445 of 458 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
Is it perfect? no. Is it useful? yes.
Before I write review for the Scooba, I would like to write a little about my two other robots.
My two other robots are Roomba 550 and Neato XV11 from Neato Robotic. I use Roomba to maintain my first floor and Neato to maintain my second floor. They both have strength and work very well for their intended purposes. My first floor is all hardwood and ceramic tiles, and the second floor is all carpet. Since my dog also lives in the first floor, the Roomba works very well for floor with pet hair. Neato is very powerful robotic vacuum (best), it works extremely well for my carpet. I scheduled the Roomba to run the entire floor 4 days a week so the first floor usually clean without much hairs and debris left; I know that the main function of the Scooba is not to clean the debris and dog hair and I don't want to burden it for. It won't work well with very hairy floor.
I have around 1400 square foot first floor. I use the Scooba to clean my entire floor cleaning it one section at a time. I only use white vinegar or just pure water for now, both natural and sufficient.
It cleans pretty well in normal condition. I don't have very dirty kitchen with food stains like some families with very young toddlers; my son, 7 years old, often wear shoes walking inside the house and my dog with dirty feet too. For the spots with tough stains, it won't clean. However, I don't expect I can rub the stains away if I mop the floor myself. I still need to bend and scrub the tough dry food stains myself. After washing, the floor wetness is like mopping the floor by myself.
Compared to Mint Plus 5200, the machine operates very noisy so don't expect watching TV in a house with open floor plan. However, there is no problem if you stay in different floor like basement or second floor while the the machine is running. I typically start it before I leave home or watch TV in the basement. I am not here comparing it to a typical floor washing vacuum, which is much louder. However, the Scooba noise pitch is high.
Maintenance and usage:
Cleaning this Scooba is incredibly easy and quick. It is very well designed for both operation and cleaning. I am very happy of this.
Floor is cleaned every week. I need to fill up water twice to clean the floor and I have to divide the first floor in four/five sections. Not every section needs to clean every week, but the kitchen and dinette do. It won't be able to cross the borders which may be 1/4 inch high.
It cleans better than mopping and automated. Combined with Roomba, I am free from routine cleaning. If you don't have Roomba, and have a hairy floor then I would recommend sweeping the floor first before using it.
It is not for deep cleaning. However, I don't feel deep cleaning is necessary, at least not often; I have not deep cleaned it since; it is almost a year now. If you keep washing the floor every week and wiping out the tough stains every time you accidentally drop food.
It is very very noisy so operate it in a floor when you are not staying in.
Very well designed and easy to maintain and operate.
Battery life is sufficient enough that I don't feel battery is an issue at all for my home, 1400 sqf first floor.
Depending on how to value your time and money, I feel I would rather spend time with my son than mopping the floor every week.
I give four stars mainly due to its high pitch loudness.
Update (07/29/2012). The product came with only one virtual wall. Since I have a open kitchen joint with family room and dining room and entry. I need three virtual wall to confine the Scooba. Currently, my solution is using a dining chair to block one opening and the virtual wall to block the entry and just let the Scooba running free on both kitchen and my family room. Not an ideal solution unless I get another virtual wall.
Update (10/30/2012). I found the Scooba did get stuck once a while, very few and not a big deal that I need to rate one star down. Perhaps it is something to do with my home; when closed, the bottom opening space of my dishwasher door is the exact same height as the Scooba, if the scooba bounces into the corner of the door, it stuck. I learned to open the door a little bit when running the robot to prevent this happen. Another place that it gets stuck is the thin carpet under my dinning table. Mine is too soft and too thin so I have to fold the edge when cleaning the dinning room. It is not Scooba fault in my view since it is not designed for carpet. I, however, wish it is smart enough to tell the difference between carpet and hard floor. No other floor wash robot can deal with it anyway. I hope one day this intelligence of forward detecting sensor can be built in, it should not be that difficult.
One suggestion for this robot is to have an option to disable the scrubbing and allow attaching a towel like Mint 5200 so it will do light mopping/drying the floor, a wish.
Update (11/9/2012) My Scooba died three weeks back. The start button just did not respond even the battery charging is fine. Called and told to keep the battery and charger and send the rest back. They sent out the replacement one back shortly. Brand new one minus the battery and charger etc accessories. Good service, not as efficient/excellent as Amazon, but good enough.
