Spring is upon us, and with it comes the urge to make things clean, whole, and new. But there’s no need to scrub, labor, or take a lot of time, particularly when you can put technology to work and get those jobs done efficiently, effectively, and with less manual labor. The trick is knowing where you’ll get the most clean for your cash.
When the Roomba robot vacuum first came out, it was an oddity — and a cat-transporting talking point. It quickly became a cultural darling featured in TV shows, movies, and late-night show skits. Robot vacuums have evolved as a consumer category, and many more brands have sprung up in the years since. The cleaning prowess has also improved by leaps and bounds.
Robot vacuums can now mop your floors, vacuum your floors, and even decide which of the two it should do. Some models have cameras to show you how your cleaning is going. Some like the iRobot j7+ create a home map that you can use for scheduling or room-specific cleaning. Models like the Roborock S7 Max V Ultra are brilliant at navigation and avoiding obstacles, and can detect carpet, lifting the integrated mopping plate off the fibers. There’s also the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, a shiny new option with a docking station that will not only recharge and empty the onboard dustbin, but will wash and dry the new scrubbing mopping pads too. George Jetson, eat your heart out.
Steam cleaning is a great eco-friendly way to ensure your surfaces are cleaned and free of allergens, germs, and molds. Steam-cleaning devices range from small handheld units to bigger stick-style vacuum-sized models, but both employ scalding hot water to power away dirt using a variety of attachments, pads and concentrators. Stick models will serve you well for larger floor surfaces, while the container style (with various attachments) can handle corners, crevasses, and tight spots.
Smaller models like the Bissell SteamShot are handheld and can be used to clean tile grout, sanitize the traps in your dishwasher and dryer — a cleaning task we should really be doing monthly, not just in the spring. A wide attachment like the one on the McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner can steam clean your mattress, and a stick/container combo like the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Steam Mop gives you the freedom to clean upholstery, detail the car, and get to that space between the oven and the cabinets (eww!).
With air quality becoming more of an issue in the summer with wildfires, smoke, and smog, it’s a great idea to have an air-filtering device on hand, and if it doubles as a humidifier like the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde, all the better. Today’s air filters can remove most particulates from the air and generally come with either disposable or washable filters. (Or you can use one of the other devices here to clean them!) Dyson’s formaldehyde option also traps particles that may creep into your home from things like paint, new flooring, furniture, or chemicals from new carpet.
That brings us to another category of smart home gadget: One that can identify nasties in your home.
Devices like the AirThings House Kit will detect mold and give you humidity, radon, and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) readings to ensure effective cleaning. AWAIR’s Home App even tracks air quality in nearby neighborhoods so you can compare your readings to an average.
Portable UV sources are becoming widely available, allowing you to sterilize small objects using light — and get to places that are hard to reach. With devices that are the size of a curling iron, it’s easy to kill germs on things like pillows and bedding, toothbrushes and razors, and even phones and tablets. Since most of us have heard that a smartphone is dirtier than the average toilet, there’s no more worrying if the item you’re about to pick up is clean — you can ensure it is.
It’s always worth not getting dirty while getting things clean. We love touchless garbage bins like iTouchless that senses when you’re in range and opens the lid for you. A compactor like the Joseph Joseph 30030 Intelligent Titan Trash Can Compactor can also reduce your trash volume up to 66%, saving you a lot of trips to your outdoor bins.
Work-from-home types or avid conference callers will want to look into earbuds that actually clean themselves, like the LG Tone Free with UV cleaning. They use UV light inside their compact charging and storage case to kill bacteria that develop on the earbuds (mainly from you putting your dirty hands on them, TBH) and are made from hypoallergenic silicone. If you’re not cleaning your earbuds on the regular, these smart self-cleaning earbuds will mean that won’t come back to haunt you.
Spring cleaning is easier than ever — and in some cases largely free of major effort from you — with the help of smart home gadgets. You can ensure a deeper clean, as well as see and confirm results, allowing you to know everything is spick-and-span.
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