How to empty roomba - a step-by-step guide to clean your irobot vacuum the right way (2023)

How to empty Roomba - A step-by-step guide to clean your iRobot vacuum the right way

Jennifer Rodriquez

Aug 23, 2021


Robot vacuum cleaners free us from the tedious task of cleaning our floors. Instead, it navigates through the house to pick up all kinds of dirt and debris while we're doing other things. However, even the best robots from Roomba require regular maintenance. So how do you empty a Roomba? Many Roomba owners have asked me this question.

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The good news is emptying a Roomba is not an intimidating task if you know how to do it. In this article, I'll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to empty Roomba.

How do you empty a Roomba?

Roomba has a wide range of robots, so when you're thinking of emptying a Roomba, it's best to follow the guidelines for your specific model to avoid any unexpected incidents. To keep things simple, I will split this how-to guide into different sections, so you only need to read the guidelines for your model.

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Roomba robots are all easy to empty Via: Amazon

1. How to empty the dustbin of the Roomba 600 series

If you're using a Roomba 614, 670, 675, or 690, follow these steps to empty your robot:

  • Open the dustbin by pressing the tab on the edge of the vacuum.
  • Pull the bin out by clicking the little yellow latch on its edge.
  • Dispose of the inside contents into your trash can.
  • Tap it gently to remove as much debris as you can.
  • Find the filter (inside the dustbin) and empty it as well.
  • Once you're done, reinstall the filter, then close the door.
  • Put the dustbin back into your Roomba, and you're done!

2. How to empty Roomba 800 and 900 series

As mentioned above, you don’t have to grapple with the question of how to empty a Roomba, as I'll share with you detailed instructions for your model. Now, if yours is a Roomba 805, 890, 960, or a 980, follow these steps:

  • Pull the dustbin out by pressing the tab on the edge.
  • Open the dustbin’s door by pulling its top toward the ground.
  • Tap and shake the dustbin to remove all debris into your trash can.
  • If needed, use a microfiber cloth to wipe out dust from the dustbin.
  • Next, clean the filter by opening the top of your dustbin.
  • Pull the tab sticking out from the edge of the filter.
  • Follow the same steps to clean your filter, then tap it into the trash can.
  • Install the filter back into the dustbin (make sure the tab is facing upwards).
  • Close the latch, and then close the door.
  • Put the bin back into the vacuum.

Roomba 800 and 900 series vacuum owners should also wipe the sensors, which are located at the bottom of your robot. You can use a microfiber cloth or a melamine foam to clear the dust off these sensors. Click here to watch a demonstration on how to clean a Roomba 900 model:

How to empty the Roomba bin for E5 and i7 models

These two robots have a similar design with the 800 and 900 series. That said, you can follow the same steps above to empty the bins. You can also rinse the inside of the dustbin with cool water, but do not attempt to put the bin in the dishwasher. The filters are not washable, so please don't let them come into contact with any liquid to avoid damaging them.

➜ RELATED: What You Need To Know About Roomba’s Battery Life

3. How to empty the Roomba robots of the s9 series

If you’re asking how to clean Roomba S9 models, you've come to the right place. S9 models are washable, so their emptying process is slightly different from others. Below are the most simple steps you can follow:

  • Lift the lid on the top of the vacuum to access the dustbin.
  • Pull the handle on the side to remove the dustbin.
  • Lift the filter door to open and take it out.
  • Remove dirt and debris from the filter.
  • Take the dustbin out by pressing the grey release button.
  • Pour the contents of the dust bin into a trash can, then tap and shake it to make sure you empty everything out.
  • Rinse the dustbin with cool water, and set it upright to let it completely dry.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe out the interiors and remove embedded dust inside the sensors.
  • Once the bin is dry, close its lid.
  • Reinstall the filter, and close the lid.
  • Place the dustbin back into the vacuum body.
  • Ensure all the dustbin’s doors snap back properly into their original position.

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The dustbin of Roomba s9 series is washable Via: Amazon

4. How to empty Roomba i7+ and S9+

Since the Roomba i7+ and s9+ can self-empty, they do not require as frequent dustbin emptying as other models do.

If you're wondering how the automatic-emptying system works, here is a quick explanation: the dock for your robot provides a resting place for charging, but it can also pull the dirt and debris out of the dustbin into a larger storage bin. This storage bin is usually called the Clean Base Unit or the base station.

