Why is My Roomba Leaving Marks on Floor? Plus Ways To Prevent Them!

Generally, Roomba leave marks on floor when Roomba wheels are dirty. However, stuck debris and tangled hair in brush and worn out parts can also cause marks on floor.

It’s just a week days ago, I found that my Roomba was leaving marks on my floor and two days later I saw my bedroom hardwood floor had a few scratches. It was the moment I realized that my Roomba is having some sort of issue.

Since, I finally found out the possible reasons and how to fix them easily, I thought of sharing this information to all of you guys.

I believe, if I had this problem with my Roomba, there could be several other having the same problem and looking for the right method to fix this.

In this article, I will bring you the exact reasons for Roomba leaving marks or scratch wood floors and how can you easily solve this issue in minutes.

Reasons Why Roomba Leaving Marks On The Floor

Reasons Roomba Leave Marks On The Floor

While I was fixing my robot leaving marks on floor, I came across five reasons while one of them was the most common one and most probably the first one would be the reason for marks on floor even after a full cleaning session.

However, it is also possible that the residual marks came out due to wet floor. Anyway, if this is the reason, your Roomba has no issue at all.

Here’s the reasons why Roomba leave marks on floor.

  • The common one is your Roomba wheels are stuck or something got caught up in the wheels. (90% of people have this basic problem which can be easily fixed.)
  • The flat or clogged front wheel get dragged during cleaning and leave black marks on floor.
  • When brushes are dirty or something get stuck in, it can also leave marks on floor.
  • There could be something stuck under your Roomba which is being dragged all around your house and leaving marks.
  • If you have a pet in your house, you Roomba might run over poop or maybe mud, leaving marks on your floor. 
Dirty Roomba WheelsUse a wet cloth to clean the
Roomba wheels.
Dirty Roomba brush or stuck debris
in the brush
Remove the stuck debris or
tangled hair from the brushes.
Floor TypeAdjust cleaning methods for
high sheen or lusterous surface.
Dirty Roomba Sensors Clean Roomba sensors using
a microfiber cloth.
Worn Out Roomba PartsCheck for any broken Roomba parts
and replace them with a new one.

Tip to find out the actual reason: Wrap the wheels of your vacuum with a painters tape, it will protect the floor as well let you determine what’s causing the marks.

Keshav (howtl.com)

But, is your Robot vacuum leaving marks or scratching hardwood floors?

Reasons Why Robot Vacuums May Damage Or Scratch Hardwood Floors

roomba running on hardwood floor
Debris Are Stuck Under the WheelsRemove the stuck debris or tangled hair
from the brushes.
Jammed Roomba WheelsCheck for the jammed wheel and remove
anything stopping them from rotating freely.
Roomba Broken Piece Getting
Dragged on the Floor 
Check for any broken Roomba parts and
replace them with a new one.
Hard Plastic Wheels With Flat EdgesCheck for hard plastic wheels and replace
with rubber wheels.
Beater Brush BarCheck the issue with beater brush bar only
if you have an old vacuum.
New vacuums don’t use beater brush bar.

How To Fix Roomba Leaving Marks On The Floor?

Here are the troubleshooting tips to fix ‘Roomba leaving marks on floor’:

Clean the Roomba Wheels or Replace Them with a New One (if Needed)

Dirty wheels are the most common reason why you might see marks on your floor even after Roomba has cleaned your room. At the same time cleaning Roomba wheels doesn’t take much time.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Power off the Roomba charging station and remove your Roomba.
  • Turn Roomba over to access the wheels.
  • Use rubbing alcohol or a clean wet cloth to wipe the wheels and remove any stuck dirt, debris or tangled hair.
  • If you find out that the wheels are damaged, get a new entire wheel for your Roomba.
  • Now that you have cleaned the wheels, place your Roomba to the charging dock.

Clean Roomba Brushes

Often times, I find dirty brushes to be one of the culprits. When the brushes are dirty, even when your Roomba is mopping the floor, it will leave marks.

So, cleaning of brushes is must for using Roomba robot vacuum as your cleaning man.

  1. Power off the Roomba and turn it over.
  2. Access the brushes and take them out.
  3. Use a brush cleaning tool to remove dirt and stuck tangled hair out.
  4. Rinse brushes with water and let it dry out.
  5. Once they are dry, put them back on place.

Check for Issues with Front Wheel

Generally, I see Roomba front wheels getting stuck due to tangled hair or when something gets caught under it. However, this is not a serious issue but sometimes you may have to replace the front wheel.

Once I had to replace the front wheel because of sticky gum in the wheel.

The front wheels can also get flat or damaged and you would require new front caster wheels.

Check and Remove Worn Out Parts

Sometimes, you may see the scratch marks, dirt or water drops on the floor even after a complete Roomba cleaning session. This is due to damaged and worn out Roomba parts that need to be repaired or replaced.

If you see any of these problems with Roomba, make sure to check the worn put parts and replace them with a new one.

Beater Brush Bar

Beater bars are typically not a concern when it comes to robot vacuums.

