Roomba maintenance and Usage Tips

Roomba underside

You’ve just bought a new Roomba or a similar robot vacuum cleaner but now you’re not so sure about it. Maybe it used to work fine and now it’s looking a little worse for wear. Well hopefully we’ve got some ideal Roomba maintenance tips for you.

How to care for your Roomba

You may have thrown away your instruction booklet a long time ago, but there is a lot of useful Roomba maintenance advice inside. In order for your vaccuming robot to keep going for a long time it’s a good idea to keep on top of the following.

  • It may seem obvious, but empty the bin after every use, and give it a rinse under the tap.
  • Shake debris and dust from the filter once or twice a week. You might even want to do it after every clean.
  • iRobot recommends to change the filters every two months, but the filters could just be washed instead. Spray with hot water on both sides and leave to dry overnight.
  • Clean the debris and hair from the castor wheel every couple of weeks, and replace the wheel once a year.
  • The two main bushes need replacing after 6 to 12 months. They put up with pet hair very well, but long human hair gets tangled and ends up cutting through the rubber.
  • The yellow brushes collect a lot of hair and start to look ratty after a while. These will need replacing and untangling probably the most often.

What parts can I buy?

When buying something like a car you need to factor in boring things such as insurance, maintenance costs and fuel. It’s the same for many things in our homes. So if you want your Roomba to still be working the same way after 5 years, then you should probably give it some love once in a while. Here’s the link to the accessories shop on amazon where you’ll find all the different parts for your Roomba. You can get a filter and brush kit like below (this is just for the 800/900 series).

iRobot Authentic Replacement Parts- Roomba 800 and 900 Series Replenishment Kit (3 AeroForce Filters, 2 Spinning Side Brushes, and 1 Set of Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes) – Buy now

The tiny little castor wheel is replaceable like below (500/600/700 Series).

Roomba iRobot 500/600/700 Series Front Wheel/Caster Assembly – Buy now

If you use your Roomba every day the battery could well wear out before the rest of it. So it’s good to know that iRobot offer replacement batteries for their products.

iRobot Authentic Replacement Parts- Roomba 1800 Lithium Ion Battery- Compatible with Roomba 960/895/890/860/695/680/690/675/640/614 – Buy now

Do I need to buy official parts?

Just like car parts and printer cartridges you can get much cheaper alternatives to the official product. Sometimes the parts are identical to the approved official ones, and probably come out of the same factory. Other times they’re made out of inferior materials, and not made to exact specification. This will mean that the part won’t last as long as an official part and will need changing more often. It’s a false economy. How can you tell the difference between the good ones and bad? Well I suppose you just have to put your toe in the water and find out.

How to get the most out of your Robot vacuum cleaner

RoombaCliff detection
Roomba’s Cliff detection

When you buy a robot vacuum you’ll need to tidy up a bit. Just like if you were going to hire a cleaner or a maid, you wouldn’t want them to think you live in a pigsty! To avoid the robot missing parts of the carpet or thinking that the room is only half the size it actually is, you need to de-clutter the floor. Pick up bags, shoes, weights etc. Furniture isn’t a problem though, unless it’s likely to get stuck under a wardrobe or something. Perhaps put kitchen or dining room chairs upside-down on the table too.

Always keep it’s base against the wall in the same place, so your robot never gets lost and runs out of juice on it’s way home. Certain robots like the Roomba are good at not eating charging cables and cords, or tassels on rugs, but keep in mind that they might tangle up in it’s insides from time to time. So keep them off the floor as much as possible.


Some carpets are a bit more of a challenge than others it seems. Black carpets make the Roomba think it’s in space, or it’s about to fall down the stairs, so you’ll need to cover the sensors with aluminium foil or something bright to fool it. Please bear in mind that it’s cliff sensors will cease to work, so it will fall down the stairs or that trapdoor hatch if it’s not caught in time. Maybe put a draft excluder in the way to stop it falling to it’s untimely demise.

Long thick or shag-pile carpet can be a problem for Roombas. I have heard that Neato’s D shaped vacuums are actually better for these types of carpets as they have larger wheels. If sending it back and buying a different machine isn’t an option then try placing your Roomba on top of the carpet as it might just be having difficulty climbing up.

The crazy pattern it does around the floor might not seem to make sense as it’s probably not very efficient. As long as it’s used everyday, the odd missed spot will soon be gobbled up in no time.

These little cleaners are very powerful and will do more or less the same job as larger upright machines at the touch of a button. So stay with it, and you’ll soon love it. You may even give it a name!