Mai Pham
December 15, 2023

Keeping your house spot-cleaned is some real work, even when you have a robot vacuum. Especially if you have long hair, pets or your neighbor is doing construction. I schedule my robot vacuum to run twice per day, when I am at work and when everyone is asleep at night. But sometimes the robot vacuum couldn’t finish the cleaning session as the dirt bin is full. So how often should you empty a robot vacuum? Here’s what I’ve found out.

Ideally, you should empty your robot vacuum after every cleaning session. Some robot vacuum manufacturers suggest emptying your robot vacuum every 2 to 3 days. However, how often you should empty a robot vacuum depends a lot on the capacity of the dirt bin, how often you run your vacuum, and your house condition.

Let’s go a little bit deeper to find out how these factors impact how often you should empty your robot vacuum and what happens if you empty your robot vacuum a little too late.

Dirt Bin Capacity

Removing dirt bin from vacuum

Depending on the brand and the model of your robot vacuum, the dirt bin size varies. In general, the dirt bin capacity is somewhere from 500 – 600mil.

If you run your vacuum daily and you don’t have pets shredding hair in your house, this dirt bin size can be good to use for around 2 to 3 days.

How Often You Run Your Vacuum

The more you run, the less dirt you collect after each session. Without pets shredding hair, confetti, and debris, you might not need to empty the vacuum after each cleaning session.

In contrast, the less you run, the more dirt you find in the dirt bin. It’s best to check your dirt bin when you run it for the first few times and estimate how many cleaning sessions your robot vacuum can handle without the dirt bin getting full.

Your House Condition

House With Pets

Pet hair

For dog and cat owners, you know that pet hair is a pain. They are everywhere, from your couch to your bed, even on your clothes and bathroom towel.

If you have dogs, cats, or some pets with hair, expect to run your vacuum more often and empty the vacuum after every use.

Family Member(s) Have Long Hair

Hair in the side brush

Long hair will wrap around the vacuum brush and prevent it from spinning. In addition to emptying the robot vacuum often, you also need to remove that wrapped hair.

Not only it allows your robot vacuum to do what it’s supposed to do – vacuuming, it will help to maintain the robot vacuum’s battery lifespan.

If you have concerns about caring for the robot vacuum battery, like whether you should leave it plugged in, I wrote an article to explain whether you should and some tips to maintain the battery life. Read it here.

House With Kids

The mess made by kids

When you have kids, it is extremely hard to keep the house tidy and clean. You might try to keep it tidy, but after 2 minutes, your kids will turn the house upside down to find their toys.

And talk about legos, small toys, papers, crayons, pen caps, etc., they are just everywhere.

It is important to empty your robot vacuum after each use if you have kids. Not only it keeps the vacuum clean and ready for the next use, but you might find something in the dirt bin that your kids are looking for.

Something I’ve found in the dirt bin and luckily retrieved before tossing them to the trash: a ring and a key.

What Happens If You Don’t Empty Your Robot Vacuum When You Should

It Will Stop During The Cleaning Session

Most robot vacuums will automatically stop during the cleaning session or not start cleaning at all when they detect the dirt bins are full. Empty the dirt bin and it can go back to work like normal.

However, if you are not home and your robot vacuum stops in the middle of the cleaning session, it can damage the battery if happens too often.

The Filter Gets Dirty Quickly

Dirt from the dirt bin

As the robot vacuum works by suctioning dirt to the dirt bin and releasing air through a filter, too much dirt next to the filter will make it dirty quickly.

When the suction occurs, dirt will go with the air and get trapped in the filter. It can even push some dirt back out to your house if the filter is too dirty.

Ineffective Cleaning

When the dirt bin is always somewhat full or half-full and the filter is dirty, you will notice your robot vacuum seems to clean less effectively.

The reason is that with too much dirt, the suction will lose its effectiveness. The air needs to go through all the barriers (dirt) before being released. More barriers, less suction power.

Emptying Your Robot Vacuum Often Will Keep It At Peak Performance

As the suction works better, the dust filter doesn’t need to block too much dirt and the cleaning session will be more effective. And it will be ready anytime you want it.

About the Author

I am a working mother who more than often prefer to come home and rest rather than doing house chores. I am passionate about simplifying house chores to live and enjoy life more.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}