After testing the Roomba J7, it has gathered debris, so it’s high time to give it a thorough cleaning.
If you’re in the same boat, this article should help you as I’ll share detailed steps on how to clean the Roomba J7, not only the robot but also tips with the clean base station.
Robot vacuums like the J7 need more maintenance than a traditional cordless vacuum since these machines rely heavily on sensors and various other precision components to function.
Any added friction will wear out components quicker, reducing its service life.
You could check my Roomba maintenance page that links to all the how-to articles cleaning various components.
Tools you’ll need
- Philips screwdriver: You’ll need a Philips screwdriver to unfasten the bolts holding the base place and side brush. A standard-sized head will be enough for the task.
- Mini-Phillips screwdriver [optional]: If you’re planning on cleaning the internal components like the wheels, this is a handy tool to have.
- Gloves [optional]: For folks who don’t want to get their hands dirty.
- Microfiber towel: It’s my favorite cloth for wiping down the robot’s exterior and drop sensors.
- Cotton buds [optional]: Another tool for cleaning the drop sensors.
- Cordless vacuum with. brush or crevice tool attachment [option]: I like using a cordless vacuum for fast-tracking the cleaning process.
How to Clean Roomba J7 [Step by Step]
I’ll share the steps with you in this article for a thorough clean, and I’d recommend doing this at least once a month to keep the robot functioning efficiently.
Roomba products are modular, meaning all the components are easily accessible without needing special tools.
Components like the battery, side brush motor, and such are easily detachable even without a manual.
This process shouldn’t be complicated if you’ve done any DIY stuff.
Step 1: Remove the side brush
Use the standard-sized screwdriver to loosen the bolt holding the side brush.
Once loosened, pull the side brush out and remove any hair on the prongs or base.
Pro tip: there’s no need to remove the screw from the side brush. Once it’s loosened enough, pull out the side brush and clean as needed.
Step 2: Clean the extractors
The next step is cleaning the extractors or rollers.
These components take the most abuse as dust, hair, and other contaminants stick and accumulate.
To remove them, lift this bracket and pull the extractors out.
These rollers are color-coded, so it’s impossible to mess up when reattaching them.
Use a clean microfiber towel to remove any dust buildup and remove any hair accumulation (roller and axles).
One positive with these rollers is that removing hair is much easier and won’t require scissors.
Step 3: Clean the dustbin and filter
After cleaning the extractors, the next step is tidying up the dustbin.
You may ask why I should do this with the clean base station?
Simple. While it does a decent job emptying the container, it doesn’t get everything single morsel of debris out.
Dirt will accumulate over time, and it’s essential to clean it at least once a month.
Using a cordless vacuum will fast-track the cleaning process.
Look at how the dustbin looks after vacuuming.
Also, debris will stick on the filter folds and build up.
Cleaning this component is critical in maintaining cleaning performance.
Step 4: Cleaning the drop sensors
Drop sensors are vital because they help prevent the robot from falling off cliff points like stairs.
A dirty drop sensor will trigger an error code and render the robot vacuum immobile until it’s cleaned.
The process is easy. Grab a clean cotton bud, or microfiber open, whatever is available, and gently wipe these drop sensors underneath the robot.
Don’t use any cleaning solution or something damp since electronic components are highly sensitive to any moisture.
Step 5: Cleaning the caster wheel
The caster wheel is the tiny wheel in front of the robot. It’s one of the more neglected components, in my opinion.
However, the good news is that cleaning it is easy as the wheel assembly pops out, which isn’t the case for other brands.
Once it’s out, use a clean (perhaps damp) towel to clean and remove any buildup on the surface.
Step 6: Cleaning the side wheels
After cleaning the caster wheels, another component that needs cleaning is the side wheels.
For all Roomba products, two rubberized wheels need TLC.
Even if iRobot uses good rubber for these wheels, cleaning them (at least once a month) will go a long way in ensuring longevity.
The easiest way is to clean the surface by using a cleaning microfiber towel to remove any debris.
A more detailed approach would be removing the base place (more on that below) to access the inner components.
Step 7: Detach base plate
In most cases, the first six steps are enough for essential robot vacuum maintenance, but if you want to go further, these next steps will help with keeping your robot vacuum in tip-top shape.
Around five bolts are holding it, and you’ll need a standard Philips screwdriver to remove these.
The good thing with Roomba is there’s no need to remove these screws from the base plate.
Once you’ve loosened all five enough, gently pull it out.
You’ll have access to the different components with the base plate off.
Check out my detailed article about cleaning the Roomba wheels, which is one example of how thorough you could get with cleaning the J7.
Components you can clean by removing the base plate
If you choose to remove the base plate, these are the components you’ll gain access to for cleaning.
Realize that you’ll need to use a smaller Philips screwdriver to remove the bolts.
1. Brush (or extractor) assembly
This component holds the extractors in place, and I’d recommend cleaning it once every three or four months to remove any dust buildup.
2. Side wheel assembly
I shared earlier the quick way of cleaning the side wheels: (basically) wiping them down using a clean cloth.
But removing the base plate provides consumers the option for something more thorough.
You’ll need to unfasten these screws to remove the whole assembly.
3. Battery (or areas underneath it)
Another significant benefit of removing the base plate is gaining access to the battery.
Debris will accumulate on the areas underneath it, and these areas must be clean for the robot’s longevity.
4. Random nooks and crannies
You’ll notice from removing the base plate, the nooks and crannies underneath it, and the amount of dirt that builds up.
Removing the base plate helps users gain access and clean these areas.
Step 8: Cleaning the clean base station
For J7+ owners, don’t forget to clean the base station.
There are two critical areas to check.
The first area is the auto-empty port going into the bag and the bag itself.
There’s not much maintenance involved but keeping the port clean and disposing of the bag when it’s full.