The base station works like a bag on a traditional vacuum, which means you still need to empty it once in a while. If most of your house flooring is carpet and you have pets, then I recommend you clean it out every week. Otherwise, you only need to empty this base station every 30 days.

So if you’re asking how to empty the Roomba bag, you can follow these steps to empty its bag and Clean Base:

  • Lift the lid of the Clean Base.
  • Pull out the bag by lifting the plastic tab on the edge.
  • Discard the used bag and replace it with a new one.
  • Slide the plastic tab back into place.
  • Close the Clean Base lid.

Alternatively, you can let the iRobot Home app empty the Clean Base unit itself. Simply click on the Empty Bin button in the app. If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to check your WiFi connections or update your app.

Click here for a demonstration on how to clean your Roomba i-series:

How often should you empty a Roomba?

We all know that regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of our home appliances, and this rule applies to robot vacuums as well. But how often do you need to empty it?

Robot vacuums work by pulling debris into a small interior dustbin. iRobot recommends its users empty the dustbin every three cleaning cycles, but it all depends on how dirty your floor is. If you vacuum your house regularly and have a few four-legged friends in the house, then it's best to empty your Roomba every day or every two days.

How often should you replace a Roomba filter?

If you've used traditional vacuums like uprights or canisters before, you know that vacuum bags need to be replaced regularly—so do Roomba filters. iRobot says that you should replace your Roomba filters every eight weeks.

Again, this depends on how often you vacuum and whether you have pets. If your house is large and you have a few furry friends, I recommend replacing your filters more often to ensure the optimal performance of your robot.

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Roomba's filter should be cleaned whenever you empty the dustbin Via: Amazon

How do you reset a Roomba?

Regardless of how well-constructed your Roomba is, sometimes it still leaves you with problems to deal with. You don't need to be an engineering or technical expert to know how to fix this; a simple troubleshooting tip is to reset your Roomba to get it back on track. In this how to empty a Roomba guide, I'll share with you a few quick tips to reset your robot.

For Roomba models in the 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 series, you only need to turn it off, unplug it, and hit the CLEAN button until the green light comes on. Next, you will have to wait for the robot to rest for about 10 seconds before turning it back on and resetting the time, date, and schedule as you wish.

Roomba i3 and i7 come with slightly different designs, but they're also easy to reset. Simply hold three buttons: CLEAN, SPOT CLEAN, and HOME at the same time until the light on the CLEAN button becomes bright, then release all three buttons. Next, wait about 20 seconds for your robot to reboot. It's now ready to perform its normal tasks again.

➜ RELATED: Irobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Reviews - Wi-Fi Connected Mapping

How to clean the brushes and wheels

The brushes and wheels of robot vacuums come into contact with your floors in all cleaning cycles. That said, dirt and debris accumulate whenever they rotate. In addition, string and hair can build up around these spinning parts and slow down their rotation.

So when you try to learn how to empty a Roomba, you probably want to know how to clean the brushes and wheels of your robot as well. Most Roomba robots come with a cleaning toolbox that you can use to dig out debris. Otherwise, you can also dive in and remove debris with your bare hands.

1. Cleaning the brushes

Removing debris and hair regularly will help minimize the risks of having troublesome objects wrap around your robot's brushes and wheels. But how do you clean the hairy brushes? Read on, as I explore more detail in the following steps:

  • Put your Roomba upside down on the floor.
  • Open the brush guard by pulling back the two yellow levers.
  • Remove the brushes by pulling the yellow plastic bearing at each of its ends.
  • You can see hair wrapped around the bristle. It’s time to remove them.
  • Once you're done removing the worst clumps of hair from the bristle, clean the brush compartment using a soft and dry microfiber cloth.
  • Put the brushes back into the compartment. Remember to fit the grey ends in first.
  • Snap the brush guard back into place, and it's all done.

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Roomba brushes are easy to remove and cleanVia: Amazon

Now you've cleaned the main brush, but what about the side brush? Yes, I'm talking about that tri-brush. It's easy to spot, so let's clean it up too. Just follow these steps:

  • Unscrew the side brush from your robot chassis.
  • Pull the side brush out.
  • Trim off the hair wound tightly around this brush by using a pair of scissors, then pull them away.
  • Screw the brush back into your robot’s main unit.

2. Cleaning the wheels

Hair can easily wrap around your robot's wheels as well, but most of us usually ignore cleaning the wheels. However, iRobot recommends users check on them every few weeks. That said, try to clean them up before noticing their jerky movements as your robot sweeps the floors.

