Roomba Keeps Saying Empty The Bin: How To Fix?

When Roomba vacuum dustbin sensors keep sending full bin signals, then you have likely not cleaned all six of its sensors and ports properly. To clear this error and get back to cleaning, be sure to clean all sensors and ports thoroughly before rebooting the robot.

Are you scratching your head as you don’t know what to do when your robot vacuum cleaner sends you an error message saying “empty the bin” when you have already emptied it?

Many users, including me, faced the same issue, which is why our team at HomeTechInside researched the causes and solutions to this problem.

In this article, we will explain what you must do to prevent this error from appearing in the future and the reasons.

How do I know when the Roomba Bin is Full and needs to be emptied?

Roomba Full bin

iRobot recommends emptying the Roomba bin after each use. The Roomba’s front end houses the garbage compartment bin.

Cleaning Roomba frequently also increases the device’s battery life

The robot vacuum consists of two black sensor ports on the outside and inside the bin compartment that notify you whenever the bin is full or dirty.

A Roomba may alert you in several ways if the dust canister is full and needs to be emptied like a red light will sweep down, a trash can icon will light up, or a Roomba will give an error code.

  • A Clean button on the Roomba I Series will occasionally glow red. The light will spin to the bottom of the button when the dustbin is full.
  • When using Roomba E Series, the iRobot Home App will let you know when the trash bin is full.
  • When the red trash can-shaped light flickers at the top of the Roomba 700, 800, and 900 Series, you know it is full.

Why Won’t My Roomba’s Bin Full Indicator Go Off?

If your Roomba’s full bin indicator refuses to go when you have already cleaned the dustbin, it’s because there is still some dirt left on the sensors in the dirt container that makes the sensors believe that the dustbin is full. 

Consider cleaning your Roomba’s dust container under a tap to let any residue dust wash off so that you don’t receive this message any longer.

Roomba Error Codes For Dust Container Issues

‘Empty the bin’ is not the only error code you get when you see a red light on your Roomba. There are other problems you might face with the dust container of your Roomba. 

So, you must play the error message by pressing the ‘Clean’ button and follow the machine voice’s instructions when you get such an error code.

Below are some common error codes in a table, along with their causes and solutions:

Error codeError MessageReasonsSolutions
Error 8Vacuum Cleaner ProblemVacuum cleaner has poor suction powerClean the dust bin and its filter
thoroughly and check for any
blockages like dirt, hair or sludge.
Error 14Replace dust containerThe dust container is not detectedCheck whether the dust container
and filter are properly connected.
If not, connect them to work properly.
Error 26Vacuum cleaner problemFilter of dustbin is cloggedClean the Roomba’s dustbin
filter or replace it with a new
and authentic one.
Error 30Vacuum cleaner problemVacuum cleaner cannot startClean the Roomba’s dustbin filter
or replace it with a new and
authentic one.
Error 36Empty the dust containerFull dust container sensor is fullClean the dust container well
under the tap to remove even
the last bits of dirt and let it dry.
copyright @

Why does Roomba keep telling me to empty the container?

If your Roomba continues telling you to empty the bin, it might not be completely cleaned. You must remove all kinds of gunk, oil, and dirt from the Roomba bin, sensors, and filters. 

Especially don’t forget to clean the filter, as it frequently gets clogged up with hair and dirt. When this happens, the Roomba will assume that the trash bin is still full. 

You can fix this problem by properly cleaning it; inspect closely for pet hair trapped inside the bin side sensors and ensure to unclog the filter on priority.

Reasons why Roomba thinks its dust container is full

Dust accumulation over time may blind the sensor, which can make its sensors mistakenly believe that the bin is full when it is empty. 

There could be several reasons your Roomba may think its dust container is full.

  • One of The Roomba’s sensors is still covered with dust even after emptying.
  • The vacuum inlet is clogged with debris.
  • The sensors in the dust container are still dirty.
  • Long hair got caught in the inlet and started to gather dust.
  • The filter is worn out or clogged.
  • The Roomba case is dirty.
Related Article - How To Make Roomba Go Home

Solution: Roomba Keep Saying Empty the Bin

What to do if your Roomba constantly keeps alerting you that the bin is full? Usually, simply cleaning all of the sensors and ports should keep this error code from appearing repeatedly. 

But you might need to restart your Roomba or even perform a hard reset if the full bin light is still blinking. 

You should take these troubleshooting steps to fix “Roomba Keep Saying Empty the Bin”:

Clean the dust container sensors

clean roomba sensors

If your Roomba has a persistent red “full bin” light, your first step should be to wipe these two sensors with a cloth. The bin on your Roomba may appear different depending on the model. 

Nevertheless, the sensors are frequently located in the same location.

Use a dry napkin to clean the sensors; not required to have a Microfiber cloth. 

