see daily and weekly scheduling via a WIFI interface. We think that this level of customization would be very helpful and it would also be nice to get feedback about which areas were cleaned. Although it does not take much effort to plug the Mint Plus in, we would still like to see a cradle charging system for the unit to automatically return to, then we would know that the Mint Plus was always ready for cleaning duty. While not as tech laden as its competitors we think there is a place for the Mint Plus in a hardwood or tile filled home. Messy cooks and pet owners will definitely get their monies worth out of the Mint Plus and will be surprised at the amount of spill residue it cleans and pet hair it picks up. The Mint Plus does the job it sets out to do pretty well and the price is right. We don't need a Mint Plus, but we want one. We are not huge fans of sweeping or mopping and having a charming little robot do it for us is so much more pleasant and fun. We will be very sad indeed when it comes time to send "Mintelmo" our review unit back and its absence will be surely felt in this household. Pros: Yves Behar design, simple and easy to use interface, navigates furnishings well, able to perform several cleanings before recharge is needed, very capable dust and crumb cleaning performance. Cons: No scheduled/automatic cleaning or charging, not a replacement for vacuum. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend* Recommend Weak Recommend Don't Recommend Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.