By Samuel Williams

The cleanup saga of your Roomba encounters an unexpected twist, prompting the question: why doesn’t my Roomba empty the bin? It’s a dance of bin management and automation, ensuring your cleaning companion remains efficient.

Picture this: your diligent Roomba completing a cleaning cycle, and the question arises. In just a couple of lines, the answer surfaces like an automation revelation: check if the Clean Base is properly connected, and ensure the bin release mechanism is functioning.

before you assume it’s a permanent issue, join us on this exploration. We’ll guide you through troubleshooting steps, ensuring your Roomba resumes its automated bin-emptying performance.

What Is The Bin Capacity Of The Roomba And How Does It Impact The Cleaning Process

The Roomba’s bin capacity determines how much debris it can hold before needing to be emptied. It’s important to understand this feature so you can effectively manage the cleaning process.

The bin capacity varies depending on the specific model of Roomba you have. Some models have smaller bins that need to be emptied more frequently, while others have larger bins that can hold more debris before requiring emptying.

When considering the bin capacity, it’s essential to take into account the size of your home and the amount of dirt and debris you expect your Roomba to pick up. If you have a larger living space or a home with multiple rooms, you may want to opt for a Roomba with a larger bin capacity. This will allow the Roomba to clean for a longer duration without interruption, ensuring a more efficient cleaning process.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Roomba’s bin capacity can also be affected by the type of flooring in your home. If you have carpeted floors, the Roomba may pick up more dirt and debris, which can fill up the bin more quickly. On the other hand, if you have hardwood or tile floors, the Roomba may not pick up as much dirt, resulting in a longer duration before the bin needs to be emptied.

Understanding the bin capacity and its relation to your home’s flooring type will help you make the most of your Roomba’s cleaning capabilities.

Why Doesn’t My Roomba Empty The Bin – The Limitations

Unfortunately, you might be disappointed to learn that your trusty Roomba isn’t able to automatically clear out the debris from its collection container. While many people wish for this feature, it’s important to understand the limitations of automatic bin emptying.

Complexity And Cost

The main reason why Roombas doesn’t have this functionality is due to the complexity and cost associated with implementing it. Emptying the bin requires a mechanism that can accurately detect when the container is full and safely dispose of the debris. Designing and integrating such a system into a compact robot like the Roomba would not only increase its size and weight but also significantly raise its price.

Damage Or Malfunction

Another key reason why Roombas don’t automatically empty their bins is the potential for damage or malfunction. Emptying the bin involves transferring the debris from the collection container into a separate disposal unit. This process can be challenging as it requires a reliable mechanism to handle different types of debris, such as hair, dust, and small objects. Any failure or malfunction in this mechanism could lead to clogs or damage to the Roomba, making it less effective in cleaning and potentially causing expensive repairs.

Moreover, the task of emptying the bin is not overly burdensome for users. Roombas are designed to run autonomously and can clean multiple rooms before needing to be emptied. Most models also have indicators that signal when the bin is full, making it easy to know when it’s time for manual emptying. While automatic bin emptying would be a convenient feature, the current design of Roombas ensures that they remain affordable, reliable, and efficient in their primary task of cleaning your floors.

why doesn't my roomba empty the bin infographic

Factors That Affect Bin Emptying Efficiency

To maximize the efficiency of emptying your Roomba’s bin, consider these factors.

Type And Amount Of Debris

type of debris

First, the type and amount of debris that your Roomba picks up can greatly impact the bin-emptying process. If your Roomba is regularly encountering large amounts of pet hair or long strands of hair, it may become tangled in the bin or clog the emptying mechanism. To prevent this, be sure to regularly clean and remove any hair or debris from the brushes and rollers of your Roomba.


Second, the frequency of emptying the bin can affect its efficiency. If you wait until the bin is completely full before emptying it, the Roomba may struggle to effectively empty the bin. This is because a full bin can lead to a decrease in suction power and may cause the debris to become compacted. To avoid this, it’s recommended to empty the bin after each cleaning cycle or whenever it’s approximately half full.

Condition Of The Bin

Lastly, the condition of the bin and its components can also impact the efficiency of emptying. Over time, the bin may become dirty or worn, which can affect the bin-emptying mechanism. It’s important to regularly clean the bin and check for any signs of damage. Additionally, ensuring that the bin is properly aligned and securely attached to the Roomba can help prevent any issues during the emptying process.

