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How the connected home can reduce your housework

Can smart home devices really make life easier? Discover the must-have cleaning gadgets that have the power to transform your home care routine.

Updated

As technology gets more advanced, so too does your cleaning routine. Whether you want an app to help keep your household cleaning on track or a robot to do it for you, we explore the cleaning gadgets that make life easier.

Robot vacuum cleaners

These devices have been around for a while (cats in fancy dress like to sit on them, according to YouTube), but the technology involved has really upped its game in recent years to make robot vacuums one of the more popular housework hacks.

In-built cameras, smart sensor technology, remote controls… we’re talking probably the best home cleaning gadgets around. They even map out the room they’re cleaning. The more expensive ones have different modes, too, so you can spot clean a certain area or set it for hard floors rather than carpets, for example.

Most of the top-of-the-range models work with Google Home or Alexa: simply tell your assistant where you want the device to clean, and off it goes without you needing to do anything further. Beware of the price tag though – they can cost as much as £900. If these seem out of your budget, you can buy robot microfibre cleaning balls online. This isn’t a ‘smart’ device (it doesn’t have connectivity to other devices) but you can just switch it on and let it roam around your floor picking up dust. Just don’t expect your dog sit still while it does the dusting for you.

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Robot lawnmowers

Has your cleaning regime changed during the Covid-19 lockdown?

Mowing the lawn feels like a chore, particularly when your grass grows quickly during showery British summers. Luckily you can now get a robot to do it for you while you kick back and relax.

Like robot vacuum cleaners, these are pretty clever beasts. Available for lawns of all shapes and sizes, they’re very quiet and you can get Bluetooth or wi-fi connectivity, a mobile app and scheduling capabilities.

If you have a small hilly garden, go for one with plenty of power and good wheels to tackle tricky terrain, while if you have a large flat space one with the best battery power may be your best bet.

Air purifiers

Whether you need to get rid of dust or pet hair, keeping your house clean also applies to the air. As well as purifying the air, air purifiers are often bundled in with sensors that give you information about your home such as humidity and temperature. And, of course, the top models will give you connectivity to your smart device or virtual assistant – if you want to know how the air is right now, just ask Alexa and she’ll know the answer.

Smart cat litter trays

If you’re unfortunate enough to have a cat litter box, you’ll know how unpleasant it can be to clean. Scooping up your cat’s doo-doos is only half the problem: if you don’t stay on top of things, that lovely smell of ammonia can be overpowering.

This is where spending a bit of money could really improve the smell of your home. Smart cat litter trays look slightly terrifying (some resemble a Star Trek spaceship, while others – bizarrely – are more akin to a washing machine), but don’t let this distract you from their functionality.

Once your cat has done their business, an automatic rake will pick out any clumps and put in a waste bag for occasional removal. It’ll also put fresh litter down (handy if you have more than one moggie), and the accompanying app can also track your cat’s weight and when it uses the tray.

There’s an app for that…

If you don’t have deep enough pockets for the best smart home devices (which also come with apps), there’s probably an app for you that will still help and cost very little, if anything at all.

Useful house-cleaning apps help you manage your cleaning routines based on your cleaning style (and you can even rope the kids in by syncing with the app on their smartphone too).

Laundry apps can even make doing the washing easier too – some will tell you how to care for certain items by asking you to scan the symbols on your wash care labels (though we’ve also covered what wash care symbols mean).

Professional cleaners can also be found via an app for those busy weeks. They’ll often come with ratings by other users, too.

Want to minimise your cleaning schedule even further? Good news - here’s how often you really need to clean your house.

Originally published