The Best Ecovacs Deebot Robot Vacuums and Mops for 2021 [Reviews, Alternatives, Comparisons & FAQs]

written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on May 8, 2021
updated on May 9, 2021

You’re in the right place if you want to know the best Deebot floor robots available right now in the market and their offerings.

Three Deebots will feature and besides an in-depth review of their performances and suitability for specific vacuuming and mopping tasks–including but not limited to multi-level cleaning, carpet cleaning, stains, muddy footprints, dusty hard floors, etc.–today’s update will also compare specific models from the line, mention some capable and affordable alternatives from competitors for units that may be lacking one way or the other, while providing answers to some frequently asked questions.

Alert: long post ahead! Use the Table of Contents below to skip to sections of interest.

Reviews

More than a dozen Ecovacs bots have been released to date. ONLY the top three (Deebot T8, T9 & U2 Pro) will feature in this list. Selection is being made based on value for money, usability, and cleaning ability. That mentioned, here are three of the highest-rated Ecovacs floor robots worth the money.

3 of the best Ecovacs bots to buy

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Plus smart vacuum review

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Deebot t8

The first item on the list is the Deebot T8 Plus robotic cleaner.

Like most high-end models, the T8 Plus (non-AIVI version–compare the two here) is feature-rich with a straight-line cleaning pattern. It self-recharges, self-resumes, self-evacuates, and maps floors (supports two-floor levels). You can select rooms for cleaning or mark zones for exclusion. There’s the sweep or sweep and mop modes. In vacuuming mode, the T8+ (the bundle that ships with the base station) will ramp up suction (advertised at 1600Pa; supports three power levels of standard, max, and max+) when a carpet is detected to allow for deeper brush penetration. It’ll return to normal levels on hard floors to help save power. In mopping mode, the bracket of the T8+ expertly glides across the surfaces of tiles, hardwood, and other hard flooring surfaces to remove dust, dirt, muddy print, or other pesky messes. 240ml is the reservoir’s size. You can adapt different water settings (four) for different rooms/zones and at different times. Through the App, you can see the robot’s activities, including the areas it had already completed. The App also has a remote control function that lets you manually drive to specific areas. The extractor of the T8+ is of the bristle and rubber design: Soft, it protects floors from scratches and ensures effective pick-up performance. Other key highlights of the Deebot T8+ floor vac include

  • 67 decibels (max) noise levels
  • 420ml dustbin capacity
  • 2 side brushes
  • 0.79″ barrier cross height
  • Up to 180 minutes of run time
  • ~3000ft² coverage
  • Room sequencing

Regarding navigation and mapping, the T8 Plus, Laser-guided with a 3D sensor, knows where it’s been and where it still needs to go; ensuring it doesn’t clean one area multiple times while missing other areas. It also generates quick and accurate maps. Efficiency and convenience that turns out to be, since the T8 also takes a systematic, criss-cross path to cleaning. Consequently, it avoids getting caught on obstacles or scuffing furniture legs and baseboards. A climbing height of up to 0.79” provides the T8+ with smooth passage through thresholds and tall rugs. Not to mention, it’s only 3.8″ tall, translating to improved reach and coverage.

As for cleaning performance, the T8 Plus in vacuuming mode does such a nice job removing dust, dirt, fur, allergens, crumbs, etc. on stone, marble, laminate, linoleum, and hardwood floors. Carpets and rugs, not so much (as you’ll see in the attached video below) given its lower suction and brush design that restricts airflow. Edge cleaning isn’t any better either even with its two side brushes. See this video from VacTech for further details:

Keep the following in mind as a sequel to the above.

