Pail Fire: This New Dyson Vacuum Is Also A Mop

The company on a relentless quest for cool and clean rolls out the Hard DC56—and ushers in an end to drippy, wet mops and buckets.

The latest in the Dyson canon of products is the Hard DC56 vacuum cleaner, and it’s a lot like the company itself: Self-cleaning and technically way ahead of the curve. The Dyson style is to tackle a specific user pain point—whether it’s in cleaning the home or the hands—and offer a more streamlined alternative. The Hard DC56 is here to change the way we clean hard floors, making it a one-tool, one-tiered tidy solution.

“Cleaning hard floors is a problem because you have to vacuum the dust and debris first,” James Dyson tells Co.Design. “And then whatever you use to get the grime, whether it’s a bucket or a mop, that’s a separate machine. It’s a pain of a process.”

The Hard DC56 is a powerful vacuum and mop all in one: It suctions up the spilled coffee grinds then gives the floor a thorough wipe down two seconds later. Sure it has something in common with the rhymes-with-Differ; it uses the same disposable wipes to clean tiles and wood surfaces. But it wouldn’t be a Dyson product if it didn’t feature some serious tech to wipe the floor with the competition. Like the company’s Airblade Tap, the hand washer-and-dryer designed for public restrooms, the Hard features the company’s squeaky-clean star of tech innovations: The digital motor.

In February Dyson announced the opening of an $80 million factory in Singapore, equipped with a production line of 55 million robots to make the motors. Older motors used copper switches and brushes to create a current, but around 30,000 rpm they hit a ceiling. By comparison, Dyson motors use chip-operated magnets that can operate upwards of 104,000 rpm. “You might ask, why do you want to go faster?” Dyson says. “The faster you go, the more efficient it becomes, and the lighter it becomes, and the less material you can use.”

For the Hard vacuum cleaner, that translates into a fast dual-function tool with no cords (a common Dyson feature). But more important, it’s one of the early fruits of more than seven years of work done by Dyson to perfect the motor. “The motor is the key to so much,” he says. “If you have a motor that’s much smaller and more efficient and lighter than anybody else, suddenly products become so much more interesting. They become more powerful.”

The Dyson Hard DC56 will be available for $329.99 from Dyson.com in August.

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