My very first robot vacuum took nearly 2 hours to clean and map my 700 sqft apartment. I didn’t expect it to run and make a loud noise for 2 hours straight every day, even if it helps to remove me from the cleaning. I kept on giving it a few more tries before sending it back to the store. And I’m glad I did. As the run time got faster after the 2nd try. If you also wonder how long a robot vacuum takes to clean a house, I’ve got you covered.

On average, it takes a robot vacuum around 30 minutes to clean an area of 500 square feet. From there, the math gets easier. So if your house is 700 to 1,000 square feet, it takes 45 minutes to 1 hour for your robot vacuum to clean it. How long a robot vacuum takes to clean a house greatly depends on the size of your house, its clutter, whether you have carpet or rug, the vacuum’s dust bin size, and its features.

Let’s go a little deeper in detail about how these factors impact how long a robot vacuum takes to clean a house and what you can do to speed up the cleaning process.

Factors Can Impact How Long A Robot Vacuum Takes To Clean A House

A living room

Your House Size

This is the most obvious factor. The larger your house is, the longer a robot vacuum takes to clean it. If your house is too large, a regular robot vacuum might run out of battery before it completely finishes the job. Before it runs out of battery completely, it will return to the dock for charging. Once charged, it will continue the cleaning session. However, it will prolong the cleaning time even more.

If this is the case, consider having more than 1 robot vacuum. You can have multiple robot vacuums run in different rooms or floors at once to save time.

Furniture and Clutter Level

Whether your robot vacuum has bump-and-run navigation or a more advanced navigation system, it will run around the furniture legs to clean. More furniture, more time to clean around the legs.

The same thing happens with other obstacles. Even if your robot vacuum can see and avoid obstacles, it will take a longer time to clean if there are too many obstacles on the floor. Not to mention if any cable or string might wrap around the brushes and cause errors during the cleaning session.

Carpet/ Rug

Can robot vacuums damage carpets
Robot vacuum runs on carpet

Some robot vacuums can recognize carpets/ rugs and automatically adjust their suction power to clean when it moves from a hard floor to the carpets. Other robot vacuums that don’t have this feature just simply climb up the carpet and do their work.

Generally speaking, in both cases, cleaning on the carpet takes longer than cleaning on a hard floor.

If you wonder if you can use a robot vacuum with carpet and whether it can ruin your carpet, read my article “Can Robot Vacuums Damage Carpets?

Vacuum’s Dust Bin Size

Dust bin size

Some smaller robot vacuums have small dust bins. One thing about small robot vacuums is that when the dust bins get full, they can’t continue cleaning. They will require you to empty the dust bin before continuing to vacuum.

If your house is too dusty and too big, your robot vacuum might stop in the middle of the cleaning session to go back to the dock to empty itself (if it has this feature) or ask you to empty it.

Vacuum’s Features

Some advanced features like Dirt Detection/ Deep Clean can make your robot vacuum clean more in certain areas. These features require your robot vacuum to run back and forth multiple times until that area is clean.

How To Help Your Robot Vacuum Clean Faster

Allow It To Map Your Floor

Mapping your floor

Once a robot vacuum maps your floor, it starts to run in an orderly path instead of going around until it bumps into something.

Some robot vacuums might take a few runs to completely map the floor plan, so make sure you give it some time.

If you have multiple floors, save each floor separately in your robot vacuum floor plan map. So when you move it to the other floor, it can recognize the respective floor and have a more precise running path.

Fully Charge Your Robot Vacuum

Charging a robot vacuum

This will allow your robot vacuum to maximize its capacity and have more effective cleaning. It also ensures your robot vacuum can clean more space before it has to go back to the dock for charging again.

You don’t have to check whether your robot vacuum is fully charged before running, as long as you keep it charged all the time. Keeping your robot vacuum charged all the time won’t drain its battery life.

Keep Your Floor Tidy and Create Keep-Out Zones

An untidy house

Keeping your floor tidy will reduce the time your robot vacuum runs around obstacles and reduce the risk of it being blocked by cables, strings, clothes, etc.

Consider creating keep-out zones to block your robot vacuum from running around the furniture legs or your children’s toys area. However, make sure you also let your robot vacuum clean these zones regularly (if possible). Try the Spot Clean function for these zones.

Vacuum Often

Vacuuming your house often will reduce the dust and how much cleaning your robot vacuum needs to do in one cleaning session.

Especially if your robot vacuum has a dirt-detection feature, it will take much longer time to clean if your house has too much dirt.

A robot vacuum can take a longer time than you yourself to clean a house. But with a little bit of patience and tips, the job can be done faster. And the best thing is, you remove yourself from that chore.