“My Roomba leaves dirt marks on my floors when cleaning. What should I do?”
Roomba should supposedly leave your home spot-free.
But it can sometimes cause scuff markings on your floor for several reasons.
Luckily, troubleshooting a Roomba that leaves marks on the floor is easy.
Ready your cleaning materials because we’re about to get started…
Read on to learn:
- 5 causes of Roomba leaving marks on the floor.
- 5 easy ways to troubleshoot a Roomba that scratches.
- How to remove and replace the Roomba’s front caster wheel.
- And a lot more…
Why is my Roomba leaving marks on the floor?
Your Roomba is leaving marks on the floor due to dirty tracked wheels and stuck front caster wheel. It can leave unwanted marks when dirt and dust build up in the Roomba’s wheels and internal gaps. A worn-out front caster wheel and full dustbin can also cause your Roomba vacuum to leave dirt traces.
Roomba leaving marks on the floor: 5 causes & fixes
#1: Dirty tracked wheels
Is your Roomba leaving one or two straight marks on the floor?
If yes, then the tracked wheels are most likely dirty.
A Roomba has two motor-driven wheels. These wheels are what move your Roomba across your house.
And they’re also the vacuum parts that directly make contact on the floor. Meaning they’re the parts that are more prone to collecting dirt and dust.
Dirt and dust can accumulate on the tracked wheels.
And once clogged dirt gets in contact with any liquid, the tracked wheels can leave scuff marks on the floor.
Side note: Dry dirt can sometimes create marks as well. Especially when the dirt becomes too dry and solid.
How to fix it:
Check whether the Roomba tracked wheels are dirty. See if there are traces of stuck dirt and dust on it.
If there’s any, make sure to clean the wheels immediately.
The tracked wheels are crucial parts of the Roomba. So, you may not want to disassemble it from its body.
To clean the tracked wheels, just use rubbing alcohol wipes to remove stuck dirt.
Next, look for any debris stuck in their centers. As larger debris and hair strands can easily get tangled on them.
Use a tweezer to pull out debris inside.
Tip: Slowly turn the wheels using your hand to remove any possible stuck debris in the wheels.
Learn more: Can you pick up and move a Roomba?
#2: Clogged dirt on the gaps
“I’ve already cleaned the tracked wheels. But my Roomba still leaves marks on the floor…”
If that’s the case, then perhaps there’s dirt on the gaps of your Roomba unit.
While such gaps are airtight, tiny dirt and dust can easily slip into them.
Clogged dirt on the gaps can fall off once your Roomba starts running.
And when that happens, the tracked wheels can “press” the dust on the floor. Which results in unwanted dirt markings.
That can even get worse when the Roomba happens to run into some spilled water on the floor.
How to fix it:
To resolve the problem, you have to clean the bottom surface of your Roomba unit. Especially the gaps on it.
You can just use a dry brush to sweep off dirt and dust.
If there’s still dirt stuck on the use, use a compressed air duster to remove it.
Or just simply tap or shake your Roomba gently to force the clogged dirt to come off.
Warning: Make sure to control the pressure of the air duster. As too much pressure can cause delicate parts of the Roomba to get damaged.
Alternatively, you can use a hair clip or any similar item to pick hard-to-remove dirt.
#3: Stuck front caster wheel
Another possible reason is that the front caster wheel of your Roomba may be stuck.
The front caster wheel isn’t motor-driven. Its job is to guide the Roomba in turning and rotating while cleaning.
Since it’s positioned in the front, it’s exposed to many types of debris.
And such debris can get clogged on it as well. Causing the front caster wheel to get dirty and stuck.
When that happens, the front wheel’s sense of direction can get messed up. And that’s what basically causes scuff markings on the floor.
How to fix it:
Check first whether the front caster wheel is dirty. And then, see if there’s debris stuck on its body.
If you notice any debris, such as hair stands, make sure to remove them.
You can do that by simply pulling out the hairs.
If that doesn’t work, remove the front caster wheel from the Roomba unit.
To remove and clean the Roomba front caster wheel:
- Flip the device upside down.
- Hold the body of the front caster wheel.
- Firmly pull it outwards.
- Remove the wheel from the casing.
- Pull out any debris on the wheels and casing.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the wheel.
- Return the wheel from the casing.
- Then, reinstall the front caster wheel from the unit.
For optimal performance, clean the front caster wheel every two weeks.
Note: Removing the front caster wheel from the unit can be challenging. That said, make sure to do it firmly but gently to avoid any damages.
Watch this video to learn how to clean the front caster wheel of the Roomba 800 series:
Further reading: 5 Reasons Why Your Roomba Keeps Going In Circles + 5 Fixes
#4: Worn out front caster wheel
Did you notice rough edges on the front caster wheel while cleaning it?
If yes, then the front caster wheel must be already worn out.
Worn out front caster wheel doesn’t only decrease your Roomba’s performance. But it also causes dirt markings on the floor.
Since there are rough edges on it, dirt and dust can easily get stuck on it.
Not sure whether the front caster wheel of your Roomba is already worn out?
Then, see if any of these indicators are present in your device:
- Roomba can barely turn.
- Vacuum stops several times.
- The wheel itself doesn’t turn.
- There are visible tears on the wheel.
How to fix it:
If you’re so sure that the front caster wheel is worn out, make sure to replace it immediately.
To do that, just follow the similar instructions stated above.
iRobot recommends that you replace the front caster wheel every 12 months.
That way, you can prevent your Roomba from leaving marks on the floor.
Not to mention that it’ll help your Roomba last longer.
Buying tip: To ensure product quality, buy an iRobot-certified front caster wheel replacement.
#5: Full dustbin
“I just bought my Roomba recently. The front caster wheel can’t be worn out already…”
Given that, it’s possible that the Roomba dustbin is too full.
A Roomba vacuum has a removable dustbin that stores collected dirt and dust.
And like regular trash bins, it can get full.
When that happens, it may prevent picking up any more dirt.
Causing the vacuumed dirt to fall off the floor. And get rolled on by the front caster wheel and tracked wheels.
As a result, your Roomba vacuum will leave scuff marks on the floor while cleaning.
Note: Normally, the Roomba will notify you once the dustbin becomes full. But it can sometimes fail to do so due to some errors.
How to fix it:
If you suspect that the dustbin is full, empty your Roomba immediately.
To do that, you have to remove the dustbin from the Roomba unit.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Press the dustbin release tab.
- Slide the dustbin out.
- Open the dustbin door.
- Empty the bin.
- Then, return it from the Roomba unit.
Note: The process and placement of the dustbin release tab vary depending on the Roomba model.