roomba keeps saying empty the bin

We understand that your Roomba keeps saying empty the bin even though you have emptied it. But emptying the bin might not always be sufficient for the sensors to understand that the device is clean.

When the Roomba keeps asking to empty the bin, you must clean the bin thoroughly, as well as the filter and the sensors. If, even after doing that, the alert keeps repeating, you will have to check if the dust bin is defective or if the system needs a reset.

Cleaning the Roomba correctly is not a hard task, but if you are a new owner, you might not know the recommended steps. We will assist you in cleaning it without damaging any electrical components. 

Roomba Keeps Saying Empty The Bin – Reasons

reason why roomba says empty the bin

Sometimes the iRobot Roomba keeps saying empty bin even after you have emptied it.

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After a while, you might become annoyed by the issue without knowing what to do. However, some reasons explain why the device is telling you to empty the bin.

Let’s check them:

Not Emptied Properly

This might sound frustrating. Still, sometimes you have not truly emptied the dust container, and you must check again.

The Container is Dirty

Perhaps the container is empty. Still, it is filthy in its walls, and thus the Roomba will identify the bin as not correctly empty.

the container is dirty

Dirty Sensors

Considering that the Roomba collects a lot of dust, it is granted that sometimes the dust will get on the sensors.

Clogged/Worn Filter

Beyond the bin/container, the filter is another thing you must worry about. When it is too dirty, the Roomba will tell you the device is improperly clean.

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Software Issues

If your Roomba is clean, the cause of the “empty the bin” alert is software-related.

How To Fix Roomba False Bin Alerts

how fix roomba false bin alerts

Learning about the issues behind the false bin alerts is important so you understand the next steps in fixing them.

However, suppose you are a new Roomba owner. In that case, you might not yet know how to clean the robot properly to avoid the situation. Or even how to manage the software.

We will help you in the sections below.

1. Clean The Container

When you empty the Roomba bin, only disposing of its content might not be enough.

If your cleaning robot has performed too many cleaning sessions, some leftover dust might get attached to it.

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Then here is what you must do to ensure the container gets 100% clean:

  1. Press the bin’s release button;
  2. Pull the bin out;
  3. Dispose of its contents;
  4. Get a wet cloth;
  5. Wipe inside and outside the bin;
  6. Let it dry;
  7. Now put it back in the Roomba.

How To Clean The Washable Bin

how clean washable bin

Some Roomba models come with a washable bin. That means it is possible to wash it under water as long as you take care during the process.

First, check if your owner’s guide or the box says anything about the bin being washable.

If it is, do the following:

  1. Remove the bin from the Roomba;
  2. Dispose of its contents;
  3. Detach the filter;
  4. Rinse the bin with water;
  5. Let it dry;
  6. Reattach the filter;
  7. Reinstall the bin.
Note: Only wash under water if you are certain that your model is washable. Non-washable models might have components that will be damaged by running water.

2. Clean The Sensors

clean the sensors

When the Roomba cleans your house, it is not only the bin that will get full of dust. The worst part where dust can accumulate is the sensors.

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They are very important so the robot can move around the house, communicate with the app and deploy alerts. 

Here is how you can give the sensors a good clean:

  1. Get a soft cloth;
  2. Dampen it with a bit of rubbing alcohol;
  3. Locate the sensors underneath the Roomba;
  4. Wipe all of the dust on them;

Clean The Bin Sensors Too

Now you must clean the internal sensors too:

  1. Press the dust bin button;
  2. Take the bin out;
  3. Locate two black rectangular sensors;
  4. Wipe them clean with the same cloth.

Cleaning the sensors properly will restore a lot of functionalities to your Roomba.

Beyond that, it is a good idea to check if the charging pins on the base are dusty too. If they are, wipe them clean with the same dampened cloth.

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3. Unclog The Filter

unclog the filter

If your Roomba is too dusty inside and outside, chances are its filter is clogged heavily too.

That is another factor that will make the sensors tell the inner system that the bin is not empty.

Cleaning the filter will take a different route from the other parts we’ve talked about:

  1. Release the dustbin from the Roomba;
  2. Carefully detach the filter;
  3. Dispose of the filter’s dust as much as possible in the trash can.

Remove The Persistent Dirt

After disposing of the most apparent dirt, there are different options you can choose from, depending on what’s available:

  • Scrape all the remaining dust with a paper towel;
  • Get rid of all the remainings with a dry cloth;
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to suck all the dust.
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You must also check if the filter is too worn out. If you notice the foray screen is dismantling, it is best to acquire a new filter.

Alert: You must keep in mind that the filter must not be washed with water under any circumstances. Water will surely ruin it, and you would have to buy a replacement.

4. Reset The Roomba

reset your roomba

It is also possible that the issue doesn’t lie with the sensors or the physical parts of your Roomba.

Rather, its firmware is suffering from a malfunction that gives a false “empty bin” alert. In that case, you will have to reset the Roomba. 

How To Soft Reset

If you have a Roomba S, I, or a 900 series, here is how you can soft reset it:

  1. Hold these buttons: “Spot Clean,” “Home,” and “Clean”;
  2. The “Clean” button will show a swirling light;
  3. Release all buttons when that happens;
  4. The Roomba will restart automatically.
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The Roomba 800 and 600 series will not show a swirling light. Instead:

  1. Hold these buttons: “Spot Clean,” “Home,” and “Clean”;
  2. A beeping sound should ring;
  3. Let go of the Roomba;
  4. Wait for its restart.

Hard Reset

hard reset the roomba

It is also possible that the soft reset will not help due to a more severe failure. In that case, you will have to try a hard reset.

It is only possible if your Roomba is connected to the proprietary app:

  1. Open the iRobot HOME app;
  2. Touch “Settings”;
  3. Select “Remove/Factory Reset.”

A few simple prompts will follow. The Roomba will reset shortly after.

Note: Remember that a hard reset erases all the device's data. That means you will have to pair the Roomba to the app again later.

5. Replace The Bin

Suppose you have tried all the other solutions, but the “empty the bin” alert won’t go away. In that case, it is the bin itself that must be defective.

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replace roomba bin

There are some explanations for that:

  • You have bought the Roomba secondhand, and the dustbin is not the original one;
  • The dust bin has some loose parts which prevent it from connecting properly. Thus the Roomba will give error messages;

Some brands sell replacement dust bins for the Roomba, but they do not have the same quality.

So then, you will have to buy a replacement bin and put it in place of the old one.

Then, you can easily buy it from the Roomba site.

What We Learned

It is annoying when the Roomba keeps saying empty the bin after you’ve cleaned it.

That happens because the dust bin is not completely clean or other components are dirty and require your attention.

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We hope this guide has helped clear the issue and you can get your Roomba back to work!

Read Next: Why Is Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt?

Nicole B