iRobot Roomba anyone?

Holly- KayMay 30, 2013

This may not be the best forum to post this question on but since so many of us have hardwood in our kitchens I thought I would post here.

My new hardwood went in earlier this week and it is a very dark color. I knew going into this that dark floors are more prone to seeing every speck of dust and dirt but I wanted the contrast between my cabs and the floor and was willing to deal with the cleaning issues. I have a cleaning lady but she comes once a week. I want my floor to look clean as much as possible but I am totally zonked til the time I get home from work so I don't want to have to swiffer every evening.

I am wondering how many of you have roombas, and if so how do you like it, pros and cons? I have a battery store and we rebuild Roomba batteries. I have a customer who called today inquiring about the batteries. I asked her how she liked her Roomba and she spent close to ten minutes telling me how wonderful it is, so please weigh in and tell me what you think. TIA!

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Holly- Kay

Also what model do you have? I am trying to determine if I should go with the more expensive model or if the model that is carried by Sam's Cub & Costco would work as well?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 6:51PM
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The battery is the part that fails, so you are in a great position! Our model is old now, at least 5 years, and dh has replaced the battery at least once. Love it! We work from home so we don't use it as much as we otherwise would, it would be IDEAL to get in the routine of setting it to go as you walk our the door because running it makes noise and it does get in the way. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from Costco!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Holly- Kay

Ty kk's, my customer told me that the first time her battery failed she called customer service. They told her before buying a new battery to put the old battery in a drawer and not to open the drawer at all for 24 hours. She said they did that and the battery lasted for another year and a half. Next time the battery fails try that and see if it works. With that being said, and knowing a good bit about batteries, that is something I never heard of. She also said they tried it this time also but it didn't work.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:55PM
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I don't know about the Roomba, but I bought the Neato from Costco on sale for 249.00 and love it! It doesn't bump into things because it has some infrared camera, but it also doesn't get all along the baseboards. I don't mind that, though, I just do a quick swipe with the broom for like 1-2 mins before I run it. I'd rather it not bump into my baseboards. It goes back and forth on both my hardwood and carpet and leaves these neat little rows on carpet like I just vacuumed. Roomba is more haphazard and doesn't do that. Neato will clean, and then if it runs out of charge it goes back to its base and when it's charged it goes back out, which I love. It's also really easy to empty the bin, and nothing gets stuck in the brushes. We have been pet sitting and you would not believe the amount of stuff it picks up, both hardwood and carpet. I'm sure both Roomba and Neato are great, I think robot vacuums are awesome and I wish I'd gotten one sooner. I love buying from Costco because they always stand behind their products.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Holly- Kay

TY for also recommending the Neato Jam. Yes Costco is amazing. DD tells me that unfortunately a lot of people really take advantage of their generous return policy. It does make it nice though to be able to purchase a product and if it doesn't work out be able to return it. I am going to research the Neato as well as the Roomba. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:14PM
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His name is Thomas, and he is my BFF.

We have wood laminate floors and real hardwoods as well. I let him loose, and then I do laundry or other chores/errands, and my floor is ready for a quick wipe when I return. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

I bought "him" from Costco as a Christmas present to ME two years ago. He is still running strong, but I only send him off base once or twice a week. He also gets cleaned immediately after use and sent back to his charging base.

My children gave our Roomba that name, and everyone in our home calls it "Thomas". It is pretty funny when it just flows so naturally from all of us, and someone outside our household hears us talking about running Thomas. The looks on their faces are pure gold. :D

I am quite amazed at how much stuff he picks up--especially all the dust kittens. Love that!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Love our roomba. Makes me feel virtuous when I am relaxing. Hammacher Schlemmer has a no questions asked replacement policy lifetime, also a great place to buy it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Anyone here who has the Roomba or Neato also have pets? How do they interact with the cleaners?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 4:28AM
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My dogs do not have laid back personalities, but they ignore Roomba. The haphazard pattern of Roomba is thorough, including edges, and it doesn't crash into things. But the downside of haphazard is that it isn't done until it is done, so we don't like to be in the room while it is working because invariably we'll get in the way.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:49AM
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The two cats are terrified. But then, they hide under the bad if you rattle a paper bag. Too bad, because the Roomba can chase them out from under there. So the house gets cleaned and the cats get their exercise.

How often does everyone change the filters in their Roomba? I clean them every time, but how often do you change them?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 7:36AM
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I was an early-ish adopter of a Roomba and have had them for at least 10-ish years, so I have old models. The one finally went insane and wouldn't do anything a few years ago even after I replaced the battery, but my other one that is a couple years younger still sweeps up a storm (just recently replaced his battery...and yes I love that he's a "him"...makes me feel good to have a man vacuuming).

That said, I've seen the Neato one and have considered adding him to the house at some point in the future. From what I read, the Neato one doesn't do as well with corners as the Roomba, but is much easier to clean at the end of his run. So, I'm likely to keep both when I do finally add a Neato to the mix.

We don't have pets right now, but when I had my Siamese, she was rather unhappy about the Roomba...but seeing as she was part of the reason I needed it, I didn't care. Over time, she just ambled away when it got to close to where she was basking.

