Robot floor cleaners

krissie55December 1, 2012

Do the robot floor cleaners such as the Mint and others really get the floor clean.

I need one that will vacuum and wash the tile floors.

If they really work, which one is the best.

The Mint is interesting since it cleans near the wall.

Does anyone have personal experience with these machines?

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I had two Roombas over the years and the battery quit taking or holding a charge on both of them.
The vacuum capacity was not sufficient for me anyway as I have pet hair and the waste receptacle is teeny.
Newer models may have had improvements made.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:45PM
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I love robot floor cleaners! My floors are always clean :)

In our previous home where we has both carpet and engineered hardwood, I had a Roomba (pet model) 562. The key is to schedule them to run every day so that dirt doesn't accumulate and get tracked into carpet. The roomba picked up amazing amounts of cat hair and dirt daily, it docked next tot he cat litter so each evening when I scooped their box I'd empty the Roomba's dirt bin. Unfortunately one downfall of the Roomba was the fact that I have very long hair and shed a lot and due to the brush deck design the hairs would get into the Roomba gears and the brush deck would break. This happened 3 times in the 2 years I owned it, but irobot replaced the part under warranty and it was easy to replace the brush deck and it was running again. That Roomba saved me tons of vacuuming, I only vacuumed about 3 times in 2 years we lived there, and we have 3 cats and I like very clean floors!

I also had a Mint for cleaning the engineered wood, which is to be cleaned with a "damp" cloth only. The Mint is a swiffer and microfiber mop. It does a good job at maintenance cleaning, I'd usually run the Roomba on the hardwood level of the condo 1-2 times a week to pick up big debris and to clean the area rugs, and then run the Mint 3 times a week.

Then we moved and have a totally different floor plan and all hard floors. I got a Neato XV-14 at Costco. The only drawback of the Neato is that they have come quality issues. I had to send mine back to the manufacturer and geta replacement because the first one had errors out of the box, but the next one works great. The Neato uses a laser map and actually plans a route so it works well in a more traditional home layout with multiple rooms. The Roomba navigates by a random algorithm and it is very thorough in an open floor plan but with many smaller rooms sometimes doesn't get to all rooms. The Neato is very robust and has not had any problems with my long hair or the tons of cat hair and dust that blows in our usually-open windows. It picks up *disturbing* amounts of dirt and hair every single day!!

For scrubbing floors, you'd want a Scooba - that's the irobot floor washer. However it comes with lots of maintenance issues involving the tanks etc - imagine a carpet shampooer that drives itself. It also needs to be electronically roped-off from carpet areas. You need to clean the Scooba after each use. Whereas the Mint you just drop the microfiber cloth in the laundry. So I would not buy a scooba, personally, since it's not like the vacuum/sweeper bots that can be left to run unattended.

For mopping in this home since we have textured vinyl plank floors I decided to go back to my old favorite tool, the steam mop. I used to have a Bissell original steam mop for over 6 years it served faithfully and I gave it to a neighbor when we moved to the condo with engineered wood because I was told no way could I use it on that wood. So I bought the new version - the Bissell Powerfresh, and I LOVE it. It has all the good things about the original with improvements... including a more square-shaped mop front to fit into corners, and continuous steam with 3 levels of steam rather than the trigger on the old one.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Thanks for your responses.

Hmmmm.....looks like I will continue mopping the floors until robots improve.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:09PM
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