After cleaning the brushes, why not clean the wheels too while your robot is facing upward? It's pretty straightforward. Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Pull the wheel straight out.
  • Remove the string of hair wrapped around the axle.
  • Wipe down the wheel with a soft cloth.
  • Wipe down the wheel compartment.
  • Clean up the wheel housing where dust and dirt usually hide.
  • Snap the wheel back into its place and push the caster back in.

Now that you are finished cleaning the front wheel, you're probably wondering how to clean the side wheels. Can you remove them just as easily as you remove the front wheels? Well, not really! The side wheels of your Roomba can't be removed. However, you can clean out dust and clumps while keeping them in place. Pushing the wheels in and out, then spinning them repeatedly can help release dust, hair, and debris.

➜ RELATED:How To Dispose Of A Vacuum Cleaner: Reuse, Recycle, Or Repair?

The bottom line

I hope you’ve learned some useful instructions on how to empty an iRobot Roomba. As with any robot vacuum cleaner, regular checkups and maintenance will ensure its proper functioning. The more careful you take care of it, the longer it will stay with you.

Aside from emptying the dustbin, Roomba owners should also empty the filters after several cleaning cycles. In addition, its brushes, wheels, and cliff sensors need to be cleaned regularly. Guidelines on how to take care of these parts were shared above. Any questions, please leave them below, and we'll be in touch shortly.


How do I manually CLEAN my Roomba? ›

Cleaning with Roomba

To wake up Roomba, press CLEAN once. Roomba will beep and the CLEAN button will illuminate. To start a cleaning cycle, press CLEAN again. » Roomba cleans an entire level of your home during one cleaning cycle. » If its battery gets low before finishing, Roomba returns to the Home Base to recharge.

Is it hard to empty a Roomba? ›

Luckily, cleaning them isn't too difficult. With your Roomba flipped over, grip the front caster wheel and simply pull it straight out. Remove any clumps of hair lodged inside the wheel's axle and stem, then snap it back into place.

What happens when Roomba is full? ›

Roomba has a sensor to determine when the bin is full. Depending on how quickly the bin fills, you may prefer to modify your robot's cleaning behavior. Your robot will not start any new cleaning jobs and will pause existing ones if it detects its bin is full.

How often do you empty a Roomba? ›

Most robot vacuum makers say you should empty their robots' dustbins after each cleaning session. Both iRobot and Neato suggest this for their Roomba and Botvac models. iRobot even tells you to rinse robot bins with warm water, then to let it air dry.

How do I empty my Roomba 692 bin? ›

Press the bin release tab and pull to remove the bin. Open the bin door to empty the bin. Pull the filter to remove. Shake off debris by tapping the filter against your trash container.

How do I know when to empty my Roomba? ›

If the red full bin indicator is illuminated or blinking, it means Roomba® senses that the bin is full. Please empty the bin, and clean the full bin sensors and sensor ports thoroughly.

Does the self emptying Roomba tell you when the bag is full? ›

When the bag is full, the user is notified via the iRobot HOME App. Then they simply pull it out of the Clean Base and replace with a new one. The bag can hold 30 bins of debris, so users don't have to think about vacuuming for weeks at a time.

How do I empty my Roomba dust bin bag? ›

【Easy to empty】All you need to do is unzip the bag to easily empty the dust and you have a "new" bag! Remember to keep the zip fully closed when replacing it.

How do I clean my Roomba without the app? ›

Hit the start button and it'll clean your room. Right out of the box, it'll do the job.” But if you pass up the WiFi connection, you lose some of the convenience features offered through the mobile app.

What happens when a Roomba goes over poop? ›

“Do not, under any circumstances, let your Roomba run over dog poop,” he warned. “Because if that happens, it will spread the dog poop over every conceivable surface within its reach, resulting in a home that closely resembles a Jackson Pollock poop painting.

Does Roomba eventually learn your house? ›

Roomba® can also learn your home as it cleans. It typically takes three (3) to five (5) cleaning missions or Mapping Runs to generate a fully developed Imprint™ Smart Map that you can then customize and use.

Can I pick up Roomba and move it? ›

It works by feel every time, adapting to changes in furniture and other objects. Thus, you should have no issues changing floors. However, you will want to relocate both the Roomba and its docking station when changing floors. The unit should be started from the docking station, so it has a place to return 'home' to.

