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Roomba Won’t Clean/Pick Up/Vacuum Very Well

Roomba Won’t Clean/Pick Up/Vacuum Very Well

Roombas are a fantastic tool to have in your home. Vacuuming is widely considered one of the most boring chores, and thus many people don’t vacuum as much as they should. Roombas keep floors nice and tidy without you lifting a finger, but like with any vacuum, their performance can dwindle for seemingly no reason. 

Roombas can start to not vacuum very well if the filter and cleaning head is dirty. Many people forget that all that debris has to go somewhere and will build-up over time. However, if your Roomba is perfectly clean and it still isn’t performing well, that indicates something is wrong. 

We will be going over the various scenarios where a Roomba isn’t properly cleaning an area or object (i.e., pet hair). If you want to learn more, we encourage you to keep reading!

Roomba Not Picking Up: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Picking Up: Causes/How to Fix

Roombas are very appealing pieces of tech. They literally vacuum for you, which is one step towards robots taking care of many household chores, but for now, we have vacuuming covered. 

There are many problems a Roomba can have even if they are generally well-made, but today, we will be covering the core aspect of one – its cleaning ability. 

Generally, a Roomba works very well. It automatically navigates a room and picks up debris along the way as long as it isn’t unreasonably large. It should be able to pick up your typical stuff such as pet hair and dust with no trouble – it was designed for this purpose, after all. 

But when it suddenly starts to perform poorly, what do you do? First off, Roombas require some amount of maintenance. They aren’t entirely set and forget. Sure, they are so advanced that they charge themselves, but they still require human maintenance in the form of cleaning them. 

Here is a detailed video on how to maintain current Roomba models:

Cleaning the Cleaner

First and foremost, when addressing a Roomba that is starting not to pick up debris, the first thing to ask yourself if you’ve been maintaining it. The rudder brushes should be regularly cleaned to ensure optimal performance. If there is old debris blocking new debris from entering, then you can guess that the cleaning efficiency will be diminished. 

Hair and debris can start to wrap around the brushes, which will require manual removal. Right now, there isn’t a feature for a Roomba to clean itself until tech gets more advanced; thus, it needs to be cleaned manually. 

iRobot recommends cleaning the brushes once per week and twice per week for homes with pets. Additionally, the brushes themselves should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. 

The filter is another part of a Roomba that requires relatively frequent maintenance. The filter’s responsibility is to filter out all the dust and dirt in the air as the vacuum is doing its job. The vacuum has to expel that air back out without all that debris, and thus that is why the filter is there. 

If you aren’t regularly cleaning the filter, what the vacuum is trying to pick up will simply be pushed around. Thus that is the reason why your Roomba might not be cleaning as well as you would like. iRobot recommends cleaning it once per week and twice per week in homes with pets, just like the brushes. 

Furthermore, ensure you are emptying the bin regularly; this is another common reason why a vacuum, in general, will not pick up well. 

Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt: Causes/How to Fix

A Roomba will fail to pick up dirt if either the brush or filter isn’t being regularly maintained. Roomba recommends cleaning both once per week if your home doesn’t have pets and twice per week if it does. 

You should be replacing the filter every 2 months and the brush every 6 to 12 months, depending on how frequently you use the Roomba and if you have pets or not. 

Roomba Not Picking Up Hair: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Picking Up Hair: Causes/How to Fix

Hair is tricky for any vacuum to pick up, but they usually can do it without issue. However, over time the hair will start to wrap around the brushes, blocking new hair from being sucked up. iRobot recommends cleaning the brushes twice per week if you are picking up hair.

Roomba Not Picking Up Pet Hair: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Picking Up Pet Hair: Causes/How to Fix

If you have a pet, you’ll know that there is quite a bit of hair to clean up, especially when shedding. Roombas generally pick up pet hair quite well, but if too much hair gets wrapped around the cleaning brushes, that will block new air from coming in. Furthermore, dry environments make it harder for the vacuum to pick up hair due to the built-up static. A humidifier can help with this. 

iRobot recommends cleaning the brushes twice per week if you have pets. 

Roomba Not Suctioning: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Suctioning: Causes/How to Fix

Many people blame their Roomba not suctioning well due to a weak motor, that can happen, but more often than not, it comes down to not maintaining the device very well. 

If you aren’t cleaning the filter and brushes weekly, your Roomba will likely not perform up to par. If it still isn’t picking up debris optimally after cleaning the brushes, filter, and emptying the bin, contact the manufacturer for a possible replacement. 

It’s also worth noting that if your Roomba is particularly old, you may need an upgrade. The first Roomba was released in 2002, so when talking about them, we discuss a product that is almost 2 decades old at the time of writing. Vacuums lose their performance over a long period of time. The Roomba 675 is a decent option that won’t break the bank. 

Roomba Not Cleaning Well: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Cleaning Well: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba isn’t picking up on rugs, carpet, or hard floors, ask yourself when was the last time you cleaned the brushes and filter. iRobot recommends cleaning both at least once per week if you do not have pets and twice if you do. Also, ensure you are emptying the bin regularly. 

Roomba Not Cleaning Carpet: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Cleaning Carpet: Causes/How to Fix

Roombas perform well on carpet generally, but if you’ve been noticing that it isn’t cleaning as well as it should, this could indicate that the brushes and filter need to be cleaned or even replaced. Both should be cleaned at least once a week or twice if you have pets. Furthermore, more filters should be replaced every 2 months and the brush every 6 to 12 months.

Roomba Won’t Clean Rug: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won’t Clean Rug: Causes/How to Fix

The vacuuming power of your Roomba should increase when going over rugs and carpet. If it’s not, first check to see if the right vacuuming behavior is selected on the iRobot app. If you have the right settings and it still isn’t cleaning correctly, this could indicate that the brushes and filter need to be cleaned.

Both should be cleaned once a week if you are regularly using it and twice a week if you have pets. Furthermore, the brushes should be replaced every 6 to 12 months and the filter every 2 months. 

Final Thoughts

Roombas are great products that work the vast majority of the time without issue. If you hate vacuuming manually but still want clean floors, they are worthwhile and will improve your quality of life. But they aren’t totally hands-free and need to be maintained by the user on a weekly basis.

A Roomba not picking up comes down to not cleaning the brushes and filter at least once per week (twice if you have pets) or replacing them after a certain period of time. iRobot recommends replacing the filter every 2 months and the brushes every 6 to 12 months. 

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