From personal experience and having had a few “oops” moments with my own Roomba, let me tell you, wet floors are a no-go for these devices.
If you’ve ever been tempted to run your robot vacuum over a wet patch, please resist. These machines, as advanced as they are, aren’t waterproof. Trying to tackle a wet spill could end up being a costly mistake, potentially damaging your precious Roomba.
I’ve seen some newer models boasting mop attachments, which might give the impression that they can handle water. But in reality, if there’s a significant spill or puddle, I’d strongly advise cleaning it up manually first. Let your robot vacuum come in afterward for the final touches. After all, immersing it in water or a wet area could spell disaster for its internal circuitry. Believe me, it’s better safe than sorry!
Avoid Wet Floors With Roomba
If you have a wet spill on your floor, it’s best to clean it up yourself before running your Roomba. The same goes for any wet areas – whether it’s urine, water, or another liquid.
Running your Roomba on a wet floor can damage the machine and void your warranty. Water can ruin the sensors and motors, and it’s not worth the risk.
Robot vacuum cleaners sit low to the ground, which is great for vacuuming, but is bad for water messes that could find their way into the motor or circuit board of your robot vacuum. This is why a robot vacuum does not do well after accidentally running into dog poop.
Use A Robot Mop For Wet Spills
A robot mop or a robot vacuum with a mop attachment is meant to be more of a duster and not a tool to clean spills.
The dedicated robot mops can handle some spills, but the robot vacuums with the mop attachment don’t. If you mostly have hardwood or tile floors, a robot mop is better suited for your needs, but it’s not a replacement for you to mop.
For best results, you should clean the spill yourself and let the robot go after you to get the final touches.
Robot Vacuum After Mopping
If you have mopped your floors, you should let them dry before you run the robot vacuum.
Ideally, you should vacuum before you mop, as the wheels and beater brush of the robot vacuum could dirty up your floors again.
Water Damage Not Covered By Warranty
Speaking from a perspective of someone who’s delved into the intricacies of warranties, it’s a bit frustrating, but water damage isn’t covered under the typical robot vacuum’s warranty.
Many manufacturers will promptly void that warranty if they deduce you’ve sent your little robotic helper over a spill or watery mess. It’s deemed as user negligence. And trust me, manufacturers have their ways to detect this. Some employ stickers that shift in color upon water contact, while others simply rely on the telltale signs of moisture-induced discoloration on the internal components. It’s always a bit disheartening when warranties fall short, so it’s best to steer clear of any wet zones with your robot vacuum.
This is true also about pet waste such as poop or urine, the warranty does not cover the robot vacuum running over those. Unless you get certain models with a “poop-promise“.
Running Over Wet Carpet
Just like hardwood or tile, you should not run your Roomba over wet carpet.
The same rules apply – the Roomba is not waterproof and any wet messes could damage the machine. It’s best to clean up the spill yourself before running the robot vacuum.
Allow the carpet to fully dry before you run your robot vacuum, it’s not worth risking it, let it dry!
Roomba Doesn’t Know What Is Wet Or Not
Most robot vacuums do not have water sensors and will not detect water or any liquids like urine, drinks, alcohol or rainwater.
We have a few robot vacuums starting to come with pet waste detection, but only for solid waste and not liquid waste.
A robot vacuum will detect if it’s about to fall down stairs but no one has put a water sensor on any robot vacuum as it’s best you don’t run it when the floor is wet.
What Happens If Roomba Hits Water
If the water is high enough, the robot vacuum will suck it up and throw it around where it may hit the sensitive electrical components.
If your robot vacuum runs over water you need to remove the dust bin, filter, brushes and battery and allow it to dry out for a few days. Most often, the robot vacuum will dry out, and nothing bad will happen if it was plain water.
Urine, cleaner, or other strong liquids are 50/50 and may ruin your robot vacuum as they tend to corrode and destroy components. Take the battery out and take the robot vacuum apart and using rubbing alcohol clean all the electrical contacts and shiny parts you see. It’s the corrosion of the connections that will keep your robot vacuum from working after running over a wet spill. Rubbing alcohol dries quickly and is a great cleaner for this type of situation, but you should still let the robot vacuum dry out for a bit after cleaning with rubbing alcohol.
The Signs Your Robot Vacuum Got Wet
If your robot vacuum ran into a wet spill, it’s possible nothing will happen to it. But there are a few things you should look for that may indicate your robot got wet on the inside.
- Check the dustbin, if it’s filled with water, you know your robot vacuum has been in contact with water.
- Check the battery compartment, if there’s any water in there, it’s a sign your robot got wet. The battery should be replaced if it got wet.
- Take a look at the circuit board and see if there’s any corrosion or water damage.
- Inspect the beater brush and see if they’re wet or slimy.
- Look at the charging base and see if there’s any water or corrosion damage. If the charging base got wet it must be replaced, be careful disconnecting it from the wall.
If you see any of these signs, it’s best to take your robot vacuum apart and clean all the electrical components with rubbing alcohol. Let it dry for a few days before trying to use it again.