If you’ve just been dumping dust, dirt, and debris from your Roomba’s bin into the trash and then slapping it back into your trusty robovac, you’re doing it wrong.
It’s easy to ignore, but there’s a filter inside the bin compartment, and if you’re not cleaning it regularly—and replacing it once in a while—your Roomba will get less and less efficient as it sweeps your floors.
If you haven’t been taking care of your Roomba’s bin filter, it’s never too late to start.
The procedure for cleaning your Roomba’s filter differs depending on which model you have.
For the popular 600 series (I have a Roomba 675, for example), there’s a curved filter that sits in the bin itself, while 800- and 900-series Roombas have a rectangular filter cartridge that fits into the top of the bin. “E” and “i” series Roombas also have a filter cartridge, but it’s located on the side of the bin.
I’m going to show you how to clean the filter on a Roomba 675, which is one of the most popular Roomba models. Have a different Roomba model? Keep reading to get the gist of what you’ll need to do, and don’t worry; I’ll point you to directions for the other Roomba versions.
Remove the bin and open it
You’re probably already familiar with the first step; simply push the release button on the top of your Roomba, then slide the bin out.
If there’s debris in the bin from a prior cleaning (I must admit, I only empty the bin just before a cleaning, not immediately after one), go ahead press the yellow lever to open the bin door and dump any gunk into the trash.
Remote the filter
Next, look for the big blue filter, which is probably covered in dust.
With your fingers, grip the two yellow tabs on either side of the filter, squeeze, and pull the filter out.
Clean the filter
Now it’s time to get all the accumulated dust and dirt off the filter. One method is to knock the dust off by repeatedly tapping the filter against the inside of a garbage can, or you could try scraping the dust off with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Vacuuming the filter (or even better, the filter cartridge of a series 800, 900, “e” or “i” Roomba) with a hand vac can also do the trick.
One thing you don’t want to do is clean the filter with water; that’s a sure-fire way to ruin it.
Related: How to clean a Roomba’s dirty wheels
Put the filter back
Once your Roomba’s bin filter no longer looks utterly disgusting, go ahead and slide it back into the bin. You’re done. Feels good, right?
How often should you clean your Roomba’s filter?
To keep your Roomba running efficiently, you’ll need to clean its filter on a regular basis. iRobot recommends a good filter cleaning once a week, or twice a week if you have pets with hair.
If, like me, you’re only running your Roomba once a week, you could probably get away with cleaning the filter once every couple of weeks.
How often should you replace your Roomba’s filter
Just like vacuum bags, Roomba filters need to be replaced every so often. For its part, iRobot says you should replace the filter once every two months.
Now, I know for a fact that it’s been way more than two months since I replaced my Roomba’s filter, and it hasn’t burst into flames yet. That said, I’m probably going to do it soon, and you probably should too.
For example, iRobot sells a three-pack of Roomba 500 and 600 replacement filters for $25, but you can find authentic Roomba replacement parts on Amazon for steep discounts, along with plenty of third-party options (just be sure to check the reviews before you buy from a non-iRobot source).
Links to filter-cleaning instructions for other Roomba models
Have a Roomba that’s not in the 500 or 600 series? Here are some links for instructions on cleaning the filter for other Roomba models on the iRobot support site.
How to clean the rest of your Roomba
Cleaning your Roomba’s filter is just the first step, and we have plenty of Roomba cleaning how-tos that can help.
For starters, learn how to untangle the hair from your Roomba’s brushes. Next, get the scoop on polishing its charging contacts and wiping down its cliff sensors. Finally, here’s how to clean your Roomba’s wheels.