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How effective are those irobot/roomba/etc automatic vacuuming/cleaning devices?

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[OP]
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2010
13744 posts
3718 upvotes
Montréal

How effective are those irobot/roomba/etc automatic vacuuming/cleaning devices?

I hate doing chores and wonder if the technology has improved enough that the robot vacuum finally can replace human work to keep wood floors clean? Are they sufficient or does one need to periodically wash the floors as well (I know there are some models that have a wash ftn, not sure how effective those are either)?

Ppl w these devices please provide some feedback.
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40 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1272 posts
698 upvotes
ottawa
Roomba's will take care of hair and dry dirt. But we still have to wash the floors. Bravaa jet looks promising but I haven't purchased that one yet.
Deal Addict
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Dec 29, 2008
3512 posts
857 upvotes
Think of it as an assistant vs a replacement, mine runs every night so i wake up to a clean floor in the morning. If you get a laser or camera it's actually quite good at cleansing the entire floor.

The main thing to look out for is cables, toys or shoes that it might get stuck on.

We still deep vaccume but much less frequently.
Sr. Member
Jan 20, 2012
692 posts
318 upvotes
Toronto
I used to do spot clean daily with handheld and weekly run with corded vacuum. Now with a robot vac, I let it run daily and vacuum myself once a month. It won’t completely replace a true vacuum as I still pick up dust and hair with my monthly run. But much less dirt. It works perfectly on hard surface floor but completely garbage in soft surface. It does collect more dirt than my handheld in a week. It also able to clean area that I couldn’t reach. The biggest advantage of the robot vac is saving my time.
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2019
150 posts
123 upvotes
The6ix
Jeeze imagine getting up for a piss or a water break and you have something moving around you like that Face With Tears Of Joy
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2011
1564 posts
639 upvotes
London
We really like ours. If you have cats like we do, it is a lifesaver. We still pull out the regular vacuum as well. I would not call it a replacement for a regular vacuum.

We have had a couple issues with them. On our first irobot, the little arm stopped working after warranty, so our credit card sent us the money for it and we use it upstairs (great for under beds etc). We used that money and bought the Bissel version, which promptly went down the stairs(one month past warranty). Bissell was very good about it and sent us a higher end canister vacuum to replace it. We then bought another irobot, and it has been pretty good.

They are not fast cleaners though, takes about an hour to do our main floor (1100 sq ft), and sometimes has problems self docking to recharge.

7/10.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
18339 posts
4735 upvotes
Toronto
I grew to hate my roombas. They broke quickly and I spent a lot of time cleaning them.

After owning two, I never bought them again.
Deal Addict
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Feb 10, 2006
3354 posts
595 upvotes
have the first gen xiaomi (roborock) and it cleans my main floor without any hitches. The floors are a combination of tile and hardwood, we do have some carpets and the robot has been very good at eliminating the need to sweep/vacuum.

The robot is smart enough to not throw itself down a flight of stairs to the basement and overall we have been very happy with it.

Usually the robot is set to run whenever we go out and its great to come home to your floor cleaned up.

If it died today, I would rebuy it in a heartbeat. Wife and I both agree it was a worthwhile investment.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
4189 posts
3468 upvotes
Toronto
Have owned Roombas for years. It's best for carpet, because you save substantial effort. It might take me 20 minutes to vacuum our second floor that's carpeted, plus bending over to plug/unplug and moving the cord out of the way, etc. vs pressing a button on the Roomba and cleaning it later. However, on hardwood floors, I have a Swiffer Sweeper and can walk it around our first floor in about two minutes, getting all the loose dust, dirt, hair, etc. so I don't bother with the Roomba on our hardwood floor. There's also more chairs, etc. on our first floor so more places that the Roomba can't access, while a Swiffer can easily get into there.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2927 posts
1932 upvotes
Toronto
You need to mop a wood floor from time to time. It's good for you - it's not a chore, it's time to meditate. Unless you have 4000 sq ft to vacuum and mop, it should be a 30 minute job.
Sr. Member
Dec 18, 2017
925 posts
525 upvotes
London, On
A guy at work showed me the app on his phone for his robot. It showed the map of it doing the floor and clear as day was the outline of his dog laying there while the robot worked around it lol. I guess it took a while for the dog to become that complacent with it lol
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
1629 posts
709 upvotes
Alberta
I have the Shark IQ with the Self Empty base and love it. It's not always the most intelligent but it runs every single day and cuts my vacuuming from once every 2 weeks, to once every 6-8 weeks or so. We have it on our main floor with mostly hardwood floors and a few area rugs, and it does a good job at picking up cat hair and cat sand that tracks onto the floors from the litter box, so we are very happy with it. Emptying the self-empty base once a month or so and it's full of dirt, so it definitely does the job. It won't wash your floors or pickup heavy stuff from carpet, but gets about 90% of the stuff daily which delays the manual job by many weeks and makes me happy
Deal Addict
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Aug 19, 2010
1612 posts
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Vancouver
The effectiveness depends on the amount of suction power it has and roomba is quite low suction power for its price. Just look for one that is a higher suction power like a roborock which are solid
[OP]
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2010
13744 posts
3718 upvotes
Montréal
Tx for the feedback so far, keep 'em coming!

A common statement is that these robot vacuums don't replace having to vacuum yourself *eventually* but delays it by a lot: what is the reason for that, they just invariably miss some spots/can't vacuum the area 100%? Would a wash ftn solve this 'prb'?
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2927 posts
1932 upvotes
Toronto
Just buy a nice Miele vacuum and you'll enjoy it. Using the right tool for a job make the job enjoyable, not work.

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