23 Tips and Tricks For Robot Vacuums

Over the years of owning a Robot Vacuum Cleaner, I’ve learned many tips and tricks for using them to clean our home. Some of the tips are obvious but there a few gems that I doubt you heard before.

I’ve listed 23 of my favorite Roomba tips below and hopefully, you find them as useful as I do!

1. Charge Your Robot Vacuum Overnight When You First Get It

When you first get your new robot vacuum, it’s best to allow it to charge entirely overnight before you first use it. This also goes for when you replace the battery too.

Of all the tips, this one is often the #1 ignored one because everyone is excited to play with there new robot.

2. Use Items Around The Home To Block

If you have a cord that can’t be hung on the wall or hidden you can use your shoes as a bumper. It doesn’t have to be your shoes, but I do find them handy especially old tennis shoes to stop the robot vacuum from going over cords.

If you do use shoes make sure to tuck in the shoestrings. Another option is a small rug to place over the cords.

3. Be Random

If you have your robot vacuum in the same charging spot cleaning the same room all the time, it would be best to mix it up a bit. Place a chair or even a shoe in a random spot to mix up the cleaning rhythm.

The great thing about robot vacuums is that they clean areas that we might miss because they go around the room randomly. But if you’re having the robot clean the same room the same way all the time then it’s not thoroughly cleaning the best it can.

4. Lean Your Chairs

leaning chair showing robot going under

Sometimes your robot vacuum cleaner can’t get under chairs. For an ideal situation, it’s best to flip the chairs over and place them on the table so the robot vacuum can clean under them. If this is not an option, you can move the chairs to a different room or spread them out. I’ve even been known to lay the chairs on the sides and let the robot clean around them that way.

But my favorite way to clean under difficult chairs is to lean them on something. This allows the vacuum to clean under the table and chairs as it only has to deal with 2 legs instead of 4. Only do this way if you don’t mind the chairs to rub against or even fall down if you have a robot that uses bumpers to detect walls.

5. Set the Timer For Your Robot Vacuum

Many of the modern robot vacuums can be set to run by timers or an app. Please take full advantage of this if you can especially if you hate vacuuming.

6. Watch Them!

When you first get your robot vacuum, you need to watch it for the first few times as it navigates your home. This is not a problem because everyone loves to watch there robot when they first get one.

You want to see where it gets stuck and what things to avoid.

Don’t forget that strings from the carpets or even strings for the blinds can get caught in them so be on the lookout for that. Even though it has a computer in it, robot vacuums are still not clever enough to avoid certain things.

7. Pet Hair & Robot Vacuums

One of the best robot vacuum tips I can give about pet hair is to run them often. You might find yourself running your robot vacuum every day if you have many pets just to tame the pet hair.

With much pet hair comes great maintenance responsibilities, so don’t forget to clean the robot vacuum of pet hair to keep it running well.

8. Carpets Can Be Too High

robot vacuum getting stuck on high carpets

Some carpets, rugs, and runners just don’t work with robot vacuums. It’s mostly the super high rugs that it can’t handle especially transferring from flat to higher carpets.

I have a runner from the living room to the bedroom that my Roomba just can’t get over. Not a big deal for me as it works well separating the two for cleaning. So keep this in mind, many things in your home like rugs can be used as a separators.

9. Robot Vacuum Maintenance

Just because you have a robot vacuum cleaner doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean the robot. They still need to have hair and dust removed from its rollers, brushes, and wheels every so often.

Here is a great video showing how to clean a Roomba.

10. Replacement Parts

A big tip for robot vacuums is that you need to remember to replace some of its parts. The side brush needs to be replaced more often then you think. A short side brush is not effective for cleaning corners and cracks.

The batteries don’t last forever, and if it’s been 2 years with your current battery, then I would consider a new one. You can buy batteries for a Roomba on Amazon.

Don’t forget the filters and roller brushes need to be replaced too!

11. They Don’t Last Forever

With talking about replacement parts, another Roomba robot vacuum tip would be that you must keep in mind that your robot vacuum cleaner won’t last forever.

I like to replace my Roomba’s every 5 years. I would say 5 years is a useful lifespan on a robot vacuum cleaner. The tech in these things grow fast, and it’s hard to believe where they’ll be in 5 years, but I do know I want that tech in 5 years.

