If you take a closer look at your Roomba’s caster wheel (the one in front), you’ll probably see plenty of hair wrapped around its axle, while clumps of dust are probably lodged inside the compartments that house the side wheels.
While it’s easy to ignore a Roomba’s wheels, you should be checking on them on a regular basis; indeed, iRobot recommends giving them a look every couple of weeks. And if you’re noticing herky jerky movement as your Roomba sweeps your floors, you definitely want to flip your robot over and give its wheels a once-over.
I’m about to describe how to clean the wheels of the Roomba 675Remove non-product link, one of the most popular Roomba models. You can find precise directions for your particular model on the iRobot support site, but the following steps will apply to almost all Roomba robot vacuums.
How to clean a Roomba’s front caster wheel
The first step is to turn your Roomba over and place it on a flat surface, preferably something soft like a towel. (Given how dirty your Roomba likely is, you’ll probably want to toss the towel in the wash as soon as you’re done cleaning the Roomba.)
Next, you need to pull the caster wheel out of the Roomba. You won’t need any tools to perform this trick; just get a firm grip on the wheel and pull it straight out. With a little effort, the caster should come free, complete with its stem.
More likely than not, there will be a substantial amount of hair wrapped around the axle. Rather than trying to yank it free, simply remote the wheel from its housing; once that’s done, you can easily remove the ring of hair from around the axle.
Using a soft cloth, wipe down the wheel itself; you don’t have to go crazy, just clean off any obvious dust or debris. While you’re at it, you should also wipe down the wheel compartment.
Also, don’t forget the top of the wheel housing, where the stem is; that’s a favorite hiding spot for dust and dirt.
All done? Snap the wheel back into its housing, then push the caster back into the wheel compartment; keep pushing until the stem clicks back into place.
How to clean a Roomba’s side wheels
You can’t remove a Roomba’s side wheels as easily as you can its front caster wheel—in fact, we’re not even going to try. Instead, we’re going to clean out any stubborn clumps of dust or hair while keeping the side wheels in place.
First, push down on one of the side wheels; it should sink right into the Roomba’s chassis, then spring back into place once you release it. Push the wheel back in, then take a peek. See any clumps of debris? Go ahead and pull them out. Pushing the wheels in and out repeatedly can help release any dust, dirt or hair.
If you’re having a hard time cleaning the junk out of the Roomba’s side wheel compartments, try spraying them with a can of compressed air.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.