Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Roomba

There's no denying that robotic vacuums like the Roomba add some serious convenience to your life and majorly help out with your cleaning routine. That's precisely why so many homeowners are rushing to get one for their own space — in fact, as Statista reports, it was estimated that 14.2 million households in the U.S. had a robotic vacuum cleaner in 2018, and that number is likely just continuing to grow.

However, robotic vacuums do come with a relatively hefty price tag — according to Tom's Guide, you could be looking at $200 on the low end or even over $1,000 for some of the more luxurious models. With an investment like that, you want to make sure that your robotic helper is functioning the way it should be and will be around to help you out for a long time.

From tips on keeping it clean to how to ensure you don't have any disasters, here are 15 things to consider for getting the most out of your Roomba.

Supervise it on the first few runs

While it may be tempting to just let your Roomba roam your house the minute it's fully charged and ready for its first use, take PCMag's suggestion and supervise it the first few times you're using it. Yes, it's a bit of an inconvenience, especially since you bought it so you wouldn't have to be there for when the vacuuming happens — however, keeping an eye on it for those first few runs will allow you to easily spot any potential issues rather than risk coming home to a disaster or still-dirty floors.

Keep your floors clutter-free

You don't have to do a full deep clean of your home every time you want to run your Roomba — however, as PCMag explained, you may want to take a few minutes to tidy up. That's because the roaming vacuum can easily get caught on things like curtains that trail along the floor or even suck up smaller items like toys or socks. So, just as letting your Roomba roam and do its job will be a basic daily thing, make grabbing any loose items on your floor part of your routine as well.

Add in some strategic barriers

Everyone's home layout and contents are different, and everyone has certain areas that might cause the Roomba trouble. That's where strategic barriers can come in handy, as Them Vacuums suggested. If there are areas where you don't want your Roomba to go, such as problematic, cord-packed areas of rooms or even rooms where you know you haven't kept the floors clutter-free and foresee problems, set up a barrier to keep the Roomba away. Something as simple as a shoe can work very effectively for this.

Empty the collection bin frequently

This tip from Modern Living 101 may seem insanely easy, but it's also crucial if you want your Roomba to function the way it's supposed to. Even if you only occasionally empty the bin of your regular vacuum, that's likely because it has a much larger capacity than the Roomba's collection bin — if you're using your Roomba regularly, keep an eye on that bin and make sure you don't allow it to get too full. Occasionally, you may even want to give the bin a deep clean.

​​Clean it regularly

Yes, your Roomba itself is a great tool to help you clean your home, but it needs regular cleaning as well in order to get the best use out of it. As PCMag recommended, beyond just emptying the collection bin, you'll want to regularly clean the filters (between replacements), wipe down the device, and clean the sensors and charging contacts. Taking just a few minutes to do this will make sure your Roomba is actually clearing all that dust and debris from your floors and functioning at its optimal level.

Avoid water

You may have heard horror stories about Roombas picking up certain substances and spreading them all over the floor. That's because, as Wow So Clean reported, these handy devices don't actually avoid water or other wet substances. And, not only will it spread anything it touches all over the floor being cleaned, that moisture can potentially cause some serious damage to your Roomba. So, not only do you want to ensure you're not allowing your Roomba to roam areas with spills, you may even consider putting up a barrier to block problem areas, such as a pet's water dish on the floor.

Consider getting furniture risers for tricky areas

The simple fact is, if the Roomba can't get underneath something, it can't vacuum it. In certain homes, this may mean your floors look incredible — until you look under your low-to-the-ground furniture and spot a dust bunny army. You may want to take Smart Robotic Home's suggestion and purchase furniture risers for any areas where your furniture is too low for the Roomba to comfortably fit underneath. You may not even notice the 1- or 2-inch switch, but it'll allow your Roomba to get to every corner of your space.

Take time to study all the features

Though you might skim the instruction manual to find out the basics to operate your Roomba and then never look at it again, according to Smart Robotic Home, you may want to spend just a little more time learning how the machine works. This means testing out all the functions and features, even if you don't think you'll need to use them — that way, even if you stick with the same functions 99% of the time, you'll know all the things your vacuum is capable of doing.

Run it regularly to keep the battery healthy

If you're incorporating your Roomba into your regular cleaning routine, this may not be an issue, but if you only use it sporadically, you may want to reconsider. According to Home Made, even though you might assume using a device will reduce the wear and tear on it, in actuality, only pulling out your Roomba every few weeks will negatively impact the battery. So, even if you can't commit to becoming a daily Roomba household, consider at least using it weekly in order to keep it functioning at its optimal level.

Flip or prop your chairs

The dining table can be a messy area in many households, but all those chair legs can make getting things clean a bit tricky for your robotic cleaner. According to Modern Living 101, one way to ensure your Roomba is cleaning to the best of its abilities is to either flip your chairs atop the table or just lean them against it so that they're balanced on two legs rather than four. Both of these simple moves allow for fewer legs cluttering up the ground that the Roomba has to dodge around and should ensure your space gets properly cleaned.

Manage your cords

One of the seemingly minor details in your home that can derail your Roomba is messy cords — you might not even notice that lamp cord on one side of your living room, but it can cause your robotic vacuum to get all tangled up. As per Brentmore Labs, you'll want to organize your cords in some way, either elevating them where possible or using cable wire clips to get them out of the way.

Set your charging station up on hardwood or tile

While your Roomba will roam throughout your house during use, you still need to have a charging station set up in one stationary spot — and it matters where you position it. According to Them Vacuums, you should try to find a spot with a hard flooring surface such as tile or hardwood rather than carpet. You should also avoid very sunny spots, as they can interfere with the sensors of your device. Finally, try to leave about a 2- foot radius around where the charger is positioned for best results.

Clean the charging base

Just as you need to regularly clean your robotic vacuum itself, you also need to remember to clean the charging base in order to keep it functioning properly, Trusty Joe warned. This step is critical because of how devices like the Roomba charge — they don't plugin but rather charge via little metal contacts. Even a bit of dirt or dust has the potential to impede how effectively your device is charging.

Establish a schedule

The whole point of getting a robotic vacuum is to make your life a little easier, so why not automate it a step further by deciding on a schedule for when you're going to run it, as Family Handyman recommended? This will vary depending on what your lifestyle and home's needs look like, but having a set time will ensure you're getting the most value out of your Roomba (and getting clean floors every day — it's a win-win).

Order replacement parts as necessary

It may be frustrating to have to spend even more money on a device that already costs a fair amount, but robotic vacuums aren't indestructible. Certain components may get damaged or wear out, especially if you're constantly using the device. So, as Family Handyman suggested, order replacement parts when you notice some component of your vacuum either isn't functioning the way it should be or is damaged. It's a small investment that will hopefully extend the lifespan of your vacuum.