After putting my
And I’ll share with you the step-by-step process to get it done right.
Fortunately, as with any Roomba, the task is straightforward, thanks to its modular design.
I’ve structured this article to focus on different maintenance aspects from the tools you need, cleaning the dustbin, sensors, wheels, and more. Check the table of contents below for more details.
Tools you’ll need
- Philips screwdriver: Any standard-sized screwdriver will do. But you may need something narrower to fit in narrower bolt openings.
- Clean cloth: My preference would be using a microfiber towel. These are great at absorbing dust, especially on wheels.
- Rubber gloves (optional): For those who don’t want to get their hands dirty.
How to clean
Roomba S9 dustbin and filter
The first step in any Roomba maintenance task is cleaning the dustbin, an automated job for people with the S9+ (w/ the clean base station).
But realize the clean base station won’t get every crumb of dirt inside the dustbin. Dirt and dust will accumulate over time, and you’ll have to clean it, or it will trip the full bin sensor even if it isn’t full.
Fortunately, the dustbin is washable since there the motor is on the robot’s body. However, the filter isn’t, but there are ways to extend its service life.
Step 1: Open the top door and remove the dustbin
The S9+ relocated the dust container from the rear to the top. Pull up the top door, then detach the dustbin using the built-in handle.
Step 2: Open dustbin and remove the filter
Another change with the S9+ is the filter placement on top. Pull up the lever, then slide out the filter.
Check the folds for any build-up. I like to do one trick with this filter type: tapping it on a solid surface to dislodge dirt. It won’t get rid of everything, but portions of it will come off.
Open the dustbin by lifting the handle and pushing the release latch to open.
You’ll notice it has a wide opening, making cleaning straightforward. One option to clean it would be washing it with running water. But remove the filter beforehand as the filter isn’t washable.
Another is to wipe down with a clean microfiber towel. Return the dustbin afterward after drying (if you’ve chosen to wash it with water).
The filter needs to be replaced after two or three months to maintain optimal vacuuming performance.
How to clean
Roomba S9 sensors?
Step 1: Wipe down the camera sensor
And at the forefront of these is a top-mounted camera sensor behind the golden disc dustbin cover. You don’t need to do much here, but wipe it down with a clean cloth.
Step 2: Bumper sensor
Next would be cleaning the bumper sensors. You’ll notice dust accumulating in this area. Again, all you need to do is wipe it with a clean towel.
Step 3: Cliff sensors
Flip the robot over, and you’ll see a bevy of sensors on the edges. These are cliff sensors, and it functions as a guard rail preventing the robot from going over cliff points like stairs.
All robot vacuums have this, and cleaning it simple – gently wiping it with a clean (dry) towel. Please don’t use anything damp, as it can damage the electronics.
Step 4: Optical sensor
Lastly, there’s the optical sensor. This component is responsible for location tracking and works somewhat like the sensor on your computer’s mouse.
Since it’s flushed deep, there’s not much to do here. For regular use, I don’t think dirt will get in there and hinder its functionality.
How to clean
Roomba S9 wheels?
Another component that needs TLC is the wheels. For the S9, there are the side and caster wheels. Its orientation is reversed with the side wheels in front of the caster wheels with the framework change.
But the process remains the same. There are two options for cleaning – the first option is the wipe the exposed areas of the wheels with a clean towel without removing the base plate.
These steps are enough in most cases for quick cleaning. But if you need a more thorough clean, then follow the steps below.
Step 1: Clean the caster wheel
One design element I like with Roomba products is the detachability of the caster wheel. You can take the whole thing apart if needed.
Check out my article about cleaning the Roomba wheels for more info. But for the sake of this article, pull out the caster wheel behind the robot, then wipe with a clean towel.
Also, inspect the base where you pulled it out and clean any build-up, then reattach it.
Step 2: Remove the base plate
Four screws are securing the base plate. Use a Philips screwdriver to detach.
You may need to loosen the bottom two bolts holding the brush assembly above it.
Try removing the plate before unfastening the bolts I mentioned. If it comes off, then there’s no need to do anything else.
Step 3: Pull out the side wheels
Once the base plate is out, the side wheel assembly is exposed. Unlike older Roomba options like the 980 or 675, no bolts are holding the side wheels since a tiny microchip secures it in place.
You’ll notice the cliff sensor blocking the right wheel assembly. Gently lift it, then pull the right wheel straight up.
It may take a little force, but make sure to pull up to prevent damaging the chip that connects to a port underneath.
Do the same with the left wheel. Once the wheel assemblies are out, wipe with a clean microfiber towel.
Don’t forget to clean these areas underneath each side wheel.
You can use a towel, or in my case, I used a Dyson V10 with a brush attachment.
With the base plate out, it’s a good time to tidy up loose particles of dirt scattered around.
A handheld vacuum would be an excellent tool for this task as it speeds things up. After tidying up everything, it’s time for the next step.
Step 4: Reattach side wheels.
After cleaning the side wheels, it’s time to reattach them. It’s easy. Align the chip to the port underneath, then gently push down. That’s it.
Step 5: Reattach base plate.
Lastly, reattach the base plate, then tighten all bolts.
How to clean
Roomba S9 extractors and extractor frame?
One component that takes a beating is these extractors upfront. Its primary function is debris pick up, and debris will accumulate on it and the axles. Failure to clean them will result in unnecessary friction and may burn out the motor. So it’s imperative to clean it along with the extractor frame.
Step 1: Detach extractors
Lift the latch on the right side of the extractor frame, then pull out both extractors.
Step 2: Clean extractors
With the rollers out, proceed to wipe with a slightly damp towel to remove any dirt build-up. Check both axles for any hair wrapping on them.
Also, check the connecting slots in the roller assembly for any hair or debris.
Step 3: Remove and side brush
The next step is taking out the side brush.
Use a Philips screwdriver to unfasten the bolt then pull the side brush out.
Remove any hair strands sticking on the bristles or base. Do the same for the side brush slot on the robot vacuum.
Step 4: Unfasten screws holding the extractor frame
Four bolts secure the frame. Unfasten all of them to remove it. Please note that you may need a thinner Philips screwdriver for the bottom bolts.
Lightly tug the assembly upward once all the bolts are loosened to pull it out. With the whole component out, there’s easy access to deep clean every nook and cranny.
Avoid using a damp towel as it can damage the dirt detect sensor and other electronic components.
Also, check the area underneath the extractor frame for any accumulation. A handheld vacuum will come in handy and speeds up the task.
Step 5: Put back everything
Once everything is clean and tidy, it’s time to put everything back in reverse order.
- Extractor frame
- Side brush
Wipe down the whole robot with a clean towel to remove any fingerprints or dirt.