I’ve been wondering the same thing since I’ve had a few stop working shortly after purchasing. Having dogs, I can vacuum the ceramic tile w/my regular vacuum prior to cleaning the floor and I still end up pushing around dog hair. The Floormate really picks up anything left behind, in addition to the dirt.
My first one lasted years and I simply used hot water or sometimes vinegar in it. I may have ruined my second Floormate by using Bi-O-Kleen soy solvent in the water – it stopped working properly a few months after purchasing. My third Floormate stopped working in a couple of months too so I started thinking the machines were no good. I recently bought a fourth hoping it would last years like my first one. So far, so good…but I’ve used only hot water and occasionally a little TTO. It’s nice to know Dr. Bronners is fine.
I’ve never used it on the wood floors afraid it would damage them. After reading the pp I may try it on the wood.
I agree w/the pp who said make sure you empty and rinse all parts after each use. I leave them out to dry before putting it back together. I forgot to empty once…yuck!