Roomba keeps saying empty the bin: What can I do?

roomba keeps saying empty the bin
There may be times when a Roomba keeps telling you to empty the dust container. ©
In short: it can happen that a Roomba keeps saying that the dust container is full. Even if you just emptied it. This can occur if the sensor for a full dust container is dirty. Also, a clogged or worn filter can result in this problem. Do you use the same filter for two months? Then you have to replace it with a new filter. View the prices here.

An iRobot Roomba – like many other robot vacuum cleaners – does not have a dust bag. You will therefore have to empty the dust container regularly. In fact, iRobot recommends doing this after every cleaning.

But, what if you've emptied it completely and Roomba keeps telling you to empty the container? Then something is wrong. In this article I will tell you how it can happen that you keep getting these and more importantly: how you can solve this as quickly as possible.

How do I know when the Roomba needs to be emptied?

Let me start with the question of how to find out that a Roomba needs to be emptied. As I mentioned just now, iRobot1iRobot Care Procedure Frequency, recommends emptying Roomba after each cleaning. In a previously published article I already explained that this can even have a positive effect on the Roomba battery life.

If the dust container is too full, a Roomba can let you know in several ways:

  • A red light that sweeps down
  • Some Roomba models have a trash can icon that lights up
  • Roomba gives an error code
roomba red light
A red light may indicate that the Roomba dust container is full. ©

Roomba error codes for dust container issues

When the Roomba shines a red light, it does not always mean that there is a full dust container. It is always recommended to press the CLEAN button to make sure that the dust container is full. View in the table below which error codes indicate that something is wrong with the dust container.

Error codeErrorCauseSolution
Error 8Vacuum cleaner problemVacuum cleaner has poor suction powerClean dust container and filter and check blockages
Error 14Replace dust containerThe dust container is not detectedCheck whether the dust container and filter are properly connected
Error 26Vacuum cleaner problemFilter cloggingCheck the filter and clean it or replace it with a new one.
Error 30Vacuum cleaner problemVacuum cleaner cannot startClean the Roomba filter or replace it with a new one.
Error 36Empty the dust containerFull dust container sensor is dirtyClean the dust container well under the tap and let it dry.
© Vacuumtester

When Roomba shines a red light, it does not always mean that there is a full dust container

Do you hear a different error code? Then find out what the problem is in my complete list of all Roomba error codes.

Why does Roomba keep telling me to empty the container?

When you empty the Roomba correctly (read here how to empty a Roomba dust container) you naturally assume that the robot vacuum cleaner will resume its cleaning activities. However, it can happen that the Roomba keeps saying that the dust container needs to be emptied.

Reasons why Roomba thinks its dust container is still full

There are a number of possible reasons why a Roomba keeps telling you to empty the container:

  • The dust container has not been emptied properly
  • The dust container is very dirty after emptying
  • The sensors at the dust container are dirty
  • Roomba's filter is clogged or worn
  • The Case of the Roomba itself is dirty

As you can see there are several possible causes. Let's take a quick look at how to fix this error message.

Roomba full bin sensors
When the full reservoir sensors are dirty, a Roomba may think that the dust reservoir is full. ©

Solution: this is how you solve the error message

If a Roomba keeps saying the dust container is empty, chances are the sensors are dirty. It is therefore smart to start with that.

Clean the full dust container of sensors

Did you know that there are no fewer than six different sensors that monitor whether the dust container of a Roomba is full? I have made a useful illustration where all sensors are visible:

All locations of the Roomba full container sensors. © R.Tigchelaar

When cleaning the sensors, it is important to use a dry, clean cloth. Do not use liquids, cleaning agents or dirty cloths.

When cleaning the sensors it is important to use a dry, clean cloth

Clean Roomba container and filter

Does the Roomba still tell you to empty it? Then it is possible that the dust container is heavily soiled. You can wash the dust container with water. Make sure to remove the Roomba filter beforehand, because it can't stand water.

emptying roomba i3 evo
Remove the filter from the container before cleaning it. © Vacuumtester

In addition, a clogged filter can also cause Roomba to think that the dust container is full. Cleaning a Roomba filter is easy, but you can't do it with water. Do you use the filter for longer than two months? Then you have to replace the filter with a new one.

Roomba Replacement Filter

Replace the Roomba filter every two months to maintain good suction performance.
🇺🇸 Available in the United States at Amazon and Walmart

Ik hoop dat mijn handleiding ervoor gezorgd heeft dat de Roomba niet meer zegt dat hij geleegd moet worden. Mocht je nog problemen ervaren, laat dan gerust een reactie achter onderaan deze pagina.


Robbert Tigchelaar
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar has made testing vacuum cleaners his life's work. He has dedicated himself to conducting fully independent and valuable tests of vacuum cleaners to provide consumers with honest advice. His expertise in vacuum cleaners has been highlighted in The Washington Post and the Daily Express.

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