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June 16, 2016
June 16, 2016


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The Roomba was a great leap forward in vacuum cleaners. It is a compact, lightweight robot that could clean rooms without cords and without heavy bags. However, there was nothing to replace that messy mop and bucket. That is, until iRobot’s Scooba came along.

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Like the Roomba, the Scooba is an artificially intelligent cleaning robot. Whereas the Roomba cleaned rugs and carpets, the Scooba cleans hard floors (like linoleum, wood, and tile) though the robot is similar to the Roomba in a lot of ways. It has a system that immediately goes for the dirtiest areas of your room and starts cleaning it up. It navigates the room to avoid bumping into things and the AI sensors make it so it rarely gets stuck. If it does bump into something, the bumpers ensure that nothing will get damaged. It will turn around keep on going. It also avoids stairs and things like rugs (though you should move things like excessively frilly rugs before beginning the cleaning cycle) It has a multi-stage cleaning process.


First it does a sweeping and pre-soaking. This will get rid of things like crumbs and pet hair. Then, after the floor is wet, it gets to work using the soap you put in the tank to start cleaning the floor. The robot will go back and forth a few times to make sure the floor is completely clean. The best part is unlike the old-fashioned mop and bucket, it doesn’t reuse dirty water. This means your floors are getting clean and you’re not just spreading germs around when you’re cleaning. This is definitely good if you have children or pets in the home. It is very good a removing potentially lethal bacteria such as e coli. It is great for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. The Scooba’s battery runs for about 300 square feet of full cleaning. This should cover most kitchens and if necessary, bathrooms.

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It is compatible with the Roomba’s charging station. This is a great way to save money which is something you’ll probably want to do given that the latest iteration currently costs more than $500. It is also compatible with the Roomba’s Virtual Walls. Basically the Virtual Walls are electric eyes that react with Roombas and Scoobas to keep them out of rooms you don’t want them in. However, it is not compatible with the Roomba’s system that allows it to be programmed while you’re away. While this is probably a good thing given how labor intensive it is, it is still worth noting.


It is also worth noting that you should not use anything other than the soap it comes with. Normal soap that foams, such as dish soap, will irreparably damage the sensors and render the robot useless which has been one of the problems. In the past, you had to buy the soap online from iRobot’s website, which was a little annoying. Unless you bought in bulk, you’d have to order by mail frequently (the shipping costs would add up). This has been more or less rectified. Clorox has introduced its own brand of Scooba compatible cleanser that is available at most supermarkets. Both the Scooba cleanser and the Clorox brand smell reasonably decent. The site says you can use vinegar in place of the Scooba cleanser but you’ll definitely want to avoid doing that for marble floors. You’ll also want to open a window if you use vinegar. It won’t replace mops entirely either. However, mopping will be quicker when done in conjunction with Scooba.


Though it is a bit on the pricey side, the Scooba is a good product for your kitchen. It’s easy to use and gets things done. Just make sure to use only Scooba compatible solutions.