  • Mats with black patterns will trigger the drop sensor and cause it to kind of spin in circles or it could avoid it altogether. You can use white tape to cover the sensors but this is at risk of a fall if you live in a multistory house.
  • Maps could get overwritten and it may be difficult to divide rooms.
  • The extraction ports on the base of the Ecovacs self-emptying bin are quite small. It neither helps that the droid’s bin will fill and continue cleaning given its lack of a full bin indicator. The onboard bin is also rather small (420ml) so may need to be emptied several times depending on how dirty your floor is.
  • The T8 isn’t ideal for dried-on stains as there’s no scrubbing to its mopping. The water reservoir also doesn’t support the use of sanitizer or disinfectant solution.
  • The T8 actively detect carpets and rugs in mopping mode but because it lacks the VibraRise function, you’ll need to physically move it to rooms or zones that are on the opposite side of a rug.
  • The combo extractor design may require more attention to maintain peak performance if you have pets that shed a lot.
  • The front cameras of the T8 (the AIVI version) work well to avoid power strips, lamp pedestals, and certain shoes. Turd–well, not exactly as it failed in several tests, including this one from Wirecutter

On the high side of price (typically selling around $700) and while not quite as powerful or efficient, the Deebot T8 Plus is feature-rich and smart. It keeps floors in top shape, eliminates one more task you don’t like while freeing up time to spend with loved ones or to do other things of interest. 

Consider the Deebot T8 Plus cleaning robot if you…

  • Have a cluttered setup or busy house
  • Live in a big (~3000ft²) and/or multi-level house
  • Can’t be bothered with pre-cleaning/constant floor tidying
  • Have a mix of hard floors (tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) and carpets
  • Have zero or low shedding pet breeds
  • Want a robot that is less hands-on

Ecovacs Deebot T9 vacuuming and mopping robot review

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ecovacs deebot t9

Currently the latest in the line, there are the T9 Plus, T9 AIVI, and T9 AIVI Plus variants. The same unit for the most part in terms of specs, features, and cleaning ability–with a redesign of the main brush, an addition of a front camera (or 3D sensor) for obstacles avoidance, including the availability of the auto-empty base as a bundle or an add-on. Follow this link for more information.

Although coming in at number #2, if the Deebot T9 (T9 Plus if you want the bundle with the auto-clean dock) was available in the US or North America right now (that’s where the majority of my readers are based), the Deebot T9 would’ve been my top pick.

Compared to its predecessor the T8, the Deebot T9 spots a new App, hardware, software, and upgraded mapping technology, leading to much better stability and fewer problems. Or in other words, the experience you had with the App of the T8 where it constantly loses room labels or divisions is NO LONGER an issue in the T9. Here’s a video of the obstacle avoidance feature in action:

Pricey but just as feature-rich, smart, and effective at cleaning. Caveats in the T8 (number 1 on the list) holds in the T9 as well.

 Consider therefore the Deebot T9/T9 Plus if you…

  • Have a cluttered setup or busy house
  • Live in a big (~3000ft²) and/or multi-level house
  • Can’t be bothered with pre-cleaning/constant floor tidying
  • Have a mix of hard floors (tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) and carpets
  • Have zero or fewer low shedding pet breeds
  • Struggle with odor or bad smell 
  • Want to run on a schedule/don’t have time or patience for babysitting

The T9 AIVI or T9 AIVI Plus given their dual all-rubber extractor design make absolute sense if you have carpet and hair situations to tackle.

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo U2 Pro vacuuming and mopping robot review

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ecovacs deebot ozmo U2 Pro

Next up on this list of the best Ecovacs floor robots is the U2 Pro model.

The U2 Pro is the one to get if you’re big on reliability or don’t want to deal with the software or navigation issues of the other models seeing as the U2 Pro uses less complicated tech (sensors vs. lasers in the high-end models) for tracking floors. It doesn’t map or save floor maps, and rarely receives firmware updates that could otherwise screw functionality. 

Its price is another reason to consider the U2 Pro. It’s typically selling between $200 – $300

Despite its affordability, the U2 Pro doesn’t skimp on the most important things. It cleans in straight, efficient lines; gentle, precise with the ability to cross strips up to 0.79″ tall. The U2 Pro handles hard floors just as well as it does low- and medium-pile carpets. 

Further, in standard mode, the U2 Pro can run up to 150 minutes. With its 300ml water tank and 800ml dust cup, it can cover up to 2000ft². It also has an all-rubber brush design to help with pet hair detangling plus an Edge cleaning mode to help catch all of the hair hiding away in corners and along walls.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about the Deebot U2 Pro droid.

