Guide to Cleaning a Roomba that Ran Over Pet Poop (6 Tips)

Last updated on April 11th, 2024

You will be surprised to know that a Roomba running over pet poop is a pretty common occurrence. It creates a huge mess around the house. But cleaning a Roomba that ran over pet poop is not that difficult. Let’s understand how you can do it without any hassle.

For cleaning a Roomba that ran over pet poop, you will first have to disassemble it. Remove the brushes, wheels, dustbin, battery, the back, and the top. Clean inside and under each surface with isopropyl alcohol. Use brush and Q-Tips to get inside small regions. Let the vacuum dry for 12 hours before reassembling it.

What happens if Roomba runs over poop?

Roomba that ran over a dog's poop
Roomba that ran over a pet’s poop

When Roomba runs over pet poop, it smears the poop all over it and also on the floor around it. This smeared poop is carried all over the house unless you stop it in time. Unfortunately, the poop gets well inside the vacuum, and it is impossible to clean it without taking the vacuum apart. The problems that could happen are:

  • The brushes are usually beyond salvage. You have to throw them out because cleaning them is not possible and also not worth it.
  • The battery could get damaged because of coming in contact with moisture, and you might have to replace it.
  • There could also be damage caused to the main circuit board and small sensor chips located all over the Roomba. You cannot and should not replace them because it will void the warranty if you still have it. All you can do is try to clean them as much as you can.

Take these 6 precautions before proceeding

Cleaning a Roomba smeared with pet poop is a huge task. You have to clean each and every nook and corner of the product. And while doing so, you have to take certain precautions. Take note of the following things before you start cleaning:

  1. Take the Roomba outside in a well-ventilated area because the stench of it is usually horrible. You don’t want that bad smell to remain in the house, so take the cleaning outside.
  2. Lay something on the ground, like paper towels or rags you no longer need before you start cleaning. This ensures the area you are using for cleaning doesn’t get much dirty in the process.
  3. Don’t let the battery come in contact with water at any cost. The battery should be kept dry; otherwise, it could lead to overheating or ignition of the battery.
  4. Keep the vacuum filter dry. Don’t wash it with water. Roomba filters are not washable. If your filter gets wet, its efficiency will drastically decrease as the filter element falls apart.
  5. Keep all parts for drying separately for at least 12 hours. Don’t try to assemble it immediately.
  6. Don’t pull any wires in the process of dismantling the Roomba. Those are very delicate, and a hard tug can pull the wires apart. This will be catastrophic for the vacuum.

Can I use water to clean a Roomba that ran over pet poop?

No, you cannot use water directly to clean a Roomba that has run over pet poop. We understand it is quite tempting to put the whole thing under a running tap or hose it down in your garden. But DON’T do it.

Water will get inside the crevices of the vacuum and reach the battery and the main board. It could possibly short-circuit the entire board. It’s better to use a damp cloth or wet wipes instead of pouring water over the vacuum.

Tools required for cleaning a Roomba that ran over pet poop

You will need certain tools before you start cleaning a dirty Roomba. These tools will definitely make the job easier. Some are essential because you cannot carry out the cleaning task without them. You will need

  • Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Q-Tips
  • Brushes
  • Damp cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Let’s see how to use all these tools to clean a dirty Roomba.

Gloves

Gloves
Gloves

Unless you are okay with putting your bare hands in dog poop, you need good rubber gloves. These gloves will prevent any direct contact between your hands and the pet poop. They will allow you to use your hands freely without constantly worrying about getting poop on your hand. You can pair them with a face mask for the smell. But that won’t be of much help.

Screwdriver

Screw driver
Screwdriver

Roomba has many screws all over its body. And since we are opening it all up, you need to unscrew most of them. For that, you will need a screwdriver. Check the size of the screws and get a screwdriver according. It’s also good to keep a flat-ended screwdriver handy to lift up covers or any parts that need a little lift.

Q-Tips

Q-Tips
Q-Tips

Q-Tips will help you reach the most horribly small spaces that your fingers can’t even imagine reaching. These are your real saviors while cleaning a Roomba covered in dog poop. Without the Q-Tips, you won’t be able to clean the small hole and spaces, even the Roomba wheels. Don’t use dry tips; dampen them with water or isopropyl alcohol to get the stains off.

Brushes

Brush
Brush

A brush is extremely necessary while cleaning such a Roomba. It is needed to scrub off dried poop that is stuck on different portions of the vacuum. Get an old toothbrush and also a small brush that can reach hard-to-reach areas. You can use a cloth or paper towel for scrubbing, but that just doesn’t give the same effect as a brush.

Damp cloth

Damp cloth
Damp cloth

Keep a couple of old clothes handy before you start cleaning your poop-smeared Roomba. You will need these to wipe the surfaces all over the vacuum. You can slightly dampen them with water to get the tricky bits out. But don’t soak it because water could seep inside the vacuum and cause problems with the circuit or sensors. Or you can spray some isopropyl alcohol over the cloth. It would be more sanitary.

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol

Don’t even dream of cleaning such a mutilated Roomba without isopropyl alcohol. You will be left with bad stench and horrible germs all over the vacuum. No amount of water will help you here. This is the most vital tool needed for cleaning. You have to wipe all the regions of your Roomba with isopropyl alcohol. You can also buy those readymade alcohol wipes from Amazon.

Cleaning a Roomba that ran over pet poop

Now let’s get to the actual cleaning process. First, put on the rubber gloves and take a damp cloth. Remove as much poop as you can. Don’t focus on getting everything out. Just remove as much as possible. Then move on to the following steps:

Disassembling the Roomba

  • Remove the side brush
Removing the side brush of Roomba
Removing the side brush of Roomba

The side brush must definitely be smudged with poop. You have to remove it from the main body. There’s a screw holding the brush in place. Take a screwdriver and open the screw. Keep the screw aside carefully; you will need it to attach the side brush again. Wash the brush under running water and later spray a disinfectant or alcohol on the brush. Let it air dry.

