Window washing is one of the most tedious chores on your housekeeping list. We tend to suffer through it or neglect it altogether. Neither is the right solution. Now, thanks to technological advancements, there is a third option. It comes in the form of small, Roomba-like gadgets. We speak about robotic window cleaners.
These devices are a part of the movement towards completely automatized home maintenance. Using them means reduced effort levels, and boosted time and energy to focus on what you want to do. But, are robot window cleaners any good? Let’s find out.
*The product links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Please see our disclosure page for more information.
How Do Robotic Window Cleaners Work?
A robotic window cleaner uses a motor to generate suction and attach itself to your glass. Once in place, depending on the model, it will either use wheels or spinning pads to systematically cover the surface of your window, vacuuming up the dust and shining with the attached microfiber cloth. Some of the premium models also have an on-board cleaning solution tank for an extra shine.
That’s the overview at least, so let’s look a little closer.
If you ever owned an automatic vacuum cleaner, it will be easy to understand. In simple terms, these gadgets use smart technology to 3D map your living space. That way, they learn where to clean and how to do it best. The sensors determine the sports it already worked on, which tells the device where to go next.
Of course, you will need to activate and position the robot on each surface, but your work ends there since all that follows is automated.
When you set it up for the first time, you will need to place it on a wiped spot on the surface. That way, the robot will be able to tell apart clean and dirty surfaces. Once you are sure it’s correctly set, wait for the suction mechanism to activate.
It will turn on after a couple of seconds. Then sit back and watch it get the job done. Most window cleaning robots will have two or three cleaning modes and follow simple cleaning routes.
They are usually equipped with rubber tracks, covered with cleaning pads or microfiber pads which they use to first wipe the dry glass surface, while a vacuum suction picks up dust particles. Before proceeding with a cleaning solution to ensure the surface is shiny and without streaks, it shuts down on its own once the process is over.
These gadgets will usually come with an extension cord or safety rope, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking once it stops working. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways of cleaning large windows.
Several factors come into play here. Various brands come with different benefits and drawbacks. We’ll make just a rundown of the basics, to make the pros and cons easier to understand. These characteristics are what you should consider with every robotic cleaner:
Power – usually, a window bot can either have a built-in battery or a power cord. The best window robots will work while connected to a power source and also have an integrated UPS for backup battery in the event of a power outage. However, the choice is yours, but bear in mind the size of the window-pane and pick a device powerful enough to clean it.
Size – you choose according to the size of your windows. Your motor-powered cleaner needs to be large enough to finish the work before its batteries run out. If a cord powers it, this contributes to energy efficiency.
Speed – these devices tend to be efficient, but some models are known for wasting power. Look for a reasonable pace in your device.
Suction power – proper vacuum suction makes or breaks this gadget. Even with the safety tether, it’s useless if it can’t stay on surfaces long enough.
The pros of a robotic window cleaner
1. They look cool
Who wouldn’t stop and stare when they see a little smart robot buzzing around a window like a modern-day miracle while you sit with your feet up, sipping on a cup of Joe on the front porch with the morning paper.
Washing a window on the 16th floor, particularly the exterior, is not an activity you’d call safe. If your home is high up, even a magnetic cleaner comes with a risk of falling and hurting yourself.
Even for homeowners, tall windows ask for stepping on something to reach the top. With a robot cleaner, you won’t have to put yourself at risk of a fall. Unless you’re interested in acrobatics, dump the ladder and keep yourself safe. And remember to attach the safety rope to the while your robotic window cleaner is working, to prevent a disastrous fall.
3. You can embrace lazy
Safety doesn’t have to be your chief reason to purchase a robot window cleaner. Manual cleaning takes a lot of time and work, especially when you need to rinse the mop again and again. Just imagine the relief you’ll feel once it takes 20 seconds of your day to finish this chore.
These smart robots are also great at detecting and cleaning corners thanks to artificial intelligence and edge detection sensors, plus the microfiber pads are usually machine washable. They are also easy to set up with two control options; app and remote control.
You will boast the squeakiest windows in the neighborhood, and you will have time to devote to more essential matters in your life.
4. They have Multiple uses
Many modern house design features include slick glass surfaces. While it looks fashionable and beautiful, it’s a hassle to maintain. Luckily, these robots do not clean only windows – dirt on any glass surface is their enemy.
You no longer have to slave over your mirrors and shower glass. However, be cautious with cheap mirrors as the glass thickness is mostly about at least 3 mm. They usually come with a thin reflective area, and the suction might break them. Shower glass tends to be sturdy enough to require no consideration. What you’re buying is a house-cleaning assistant.
The gadgets come with perks – you can get a robot able to clean different types of glass. With smart systems, they will need a few cleanings to become independent. The greatest benefit comes with robots with remote-control as they will allow you to target problem areas manually – not only by hand but using smartphone app controls via Bluetooth connectivity. To use the full potential of this, get a squarish bot like the Hobot 298.
6. They also do floors
That’s right, some of the models also double up as a robotic floor mop – now we’re talking!
Bear in mind the cons of a robotic window cleaner
Laziness comes at a price. All the comforts robotic cleaners offer aside; they aren’t the most affordable gadgets out there. You may be thinking you could settle for a cheaper model. That will end up either asking for extra funds or being a waste of your money.
If you choose to buy, research the quality, and read the customer experiences. You aren’t buying another sponge, but making a real investment. You will indeed feel the effect of having it in your life, but your wallet will as well.
These gadgets do a reasonably good cleaning job without fuss. Not as well as you would, though. You might notice a few missed spots, becoming aware you could do a bit better.
Most people don’t put too much thought into this – clean windows are clean windows, after all. But if you are particular about having pristine glass surfaces may need to follow your window cleaner robot and do a little extra wiping. However, some of these gadgets will have different cleaning modes, including dry and wet cleaning to ensure that every cleaning cycle leaves your surfaces shiny.
With battery-powered robots, remember that they eat up battery life. Stock up on fresh power supplies, and be ready to replace them even in the middle of the cleaning process.
With power cords, be sure that you have a power source close to any surface that’s to be cleaned. Our best advice is to buy a robotic window cleaner with a long cable because your robot needs to be able to reach the power supply, and a safety cord. Take this into account to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.
Bigger, more powerful robots come with motors that run them. While these are heavier and more efficient, they also may create a lot of noise when operating. Be especially cautious with older-generation models.
What is the best window cleaning robot?
There are tons of these gadgets currently available, probably most famous is the Ecovacs Winbot, but we have found that the Hobot window cleaning devices, especially the Hobot 298 model, tend to perform better than most of the other brands.
Hobot window cleaner robots are not just built for convenience, they have all the powerful features of any excellent robotic window cleaner.
These smart robot models are equipped with artificial intelligence to simulate human touch and achieve high cleaning performance, plus they have edge sensors and obstacle detection.
As you can see, these robots come with little issues that you may encounter with all kinds of devices. Keep them in mind and try to measure your need against the cost. In essence, you have the option not to clean anymore, but be sure your purchase will really alleviate stress from your life.