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

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[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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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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Jun 11, 2010
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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.
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Dec 29, 2008
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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
974 posts
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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.
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Aug 26, 2019
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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
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Dec 14, 2011
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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.
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Mar 23, 2009
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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.
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Feb 10, 2006
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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.
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Jan 5, 2003
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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.
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Nov 17, 2012
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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.
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Dec 18, 2017
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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
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Jul 21, 2005
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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
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Aug 19, 2010
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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]
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Sep 21, 2010
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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'?
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Nov 17, 2012
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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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Jul 21, 2005
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tranquility922 wrote: 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'?
They lack the suction power of a central vac, so they will go over a carpeted area for example, pickup crumbs and such, but not do much to anything stuck in the carpet fibers. I use built-in house vac to do the real cleaning, robot vac just does the daily surface cleaning so things look generally clean.

Also another note, I would NEVER buy one of these robot vacs if they didn't have a self-empty base. Without that you have to babysit your vac daily and empty it's base, defeating the purpose of setting it and forgetting it. This for me has been the main reason I never got one for many years until finally models that could self-empty came out. Even the Roomba one sucks as it needs bags, so I like my Shark as it's just a single button press and all the contents empty out.
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Oct 6, 2010
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very effective but they cannot replace the person whom still needs to clean/mop. it's job is to help minimise cleaning, not to eliminate it.
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[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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torontotim wrote: Just buy a nice Miele vacuum and you'll enjoy it. Using the right tool for a job make the job enjoyable, not work.
I'll never enjoy household chores lol, that's the whole pt of this thread hahah.
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Aug 2, 2004
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tranquility922 wrote: I'll never enjoy household chores lol, that's the whole pt of this thread hahah.
He is correct about the Miele.

You get the right tool and it won't be a chore

These robot vacuums are a toy at best. Will clean some light dust and if you're okay with a light cleaning, go spend the money.
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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Gee wrote: He is correct about the Miele.

You get the right tool and it won't be a chore

These robot vacuums are a toy at best. Will clean some light dust and if you're okay with a light cleaning, go spend the money.
…but I don't wanna do *any* work if possible! LOL.

No, I'm not gonna get it if it's still inadequate. However, I'm sure eventually it will be all-encompassing and I won't have to lift a finger. Hopefully, sooner than later.
Hard work, inheritance, interest on interest accumulating, and stock and real estate speculation. It's all good.

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