Make sure that you thoroughly clean them. The primary aim here is to restore their black and glossy appearance. When you’ve finished, put the bin back in your Roomba and give it another shot.

If the bin light is still on, one of the Roomba’s sensors is most likely clogged with dust, or the vacuum inlet has trapped embedded lumps of dust and debris.

Clean Roomba container and filter

Roomba filter

Change or clean the filter in your bin if the above method does not solve the problem. Occasionally, dust inside the filter may build up, making removal practically hard. 

Ensure you don’t miss any dirt, and clean the filters with running water.

Moreover, you should get in touch with Roomba’s help if you’ve tried everything and the bin indicator still flash red, as a malfunctioning sensor could be a problem.

Reboot The Roomba Unit

rebooting irobot

Software problems can bring on this issue, and as Roombas seldom get software upgrades, your only viable alternative is to restart the device. 

Any software issues that preventes the robot from accurately detecting a bin and determining if you successfully installed it may be fixed by rebooting the Roomba.

To restart/reboot your Roomba, you can follow the below steps:

  • Press and Hold the Clean button for at least 20 seconds.
  • Release it as soon as the white LED ring around the bin’s lid begins to spin anti-clockwise.
  • Wait for some time; the white light will stop flashing once the vacuum cleaner restarts.
  • Check to see if the full bin error reappears when you restart your Roomba.

Hard Reset the Roomba

Remember that a hard reset will remove all user-defined settings from the Roomba, including all previously-learned floor plans and cleaning schedules. 

So before doing a hard reset, remember them or note them down and get ready to start the setup procedure all over again.

To perform a hard reset, use these steps:

  • Open iRobot Home App, Navigate to Settings, and click on Factory Reset.
  • Confirm the request to begin the factory reset.
  • Once you confirm the prompt, the Roomba will begin the factory reset process; allow it to complete the reset.
  • Cycle the Roomba through its cleaning routines when the reset procedure is complete to check if the bin problem reappears.

Contact iRobot Customer Support

irobot customer service

You should contact iRobot support if a factory reset didn’t work for you or if you encountered other problems while troubleshooting. 

The reason may be a malfunctioning sensor or other technical problem. Once the support personnel is aware of the model of your Roomba and the type of problem you are experiencing, they may provide you with more specialized assistance. 

Moreover, you can utilize multiple channels such as mail, contact number, and chats to reach them.


Roomba keeps saying, “empty the bin,” because its dirt sensors still think there is dirt inside the trash compartment. The problem arises when you haven’t cleaned your robot vacuum cleaner thoroughly.

It is a good idea to clean your Roomba every few weeks thoroughly. Doing so can steer clear of such problems in the future. 

The device likely spends 3 to 4 hours every week moving across carpet and dirt and collecting dust and hair, based on the dimensions of your home, and therefore, you should make an effort to care for it well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Roomba Not Self-Emptying?

Before you reach out to customer service, ensure that the Roomba’s Do Not Disturb feature is disabled and that it has an evacuation port. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, inspect its power source or charging contacts for any dirt buildup. (check our detailed guide on Roomba Not Self Emtying)

Check if there are communication windows clogged with debris on either your device or its home Base station; a full bin could also be preventing completion of cleaning tasks.

Why does my Roomba keep saying to reinstall the bin?

The Roomba may be saying to reinstall the bin if it is not properly seated or there is a problem with the connection.

Make sure that the bin’s lid is completely closed and check for any debris or foreign matter that might be blocking the connection between the Roomba and the bin.

How do I reset Roomba after emptying bin?

You can reset the Roomba after emptying the bin by pressing and holding the Home button on top of the robot for 10 seconds. This will force a reboot of your Roomba.

Additionally, make sure that the bin is properly connected and securely seated in place before you turn it back on. You may need to remove any debris or foreign matter blocking the connection between the Roomba and the bin.

How do I clean my Irobot bin sensor?

The bin sensor can be cleaned by first unplugging the Roomba and turning it over. Using a soft cloth, cotton swab or rubbing alcohol to gently wipe down the area near the bin detector to remove any debris that might be blocking its connection.

Additionally, make sure that you do not use any abrasive cleaning materials as this could damage the plastic casing of the sensor.

Re-plug your Roomba and turn it back on to test if the bin sensor is functioning normally.

Can I buy a new bin for my Roomba?

You can purchase a new bin for your Roomba from most retailers or directly from iRobot’s website. If you purchase the bin directly from iRobot, it will come with instructions on how to properly install and connect it. Additionally, make sure to keep your old bin in case you ever need a replacement.

Where are full bin sensors on Roomba?

The full bin sensors on Roomba are located near the top of the robot, usually right below or next to the lid. These sensors detect when the bin is full and will alert you with a message or notification that it needs to be emptied and cleaned. Additionally, make sure that your bin is properly seated and connected before turning it back on.


  1. iRobot Care Procedure Frequency,

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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