Update (2/7/2013) My Scooba keeps going after replacement. A impromptu solution was found without buying a new virtual wall. I cut two strips of leftover wall trims to confine the Scooba. It took same amount of efforts to lay down the virtual walls and the wall trims so I end up not using the virtual wall since, plus the benefit of not replacing battery every six months. Don't laugh at me, the wood trims just work better.
Update (5/21/2013) My Scooba keeps going after more than 1 year. Recently I also added Mint Plus 5200 in my home cleaning robot collection to clean my all hardwood floor basement. Since the Mint is so light and completely whisper quiet, I use it more often than Scooba to quickly sweep the hairy bathroom and quick mopping for my most used family room while watching TV. It is so easy that like getting a cup of coffee while watching TV, but I have to be careful to not to step on it since it operates in complete silence. I use Mint Plus for cleaning in between the Scooba cleaning. I bet you might ask whether the Scooba worth buying, I would say that Mint Plus really mean for not so dirty floor. If you currently only need light mopping for your house, then Mint Plus is good enough, otherwise, Scooba is still better choice for average dirty floor, specially for dinning room and kitchen.
Update (11/5/2013) Well, my Scooba tank release handle was broken a couple months ago and I am out of warranty. I felt that the handle design is a defect, it made from hard plastic instead of metal. After a while, the plastic joint just broke after fatigue. Called the customer service and I was told to buy a whole new tank instead, $32 including free shipping. I was told the joints in new handle now is made of metal. Not yet receive the replacement tank to confirm this. I think that for a $500 Scooba, they should just give me a new tank instead, it likely only cost less than $10 for iRobot to build. I just wish iRobot treat their loyal customer better than average company. I bought Scooba, Roomba and Mint Plus (now Braava)from iRobot.
Change the rating from 4 stars to 3 due to this design defect, but will still hold its stock.
Update (12/21/2014) Just realized it has been 2.5 years since I bought Scooba. So I think it might be good for me to provide some updates for it since I have been having it for a while.
1. I have been using the Scooba for my Kitchen Ceramic floor only since I bought Braava robot from iRobot for mopping hardwood floor.
2. I have replaced the cleaning accessories once.
3. I have replaced the battery after its 1.5 years of service.
4. At a couple months, the tank did not distribute water anymore and I did not have time to deal with it and used it, then I googled and figured out there is a hole that might get stucked so I find a way unblock it. (bow air, use ball pin pen etc)
5. I still keep using water for cleaning, never use iRobot's cleaning solution. Fine for my need.
Overall, I am glad I bought this. I have not mopped my floors since two and half years ago. The Roomba, Scooba, Braava took over this duty. Just like I have not washed my cloth since my family had the first washer.
A side note, the same Roomba, Braava from iRobot still do their duties religiously and very reliably.
210 of 225 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
A small disclaimer: I base my results entirely on large tile floor cleaning. I have no wood, laminate, polished concrete, or groutless flat tile floors, so your results may vary.
First the good.
1. It's easy to prepare and operate.
2. Battery has good charge (good for one large room or one medium and one small room).
3. It can use regular old water and vinegar and still clean effectively if you don't use their cleaning solution. That is if you don't mind the smell of vinegar of course.
4. The first stage vacuum function is very nice. As long as you don't have large debris on the floor, you don't have to worry about vacuuming first.
5. The floors are overall noticeably cleaner, though for best results on larger or medium sized rooms with complicated layouts you'll need to do two passes.
6. Great for the lazy and/or busy among us.
Now the bad.
1. It leaves too much water behind. It doesn't leave puddles, but there's definitely a visible, somewhat thick coat of water left on the floor. This leaves the floor not quite as clean as it should be and your floor will need some drying time (about 15-20 minutes).
2. It's awful at cleaning grout. I wasn't expecting it to deep clean it, but most of the time the brushes and/or cleaning solution never touch it. Unless the grout is at the same elevation as the tile itself, don't expect much.
3. Leaves tire track lines/line segments. Admittedly these are only visible when the light is shining on the floor at a certain angle during the daytime, but they stick out like a sore thumb when they are and make the floor look dirty even if it's not.
4. It's noisy as all get out. Don't plan on letting it do it's thing and then taking a nap nearby.
5. It's subpar at edge cleaning. Any edge cleaning will still need to be done by hand.
6. Cleaning patterns are unpredictable and don't always provide full cleaning coverage. If you have a perfectly square or rectangular room with no obstructions, you're golden. If you have a more unusually shaped room, such as a kitchen with bar in the middle and some other nooks and crannies, chances are it won't get everything. It'll get most, but not all.
