Scooba Isn’t Worth It

So much for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Consumer Reports says Scooba performs exactly how you think it would. Badly.

We like the idea of a robot that mops the floor, especially if it perpetually hovers under our significant other, but according to Consumer Reports you might as well just save your money. Mopping the floor is faster and cheaper than having the Scooba do the work for you.

“At-home testers found it fine with most light dirt, but said it didn’t remove heavier accumulations and wouldn’t fit around the toilet, leaving them to mop the bathrooms.

The bottom line. Don’t toss your mop. It cleans faster and more thoroughly than Scooba, and costs far less.”

Oh well, we’re still dreaming of the day we get our own Rosie from The Jetsons.


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  1. Oh well, we’re still dreaming of the day we get our own Rosie from The Jetsons.

    I’d rather have that sexy android (although technically a female robot is called a gynoid)from Tripping the Rift, thank you.

    I’ve been trying to get my office to buy roombas and a scooba, but everyone seems to have the impression that they don’t do a good job. I guess this puts the nail in the coffin. Still, I think it’s a great idea and hopefully they’ll keep running with it.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    My friend has a Roomba (vacuum version of the Scooba). It requires frequent cleaning and emptying, and takes about half an hour to clean a normal sized room–and the battery only lasts about an hour. Save your time and money and just get one of those quick brooms.

  3. Skeptic says:

    How long does it take to vacuum with a regular vacuum? 10 minutes? …Ok, it takes me a little longer because I have to move things around but a Roomba wouldn’t be able to go there either.

    It seems like the Scooba and Roomba are only for those people whose already fastidiously clean houses don’t really need them.

  4. Mike_ says:

    Consumer Reports isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  5. VA_White says:

    Scooba is a big round robot that can’t fit in tight corners. You know this ahead of time when you buy it. I own a Scooba and it is a life-saver for me because I work full-time, have two small kids and pets, plus my husband is perpetually deployed to sandy locals in various middle eastern countries.

    Scooba is great for giving the huge amount of tile in my house a thorough cleaning after we leave in the mornings. I have no time to mop as much as I need to keep the floor as clean as I like. Yes, scooba is loud, yes, it takes 35 minutes to mop the kitchen. But I AM NOT THE ONE MOPPING IT! And I don’t care what CR says, the floor is cleaner after Scooba than after a regular mop.

    If your expectations and needs match the functionality of the machine, you will be extremly satisfied. If you want a machine that can mop every inch of your house without your intervention, well, duh. You’ll be disappointed.

  6. FLConsumer says:

    The Roomba/Scooba are strictly meant for quick-cleaning, NOT a true deep-cleaning. This should be obvious to anyone who sees the size and workings of these robots. Personally, I’ll stick with the old fashioned methods. Cheaper, and it ultimately will take less of my time than farting around with a robot. I spend enough of my time dealing with brain-dead IVR systems; a brain-dead robot in my house is the LAST thing I want.

  7. comrade_snarky says:

    I really like the roomba and the scooba. Yeah, vacuuming and mopping aren’t all that difficult, but I’ve been really lazy about doing it. I’ve got pretty bad allergies so I’m supposed to mop or vacuum the whole house once or twice a week, but I wouldn’t get around to it more than once a month. We were going to hire someone to come in once a week but I caught some good deals on the roomba and scooba. They ended up costing less than I would have spent for a month with a weekly house cleaning service.

    I run them right before I leave the house or go to bed. They take a long time, but I don’t need to do anything while they run, so what do I care? I’ve been particularly impressed with the scooba. When I empty out the tank, the dirty water is always black, even when the floor looked pretty clean to begin with.

    If you’re starting with really dirty floors, it might take a few runs to get everything totally under control, but it’s super easy to run the robots once a day. If you use them regularly and consistantly, they’ll get the floors clean and maintain them. If you just use them once a month, you won’t get good results.

    There are some down sides. Even on sale, they are kind of pricey. It’s a fair price for what you get, but really, no one _needs_ a $250 mop. They can’t reach everywhere and occasionally get themselves stuck. You can really only do one room before you need to empty/refill. The roomba has a lame air filter and gets string and hair wrapped around it’s brush too much. But even with those minuses, I still like them.

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    I grew up in a house where you were whacked with a wooden spoon if you got caught wearing shoes in the house (love ya, ma!). Despite the splotchy bruises and visits from the ookie child welfare people, it served me in good stead.

    Not wearing shoes in house makes BIG cleanliness difference. Maybe enough to keep new-fangled gyroscopic electronics in only place where they truly belong: adult toys.

  9. humphrmi says:

    I agree with VA_White, we got a Scooba and we’re very happy with it. As long as your expectation are properly set, it fulfills them.

  10. Gasface says:

    I’m also jumping in line to throw my support behind Scooba/Roomba.

    Consumer Reports says that a mop is faster than Scooba – but I would disagree – since the Scooba requires about 2 minutes of prep work before it gets started and another 2 minutes of maintenence when it is done. (i.e. filling and emptying the cleaning resevoir). Once it starts mopping I can go grocery shopping, clean my room, start my laundry, or hey come and read a little Consumerist.

    Meanwhile a mop takes just as long to prep – requires you to be actively engaged – and in the end you just push dirty soapy water around on your floor after the second rinse.

    Welcome to the new world. I look forward to Roomba/Scooba 2.0