“My carpets are so dirty! Should I take out my Roomba?”
Your Roomba is one reliable gadget.
It cleans every flat surface – and you don’t have to think about it!
Well, you trust it with your floors. And the steps on your staircase. And the itty bitty corners of your room.
But the question is…
Would you let your Roomba do your carpets?
Read on to find out…
- Whether your Roomba works on carpets.
- 4 signs that your carpet is safe for your Roomba to clean.
- How to check if your Roomba cleans your carpets correctly.
- 5 easy ways to prevent your Roomba from ruining your carpets.
- Things to keep your carpet free from so your Roomba can clean properly.
- And much much more…
Does Roomba work on carpet?
A Roomba works on different types of floors, including carpets. It can easily adjust to various surfaces due to its sensors. It uses mapping systems. These help it remember where to go and what the surfaces are like in the corners of your home.
Can Roomba ruin your carpet?
A Roomba can ruin some carpets. However, you can easily avoid this. You should make sure your carpet is in good condition. Or is close to new. Also, use carpets that are thin and in light colors. Your carpet must be free from large objects. Set your Roomba to avoid carpets that are at risk of harm.
5 essential tips to prevent your Roomba from ruining your carpet
#1: Check for existing damages on your carpet
You just couldn’t let go of that old precious carpet.
“This Persian carpet was handed down by my great-great-aunt!”
I get it. Your pet dog has taken a liking for it.
And that carpet could be worth a fortune and two Michelangelo paintings.
Unless you’ve taken extra good care of it – you may want to keep your Roomba away.
It’s time to inspect your carpet. Make sure it won’t get destroyed by the Roomba’s cleaning power.
“How do I know if my carpet is safe for my Roomba?”
Now, let’s take a closer look at your favorite carpet.
If your carpet has damages, such as:
- Loose fibers.
- Fraying of any kind.
- Tears on the edges or center.
These signs can worsen your already aged carpets.
Your Roomba is designed to pick up small particles like dust, dirt, and pet hair. The latter has a similar texture to carpet fiber and thread.
It just takes one strand of fiber. As it gets caught in the Roomba’s bristles, the device drags that strand along. Potentially ripping your carpet apart.
Any pulled thread can even create bald or spotty patches on your carpet. Say bye-bye to that investment on a pricey carpet.
But if you didn’t check any of the items on the list…
Your Roomba and your carpet can be friends. Your carpet would be guarded against any defects if it was kept properly.
The qualities of a well-maintained carpet safe for a Roomba are:
- Tightly-packed fibers.
- Brand new or like new.
- No slits and cuts of any size.
- An existing 10-year texture retention warranty.
Yes, you heard that right. Just like your Roomba, carpets have warranties too.
Texture retention means how well your carpet can withstand even after being walked on. And it simply goes back to its original shape.
Check if your carpet came with a warranty. If your carpet’s age is within the warranty period, it’s good to go.
#2: Avoid using thicker carpets
Your Roomba can be left alone to navigate and clean around your house.
This is all thanks to its awesome, sensitive sensors. Without them, its automation capacity would be impossible.
Your Roomba has 3 types of sensors:
- Cliff sensors.
- Full bin sensors.
- Floor tracking sensors.
While the floor tracking sensors work in your favor. As it lets your Roomba remember where your carpets are located.
The cliff sensors may threaten your carpet’s safety.
We can prevent this by looking at your carpet’s edges.
“What does my Roomba detect on my carpet’s edges?”
Your Roomba’s cliff sensors play a huge role in protecting the device itself.
It can spot ledges, stair steps, and other steep slopes. It stops itself from moving forward and falling off.
Rounded carpet edges would work fine on your Roomba.
But, are your carpet’s edges thick, dense, and have square edges?
Your Roomba might mistakenly see it as a ridge or a barrier. Then, it would skip going on the carpet completely.
“How do I know if my carpet is too thick for my Roomba?”
Identify your carpet’s pile height. This refers to the visible fibers on the carpet’s surface. You can measure this with a ruler or measuring tape.
Carpets have 4 pile heights, namely:
- Low-pile – under ¼ in (less than 0.635 cm)
- Medium-pile – ¼ to ½ in (0.635 to 1.27 cm)
- High-pile – ½ to ¾ inc (1.27 to 1.905 cm)
- Plush – above ¾ inc (over 1.905 cm)
Low-pile and medium-pile carpets won’t have any problems with your Roomba. It can efficiently travel on these slightly elevated heights.
However, be more wary if your carpet is under high-pile or plush heights.
Another thing to assess? Carpet fringes.
“Why should I be concerned about my carpet’s fringes?”
Some carpets have fringes on their edges. These are tassel-like strands. They are twisted knots used to form the carpet.
These fringes can create issues. Especially with your Roomba’s strong bristles.
Check if your carpet’s fringes have:
- Untied knots.
- Dust and dirt.
- Tears and rips.
- Ends that can be pulled with minimal force.
If it has all 3 signs, it can be ruined by your Roomba.
Roombas have rough brushes. These are designed to tug debris from tiles, hardwood, and concrete surfaces.
Sounds sturdy, doesn’t it?
But imagine it like a broom. Broken and worn fringes can get caught in these stiff brushes. Wrecking your carpet by the seams.
Check out: 5 Reasons Why Your Roomba Keeps Going In Circles + 5 Fixes
#3: Keep your carpets free from obstructions
Did you know? Your Roomba can actually extend your carpet’s lifespan!