With all that said, it's still useful in that it can serve as a maintenance cleaning device, but not good enough to serve as your primary cleaning tool (you're better off with a Swiffer or steam mop), and it definitely does not justify the high price point. If it weren't for the high cost I'd give it a 3 out of 5, but since this is a $500 device it gets a 2 out of 5.
178 of 191 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2012
A few months ago I called Irobot and told them how utterly sad I was about scooba's overall short lifespan given the great potential the robot offered. A manager got on the phone and offered me another replacement of one of my older models, but weary of the process, I declined. Days later, the manager called me back and asked me to reconsider. I agreed to have them send me a replacement of my old model, no strings attached, no replacement parts returned, no shipping charges, simply a good will measure on thier part. Surprise, surprise, when the package arrived, it was the newest model, not a refurbished old model. Irobot was sincerely doing me a good turn and I was truly impressed. I was ready to start again with a fresh attitude.
Now, months later, I continued to be impressed by this newest scooba model which runs smoothly, has no bugs, has a solid battery life and is free of any and all irritations the previous models have had. It runs like a champ, cleans the the 1,000 square feet of porcelain tile in our home (in sections) daily with little care. We use the plug in method of charging with only the one battery which we never remove from the unit. We take care to only use either water or the enzyme cleaner. I must say that using any other cleaner seems to be the kiss of death to internal parts, so be aware of this if you care for the longevity of your unit. Irobot has a winner and I am pleased as punch. I am using it daily, putting it through it's paces and it is working like a champ.
Scooba works well particularly on open spaces. Daily, I simply flip chairs on upon the other (20 seconds) to make things easier and more open for scooba, fill scooba and let it loose. After running, I do take maybe three minutes to clean. This invloves dumping the vacuum screen, rinsing the water vacuum port, quickly rinsing the dirty water tank (not needed but just my thing) and popping the brush button and doing a quick rinse. Then a simple plug in on the floor and scooba is ready for another day. My hands never get dirty, and neither does scooba. One charge overnight does fine for a whole house of work the next day. The battery has shown no signs of depletion.
Maintenance sometimes seems like a dirty word to some, but so little brings a lot of lifespan, so I'm being good about it. I've heard people complain that they feel they shouldn't have to do anything to the unit, but seriously, this is less than wringing out a mop or squeezing a germy sponge and much less nasty since you don't touch anything dirty. Emptying the dirt bin on a vacuum is worse than rinsing these little parts. Scooba has little open spots colored and easily plucked and replaced so it is a breeze. The design is clear and hassle free with no switches, toggles, jamming or other annoyances that normally deter maintenance.
A running Scooba begins in a circular pattern, working outwards. It spreads clean water with cleaning solution in it, scrubs the floor with scrubbing brushes, and squeegees and sucks up the dirty water and any physcial debris. Scooba's ability to pick up depends solely on the type of flooring. On our very smooth tile, it picks up to nearly absolutely dry to the touch. On our tile that has some texture, some moisture gets left in the grooves, but never enough to be a problem. Scooba returns over areas enough that the overpasses get any residual moisture left behind. If you let scooba do its entire run you will see this, but if you look simply pass for pass, you might mistakenly think scooba is leaving water behind. Scooba does get your floor clean using a remakably small amount of water, much less than a mop. When the cycle is done, the dirty water is collected in a dirty water reserve which you empty. You will be surprised what gets collected there. The great thing about this unit is that, unlike mopping, the dirty water gets removed from the floor and taken away, rather than being diluted and spread around your floor.
I have mentioned cleaning tile floors quite a bit, but I have used scooba to clean my sealed hardwood floors in a limited way. I don't do this often, though, as it is my preference that these floors really never see water. However, when scooba has been used, I do go quickly behind with a towel as I worry about any water. I feel scooba is best used for non wood surfaces on a regular basis. Sorry, Irobot.
Scooba does fine in our bathrooms which represent smaller spaces. Naturally, scooba's size doesn't allow it to get behind toilets and the like, but if your bath is large enough your floors will shine without your personal contact with the entire floor which is something everyone can enjoy. This being said, scooba naturally does well in homes with lots of hard surface floors. If your home is mainly carpeted, scooba might not be the investment for you, unless your kitchen floor is large and you love it brand new clean every day. We have not used it on vinyl, so we don't know how it works on that product, though it should do great since the scrubbing gets things in textured surfaces.
