IN A NUTSHELL:
The e-cloth mop handle doesn’t feel as sturdy as the Norwex handle and the mop pads are thinner, but after weeks of at least twice-daily use, the e-cloth microfiber mop proves to work as well as the Norwex mop at just over half the price.
I’ve decided to kick off my e-cloth vs Norwex review posts with the big ticket item: the mop. Looking at the stats on my blog (yes, I am a geek), I can see that “is the Norwex mop worth it?” is THE most popular question that brings people to my blog.
If you’ve read my Norwex reviews, then you know that I’m a big fan of the Norwex mop but I find it incredibly expensive. I realize that in the long run, you’ll get your money’s worth, but $120 is a LOT of money to fork out for a mop! I’ve had friends and family ask about it but I just can’t sell it to them at that cost. So I’m always on the lookout for an equally great mop at a better price that I’ll feed good about recommending.
WHAT AM I REVIEWING & COMPARING?
Well, I’m reviewing and comparing what I own, which is:
- NORWEX – Large mop with the superior dry mop pad and the Antibac wet mop pad (total cost = $123.99 CDN – if you substitute the “dry mop pad” for the “superior dry pad”, the cost goes down to $99.99) and
- e-cloth – mop (it only comes in one size – which is the same as the large Norwex mop) with the dust pad and wet mop pad (total cost = $53.98)
NOTE: Norwex sells two different types of dry mop pad: (a) the “superior” pad which has the typical microfiber feel and is a polyester/polyamide mix and (b) the “dry mop pad”, which is 100% polyester and while still microfiber, has a more fleecy feel. The e-cloth dust pad is more like (b) the Norwex “dry mop pad” than (a) the “superior pad”. Technically, I should compare apples to apples but hey, I’m comparing what I’ve got.
HOW AM I AWARDING POINTS?
Well, I’ve got to admit, my point system is pretty subjective and is based on how and what I – that’s me, NOT YOU – clean. I’ve tried to keep my personal preferences related to aesthetics/feel out of it and based the points on how the mops work in MY house.
So lets get to it.
THE E-CLOTH AND NORWEX MOP HANDLES AND BASES
The e-cloth mop was the first product I tested from the big box of e-cloth products that arrived at my door. Pulling it out of the box, the e-cloth mop looked a lot like the Norwex mop:
- The e-cloth base is almost identical to the Norwex base except it doesn’t have the locking feature that stops the swivel action of the base. I don’t use the locking feature on the Norwex mop so no points here.
- The e-cloth handle is lighter weight and doesn’t feel as sturdy as the Norwex handle, but it doesn’t feel cheap. I’ve put a lot of weight on it and it’s definitely strong. Maybe a 1/2 point for Norwex here.
- Both the e-cloth and Norwex handles are telescopic.
- The e-cloth handle does NOT have the rotating ball at the top. I’ve come to appreciate that ball so it was a bit of an adjustment to switch to the e-cloth handle but I got over that after the first use. But I’m still going to give Norwex 1/2 point.
- I can slide the e-cloth mop under my fridge and stove. I can’t do that with the Norwex mop. At first I was bewildered as to why but then, looking at the base, you can see that the e-cloth base has a groove in it that holds the bracket that the handle attaches to. That shallow groove lowers the bracket just enough to allow the mop into those hard to get at areas. This is worth 3 points for e-cloth in my opinion because now I don’t have to move my fridge and/or stove to clean under them. (OK, you caught me, since moving our kitchen to it’s current location 6 years ago, I’ve never cleaned under my stove or fridge. But that was because I had to move them. Just imagine the gunk that came out on the e-cloth mop. Wish I had thought to take a picture. It was disgusting.)
THE E-CLOTH AND NORWEX DUST (DRY) MOP PADS
Pulling the dust pad out of the box, I was a bit skeptical. It seemed flimsy and thin. It isn’t as plush and it’s a bit shorter than the large Norwex dry mop pad.
Any doubts I had about the e-cloth dry mop pad disappeared as soon as I started using it.
- The e-cloth dry mop pad is AS effective as the Norwex one at picking up fine dust (like drywall dust, pet dander, dirt, etc.)
- The e-cloth dry mop pad is actually better than the Norwex Superior one at picking up larger, non-static particles like sand, apple seeds, Rice Crispies etc. It doesn’t get them all – but you’ll see from my review that the Norwex mop doesn’t pick these up at all. 1/2 bonus point for e-cloth.
