First, an apology. Ten days ago I wrote about our hallway transformation. I said my next post would be a ‘wow, look how much better it is’ one. However, it’s still a work in progress for two reasons:
- Maltese walls are really hard. I found this out when I tried to hang my coat rack with two VERY sturdy nails and a rather large hammer, but the nails just bent. We don’t own a drill so are currently waiting for a kind handyman (Odd Job John) to come and make our hallway dreams come true. We picked him because he didn’t laugh when I asked him to also sort out problem 2;
- Our more nervous dog got a bit confused one evening when I relegated her to the hallway behind the baby gate (she was trying to eat his risotto). Obviously she was still hungry, and nervous to boot, so she nibbled on the wall. So OJJ (Odd Job John) is going to fix said teeth marks after drilling through the incomprehensibly thick walls to hang coat racks and pictures.
Now, on to today.
We have a new pet in the house. No, I haven’t rehomed Nervous Gigi after the wall incident. Our new pet is a robot vacuum cleaner, specifically, a Dyson 360 eye. Since you are most likely reading this because you’re interested in creating a joy-sparking home, I figured you’d want to know about the realities we’ve experienced so far in comparison to what the general perception tends to be.
We bought this model because we wanted it and read up on which.co.uk to decide which model to buy. We didn’t receive it, or any payment or gift, in exchange for a review or mention.
When I say ‘the general perceptions’ I mean general preconceptions or media coverage about robot vacuums. I’m not talking about specific ads or specific robot vacuums. The ‘reality’ bit is our experience with a Dyson 360eye over the past few days.
Perception: The vacuum cleaner is so smart that it’ll find its way back to the docking station, charge, then continue on its programme of cleaning.
Reality: Yes, yes it does. I find this magical, the sort of thing I used to see featured on ‘Tomorrow’s World on the BBC in the 1990s. We had one mishap when my wife put the docking station the wrong way round with the contact points facing the wall. The poor ‘pet’ rolled around for a good few minutes, trying every which way to get home for ‘dinner’. I felt mean just watching it and eventually helped it out.
Perception: You can’t use them with pets and children around. You did see the viral post about the Roomba and the dog with the poorly stomach, right?!
Reality: Proceed with caution. Our son has seen it once and spent a good few minutes trying to jab at the only button on it. It
whirred into action and cleaned the tiles around his toes thoroughly BUT didn’t touch him. This is the beauty. It hasn’t crashed into anything yet except for our bar stools, and that may be because their bases are chrome, so it can’t ‘see’ that they’re there.
The dogs barely gave it a second glance. It literally cleans around them. This morning I accidentally left our bedroom door
open after setting it going in the hallway. After making beautiful woven-type effects on the hall rug it proceeded into the bedroom and worked its way cautiously around the items I’d moved from the hallway into the bedroom – two schoolbags, one coat, the waste bin, a gift I needed to deliver and the nappy basket.
As for any possible traumas with doggy incidents, we plan to set it going as soon as we go to bed, immediately after they’ve been out.
Perception: Silently and unobtrusively the vacuum will work its way around your home.
Reality: It’s not silent, so if you’re expecting to hear a pin drop or even a sort of soft whirring you’ll be disappointed. However, it’s a heck of a lot quieter than our Dyson V6 Fluffy (which also does a great job).
Perception: They don’t clean as well as a ‘real’ hoover.
Reality: Ours absolutely does. I was a little concerned that pet hair would be a problem for it but our light tiled floors look very clear after a cycle. Before we set it going yesterday my son had a slight incident with the vegetable drawer in the fridge (he pulled it out and it hit the floor, sending shredded kale everywhere). I swept the kale bits into a heap, together with some general sweepings, and watched to see what would happen. All was beautifully vacuumed up and I didn’t have to get the ‘real’ vacuum out afterwards to perfect it.
Perception: They fall down the stairs.
Reality: Well. It’s only day three and we only have one set of stairs, but we’ve avoided disaster so far. I thought it would avoid the top of the stairs altogether but it did clean to pretty much within a cm of the edge.
- You do have to pick up clutter before you set it going. Shoelaces, belts from coats etc could all cause problems. A clear floor space gets a better result with fewer problems.
- Consider where you’ll place the docking station. We put ours in the utility room next to where we plug in our handheld Dyson, but this was a bad idea. When it had finished charging it set off on its next round of cleaning, but ran into the Dyson. My wife, confused and alarmed by the banging, ran in and saw what I can only imagine was like a scene from a semi-final of Robot Wars. The hallway, with nothing too close, is probably a better idea.
- We couldn’t track one down in Malta. I tried the Atrium, who said they’ve placed an order but were still waiting for it. When I phoned the first time they said ‘try in a month’. When I dropped in for something else about six weeks later, the sales assistant told me they should have them ‘at some point in 2018’. As we were travelling to Italy, we left space in our baggage and purchased one at MediaWorld. The packaging is quite compact and the machine inside is well protected by thick foam.
- Most models work with a Wi-Fi connection and can be activated / checked using an app. Since we’re having some Wi-Fi problems (see ‘thick walls’ dilemma, top) we haven’t actually tried this yet.
- With the Dyson model you can’t leave it to run in the dark. It does have ‘headlights’ but requires at least some light to ‘see’ where it’s going. I was a bit outraged at this at first, until I realised that I probably wouldn’t want to do the hoovering in the dark either.
- Quite frankly I’m all over it. Life at home is busy. Our dogs don’t lose that much hair except for in the hot summer, but having the robot vacuum on a daily ‘routine’ means that any that is dropped is kept in check.
- Simply put, less time spent cleaning means more time can be spent playing with our son, reading, walking the dogs, and just enjoying each other’s company. I can’t quite see us lounging around reading the papers whilst it does its thing, but since we spend a lot of time out and about, we can utilise that to our advantage. This morning I set it going before leaving the house and when I get home it will be to a clean living room floor. This absolutely does spark joy for our family!
- The actual machine is small and very easy to store. I used to get absolute rage with vacuum cleaners that had long hoses or cords that wouldn’t stay put, but this has neither. Even the docking station has a cord tidy so there should be no untidy wires trailing about.
- Having to pick up items so that the cleaning cycle can be completed with no problems is great – it actively encourages us to put items away after we’ve used them. As I wrote last week, things were becoming a little untidy in the hallway (mainly due to illness) but our space is already looking a lot like its old self.
- We bought a robot vacuum cleaner.
- We love it.