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How to clean a Roomba’s charging contacts and cliff sensors

I thought I kept my iRobot Roomba 675 good clean, gently pull tufts of hair off the brushes and wheels and empty the tray after each cleaning. I didn’t know that dust and gunk would accumulate in places I didn’t even look.

First, consider the metal charging contacts on Roomba’s base station. When was the last time you took a close look at them ̵

1; or actually looked at them already?

Certainly not, but when I did, I saw that instead of being all silver, one of the two contacts had a rust-colored ring around it, while the other was almost completely discolored.

roomba 675 dirty charging socket Ben Patterson / IDG

This dirty Roomba charging socket used to be completely silver.

Having blown charging contacts on your Roomba base station isn’t just a cosmetic issue. At some point, those contacts will get so dirty that your Roomba will have a hard time connecting and charging, and the next time you want to clean your floors, you may find yourself with a near-dead Roomba.

Have you also noticed that your Roomba has been moving slowly or erratically lately? If Roomba’s IR-activated cliff sensors become too dusty and dirty, they block the IR beam that should reflect back, meaning the vacuum might think it is constantly approaching a wall or about to fall down stairs .

roomba 675 dirty cliff sensor Ben Patterson / IDG


I admit that until recently I never bothered to look closely at my Roomba’s cliff sensors, and when I did … Bah. One of the sensors was almost completely covered in dirt, while the other three were clearly in need of a wipe.

How to clean your Roomba’s charging contacts

Roomba manufacturer iRobot recommends that you regularly clean the charging contacts and cliff sensors of your vacuum cleaner with a damp melamine foam. If you’re wondering what melamine foam is (I know I was), think about Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser (or one of these brands).

roomba 675 clean charging socket Ben Patterson / IDG

You will need to apply a fair amount of elbow grease to clean the charging contacts on the home base of your Roomba.

I ran my Magic Eraser under the kitchen faucet, squeezed it out, then started brushing the charging contacts on my Roomba’s home base. It took a surprising amount of elbow grease to rub the dirt off, but eventually the silver started to shine through again. Also, don’t forget to clean the corresponding contacts on the bottom of Roomba yourself.

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