Review: Keeping clean with the Shark ION Robot vacuum
The hands-off way to domestic bliss and a clean home

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Robot vacuum cleaning living room

I’d rather be reading, knitting or basically doing anything other than household chores. The Shark ION Robot Cleaning System makes this happen!

Chores are SUCH a bore. What’s the solution then? The Shark ION Robot Vacuum Cleaning System with Wi-Fi.

If you’re a lazy person like me, then you’ll do anything to make household chores disappear ASAP. When the friendly folks at SharkNinja offered up their Shark robot vacuum to boost my cleaning routine, I said “heck yes”. If you have watched any TV lately you will have likely seen the Canadian Tire commercials touting this new device. I’ve spent the last couple months testing out the Shark ION Robot Vacuum Cleaning System in my home. There’s a lot to review with this sophisticated robot cleaning system. Is it really worth it to get a robot vacuum? Here’s the rundown on some challenges and what I loved about using the Shark robot vacuum.

How does the Shark Robot Vacuum Cleaning System work?

I’ve always wanted a robot vacuum cleaner so I was super excited to try this Shark cleaning system out. You’ve probably heard of a Roomba robot, but this Shark technology is a little different. First off, it’s a two-in-one system as it comes with both the Shark robot vacuum and the Shark handheld vacuum. Both pieces attach to the same docking station for easy charging. This lets you cover all bases to clean on the floor and above the floor.

Shark Ion Robot vacuum cleaning system

The Shark Ion robot vacuum cleaning system take convenience to a whole new level.

The Shark Ion Robot vacuum itself is an adorable piece of technology. I’ve affectionately named her my ‘Rosie Setobot’.Two little bristle “arms” attach to the front and sweep ahead of the machine. This pulls in errant pieces of dirt in the corners and nooks that the round-bodied vacuum can’t get into. Its strong suction power and self-cleaning brushroll is a godsend. I shed hair just as much as any pet – the vacuum handles all this without any hiccups.

It’s fun to watch the robot wander around doing its thing. I find it quite mesmerizing to see it sweep everything up (and kind of wish I had a cat to ride on top of it). You’ll start off following the vacuum around to make sure it’s not getting into trouble. The smart sensors helps it from getting stuck and you can visibly see it slow down before reaching larger objects.  Eventually you can relax and let the vacuum cleaner run on its own even when you’re not at home. It becomes similar to how a dishwasher makes it easier to get the dishes done.

The Shark handheld vacuum makes a great companion piece for the system. It can take of all the non-floor surfaces that the robot can’t get to like in between the couch cushions, ledges, baseboards, curtains and more. I find it noisier than the robot vacuum, but it has great suction power. I use it for such short periods that it’s not a big deal. It’s also handy for spills and messes (they happen!) and for immediate cleaning if you don’t want to turn on the robot for a whole cycle.

Shark handheld vacuum

The Shark cleaning system also comes with a hand vacuum to handle all the above floor spaces the robot vacuum can’t get to.

Benefits of the Shark ION Robot vacuum

To get started with the Shark robot vacuum, I decided to run it every day for a week just to see what it would sweep up. My typical vacuuming routine is usually a once-a-week deep clean as I can’t be bothered to do it more than that (don’t judge my messy ways). It’s such a hassle to drag my vacuum out of storage. This was one of the first things I appreciated about the robot vacuum. You don’t have to pull it out of the closet and it puts itself away to the docking station ALL. BY. ITSELF. Absolutely brilliant!

And what did I find after just a week of using the robot? I was quite shocked me to find that the dust bin would get filled up each time (how dirty is my home exactly?) That’s the thing: you are constantly making a mess at home and don’t even realize it. Crumbs, dust and hair just accumulate on the daily as you cook, eat, change clothes, move things around and basically just live your life. As an asthma sufferer, keeping a dust-free home can be a struggle and I have found that using the Shark robot vacuum regularly has really helped my allergies.

There’s a Shark app for that

And of course, there’s an app for the robot vacuum. The Shark ION Robot app is available for iPhone and Android devices to give you tons of remote access to your robot vacuum.

