As I sit here and type, I am vacuuming. And I am so very happy about that. How? I got one of those fabulous robot vacuum cleaners for Christmas (thanks, Mom!)…and I haven’t stopped running it!
Several days after I got the iRobot Roomba, I posted this picture on Facebook and got many comments and questions from curious friends. (Pardon the grainy iPhone pic.)
I always wondered about whether or not these things worked, so I am going to break it down.
First of all, this cannot replace the need for a “normal” vacuum cleaner. I would not and could not use this alone to keep my floors clean. It is definitely designed more for maintaining clean floors and cutting down on the overall dust and debris tracked through the house, but you will still have to break out the traditional kind every so often.
It can be used on both carpet and hardwood floors (which I love…have you SEEN the dark color of my wood floors? They show everything.) I have two very-shedding dogs and the Roomba has made it so much easier to keep up with the pet hair. I also noticed that I have significantly less dust in my house. I let it run everyday. There are no bags required and it is constantly kept on a charger, which makes it easy enough to do daily.
So, here is how it works. You literally put the Roomba in the middle of the room and press a button. And then, you just walk away. When you close a room off and let the Roomba focus solely on that room, it gets almost everything clean. For people with an open house plan, Roomba comes with sensors for the owner to place around the area to be cleaned. It communicates a “barrier” to the Roomba and treats the sensor like a wall, not traveling past it. It works so much better when you let it do one room at a time.
It really isn’t very loud at all, but it does take a long time to finish a room. I read so many reviews complaining about how it does not work, etc. Here is the thing-it is a “robot,” but just like a washing machine, it needs help to maintain itself and perform its function properly. It’s common sense…if you leave a shoe in the middle of the room, it will clean around it and it might throw the sensors off a little (there are sensors that “understand” the room size.) That will make it miss a few spots. If you don’t clean the brushes as often as they state you should, it will stop running and a robotic (kind of creepy) voice tells you what is wrong with it.
So…should you get one? If you already have a vacuum cleaner and are looking for a way to simplify your cleaning routine, yes. Read the instructions and don’t overestimate the vacuum’s capabilities, and you will love it.