This post is sponsored by iRobot
Say hello to my little friend! iRobot ask if I’d like to review their new Scooba 450. Scooba is the iRobot floor scrubbing robot. You may recall that I have had trouble finding the best way to clean my floors for years. I wrote this post way back in the day about trying different cleaners with a microfiber mop and bucket. Then I was into a steam mop after we moved to Charlottesville. While the steam mop was a big improvement from mopping, I found it to be rather cumbersome to use and it didn’t work well without a cleaner as well, so I didn’t end up using it very often. Thus, I defaulted to a washable head microfiber mop and spray cleaner and then finally to some Swiffer wet pads as recommended by my friends. They were quick and easy and got the job done but not a great long-term solution.
All that said, I have been eyeing the Scooba for years and have been debating whether it would be worth the cost, so I was thrilled with this opportunity.
So how’d she do?
iRobot claims the Scooba:
- Washes away 99.3% of bacteria (when used with the iRobot floor cleaner)
- Cleans every section of floors multiple times
- Maneuvers around and under furniture, fixtures, rugs and stairs
And she does this in a 3-step process:
- Sweep + pre-soak (light vacuuming and soaks crusted on gunk)
- Scrub & squeegee-vacuum (lifts dirty water off the floor)
- Squeegee finish (floor is almost dry upon finish)
See how this chamber detaches? That’s where the water is stored.
You fill up the blue compartment with clean water and a squirt of cleaner and empty out the grey with dirty brown water when you’re finished. (Notice she’s wet because I had just finished a cycle).
This cleaner comes with the package. Using anything else will void your warranty, unfortunately. But a little went a long way. And it smells great!
The handle on top is great for moving her around
Normally you can just plug her into the wall to charge, but there is also a sold-separately dock you can buy that allows her to air dry upright and charge at the same time. If you’re going to invest in a Scooba, I’d go ahead and get this too. It was really helpful to not have to worry about proper drying or mess around with cords. We have an outlet in our attic closet behind that door, so that’s where I store her when not in use.
Scooba doesn’t mop – she “scoobs!” Her first chore was to scoob the kitchen. My kitchen floor is always the dirtiest, followed by the dining/living/foyer floors and then the basement, particularly the brewery.
The Scooba got right to work mapping out the room in a circle and then began her workout across the floor. The threshold in my kitchen kept her in the space so she was quite efficient. Unfortunately she’s a little too tall to fit under my cabinets (bummer) but I can’t blame her for her genetics.
We do have cork floors and there was a flurry of concern on Facebook when I posted a video. Our floors seem to be pretty well sealed, and we haven’t had trouble with wetter-than-spot-cleaning mopping before, so I’m going to roll with it. I can’t imagine not cleaning the floors with water – they are so dirty that a paper towel comes up black if it’s been a week since I’ve cleaned them! So far they seem to have tolerated Scooba just fine. Plus it’s not like the water is drenching – it’s just wetter than damp.
Thar she blows in squeegee stage!
And here’s some live action!
So how’d she do? AMAZING. My floors were spotless and wiped clean white with a paper towel. I feel confident in saying these are the cleanest my floors have been since we moved in. While we do have someone come clean regularly, he just uses a damp mop on our floors, so I don’t think they get nearly this clean (per the paper towel test). After this first room, I was really impressed.
But of course there were more rooms to try.
Our dining room is rather narrow with a rug in the middle and Scooba had a bit more trouble in there.
It took her a long time to figure out the shape, and she drooled on my rug quite a bit : ( I guess the sisal felt very natural to her. Luckily the rug was fine upon drying.
The Scooba comes with a “lighthouse” that you can use to act as a virtual wall. I used this to block off other challenging parts of the room the next time and she cleaned the main part well.
I also tested her out in our big basement family room, and she did really well in there. She tends to like open spaces the best, so if you have an open-floor plan with hardwoods, she would work really well for you. She is quite loud though, so since I was using her while Mazen was asleep at night, it made TV watching downstairs a bit difficult. You’ll want to find the right times to run her so she doesn’t make too much noise.
What I think is the absolute best pro to the Scooba is the fact that she doesn’t re-use dirty water. This is HUGE for me and a reason why all of my other floor cleaning methods ultimately left me unsatisfied. Because she has separate tanks for clean and dirty water, she is never pushing around dirt. The floors actually get clean! And once you see the brown color of the dirty water being dumped out of the tank, I think you’ll be convinced of her effectiveness.
Unlike the Roomba vacuums, the Scooba isn’t ideal to run while you’re away at work. She is a bit more high maintenance than her sucking brother and has to be fed and watered before and after she plays. You may be able to mop a room faster than the Scooba cleans one, but she is all about quality over quantity. The best cleaning tools are the ones you’ll actually use, and while a mop might be faster, it’s such an annoying job that I’d rather set up the Scooba than slosh dirty water around.
I was able to get through 2 small or one big room before the battery needed charging, which was about what I thought would happen, so don’t expect to be able to clean your entire house in one afternoon. Doing each heavy traffic room once a week on different days would be ideal.
Thus, if dirty floors drive you crazy and you can afford the price tag, I absolutely recommend the Scooba 450.
If you have a great mopping technique that works for you, a really oddly laid out house or lots of carpet and rugs, keep doing what you’re doing : )
Initially I was asked to return the Scooba after my review, but I liked it so much I asked if I could buy it directly from the company. They said yes, and now we have one more member of our family : )
Thanks to iRobot for sponsoring this post!