Roomba Tips For A Cleaner Home

Got a Roomba? Want a Roomba? Either way, you'll love our tips for getting a cleaner home with less work with a Roomba.

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• Home: How-To • Home: Living Space
• Home: Maintenance • Home: Tips & Tricks

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Roomba Help, Tips, & Tricks
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Roomba 880 Review
There's no doubt about it, I love my Roombas. Yes, plural. I run two Roomba 880's (see my Roomba 880 Review) in my two story home so that one cleans upstairs and one cleans the downstairs. They run around eating dirt and whatever else they find three times a week, all on their own. If this is life with robot overlords then I'm sold.

But did you know that there are many ways you can improve the performance of your Roomba to have a cleaner house with less work from you? Read on for all of our Roomba tips for a cleaner home.

Schedule It


Forget turning your Roomba on and off manually, use the built in scheduler so it will self-start and clean your home on a schedule you pick. I have both of mine to auto-start three days per week in the morning so the floors are always clean. All of the mid-range and up models should have a schedule feature on them (including the 650, 860, 880, and 980 series).

When running on a schedule the Roomba will start at the scheduled time, clean your house, and return to its base all without you doing a thing. Every week or so, when the trash icon lights up, simply empty the trash bin. If yours doesn't have a scheduler then you chose poorly.

Maintain It

Just like everything else in life, your Roomba requires a little maintenance. Well, at least until iRobot sells a robot cleaner to clean my Roomba. A few minutes each month can go a long way to keeping your robot vacuum happy and doing its job. Each month I pop the roller brushes out and clean the ends of any tangled hair, of which there will be enough to knit a sweater.


The spinning side brush usually needs to have hair pulled out as well. Every now and then I also need to loosen the screw on the side brush and pop it out as it tends to gather hair under it which you can't see until you remove it. That hair generates a lot of friction that just wears your battery down faster so keep it clean.


Popping out the single swivel wheel also often reveals more hair and dust bunnies under it and tucked inside around its axle. It's all very easy to pop out and clean.

Finally, a couple of times per year I pop the trash bin out, rollers, side brush, and front wheel and use my air compressor to blast some air around (gently) to clean things out. A compressed air can would work as well if you don't have a compressor.

Keep in mind that if you have pets then you may want to do these things far more often.

Replace Parts


Be sure to replace the air filter every month or as needed. They get very clogged up with dust and at some point the unit won't pull a strong suction if the filter is too clogged. Lack of suction means dirt and debris not being pulled off the floor. I sometimes buy a little extra time on filters by using another vacuum to clean the filter or by washing it. You never get it like new but can sometimes increase the time between filter changes a little bit.


The rollers also tend to get worn out and need to be replaced when that happens so they can keep flinging junk up into the Roomba. My downstairs floor is a rough and irregular surface (not smooth) and the rubber paddles on my Roomba 800 series tend to get beat up and smoothed off every 6 months or so. While the one that handles the carpeted upstairs will easily last twice as long. So replace those rollers as needed.

Raise Your Furniture

This is an extreme measure, but I take my Roomba-ing pretty seriously. The more things you can get and keep off the ground the better it will clean. In fact, your regular vacuum will clean better for you as well by doing this! I'm not just talking about toys and stuff off the ground, I'm talking about furniture and general clutter.


My Roomba wouldn't fit under my couch, but adding an extra 1/2 of an inch to the couch feet raised it enough so that it runs under and keeps it clean under there.


I custom built a living room entertainment center that's attached only to studs in my walls and has no feet on the ground. The Roomba can run around under there and keep it all clean.


My home office desk was built on the same idea, it's all attached to the walls and not on the floor at all. No more hidden dust bunnies which helps in keeping a A Dust Free Home. If you want to make your own, read Build A Custom Floating Desk.

Bundle Up Cables


Got a bunch of wires and cables on the ground? Get these cleaned up and, ideally, off the floor. If you can't get them off the floor bundle them up so the Roomba can clean around them more easily. Just grab some zip ties and get things neatly bundled up. In my case, I bundle wires using a zip tie, then take another zip and tie them to a few drywall screws I half screwed into the bottom of my desk so they're entirely off the floor. Works great, looks great.

Replace The Battery


Rechargeable batteries don't last forever. After so many charge cycles they become less and less effective which means that your Roomba will run for a shorter period of time. If you notice this happening, the first thing to try is our Roomba Dead Battery Fix. If that doesn't solve the problem then you'll want to replace it with a new battery. iRobot only wants you to buy their expensive battery but I've had great luck with the much cheaper generic Roomba batteries sold on Amazon. For more on replacement parts, be sure to read Best Roomba Replacement Parts.
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