Customer Reviews: Black & Decker S500 ScumBuster Cordless Power Scrubber
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on October 28, 2004
First off there is an error with the pictures of this item. It does not come with the standard Black & Decker removable battery and standard charger (this is a negative in my book as we have other B&D tools and have the battery packs and charger). This has an internal Ni-Cad battery. So you must follow Ni-cad rules, completely use the battery prior to charging. I used it for over an hour cleaning my tub which it did a great job on, also the tub had not been cleaned for 8-10 months so it was quite a task. The task was beyond my own elbow grease and needed a motorized hand. It has alot of power and YOU DO NOT NEED TO nor should you push down hard with this unit. It gives you no added scrubbing power and will actually reduce the effectiveness. Let's face it, the end of a scrubby brush is the most effective part not mushing it down and having the sides of the bristles rotate. It will not clean and will disfigure the scrubby brush. It is quite effective without force, and had the power to even get away from me especially with wet hands. If you have loose caulk, this will remove it. It works best when you allow it time to break apart crud, it's not a magic wand to be quickly waved over grime. Instead it equalizes the playing field. Now you have the strength to work up deep dirt and grime.
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on January 22, 2005
For $35 I think this is a great tool to help speed up routine cleaning. The scouring pads and brushes work well for cleaning showers and tubs, and the bottle brush type attachment can be forced inside shower door and sliding door tracks to get off all the film. Since the unit is submersible, you can use while showering, which is a really nice advantage.

I'm able to get nearly an hour of use off a single charge. As noted elsewhere, the key to using the Scumbuster properly (and avoiding running down the charge) is not to press to hard. As with an electric toothbrush, pressing too hard simply bends the bristles and slows down the motor.

There is a good collection of cleaning accessories for hard surfaces, autos, and carpet. I've not tried the carpet cleaning attachments yet (scrub brush and nap lifter), so those applications will be a bonus.

As noted by another reviewer, this is not a magic wand. It's not powerful enough to remove extreme buildup from neglect, so if you need a sandblaster, this device is not for you.

If the Scumbuster cost $75, I might be disappointed, but all in all, for $35 I think its a very worthwhile item.
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on September 10, 2004
Scum Buster purchased September 2004

Model # S500

Catalog # SB450


*A low voltage battery means low power output to the motor, so one can not put a great deal of pressure on the device without bringing the motor to a stop. As the challenge of the job increases, the performance of the Scum Buster substantially declines.

*After depletion, the rechargeable battery can NOT be changed out for a fresh battery! This means that after approximately thirty minutes of use, your cleaning project will stop for a minimum of six hours while the permanently installed battery is being recharged!

*When the battery finally does die and can no longer be recharged, an entire new scrubber must be purchased, not just a battery! (Now there's a marketing ploy!) There is no mention of this fact anywhere in the documentation; one only learns of it when contacting customer support.

*No replacement accessories immediately available through the direct channel or from local retailers; must be specially ordered. (I make my own cleaning pads instead.)


*Lots of different attachments make it a very versatile hand tool.

*Does a great job on minor cleaning applications.

*Easy clean up and totally submersible.