Scooba has a cliff sensor. This means it won't run off stairs. It will back off by itself and it does this brilliantly. If you have wide, open spaces, scooba comes with an electronic room divider which is essentially an invisible beam scooba won't cross. For us, this keeps scooba in the kitchen for an entire cycle, rather than scooba trying to do the entire first floor since all our rooms are connected. You can buy extra room dividers to segment more areas if your house is very open planned, or you may do fine with the one unit provided with the purchase as we have. The unit beams over a good distance so one might just do it for you. We like this unit as nothing physical sits on the floor. The unit is very small and portable and works on D batteries that last a long time.
Scooba does a pretty decent job of getting close to within an eighth or so of our kitchen cabinets. Every once in a blue moon I'll go over those areas with a rag, but honestly, cleaning with scooba every day makes this an unneeded chore. The sweeping ability is pretty decent. Scooba can get a cat food kibble and a stray onion peel that has skittled under a kitchen cabinet. These items get vacuumed up and are retained in a screen you dump out ot the end of the cycle. Granted, this is not intended for a major cheerios spill. I have a Neeto for that which I also highly suggest for a busy family.
My floors are barefoot clean and my tile and grout remain perpetually brand new via scooba though I live in the country, have a house full of kids and pets and am in the process of remodeling, complete with drywall dust and kitchen crumbs mixing by the end of every day. Daily use of scooba gets it....but for me, daily is needed.
So, in summary, there was a time I would have hesitated telling anyone the time was right to get a scooba. I would have said "not yet...they aren't ready...things aren't yet ironed out..." but not any more. I think now IS the time. I think Irobot is ready and they have a machine which is poised and perfect to keep your floors clean free of hassle, free of work, and free of excess filth on your part. I think you will get a work horse that will go and go, with the help of small daily rinsing on your part. And the price? Well, now considering the machine will work well into the future and Irobot is standing behind it, I don't think a daily washing of your floors can be had for any less, especially if you have lots of hard surfaces as I do.
Thank you, Irobot, for taking care of me after so long. I did say that after many months that if I was indeed pleased, that if I did believe again, that if my mind was changed I'd write this review. Your effort was worth it. My house is happy, and your technology is doing all I knew it could. Good job!
UPDATE: It is now March 2013 and I am happy to report that the Scooba is working beautifully and doing well. I fully endorse the product for daily use in a large and busy (if not dirt prone!) home. Again, don't use anything in it but plain water, vinegar or Scooba enzyme cleaner, and scooba will clean for you every day and do it well. I am still on the same battery and I charge it each and every day and it still runs to full capacity. I think Irobot has a good, strong unit here that is worth what I paid.In fact, it is running right now while I relax and take time to write this review!
UPDATE: MARCH 2014 AND GOING STRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No problems, no replacement parts, no errors, just strong performance every day. This machine is a winner.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
For those of you unfamiliar with iRobot's cleaning robots, the Roomba, in all its iterations, is a robot vacuum, while the Scooba, in all its iterations, is a robot hard floor washer (emphasis hard). They share some common traits - the Scooba, for example, does vacuum (somewhat, as it washes); they are roughly the same size and shape, they make beeping noises to tell you their status, they bump into things and turn around. The similarities pretty much end there.
The Roomba has been developed over a long period of time, and really does its job - vacuuming - pretty well. It's fairly intelligent - it "knows" when it has finished a room, and where it's been, it will return to a recharging station on its own, it is (fairly) gentle with furniture, it can generally get itself out of a jam, and when it can't, it shuts down and gives a warning beep.
The Scooba on the other hand, is relatively newer, and I suspect still in evolution. It washes hard surface floors (with a vacuum in front that picks up larger particles before washing), and does a decent job with some caveats. It's considerably dumber than it's smaller sisters, the Roombas. The only thing it really "knows" is that it has run out of water, or the battery is low, or it's stuck - which happens a LOT compared to the Roomba. It's taller by a fraction that the Roombas, so it tends to wedge itself under things, and then rotates and spins until it's REALLY stuck, or it gets out, usually the former. It generally crashes into things full force - walls, baseboards, doors, and it doesn't seem to know where it's been, but repeatedly crosses a room or spins in place enough that it usually in the course of an hour or so randomly covers everything. And it does avoid carpet fairly well, if it's not a flat, hard type of carpet.
