Emptying Roomba Dustbin & Bag: When, Why And How?

Emptying your Roomba dustbin is incredibly easy. You only need to press the bin release button on the side of the unit to pull it out. Then, press the bin door release button to open it up, so the dirt inside can fall out.

Roomba robot vacuums can operate autonomously with very little input from its users. That’s especially true for models that work with the Clean Base to dispose of dirt automatically.

Still, you must empty the Roomba dustbin and bag regularly to ensure everything continues functioning as it should.

Rinse the bin with warm water and completely dry it before reinstalling it in your Roomba.

Read this guide to understand how to empty your Roomba dustbin and bag. Besides that, you’ll also learn why emptying it regularly is crucial and the problems you could face if you fail to do so.

When Should You Empty A Roomba Bin?

When to Empty A Roomba Bin

Ideally, you should empty your bin after each cleaning session. Keeping the bin empty will maximize the Roomba’s suction, allowing it to clean your floors as efficiently as possible.

Alternatively, you can empty the bin before you expect the Roomba to begin a new cleaning session. Again, that will help it clean your space to the best of its ability.

You can choose to empty your Roomba bin before it becomes full.

But how do you know when to empty bag on Roomba? Is there any indicator?

When you see a solid red light on the Clean base, it means the bag is full and need replacement. So, you must empty it immediately when the red Full Bin indicator turns on or blinks on the unit.

That light indicates the bin is filled to the brim with dirt, dust, and debris and that it cannot continue cleaning your floor until you empty it.

Why Should You Empty Your Roomba Dustbin And Bag?

For starters, it’s crucial to understand why you should empty your Roomba dustbin and bag regularly.

Overall, removing the dirt, dust, and debris from your Roomba is crucial to ensure you can get the most value from your investment in the device.

More specifically, here are 3 reasons why you should empty your Roomba dustbin and bag, preferably before they become full:

1. For Continued Operation

Firstly, you must never forget that your Roomba is a vacuum, albeit a robotic one that can function automatically. Like all vacuums, it must be able to suck air into its openings before trapping dirt, dust, and debris in its bin or bag.

Simply put, the Roomba will function as long as it maintains smooth airflow.

However, that won’t happen if the dustbin is full. A full dustbin will restrict airflow and prevent the Roomba from functioning, leaving you with a vacuum robot vacuum that doesn’t work.

However, keeping the bin clean will ensure the Roomba can continue vacuuming your floors as usual.

2. For Optimal Functioning

Unfortunately, the dustbin in your Roomba doesn’t have to be completely full before it affects the unit’s functioning. A half-full dustbin will restrict airflow through the vacuum, even if only partially.

As a result, the Roomba will lose some of its suction as its dustbin fills with debris.

That’s why you don’t have to wait until it’s full to empty it out. Ideally, you should empty the bin after each use to ensure the unit functions optimally every time it cleans your space.

3. For Maximizing Lifespan

Last but certainly not least, cleaning your Roomba dustbin and bag regularly will help to maximize its lifespan. The motor doesn’t have to work extra hard to generate suction without a dust buildup inside.

On top of that, you’ll also find less dust getting stuck in places it doesn’t belong throughout the Roomba.

That will make it much easier for you to maintain the unit so it continues serving you for as long as possible.

How often should I Empty My Roomba Bin?

As a general rule, you should empty roomba bin after each cleaning session but it entirely depends upon the bin size and the number of cleaning sessions it performs.

What Happens If You Don’t Empty Your Roomba Dustbin And Bag Regularly?

performance when you empty your Roomba Dustbin And Bag Regularly

Failing to empty your Roomba dustbin and bag regularly can lead to plenty of common vacuum problems, such as:

  • Suction loss: As you saw earlier, even a partially-full bin will reduce the Roomba’s suction power. That will make the unit less effective at picking up dirt off your floor.
  • Clogs: A full dustbin can cause dirt and debris to build up where it doesn’t belong. When that continues for too long, it can cause clogs in and around the Roomba’s airways.
  • Reduced lifespan: The fuller your Roomba dustbin, the harder its motor has to work to suck air through the unit. That can stress the Roomba’s components and reduce their overall lifespan.
  • Expensive repairs: In severe cases, the Roomba’s motor or other components can fail and require costly repairs.

These problems might sound scary, but thankfully they’re entirely preventable. Just make sure to clean your Roomba dustbin regularly!

How To Empty A Roomba Dustbin?

Emptying your Roomba dustbin is straightforward to do. Better yet, the process can be completed in just a few seconds.