While we don't have pets at the moment, *I* do have long hair (and shed!), Roomba will pick up my hair without a problem, but the brushes are a bit of a pain in the butt to clean. Still even with the inconvenience of cleaning him at the end, Roomba gets run with much more frequency than if I had to vac. all the time.

bpathome - I rarely actually change the filter to my Roomba. Like you, I pull it every time I run it, but as far as changing it - not so much. Every once in a while, I'll take the regular vac. to it and suck off the dust. Ultimately, it will start to show wear and when it seems like it's about to go, I'll replace it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Holly- Kay

Shelayne, I love that your children named the Roomba! I am sure I will find a name for ours because we have a tendency to do that.

From the positive responses it sounds like Roomba or Neato is my next purchase!

BTW, you can purchase the batteries on line or go to a specialty battery store for a rebuild. Just make sure that it is rebuilt with the same or higher MAH, and same chemistry.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Our Roomba came with two extra filters, so I rotate them, and I have washed them also. So far, so good.

Beware of any rugs with frayed ends or any loose threads. Thomas got a hold of a couple of loose threads on the edge of one of our area rugs and had himself a ball and a little bit of indigestion--he ate the edge and got stuck on the rug. I pulled him off the rug, and he was fine and back to work. The rug, not so much. Thankfully, it is an old and inexpensive rug, and the edge banding was iffy before we acquired the Roomba.

Also we had a runner with 4 inch black border, and Thomas would NOT go on it. It is because the cliff sensors see black and "think" this is a drop off point, so the Roomba redirects. It was rather amusing to watch every time he approached the rug. I could almost hear him "UH oh. Cannot go there. Scary black hole." As he spun around, "Danger, danger, Will Robinson!" Hee hee.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Cindy Noll

Just wanted to know if the brushes in the Roomba scratch your hardwood. I really considered getting one of these when we put all hardwood in last summer, but I read many reviews saying the rotating brushes scratched wood floors. I use no sweeper that has a brush on my floors now. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:10AM
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My floor has a factory finish unharmed by Roomba, but my floor has lots of dings and scratches from the hard living of 4 kids. In Florida, the biggest threat to floor finish (other than kids and dogs) is sand. We aren't on the coast, but all our dirt is mostly sand, so getting/keeping it clean is important. We are even wary of felt pads on furniture, because the worst scratches are when they grab and hold debris which then scratches the floor.
Shelayne, thank you for your fun posts about Thomas! I'll be smiling all day.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Just a little humor here.....Whenever I see a posting on a Roomba this picture comes to mind... it always gives me a good laugh...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I have four cats, lots of hardwood, and Ruby the Roomba. She an old, basic model and when she works, she works wonderfully. The problem is me. I don't use her often enough. I work from home, so it is easy to just grab a stick vac and get little messes up. So Ruby sits and sits, plugged in, and next I know, her battery is dead. I've been through two, and kind of given up. Three of the cats hate her. But they DO work if YOU will use them.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Every time a thread about the Roomba or any robotic sweeper comes up I think about asking this question, so here goes. What about the furniture in the room? Will it go under chairs (w/legs) in the middle of the room? under the desk? does it sweep near the legs or leave little dust circles around each leg? How much furniture in a room is too much for a Roomba?

I think if I had one in my livingroom it would be backing up and spinning the entire time. lol

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I don't have either, but this thread has me intrigued. Just found this current article that evaluates the "top 10" in this category.Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Top Ten Reviews of Robot Vacuums

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:32PM
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I've been considering one of these too. FYI Costco has the Neato on sale through today for $50 off ($249 instead of $299).

This post was edited by cathy725 on Fri, May 31, 13 at 15:22

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 2:03PM
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schoolhouse - Roomba does his thing around furniture or under it it it's raised high enough....think dust bunnies under the bedframe...oh yeah. Around the living room couch, he'll run a line along the couch and hugs it; still some attention is necessary just under the couch where the Roomba doesn't quite reach with his rotating arm.

A Roomba (for me at least) isn't a complete replacement of a regular vac., but it keeps the "core" of the room clean and because it's clean, the edges seem to need less of attention too. Some areas that get missed - 90 degree corners don't get Roomba love. Chairs that have too narrow of a base, but ours can usually get in between the legs.

Fringe on throw rugs can be a challenge, so those you would need to take up, but ones without fringe are usually not a problem. Our hearth isn't raised for the fireplace and has only a small strip between the hardwood and the slate and I don't really like him getting into the fireplace, so I'll usually set the little "rope off" area that comes with him to keep him from venturing over there and then just supervise him for a few places where I know he tends to get in trouble.

Oh, and one of my Roomba's favorite tricks of all is to hide from me right in the middle under the king sized bed (if his battery dies before he's all done)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:14PM
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dbfirewife--that picture is hilarious! And with one aging dog, it actually makes me rethink getting one. But I've got a 20% off on one item at Bed, Bath and Beyond that I'm itching to use!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 4:29PM
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We have both a Roomba and a Mint. The Mint is what you want for a hardwood floor. It uses a Swiffer pad (wet or dry) to sweep or mop the floor. Works fantastic! Our Roomba does the carpets but the Mint is far superior for wood. I never liked Swiffers until we got the Mint. Swiffer pads work much better if they are in constant contact with the floor like the Mint holds them. Astounding how much a Swiffer pad will hold when used on a Mint. The Mint is also virtually silent in operation. I'm really more impressed with it than our Roomba.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:55AM
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