A robot vacuum cleaner consists of many different parts. For example, small side brushes, sensors and filters can be found in a robot vacuum cleaner. You should clean these regularly, so that the vacuum cleaner can continue to do its job properly. For example, if you do not regularly clean the sensors, there is a chance that the robot vacuum cleaner can no longer recognize obstacles and will run into them.
In this guide, I’ll tell you all about cleaning a Roomba, one of the most popular robot vacuums right now. I discuss what you should clean, how often you should do this and which parts you need to replace every now and then.
- Why clean a Roomba?
- Which Roomba parts to clean
- Empty and clean Roomba dust container
- Cleaning Roomba Filter
- Cleaning Roomba Sensors (Full Dust Bin Sensor)
- Cleaning Roomba Brushes and Side Brushes
- Cleaning Roomba Wheels (Front Caster Wheel)
- Cleaning Roomba Charging Contacts
- How often to clean Roomba and replace parts?
- Cleaning a Roomba FAQ
Why clean a Roomba?
Let me start by asking why it is so important to clean a Roomba regularly. An iRobot Roomba consists of many different (small) parts that can get dirty quickly. Think of the screen of a sensor or a side brush that has to sweep a lot of dirt along the baseboards.
Failure to regularly clean and clean parts may result in degraded performance. It may even happen that the robot vacuum cleaner no longer recognizes furniture or that it can no longer vacuum at all. Common problems at a glance:
- Roomba has reduced suction, leaves a lot of dirt
- Makes more noise than usual
- No longer runs smoothly, cornering issues
- Bumps into furniture, no longer recognizes obstacles
- iRobot Roomba stinks
Cleaning a Roomba regularly can help prevent many of these problems. In fact, it can even have a positive impact on how long the vacuum cleaner lasts.
Which Roomba parts to clean
As I just mentioned, a Roomba consists of many different parts that can get dirty quickly. The following parts should be kept clean and replaced on time:
- Dust container
- Sensors (Full dust container sensor)
- Brushes (Side Brushes) and Floor Brushes
- Wheels (Swivel Wheel)
- Charging contact points (also at charging station)
Discover a handy step-by-step plan for each part.
Empty and clean Roomba dust container
A robot vacuum cleaner has a smaller dust container than, for example, a canister vacuum cleaner. It is therefore important to realize that you will have to empty it more often. Emptying the dust container is easy:
- Press the button on the side of Roomba to pop out the dust container
- Open the dust container door
- Empty it above the trash can, also gently shake it back and forth
- Click it back in the Roomba
If you have a Roomba with an automatic emptying station (for example, the new iRobot Roomba J7+), it is also important to replace the vacuum cleaner bag there regularly.
You can also wash the dust container with warm water. It is important to remove the filter, because it cannot be cleaned with water. In addition, it is good to know that the dust container cannot be put in the dishwasher. Do not use the dust container again until it has completely dried.
Cleaning Roomba Filter
Like any other vacuum cleaner, the Roomba is also equipped with a vacuum cleaner filter. To maintain low dust emissions, it is important to clean them regularly. Unfortunately, this is not a filter that you can wash under the tap, but you can knock it out.
- Remove the dust container from the vacuum cleaner
- Click the filter out of the side of the dust container
- Gently tap the filter above the trash can
Because it is not possible to cleaning the HEPA filter, it is important to replace it with a new one in time.
Cleaning Roomba Sensors (Full Dust Bin Sensor)
When a Roomba’s sensors are dirty, problems can arise. For example, the Roomba is less able to recognize obstacles or a full dust container will no longer be recognized. Cleaning the full dust container sensor is done as follows:
- Remove the dust container from the Roomba
- Empty it above the trash
- Clean the sensors inside the Roomba with a clean, dry cloth
- Also clean the inside of the dust container with a clean, dry cloth
- Remove the dirt from the vacuum cleaner channel, pass the cloth through this too
You can also clean the other sensors with a clean, dry cloth. Pay close attention to dirty spots and remove them with care. Also don’t forget to wipe the camera screen with a dry cloth.
