The word ‘Submarine’ makes you think of a few things… A delicious footlong sandwich, a great movie starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, and of course the underwater battle-boat itself. But most of us don’t think about our floors… but maybe it’s time to start…Meet the Dyson submarine, the latest entry in a series of vacuums tackling a new but now crowded segment – it’s a cordless, upright, rechargeable dual wet and dry vacuum and mop. Yes, Dyson finally has a vacuum that can both vacuum and mop floors. But you may not be getting what you think you’re getting with this vacuum- and mop… what you’re actually getting is the Dyson V15 Detect, with a special additional wet cleaner head. So in this review I’ll show you the different components and explain how they work together… Or don’t as the case may be. I’ll put it through some cleaning tests and explain why this fancy new wet floor cleaning head may have more limitations than helpful features. I’ll wrap things up with the pros and the cons and then I’ll make a recommendation about whether or not you should mash the buy now button.
What is the Dyson Submarine?
The Dyson Submarine is the latest entry in a series of vacuums tackling a new but now crowded segment – it’s a cordless, upright, rechargeable dual wet and dry vacuum and mop. Yes, Dyson finally has a vacuum that can both vacuum and mop floors.
In the US, the Dyson Submarine series consists of the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine and V15s Detect Submarine Absolute. Other countries may only offer the Dyson V12s Submarine, which is less powerful and comes with fewer accessories. The review unit we have here is the V15 model.
In truth though, what you’re actually getting is the Dyson V15 Detect, with a special additional cleaner head.
What’s in the Box?
You’ll get the Dyson V15 Detect vacuum motor handle as well as three main cleaner heads:
You get the Submarine Wet Roller Head which hints at the mopping with its aqua color. Swap it out with the included Fluffy Optic cleaner head and you basically end up with a Dyson Gen5detect complete with its useful laser for revealing particles.
Dyson included the Digital Motorbar cleaner head as well allowing the Submarine to vacuum hair and dust on any surface.
The box also includes four other accessories with the first being the usual 2-in-1 combination tool for brushing and lifting pet hair, dirt, and other small debris. If you have a pet or two that shed hair frequently, you can use the included motor-driven hair screw tool instead. Dyson wraps up the accessory set with a crevice tool.
If you went for the ordinary V15s model, you also get a wand clip which you may attach to the body of the vacuum, so you have a spot to place the crevice and combination tools.
The included charger can charge the vacuum unit on its own, but you get a tidier look if you use the wall-mountable docking station as it provides space for storing the other accessories and the added drip tray is useful for keeping the mop from wetting floors after the work is done.
I’m not going to go into detail on the vacuuming here, since this vacuum is the exact same as the V15 Detect which I have already reviewed in details. Check that review out here. In a nutshell it’s an outstanding vacuum and I absolutely recommend it. So let’s get to what makes this model unique; the wet mopping or ‘submarine’ head.
How does the Dyson Submarine head work?
Dyson takes an interesting angle to mopping your floors clean by creating a mechanical mopping attachment where the Dyson Submarine vacuum unit drives the motor. In fact, the V15 will recognize the mop attachment as soon as you plug it in because the vacuum has a special chip which controls the unique cleaning method of the Submarine. Let’s dig in a bit on what makes this cleaning head unique and how it differs form some other upright vac-mops like the Tineco S7 or Roborock Dyad Pro. For starters this is not a complete integrated mopping system like dedicated wet-dry uprights, where water is spread out onto the floor and suctioned back into the cleaner. With the Dyson Submarine, there is no suction and the water system lives entirely inside the cleaning head. In fact the cleaner head is sealed off from the rest of the vacuum.
Let me elaborate: There’s a clean water tank cassette that slides out allowing you to fill it up. On the head is a fuzzy roller brush that does the scrubbing. But because there’s no suction, there’s only a small open reservoir where any excess dirty water essentially gets squeegeed off. Dyson says it’ll take about 1,000 square feet of cleaning before you need to empty it, but in my testing it had just a dribble of water inside after I did about 800 square feet.
When you’re done, you’ll want to be careful how you handle the Submarine, since the open dirty water reservoir could easily spill out, so don’t turn it upside down, whatever you do.
Because there’s no suction, this device is limited to a light wipe and polish of floors, and should really not, in my opinion be used to suction up spills. We’ll get to why in my cleaning tests, coming up.
To make the most out of your cleaning, you must vacuum as much solid debris as possible with the other V15 attachments and tackle the wet messes last. Larger wet messes should be wiped up or blotted as much as possible first.
