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Do you Roomba?

We're all busy mamas entitled to try to make the day-to-day a bit easier.  Is the Roomba the solution to clean floors?  Is it worth every penny?  Says Sarah:

Okay, so maybe not the most important thing in today's world. BUT, I'm always looking for ways to simplify my life. I am planning to replace my wood floors soon and I'm worried about taking care of them. Currently I sweep several times a day to gather the sand, cheerios and other food particles. In between those sweeps, the floor is still a disaster. I don't want to put in our new bamboo floor just to have it trashed by the traffic rubbing the sand and Os into the floor. AND, I'd like to NOT sweep several times a day. So, it's been available for a while and I don't know anybody that actually tried it.  Most of the reports I've read have to do with pet hair which isn't an issue for us.

Does anyone out there own a Roomba? Does it work well? Was it worth the money? Does it pick up Cheerios? What about sand? How does it maneuver around toys? I have hardwood, too many toys, no pets, 2 kids. Should I Roomba?

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We have wood floors, and the best way that I have found to clean them is a little hard floor vacuum (we found one for about $40, and it takes 1/3 the time of sweeping), and then I use a slightly damp microfiber mop when I really want to get them clean.

I was obsessed with the idea of getting a Roomba. I have the perfect house for it, all cork floors, very little carpet, and not a lot of things on the floor for it to get hung up on. However, after having my Roomba for a week, I sent it back. The receptacle is so small, that it couldn't even make it around my main living room without getting too full, and stopping. And, my house is quite clean, floors are not even that dirty. Then, when I went to empty the receptacle, the parts on the bottom were so flimsy, a little plastic piece broke off, and then it wouldn't even work after that! Bottom line, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

In addition to what Elizabeth does, I also use a Swiffer dust mop...and give it to the kids to use. The handle is in three pieces so it's easy to shorten it to their height. They love to swiffer after meals and in the kitchen and see what it picks up.

I love love LOVE my Roomba. Best Christmas gift I ever got. I run it about three mornings a week and all the cat hair, crumbs, sand and etc is gone. It's been a gigantic time saver for me thus far and does a more thorough job sweeping up that I ever could. I love coming home and having spotless, un-crunchy floors since Roomba has been running around doing his thing while the kid and I have been at work/school.

My experience has been a little different than Bahama Mama's. I find I only need to clean the Rooma's dirt receptacle and brushes about once a week - that's about three hours' worth of vaccuuming before it's totally full.

Now, the roomba may not work for everyone. I live in a one level, 600-square-foot condo, with all wood floors. If you have stairs, or have parts of your house that you don't want roomba'd, or have a mix of carpet and hard flooring - I'd think constantly adjusting the roomba for different settings and blocking it off from certain areas could be a drag. If you have a small, simple place and need a small, simple vaccuum though, I'd definitely recommend it.

My child IS my swiffer.

This is really timely for me--I just bought a roomba at costco a month ago and I LOVE it. I would give up my dishwasher before my roomba. It works on my hardwoods and area rugs, it works on my wall to wall carpet, and I love that I can set it up, let it go and it does the work for me.
It is a PIA to clean out its little parts, and it is unrealistic to think it can clean more than one room at a time without having to empty it. You also have to clean up the clutter, but you would anyway if you were vacuuming. I will admit that there have been times I put the "barriers" that keep it from vaccuming certain areas to avoid having to pick up the toys in the corner. For me, the downsides are more than made up by its convenience. Also, I just really hate vacuuming. I'd clean a bathroom over vacuuming anytime. But I know that's me.
As a bonus, my toddler is fascinated by it. It's is instant entertainment. In fact, the other night he said "night night" to it when he went to bed.

We got one as a gift and didn't end up ever using it. Didn't seem very efficient. I think it's faster just to vacuum the traditional way.

I don't have a Roomba - but I LOVE my Scooba! It works on linoleum, tile, sealed hardwood - NOT Pergo!!! It works fantastic -avoids steps and rugs! But we don't ask for it to do more sq ft than it is designed for - we do small areas by alternating kitchen one day then laundry/bathroom a couple days later and we have pets. Pretty easy and straightforward to clean. My husband was leary when I came home with "another" gadget. But this works better than floormate - swiffer wet jet - etc. sweeps and washes and the white vinegar and water option is safe for kids, pets and the environment, or you can choose to use the commercial solution, we used up the sample and now only use the vinegar/water. Once in a while I do use my hand steamer to get a good crevice, perimeter clean since it is round and can't reach corners that great. My husband was a convert after the first use. He actually asks me if he can run it. :)

We have two.

We have a previous generation and a new one. Both operate on a schedule (11am M-th & Saturday).

Both work very well, but the latest generation is a far superior device. We give the new one about 200% of the cleaning task of the old one and it does it all and does it slightly better.
Once you get in the Roomba "mode", its easy to swing my when you get home and empty the recepticle.

Some fo the "first week challenges": We learned what it will and wont get stuck on. Baloon strings for instance. Random "artwork" on the floor. Like what seems like any vacuum, it picks up alot more during the first week than there-after. It needed clearing out every day.

A big Roomba benefit: It lowers (for us) the amount of dust in the house significantly. Since a vacuum covers about 80% of the floor every day, I guess it turns out that most dust spends a day or two on the floor before gathering on other things. The daily vacuum grabs most of it and lowers the dust on everything else.

They (especially the new one) grab Cheerios and all that kinda stuff just fine.

We honestly dont vacuum anymore. The Roombas take total care of it for us while we are away. We plan on buying a third (replace the old one... its getting noisey) and to perhaps put one upstairs, though the kids bedroom would be a challenge with all the books and stuff laying around. We also like to keep the doors closed (and the cats out) of the bedrooms, so that would be non-Roomba territory.

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