For years my kids have wanted a dog. I wanted to get them a dog. But my biggest pet peeve with dogs is the dog hair that gets everywhere! So, I decided that we wouldn’t get a dog until we could get a high powered pet series vacuum cleaner. I was ready to buy the dog, crate, leash, toys, and vacuum all ready and my son and I trekked off to Costco to look at the Dyson Animal in January last year (nearly a year ago).
I wanted a Dyson because I’ve heard that they’re super easy to clean out if they get clogged, and they’re high powered and provide an allergy filter. If there’s one thing that rivals my dislike for dog hair on my clothes, it’s having to take apart the vacuum each time I vacuum to extract a hairball.
But, in January when we headed to get the good vacuum to replace our Target cheapie, Costco was taking advantage of everyone’s new year’s resolutions to keep a clean organized home and they had a huge display of Roomba Pet Series vacuums. I have always loved the idea of a Roomba, but I was skeptical that it would actually work.
What if it stopped picking anything up in a couple months? What if it stopped working completely next year? What if I still had to vacuum with a ‘real’ vacuum every other day?
I went over to Costco customer service, and they assured me that if it stopped working or didn’t work how I expected it to within a reasonable amount of time (say, 2-3 years), I could return it for a full refund. I figured it was worth a shot! I could always go back and get a Dyson if this didn’t work out.
Roomba Pet Series
We purchased it, affectionately named it ‘Roomba’ and set it up to charge for the recommended overnight charge (I won’t lie, we did try it out a little bit!). We love it! It’s almost been a year, and I’d buy the Roomba again in a heartbeat. I’ve had multiple people hint to me that they wouldn’t mind a Roomba as a gift either. It’s pretty cool, for something that keeps your house clean! I even brought it with me when we stayed at my parents’ house for a week earlier this year.
Things we love:
- It has this weed-eater type attachment that spins further about 1/2 an inch out of the edges of the vacuum, which picks up all the junk that migrates over to the baseboards, you know, the stuff you used to have to get the hose attachment out from your vacuum to get?
- Programming: I have it set to run when we leave the house on the days we leave the house at consistent times. On other days, I don’t have it scheduled, I just hit ‘start’ on the way out the door. Oh, actually, whoever does the most picking up gets to hit ‘start’ on the way out the door – quite the motivational tool ~grin~
- It does hard floors as well as different lengths of carpet. We have thick carpet in the living room, and really low carpet in the bedrooms, it does both really well. The kitchen and dining area, as well as back entry, are vinyl flooring, and it picks up the dog hair, crumbs, and dirt off of those just as well as the carpet (unlike my upright vacuums did, I always had to sweep in addition to vacuum before I could mop)
- It gets between the dining room chairs decently. About once a week I’ll set the roomba in the kitchen/dining room and either put the chairs up on the table, or put them in the living room so the kids can pretend they’re a train, and let the roomba go do it’s thing without constantly bumping through the chairs. I don’t move them every day.
- Virtual walls can section off one room or area. I’ll ‘lock’ Roomba in the dining room or living room sometimes, especially if there was a big mess (ie, every Saturday when I bake with the kids ~grin~).
- It gets under the beds! Dust and dog hair love to build up under the beds, and how often do you get an upright vacuum under there? Maybe every 6 months? Roomba cleans daily under there if I want it to, sometimes I’ll block off under the bed with a virtual wall if I don’t think it needs to be spending quite so much time under there. But the dog goes under the bed fairly often, so it’s really great to get that dog hair up before it makes big hair balls anyway.
Some things I’ve learned since I bought the Roomba, they may have improved in the last year, but for now these are some tips for mine:
- It doesn’t like cords. Make sure all wires are tucked neatly behind entertainment centers, phone charging cords are up, etc. Blind cords need to be hung up as well.
- Run it at least every other day. The only time I have to get out the regular vacuum is when we’ve gone a few or more days without running the Roomba, it’s not meant for heavy duty messes, but for daily maintenance. I try to have it run every day, and then it does all my vacuuming and sweeping.
- Sometimes there is some furniture that is *just the right height* for it to get stuck under. I have a big green chair that I move just about an inch every week or so- when it sinks into the dense carpet, the Roomba gets stuck under it. You can also use virtual walls to block furniture that catches it.
- You can buy a soft bumper to protect your walls and furniture if desired.
- Empty the canister every day. It doesn’t hold much, but it holds plenty if you run it every day. If you have multiple animals with long hair, you may need to empty it mid-cycle as well.
- Shake out the filters at least once a week. The directions say to do this every day, I don’t, but if you notice that the Roomba is leaving little bits of things on the floor, it’s the filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced.
- Every couple months, replace the filter. This is the replacement set I just bought, make sure you cross reference your Roomba series number with the replacements.
- It does great with rugs, but I don’t like what it does with rugs with fringe, they may have improved this by now, but for the 500 series that I have, it messes them all up. I don’t have fringe rugs at my house, but my parents do. I just picked up the rug and ran the roomba after I picked it up.
- Try to run it when you’re not home, or at least on a different level of your house. This little guy is pretty loud, and distracting, and will come in and out of a room multiple times.
- If you don’t feel like it’s cleaning very well, try moving your docking station to a less central location. I have mine behind my couch in a corner of my house- I tried keeping it under my kitchen table (in the middle of my house, along a wall), and Roomba would dock before it did a really good job on the whole house. I think if it can’t find the docking station super easily, it’ll clean longer.
- It will drive you nuts to try to watch it do it’s thing. It seems to move randomly and miss things, but I promise, if you ignore it for the 2ish hour (I often cut it short to 1 hour if we’re only gone that long) cycle, it’ll get your floors clean!
- Be ready to show off your Roomba. It cracks me up, but people love to see this little guy work. He’s fun and efficient!
I posted about this on Facebook when I got it, and I promised a review, so here it is! I got mine at Costco, but they’re available at many places. Don’t have a Costco membership? Buy here (I think Amazon has the newer version)!