Yes, you read the article title correctly. How to clean a Roomba that ran over poop. You’d be surprised how many people have asked that question. I’m also going to keep this post light on photos to keep you from seeing disturbing images.
It’s 1:30am and the Roomba wakes up to starts its scheduled cleaning as the Roomba’s owner, Jesse Newton, is fast asleep.
At 3:00am the same night, Newton’s 4-year-old son crawls into bed. Quickly, Newton is overtaken by an aggressive, familiar stench. In the middle of the darkened room, the unbearable smell becomes stronger. It was dog poop. Enter the Newton household’s resident puppy, Evie.
Evie needed to relieve herself and laid a few little nuggets on the floor. It happens, but what’s weird is the smell was coming from all over, 360 degrees. How is that possible?
The Newtons’ Roomba found the dirty nuggets and saw that the floor needed to be cleaned. So the Roomba did what it’s supposed to do, run over the poop and try to suck it up. Unfortunately, it also spread the poop all over the house, including all over itself.
When your Roomba runs over poop, you’re going to need to give it and your home a deep clean. We’ll cover how to disassemble and clean your Roomba in this article. You might want to get outside or in a place with good ventilation as it can get a little smelly.
Beyond the Feces: How to Clean a Roomba
Wheels, brushes, and other parts that need to be cleaned under normal circumstances will require it as well in this kind of situation. So, let’s review the proper process to go about bringing your Roomba back from a poopastrophic scenario.
The process involved may vary based on your Roomba model, be sure to seek specific instructions for your model. The following steps should serve to provide you with a general guideline:
- Start by disassembling your Roomba unit.
- Press the release button to remove the device’s dustbin.
- Press the bin’s trashcan icon, and empty all debris (poop and what else) into a garbage container (avoid throwing it into the WC).
- Remove the filter by pulling it out / pulling from the yellow ribbon (depending on models).
- Turn the dustbin over and remove the screws of the dust bin cover, top plate and blower assembly.
Please note that you should NEVER detach any wires as part of this cleanup process; under NO circumstance, ever.
Having disassembled your Roomba unit, you can proceed to cleaning this first set of individual parts. Ideally, apply a disinfectant cleaning solution in spray form to the paper towels or soft cleaning fabric that you’ll use for the task.
As before, the particulars of the situation will depend on the model that you have, but it will basically involve the following steps:
- Clean each part of the blower assembly, top and middle plates of the dustbin, and the vent grill.
- Pay attention to eliminating all residue from between the teeth on the front of the plate, as well as from in-between the strips of the grill.
- Allow the parts to ventilate and dry completely, then reassemble this section of the unit.
- Continue with the rest of the unit as per the usual maintenance procedure.
- Use the paper towels or cleaning cloth to start wiping the poop out. Dry poop victims may skip this step.
- Clean each disassembled section of your robot with the towels. Depending on your model of Roomba, some parts may be totally washable via warm water.
- Leave all parts to dry completely before reassembling. Once done, put the unit together.
Here’s a good video of a Roomba 660 deep clean. A word of warning, it can be a little nauseating if you get queasy easily. But the advantage is you can’t smell it through your computer or phone!
Clean the Carpet and Floors
With hard floors, you can spray and wipe with paper towels, but carpets and rugs are a different story.
Yes, you may feel like you want to throw them out, but let’s see if Oprah can help with cleaning tips. Spoiler alert, there’s a good amount of club soda and dotting.
Having your Roomba to pass over animal poop can have dire consequences, as most certainly happened in Jesse’s case. The end result of such an unfortunate event would lead to the exact opposite of what your robot vacuum has been intended for.
But other than the hassle of having to manually swipe the floors (and walls… and maybe windows and furniture), and even as bad as it may look for the overall state of your Roomba, this incident does not necessarily imply the need to throw the unit away.
The latter, however, may be very well be the option to go with for many, and it could very well be yours also, should you be met by a “poopastrophe” of apocalyptic proportions.
The final decision will be yours, of course, and you will probably want to consider the pros and cons of replacing your Roomba or fighting for its survival. While some of the rather outdated models may be deemed unworthy of going through such pains, having a more advanced, more expensive on, may justify it.
All in all, the real “ideal” scenario would be to avoid these incidents entirely. Keeping your Roomba robot in top shape by means of regular manual maintenance is something that is required of you -poop or no poop. But preventing “poop war zone” extinction-level events IS indeed within your grasp.
Making sure your pets are not left unchecked anywhere near a Roomba that is set to start on its own, would be, for starters, a good precaution. Take iRobot’s word for it, they know their poop. Uh, we mean, their craft. Roombas are actually quite awesome, they just may require you to be mindful of your puppies.
Also remember not to schedule any cleanings if your pet is at home and might use the floor as a bathroom. Urine pee is not great to be spread around either. You never know what might scare your pet and something ends up coming out. Loud sounds could easily do it.
The Roomba Poopocalypse Aftermath
In case you wanted to know what else happened with the Newtons and their Poopocalypse.
Also referred to as “the Poopastrophe”, Newtons’ ordeal would become viral, being thoroughly documented in social media. But it’s by no means an isolated incident.
The matter became such a widespread topic of online discussion that, not only did it sprung a trend of further testimonies of Poopocalypse survivors, but also gained manufacturer iRobot’s own attention and response, observing that, as admissible, “Yes, IT happens”; also giving out some seemingly obvious yet fairly wise advice: do not schedule your vacuuming if you have pets around.
Check out this other home cam video of another Roomba, starting with the dog dropping gifts for the Roomba and their owner: