23 Tips and Tricks For Robot Vacuums

Over the years of owning a robot vacuum, I’ve discovered several tips that make your life so much better.

We’re talking downright simple, but effective, tips and tricks for your Roomba or other robot vacuums!

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

When you first get your new robot vacuum, you need to charge it fully before using it. This also goes for when you replace the battery too.

Fully charging your battery before your first use of your robot vacuum is the most important tip I can ever give you. Far too many people forget to do this and end up having a shorter lifespan on their battery.

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’ll 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.

Or manually place the robot vacuum in different spots of the room before cleaning.

The great thing about robot vacuums is that they clean areas that we miss because they go around the room randomly.

4. Lean Your Chairs

leaning chair showing robot going under

It’s easy for a robot vacuum to get stuck under chairs. To keep your robot vacuum from getting stuck it’s best to flip the chairs over and place them on the table.

If this is not an option, move the chairs to a different room or spread them out. I’ve even been known to lay the chairs on its sides and let the robot clean around them that way.

But my favorite way to clean under difficult chairs is to lean them on the table. This allows the vacuum to clean under the table and chairs as it only has to deal with 2 legs instead of 4.

5. Automate Your Robot Vacuum

Using the accompanying app, a robot vacuum can be set to vacuum at the time intervals you set.

Picking a time right before you get home is perfect as you don’t need to vacuum and if the robot gets stuck you’ll be home soon.

If you have pets running the robot vacuum daily will cut down on the amount of pet hair everywhere.

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 to tame the pet hair.

The downside is that a lot of per hair comes with more maintenance, 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 don’t work with robot vacuums. It’s the super high rugs that it can’t handle especially transferring from a flat surface to higher a higher surface.

I have a runner from the living room to the bedroom that my Roomba 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 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 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. Buy Extra Replacement Parts

Brushes on robot vacuums wear out quicker than the one on your normal vacuum cleaner so you’ll need to replace them at least 2 times a year.

Keeping the air filter clean is vastly more important on your robot vacuum. The suction motor is weaker on robot vacuums so it’s important you keep the filter clean and replace it at least 2 times a year.

The batteries don’t last forever, and if it’s been 3 years with your current battery, then I would consider a new one. You can buy batteries for a Roomba on Amazon (Amazon Link Ad).

11. They Don’t Last Forever

I like to replace my Roomba’s every 5 years. While 5 years is the golden number it’s not uncommon to have a robot vacuum go for 10 years if you take proper care of it.

The tech improving is why the 5 years is the cutoff. The robot vacuums keep getting better and better and 5 years from now you’ll be wanting the next best thing.

12. Read The Instructions First

Kind of a no-duh one, but please 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.

Robot vacuums do not have any sensor to let it know its approaching water. The electronics are not covered and the slightest bit of water slung from the spinning brushes can ruin the robot vacuum. I learn this the hard way when a robot vacuum ran over a puddle of dog pee.

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 virtual walls where it’s very sunny as that can confuse the robot vacuum cleaner’s sensors. They use IR light, the same light coming from the sun, to find its way home.

Don’t be alarmed if your robot doesn’t find its charging station. My Roomba 9/10 times will find the home base but other times it runs out of battery before then. 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 need to pick up toys, clothing, or any clutter that is on the floor. Wide-open areas work the best for cleaning and clutter will 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 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 should get 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. Plus, no robot vacuum cleans stairs so you’ll be the one hauling it up and down.

Sounds like a pain to me.

With multiple robot vacuums, you 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 (Amazon Link Ad).

19. Adjust For The Different Floors In Your Home

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 brush action. If all you have is hardwood, then more suction is needed.

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 (Amazon Link Ad).

This video does an amazing job comparing robot vacuums.

21. Avoid Hot And Cold

One of the 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.

This means keeping it out of sunny spot in your home or away from the air vent.

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 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 need to be avoided. More often than not your robot vacuum will get tangled in a cord so it’s best to avoid them.

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 (Amazon Link Ad).

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!