  • Mats with black patterns may trigger the cliff sensor and cause it to kind of spin in circles or shut off completely. You can use white tape to cover the sensors but this is at risk of a fall if you live in a multistory house.
  • It doesn’t self-resume or supports in-app barriers; uses boundary strips instead.
  • It doesn’t support targeted cleaning or map saving. 
  • It doesn’t support automatic dirt emptying or obstacle recognition and avoidance.
  • There’s no scrubbing effect to its mopping plus the water reservoir doesn’t support the use of sanitizer or disinfectant solution. 
  • Its mopping isn’t ideal for dried-on stains. Plus, no VibraRise function or automatic carpet avoidance. So you’ll have to keep an eye out while physically moving to rooms or zones that are on the opposite side of a rug.

Because there are no bells and whistles, the U2 Pro is affordable, effective, and practical. Consider getting one if you…

  • Live in a medium-sized house (up to 2000 ft²)
  • Have long hair or shedding pets
  • Have primarily hardwood, tile, laminate, or marble floors
  • Have light mopping requirements
  • Don’t want custom settings such as room divider, room scheduling, or zone cleaning
  • Don’t have a cluttered setup or live in a multi-level house
  • Don’t plan to run on a schedule or totally unattended 

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Comparisons

Clear your doubts, make better decisions, while maximizing value on your purchase. This section will do a straight-to-the-point comparison between popular Deebot models.

10 of the best Deebot robotic cleaners compared

Ecovacs T8 vs. T8 AIVI vs. T8 Plus vs. T8 Pro

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Key upgrades to the Ecovacs T8 line include object recognition and avoidance, an improved mapping software, an option to add the vibrating mop attachment, and an auto-empty docking station that doubles as the charger. 

The Ecovacs T8, T8 AIVI, T8 Plus, and T8 Pro are the same unit with the only difference being that the T8 uses 3D sensors for object avoidance whereas the T8 AIVI uses a front camera for the same and doubles as a home monitoring system. Also, the ordinary version (that is, the T8 with the 3D sensor) CAN’T recognize objects whereas the AIVI version can and will even display in the App what it thinks it is. Either works quite well for the avoidance of pets and kids toys, power strips, socks and other small items. Currently none is to be trusted with poo as noted in this post by Wirecutter and an Amazon reviewer. While clearly not a perfect system yet, the AIVI version looks the one for the future.

The T8+ is the US version with a self-emptying dock; T8 Pro is the international version that ships with the self-emptying dock in addition to the vibrating mopping module

Mapping isn’t perfect if it helps to mention, especially in the AIVI version. And speaking of the self-emptying tower, maybe it would be ideal if you don’t have shedding pets or if you can run at least three times weekly. Anything short of that would lead to incomplete evacuation resulting from clogged extraction ports (two small holes instead of one larger one as seen in the iRobot i7+ and S9+).

That mentioned get the T8 (the one w/o camera) if you have privacy concerns. 

Get the T8 AIVI (the one w/ camera) if you’re interested in security/live streaming features.

Ecovacs T9 vs. T9 Plus vs. T9 AIVI vs. T9 AIVI Plus 

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ecovacs deebot t9 plus

Pricey but advanced with highlights such as methodical cleaning, mapping, customization, auto-recharge/resume/evacuate, and obstacle recognition and avoidance.

The Ecovacs T9 family is the T8 with improved hardware, software, and App. The T9 line also has the vibrating mop attachment as part of its hardware rather than as an add-on. The T9+ is a T9 with the auto-emptying dock (hence the Plus in the name) regardless of whether it ships with the package or is  added as an accessory. The T9 AIVI is the T9 with two rubber rollers, a front camera (aka AIVI) for object avoidance as against 3D sensors, and an automatic untangling feature. The T9 AIVI Plus is the T9 AIVI that ships with the auto-emptying dock. Being the latest in the lineup as of this writing, the T9 and T9 Plus availability is currently limited to the Ecovacs website while the AIVI models are only available on Ali Express.