What it will and won’t clean
This attachment is meant for lighter cleaning duties, I my opinion; things like drips and dribbles around the dishwasher or sink, or cleaning up dirty water or dried boot prints by the front door. It does not, in my opinion work for sopping up large liquid messes beyond what the small roller could absorb and squeegee away.
Also, because there’ no suction on the Submarine, you must vacuum first, creating a two step process for floor cleaning. Sure someon of us already vacuum first, and those who don’t want to bother will opt for the Tineco S7 or Roborock Dyad Pro.
Can I use cleanser?
You can add a gentle cleanser to the water tank if you want
My cleaning tests
I decided to put the Dyson through a series of mopping tests… I used it as a day to day floor polisher and dust-wipe, to clean up mote dedicated spills and finally I did test it on larger liquid spills too.
As a day-to day floor cleaner the Submarine is actually an okay attachment. It does a good job cleaning and polishing and was able to buff away all those small drops and dribbles in the kitchen and by the doors. There is a bit of pull in the head which helps it glider over floor surfaces, which actually makes it feel slightly less heavy.
How much space will Submarine clean?
In my tests, I was also easily able to clean about 800 square feet on about half a tank of water.
I spilled and let dry some coffee stains too and the submarine was able to buff away dried-on spills after a pass or two.
Finally I tested it out on larger spills; a spilled cup of coffee, milk and juice. While it does sop them up, because there’s no suction, on the first pass or two it actually succeeds in spreading the spill around quite a bit. While it did roll it up in subsequent passes I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. Then of course you absolutely need to empty the dirty water to avoid liquids rotting, and you need to be careful when removing the dirty water cassette since like I said it’s essentially an open tray. Cleaning up spills was definitely not my favourite use for this device, but it does work.
Can you control waterflow?
One of the things I didn’t like about the Submarine is that there is no way to adjust the waterflow. There’s one setting and that’s it, so if you need more liquid to clean up more dried on spills or less to manage more delicate wood floors, you’re out of luck. So if you’re wondering, ‘can you use Dyson Submarine on hardwood floors’ the answer may come down to how comfortable you feel without being able to adjust the waterflow on you particular floors.
The vacuum is about average-to-quiet when it comes to noise and the Submarine attachment here doesn’t actually make any more noise than the vacuum motor.
Who is Dyson V15 Submarine for?
I can recommend this vacuum kit to a very specific group of people since the unit ticks a unique combination of boxes. But first I’ll point out who probably shouldn’t buy this vacuum.
Can you buy Dyson Submarine head separately?
Owners of an existing Dyson vacuum looking for a mopping solution might feel a bit burned because Dyson doesn’t sell the Submarine Wet Roller separately. Even if you get the new attachment from someone else and try to attach it, your Dyson V15 Detect or other vacuum won’t recognize it as it lacks the special chip to operate it. (I suppose Dyson can’t just release a special firmware update? )
You might want to think twice too before you sell your Dyson gen5detect for a Dyson Submarine because while the Fluffy Optic cleaner head of the Submarine model performed well, the gen5detect has better suction power and battery life.
Overall Thoughts: Dyson Submarine
The new Dyson Submarine leaves me with some mixed feelings; I’m happy it exists, but I think you really need to understand what you’re getting here. I really feel like this is some kind of stopgap Dyson has brought out to answer the competition from Tineco and Roborock, and to be honest, I would rather have waited for a better option.
This attachment is just okay and I don’t actually mind using it, but I was struggling with whether or not to recommend it because it feels like something is missing.
Let’s go over the pros and cons and tally things up.
On the pro side it cleans okay and it’s actually a nice extra option to have to make your Dyson stick vac even more valuable. You can use cleaner with the water to boost power, and despite its small size the water tank does a lot of space on a single tank. The cleaner head is maneuverable and pulls itself along to help you.
On the Con side, with the Submarine attachment on, the V15 is quite heavy, and with a trigger you need to hold on and squeeze, my arm did get fatigued. There’s no adjustability in the water level, larger spills get spread around before they get absorbed and the open dirty water tray seems like an odd choice. The Submarine isn’t backwards compatible with other Dyson vacs, limiting its marketability.
Most importantly this is a unit with zero suction and the head is even sealed off from the rest of the vacuum, so you’re completely relying on the absorption of the roller which isn’t honestly that plush.
When I count up the points, it’s clear there’s too much missing here to make this a good buy right now. If it cam free with your vacuum I could say, sure take it, but getting rid of an older model and paying more for this one is not a wise choice.
The regular V15 sells for about $999CAD while adding the Submarine to the kit adds a whopping $300 and I can’t in good conscience recommend you spend that much on this tool.
I think Dyson should go back to the drawing board and make something that does what Dyson is known for: like a real submarine, that’s blowing the competition out of the water…
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