Shark robot vacuum app

The Shark robot vacuum app allows you to operate the machine right from your phone. Left: remote control screen to turn robot on and off, middle: shows you what days the vacuum has run and how long, notifications: any error messages going on with the vacuum.

There are different vacuum settings available: normal, quiet and max. I prefer running it on quiet mode I’m watching TV but usually let it run on normal. I find it usually takes about 40 minutes or so to get through a cleaning cycle. You can set up a schedule for the robot vacuum by setting specific times and days you want the device to run. The best part is you can turn it on and off with just your phone if you want. You don’t even have to get up!

The app is also useful for knowing the cleaning history so you can see often you are using the device. It also sends you notifications for when the robot does run into an issue. It didn’t happen to me too often, but it was handy to get a specific description of the error so I didn’t have to waste time trying to figure out the issue.

Making the robot vacuum work for my home

While the Shark Ion robot vacuum has been great, there have been a few challenges to overcome to make the system work effectively for my home.

Boundary strips stop the Shark Ion robot vacuum

There are just some things that the robot vacuum shouldn’t get into. The boundary strip on the floor stops my Shark robot vacuum was getting into some expensive guitars and stereo cords.

  • Too much furniture and clutter

Like most folks, I leave too much clutter on the floor of my home. Furniture fills up most of my condo from a large sectional couch, multiple shelves, armchairs, dining table, coffee table, foyer bench and more. I initially wondered if it would even make sense to have a robot vacuum at all. After letting the vacuum do a few initial trips, I have found some easy ways to make room for the vacuum to work.

  • Rearranging the dining chairs into a configuration that allows the vacuum to pass through
  • Putting away clothes and shoes off the floor
  • Lifting charging cords off the ground
  • Setting up the Shark boundary strips to protect valuable instruments. These strips act as an automatic barrier that will stop the robot vacuum from getting into areas you don’t want to.

These simple steps help clear up the clutter in no time. The convenience of the robot vacuum  sparks so much joy for this lazy cleaner that its  enough motivation to keep things that much tidier. I call that a win-win.

  • Making room for the Shark docking station

The vacuum comes with a docking charging system so you’ll need to set up near an electrical outlet. I initially chose an empty outlet area I wasn’t using to set up the Shark vacuum and docking system. I quickly learned that it wasn’t the right place as it got in the way of going between rooms. After a couple of weeks, I moved the system again so it wouldn’t impede any walking paths. The user guide recommends 3 feet of space for the docking station to provide enough clearance for the robot. But as I mentioned with all the furniture I have, this is pretty much next to impossible to do. The nook is closer to about 2 feet but hasn’t seemed to impede operation of the system.

  • Let the machines take over

The weirdest challenge of having a robot vacuum is just getting used to how it cleans your home. Type-A Monica Gellar-type personalities be warned. The device doesn’t learn a path around your home so it doesn’t take the kind of logical route you would utilize when hand vacuuming. This is not the robot that will come from the future to find John Connor.

It’s like watching a game of Pong as the robot vacuum bounces off various surfaces and obstacles around your home.  If you’re waiting for it to get to a visible dirt spot, watching the vacuum is going to drive you crazy as it could bounce around that spot for a while. This is why it’s just convenient to turn it on for daily maintenance – set it and forget it.

Shark robot vacuum

So fresh and so clean – the Shark robot vacuum rolls throughout your home sweeping up all the dirt, dust and debris.

The perfect gift for the lazy person

If you’re in the market for a new vacuum or looking for a great housewarming gift, the Shark ION Robot Vacuum Cleaning System with Wi-Fi covers all the bases. I’m super impressed that it cleans up just as well as my cordless upright vacuum with way less work on my end. It gets into even more nooks and crannies than I wouldn’t normally access on my own. The handheld vacuum cleaner is a great complement to spot clean and deal with immediate messes.

The hardest thing I have to do is lift my legs up when the robot goes by while I watch TV. Now that’s my idea of cleaning.

Now I will eagerly await for the robot that will wash, fold and put away my laundry. A girl can dream right?

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#gifted: I am forever grateful to the SharkNinja team for providing me with the wonderfully convenient Shark ION Robot for my home. My allergies and I say thank you!

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Shark Ion Robot vacuum review


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