It uses a relatively small amount of water to clean (I measured just over 3 cups in the tank - the size of which isn't mentioned anywhere in the specs, but easy to fill it up and pour it out and find out); about half of that is left in the dirty tank when finished, so about half evaporates or is left on the floor. But that small amount may stay pooled on the floor for 10-20 minutes, in random spots, so I would definitely not recommend it on hardwood, sealed or not. Get a Mint for that - Mint Plus Automatic Floor Cleaner with Charging Cradle - Model 5200C.
The Scooba is fairly easy to clean, with modular parts, a positive feature. Battery life is shorter than the Roombas, maybe half or or a little more, but it's designed to cover a smaller area at one stretch, and it takes more time to clean a given area. Which leads me to the one really significant negative for the device for me - the virtual "walls" for the Scooba are really more like virtual "hand grenades;" you really can't precisely block off anything - once activated (and there are specific ranges marked on the front, which seem to have no function), the Scooba will stay feet away from the thing, in any direction, if it has a direct line of sight.
Put one at the end of a small room and the Scooba will proceed to clean only the half of the room well away from the "wall." This limits your ability to effectively divide up large spaces and still get adequate cleaning without considerable guessing. The manual and diagrams show the virtual wall blocking a doorway by placing it behind a wall on the other side of the doorway you want to block - which is its only real utility, because if you placed it IN the doorway as you might the much more precise "walls" for the Roomba, or worse, in FRONT of the doorway, the Scooba won't come anywhere within 4 or 5 feet of the doorway, which will then remain unwashed. You can't really block off delicate furniture or small areas you want it to avoid, without having a 5-foot perimeter unwashed around the blocked area.
All that said, if you have a large open area of hard surface (other than wood), surrounded by walls or doorways, the Scooba will do a decent job. The recommended enzymatic cleaner really does clean, has virtually no odor, and only takes a tiny amount (7 ml) per tank. I debated on whether to give it 3 stars or 4, but, warts and all, it does clean adequately as advertised, is easy to clean up and maintain, and for its limited utility performs well. Just don't expect it to do things it can't, and if you're willing to wait I would guess there will be a Scooba 400 or 410 or 420 in the works some day that will address many of the shortcomings.
83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
Just received my Scooba a few days ago. It was very easy to set up. The manual recommends that the first time charging should be "overnight charging". It was a really long wait! After charging it for almost 24 hours, I poured in one of the packets of solution (came with 4 packets), and filled the tank up. Pressed the power button and the start button, and there it goes! It was a bit loud and it moved much slower than my Roomba. But I can instantly feel that the floor behind it became much cleaner than before! This amazing little thing followed the wall quite well, with about 1cm gap or so. It ran for about 55 minutes for my first tank, and only 40 minutes for the second tank before the battery went flat. My floor felt really clean after that... it has never felt this clean before! The dirty water that I poured out from the tank looked really black for the first run. On the second run, I used only plain water to run one more time on the same area. This time the water looks less dirty but it still contains dirt. So I guess it should be fine even if you were to use just plain water.
My only complaint is that it seems to drip drops of water from the left hand side under the base, every two feet or so. Not sure why this is happening. Other than that, everything was great.
Really loves it!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
When I bought my first Scooba I was so excited, and loved it. I used it on my kitchen floor (Pergo laminate) that I thought was already clean, and the water coming out of the thing was so filthy I was embarrassed! I was determined to get my floor truly clean, so I ran it every day for about a week before the water came out clean. After that I ran it about once a week, and it kept the floors really clean. I felt like I could practically eat off the floor after running it.
I kept up with all of the maintenance and cleaning, but unfortunately, just under a year later it started throwing all kinds of error codes and stopped working. We'd get one thing fixed, and something else would break. First it wouldn't turn (just got stuck going in a small circle). Got that fixed, then it wouldn't suck up water anymore. At that time there was still a warranty in effect so I got a replacement unit, and that one worked for a few months before it started having the same problem where it wouldn't turn. Fixed that, it worked for two more uses, then broke again. It would suck up water but wouldn't lay down the cleaning solution. The company only offered a 30 or 60 day warranty on the replacement unit (I forget which now), so I was out of luck. I sometimes put down the water/cleaning solution with a mop and let the Scooba do the scrubbing and suck up the dirty water, which worked but was kind of a pain. It stopped sucking up the water within a few more uses anyway, so it became completely useless.
