roomba keeps returning home

Are you facing a situation where your Roomba keeps returning home?

You might need to check some of its functionalities to ensure it can get back to cleaning the house before returning home.

When the Roomba keeps returning home, you must first check whether it can charge correctly from the base station. Other potential causes might be the dustbin, movement sensors, cleaning capacities, and wrong programming.

The guide below will help you assess all the issues that keep your Roomba at ineffective functioning.

They all require precise steps, but we will help you perform everything swiftly.

Roomba Keeps Returning Home – Reasons

my roomba keeps returning home

Why does my Roomba keep returning home? That will happen for plenty of reasons, some of which are not due to any serious malfunction.

Here you can check the most common reasons:

Low Battery

When the battery is low, Roomba will automatically return to its charging station to recharge.

Full Dustbin

Once the dustbin is full, Roomba will return to its charging station so that you can empty it.


Roomba has built-in sensors that detect obstacles. It may return home if it senses too many obstacles in its path.

Inefficient Cleaning

If Roomba is not cleaning efficiently, it may return to its charging station to try again.

That can happen if it is having trouble navigating or not picking up debris properly.


You might need to check if Roomba is programmed to return home every few minutes.

How To Fix A Roomba That Keeps Returning Home

how fix roomba keeps returning home

After we’ve seen the most common causes, we believe you are probably already moving your mental gears to think of solutions.

However, we are here to help you troubleshoot correctly. Follow all the methods below and see which solves the problem more quickly.

1. Assess The Charging Capabilities

As you know, the Roomba’s “home” is also a charging station. That said, your Roomba might keep returning home because it needs to recharge constantly.

So let’s see what you can do to eliminate the situation.

Clean The Robot And Station

Have you noticed that a bit of dirt will get stuck on the robot and its base station?

Even if you clean the dustbin (which we will tackle in Solution #2), it is possible that other components are not getting enough cleanliness. 

clean the robot and station

Suppose dirt gets on the charging contacts or inside components. In that case, the Roomba might have trouble storing the correct amount of electricity

When cleaning, you must use wet melamine foam. You can clean the dock station, the robot, and its wheels with it.

Note: Do it in a way that doesn't damage the device but also doesn't leave any dust or filth.

Check The Battery

If all is clean, another possibility is that the battery is a bit dislodged inside the Roomba.

Then, it gets a bit of charge but can’t transmit it correctly throughout a cleaning session.

Do the following:

  1. Turn the Roomba on its head;
  2. Detach the battery cover screws;
  3. Remove the battery;
  4. Arrange the battery in place carefully.

It is also possible that the battery is defective. Check for signs of weariness, burns, etc. Then buy a replacement battery if necessary.

2. Check The Dustbin

check your dustbin

You shouldn’t forget that maintenance is necessary, especially emptying the dustbin.

If you live where dust gets through the doors and windows more frequently, you will have to check the dustbin often.

Here is how you can ensure the dustbin gets empty:

  1. Find the dustbin on the robot’s back;
  2. Press its button to open the dustbin;
  3. Find a trash can and throw the dustbin’s contents out;
  4. Get a damp cloth (most Roomba models allow cleaning with warm water, but check your model);
  5. Rinse all the dust and filth away from the dustbin;
  6. Let it dry entirely;
  7. Attach it back to the robot.

3. Investigate The Sensors And Obstacles

investigate the sensors

Do you remember that your Roomba uses sensors to learn your house’s layout and plan the cleaning sessions? 

It will also use those sensors to move from one room to another, but the sensors can eventually get dirty, damaged, or suffer from the presence of obstacles.

Do the following:

  • Get a melamine cloth and clean your Roomba thoroughly so you eliminate all dirt from its sensors;
  • Ensure no objects are blocking a path that your Roomba usually takes from one room to another;
  • Don’t put furniture too close to each other, as Roomba’s sensors might interpret that as a blocked path even if there is actually a path to take.

4. Ensure Its Cleaning Capabilities

Another cause behind your Roomba constantly returning to its base station is that it can’t clean the surfaces it should.

That happens when its cleaning capabilities are compromised from lack of maintenance. 

How To Clean The Side Brushes

how clean side brushes

Here are the steps to remove and clean the side brushes:

  1. Unscrew the screws securing the side brush;
  2. Remove the brush;
  3. Check for tangles;
  4. Remove any accumulated filth, dirt, and tangles;
  5. Reassemble once it is thoroughly cleaned.

How To Clean The Floor Brushes

The floor brushes are most likely to be filthy, so you must clean them too:

  1. Up the lever of the floor brushes;
  2. Remove the brushes;
  3. Remove their caps;
  4. Clean them thoroughly;
  5. Reassemble everything.
Note: If you notice that the brushes are damaged and don't seem to handle the job anymore, you must buy replacement brushes.

5. Check Its Programming

check the programming

Perhaps your Roomba is not programmed correctly on the app, or a standard configuration is making it act weird.

For example, the cleaning programs have the option “auto-return.” 

  • If that option is activated, the Roomba might return home whenever it faces obstructions.

Then the firmware will instruct it to return instead of working around a new path.

Do the following:

  1. Open the iRobot HOME App;
  2. Select your Roomba from the list of available devices.
  3. Tap on the “Clean” button;
  4. Tap on the “Settings” button once the cleaning starts;
  5. Go to “Cleaning Preferences”; 
  6. Select “Customize.”;
  7. Slide the “Auto-Return” toggle to the “Off” position.
  8. Tap “Save” to apply the changes.

Now Roomba will only return to its base station when the battery is low or the cleaning session is finished.

If it doesn’t, you might have to assess the issue further through Solution #6.

Solution #6: Reset The Roomba

soft reset the roomba

Sometimes the only solution to a malfunctioning Roomba is resetting it. 

How To Soft Reset Your Roomba

Unlike a hard reset, a soft reset will not eliminate all of the settings. Instead, it will try to get the Roomba robot to a state where all its functions are optimal without losing customized preferences.

Soft reset on Roomba S, I, and 900 series works like this:

  1. Press the “Spot Clean,” “Home,” and “Clean” buttons together;
  2. Wait for the light around “Clean” to swirl;
  3. Let go of the buttons when you see the light ring;
  4. Wait for the Roomba to restart.

The soft reset on Roomba 800 and 600 series go like this:

  1. Press the “Home,” “Spot Clean,” and “Clean” buttons together;
  2. Wait for a beeping sound;
  3. Let go of the buttons.

How To Hard Reset Your Roomba

how hard reset roomba

If the soft reset doesn’t eliminate the issue you are dealing with, you will have to try a hard reset.

It must be done through the app:

  1. Ensure your phone and Roomba are on the same Wi-Fi;
  2. Open the iRobot HOME app;
  3. Tap “Settings”;
  4. Choose “Remove/Factory Reset.”

The screen will give you a few prompts; after that, the Roomba will enter the factory reset mode. 

Note: When you hard reset your Roomba, it will lose all the settings you have customized. Later, you will need to pair it to the app again.

What We Learned

When your Roomba keeps returning home, there are a lot of solutions you can apply.

But, most of the time, that issue only results from the Roomba’s accumulated dust. To keep cleaning your house, it has to remain clean too.

Read Next: Why Is Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt?

Nicole B