iRobot Roomba Tips and Tricks (& Other Robot Vacuums)

Are you looking to get more out of your iRobot Roomba or another brand of vacuum cleaner?

If so, I have a real treat for you.

As your trusty companion, I’ve put together a list of the top iRobot Roomba tips and tricks that also apply to every other robot vacuum on the market.

By using the tips for Roomba in this guide, you’re guaranteed to get better performance out of your robot vacuum cleaner no matter what brand it may be.

And for those of you who may be in the market for a second robot vacuum cleaner, check out my guide on the best inexpensive robot vacuum. It shows you the top Roomba type vacuums that are a fraction of the cost.

List of Roomba tips and tricks (that work for all robot vacuums)

1. Maximize battery life

One of the top iRobot tips that people are looking for is how to extend the life of their vacuum’s battery.

You can squeeze extra juice out of your robot vacuum battery by doing the following:

  • If your Roomba has a Li-Ion battery, store your robot vacuum with the battery still installed in a cool, dry place.
  • If your robot vacuum has a NiMH battery, remove the battery from the robot vacuum and store it in a cool, dry place. (NiMH batteries should not be left on the charger after being fully charged. Doing so can degrade its lifespan.)

Another good tip here is to use your robot vacuum frequently. Robot vacuums deliver more cleaning jobs when they’re used regularly.

2. Create a virtual wall with shoes

If you have a higher-end iRobot Roomba, then it likely came with a virtual wall accessory.

This virtual wall allows you to block the robot vacuum from going into certain areas of the house (e.g. a bathroom) or accidentally running into things (e.g. pet food bowls).

But, not all robot vacuum cleaners come with a virtual wall. However, you can still get the same effect by using several pairs of shoes.

All you have to do is set up a row of shoes to block off a location of your home that you don’t want the Roomba going. It’s that simple and free!

3. Lean the chairs

If you’ve had a Roomba or other robot vacuum for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced it getting trapped underneath a chair.

For some reason, robot vacuums have a hard time getting out from under chairs and this can mess up your entire cleaning schedule if you’re not there to rescue the vacuum.

One of the simplest tips for Roomba and other robot vacuums is to lean your chairs against the wall so that only two legs are touching the ground. This trick will allow your robot vacuum cleaner to easily get around the chairs without ever getting stuck again.

Another trick would be to turn the chairs upside down and place the seat portion on a table. It takes a bit more effort to do this but then your Roomba can clean every inch around where your chairs sit.

4. Keep the charging base clean

An often neglected area of the robot vacuum is the charging base.

Yet, this is one of the most critical parts of the machine.

iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums use a non-plug metal contact to charge the device. And, if these metal contacts get dusty or dirty, it can affect the vacuum’s ability to receive and maintain a charge.

If you’re finding that your robot vacuum is taking longer and longer to charge, it may be due to a dirty charging base station. So, give the whole thing a quick wipe with a dry cloth every now and then to keep it clean.

5. Clean the sensors

Another neglected area of robot vacuums are the individual sensors that control where the machine goes.

If any of the sensors get covered in dust or dirt, it can drastically impact how well the robot vacuum cleans.

So, after every few uses, take a minute to clean off the various sensors with a dry cloth. That way, you’re Roomba will work the most effectively on every job.

6. Extend cleaning times by closing doors

Some of the best Roombas and other robot vacuum cleaners have mapping software that keeps track of where the unit has cleaned in your home.

That mapping software also helps the Roomba pick up where it left off when it has to go back to the charging station to recharge.

While that mapping feature is nice, one thing that often happens is your robot vacuum will waste time by trying to find the edges of each room. This wastes battery power and causes the robot vacuum to need several recharges just to finish one floor of your home.

If you want to extend more rooms cleaned faster, one of the best Roomba tips and tricks is to set the device in a room and closed the door. Then, the robot vacuum can clean one room in isolation without wasting time meandering in other areas.

Once the robot vacuum is done cleaning that particular room, move it to another room to start again. You can also skip the hallways and other transitional areas of your home until the very end.

7. Turn the lights on

Most robot vacuums use sensors to control where the device goes. And for that reason, these machines don’t do very well in the dark.

An iRobot Roomba that’s cleaning in a room with the lights off can’t sense its surroundings as well as one that’s in a brightly lit area. So, turn on the lights in the room that the robot vacuum is cleaning for maximum performance.

8. Consider a second robot vacuum

If you have multiple levels in your home, you may want to consider getting a second Roomba or other cheaper robot vacuum cleaner.

That way you can clean more of your house in less time.

And, if your robot vacuum cleaner has a scheduling feature then you can set up an automatic cleaning schedule to keep your home in pristine condition every day of the week.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, you can check out my guide on the best inexpensive robot vacuum. Many of the models listed on that page work just as good, if not better, than the more expensive Roomba versions.

9. Clean the extractor and brushes

Many robot vacuums like the Roomba use a pair of extractors to lift dust and dirt out of carpeting and off the floor.

However, the edges of these extractors can often get stuffed with hair and other debris, which then causes the device not to clean as well.

So, make it a habit to take out the extractors every now and then and inspect for wound-up hair on the edges. Also, clean out the brushes that are used to get into the corners of your rooms.

10. Move clutter to the center of the room

If you have a lot of clutter in a room (e.g. toys or other random objects) and it’s too much to constantly remove every time you want to use your robot vacuum, one of the top tips for Roomba is to move all of that clutter to the center of the room.

Roombas and other robot vacuums like to seek out the edges and corners of rooms and if there’s a lot of clutter stuffed in those areas then the machine can get confused and/or waste unnecessary battery power.

So, to keep your robot vacuum running more efficiently just move that clutter to the center of the room so the device can work around it.

Did you enjoy these iRobot tips and tricks?

I hope you enjoyed these iRobot Roomba tips and tricks that work for practically every robot vacuum cleaner that exists.

By following these Roomba tips, you can get more out of your robot vacuum with every use.

Robot vacuums are a great tool to have around the home and hopefully, this guide has given you some interesting things to try.

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Your pal,
Trusty Joe