10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Bought a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

With our busy lives today, it’s no wonder everyone’s looking for ways to speed up—or eliminate—daily chores. Topping the list of time-saving tools is the robotic vacuum, an appliance that promises to clean the floor on its own without your ever having to lift a finger. We chatted with a number of people who own robot vacuums to learn what they really think about their smart little machines, and what they had to say might surprise you.

  1. Robot Revolution

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    Robotic vacuum cleaners

    Robotic vacuums may seem like they're an effortless solution to dirty floors, and they're great for slipping easily under heavy furniture, but they have a few drawbacks. Most notably, they don’t have as much suction as standard vacuums and their collection bins are small. But if you use them on a daily basis, they'll take care of surface dirt. You'll need to break out a traditional vacuum from time to time, but you won't need to do it nearly as often. Because of these advantages, top sellers, such as the iRobot Roomba (available on Amazon) and the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac (also on Amazon), are finding their way into homes everywhere.

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  2. Keep It Clean

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    Clean filter on Roomba

    While Brandi Cooper from Fort Bragg, California, loves her Roomba, she wishes she had known what it would take to keep it clean. “I wish I had read the instructions thoroughly. You have to clean all the parts very well periodically, or it stops charging,” Cooper said.

    Related: 12 Ways to Clean Your Home While You Sleep

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  3. Beware of the Cheap Ones

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    Cheap robotic vacuums may not work

    Looking for a bargain on a robotic vacuum? Taylor Spayde from Brandon, Florida, wants to warn others that inexpensive robot vacuums might not be all they’re cracked up to be. “The cheap ones don’t work. I bought a reasonably priced one, and it was horrid. Didn’t go well on rugs, died fast, and didn’t do a great job with hair,” Spayde said. She’s not giving up, though; she’s looking to buy a higher quality robotic vacuum in the future.

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  4. Tough to Get Fur Out of Roller

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    Robot vacuums may not handle pet hair

    One of the top reasons for investing in a robotic vacuum is to pick up pet fur, but as Ann Engle from McPherson, Kansas, points out, getting that fur out of the vacuum can be a chore. “What I notice about the Roomba my son has, is that the dog hair really builds up fast and is hard to remove from the roller,” Engel said.

    Related: 10 Best Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Spend Less Time Cleaning

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  5. They’re Great!

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    Good review robot vacuum

    Kathleen Fujioka Richmond from Pearl City, Hawaii, is also sold on her Roomba vacuum. “It’s totally awesome,” she tells us. While Richmond depends on her Roomba for light daily vacuuming, she uses her standard Shark vacuum for monthly deep cleanings.

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  6. Pets Will Pounce

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    Pets may play with robot vacuum

    Jackie Gregory from Fort Wayne, Indiana, bought her robotic vacuum so she could come home to clean floors, but she soon learned that she can use it only when she’s at home because she needs to monitor her pets. “My fur babies attack it, so I can't run it when I'm not home. They hate it!” Gregory said.

    Related: 10 Reasons You May Only Need a Handheld Vacuum

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  7. Doesn’t Hold Much

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    Robot vacuum capacity

    If your floors are strewn with a lot of debris or fur, beware of the small size of the collection bin. Shannon Hall from Americus, Kansas, who shares her home with a German shepherd, complains, “I wish I had known that I would spend more time cleaning the brushes on it and dumping the tiny dirt collector than I would have actually spent just vacuuming the floors myself. German shepherd hair is gnarly!”

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  8. It’s a Blessing!

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    Robot vacuum good results

    You don’t have to live in the United States to want to take advantage of automated cleaning. While she’s only had her Roomba for a month, Catrinel Pauna from Romania told us, “I wish I had known how good they were and bought one years ago.” Pauna added, “I don't know how I lived without it for so long. A blessing!”

    Related: 21 Lazy Cleaning Tricks for a Spotless Home

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  9. Check for Accidents

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    Robot vacuum pet accidents

    If your pets have an occasional accident in your home, Jeremy Schmidt of McPherson, Kansas, suggests scheduling your robotic vacuum to run when “there is no chance that it could run into a fresh pile from your furry friend.” Schmidt told us that it can be difficult to clean animal poop from some of the small parts inside the vacuum. As well, Schmidt warns that robotic vacuums will “choke on socks and underwear.”

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  10. Odd Vacuum Pattern

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    robot-vacuum-cleaner-Pattern

    Although robotic vacuums can be a great convenience, they're not going to completely replace vacuum-wielding humans anytime soon. According to Melinda Black Smith of Wichita, Kansas, some robotic vacuums don’t seem to know where they’re going. “I wish I had known that they (though not some newer ones) vacuum in a random pattern. Who vacuums like that?” Smith said.

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  11. Don't Miss!

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    Have you ever been tempted to buy one of those products you see advertised on TV infomercials? Sure, the spokesperson swears it does everything (and more!) but can it really live up to the hype? Sometimes, yes! Click through now to see some of our favorites.