I’ll admit, I am a bit vacuum obsessed. I have 8 vacuums; a Bosch canister that works very well, a 60’s Rainbow (my little R2D2) I adore, a Miele canister I love, a quickie sweeper vac, two robotic vacuums and a Dirt Devil and some other one, both inherited. I need to garage sale, I do. The two robotic vacs are my groovy and talented 880 Roomba and my red headed step child iClebo.
I suffer the iClebo, a misspent purchase to replace my old Roomba when a puppy we were babysitting looked up at me sweetly then proceeded to drop his head down and toss his cookies all over the Roomba while the vac was going about its daily business. It begun just spinning in circles, it could no longer cope. After desperate attempts to clean it, add new this and thats, I had to throw it away. Roombas are not cheap , and the iClebo had just come out and was about $100.00 less at the time. While the iClebo can suck up a quarter, the programming is not the same as with a Roomba. You have either programmed it to come on every day or you haven’t. With the Roomba, you can choose your days and your times for each day. And with the red headed step child, you MUST carry around the remote to unstick it from perhaps a rug fringe or sometimes something invisible. This becomes a pain if, like me, you deliberately place your remotes where you know that you will find them again, you know, where they belong, but you are, say, at work in the back office of your house when the iClebo freaks out again. There are no stop/start/don’t wig out buttons on the iClebo. No, rather illogically, you must control everything the bloody thing does with a remote….a remote you may not now know the location of because you have for the nth time reset the iclebo because it keeps stopping for no apparent reason and singing its little help me tune.
The Roomba is more than i think anything else out there is, but this is a classic example of getting what you pay for. Any version of the Roomba is great. So if you want to save money, go without the remote or even get an older model. The older models have brushes. The plus on those is that they sort of polish your floor as they pick up stuff. The downside to the brushes is that they pull and retain a lot more hair. This means cleaning more regularly. The newer versions of the Roomba and the one I have had now for a couple of years, is that rather than brushes, there are these rubberized rollers that attract and pick up dirt and hair without holding onto them so much. Instead, they go into the waste bin better. It is amazing what this little guy picks up on a daily basis, even when I believe my floor to be clean.
If your low slung furniture is a bit high enough, it even gets under things like your bed or sofa where few of us (being honest) take the time to maintain on a regular basis. So while it isn’t perfect it is damn good! So good that I won’t be without one and when the iClebo folks refused to grant me a refund, I promptly went out and purchased another Roomba anyway! I was getting the shakes without it.
Whenever the iClebo finally terminates itself, I will go out and purchase another Roomba because two are better than one. I can have one working the bedroom wing while the other tends to the kitchen and living quarters. People ask well, how often does it get stuck etc. and isn’t that a way pain? The iClebo gets stuck on its own shadow. I hate, no, despise the iClebo. It was a sorry waste of hard earned cash. The only upshot it does have is that it is now perhaps 2 years old and still works. I am sure this is just by design so that I cannot rationalize another Roomba purchase.
The room/house does need to be ‘Roomba proofed’ which means picking up any towels, cat toys, dog toys, string, dead bodies (just checking you are still with me on this) or major impediments on the floor such as a dog bed you might want to vac under, etc. The Roomba climbs a bit so it will easily do multi-surface areas, going from hardwoods or stone to carpet or even a rug with fringe. Did I mention it goes under your sofa and chairs and bed etc? And you will need to set up your little satellite blocks to alert your Roomba not to go places you don’t want it to go. It will sense stairs and avoid but if you have a patio home with sliders out to the patio and they are open? Your grass is getting vacuumed. My Roomba has actually been out the front door and down to my nextdoor neighbors before i caught up with it and carried it back home to finish its work. This was entirely my bad for not having the blocks set up and on.
The machine lasts years and the Roomba folks are pretty good at helping you trouble shoot. This is where I went first when my old one got vomited upon. Although the Roomba does not totally replace all vacuuming, I believe Roomba to be one of those household items that you will ask yourself why you waited so long to get one and what did you ever do without it.