When you empty your Roomba or its self-emptying Clean Base, it can be shocking to see just how much dirt and debris it picks up. With all that dust inside the robot vacuum, its filter is put through the paces regularly, clearing out all those tiny particles so they don’t make their way back into the air. So it’s no wonder that your Roomba filter can get clogged from time to time.
If your Roomba registers an error message about a vacuum problem, it may be time to clean your filter. The good news is that the process is very simple, no matter what model you have — and making it part of your regular maintenance routine for your Roomba can keep it cleaning like a champ without much effort.
Cleaning your Roomba filter requires no special tools, so it’s a quick, easy process. But it’s an essential maintenance task that can make a noticeable difference in your robot’s performance, meaning it’s not a step you should skip.
No matter what series Roomba you have, its filter is inside the dustbin, so you must remove the bin from the robot to access it. In most models, including the 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, e, i and j series, the dustbin is on the back side of the vacuum and has a button to press that releases it. The s series dustbin is on top of the robot, so you open its lid and lift the bin handle to remove it.
Once you remove the dustbin, take it to the trash and press the button to open it. You may need to shake it a bit to remove all the debris inside. Even if you have a self-emptying Roomba, some dirt can still be inside, so check before continuing.
A Roomba filter is located somewhere inside the dustbin. You can find the exact location for each series below. The filter slides easily in and out of place, so pull gently to remove it from the bin.
Roomba filters are not washable, so you should never attempt to clean them with water. Instead, simply tap the filter against the side of your trash can to knock loose the dirt and debris. If the filter isn’t as clean as you’d like, you can wipe it down with a paper towel or cleaning cloth. You can even use a small, flat brush to remove stubborn dirt.
Once you’ve knocked loose the dirt and debris on the filter, slide it back into place in the dustbin. Next, reinstall the dustbin in the robot, ensuring it is securely in place, so your Roomba is ready to clean again.
The exact location of the filter inside your Roomba’s dustbin depends on which series you have. In some models, you must open a door or compartment to access the filter. In other robots, it simply sits inside the bin.
The filter sits beneath a door on top of the dustbin, which you must open for access. It has a tab on the end that makes it easy to grab and lift out of the bin.
The filter is on the left side of the dustbin. Gently grab its sides to remove it from the bin without damaging it.
You’ll find the filter beneath a door at the top of the dustbin, so press the release tab to expose it. It has a yellow tab at the end for you to grab and lift it out of the bin.
When you open the dustbin door, you’ll see two yellow filters inside. Push down their tabs to release them from the bin.
The blue-colored filter sits at the top of the dustbin. Gently push down and then pull up to release it from the bin.
The filter has its own compartment at the bottom of the bin. The compartment is primarily red but has a yellow tab that opens it. The filter itself is yellow and easily pops free from the frame when you push on it.
Even if you clean your filter regularly, you’ll need to replace it occasionally to keep your Roomba cleaning as it should. Knowing when it’s time to clean and when it’s time for a replacement can be tricky, so these guidelines can help.
iRobot recommends you clean your Roomba’s filter at least once a week. If you have pets, the brand suggests upping your cleaning to twice weekly. Keep in mind that it depends on how often you use your robot. Your filter may need more frequent cleaning if you run your vacuum daily or less frequent cleaning if you only run it weekly. However, if your Roomba has a new filter, but you notice its suction is weaker than usual, the filter may be clogged and require cleaning immediately.
iRobot recommends replacing your Roomba filter every two months. However, the filter can wear down more quickly if you run your robot daily or remain in good shape at the two-month mark if you only use it occasionally. If you’re unsure whether it’s time to replace the filter, check the Product Health tab in the iRobot Home app to see how many more cleaning hours your filter has left.
Considering how much easier your Roomba makes cleaning your floors, you always want it operating at peak performance. Even something as simple as keeping its filter clean can have a significant impact on how well it picks up dirt and debris. Fortunately, cleaning your filter only takes a few minutes, so your Roomba will always be ready to go.
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.