The third unit came from my father in law. I felt guilty because I'd recommended the Scooba to him based on the first few months of using my first one. He loved his too, until it broke right after the warranty was up. He gave it to us to see if we could use his for parts, because my husband's pretty good at fixing things and we weren't getting any further help from iRobot. Even between all 3 robots and numerous repair attempts, we still don't have one that functions properly. Discouraging because I really wish it worked the way my first one did in the beginning.
When it works, it works great... but it is WAY too expensive for how quickly it breaks, at least based on my experience and my family's. I just don't have this kind of money to spend replacing it every year.
(as an aside, I do still like the iRobot Roomba for quick touch up vacuuming - I think the Scooba suffers from either some kind of design problem, or the water leads to issues)
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
Ok, so before I go into the Scooba 390 Review, let me speak briefly about the Roomba first.
I have owned the Roomba Pet Series 500 for about 18 months now. I bought it primarily because I'm a single Dad making less than 1/2 of what I used to make and working longer hours than I ever did before and have no time to spend with my son. My goal was to have more time to spend with my son doing fun stuff, another words, "LIVING LIFE" not working all the time. Getting someone to do house chores for me was cost prohibitive and being that we don't have android robots to do things for us like we see in Sci-Fi movies, I had to get the next best thing. So off I went to the Internet to learn as much as I can about these robots. Skipping through all the long boring stuff, I decided that iRobot has been in business for well over 10 years and a company making just these robots does not stay in business if they don't work, so that being said I decided to give it a try. I Started with my first Roomba purchased from Sams Club, the 535 Series. Worked great, but did not have a scheduler to auto turn on and clean like a robot should, so off to Costco I went and purchased the Pet Series 585. Same robot but black instead of white and had a scheduler, plus came with 2 virtual walls and a bunch of extra filters, and cleaning consumables rollers etc. It's been 18+ months now and I have never looked back. I have a small house, 1500sq ft. with a combination of carpet in 2 rooms, 1 room hard wood floor and the rest all ceramic tile with 2 area rugs. A Big mix of different flooring. The Roomba picked up more S*&! than I could ever imagine. Much better than a manual upright vacuum ever would and I'm guessing that is because it is so close to the ground and goes over each area multiple times. No matter how clean you think your home is, the Roomba proves you wrong! So it does a GREAT job cleaning especially if you have a cat!
Now, if you or someone has LONG hair and my GF has really long hair like 1/2 way down her back, were talking some maintenance. It's not a big deal, but each cleaning you have to remove the rollers, and small bearings at the end of the rollers and use the Roller cleaning tool to get the hair out. (That Cleaning tool is a MUST HAVE!) If your Roomba did not come with it, it's an add on you can purchase directly from iRobot. Not really that big of a deal if Roomba runs at least once a week. Now if you don't run it for several months and try to pick up months of hair, well, that will take you some time to clear it out of the rollers etc, (about 5 minutes give or take.) Again, not a really big deal. That's it! I would never look back and manually vacuum my home ever again! Robots are hear to stay at my house!
So after the 18 months, I decided to break down and get the Scooba 390. Vacuuming was going great with my robot, not time to get another to wash my floors. Once again, I researched online, read everyone's reviews and have to say, I must try for myself. I received my Scooba 390 on 9/20/13 and ran it 3 times on all of my floors which have not been washed in 4 weeks. Yeah gross OK, I know, but like I said, I don't have the time. At least I don't have a cat anymore! As expected, the Scooba did NOT get the bad spots off my tile floor. Again, I knew this going in and did not expect it to. I manually cleaned the 2 spots and the rest went well. I used 2oz of plain white vinegar to the Scooba and added water till filled.
Ok, so here are the pros and cons for both:
Roomba 500 Pet Series: Pros: Saves time, I don't have to clean, picks up EVERYTHING!, can schedule a different time for each day of the week
Roomba 500 Pet Series: Cons: The price, $299, have to empty dust bin and clean rollers. They don't have a self cleaning mode yet. :)
Scooba 390: Pros: Saves time, cleans well, pre-vacuums before washing
Scooba 390: Cons: STEEP Price tag at $500!, Same basic maintenance between uses, (5 minutes Tops)
Ok, so your asking....If the Scooba 390 Vacuums too, why do I need a Roomba? Bottom line, this is the best solution. The Roomba does a superior job at cleaning, the Scooba was designed only for light vacuuming. The Scooba was not designed to replace the Roomba. If you have a VERY clean house, then you should be able to get away with just the Scooba, but remember what I said earlier? My house was clean, but the Roomba always told me otherwise! Plus, if your home on the computer, watching TV in another room or out for a few hours you can have the Roomba cleaning one room while the Scooba is washing in another.
