Meet Harry, our Robot Vacuum. He is not super fancy pants like an iRobot, but also not some low rent kind of guy either. He is a Euphy, and after reading too many reviews, we brought him home to Our Barking Bungalow. We had beautiful dreams that Harry would clean the dog hair while we sipped margaritas on the back porch.

Sadly, the poor guy has run into a few snags, electric chords, and a bunch of other tiny household items. Most robot vacuum articles tout their almost magical powers. Wirecutter’s review of the Best Robot Vaccum goes so far as to say, “they keep the floors tidy with barely any effort—pet hair and crumbs just disappear before you even notice a mess.” Um…that is not how it played out for us. It’s time for some real talk about robot vacuums.

Robots VS Dogs

We have three large dogs…like German Shepard large and our little robot vacuum scares the bejesus out them. The minute we turn him on, the dogs go bonkers. We put the dogs outside or move them from room to room when Harry is cleaning to squash the anxiety. While this relaxes the dogs, we end up corralling them around the house instead of drinking margaritas on the back porch as planned.

Harry Goes MIA

I don’t want to accuse him of intentionally getting stuck on stuff, but he does about two minutes of vacuuming and then about five minutes of beeping while being stuck on a chord, a vent, or any small transition on the floor. As soon as I can break away from corralling the dogs, it’s on to a game of Marco Polo with Harry.

The good news is while sometimes he can get creative, most of the time, he gets stuck in our master bedroom closet. I am not sure what the attraction is to that space. The dogs don’t typically go in that room, so there isn’t a bunch of dog hair in there. Even so, he is determined to clean it and get stuck on my shoelaces, or whatever minuscule item he can claim has paralyzed him. We did eventually put googley eyes on him in hopes it would help him see better. You will be surprised to hear it made no difference.

I get that a grid system may not work for cleaning most homes, but Harry takes the most unusual routes to clean the house. It’s a quick diagonal across the dining room, one zigzag thorough the kitchen, and then a beeline for the master closet. He does go in hard to reach areas like under the bed, but he only cleans this one 10 inches wide strip before retiring to his dock. What was his plan for the other 70% of the floors that have been left untouched?

Stuck Bits in the Wheels

There are so many top 10 and best robot vacuum reviews out there you can find one that supports every single brand and model on the market. You can also learn the in’s out of which one is the quietest, has the best navigation, and can handle fur like a pro. Harry promised us he was a badass with the fur, but actually, it gets stuck in his front wheel and clogs up the filter. Every few rescues we have to surgical removes all the stuck bits. Why was that not included in any of the three hundred reviews we read? Can we have some real talk robot vacuums?

The upside, between calming down the dogs, rescuing Harry from his latest shipwreck and surgical removing the stuck bits, I get my steps in and definitely more than if I just vacuumed the house myself. Since my dreams of drinking Margaritas on the back porch have been shattered, I’m also avoiding those empty calories. The house may not be spotless, but it could be a new weight loss plan?

Vac Hack

We did find one kind of unusual method to help with daily cleaning. It’s called eye-vac. For real. I am not sure if they are sarcastic or just lazy with their branding, but it cracks me up. It’s a stationary vacuum and is typically used in beauty salons, where they sweep the cut hair into them. We place it near the trash can in the kitchen. We use a micro-fiber dust mop to sweep around the house, and then pull up to the eye vac for a quick deposit. It takes about five minutes to get the bulk of the daily dog hair from around the house.

We still use Harry every once in a while. Usually, when it’s been long enough since we last used him to forget how terrible he is at cleaning the house. Maybe we should have splurged for the fancy pants iRobot. We did finally upgrade to the legit Dyson for our regular vacuum, and it made a huge difference. But would there be a difference if we had an iHarry? There are all these stories about the robot vacuum spreading doggie poo all around the house, and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to spend $500 on a dog poo spreader. Do you have iRobot? Is it worth it? Are you able to drink Margaritas on the porch? Let me know in the comments. 

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