Most of us wouldn’t drink a floor cleaner, no matter what kind of floral scents are added to it. No one wants their pets or kids to do that either – but four-legged friends and two-legged kids who still crawl tend to ignore wet floors, which begs the question: is it safe for people to use. a child or animal walking or crawling on freshly washed ground and potentially ingesting the solution?
Specifically, let’s say you have a robotic mop on an automatic schedule. It cleans up while you are away, then your cat walks on the wet floor. Offended in a way that only cats can be, he licks his now wet paw to clean himself. Is there a risk for your animal?
Most robot mops only use water
Although different companies may use different mechanisms, they share one thing in common: water. Harsh chemicals can break the tube that carries water through the mop, which is why manufacturers say water alone (combined with a mildly abrasive scouring pad) is enough to clean most floors.
So most robot mops don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the floor. Take the Braava Jet, for example. In most cases, the abrasive cleaning pad and tap water (or diluted water) are sufficient to clean the floor. The purpose of a robot mop is not to disinfect, but to clean dirt and debris from hardwood or laminate floors.
There is a specific type of cleaner that can be used called the Braava Jet hard floor cleaning solution. In fact, the Braava jet’s instructions specifically state “do not use any other cleaning solution”. The cleanser does not include any safety warnings, and the intended purpose appears to be “to add a fresh scent”.
A quick glance at user reviews reveals a large number of self-proclaimed pet owners who use the solution regularly and have not reported any adverse reactions. The cleaner is said to be safe for animals which means it is also safe for children. The reason is that the cleaner itself is meant to be diluted inside the tank and not applied directly to the floor alone.
While the formula is proprietary, we found an ingredient list with three chemicals: decanamine, N-dimethyl, and N-oxide. The exact concentration and combination of these chemicals are unknown, but none are fatal.
The biggest threat the cleaner poses, according to iRobot, is temporary skin irritation or eye contact. If a child or pet ingests it, its mouth should be rinsed and medical attention should be sought if symptoms appear.
Keep in mind that this is direct exposure to the undiluted solution. If used in the correct application, Braava Jet Hard Floor Cleaning Solution should not pose a threat.
However, a study of chemical entities of biological interest lists this particular combination as a corrosive irritant and an environmental hazard. Even though the suit should be relatively safe, it is a cleaning agent, and as such, proper precautions should be taken. Keep it out of the reach of children and keep an eye out for pets if you use it.
Will it spray into the food and water bowls?
Another concern of many pet parents is that the robot mop will sprinkle their pet’s food and water bowls with cleaning spray. Again, if you are cleaning the floor with only water, this is not a problem.
There is a simple solution, however. Many types of robotic mops allow you to create a virtual wall that the mop will not pass. This allows you to demarcate a space into smaller sections for more efficient cleaning, but it also allows certain areas to be partitioned – such as the location of food and water bowls.
Even if your brand of robot cleaner doesn’t have this feature built into the app, there are often accessories that create no-go areas and force the device to bypass them.
Are robotic floors safe for children and pets?
In most cases, it is safe for a child or pet to walk or crawl on a floor that your robot mop has just cleaned, especially if the tank contains only water. The cleaning pad at the bottom of the mop will absorb the majority of the moisture, anyway.
Even if you use a plug of vinegar in your cleaning solution, it’s still safe – at worst, it could taste like vinegar if licked off.
The cleaning solution is designed to be safe for pets, but there is a problem with any unknown chemicals. One potential solution is: Use only water for scheduled cleaning. If you want to use the cleaning solution on your floor, do so while you are at home and can keep an eye on your pets and children.
But if your animals are like mine, the robot mop alone will be enough to keep them away from the floor and avoid entering the kitchen for a long time after completing its task.