Its true. This is the first summer that I am officially winning the war against the dog hair mess inside my apartment. But not just dog hair, also dirt and pet dander. This has been a war that I have been pathetically losing for about 5 years now.
Fighting this war basically consists of sweeping and vacuuming my apartment EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. Not a big deal, by any means. But the every single day part is where fail miserably. In reality, after 5 years I was really only able to deliver with sweeping 2-3 times a week and vacuum on average 1-2 times a week. Pathetic! I know but, my life is busy. I wont share with you all the lame excuses that get in the way. In my world sweeping and vacuuming every single day is basically impossible to achieve over the long term.
BUT… I have recently made 2 small but very wise investments that are game changers for me and my apartment covered in dog hair.
A deshedding brush and the Roomba 595.
I have never had much luck with cheap petstore dog brushes. I feel like I have used many many different types of dog brushes and the results were basically the same. It loosened a lot of hair, and a lot came off, but it never really felt like I was making progress. In 1 week I was right back to where I started.
The Furminator brush reaches through the dogs topcoat to loosen and remove the undercoat. What I never realized was that the majority of the dog hair and shedding that has been driving me crazy is coming from my dogs undercoat and not the topcoat. All the cheap pet store brushes were doing was loosening the undercoat, taking out the fur that was about to immediately be shed and leaving us with the same problem again in a few days.
This is the Image that sold me.
The first time I used this brush on my little yellow lab, I removed an insane amount of dog hair. The bristles on this brush are very fine and sharp. I was worried that I was scratching her skin underneath her fur. However that didnt seem to be the case. Because the teeth on this brush are so fine brushing her with it is a very slow but effective process.
About once a week I grab this brush on our way out the door and spent about 5 minutes brushing her outside. Even though most of the hair gets stuck in the brush it still throws a lot of hair into the air, which is why i do it outside.
Here is the cat version of the same brush
All in all her coat looks great and she I shedding inside my apartment significantly less.
I started researching when I remembered a few years ago I was talking to a girl who had two long haired Golden Retrievers. I asked her about the dog hair situation and she taught me about her Roomba. She was swore it was the only way she could ever keep her apartment clean. Remembering this conversation recently started me down this path of googling Roombas.
Incase you don't know; the roomba is a little vacuum cleaner robot that drives itself around the floors sweeping and vacuuming up the floors. The outside is covered in sensors so when it hits a wall it changes direction and keeps moving. Sensors underneath prevent it from falling down the stairs. Sensors inside stop it when it eats up a chord or a shoelace and spits it out. After it is done with its cleaning cycle it finds its way back to its charging station and puts itself back on the charger. So all i have to do is basically hit a button and empty the dust bin. Its an amazing machine.
I purchased the Roomba 595 and I bought it with the attitude of:
“if this doesnt work out I'm definitely returning it and buying a fancy dog hair vacuum cleaner”.
I must say, starting as a skeptic of this purchase I have been pleasantly surprised. I now regret not buy about the Roomba years ago.
The Roomba is allowing me to consistently run itself every single day. Its basically cleaning my floors for me while I'm out enjoying my life with my wonderful dog.
However I quickly learned that the roomba does about 75% as good of a job on my carpets as the vacuum. Side by side the vacuum cleaner still does a better job then the roomba does on my carpets. HOWEVER, where the roomba wins is the consistency of being run everyday. My carpets now look good all the time, when before they looked great for about 1-2 days.
On my hardwood floors it does 150% better job then sweeping does to my floors. By sweeping I feel that pushing around the hair, dirt and pet dander with a broom I am creating more dust in the air. (depending on how much is on the floor) Anything the roomba picks up doesnt move very far. It basically sweeps everything within 2” of underneath itself (with a little brush) and vacuums it up. I have noticed there is significantly a lot less dust on all surfaces in my apartment not just the floors.
It comes with an accessory called an invisible wall. The invisible wall creates a barrier that the roomba will not cross. This is perfect for keep it out of certain rooms or spaces. I use this to keep it out of a small area in my kitchen that has a big extension chord and plugs.
By running it on a daily basis I also have to keep miscellaneous things off the floor. It forces me to pickup any clutter on the floors. Leaving a pair of shoes laying on the floor wont screw it up but I try to make it as easy as possible for the roomba. Leaving clothes on the floor will most likely get it stuck. No big deal I quickly scan my apartment before I run the little guy.
Having said all that I must admit Roomba has a few quirks.
Molly and the Roomba,
Best Friends forever…
- My dog hates it. She's scared of it. I almost don't blame her. Its loud and moves around in kind of an erratic fashion. Molly barked liked crazy when I first started using it, now she just just gives it dirty looks and runs away from it. Because of this I am unable to use the automatic scheduling option and let it run in the middle of the day while I'm at home. I typically just start it a few minutes before im about walk out the door with her. I'm not sure all dogs will hate it as much as mine does.
- It gets stuck sometimes. I have 2 chairs in my apartment that have legs that lay horizontally across the top of the floor. This screws it up sometimes. Once it got stuck ontop of a extension chord. When it gets stuck it just shuts itself down.
- It plows down the dog bowls and makes a mess. Roomba makes an accessory to handle this called a halo. Its basically a plastic sleeve that slips over the top of the invisible wall. The halo creates a 20” diameter invisible barrier around itself. I placed this by the dog bowls to stop it from plowing them down. (My 595 came with 2 invisible walls, but no halo. I purchased the sleeve separately and slipped it over my extra invisible wall)
- Doesn't do a great job in the corners of the room. I still hit them with a broom every once and while.
- The brushes need to be cleaned regularly. Roomba comes with several tools to assist cleaning the brushes. Dog hair also collects around the front wheel, which pops out easily.The whole things disassembles very easily to facilitate regular cleaning. It takes about 3 minutes to clean out the roomba brushes and it do it about once a week.
- The dust bin needs to be emptied after everytime it is used. Its not very big and it picks up a lot of stuff. Often I am surprised how much it picks up during our 20 min morning walks around the neighborhood.
I cant tell you how much better I feel having clean floors now all the time. My dog also feels a lot better and has been significantly more comfortable this summer. I was on the fence for a long time about buying this $300 vacuum cleaner robot; but I must say it was the second best investment I have ever made, after my little dog of course.
Friends of yours?
Long exposure photo showing the Roombas path of travel around a space.