Once again, the Internet has proven its usefulness. In the vein of Check It Before You Chuck It, Mom convinced me to try to fix a couple of items rather than immediately tossing them.
Spoiler alert: They work now.
The SwifferWetJet was malfunctioning.
Specifically, the sprayers were whirring, but no fluid was coming out. I told Mom that it must be broken. I’d have to throw it away and then decide whether to get a new one. (Mom uses it during her visits. Otherwise, it languishes forlornly in the closet.)
But before I tossed She suggested I try changing out the batteries. I insisted that the batteries couldn’t be the problem because I could hear the motor working when I squeezed the trigger. If the batteries were the issue, I wouldn’t hear anything.
But she got me to at least give it a whirl.
I did a quick Internet search to see what could be causing the issue. Some people also suggested trying new batteries. Others said it might be clogged sprayers. I eyed those, and they seemed clean enough. So I stuck some new batteries in and voila! The sprayers worked just fine.
Oh, and speaking of quick and easy WetJet fixes, it’s surprisingly easy to make your own cleaning solution. How simple, you ask? Well, I plan to make it myself the next time we run out. And I never fuss with this type of thing.
But according to Mom (who made the last batch), it’s basically just water, vinegar and dish soap. I’m not sure of the exact recipe she used, but the Krazy Coupon Lady has three very simple options.
A good thing to remember the next time you run out of WetJet fluid — or if you just want to try a new type of cleaner. It worked pretty nicely on our tile floor, and anything that can deal with Pandora’s dusty pawprints is pretty good.
The other item saved was Roomba’s battery.
The battery life suddenly cut very short. Then I started getting a “Charging Error Five” message when I tried to charge it. I figured our third-party Roomba battery just wasn’t good anymore. I said I’d have to get a new one.
The next thing I know, Mom has emailed me a link to Roomba troubleshooting. I held down two buttons for five seconds. Suddenly, the charging error went away.
The battery life is still shorter than I’d like, so I’m not sure how much life we have in the battery. I’ll do some more troubleshooting to make sure it isn’t anything obvious, then consider getting an actual iRobot battery (despite the heinous pricing).
Still, the Roomba is working for now, which is what matters. Heck, my mom fixed the VCR “for now” for several years simply by taking it apart and cleaning it when it started eating tapes. So who knows how long I can get the Roomba to limp along?
The moral of the story
This was a valuable reminder to always do a quick Internet search when something breaks. There will almost certainly be repair instructions online.
If they’re too complicated, you can always throw the product away anyway. But if it’s already destined for the landfill, it’s not like you have to worry about breaking it more while trying to fix it.
What’s something you’re proud of having fixed yourself?