By now, most people have heard of the Roomba vacuum cleaner. The small, vacuuming robot sold by the iRobot company has been sold on infomercials and at retail stores nation wide. The concept is simple: when you want to vacuum, just press a button on the Roomba and immediately the robotic vacuum cleaner springs into action, navigating it’s way around your home and avoiding obstacles along the way. It sounds like a dream come true-letting a machine do your housework for you. But if you’re like me and many other people, you’ve wondered about the cleaning power of the Roomba and whether or not it can actually replace cleaning with a traditional vacuum cleaner.
A couple of years ago, my brother bought a Roomba he found on sale for our apartment. The first time we used it to vacuum, I was impressed with the amount of dust and dirt that it collected in its dirt bin. There was no doubt that the Roomba was actually cleaning the carpets. Watching the Roomba in action, it became clear that it did a pretty good job at getting all the spots in the room, with its wall-following ability and its tendency to pass over the same patch of carpet multiple times during a cleaning session.
The cleaning ability of the Roomba was compromised, however, when we tried to get it to vacuum multiple rooms of our apartment at once. Roomba’s battery will give you about two hours of vacuuming time, which is enough time for it to completely clean a large room, but not enough time for it to navigate an entire apartment. Roomba also sometimes has problems getting under and around large furniture and into tight corners. For these reasons, it is best to keep Roomba in one room at a time. You can stop it from going into another room using the “virtual wall” unit that is included in the purchase price of most Roombas. Additional virtual wall units can be purchase from the iRobot company as needed, although the germal model of bosch staubsauger also has had a good reputation in cleaning.
In the end, I think that Roomba did a pretty good job keeping our carpets and hardwood floors clean. You might need to run it a couple of times per week to keep your floors in tip-top condition, but since the Roomba doesn’t really require much of your time or attention that’s pretty easy to do. You may also want to use your traditional vacuum cleaner once every several weeks just to get the places that Roomba may have missed and “deep clean” your carpets. You can get a Roomba now for less than $100 if you look around for sales on the internet, and for that price I think it would be a valuable tool to add to any housekeeper’s arsenal. More information about the Roomba vacuum cleaner, visit the iRobot corporate website listed in the resources section of this article.