During a Saturday trip to the Ballston Mall, Evan and I took a spin around the As Seen on TV store, and for the $20 gamble, decided to buy a RoboMaid
, the distant cousin to the Roomba that uses raccoon-frolicking-with-ball-toy technology (the kind that are in the displays in front of cheapass toy stores next to the backflipping dogs) to push a Swiffer around your floor.
Even knowing what I was in for, I was surprised by how flimsy the "hat" device in which the ball sits was, but tried it out last night anyway. The gamble paid off, my friends. That little guy actually cleaned the floor. Granted, he couldn't get on carpets, and anything larger than dust or fine dirt simply got pushed around (though he did manage to scoop up a lollipop wrapper and store it on the brim for the remainder of the cleaning session), but the evidence on the ELECTROSTATIC CLEANING PAD was clear: dust on pad no longer on floor.
The bad news: according to das Intarwebs, due to widespread complaints that the replacement ELECTROSTATIC CLEANING PADS were too expensive, it's no longer for sale in the US, but still sells in Europe and Asia
("I have robomop about one month. We have two angora cats a short hair dog. The mop takes the hairs and small particles from places that generally we can not reach before. We enjoy it, my cats love it. The grandchild's can car the robomop"
), and there still some floating around Amazon for $8. The good news is, though I haven't tried it, a reviewer on one of the sites I looked at says she simply cuts a hole in the middle of an actual Swiffer pad to replace it.
In short, if you have lots of bare floors, hardwood, tile, etc., and don't want to invest $200 in a Roomba, try the RoboMaid. A note to pet owners: your animals will either love or hate this. While watching it roam around the living room, I wished I had a cat. But I can also see a dog or even a buff cat tearing the thing to shreds.