That mentioned any of the T9s (T9, T9 Plus, T9 AIVI, or T9 AIVI Plus) should suffice if you… 

  • Have a cluttered setup or busy house
  • Live in a big (~3000ft²) and/or multi-level house
  • Can’t be bothered with pre-cleaning/constant floor tidying
  • Have a mix of hard floors (tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) and carpets
  • Struggle with odor or bad smell 
  • Want the mopping function 
  • Want to run on a schedule/don’t have time or patience for babysitting

Consider the T9 AIVI or AIVI Plus for a house with carpets and lots of shedding pets.

Ecovacs T9 vs. T8

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ecovacs t9
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ecovacs t8

Pricey but smart and advanced with highlights such as straight-line pathing, mapping, personalization, automatic recharging/resuming/evacuation, and obstacle recognition and avoidance. Any one of the T9 or T8 should suffice for large, multi-level homes or busy homeowners with a mix of rugs. Because the T9 has an air freshener, it’s the right choice if you’re having issues with smell and odors.

 

 

Ecovacs N7 vs. N8 vs. N8+ vs. N8 Pro vs. N8 Pro+

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The N-series Ecovacs (N7, N8, N8 Pro, N8 Pro+) are advertised at 2300Pa with 110 minutes of run time. Like the T8 and T9, these too are pricey, smart, and advanced, with highlights such as straight-line pathing, mapping, customization, and automatic recharging/resuming/evacuation.

N8 is compatible with the base station but doesn’t come with one. N8+ ships with the base station. N8+ Pro is the N8+ with increased suction (2600Pa vs. 2300Pa). From experience, suction number is a gimmick. Other factors affect pick-up performance. As such go for the N8+ if you find it on sale for a lesser price. The N7 and N8 Pro+ though are exclusive to Amazon. 

Ecovacs N8 vs. T8

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ecovacs deebot n8
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ecovacs deebot t8

 

While sharing similarities in appearance and operation, the Ecovacs N8 and T8 are from different generations. The N8 (N7, N8, N8 Pro, N8 Pro+) is from the line with smart navigation & mapping, personalization, optimized coverage, multi-floor cleaning ability, self-recharging, self-resuming, and self-evacuation. The T8 line has all of what’s available in the N8 in addition to longer run time (3+ hours vs. ~100 minutes in the N8), an obstacle recognition and avoidance feature, and compatibility with the Ozmo pro mopping system (sold separately). 

For an apartment with a simple layout and light mopping needs, choose from the N7, N8, N8+, or N8+ Pro. Click here to read the differences between these models. 

Consider the T8 or T8 AIVI if you’re living in a large busy house with a complicated layout where things get left behind.

Ozmo 950 vs. T5 vs. T8

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As earlier mentioned, the Deebot Ozmo T5 is a cheaper 950 with two main brushes: one with bristles, the other without. T5 and T8, while sharing close similarities with those of the N8 vs. T8 still have their peculiarities. Specifically, T5 is a hybrid model with smart navigation & mapping, advanced controls and settings, optimized coverage, and multi-floor cleaning, self-recharging, self-resuming, and self-evacuation capabilities. The T8 line has all of what’s available in the T5–in addition to its obstacle recognition and avoidance feature, while being compatible with the Ecovacs Pro mopping attachment (sold separately). 

Given the T5 has interchangeable brushes, the all-rubber design one, in particular, makes sense for homes with people who have long hair and/or shedding pets. 

Consider the T8 or T8 AIVI if you’re living in a busy house with a complicated layout where things get left behind.

Ozmo 920 vs. 950 vs. T5

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Upgrades to the Deebot 900 (920, 930, 937, 950 & 960) and T5 series of the Deebot (relative to the likes of the U2 and N79S) are in mapping and the ability to resume cleaning automatically. Talking about the Ozmo 920, 950, and T5, all three models vacuum and mop, map floors, automatically recharge and resume cleaning, support custom settings, navigate gently and intelligently, and take a systematic approach to clean multiple flooring. They have the same noise levels (66db max), dustbin (430ml) and water tank (240ml) capacities. None have the object recognition or auto-empty feature of the T8 and N8 lines.

