We Can Do It!

Learn about Rosie the Riveter and see the source for this pic here!

This was the image I kept in my mind as I tackled this next project. Inspired by Karen from The Art of Doing Stuff, I had to gather some gumption and a screwdriver.

You see, I have this Roomba. A Dirt Dog to be exact.

I love this little powerhouse device. It makes me feel like something is being accomplished at home, even if I’m just watching TV and stuffing my face. It vacuums my floors with the push of a button. No more effort or supervision than that is required. So, you can imagine my heartbreak when one of the wheels stopped working. It wouldn’t rotate so my little Roomba would just turn in a clockwise motion. Again and again and again. That one spot was immaculate but the rest of the place was pretty damn gross.

Sadly, I was outside of the warranty and S.O.L. on a free replacement. After reading about how Karen fixed her VCR by taking it apart and blowing on it, I decided to try the same method with my busted Roomba. What could it hurt? It’s not like breaking it any further would cost me anything more than time.

I’m good at blowing on things. Hehe. (Sorry Mom)

I got to work taking this bad boy apart. I made sure to place my screws on the floor in the same layout as the Roomba, so as not to get confused about what goes where. After removing some screws and inspecting the device, I noticed the broken wheel had a lot less grease compared to the working wheel. Using my amazing deductive skills *ahem*, I deduced that the wheel mechanisms weren’t broken, just out of oil.

Enter this common kitchen ingredient.

That’s right. Veggie oil.

I had read in a magazine somewhere eons ago (I think Real Simple) that you could use vegetable oil on squeaky door hinges. This is the same kind of thing, right? Just go with me here. Remember, the blasted thing is already broken.

I poured a little veggie oil into a spoon (so as not to dump the whole bottle by accident) and carefully put some oil on the broken wheel. I did my best to coat the wheel parts, without drowning it.

I focused on this area, in the joint. Or whatever you would call it.

Then, I put all of the screws back and let it sit for a few days. Allowing the Roomba to “marinate” for a day or two helps ensure it won’t drip oil all over your floor when you run it, because there will likely be some excess. I also recommend putting a paper towel underneath it to catch the drips. Luckily, I had mine sitting on our dining room tile so it didn’t damage anything. Oil can eat away at the finish on your hardwood floors though. Yee be warned!

After about two days, it was Judgement Day. I took a deep breath and turned it on. Lo and behold, it turned! In multiple directions! Wahoo!!!! I saved my beloved Roomba!! I now have clean floors again!! Well, mostly clean. . . .

If you have a broken Roomba, it may be for different reasons than mine. I’m no expert. I repeat, NO EXPERT. However, if you have something like this that is already broken, why not try and take it apart to see what is the problem? You might surprise yourself. Blow on it, pour a little oil on it, whatever! Although, I only recommend this if you’re already going to have to replace it. If it is still under warranty, by all means, have it fixed by an expert!

Just don’t blow yourself up or anything. I’m totally not responsible for that. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch TV and stuff my face. OOPS I MEAN vacuum my house.

What about you? Have you ever fixed a complicated electronic with vegetable oil? Ever taken on a project because you thought, why not? Let me know! I love hearing from you! I promise, I really do.

PS – Big thanks to Karen for the inspiration!

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