Most robot vacs rely on suction for cleaning, rather than using traditional bristle brush beater bars.

However, some high-spec models do come with brush attachments and cleaning heads.

But do these attachments cause scratches? Well, if a robot vacuum is advanced enough to have these tools, it probably also has automatic height adjustment.

This feature adjusts the height of the brushes to match the type of floor, lifting them up and out of the way for wood or laminate floors. Therefore, it shouldn’t cause any damage or scratch delicate floors.

Additionally, some other models use multi-surface rubber brushes instead of stiff bristles. These brushes are softer and won’t scratch hardwood floors either.

Hard Plastic Wheels With Flat Edges

You should avoid using hard plastic wheels with flat edges on hardwood floors, as they have a higher chance of scratching the surface compared to rubber wheels. But why?

The front wheel of a robot vacuum rotates in all directions to facilitate turning. If you have a hard plastic front wheel, you may notice circular scratches where it has spun.

Many robot vacuums now come equipped with rubber wheels, as they are softer and less likely to cause scratches.

However, there are still some robot vacuums that use plastic wheels or have a plastic component with a rounded design. The rounding helps to minimize potential damage, like with the iRobot Roomba 694.

Nevertheless, if the front pivoting wheel gets dirty and cannot rotate freely, it can still cause damage. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the material of the front pivot wheel.

Clean The Roomba’s Floor Sensors

The dirty sensors can also be a cause for a lot of Roomba issues and cleaning and keep them maintained could help your robot with high performance.

To ensure optimal performance of your Roomba, it is important to keep its sensors clean and free from dirt and debris.

Gently wipe the sensors using a soft cloth or a cotton swab to maintain their functionality.

In case, the sensors do not work properly, refer to the Roomba’s user manual for specific guidance on resolving the issue.

You can contact the iRobot Roomba customer support.

How Do I Stop My Vacuum From Scratching The Floor?

Having learned about the potential of robot vacuums to scratch hard floors, it is now important to explore how you can prevent robot vacuums from doing this.

The primary cause of damage is debris and pet hair trapped in the front caster wheel (or side wheels if your vacuum has them).

To avoid scratches, consider these valuable tips:

  • Ensure that you remove any debris and foreign objects. Items such as stones, sand, and mud tend to get caught in the front wheel, which can result in the wheel getting jammed or leaving scuff marks as it is dragged around. Taking the time to thoroughly clean the area will help prevent these issues and keep your robot operating smoothly.
  • Maintain cleanliness! Regularly clean your vacuum, including the front wheel and side wheels’ grooves. Since your vacuum moves around your floors, it’s crucial to ensure that all the wheels are free from debris and can rotate smoothly.
  • Ensure that there are no wires, cables, or ropes on the floor. These can easily become entangled with your robot vacuum and cause damage to delicate wood floors. While it may seem like a simple precaution, even a slight scratch can be detrimental. Take a moment to clear the area and create a safe environment for your cleaning routine.
  • Inspect the front wheel, brushes, and side wheels for any hair entanglement. Long strands can hinder their proper rotation, causing the wheels or brushes to jam and scrape against the floor, resulting in unsightly scratches.

Is Your Roomba Dragging Items Under It?

If your Roomba is dragging items as it moves, you may have a bigger problem. It could be that the brushes are not spinning or the wheels are stuck.

If this is the case, then there could be an issue with the motor, battery, or other components of your robot vacuum cleaner.

A quick way to check if this is an issue is to look at the parts of your Roomba.

Check if any of the brushes or wheels are loose or not spinning correctly. If they are, then you may need to replace them in order to get your vacuum back up and running.

Is it OK to use a Roomba on hardwood floors?

It is fine to use a Roomba on hardwood floors. Roombas are designed for cleaning hard surfaces such as tile, hardwood, and a laminate floor.

Their powerful suction system makes them perfect for removing dirt and debris from these surfaces while their soft brushes make them ideal for gently scrubbing across the floor, without damaging the wood.

Additionally, the low-profile design of a Roomba allows it to fit under furniture and into hard-to-reach areas.

I will suggest using your Roomba vacuum on hardwood floors at least once every two weeks. This will prevent the build-up of dirt and debris that can scratch the the wood floor’s surface over time.

Does Roomba leave lines on the carpet?

Roomba vacuums are designed to be gentle on carpets and their soft brushes help them pick up dirt and debris without leaving lines or marks on the carpet.

However, if your Roomba has a brushless design, you may want to use a brush roll accessory for a more thorough cleaning of carpets so that it does not leave any lines.

Roombas are also designed to move randomly across the carpet to prevent it from leaving any patterns or lines in the carpet fibers. This makes them ideal for cleaning carpets without damaging the fabric.

If you find that your Roomba is leaving lines on your carpet, it’s probably because there is something wrong with its brushes or sensors, so you should contact the manufacturer for guidance or use our troubleshooting guide.

However, if your roomba is not vacuuming at all, check our troubleshooting guide how to fix Roomba Not Vacuuming, Picking Up Dirt & Hair?

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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