Dust and debris can slowly weaken the fibers of your carpets. Fortunately, your Roomba can flawlessly pick up these pesky particles.
The catch – liquids and bigger objects could spell disaster.
Some things are just not meant to be with your Roomba.
“What if I spilled soda all over my carpet?”
Your Roomba can’t deep-clean your carpet. It doesn’t work as a car wash. Especially when it comes to spills.
Not only is the Roomba incapable of sucking in liquid. But water can damage the mechanical insides of the device.
Thus, that left-over sugary drink on your carpet? It may produce unwanted smells. And attract insects like ants. Causing even more harm to your sad carpet.
Avoid drinking or using any liquid on your carpet. If you have pets, make sure they don’t leave litter on it too.
“Any other Roomba features that may clash with liquids?”
Your Roomba is made to sense spaces that may not be cleaned well.
As a result, it goes over these spaces repeatedly.
Since it can’t clean spills properly, it may just do this with its sturdy bristles. Causing even more wear and tear to your carpet.
“I dropped my keys on the carpet. Would the Roomba just pick it up?”
I hate to break it to you – but you may want to grab these things yourself.
Big objects can clog your Roomba’s brushes. These can be items like keys, pins, jewelry beads or trinkets, pet poop, and small toys.
They may also get caught in your carpet’s fibers. And as the Roomba pulls on them, the fiber can come with it.
“How about bathroom rugs? They’re quite alike with carpets, right?”
Bathroom and door rugs tend to get wet. Their fibers are even more abrasive than carpet ones.
This can pose problems to your Roomba’s brushes. And the condition of the rug.
Be sure to block your bathrooms and main entrance doors. Keep them closed when the Roomba starts cleaning.
We’re not perfect. We may miss shutting off doors. You may want to get a Virtual Wall. That makes one less thing to be worried about.
You may also wonder: Do robot vacuums work in small spaces?
#4: Use light-colored carpets
Guess what? Your Roomba thrives in brightness.
If your house is too dark, or there isn’t any light passing through – then it won’t function properly.
This is because your Roomba operates on photocell sensor technology.
Seems confusing? It’s quite simple.
Photocells emit a small light beam. This beam bounces off objects. Thus, your Roomba can detect things in its surroundings.
This is why a Roomba’s cliff sensors also operate because the light can’t bounce off ledges.
Photocells also measure changes in light. And the Roomba tends to avoid darker spaces. Again, because the photocells can’t reflect off of it.
“So what does this have to do with my carpet’s color?”
Darker colors don’t react with the photocell sensors.
Thus, to your Roomba – a black or deep purple rug may appear like a ledge or an impassable obstacle.
This may not cause any harm to your Roomba’s condition. But this defeats the purpose of getting your carpet cleaned.
Get carpets with neutral and brighter colors. This may range from pastels like lavender and cyan. To earthy tones like mocha and cream.
By then, your Roomba’s photocell sensors would be able to detect your carpet.
#5: Observe your Roomba while it cleans your carpets
Beige-toned threads? Check. A low-pile height? Check. Dry fibers? Check. No knick-knacks left all over? Check.
By now, you may think your carpet is 100% safe for your Roomba.
But don’t let your guard down just yet!
You may want to use these methods to ensure maximum safety.
“What should I do for the first time when my Roomba cleans the carpet?”
On the first few days of cleaning the carpet, keep a close eye on your Roomba.
See any vacuum lines on your carpet? This means your Roomba is doing its job correctly.
Also, apply the reverse hand technique.
To do this technique:
- Wait for the Roomba to go over the entire carpet.
- Identify the direction your fibers are facing.
- Drag your hand over the fibers. The movement should be opposite their direction.
- See if the fibers go back to their normal shape pre-cleaning.
“Anything else that I should know?”
Also, during these first few days, continually check your carpet for any damages.
See any signs of fraying or tearing? Immediately hold off your Roomba from cleaning. Just to avoid further destruction.
Bonus: Block off your Roomba from specific areas
Some of your carpets at home may be suited for Roomba cleaning. And others may not be.
Great thing is – you can teach your Roomba to steer clear of vulnerable carpets.
This way, you don’t have to constantly keep an eye on your Roomba. And moving it from one room to another.
You can get this done by using 2 things:
- Virtual walls.
- Physical walls or barriers.
Close doors of rooms that you don’t want your Roomba to go into. The Roomba can quickly learn that these places are off-limits. As its sensors can pick up these walls and doors.
But what if some entrances don’t have doors?
You can get a panel or room divider to block your Roomba off too. Make sure these panels don’t have a space on the bottom. Or else your Roomba would just pass through.
Another space-saving option? Using a virtual wall. This produces an infrared wall. You can’t see it, but your Roomba can!
You can choose from 3 types of virtual walls, which are:
- Regular Virtual Wall.
- Virtual Wall Lighthouse.
- Dual Mode Virtual Wall.
The Regular Virtual Wall is only compatible with older models. This includes the Roomba 400 Series, Discovery Series, Original Series, and Create.
The Dual Mode Virtual Wall and Virtual Wall Lighthouse both have Lighthouse Mode.
Lighthouse Mode puts a Roomba in one room until it’s cleaned well. Before it moves on to cleaning the next one.
Editor’s pick: 27 Roomba Tips And Tricks To Keep Your House Clean