Mai Pham
December 28, 2023

Roomba robotic vacuums are renowned for their convenience and efficiency. Nonetheless, like any mechanical device, they may sometimes encounter issues. One problem users may face is the Roomba side brush not spinning. This issue can hinder the vacuum’s ability to clean effectively, particularly around corners and edges. In this guide, we’ll delve into possible causes and solutions to help you get your Roomba back up to peak performance.

Why is My Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning?

The Roomba side brush not spinning may due to several reasons, including the accumulation of debris, a worn-out motor, or software glitches. Regular cleaning, motor replacement, or resetting the device can often solve this issue. Knowing the exact reason can make the troubleshooting process an ease.

Common Reasons Why Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning

The brush screw got loose

One of the most common reasons for a non-spinning robot vacuum brush is a loose brush screw. As your vacuum goes about its cleaning routine, it can sometimes loosen the brush attachment screw over time. This will cause the brush to stop spinning and may also result in poor suction power.

To fix this issue, simply locate the brush attachment screw (usually located on both sides of the brush) and tighten it using a screwdriver.

The brush is clogged with debris

Another reason for your robot vacuum’s brush not spinning could be due to an accumulation of debris. Hair, lint, and other particles can easily get tangled in the bristles, preventing the brush from rotating properly.

To fix this issue, you will need to remove the brush and clean it thoroughly. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut away any tangled hair or debris, and then use a cleaning solution to wipe the brush clean.

The brush is worn out

Over time, the bristles on your robot vacuum’s brush can wear down, resulting in reduced performance and eventually causing the brush to stop spinning altogether.

If you notice that your robot vacuum is not picking up as much dirt or debris as it used to, this could be a sign that the brush needs to be replaced. Most robot vacuums come with spare brushes, but if yours does not, you can easily purchase replacement brushes online.

The motor or belt is damaged

In some cases, the issue may lie with the motor or belt that powers the brush. If you notice unusual sounds coming from your robot vacuum or if it has trouble moving around, this could be a sign of a damaged motor or belt. In such cases, it is best to contact customer support for your specific brand and model of robot vacuum.

Weak or poorly lubricated side brush motor

Another possible cause for a non-spinning side brush is a weak or poorly lubricated motor. Over time, the motor can wear out or become clogged with dirt and debris, causing it to lose power and stop spinning the brush.

To fix this issue, try cleaning and lubricating the motor using an appropriate cleaning solution. If this does not solve the problem, you

Faulty gears

Another potential reason for your robot vacuum’s brush not spinning could be due to faulty gears. This is more common in older models that use mechanical gears to rotate the brush. Over time, these gears can wear down and stop functioning properly.

To fix this issue, you will need to open up your vacuum and replace the damaged gears.

Software glitch

In some rare cases, the issue may not be with any physical components but rather a software glitch.

If your robot vacuum has been working fine and suddenly stops spinning its brush, try resetting it or updating its software. This can often fix the issue and get your robot vacuum back to normal functioning.

Brush Motor Overheating

One other potential cause for a non-spinning robot vacuum brush is an overheating brush motor. This can happen if the vacuum is used for prolonged periods without breaks, or if it is operated at high speeds for extended periods. Overheating can cause the motor to shut down as a safety measure, preventing any damage.

To avoid this issue, make sure to give your robot vacuum breaks and avoid using it at high speeds for extended periods. If the motor does overheat, allow it to cool down before using the vacuum again.

How to clean the side brush on a Roomba

Step 1: Clean dirt from the brush.

Remove the brush from your Roomba by gently pulling it upwards. You will notice dirt, dust, and hair wrapped around the brush. Use a dry cloth to gently wipe off the loose dirt. For the stubborn dirt and hair that are entangled around the brush, use a pair of scissors or a brush cleaning tool if one was included with your Roomba. Be careful not to damage the bristles of the brush while doing this.

Step 2: Wash the brush.

Once the brush is free from large debris, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. Prepare a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent in a bowl. Dip the brush into the solution and gently scrub it with your fingers or an old toothbrush. This will help remove any remaining dirt and grime. After washing, rinse the brush under running water.

Step 3: Dry the brush.

It’s crucial to dry the brush before reattaching it to your Roomba. Shake off any excess water and leave the brush to air dry. Avoid using a hairdryer or heater to speed up the process as this could potentially damage the bristles.

Step 4: Lubricate the brush.

After the brush is completely dry, it’s a good idea to lubricate it before reattaching it to your Roomba. This will ensure smooth operation and prolong the brush’s lifespan.

Using a small amount of a non-petroleum based lubricant, lightly apply it to the brush. This will help reduce friction and prevent the motor from working too hard, which can lead to overheating.

Step 5: Reattach the brush.

Once the brush is completely dry, reattach it to your Roomba. Ensure that it fits correctly and securely. Turn on your Roomba and observe the brush to make sure it’s spinning properly. Regular cleaning of the brush should help maintain the efficiency of your Roomba.

Remember, each Roomba model may have slightly different steps for removing, cleaning, and reattaching the side brush. Always refer to your user manual for the best results.

Step 6: Clean dirt from the gearbox and motor compartment.

After the brush has been reattached, proceed to clean the gearbox and motor compartment. This is the area where the brush is connected to the Roomba.

Over time, debris can accumulate in this area, potentially causing problems for the motor. To clean, gently use a can of compressed air to blow away the dust and grime. For stubborn dirt, a damp cloth or cotton swab can be used to clean the area.

Always ensure that all parts are completely dry before reassembling your Roomba. Regular maintenance of this area can help ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Roomba.


How do I fix my Roomba brush?

If your Roomba brush is not spinning, it could be due to various reasons such as a clog in the brush, a damaged motor or belt, weak lubrication, faulty gears, or even a software glitch. Refer to our complete guide for troubleshooting and fixing these issues.

How often should I clean my Roomba’s side brush?

Regular cleaning of your Roomba’s side brush is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and extending its lifespan. It is recommended to clean the brush after every use or at least once a week, depending on usage and the amount of dirt and debris in your home.

Can I use any type of lubricant on my Roomba’s side brush?

No, it is essential to use a non-petroleum based lubricant on your Roomba’s side brush. Petroleum-based lubricants can cause damage to the plastic components and attract more dirt and debris, leading to further problems.

How do I fix my Roomba brushes not spinning?

Refer to our complete guide for troubleshooting steps to fix your Roomba side brushes not spinning. This can include cleaning and lubricating the motor, checking for faulty gears, or resetting and updating the software. If these steps do not work, you may need to seek professional help or consider getting a replacement brush.

If you’re looking for how to fix your Roomba main brush not spinning, read here.

How often should you replace a Roomba side brush?

Regular cleaning and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your Roomba’s side brush. However, it is recommended to replace the side brush every 6-12 months, depending on usage and wear and tear. Always refer to your user manual for specific recommendations for your model.


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your Roomba’s side brush are essential for optimal performance. It not only ensures efficient cleaning but also extends the lifespan of your Roomba. By following our guide on how to clean the side brush on a Roomba and regularly troubleshooting any issues, you can keep your robot vacuum running smoothly for years to come. Remember to always refer to your user manual for specific instructions and recommendations for your particular model. With proper care, your Roomba will continue to be a valuable asset in keeping your home clean and free of debris.

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.

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