The Scooba does a great job at staying off your carpet but if you have area rugs that are very thin 1/4" or less, the Scooba will attempt to go onto it and get stuck. The virtual wall or some other barrier you setup will solve this. Rooms that had regular carpet in them were fine, the Scooba did an excellent job at staying away, and my hardwood floor that is NOT Sealed but had a small threshold at the doorway, Scooba did wonderful at staying off of it. You will need to manually clean behind the toilet as the Scooba and the Roomba cannot get behind it, but OK, big deal. Wipe it with a cleaning cloth every other week and your fine and that takes less than 2 minutes to do in 2 bathrooms.
So ask yourself this question? Would you rather spend $800 to have both the Roomba & the Scooba and free yourself from cleaning your floors ever again and being able to spend several hours a week with your kid(s), Wife, Girl Friend, relative, traveling, going to the movies or whatever?
My Long Term Outlook on both of these units: There is no doubt that these will not last forever, however I believe that with proper care and maintenance after each use, you should be able to get many years of service out of both of them. I would expect to have to replace the rechargeable battery in 2-5 years in both if you use each 1-2 times per week and keep the batteries properly charged. Charge the Scooba with the cover/tank off, so the battery stays cool while charging, this will extend battery life. Batteries are reasonably priced. For the Roomba, you can clean that filter by lightly washing it and letting it dry, I have used mine for a year before replacing it and they are cheap. The spinning 3 position side brush wears out/loses 1 of the 3 brushes in about a year, so you will replace that once a year give or take. I have never had to replace my cleaning brushes, or bearings, although I am going to do it now after 18 months as they are showing visible signs of wear and feel new ones will clean better.
The Scooba should never need it's filter replaced unless you physically damage it. You will need to replace the rubber squeegee on the bottom every once in a while and how long that is, I can't tell you, but I'm guessing a year or so and it is also cheap. The tank I'm guessing will need to be replaced at some point, but that's just a guess. I'm thinking eventually, your going to drop it and it may crack.
Overall noise on both robots is much lower than a traditional vacuum. You won't want to watch TV in the same room they are working in. The Roomba makes a great alarm clock in the morning! I get up when it get's up! You don't really want a scheduler on the Scooba as you have to put cleaning solution in there, wash it out afterwords etc, so this is not a drawback in my opinion.
If Roomba vacuums your floors weekly, and Scooba cleans your tile weekly, and you clean up food mess on your floors as they happen, you will never need to do a deep cleaning of your floors. These robots do a superior job! You will have to make your home Robot proof, like you did with your kids when they were just learning to crawl and walk, you will have to keep little things off your floor so your robots have a clear space to work in.
Things you will need to do: Keep loose clothing, small toys like Legos, marbles and other small items off the floor. Roomba gets HUNGRY! Shoe laces, NO SHAG RUGS!, area rugs with 2" long or more of string like ends, the Roomba will clean it fine, but tends to suck up fibers from it over time and get caught in the rollers. Plastic bags, papers, newspapers, keep them off the floor along with any cords you have running on the floors. Cords running against the wall/baseboards are fine. Then again, you will have to move all these things if YOU were running a manual vacuum over your floors too. So nothing different there.
Yeah That's it on the Cons! Not really much there. It's plain and simple, want more time out of life? Buy them! You can't put a price on LOST TIME!
And finally, I DO NOT WORK FOR iRobot, nor do I receive any compensation for this review. I think they are both grossly overpriced for what it cost to make, no doubt, but if you put the price aside, my TIME with my Son is worth more than $800! You can't get that back and I'm not one who can really afford to buy expensive things like this right now! I'm barely making it. Stop going out to eat a few times and get a Roomba. After a few days of that, you will want a Scooba! Oh, and don't buy a used one! These newer models work much better than previous ones, and you will most likely have to replace parts and the battery, so what are you really saving?