The Deebot 920 has decreased suction (1200Pa vs. 1500Pa), run time (110 mins vs. 200 mins), and coverage (~1200ft² vs. ~3000ft²). The Deebot T5 being the 950 with two brush styles (one with bristles, the other without) is surprisingly the cheapest historically. The 950 due to having better specs and features (relative to the 920 of course) seem to be more expensive. At its highest price, the Deebot 950 sold for $799 compared to the Deebot 920 at only $499 (pricing history obtained from camelcamelcamel.com). Because they’re older models though you can expect decreasing prices as newer models roll out. There are also occasional deals to keep an eye on.

Durability is one thing to consider with either of the T5, 950, or 920. Reviewers have noted their devices becoming unusable a little over a year. After the warranty is no longer valid, actually. Technical support doesn’t seem to have a solution either other than recommending a repair which is the full responsibility of the owner. On an individual level, the 920 has the LDS malfunction error while the 950 is deficient in navigation and mapping.

If you’d like to take a chance regardless, the Deebot T5 seems to be the most refined of the three, as such recommended for homes with pets and hard flooring. 

Ozmo U2 vs. U2 Pro

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The ability to vacuum and mop. Added to a back and forth cleaning pattern that helps with reach and coverage (although mobility isn’t as gentle or accurate since they use floor trackers/motion sensors as against lasers in the high-end models). Additionally, the U2 and U2 Pro are lacking the auto-resume, auto-empty, and mapping features. The absence of mapping on one hand means a lack of personalization and efficiency. On the other hand, there’s the stability of operation seeing as mapping tops on the list of problems usually encountered with Ecovacs bots. Also, the Deebot U2 and U2 Pro clean hard floors and low/mid-pile carpets just as well.

The Deebot Ozmo U2 Pro by the way is the U2 with increased battery life, an anti-tangle extractor, and a larger dustbin (800ml vs. 400ml). 

The U2 or U2 Pro should suffice if you

  • Have primarily tiles, hardwood, laminate, or other hard floorings
  • Have an extended mopping area (up to 2000sqft)
  • Don’t live in a large, multi-level house (anything above ~800sqft is a no)
  • Don’t have a complicated layout or a cluttered setup
  • Don’t have kids or pets that make a mess
  • Don’t mind missing out on custom settings such as targeted cleaning, restricted cleaning, room sequencing, or individual room scheduling
  • Don’t intend to run on a schedule or completely unattended.

Consider the U2 Pro if you…

  • Have fewer rugs or thin carpets
  • Have a house up to 1200ft²
  • Have messy kids or shedding pets 

Alternatives

The reason only three items featured under the Review section (despite more than twenty in the Ecovacs lineup) was because of certain unresolved issues relating to the software (navigation & mapping), usability, and durability as found in the 900 (920, 937, 950, 960), T (t5, t8, t9), and N (n7, n8, n8+, n8+ pro ) families of the Ecovacs.

To potentially avoid wasting money on a device you can’t use or return, or wasting time going back and forth with customer support–if you have primarily carpet in your home and want a durable cleaning tool that will last at least three years, then consider an iRobot Roomba. Expensive plus they’re just about the same as the Ecovacs navigation and software wise. iRobot however stands behind their products with cheap and readily available parts. Issues get treated with urgency and professionalism plus iRobot releases timely firmware updates for bug fixes and usability improvements. Customer service is another thing iRobot has going for it. On top of how it handles returns. They’re an American brand if it helps to add. Follow this link for reviews of some of the highest-rated iRobot Roomba bots.