- The e-cloth dry mop also seems to pick up dog hair better. The Norwex mop is great for “rounding up” the hair. When you move the mop in a figure-eight motion (as recommended by Norwex and e-cloth), the mop gathers all the hair in front of it and then you kind of scoop it up by flipping the mop head up. The e-cloth mop is the same except more hair seems to actually stick to the pad and it’s not as tricky to lift the mop up and bring the hair with it. At least, this is the case with the mountains of coarse hair shed by my two Labrador Retrievers. It may be different with more feathery hair like that from a Golden Retreiver. 1/2 point for e-cloth.
- The e-cloth pad is thinner and seems a bit flimsy compared the Norwex dry pad but that doesn’t seem to impact its performance. I can’t award any points here since the “feel” is more aesthetic than functional.
- Aside from the cost, the complaint I hear most frequently from owners of the Norwex mop is that it does NOT get into corners. I know what the problem is but I’m struggling to find a way to describe it in words. If I think of a clear way to describe it, I’ll add it here later. In the mean-time, lets just say that the Norwex pad is just a bit too bulky.I get around this problem a bit by pushing the mop pad over to one side on the base so that one side is almost flush with the edge of the base. This kind of works, but then I’ve got a lot of extra pad on the other side that tends to flop around a bit.
Because the e-cloth pad is thinner, it’s less bulky and you can get the pointy corner of the base right into the corners. This is a bit hard to explain, but you can trust me that I can get the e-cloth mop into corners better than my Norwex mop. It’s not perfect but I find it to be far better in corners than the Nowex mop. 1/2 point for e-cloth.
- One feature that I really like about the Norwex mop is that it overhangs the base by a couple of inches so that it can be pushed up against walls to dust/mop the baseboards. Although the e-cloth pads are about the same length, they aren’t tapered so it doesn’t overhang the base as much along the long side of the base. Consequently, the e-cloth mop doesn’t clean as much of the baseboards as my Norwex mop (Note: this may not be a problem in newer homes where the baseboards are thinner – but I’m in a 140 year old home with 10 inch baseboards so I need all the help I can get!). 1 point for Norwex.
- Also, with the thinner pads, I have to be a bit more careful around my baseboards furniture with softwood legs with the e-cloth mop to make sure the pointy corner of the base doesn’t dent the wood. So far it hasn’t been an issue. 1 point for Norwex.
THE E-CLOTH AND NORWEX DAMP/WET MOP PADS
- Like the dry pad, the e-cloth wet mop pad is not quite as plush as the large Norwex wet mop pad. I can’t award any points here because the plushness doesn’t seem to matter.
- I can’t see any difference in the way the e-cloth and Norwex wet mops clean up sticky and wet messes.
- They’re both amazing at cleaning dried up (or still wet) dog drool, spills, marker, food, muddy dog prints, dried up yogurt, cooking oil and grease, syrup, etc.
- They both leave my floors streak-free.
- They both pick up any dust/hair/bits that were left behind by the dry mop pads
- the Norwex wet mop pad is “antibac” (now called BacLock). I can tell by the emails and comments I get that this is a WIDELY misunderstood feature of the Norwex products (if you’re not sure what “antibac/BacLock” means or how it works, please read my post on how silver in microfiber works). I’ll give Norwex 1/2 point for this but in my opinion, if you’re laundering your mop pad regularly and as instructed, the antibac feature is not necessary and gives you a false state of confidence in your mop.
- e-cloth offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and guarantees their microfiber products for 300 washes. If you wash your mop pads once per week, that’s 5 and 3/4 years. The Norwex warranty is 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee and a 2 year warranty. 1 point for e-cloth.
AND THE E-CLOTH VERSUS NORWEX MOP WINNER IS…
So lets see, cost aside, what are we at?
- Norwex mop – 3.5 points
- ecloth microfiber mop – 5.5 points.
Aaaaaaaaaaack!?!?! e-cloth wins? Wait now, that can’t be right.
Perhaps I was too generous in my points to e-cloth for the “it cleans under my stove and fridge” points. Lets knock that down from 3 points to 1. Then it’s a tie, right? 3.5 to 3.5.
But then I HAVE to factor in the cost. Even if you go for the non-superior Norwex mop package, it’s $99.99. That’s still $46 more than e-cloth.
This is NOT going to make me any friends at Norwex.
OH, just one last point worth mentioning. If you didn’t gather from the pictures. The e-cloth pads will fit on the Norwex mop and vice versa. Just sayin’.
Update: June 2012
The e-cloth mop was rated Best Washable Microfiber Mop by REAL SIMPLE Magazine as a part of their “The Definitive Cleaning Products Road Test” article in the May, 2012 issue and was featured on the Today Show in the same month!