Odistar Desktop Vacuum
Reading this from your home office? Take a minute to look around your desk — like, really look around. If you're like most of us, you'll likely find crumbs, dust, and probably pet hair sneakily building up. Yes, you could wipe all of it up with a damp cloth or paper towel, but if you'd like something a little more convenient — and that doubles as a handsome desk accessory — consider the Odistar desktop vacuum, a product that's made the rounds on TikTok more than once over the past few months. I gave this handy little WFH tool a test drive to give you an idea of whether it's worth the cost or not.
The Odistar, available in either white or orange, comes in a box that's just big enough to hold the mini square-shaped vacuum, a charging cord, and a tiny double-sided brush (in other words, no oversized, unnecessary packaging). When you open the box top, you'll find a set of instructions that fold up. Using the device is pretty self-explanatory, but the instructions were handy to help with questions like how to open the vacuum to empty debris or how to clean it.
Preparing for Use
The Odistar comes in both a battery-operated ($14) and rechargeable ($17) version. We tested the rechargeable device. You'll likely need to charge the vacuum upon arrival. When we plugged ours in, a red light indicated that the battery wasn't fully charged, and it changed to green when it was. Charging the device is easy, of course, but note that the charging cable it comes with, which differs in design from what you see on the Amazon product listing, isn't very long — about 12 inches from end to end. As long as you have a USB port located near your computer (and most people do), it should be long enough.
Does It Do the Job?
In a word, yes. I cleared my desktop to give it a go, and while it didn't seem like my work area was very dirty, the Odistar did a great job of picking up dust, pet hair, and crumbs. I also tested the device on my island countertop by sprinkling a handful of coffee grounds around and it did a pretty good job there, too. It does push light particles around some, so depending on how big of a mess you have, you might have to send the Odistar out again for one more pass.
Other Likable Features
In addition to doing a pretty good job of suctioning up detritus on flat surfaces, the Odistar has numerous sections on its bottom surface that act as little brushes. This means you can use it on your keyboard to help knock loose debris that has dried on it or that is stuck in cracks. I have a not-so-tidy teenage son that used it on his keyboard, and the Odistar picked up a fair amount of nastiness. The tiny brush that comes separate from the device also helps with this, though ostensibly it's to be used to help clean the vacuum itself.
Dumping and Cleaning
It's super easy to separate the top portion of the Odistar vacuum from the bottom and dump out any debris it picks up. Some of it can get stuck in the top portion, too — especially if you have pets — but it's easy enough to use the brush or pull out any leftover waste to help with that. I can see how over time the inside of this device could get pretty funky. While the directions that come with it explicitly ask the user to not use water to clean the device, it seems like it would be simple enough to rinse out the bottom compartment as long as you make sure it's completely dry before reattaching.
A Couple Limitations
There was really only one downfall I noticed with the device: You have to be careful where you grip it when you're opening it up to dump out any waste. If you're not, it's easy to turn the thing on at the same time you're cracking it open, and in doing so you might just get a faceful of crumbs and coffee grounds — yes, I speak from experience on this, and yes, it's a mistake I'll probably only make once or twice. I'd also like it if the Odistar came in more colors — these days, people who work from home put a lot of thought into how their home office looks, and having a few more colors to choose from would be nice.
While it's billed as a desktop vacuum, I can easily see that I'll probably be using this in other areas of my home. It worked great picking up crumbs on my kitchen island, and since I'm a plant person, I'll probably also use it to pick up soil spills when I repot plants. And a few Amazon reviewers have noted that it'll pick up crumbs on fabric surfaces like a tablecloth or sofa.
While 65% of reviews on Amazon give the Odistar 5 stars and 16% give it 4 stars, there are a fair number of buyers who rate it lower than that, many of whom note that their vacuum stopped working as efficiently after a few months or weeks. I'll continue using mine and will update this review if that happens (or if any other defects become apparent).
I don't know that anyone with access to water, a multi-surface cleaning product, and a microfiber cloth or paper towel really needs to own an Odistar desktop vacuum. But if you eat at your desk a lot or are just generally kind of messy, having something within arm's reach that can quickly pick up a mess is convenient and, at this price, not a huge expense.