roomba not picking up dirt

Whenever your Roomba not picking up dirt you should inspect a few things before rushing to a conclusion.

Since the nature of this problem could very, in this post we’ll answer the following:

  • Why is Roomba not collecting dirt?
  • How to locate and solve the problem?
  • How to prevent the problem from appearing in the future?

Roomba is not picking up dirt because the brushes are clogged or due for a replacement. Besides the brushes, there could be a problem with the head module, which also fails when dirty. Also, the dustbin could be full or the filters were not cleaner regularly.

Let’s now take a look at the most frequent reports of this problem by users that experienced the same problem as you do.

Why Does My Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt?

After a general observation, we’ve figured out that one of the main reasons why Roomba isn’t collecting any of the dirt is worn-out brushes and filters.

However, there’s more to this problem than just that, and here is what:

Debris On The Brushes

The most common cause is debris on the brushes. This will obstruct Roomba’s mechanism from collecting any dirt from your floor until the brushes are clean and working at full capacity.

Issue With Head Module Gearbox

The cleaning head module (CHM) can also get dirt stuck on its parts.

If the gears of your Roomba have debris on the hardware, they will often get stuck and fail to collect the dirt.

Dustbin Is Full

The dustbin is where all of the collected dirt goes. It must be emptied regularly, or the robot will sense that the dustbin is full and will not pick up dirt anymore to preserve the bag.

Filter Problem

The filter is what’s responsible for filtering all of the dirt and dirt as well.

If not cleaned regularly, the same as with the dustbin, it will prevent the robot’s mechanism from picking up any dirt.

Tip: Proceed with the fixed guide before purchasing or replacing anything.

How To Fix When Roomba Isn’t Picking Up Dirt?

fix roomba not picking up dirt

The solutions are designed in order to prevent any purchases if the problem could be solved by simple maintenance.

This is why we strongly recommend not to skip any of the solutions and to follow them in order. That will help you not only solve the problem but also identify the cause.

Let’s begin with some cleaning:

Solution #1 Clean Roomba’s Brushes

clean roomba brush

You should first clean the robot’s brushes. They are the most important component that is responsible for collecting the dirt first-hand.

In case the brushes are obstructed by stacked up dust and waste, the robot will pick up less to no dirt.

Here’s how to clean the iRobot Roomba’s brushes in a few easy steps:

  1. Turn your Roomba upside down.
  2. Pull the brushes guard upwards.
  3. Remove the cleaning brush and the flexible beater brush out of the robot.
  4. Use iRobot’s cleaning tool supplied upon delivery, to clean both of the brushes.
  5. Reinsert the brushes inside your Roomba.
  6. Pull the brushes guard downwards.
  7. Test your Roomba.
Note: Mind how you insert the brushes and whether they are connected with the spinning mechanism.

Solution #2 Empty The Dustbin

empty dustbin

As we’ve mentioned, the iRobot Roomba will not pick up any dirt while the dustbin is full.

In that regard, your next move should be to empty the dustbin and also clean it tidy.

To empty and clean the dustbin follow these instructions:

  1. Turn the robot upside-down.
  2. Between the back right and left wheels, locate the bin release button.
  3. Press the button once and the compartment for the bin will open.
  4. Remove the dustbin for the unit.
  5. Remove all of the garbage within the dustbin.
  6. Very importantly, remove the filter from inside the dustbin.
  7. Go to the sink and wash the bin using warm water.
  8. Let the bin dry for a bit.
  9. Reinsert the filter and put the dustbin back in place.
Alert: Ensure that you don’t wash the filter from the dustbin. It’s important to remove it and keep it dry at all costs.

Solution #3 Wipe The Bin Sensors And The Ports

wipe sensor

The dirt sensors of Roomba are what make the robot pick up debris.

If they are somehow obstructed, the robot will no longer pick up any of the dirt, at least until the sensors are cleared.

Here’s how to wipe the bin sensors of your Roomba and the ports:

  1. Press the bin release button once again.
  2. Take out the dustbin for now.
  3. Grab a slightly wet napkin.
  4. Clean two full bin sensors.
  5. Collect all of the dirt on the inner sensor ports.
  6. Also, cover the outer sensor ports positioned on the two sides of Roomba.
  7. Once done, reinsert the dustbin.
Note: Make sure that the cloth you’re cleaning with isn’t too wet or you may get the internal parts damaged.

Solution #4 Tidy Up The Cleaning Head Module’s Gearbox

If your Roomba is not picking up dirt even after all the previous solutions, it could be due to a problem with the gearbox of the main mechanism.

The mechanism that picks up the dirt and transfers it to the dustbin is the CHM or also the cleaning head module.

If the gearbox of the module is congested, Roomba will be prevented from picking up any dirt.

Here’s how to tidy up the CHM of your Roomba:

  1. Turn the robot upside-down.
  2. Undo the 4 screws that hold the compartment cover of the internal parts.
  3. Remove the cover.
  4. Grab a slightly wet napkin.
  5. Begin collecting all of the dirt on the gearbox inside Roomba.
  6. Using a completely dried cloth collects all of the dirt on the gearbox.
  7. Close Roomba’s compartment.
  8. Test.
Note: Be extremely careful when cleaning the gearbox. Damaging it in any way will lead to a purchase.

Solution #5 Reset The iRobot Roomba

reset irobot roomba

As a last resort, you should attempt the factory reset. This is software-related and has the best chance to solve troubles with your iRobot Roomba, especially on the dirt-picking side.

Here’s how to reset the robot in easy steps:

  1. Ensure that the vacuum is turned on.
  2. Press the Home, the Spot, and the Clean buttons altogether.
  3. Hold them down until Roomba’s ring lights up and begins swirling.
  4. Let go of the buttons after 5 seconds from the flashing event.
  5. The robot will now restart and afterward, it will be reset!
Note: Keep in mind that the reset will erase all software configurations and cleaning schedules made to the device so far.

Thus, to solve the problem where Roomba is not picking up dirt, clean the brushes, empty the dust bin and wipe the sensors. Proceed with disassembling and cleaning the head module’s gearbox and conclude by factory resetting the entire device.

Read Next: What Is Error 15 On Roomba?

Bottom Line:

Now that we’ve answered the question “why is my Roomba not picking up dirt” and how to entirely clean the device, the problem should no longer be there.

In case the issue persists after thoroughly cleaning the device, maybe the mechanism isn’t working at all.

In such cases, it’s better to bring your device for an inspection and get the problem solved as soon as possible.

Nicole B