By considering these factors, you can help improve the efficiency of emptying your Roomba’s bin. Keeping the brushes and rollers clean, emptying the bin regularly, and maintaining the condition of the bin and its components will ensure that your Roomba continues to effectively clean your floors without any issues with bin emptying.

Tips For Maximizing Roomba’s Cleaning Efficiency

  • Make sure you regularly clean and maintain your Roomba’s brushes, rollers, and bin components to optimize its cleaning efficiency. Over time, dirt, hair, and debris can accumulate in these areas, which can impede the Roomba’s ability to effectively clean your floors. By regularly removing and cleaning these components, you can ensure that your Roomba is operating at its maximum potential.
  • In addition to cleaning the Roomba’s components, it’s also important to regularly empty the bin. A full bin can restrict the Roomba’s ability to pick up more dirt and debris, resulting in less efficient cleaning. Make it a habit to empty the bin after each cleaning session or whenever it reaches capacity. This will not only improve the Roomba’s cleaning efficiency but also prevent any potential issues that may arise from an overflowing bin.
  • Another tip for maximizing your Roomba’s cleaning efficiency is to create a clutter-free environment. Clearing away any obstacles, such as toys, cables, or loose rugs, will allow the Roomba to navigate freely and efficiently around your home. This will help ensure that the Roomba can reach all areas of your floors and provide a thorough cleaning.

By following these tips, you can help your Roomba function at its best and maintain clean floors throughout your home.

Tips For Robot Vacuums To Efficiently Keep Floors Clean

What Are The Potential Solutions For Automatic Bin Emptying

You can enhance your Roomba’s convenience and cleaning efficiency by exploring potential solutions for automatically emptying its bin.

Self-Emptying Roomba 

One option is to invest in a Roomba model that comes with a self-emptying bin feature. These models are designed with a docking station where the Roomba can automatically empty its bin after each cleaning session. This eliminates the need for you to manually empty the bin, saving you time and effort.

Convenient Location For Docking Station

Simply ensure that the docking station is placed in a convenient location and that it has enough space to accommodate the dirt and debris collected by the Roomba.

Automatic Dirt Disposal

Another potential solution is to purchase a separate accessory called an automatic dirt disposal. This device can be attached to your existing Roomba and provides similar functionality to a self-emptying bin. The automatic dirt disposal collects the dirt and debris from your Roomba bin and stores it in a larger container, eliminating the need for you to manually empty the bin. This accessory can be a more cost-effective option compared to buying a new Roomba model with a self-emptying bin feature.

Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal For iRobot® Roomba® i Series

Custom Docking Station

If you’re not ready to invest in a new Roomba or an accessory, you can still explore DIY solutions for automatic bin emptying. One option is to create a custom docking station for your Roomba that is connected to a larger container or trash bag. This way, when the Roomba returns to its docking station, it can empty its bin into the larger container or trash bag. You can use various methods such as gravity or a mechanical system to facilitate the transfer of dirt and debris from the Roomba’s bin to the larger container. However, keep in mind that DIY solutions may require some technical skills and experimentation to ensure they work effectively and safely.

By exploring these potential solutions for automatic bin emptying, you can make your Roomba even more convenient and efficient in maintaining a clean home. Whether you choose to invest in a Roomba model with a self-emptying bin, purchase an automatic dirt disposal accessory, or create a DIY solution, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a Roomba that takes care of not only the cleaning but also the bin emptying for you.

Pros And Cons Of Custom Docking Station For Roomba


  • Avoids additional expenses
  • Tailored to your preferences
  • Roomba’s bin empties automatically


  • Requires technical expertise
  • Involves trial and error
  • Potential safety risks

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Roomba’s Bin Emptying Function

Now that you’ve explored alternative options for bin emptying, let’s dive into troubleshooting common issues with Roomba’s bin emptying function. Sometimes, your Roomba may not be emptying the bin as expected, leaving you with a frustrating mess to clean up. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can check to resolve this problem.