12. Read The Instructions First

Kind of a no-duh one, but please do read the instructions. Every robot vacuum is different, and the instructions tell all.

Some even have the instructions on the app you use to activate the robot which is super helpful.

13. Avoid Water

Don’t run the robot vacuum on wet carpet and avoid puddles with it too.

14. Placing Your Charging Station In Your Home

It’s best to place the charging station on a flat surface like hardwood or tile. I like to avoid carpets as it doesn’t sit flush enough because of the dipping of where the carpet meets the wall.

The charger should be flat against the wall with nothing around it on both sides for at least 2 feet.

Avoid leaving the charger or even virtual walls where it’s very sunny as that can confuse the robot vacuum cleaner’s sensors.

Don’t be alarmed if your robot sometimes doesn’t find its home charging station. My Roomba 9/10 times will find the home base but sometimes it runs out of battery before it does. No big deal if your robot vacuum doesn’t find home, just pick it up and return it back to the charging station.

15. Remove The Clutter From Your Home

You still need to pick up toys, clothing, or any clutter that may be on the floor. Wide-open areas work the best for cleaning and clutter can slow things down.

Don’t forget to remove any clutter from under your bed because dust and bugs like to collect under there. A robot vacuum works great for cleaning under your bed, we even a have a post on that here.

One of the biggest Roomba tips I can give is to allow it to clean under your bed often. You’ll be amazed by how much dirt builds up under your bed.

16. Let Them Work!

I know you might get worried at times if the robot vacuum is not getting to one spot but be patient. It may take it a while to clean the entire room, just let it work.

17. Consider Two?

If you have a multi-level home, you might want to consider a robot vacuum for each floor. If you only have one robot vacuum and a 2 story home you’ll have to wait for it to clean the bottom floor and then recharge before doing the top floor.

Sounds like a pain to me.

But with multiple robot vacuums, you can have them run at the same time making your life easier.

18. Virtual Walls Work Great

If you have a dog food bowl, you need a Virtual Wall around it. This keeps the robot vacuum from hitting and knocking food or water out of the bowls. You might even need one to keep the robot vacuum out of individual rooms or areas.

Don’t forget to replace the batteries in the virtual walls when they die.

You can even get extra virtual walls like the ones for Roomba’s Here.

19. Adjust For The Different Floors In Your Home

Many robot vacuums have adjustments for floors where you can say how much power you want it to have for suction. If you’re mostly vacuuming the carpet, you might want more suction. If all you have is hardwood, then the ECO setting is ideal.

20. Consider Battery Life For Your Size Home

If you have a lot of areas to cover make sure the settings in your robot vacuum reflect that. If you need to clean a large area make sure to buy a robot vacuum with a big battery and large container.

If you only need a robot vacuum to help with the in-between cleanings, then basic models will do. If you need one that can almost replace your regular vacuum cleaner, then the higher end models will be more ideal.

If you just don’t know what to buy then start looking at something like ILIFE V3s Pro Robotic Vacuum here.

21. Avoid Hot And Cold

One of many tips for robot vacuums is to avoid keeping them in too hot of a place and too cold of a place. The batteries in robot vacuums don’t like extreme temperatures.

22. Keep The Robot Charging Base Clean

Often forgotten about, the charging base needs to be kept clean too. Dust and dirt will collect on it, and it’s charging connection points, and they will need to be wiped down.

Avoid water and avoid cleaning the charging base when it’s plugged in.

23. Robot Vacuums Hate Cords

When it comes to a robot vacuum cleaner cords and cables on the ground should be avoided. Sometimes you might get lucky and the robot won’t get stuck but most often then not they do get tangled.

The worse ones are when the robot gets tangled in your home and you can’t find it. Doing a sweep of the home to make sure all cables are up is a must for a robot vacuum.

The best way to keep cords off the ground is with Cable Wire Clips here.

This is my personal favorite Roomba tip as this was my biggest problem when I first got my Roomba. It was getting stuck on so many cords and shoestrings; the cable wire clips are a must!

Doing these robot vacuum tips will have you loving your robot vacuum for years to come!