“I need help! My Roomba keeps skipping our kitchen…”
Roomba vacuums are designed to clean the whole house…
Including the very edges of your house walls.
But they can sometimes skip rooms due to several reasons.
What are those reasons?
And how can you make your Roomba not miss any room to clean?
Read on to learn:
- How to clean the Cliff and dirt sensors.
- What keeps the Roomba from skipping some rooms.
- 10 easy ways to get Roomba to clean the whole house.
- How installing a Virtual Wall Lighthouse helps get Roomba to clean more.
- And much much more…
Why is my Roomba not cleaning all the rooms?
Roomba may choose not to clean all the rooms if there’s too much obstructions on its path. This can be random objects and scattered wires on the floor, blocking low lying furniture, dark carpets, or inadequate room lighting. Roomba can also skip rooms if the device itself is not well-maintained.
How to get Roomba to clean the whole house – 10 easy ways
#1: Set Roomba to “Clean All”
Some of the latest Roomba series have more intelligent cleaning and mapping features.
For instance, Roomba i and s series have Imprint Smart Maps. A technology that makes it possible for Roomba vacuums to map and adapt to your home.
With this smart mapping technology, users can:
- Add or delete maps.
- Block specific areas.
- Clean specific rooms.
- Customize room maps.
- Receive personalized insights.
“Yes, I’m using the iRobot Home App to do all these things. What’s the problem?”
The problem is that you might have forgotten to reset your Roomba cleaning preference.
If your Roomba vacuum is skipping certain rooms, it might be because it’s set to clean only specific areas.
Go ahead and check your iRobot Home App. And review your personalized cleaning preference.
To clean your whole house, select “Clean All.” And that should solve your problem.
#2: Turn on the “Edge Clean” function
Edge-cleaning is another great Roomba cleaning preference.
It ensures that all areas of your house are clean, including the edges of the walls and furniture.
By default, the Edge Clean is “ON” in all devices.
But some users sometimes turn it off to:
- Avoid delicate furniture.
- Do a quicker cleaning season.
- Prevent the device from accidentally leaving the house.
When this is off, your Roomba will constantly avoid walls and furniture. Leaving many areas of your home untouched.
So, before setting your Roomba to clean the whole house, make sure to select the “Clean All” and “Edge Clean” toggles on.
#3: Update your iRobot Home App
“I’ve already selected the mentioned cleaning preferences. But it doesn’t solve the issue…”
If that’s the case, then the iRobot Home App itself is the problem.
If you’re using a WiFi-enabled Roomba vacuum, this section is for you!
Your iRobot Home App acts as the bridge between your Roomba unit and WiFi router.
So, when the app runs faulty, your Roomba won’t be able to work properly as well.
For once, it may not record your cleaning preferences. And so, your Roomba won’t act as desired.
An app may crash or malfunction if its system is outdated or it encounters some bugs.
But no need to be worried. As this can be easily resolved by keeping the app up-to-date.
So, what should you do?
Visit your app store and head to your “Apps.” Check if there’s an update available. If yes, then update your iRobot Home app.
If this doesn’t work, try uninstalling and reinstalling your iRobot Home App. But keep in mind that this will delete your custom settings and data.
#4: Remap your home layout
Have you set your new Roomba to “clean everywhere” to map your house?
But the time you set it to clean all rooms, Roomba missed a lot of areas?
It might be due to obstructions.
Roomba maps your home on its very first cleaning session.
Users must set their Roomba to “clean everywhere” to let the device study their home layout.
But when there are objects blocking its way, Roomba may instinctively avoid it. Leaving many parts of your home undiscovered and unmapped.
The best thing you can do is to update your home maps. You can do this by mapping your home layout all over again.
But this time, make sure to remove any obstructions and keep the doors open.
To remap your home, leave your Roomba in any room. Then, set it to “clean everywhere.”
Other things you can do to ensure accurate mapping:
- Perform special cleaning runs.
- Organize and tie scattered wires.
- Do several cleaning sessions a day.
- Remove any clutter from your floors.
- Avoid placing dark or patterned carpets.
- Rearrange some huge or low-lying furniture.
- Schedule morning or night cleaning for a whole week.
Reading tip: Can You Pick Up and Move a Roomba? 5 Things To Know
#5: Ensure adequate lighting in all areas of your home
Like humans, some Roomba vacuums need light to properly do their job.
They need light to detect objects and set appropriate cleaning measures.
Roomba 960 and 980 are some units that need good lighting to create and capture virtual maps of your home.
In simple terms, a photoelectric cell sensor catches a light beam reflected from the object. Using it as a guide to detect the object and measure its distance.
That said, any Roomba with a photocell sensor will work poorly in ill-lighted rooms. And that may be the reason why your Roomba keeps skipping some rooms in your home.
So, if you’re using a Roomba with a photocell sensor, make sure that your home is well-lit.
When cleaning your whole house, ensure that:
- The lights are on in all rooms.
- Entryways and corridors are well-lit.
- No furniture is blocking any light source.
#6: Turn off Virtual Wall
If you’re using Roomba for a long time now, then you’re probably familiar with virtual walls.
iRobot helps users control their Roomba devices better by creating navigation control devices.
Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier being the latest and most compatible to many Roomba units.
One of its functions is to restrict Roomba from entering specific rooms. Or even avoid the device from cleaning near certain objects.
Many Roomba users use virtual walls to prevent the device from:
- Entering restricted rooms.
- Bumping into unstable objects.
- Passing through the archways.
- Cleaning around delicate furniture.
If you have a Virtual Wall installed at home, check whether it’s on.
You might have used it during one cleaning session, and forgot to turn it off after.
Also check whether it’s on “Auto Mode.” As this will continue to block off certain areas for several months.
In general, Virtual Walls that are in auto-mode can last long up to 6 months.
#7: Install a Virtual Wall Lighthouse
Another navigation control device that may be hindering your Roomba from cleaning the whole house is a Lighthouse.
Unlike the former, Lighthouse can both block and confine the Roomba from cleaning a specific room.
If you have a Lighthouse installed at your home, check whether its “Virtual Wall Mode” toggle is on. If yes, turn it off to let your Roomba unit freely clean your whole house.
On the other hand, you can use a Lighthouse to guide your Roomba in cleaning the whole house.
If you’ve tried everything already, yet your Roomba still misses a lot of rooms, turn its “Lighthouse Mode” toggle on.
Basically, what the Lighthouse does is confine the Roomba first in a specific area. Once it’s done cleaning, it will automatically guide your Roomba into another room.
So, if your Roomba is constantly skipping rooms, you can use a Lighthouse to ensure that the whole house is mapped and cleaned.
To learn more about Virtual Wall Lighthouse, watch this short video:
Note: Not all Roomba units are compatible with Virtual Wall Lighthouse. Review your user manual or contact your tech support personnel for advice.
#8: Fully charge your Roomba
If you use a Home Base to charge your Roomba, then your device will automatically charge itself after a cleaning session.
If not, then you’d have to plug it in manually.
Before setting your Roomba to clean, make sure that the device is fully charged. As you wouldn’t want to see your Roomba “dead” in the middle of a cleaning session.
But if you use a Home Base, your Roomba will dock back on its docking station if its battery runs low during a cleaning session.
In general, Roomba vacuums take about 2 hours to fully charge.
If it’s not done cleaning the whole house yet, just let it sit for a few hours to recharge. Then, it will automatically go back to its previous location to continue cleaning.
#9: Empty the Roomba dustbin
“My Roomba stopped in the middle of cleaning. I don’t think its battery is dead…”
If that’s the case, check whether the Roomba dustbin is full.
Like regular vacuums, your Roomba will stop cleaning once its dustbin becomes full. Simple because the device can’t hold in anymore dirt.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using a Clean Base.
But if not, then you’d have to empty the dustbin to let it continue cleaning.
Some of the latest Roomba units have full bin indicators, so it’s easy to tell. But for those Roomba units that don’t have indicators, take its “sudden stop” as a signal.
Tip: Empty and clean your Roomba dustbin after every cleaning session. This will help prevent your device from constantly stopping while it’s running.
Learn more: How often do you need to empty your Roomba?
#10: Clean Roomba sensors
Roomba works automatically, thanks to its smart mapping system and advanced sensors.
Most of its sensors use infrared technology to detect objects and map your home layout.
That said, your Roomba sensors shouldn’t be blocked by any dirt or debris. As this will disrupt its sensor system.
If your Roomba seems like it’s malfunctioning, check first if its sensors are free of any obstructions.
To ensure great performance, make it a habit to clean your Roomba sensors after every use.
You just have to gently wipe it using a melamine foam or microfiber cloth. Avoid using water or any rough cleaning towels.
These are the Roomba sensors that you should pay close attention to. As these are responsible for giving your home a proper clean.
In general, Roomba vacuums have 4-6 cliff sensors, depending on its series. These are located underneath your device.
To clean it, flip your Room upside down. Locate the cliff sensor openings, which are the small rectangles around the edges of your device. Then, wipe it clean.
Why should you clean the cliff sensors?
Cliff sensors avoid your Roomba from dropping off or falling off steps.
If these are blocked, your Roomba can fall and get lost. Leaving many areas of your home uncleaned.
These are two rectangular blocks located at the left and right sides of the dustbin entry.
To clean it, first, remove the dustbin from the unit. Then, wipe the dirt sensors using a clean cloth. You should also include the 2 inner sensor ports and 2 outer sensor ports located at the dustbin door.
Why should you clean the dirt sensors?
Dirt sensors detect dirt by using piezoelectric technology. The dirt sensor can tell how dirty an area is based on the amount of dirt it gets contact with.
But, once it gets blocked by too much-accumulated dirt or gunk, it won’t be able to work properly.
There are two things that can happen when the dirt sensors are blocked:
- The Roomba will signal “full bin.”
- The Roomba vacuum will stop picking up dirt.
As you may know by now, your Roomba will stop cleaning when the dustbin is already full.
Note: iRobot recommends that you clean the dirt sensors and its ports every time you empty the Roomba dustbin. This will help ensure that the sensors can properly do their function.