  • Remove the back cover
Removing the back cover
Removing the back cover

Next, remove the back cover of the Roomba. There are 4 screws located in a square shape on the base. Remove all of those with a screwdriver and lift the base off. The base usually doesn’t have any major electrical connections, so you can clean it simply with a damp cloth. Keep it aside to dry.

  • Take out the battery
Removing the battery
Removing the battery

Once you lift off the base, you can see the battery of your Roomba. Take the battery out carefully. Don’t let it anywhere near water. If it has got poop on it, use wet wipes to clean it. Don’t put the battery in direct sunlight. Store it in a cool place until you reassemble it. If the battery looks damaged, order a replacement battery.

  • Remove the front wheel

The front wheel must have taken quite an impact. It is bound to be one of the dirtiest parts of the vacuum. Hold it between two fingers and give it a pull to remove it from its position. Remove the housing and the axle as well. Clean all these neatly with alcohol and a cloth. Use Q-Tips to reach inside the placeholder of the wheel. Once cleaned, don’t connect it immediately. Let all the components dry separately.

  • Empty the dustbin
Emptying the bin
Emptying the bin

If your Roomba managed to suction some of the poop inside, then there’s definitely poop in your dustbin. Your best option is to clean it under running water. Here you can use soap to wash the dustbin clean.

Note: Remove the filter before you wash the dustbin and clean it separately.

  • Take out the main brushes
Removing the main brushes
Removing the main brushes

If your Roomba has rubber brush rolls, they are a bit easier to clean, and you can reuse them. But the bristles one is a gone case. Getting poop out of them is nearly impossible. It’s better that you throw them away and order new ones from iRobot. Don’t forget to clean the protective mesh of the brushes.

  • Clear the suction port
Removing the suction port
Removing the suction port

There are screws at the back of the brushes to take out the entire suction port. There’s definitely poop inside it, as the vacuum managed to suction it in. Remove those two screws and take out the entire suction port. Wipe it with a cloth and alcohol. Use a brush to scrub off any dried poop settled on the surface.

  • Clean the Roomba wheels
Cleaning a Roomba that ran over pet poop: The wheels
Cleaning the wheels

Next, we have the main wheels of the Roomba. These are tricky to clean as you can’t get your hands in there. Here Q-Tips will help you out the most. Use water or alcohol to dampen the tips and insert them in small spaces. If you feel that’s not working, then take out the entire wheel to clean below it. Use a screwdriver to open the screws located just above the wheel. You will then be able to take it out entirely.

  • Remove the bumper
Removing the bumper
Removing the bumper

The bumper has sensors below it. So be gentle while removing it. Give it just a little pull, and it comes off easily. Don’t use alcohol and wet wipes on the sensors but do check them for damage. Sometimes poop manages to get smudged on sensors. Use a soft, dry cloth to clean them if this happens.

  • Take the top off
Removing the top lid
Removing the top lid

You might think there’s no need to take the top off because poop definitely didn’t get spread on the top. But the main circuit board is only completely accessible from the top, so you need to take it off. First, lift the top cover under which there’s another cover with a lot of many screws. Remove them all and take the second cover off. You can now see the circuit board.

  • Check the circuit board
Inspecting the circuit board
Inspecting the circuit board

Poop can manage to get up to the main circuit board and cause trouble. Many people leave this part and later encounter issues because of it. There’s actually nothing you can do if the circuit is damaged, but you can at least rid it of all the poop. Check all the connections on the circuit, and if you find poop, use paper towels and Q-Tips to take it out.

Reassembling the Roomba

After you have thoroughly cleaned all parts of Roomba and let them dry for at least 12 hours, it’s time to reassemble. Remember to put every screw back in. But then everything was just as it was.

  • While putting the top back, make sure all the buttons are still clicking.
  • Remember to install the filter in the dustbin.
  • Install the battery correctly with proper orientation.
  • Put the main brushes back in their position and screw the side brush in.

Your Roomba should look just like it looked before the poop incident.

Is Roomba running over pet poop covered in warranty?

No, unfortunately, Roomba running over pet poop is not covered under warranty. But the j series is an exception to this. All Roomba models of the j series – Roomba j7, Roomba j7+, Roomba Combo j7+ give you a Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P.) warranty.

According to that, if your j series Roomba runs over dry pet poop, then iRobot will replace your vacuum with a new one for free. But note that this warranty is only applicable for one year from purchase of the product. For all other Roomba models, iRobot does not cover Roomba running over pet poop under warranty. There’s nothing they will do to help you out with this.

Conclusion

Cleaning a poop-smeared Roomba is not an easy task. You will be tempted to throw it away or burn it. But don’t! Try your best to clean it. Take all the necessary precautions before and while cleaning the vacuum.

Collect everything you will need before you start cleaning. You don’t want to get up and take your dirty hands in the house because to forgot to take something.

Keep patience while cleaning. It’s going to take a while, so set some time apart to do it. And most importantly, be gentle while cleaning and make sure you are thorough. You don’t want the bits to fall off the floor later.

FAQs

What to do when a robot vacuum runs over dog poop?

Immediately turn off the robot vacuum when it runs over pet poop and take it outside the house. Use the cleaning methods described in this article to clean and restore it to working condition.

Which Roomba is the best to avoid running over pet poop?

Models from the j series like Roomba j7+ and j9+ are the best to avoid running over pet poop.

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Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

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