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Are Roombas etc any good? aka Help Iris clean her house

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Hi all,

After working 12 hour days the last few weeks (hooray for holidays now!) I've decided to streamline things around here a little. Basically we are trying to automate our cleaning as much as possible and make what's left as easy as possible on the inside of the house and hire someone to do our lawns. To this end I am considering a Roomba or another mobile vacuum cleaner. However these are relatively new in Australia so I thought I'd consult the wise ehellions.

How big an area will they do? Will they pick up dog hair from floorboards well? If you have one how often do you run it and how effective are they? For anyone with pets how do they cope with them? I can imagine my dog freaking out the first time he saw one. Any other issues?

Also any other suggestions for products you have that you love love love and save you time and effort would be much appreciated.

There are utube videos of cats on roombas does that help?   :)

For ease of operation I would suggest the roomba ( vacuum) over the scooba (mopping). I had a scooba and it worked well but was quite a bit of work to keep it ready to run ( filling water, empty water, fill soap and clean filters)

Free Range Hippy Chick:
I love love love my Roomba - best gadget I ever bought, because I'm not a housework lover. NervousCat learned within a week that if she sat on a chair it couldn't get her, and sleeps through it now. Best thing ever for picking up cat hair from carpet, but I do have to disentangle it from around the axles every time. We have the one which you can program to run at certain times, and in retrospect that wasn't something we should have paid for, because we have loads of Stuff on the floor all the time, and the Roomba needs to have enough room to turn round. I need to lift stuff before I press the button. I run it when I'm home and can hear it when it shouts that it's stuck or it feels sick and needs the cat hair removed. Upstairs I take two minutes to put the rug and anything from the bedroom floor onto the bed, and pick up the bathmat and hang it up, pop the bathroom bin and laundry basket inside the shower etc, and then the Roomba runs. It can get under the dressing table where the vacuum cleaner doesn't fit. Not brilliant at corners but good along the skirting board.

Downstairs it needs to be watched, because we have Ikea Poang chairs and it tends to climb up onto the base of them and then not be able to get off again unassisted. I put the little warning flashy-light thing across the door to the utility room, and then I needn't shut the door, so the cat can get to her dinner and her litter tray but the Roomba doesn't go in after her and knock over the water bowl.

Upstairs one charge will do two bedrooms, landing, bathroom, en suite. I keep the other two bedroom door shut because, hey, teenagers, visible floor, not so much. Then he (everybody I know who has one gives it a name and talks to it) has a rest and a recharge and is fit for downstairs: sitting room, dining room, kitchen floor, hall, cloakroom.

Doesn't replace a big vacuum cleaner, but in terms of keeping the cat hair under control on a daily basis? Brilliant. I'll get a 45 minute run off a decent charge, so one in the morning and one in the afternoon is perfectly possible.

I don't have a Roomba and I was really interested in getting one. Until I realised that we have a cat who sometimes throws up and I imagined the little Roomba going happily around the room spreading everything all over the floor. That image was enough to put me off forever.

Vacuuming is now a rotating chore between husband, two daughters and me.


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