While the Scum Buster is advertised as being, "...powerful," reality reflects that it is marginal at best. A non-replaceable rechargeable battery is a major design error, which is inconvenient and costly for the consumer. The newest edition of the Scum Buster is a bust!
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VINE VOICEon August 22, 2004
older. I don't like housework, so this is fabulous for getting those dried spills on the rangetop cleaned with minimal effort. It comes with lots of attachments but I haven't tried them all out yet. This won't do the work for you, but it will make the work a whole lot easier. I went after my range with it with great results, then turned to some dried on spills on the floor and they were a lot easier to clean up than I anticipated. It's worth every penny if housework is just not your thing.
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on April 18, 2005
I've been wanting this gadget for a while and finally got it yesterday. I hate scummy shower walls, but hate cleaning them even more. I just finished cleaning the tiles in my shower and it took all of 10 minutes between setting up the Scumbuster up to rinsing out the sponge! The actual cleaning part took maybe 5 minutes! You could see the reddish mildewy dirt run down the walls. I used a much less toxic cleaner in a scent that I can tolerate (Method grapefruit rather than my ususal toxic smelling pine cleaner) and it got the job done. The tiles make a squeak sound when you rub your finger over them - and no more film! I'll probably clean more often now that i know it won't take as much elbow grease or time as it used to! Great $35 product!!
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on December 6, 2003
I bought this expressly for cleaning the shower. I'm a big strong guy, but lazy, and the repetive scrubbing and awkward angles of cleaning a shower make that the only cleaning task I truly despise.
I just now tried cleaning my shower with this thing, and it helped with a few things, but didn't really cut down on cleaning time like I had hoped. First of all, the Wide Area Brush attachment is useless for this task. The different models come with fewer or more attachments, so make sure yours comes with the blue Coarse Scrub Pad.
For the rim of the tub it was a lot faster to scrub it by hand with a regular brush. The bottom and the walls worked ok with the machine, and the fixtures were a lot easier than using my own muscle, primarily because the angles and protrusions make it hard to scrub by hand.
The long handle extension is useful in some circumstances, but wasn't long enought to let me stand while scrubbing.
In all, if you're strong but lazy (like me), the ScumBuster may not be the dream solution you are looking for. It doesn't really save time over manual labor, and isn't fast/powerful enough to get tough mold, etc., better than hand scrubbing.
OTOH, it's great for hard-to-get-to areas around the faucet, and might be a boon for a weaker person who can't scrub hard enough to get rid of tougher stains. It'll just take a really long time.
Although I've used it only on the shower so far, I imagine it will be very helpful on carpet, where it seems that no matter how hard you can scrub, it still takes lots of repetition to get a stain out.
If you're looking for a (probably) good carpet cleaner and an easy way to scrub around faucets, the toilet, and other obstacles to scrubbing, this is what you need. If what you're looking for is an easy way to get rid of tough shower stains, you'll probably be disappointed.
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on September 19, 2004
I have the scum buster & it helps cleaning the bathroom but the battery & charger do no have a long life. I've had my unit for about one year and the charger no longer works. Checked on the cost of replacment & it was double what the unit costs. Not to cost effective
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on October 24, 2004
The product is great however the pictures shown here on Amazon show that the product uses the Versapack battery system. I thought this would be great because if I run out of power I could just switch batteries.

This product has a built in battery.
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on July 9, 2005
My only complaint with this scrubber was that when I use my usual amount of cleaner it creates about 10 times as much chemical odor. It takes much less cleaner when the brush is on (I don't really use the scrubbing pads). I was using Clorox Cleanup on my kitchen grout (what a fun job). It really took out the stains, but open some windows before you start. Whew!!

I've seen some complaints on epinions about battery life. This scrubber has never died on me, but I only use it for 30-40 minutes at a time. Who wants to scrub the kitchen for an hour straight?

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on January 23, 2004
I have been thinking about getting one of these for ages. I don't know why I ever waited.
I have an off white shower & no water softener so I have mineral build up. With a busy family the last thing thought about is the bathroom. It takes hours to try to scrub the stuff off. This makes short work off it.
Sure the battery doesn't last that long, about 1/2 hour, but that's ok. Do 1/2 then recharge & do the other 1/2. After the hard stuff is gone then 1 battery will do fine. Well I have extra batteries because I have a Black & Decker Dremel tool which is the bomb too. It is hard to get into the corners but you can't have everything I guess.
I recomend this to anyone who wants to spend less time cleaning the bathroom. It's great. Get the one with the extra attachments. I think it is going to be great come Spring on the patio furniture, etc.
If you have an electric toothbrush then you have an idea of the difference between this & scrubbing by hand.
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