Dyson’s first dedicated hard floor cleaner doesn’t suck

This is a new direction for Dyson: a floor cleaner that doesn’t mention suction, cyclone technology or its usual vacuum vocabulary. Wash G1 is the company’s debut hard floor cleaner, and it replaces suction for high-speed rollers, water and nylon bristles. It will go on sale later this year for $700/£600, which is expensive but cheaper than Dyson’s top-of-the-range Gen 5 vacuum. I got to test the Wash G1 at Dyson’s UK headquarters a few hours west of London.

The product was born as a result of the increase of hard floors in our lives. Dyson says there are fewer and fewer carpeted rooms in homes around the world. However, cleaning hard floors (let alone industrial processes) remains a fairly manual job, usually involving mops (or a Swiffer cloth, you monster) that leave behind stains and streaks. A typical mop also results in the removal of diluted dirt and stains from around your floor after the first soak.

Dyson Wash G1 hands-on impressionsDyson Wash G1 hands-on impressions

Photo by Matt Smith/Engadget

The Dyson method separates fresh and dirty water as you clean, mechanically removing stains and dirt with dual microfiber rollers that apply water. The company tackled this in its V15 Detect Submarine. It had a special cleaning head (smaller) water compartments. The Wash G1 collects the dirty liquid in its container, collecting any physical debris in a thin mesh container. filter.

The rollers rotate in opposite directions, which helps lift stains and dirt. When testing it, the rollers also gave the cleaner a sliding feel. High-density microfiber cloths then absorb and hold both liquids and solid dirt, while hardened nylon bristles scoop up larger dirt and objects. Dirty water is also squeezed from the rolls and drawn upwards into the machine.

The Wash G1 has 26 wetting points to “precisely” wet the microfiber rolls, ensuring they are sufficiently wetted to remove stains and dried dirt. The company claims that one tank holds enough water to clean a surface area the size of a tennis court – but this will depend on the machine’s settings.

There are three levels of hydration, with the extra max setting emptying the tank faster, applying as much water as possible for the most stubborn stains. This doesn’t affect battery power as much as it does with the maximum vacuum setting, because the Wash G1 doesn’t push the motors any harder – it just uses more water. To reach the edges of the floor, Dyson turned the spinner’s motors to one side so that the right side could touch walls and edges closely.

Dyson Wash G1 hands-on impressionsDyson Wash G1 hands-on impressions

Photo by Matt Smith/Engadget

The Wash G1 can even clean itself, using half of the fresh water tank to flush the system and clean the brushes. There is no heat function, but the rotation should squeeze out most of the water. All of this is done while the Wash G1 docks and charges, which is a flat surface that sticks to the wall instead of the typical cable or shelf that Dyson’s other vacuums use.

After using the fresh water tank, it was very simple to remove and refill – much easier than with a coffee machine. The device with both bowls comes out of the body so you can remove dirty items and fill with clean water. The container for dirty water has a wide mouth, so it is easy to clean without touching the accumulated dirt.

One issue though: A dirty water tank is…gross. I understand the satisfaction of seeing dirt and grime when cleaning your floors, but a container of cloudy beige mystery is pretty disgusting in person. Maybe Dyson could make a foggy plastic that hides at least some dirty water?

The way the Dyson separates the liquid and solid mess also reduces the amount of muddy sludge you’ll get from cleaning floors with water (not to brag, but I’ve cleaned a carpet or two in my life). It does this by ensuring that solids do not remain in water for too long. Dirty water is drawn into a removable container via a pressure differential, meaning there is no chance for dirt to get into engines, filters and other delicate parts.

A final microfiber roll then picks up any residual water, and Dyson says it shines the floor to prevent a streaky finish. In my short time with the Wash G1, it still left a scratchy finish, but maybe Dyson will fix that. After all, there is still a long time before it ships to consumers. In the UK, the company is planning a fall (well, Fall) release, with the Wash G1 coming to the US later this year. The demo space was also a reflective marble surface – a more difficult surface to clean perfectly. My hardwood floors at home probably wouldn’t show streaks.

Dyson Wash G1 hands-on impressionsDyson Wash G1 hands-on impressions

Photo by Matt Smith/Engadget

This is Dyson’s first attempt at dedicated hard floor cleaning and I still have a lot of questions about how well the filtration pan works. How much can you squeeze into such a delicate little thing? We hope to get more answers when we take a closer look before the launch later this year.

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