Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stranger in the House

My brother is the one who does a good job at uploading video, but I can show you the still images of a new hardworking houseguest and the results of having it around.

I'm not much of a mopper. Every now and then it crosses my mind that it's time to make the floor look better. If I wait long enough, the feeling goes away.

A while ago I got this thing called a Roomba, which goes around and sucks up odd bits of shrapnel lying on the floor until the carpets and tiles look fairly presentable. It's no rug beater, but it left the house looking pretty sharp . . . until an unfortunate enthusiasm caused me to subject it to a series of experiments that left it incapacitated. More on that some other day.

But what you're seeing here is my first experiments with the Roomba's cousin, a Scooba. The Scooba is a scrubber of hard floors--tiles and such. As you can see, it's more successful on some dirt than others. In the picture at the top, I hand-scrubbed the three tiles at the top of the picture, to show the effect I was after. I'd say Scooba picked up a lot of incidental dirt from the tiles, but was not so good at burning through long-term stains. It lightened a lot of them, but most of them are still there.

The second set of pictures--the ones on the right in each set above--is what the floor looks like after four rounds with the Scooba's special Clorox soap and three times with white vinegar, not in that order. Scooba is easy to use and mostly harmless. It would probably take forever to restore the floor to a clean state, but it did pick up a lot of dirt that hadn't been ground into the tiles yet. And, once I get around to cleaning the rest of the kitchen floor, it will probably be better than I am at maintaining that sparkling look.

The Roomba was an immediate hit--I saw right away that it was doing a great job. The Scooba's not a bad machine, but its benefits are nowhere near as dramatic.

For entertainment value, though, the Scooba is a worthy mate to the Roomba. I probably spent longer watching the Scooba do its work than I did cleaning the three tiles at the far end of the kitchen.

For you to watch it, though, you'll have to wait till I get around to signing up for a YouTube account.

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