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How to Clean Roomba Vacuum Side Wheels?


Is your Roomba unable to spin? Do you suspect that it is because of dirt like hair getting stuck in the side wheels? Do you know how to remove the debris and get the wheels back in good working condition?

The Roomba may have made the lives of thousands of homemakers worldwide easier, but it is not exempt from technical glitches. One of the more common technical issues faced by this robot concerns its side wheels.

We’ll teach you how to clean the side wheels of the Roomba in this article.

How to Clean Roomba Side Wheels

YouTube video


The side wheels are important to the Roomba, regardless of the model.  The wheels not only allow the unit to move around the house but also for the Roomba models to make 360- degree turns. In short, the Roomba won’t be effective in cleaning if it doesn’t have side wheels.

The good news is that cleaning the side wheels of the Roomba is not that difficult. In fact, you don’t need special tools or equipment in order to pull it off.

Moreover, the unit can warn you when to clear the side wheels of obstructions that can prevent it from operating normally.  Roomba beeps to indicate an error. You can tell an error by listening to the number of beeps that the unit makes.

For instance, one beep refers to error 1. This is the most common problem of the popular robot vacuum. It happens when the Roomba gets stuck or when a side-wheel hangs or fails to touch the ground.

clean roomba side wheel

The easiest way to fix this error is to move the Roomba to another location and then press the CLEAN button so that the unit would start again. But cleaning the side wheel can also fix this common Roomba problem.

To do so, simply turn the unit over and check the side wheels for any obstructions. Clogged pet hair is a common culprit. Using your hands, push the wheels up and down to get rid of the obstructions.

Once you have gotten rid of the obstructions, place the unit back in the middle of the room. You can check if the issue has been resolved by pressing the CLEAN button.

Below video shows you how to fix error 1. As you can see in the clip, checking for and getting rid of obstructions in the side wheels is simple and easy.

YouTube video


When the unit makes five consecutive beeps, then it tells you that there is an error on the side wheels. In particular, that part of the unit should be cleaned. It may again be due to blockage or obstructions preventing the wheels from running smoothly.

Fixing this error is straightforward, too. Turn the unit upside down and clear any debris out of the wheels. Then place the Roomba back on the floor to check if the wheels can rotate freely.

If the unit makes seven beeps, it signals that it has encountered error 7.  This happens when one of the side wheels fails to turn usually because of debris or obstruction. This is common in Roomba 600, 700, and 800 series models.

Again, cleaning the side wheel should not pose much of a challenge. To clean the affected side wheel and fix error 7, simply turn the unit upside down. Push the wheel up and down. Make sure to shake out any debris that may have been trapped in the wheel.


You can also quickly turn the wheel by hand.  The wheel should turn freely. If you can’t turn it by hand, place the unit on the floor and then manually push it forward and backward. You may also use compressed air and blow it into the wheel to remove the obstruction.

But what should you do when the unit makes a couple of two-tone sounds followed by 10 beeps?

This means that both the large wheels of the Roomba are stuck and cannot run as smoothly as intended.  It can also be due to the bumper of the unit being unable to recognize obstacles because it has gotten clogged.

The error 10 message also states that the side wheels should be spun to clean, and for the user to open the Home App for help.

You can try the previously-mentioned ways of cleaning the side wheels to fix this error. Make sure that you apply the same force on each wheel when clearing it of any stuck dirt or debris. If the obstruction is too tough to remove, you can try using compressed air or vacuum cleaner.

According to iRobot, replacing the side wheel may be the more practical solution to persistent error problems. You can contact the Customer Care of the company if you believe your unit is still under warranty. You can also visit the iRobot store for parts and accessories. [How to Empty Roomba Vacuum (Step-By-Step Guide In 2021)]


Cleaning the side wheels of the Roomba is one of the ways to keep your robot working properly.  It is a relatively easy job that should take you a few minutes to complete.

Even the best Roomba model needs to have its side wheels cleaned especially if the unit flashes errors #1, 5, 7, and 10.  If the error messages flashed by the unit persist, then it is highly recommended that the side wheel be replaced.

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