Here are the 5 steps you can follow to empty your Roomba bin:

  1. Firstly, find and press the bin release tab/button on the side of your Roomba. That will unlock the bin and allow you to remove it from the unit.
  2. Next, hold the bin over a trash can and press the bin door release button. That will open the dustbin door, causing the dirt, debris, and dust inside to fall out. Shake the bin gently to empty it as much as possible.
  3. Then, remove the filter from the side of the bin and tap it on the side of your trash can. The filter will be dirty, so doing that will help to shake off the dust caught inside.
  4. After that, you can rinse the dustbin out with warm water to remove any leftover dust. Doing so will ensure that you clean the bin as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Lastly, let roomba’s dustbin air dry for at least 10 minutes so there’s no excess moisture inside.

Once you’ve completed the five steps detailed above, you reattach the filter to the dustbin.

Finally, you can slide the dustbin back into your irobot Roomba vacuum until it snaps and stays in place.

If you are using i7 or i7+ model, here’s a video showing how you can replace bag for self emptying Roomba vacuum Models.

What is The Replaceable Dirt Disposal Bag & How Can You Replace It?

Roomba models with the automatic dirt disposal feature will work alongside the Clean Base. After the Roomba has been cleaning for some time, it’ll dock at the Clean Base and evacuate its dustbin.

Everything inside that bin will get sucked into a replaceable dirt disposal bag installed inside that Clean Base.

The bag inside the Clean Base must be emptied for the same reasons you’d empty the Roomba dustbin, which are:

  • To ensure the Clean Base can continue operating.
  • To ensure the Clean Base will function optimally.
  • To maximize the lifespan of the Clean Base and its components.

There is a critical difference between the dirt disposal bag and the Roomba dustbin, however: it can take several weeks before the dirt disposal bag fills up with dirt.

When that happens, all you have to do is remove the bag and replace it with a new one.

For the best results, it’s always best to use original replacement bags sold directly by Roomba. That way, you can rest assured that it’ll perform as intended because those bags are designed specifically to be used with your Roomba’s Clean Base.

How Do You Replace The Dirt Disposal Bag?

A red LED on your Roomba’s Clean Base will light up when the dirt disposal bag is full. (You can read our another blog on how to resolve red light on Roomba)

Here’s how you can replace that bag with a fresh one:

  1. Firstly, lift up the canister lid to open the Clean Base. As you do that, you’ll see that the full dirt disposal bag is attached inside the unit.
  2. Secondly, find and lift the plastic card that leads to the vacuum port. You’ll gradually pull the whole bag out of the canister as you gently pull on that plastic card, and the bag seals itself.
  3. Thirdly, throw the bag away in your trash can.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the full bag, grab a fresh one and install it with these steps:

  1. Put the new bag into the canister and ensure the plastic card slides into the guard rails. Slide the bag down as far as it’ll go.
  2. Finally, close the lid firmly on the Clean Base.

With a new bag installed, the Clean Base can continue operating for weeks before you have to repeat the process. 

To ensure that your Roomba and its Clean Base can operate without interruptions, it’s best to keep a few spare dirt disposal bags available at all times.

How Often Do You Have To Replace Roomba Bag?

Generally, you should change roomba bag every 4-5 weeks. However, this entirely depends upon how often the cleaning work is done by your robot vacuum. Each bag can hold around 30 bins of dirt.

Can I Empty and Reuse Roomba Bags?

There are numerous reusable Roomba bags that can be used 3-5 times. I personally use this Roomba replacement bags, its ease to empty and has large capacity and well-sealed edges.

Can You Wash A Roomba Dustbin?

You can and should wash your Roomba dustbin whenever you empty it. Doing so will help to remove any stubborn dirt and dust buildups that naturally form in the bin’s corners and inside any gaps within trash container.

You only need to use warm water to wash your Roomba dustbin. That will do enough to dilute the dust and remove it from the unit.

However, you should never use cleaning chemicals inside the dustbin to prevent unexpected damage.

Remember: you must give the Roomba dustbin plenty of time to air dry after you wash it. Even better, you can wipe it thoroughly with a dry cloth just to be sure.

Placing a wet dustbin back into the Roomba is dangerous, as it could cause the unit to suck water into its electrical and electronic components.

Final Thoughts

Remember that emptying your Roomba dustbin and bag is incredibly easy. You only need to press the release button on your Roomba to remove the bin and then press the release button to open its door so the dirt inside can fall out.

It’s best to empty the dustbin after the Roomba cleans your floors or when the red Full Bin indicator lights up on the unit.

There could be times when your Roomba can Roomba Keeps Saying Empty The Bin even after your have cleaned it. If you are having this problem, check our troubleshooting guide on How To Fix Roomba Keeps Saying Empty The Bin.

Robbert Randy

Robbert is an expert in vacuums. He graduated from the University of Applied Science with a degree in Commercial Economics in 2019. He tests and provide troubleshooting tips to vacuum users on his website. He don’t do this for profit–he simply want to research the best models out there and share his findings.

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