I hope I have freed a few of you out there from floor cleaning. If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
i purchased a roomba and scooba together, and wish i had done so a long time ago.
I have a bad back, and washing the kitchen floor, even with a swiffer, hurts like heck.
I have 3 `terriers, with little dirt-mop paws running thru the kitchen constantly, dripping water on the floor, and then there are the cooking spills.
this thing is great!
I have been running it every day since I purchased it, and it is cleaning very well.
I do have a laminate floor, but previously caulked all around the edges of the basebooard with clear caulk after it was installed, so i don't think there will be a moisture problem
I have read some of the complaints from others, but do not find puddles on my floor. I suppose if it was a small area that the floor would be wetter , since it would constantly recover the same area,before it dried. In any case, it does not "shoot" water, more like driibbles it onto the floor, so it's unlikely to shove water under the laminate edge.
I do have about 300 square feet of laminate, and it is less wet than when I damp mop, or use a swiffer.
I put my ceiling fan on,and then the floor is almost instantly dry.
some people complain it leaves stuff on the floor. It has a small crud filter on the unit, but it doesn't hold much, and wet dust or lint will get left behind on the floor. it is not a vacumn, you will need to vacumn or sweep the major stuff off the floor first.
I got a roomba at the same time, so I run it first, and then let Rosie do her thing. (yes- "Rosie" from the jetsons.)
It does make a fair amount of noise, I- think mostly from the squeegee, but not as much as I make when my back is killing me as I clean. I ignore it, go to another room, or turn it on when i leave the house.
Make sure that you use the gray bulb syringe included to shoot air and water thru the intake port BEFORE you try to use it, or you will spend a lot of frustrating time trying to get it to work.. I spent 2 hours cursing,, called customer service, and finally found the answer online.
I have used the scooba solution, and it works very well. I have not noticed any odd odor from it, and a little goes a long way.
and - NO streaks on the laminate!!! ( and everything streaks laminate)
I would highly recommend this to anyone , and if you have dogs, kids, or just a dislike of floor cleaning,you will probably love it too.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
As for cleaning, I think the Scooba does an excellent job. I have no doubt that the cleaning mechanism is first rate for a robot. My focus is on the navigation. My analysis comes as both and engineer and a programmer.
Having owned a MINT for wet & dry "swifting" (now owned by the iRobot people) and a Neato robotic vacuum, I feel that the Scooba's navigation is inadequate for the price. The Mint navigates by touch like the Scooba, but it builds a database of the room layout, slowly moving back and forth across the room in an orderly fashion - using the same manner that you would use to mow your lawn. At the end, Mint goes back to "edge" the room, work its way around table legs, and cover areas that it missed. GPS cubes help it to keep track of where it is, where it has been, and where it is going. The more advanced Mints can navigate multiple rooms and recover from getting stuck.
The Neato vacuum has eyesight. Not only does it navigate by touch, but it also looks around the room for obstacles. First it edges the room, mapping the perimeter and then returning to finish in a back-and-forth pattern - covering the target area one time - then stopping.
Scooba, on the other hand is a wanderer. Using some type of apparently random navigation system it bumps around the room hoping its random generator will guarantee 100% coverage over the 45 minute cleaning cycle. It cannot see, and cannot remember where it has been. It does not seem to keep track of any areas or zones. In my family room - it completely ignores one corner of the room, despite the lack of obstacles or any difference in floor or distance. Even if I start it in that corner, it will quickly flee from this area to conquer other areas. It also loves the vent in my kitchen floor. It will return to this vent over and over. Perhaps its using it as a scratching post. Of course it makes a big ordeal out of kind-of getting stuck on the vent before it finally frees itself. Within a minute or two - it's back for more. My Mint works its way over that vent - and crosses it off the list as done. Scooba doesn't really know when it is done - it just runs out of water and stops. It takes the same amount of time to wash a ballroom as it does a small bathroom.
In conclusion: I like the Scooba. It cleans well, and I can live with the random navigation. BUT the engineer in me wonders why it can't see and can't remember where it's been.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2013
I have a brand new scooba. It leaves puddles of water behind it as it cleans. I contacted i robot and they sent me a replacement scooba. Second scooba performed the same way. I sent i obot pics of the water left after scooba passes. They said this is normal. I have to mop after scooba finishes. It just does not perform up to my expectations. Waste of money. If you look under customer pics on amazon.com, you can see my pics and the dirty water it leaves behind.