There are few chores that I hate more than mopping, except for perhaps dusting (but how many people really enjoy dusting?) So I was excited when I dipped into the ever shrinking Robot Stockpile review budget, and sent away to order the iRobot Scooba 390 Floor Scrubbing Robot. Within a few days it was at my door, and ready to free me from my hated mopping duties.
After reading all of the boasts on the company website, and the raving reviews from a family member, I was expecting great things from the iRobot Scooba 390, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even though it sounds like it is named after an anthropomorphic dog that’s afraid of everything, this robot isn’t afraid of dirt.
After setting it up and letting it loose in the kitchen, it quickly tackled the cleaning, moving about in an indecipherable pattern that is common to all iRobots. Although I have used the Roomba in the past, I’m still amazed at how it can navigate furniture and other obstacles in its path. In its little determined manner, it shoved past chairs and crammed under counters to get every spec of dirt on the floor.
I even tested some heavy messes, and much to the consternation of my better half, left huge glops of food on the floor, while carefully holding back my dog who was salivating at the sight of it. After discovering the location of the food, the Scooba set to work on cleaning and removed the majority of the food. I will say that the grout between the tiles wasn’t perfect, and it may have an issue reaching some grout to clean it. Though it should be noted, that this was the only time it had an issue with cleaning anything.
The company claims that it can clean up to 450 sq. ft., or 41 sq. m. on its website. I would say that this number is inflated. For example, my main floor is slightly larger than this, and it would normally take two attempts before it would clean everything. Though it should be said that many areas receive two or even three passes during one cleaning.
If you are unfamiliar with iRobots products, you may be unaware that they come with a Virtual Walls infrared beam that prevents them from committing suicide on stairs or floor drop offs. The first time that you see your expensive robot heading towards the stairs, your heart will be in your throat, but after discovering the edge, it will quickly back off.
Another great aspect of the iRobot Scooba 390, is that it keeps a separate reservoir for clean and dirty water. The website claims that it can remove 98% of bacteria from the floor, and the separate tanks go a long way to helping to achieve that number. I personally always hated moping since the bucket was always so disgusting at the end.
Now for the part that everyone was really waiting for – what’s wrong with it? At the time of the writing, the Scooba is still running smoothly, with no mechanical issues. And surveying the forums and e-commerce sites selling the iRobot Scooba 390, it seems that mechanical problems are relatively rare, but they do exist. Thankfully, iRobot has amazing customer service, so any defective parts or non-functioning units are normally easy to replace.
If I had one complaint to make about the Scooba, it would be that it leaves the floor to wet. Now I’m not saying that you will have puddles all over your floor that you’ll sliding through like some Three Stooges short. But it will be noticeable, and takes much longer to dry than just a normal mopping does.
The iRobot Scooba 390 is an amazing piece of technology. Not only does it mean that you will never have to mop again, but it is also known for its sturdy design which means that it will likely be cleaning your floors for years to come.