Cleaning Roomba Brushes and Side Brushes
A Roomba’s brushes have to endure a lot. They spin super fast and have to ensure that all the dirt that the robot vacuum cleaner encounters is swept to the suction channel. If the brushes become dirty, for example due to tangling of animal hair, the brush can get stuck or collect dirt less well. There are two types of brushes: side brushes and floor brushes.
To clean the side brushes you need a small screwdriver or a coin. Follow the steps below:
- Remove the side brush by unscrewing the screw
- Remove the brush and check for tangles
- Also take a good look at the Roomba itself; dirt can also be present there
- Reassemble the brush when it is tangle-free
It is smart to check that the brush is not worn out. iRobot recommends replacing with a new one at least once a year.
In addition to the side brushes, there are also the large floor brushes. These can also be full of dirt. To clean it you can follow the following steps:
- Click the lever next to the floor brushes up
- Remove the two floor brushes from the Roomba
- Remove the two caps on the ends of the floor brushes
- Remove all hair, tangles and dirt from the brush
- Click the caps back on the floor brushes
- Slide the two brushes back into Roomba and close the lever
You should also replace these brushes at least once a year with a new set.
Cleaning Roomba Wheels (Front Caster Wheel)
A Roomba has a small caster wheel that allows it to make turns. A front wheel that can no longer rotate properly can scratch sensitive floors. It is therefore very important to regularly check it for dirt. Follow the step-by-step plan below:
- Carefully click the front wheel with housing out of the vacuum cleaner
- Remove the front wheel from the housing (click system)
- Remove the dirt from the wheel and inside the housing
- Click the front wheel with housing back on the Roomba
Just like the floor brushes, it is important to replace the front wheel with a new one in time, if you notice that it rolls and turns less well. The wheel is susceptible to wear.
Cleaning Roomba Charging Contacts
If an iRobot robot vacuum suddenly stops working and resetting a iRobot Roomba doesn’t help, the charging contacts may be dirty. As a result, the robot vacuum cleaner can no longer be charged and will no longer do anything. It is therefore important to regularly clean the contact points of the Roomba itself and those of the charging station. You do this as follows:
- Clean the contacts on the charging station with a clean dry cloth
- Do the same with the contact points on the Roomba itself (next to the caster wheel)
Never use a detergent.
How often to clean Roomba and replace parts?
Now that we know exactly what you should clean, it is also interesting to briefly consider how often you should do this. In the overview below you can see exactly how often you should clean each part when you need to replace it.
|Bin||When it’s full|
|Filter||Once a week|
Twice a week with a pet
|Every 2 months||View filters|
|Full bin sensor||Every two weeks|
|Front caster wheel||Every two weeks||Every year||View caster wheels|
|Side and floor brushes||Once a month|
Twice a month with a pet
|Every year||View brushes|
|Sensors||Once a month|
|Camera Window||Once a month|
|Charging Contacts||Once a month|
It is very smart to buy a complete iRobot maintenance package for your Roomba. With this you get everything at home in one go and it is often cheaper than if you buy the parts separately.
Before purchasing new replacement iRobot parts, it is important to know which Roomba you have. In the article ‘Which Roomba Do I Have?‘ I help you find out which robot vacuum cleaner you have.
Cleaning a Roomba FAQ
Questions may arise during and after cleaning your iRobot Roomba robot vacuum. Get answers to questions you may have in the FAQ below. Is your question not listed? Please feel free to send me a message.
No, the filter is not washable. You can knock it out over the trash can. You have to replace the filter with a new one every 2 months. You can clean the dust container under the tap, but make sure that the filter is clicked out.
A Roomba robot vacuum consists of several parts that need to be cleaned. How often you have to clean it depends on the part. For example, you should clean the sensors monthly, while the castor wheel should be checked for dirt every two weeks. In the table on this page, discover an overview of when you should clean what and how often.
Yes, you can clean it with a dry, clean cloth. Keeping the sensors clean will help Roomba continue to recognize obstacles.
A red light indicates a problem. If the red light flashes, there is an air leak or blockage in the vacuum cleaner. If the light stays on red, then the dust container is full or the dust container is missing.