Does Roomba get smarter over time? ›

"The beauty of iRobot Genius is that our robots get smarter over time and continuously provide customers with new ways to clean where, when and how they want," said Keith Hartsfield , chief product officer at iRobot.

Is it OK to use Roomba everyday? ›

Most owners believe that running their robot vacuums four times per week is sufficient to keep the floors dust-free. However, if you have children or pets, you should use your robot vacuum more frequently. Daily vacuuming is recommended if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

Is it OK to leave Roomba on charger? ›

Keep your robot plugged in and charging on the Home Base® or Clean Base™ when not in use. If your robot will not be used for more than a few weeks, we recommend placing the robot in ship mode. and storing it in a cool, dry place.

How many years will a Roomba last? ›

If you get a more affordable model, like Roomba 675 you can expect a lifespan of up to two years. Go to the higher-end, like the iRobot j7+, and our research and testing suggest you can get five years plus of cleaning with proper maintenance.

How do I know if my Roomba clean is full? ›

If the LED on the Clean Base is solid red, this means the bag in the Clean Base™ Charging Station + Automatic Dirt Disposal is full.

How does Roomba know when its done cleaning? ›

Once they have enough battery power, they will continue cleaning. When it finishes its cleaning session: The robot vacuum knows when it is done cleaning your house because it has a mapping algorithm that knows the size of your house, the size of the area swept, the cleaning speed, the collisions and turns it makes.

How do you empty the bin and clean Roomba sensor? ›

  1. Remove and empty the vacuum bin.
  2. Press and lift the filter door release tab.
  3. Remove the filter by grasping the yellow tab.
  4. Shake off debris by tapping the filter against your trash container.

Why won't my iRobot empty the bin? ›

If you are attempting to evacuate the bin, open the iRobot® HOME App and press the "Empty Bin" button, which should activate the Clean Base™. If pressing the "Empty Bin" button on the app does not activate the Clean Base™, reboot your robot by pressing and holding the CLEAN button for up to 20 seconds.

What does bin full mean Roomba? ›

Description. If the red full bin indicator is illuminated or is blinking, it means Roomba senses that the bin is full. Please and clean the full bin sensors. If Roomba continues to indicate the bin is full after you have emptied the bin, it means you have not thoroughly cleaned the full bin sensors.

How do I tell my Roomba where to clean? ›

How can I tell my Roomba which rooms and zones to clean?
  1. Press and hold the Roomba icon for a few seconds.
  2. Under the two main instructions you will find the "Room" section, select it.
  3. On the next screen, you can choose whether you want to have all rooms cleaned or only specific ones.

How often do you need to clean a robot vacuum? ›

“It's easy to forget that robotic vacuums require maintenance, because they're a set-it-and-forget-it kind of machine,” says Alex Nasrallah, Consumer Reports' test engineer for robotic vacuums. “But you should clean them once a week, or more often if they're vacuuming more than five times a day.

How does Roomba know what room it is in? ›

Smart Mapping technology is your robot's ability to learn, map, and adapt to your home. Your robot learns your floor plan as it cleans and remembers this map for future cleaning jobs – this enables your robot to determine the best way to clean based on the orientation of each room, furniture placement, etc.

How does Roomba know which floor its on? ›

Basically, Roomba robots use a technology called vSLAM, or visual simultaneous localization and mapping. As the robot moves around a room, it looks for unique areas that it considers landmarks. The bot remembers the location of those landmarks, so it can orient itself every time it goes out.

How do you empty a vacuum dust bag? ›

You can remove the plastic strip on the bottom to quickly empty the dust bag. After emptying, slide the plastic strip back onto the dust bag and place the dust bag back into the appliance.

How do you open a Roomba e6? ›

The bin can also be washed before reinstalling.
To remove the Roomba e Series bin, follow the simple steps below:
  1. Press the bin release tab on the back of the robot. ...
  2. Remove the bin from the robot.
  3. Open the bin door to empty the bin.

Does Roomba memorize your house? ›

Roomba® can also learn your home as it cleans. It typically takes three (3) to five (5) cleaning missions or Mapping Runs to generate a fully developed Imprint™ Smart Map that you can then customize and use.

Where is the reset button on Roomba? ›

Roomba Combo: Open the lid and locate the recessed Reset button to the left of the On/Off switch. Press and hold the Reset button for ten seconds.


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