  • First, make sure that the bin is properly aligned and inserted into the Roomba. If the bin is not securely in place, the Roomba may not be able to empty it properly. 
  • Check for any obstructions or debris that may be preventing the bin from fitting correctly. Additionally, check the bin release button to ensure that it is functioning properly. If the release button is stuck or not working, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • If the bin is properly inserted and the release button is functioning correctly, the issue may lie with the bin’s full sensor. This sensor is responsible for detecting when the bin is full and triggering the emptying process. If the sensor is dirty or blocked, it may not be able to accurately detect the bin’s fullness. Try cleaning the sensor with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or debris.
  • If the issue persists, you may need to contact Roomba customer support for further assistance.

Remember, troubleshooting the bin emptying function can be a bit tricky, but by checking the alignment, release button, and bin full sensor, you can often resolve the issue.

Common IssuePossible Solution
The bin is not securely insertedCheck for obstructions or debris preventing proper insertion
The release button not functioningRepair or replace the release button if stuck or not working
Dirty or blocked bin full sensorClean the sensor with a soft cloth or brush
Other issuesContact Roomba customer support for further assistance
Table: Troubleshooting Common Roomba Issues

How Do I Clean The Bin Sensor On Roomba

To clean the bin sensor on a Roomba, you should first remove the bin from the robot. Then, locate the two black rectangular sensors on either side of the robot where the dust bin was. Wipe the inner wall of these sensors with a clean, dry microfiber or soft cotton cloth to ensure they are free from any debris or dust. It is recommended to perform this cleaning routine on a weekly basis to maintain the optimal performance of the Roomba’s sensors. 

In addition to wiping the bin sensor, it is also important to clean the other sensors on the Roomba, such as the sensors on the underside and the bumper. Regularly wiping these sensors with a clean, dry cloth, as demonstrated in the video for the Roomba 800 series, helps ensure that the robot’s sensors remain free from debris and can function optimally.

 By incorporating this simple maintenance step into your cleaning routine, you can help prolong the life of your Roomba and maintain its effectiveness in navigating and cleaning your home. 


So here is a complete guide to answering your question: why doesn’t my Roomba empty the bin? The Roomba’s automatic bin emptying has limitations due to bin capacity and cleaning factors. Flooring type, home size, and cleaning frequency affect its efficiency. To optimize cleaning, empty the bin regularly and schedule cleaning times strategically. If unsatisfied, consider upgrading to a newer model or using accessories for a larger capacity. Explore other solutions like separate emptying devices or traditional vacuums with larger bins. Understand these limitations for informed decisions. While Roomba is efficient, manual bin emptying might still be necessary.


How often should I empty the Roomba’s bin?

You should empty the Roomba’s bin regularly to ensure optimal performance. Neglecting to do so may result in a full bin, which can prevent the Roomba from properly cleaning your floors.

Can I use my own garbage bags for the Roomba’s bin or do I need to buy specific ones?

You can use your own garbage bags for the Roomba’s bin; you don’t need to buy specific ones. Just make sure the bags fit properly and are secure to prevent any mess or damage.

Is it normal for the Roomba to leave some debris behind even after emptying the bin?

It is normal for the Roomba to leave some debris behind even after emptying the bin. It may not be able to pick up certain types of debris or larger particles.

Can I manually empty the bin if the automatic bin-emptying function is not working?

Yes, you can manually empty the bin if the automatic function isn’t working. Simply open the bin, remove the debris, and close it again. This allows you to keep your Roomba running smoothly.

Will the Roomba’s performance be affected if the bin is not emptied regularly?

Not regularly emptying the bin of your Roomba can negatively impact its performance. Overfilled bins can lead to reduced suction power and can cause the vacuum to work less effectively.

Roomba i7 not emptying bin when full?

If your Roomba i7 is not emptying the bin when full, try the following steps:

  1. Check if the Clean Base™ is plugged in and turned on.
  2. Make sure the bin is properly seated on the Clean Base™.
  3. Clean the bin and filter, as a dirty filter can prevent the bin from emptying.
  4. If the issue persists, contact iRobot customer support for further assistance.

Where is the empty bin button on the iRobot app?

If your Roomba i7 is not emptying the bin when full, try the following steps:

  1. Check if the Clean Base™ is plugged in and turned on.
  2. Make sure the bin is properly seated on the Clean Base™.
  3. Clean the bin and filter, as a dirty filter can prevent the bin from emptying.
  4. If the issue persists, contact iRobot customer support for further assistance.

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