Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Okay, but requires a bit of attention
on October 10, 2006
We moved into a larger house with all tile floors on the main level. We hated mopping and swiffering all the time so I bought a Scooba now that I could find one for less than $300.
The packaging and instructions are excellent. It really builds a high expectation. The very first time you turn it on you just want to watch it like a little kid, and I sort of expected it to perform magic. But it turned out to be rather anti-climactic for us. There is only so much smarts and functionality you can buy for $300 I guess.
For starters, it's pretty loud, like a regular vacuum cleaner. And it's slow, frankly. You cannot stay in the same room as it for very long or you just get tired of listening to it.
Also, unless your room is of regular size and dimensions without too much junk in the way, I felt like the Scooba just didn't go where I wanted it to. I learned pretty quick you have to cordon off the spaces you want it to focus on or else it will run out of fluid before it's done. It says it will clean up to 200 sq.ft. on a single tank. That's really not that much, not in my house anyway.
One thing that annoys me is if it stops before it is done cleaning the room because it's out of fluid or battery, there is no way to tell it to pick up where it left off. Same thing if it gets stuck and you pick it up...it will not start where it left off. You have to re-fill it, then just place it down in a different area if it didn't get everything.
I also find it works best to remove all the chairs from the room by putting them up on the table or placing them on a rug so Scooba doesn't have to worry about navigating around them. It will waste A LOT of time bumping around chairs before figuring its way out.
Remarkably, it does clean the floor very well and leaves a very nice scent. Even when my tile floors look clean to begin with, the dirty water tank is always brown and filthy afterwards.
Because I have to move chairs around (12 of them) and cordon off the spaces I want cleaned reliably, there is still a bit of work involved and I go through about 4 tanks and one complete battery recharge every time I clean. So don't think you can just push one button and never have to do anything. It requires some patience in the beginning. This is not a product I would buy for someone who is not technologically inclined to be honest. This is for gadget types.
The thing I like most is that I can run it as often as I like and it really doesn't cost anything. I can go work on the computer upstairs while it happily cleans downstairs. I will probably use it 2-3 times a week whereas I would only feel like swiffering once every 2-3 weeks, so my floors should be MUCH cleaner from now on.
For less than $300 it's worth it, but be patient and LEARN how to use it and how to section off your rooms so you know it's cleaning them all reliably. Because the solution dries pretty quick, you can't actually tell where it's been unless you watch it the whole time. It would be fun to take some video of it and speed it up to see how it's really doing.
UPDATE: It's been almost a year and a half, and I'm still using Scooba. BUT, if you can believe it, my original Scooba started making crazy sounds on the very last day of its warranty. I called, and they replaced my Scooba FREE OF CHARGE with an upgraded model. Now THAT is customer service. They will not let you down if you have problems. They always shipped me free parts no questions asked when a few of the components started wearing out. Batteries do not have a very long life, you will need to buy replacements in less than one year, and they are on the pricey side. Still not sure this is better than my swiffer, but it's fun to watch!