Since the dawn of time, man has been looking for ways to keep their cave’s floors free of twigs, dust, and other unmentionable pieces of debris. First, they invented upright vacuum cleaners that seemed to do the trick, but then man quickly realized that they were too heavy and bulky to use comfortably. Then the stick vacuum was invented, but once again, laziness outshone the willingness to clean. Then robot vacuums entered the market, and now we can leave them charging in their docks while they wait loyally to be given the cleaning command.
Modern robot vacuum models have no trouble picking up small particles from tiled or carpeted surfaces, but what about your garage? If you do a ton of work in your garage, then you already know just how dirty it can get in a short amount of time. Plus, you have all pieces of all shapes and sizes falling onto your garage floor, making cleanup much more troublesome than in your living room.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner for the Garage Buyer’s Guide
In this guide, we’re going to talk about the various features and specs you should keep an eye out for when shopping for a robot vacuum cleaner. We’ll also emphasize what things will make your robot vacuum a great cleaner for use in your garage or other similarly dirty rooms.
When looking at potential robot vacuums, the main thing to consider is whether the robot can actually pick up debris. This means understanding vacuum suction power.
The main variable used to measure suction power is pascals (Pa) or water lift. Obviously, a higher Pa rating means better cleaning power which will come in handy when cleaning your garage’s floor.
Robot vacs typically generate anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 Pa, which is considerably weaker than upright and stick vacuums, but this is plenty powerful in suctioning and retaining small pieces of debris. If you do heavy-duty DIY stuff in your garage which pollutes your floor with sizable pieces of debris, then consider a robot vac that produces around 3,000 Pa. For woodworkers looking to keep sawdust off their floors, 1,000 to 2,000 Pa will suit them just fine.
With a lot of doodads and thingymajigs in your garage, you need to be mindful of the maneuverability of a potential robot vac. One thing that tends to confuse robot vacuums more than anything is switching between difference surfaces – e.g. transitioning from wood floors to low-tier carpets or rugs.
For most people, the garage floor is a single consistent texture so robot vacuum cleaners won’t have an issue gliding across the entire surface of your floors. However, you also need to consider the height of the robot. If the worktable in your garage is too low and your robot is too tall, the robot will just bump the table, turn, then be on its way.
This is more of a convenience factor than anything else, but the whole point of a robot vac is convenience. Auto-docking is a feature that tells the robot to head back to its charging station to recharge its batteries before they reach 0%. In our opinion, there’s really no point in getting a robot vacuum cleaner if it doesn’t can’t auto-dock.
Wi-Fi Connectivity and Voice Control
Robot shop vacs can come with a remote control that lets you command it from afar. But what if you’re at the office and need your robot to sweep your garage floor clean? Simple. Find a robot that can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and receive commands via an app.
Through these free, downloadable apps, you can command your robot to begin, pause, or end its cleaning cycle. You can also tell it to head back to its charging station after doing a good job.
Some robots are also compatible with Amazon Alexis and/or Google Assistant. If you’re at home but don’t have the muscle to bend over and push a few buttons, you can yell at Alexis or Assistant to tell your bot what to do.
All robot vacs come with filters that capture and retain minuscule particles. However, if you do a lot of woodworking projects out of your garage, you’ll want your robot to be able to capture the tiniest speck of sawdust and prevent it from going airborne.
The only way to guarantee that every particle will be swept up and placed in the robots debris compartment is if it uses HEPA-grade filters. HEPA filters can capture and lock up to 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Most robot vacuum cleaners come with large enough batteries that provide up to 100 minutes of continuous cleaning time. For most people, 100 minutes is more than enough time for the robot to go over the garage more than once. Pair a large battery with the auto-docking feature, and you basically have a robot servant that will clean the entire floor of your garage all day long.
Some robot vacuum cleaners can also mop up your floors. We use the term “mop” quite loosely since, at best, robot vacuum-mop drag around a damp cloth while it moves and does no actual mopping to remove caked-on substances. However, a robot vacuum-mop might be helpful at thoroughly removing sawdust from your garage floor.
Due to the currently imperfect mopping technology, we recommend avoiding vacuum-mops for the time being. They’ll do absolutely diddly-squat at removing grease stains under your car. Furthermore, garage floors most likely don’t need to be mopped at all. The floor’s texture wouldn’t benefit from a squeaky-clean surface anyways.
Basically, the main thing to keep an eye out for when shopping for a robot vac for your garage is its ability in picking up large pieces of debris. Of course, this depends on what you do in your garage. For instance, if you do weekend woodworking projects, then you’ll need a vac that’s capable in suctioning up wood shavings as well as locking in sawdust.