save an incredible amount of time. They sweep your floors for you. You can struggle if you are not around or if you prefer to sit on the couch. Unfortunately, they are not completely self-sufficient. Without regular maintenance, your vacuum cleaner will not do its job as well as it should. Worse, it could stop running.
This is because the fight against dirt always takes a toll, even with relentless automatic cleaning robots. Regardless of how efficientlyor how sophisticated it is, every robot vacuum needs regular maintenance. From cleaning the wheels and brushes to cleaning the sensors and filters, this manual will tell you everything you need to keep your robot's vacuum cleaner in top form.
And if you're looking for a new machine, we've just reviewed the. (Spoiler: iRobot Roomba S9 Plus Wins.)
. 1 Emptying and Cleaning Dustbins Frequently
Most robotic vacuum cleaners recommend emptying their robots after each cleaning session. Both iRobot and Neato propose this for their Roomba and Botvac models. iRobot even asks you to rinse robot trash cans with warm water and let them air dry.
First, remove your robot's dustbin from its body. Normally, the container is attached to a container in the back half of the machine. To remove, push on the release tab and pull the container backward (in your direction). In most cases, you have to separate the robot from its charging station.
Some newer models have centrally mounted trashcans. You can pull them directly out of the vacuum without disturbing the robot in its charging station.
For example, the Ecovacs Deebot 950, the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus, Electrolux Pure i9 ($ 661 on Amazon) and Neato Botvacs (D4, D6, D7) are all equipped with this trashcan type.  The Roomba S9 Plus and Roomba i7 Plus take maintenance of trash cans to the next level. These models are equipped with a CleanBase docking station that automatically sucks up their trash cans. The dirt then lands in a disposable bag big enough to hold 30 trash cans of waste. It's also a breeze to remove it and throw it in the bin.
. 2 Rinse the filter
There is an air filter in the dustbin of your robot. It is designed to trap fine dust particles inside the container when air flows through the vacuum. Over time, these filters clog with lint, hair and other physical deposits. It is a good idea to check the filter each time you empty the container.
You can manually remove dust that clogs the filter. A better method is to clean the filter with a hand vacuum cleaner. In this way, no dust will be released into the air or back to the ground. Do not wash air filters with water.
They are not normally designed for contact with liquids of any kind. For example, the Roomba and Neato Botvac air filters must remain dry.
Neato also bundles a special tool with its botvac vacuum. Use it to comb the air filter and remove stubborn dust, lint or trapped hair fibers. If you are not sure how to handle the filter in your particular robotic vacuum model, read the manual for instructions first.
. 3 Clean the brushes and wheels.
At every robot vacuum, wheels and brushes are the first surfaces to come into contact with soil dirt. Dust and dirt gather around them as they spin. Items such as threads and hair are particularly challenging for these rotating parts. Periodically remove them to check for any bothersome objects wrapped around the brushes and wheels of your robot.
If your vacuum cleaner has been delivered with a cleaning tool in its packaging, use it to quickly remove coiled strands. Do not be afraid to dip dirt with your fingers and dig up. I often find that the best tools for this job are your bare hands.
. 4 Wipe the sensors.
Dirt and dust can also confuse the sensor arrangement of a robot. Whether your vacuum cleaner uses Lidar, an optical system, or basic navigation hardware, it will not work properly if it does not see or feel its surroundings.
Use a cotton swab, a magic eraser, or a damp microfiber cloth to remove dirt from the sensors. Points to be targeted include clip sensors (at the bottom of the robot), optical sensor lenses and laser towers (both at the top of the robot).
. 5 Refresh contacts
Is your vacuum cleaner often not being charged in the dock? In this case, dirty electrical contacts could be the problem. Avoid this situation by cleaning these metal surfaces both on the robot and on the dock. Again, a slightly damp magic eraser or a microfiber cloth is enough.
Now you should have a pipe clean robotic vacuum that works like a violin. And as long as you do not neglect your machine, it should serve you faithfully for years to come.
CNET may receive a commission from retailers.