Sunday, July 3, 2011

Roomba Review: Get It!

"Does that work?" friends often ask. Here's a long-overdue review. 

I don't get those people who clean because it's therapeutic. Maybe because I have bad memories of dusting my mom's floor-to-ceiling shelf of knicknacks (where does this crystal bear go again? next to the school portrait of me with the bad perm? no, next to the miniature basket of candied almonds from a 1979 wedding). After inhaling all the Pledge fumes, I still had to vacuum up all the dust that had fallen onto the shag carpet.

So you'll understand why, other than an occasional need to suck up broken glass or an especially scary spider, I haven't used an upright vacuum in about a decade. No need, because the Roomba really works! It's even slim enough to fit under the couch, dresser, and bed (places I would be too lazy to reach).

Roomba fits under the couch.

Roomba even returns to its own charging station.

For best results, you can only clean one room at a time. Roomba comes with a virtual wall so if you have an open floor plan, you can section off the dining room from the living room. Depending on the level of dirt in your house, you will most likely have to recharge the battery after cleaning each room.

Roomba's virtual wall allows you to divide up a big room.

Clear the floor of all little legos, hairpins, doll clothes, curtains, and cords, as these things can impede the Roomba's performance. There's nothing worse than coming home, expecting to find a freshly vacuumed room, only to discover that Roomba was caught on the curtain the whole time you were gone!

Make sure you empty out the dustbin and clean the brushes of all hair, feathers, and dust bunnies before every use. Otherwise, you'll get an obnoxious error sound and a message indicating that you need to clean Roomba's brushes.

Empty debris from bagless dustbin.

Empty debris from filter.

Clear hair and debris from removable brushes.

Some critics have cited cost as a con for the Roomba, but at about $300, I would say it's a great value considering you are saving yourself back-breaking work not to mention valuable time. We bought this Roomba in 2007, so it's lasted four years. (Our original Roomba from 2001 went to e-waste when the rechargeable battery finally gave out.) 

Young children may find the Roomba noisy and scary. When Phoebe was about fourteen months old, she would freak out and run away whenever the Roomba came in.

See? Roomba's not scary. It's giving Baby Kate a ride.

The Verdict:
Unless you are severely challenged when it comes to mechanical parts (that is, you cannot be trusted to put Roomba's brushes back properly), get it!

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