The majority, including the one I own, will clean until they deplete their battery—typically between 90 to 120 minutes—or when they believe their job is complete.
The first robot vacuum I had was a random navigation type. True to its nature, it seemed to have no particular strategy, wandering about haphazardly. It almost always exhausted the entire 90-minute battery life attempting to clean my home. To be frank, it felt like watching a toddler on a sugar rush; enthusiastic, but not very efficient.
On the other hand, my newer robot vacuum, equipped with LiDAR and cameras, is a game-changer. After a few runs, it managed to map out my entire house. Watching it methodically clean line by line was satisfying, and it often finished well before the 90-minute mark or before the battery could give out.
A handy feature I’ve also come across in some models is the low-power or ECO modes, which enable them to run even longer. However, as a general rule of thumb based on my experiences, anticipate your robot vacuum to be active for a little over an hour on each cleaning session.
Cleaning Time Can Take Longer
The reason robot vacuums take so long to clean is because they use less suction and clean more meticulously, so they need to run for longer to get your floors cleaned.
The robot vacuums that take the longest to clean are the random navigation models, which are often the cheaper models.
The random robot vacuums don’t map your home and don’t have a clue when it’s done, it just goes until it runs out of battery power. When the battery gets low, they start to look for an invisible blinking light from the charger and go towards it to recharge.
The smarter robot vacuums will clean until it gets to all the areas it can.
If that means going back home to recharge and pick back up after that, they will. They can go to multiple rooms so long as there is nothing stopping them.
So if you have a large home, your robot vacuum will run for longer than someone with a smaller home.
Cleaning A Whole House
Every home is different, bigger homes will take longer to clean, but in general, expect the robot vacuum to run for 60 to 120 minutes.
The robot vacuum will make a noise that can be distracting, but turning the TV up will block it out nicely. If that is a concern, then program the robot vacuum to start 2 hours before you come home, so you have clean floors when you arrive.
Spot Cleaning With A Robot Vacuum
If you don’t want the robot vacuum to clean the whole home, you can have many models only spot clean.
In the app or by pressing a button on the robot vacuum, you can have it clean the area you want.
You can even program a few models to only clean certain rooms at certain times if you like.
The cleaning times can also be adjusted and even put in a quiet mode for some robot vacuums. You’ll find robot vacuums very versatile and adjustable to your cleaning needs.