Also read: Full comparison of the Ecovacs and iRobot smart robovacs

Still talking about alternatives to the high-end Ecovacs bots. So if iRobot is priced out of your budget or if you have complicated floor plans, the S series Roborock, which comprises the S5, S6, S6 pure, S4, S4 Max, S5 Max, S6 MaxV or the S7, are some top choices to consider. They’re cheaper than the Ecovacs (and often at less than half the price of the iRobot) but also have user-friendly Apps, excellent navigation and mapping, and overall stable and reliable software. Parts are affordable and quite readily available too. Customer support is likewise responsive and helpful. The S4 and S4 Max in particular is ideal for homes with primarily hard floors. For busy homes with mopping requirements, maybe check out the S5 Max or the S7. Be reminded however of Roborocks carpet cleaning limitations.

Also read: Full comparison of the Ecovacs and Roborock smart robovacs

Frequently asked questions

Use this section to find answers to questions you may have about the potentials and limitations of a Deebot.

Answers to 5 frequently asked questions about the Ecovacs brand and their robovacs 

Is Deebot as good as Roomba?

Deebot isn’t as good as a Roomba. While both are tied in navigation and mapping, Roomba has a better App with a top-notch product and customer support, and an unbeatable carpet deep-cleaning ability.

Is Ecovacs a good brand?

Ecovacs from what I have gathered don’t care about their customers post-sales. They don’t tolerate criticism of any kind, for one. Try leaving a critical product review on their website; it’ll never be published! By the way, here’s a copy of the reply a customer got in response to his review that wasn’t published:

Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time! Submit something new.

Another thing is that Ecovacs doesn’t bother resolving issues. Their 900 line all the way to their N series still has the mapping issues. Ecovacs will rather launch a new line and work with influencers for promotion. And as for customer support, as soon as the support person reel out the copy-pasted texts, that’s it. 

Are Ecovacs Chinese?

Ecovacs robotics is a Chinese tech company founded in 1998. Follow this link to learn more.

Who should buy an Ecovacs cleaning robot?

Buy an Ecovacs if you…

  • Don’t want to or don’t have a lot to spend on a floor robot
  • Have a mix of tiles, laminates, hardwoods, rugs & carpets
  • Want a hybrid robot
  • Want a bot that can clean in the dark

Who shouldn’t buy an Ecovacs cleaning bot?

Avoid Ecovacs if…

  • You have mostly (thick) carpets. Check out a Roomba instead–maybe a 960, 980, or S9.
  • You have a thing for non-American brands. See iRobot, Neato, or Shark.
  • You want a bot that’s less hands-on. Consider a Roborock instead.
  • An almost nonexistent customer service doesn’t bother you
  • You’re cool with buying new robots every 1 – 3 years.

Conclusion

Ecovacs bots come with high-tech features including support for most cleaning requirements and needs. Competitively priced, too, they’ve got a nice quality look and feel. The functionality and durability of their bots are however a suspect. Don’t also forget their low-level after-sales support.

Those drawbacks that can’t be disregarded explain why I was only able to shortlist three items for the Review section that worked consistently for most users per the sources I consulted, such as Amazon and Reddit. The T8, T9 and the U2 Pro turn out to be the chosen ones given their value for money, usability, and cleaning ability, but even at that, I recommend buying an extended warranty. If you’d rather consider alternatives there’s the Roborock line and the iRobot Roomba. If you stay put with Deebot and are stuck between the several models that share subtle differences, there’s the Comparison section that helps to eliminate confusion while offering insights into who should be getting what and why. There’s also the FAQs section with answers to some questions you may have about the Ecovacs brand and/or their products.

Regardless of which path you choose, though, understand there are upkeep/ongoing expenses on parts. You’d have to clean the main brush, wash filters, switch mop pads, refill water tanks and empty the bin of your Deebot if you don’t have the self-emptying model (and maybe more frequently if you have messy pets or long hair. In which case you should schedule multiple daily or weekly runs.).

Adequate for light spills, dust, and dirt, the mopping function of the Deebot–or any 2-in-1 robot at all, at least for now–don’t compare with a human with a mop so you want to keep that in mind. The S7 from Roborock gets close enough though. Also, since they don’t support the use of cleaning liquids in their reservoir, you should consider pre-treating the floor with something like Bona for heavier, sticky messes.