How to care for a Robot Vacuum Cleaner: 9 rules that few people follow
“The battery quickly broke down,” “can’t detect the floor,” “it pours the garbage back to the floor” – these complaints about the robot’s performance are often heard from the users. But they simply forget that robot vacuum cleaners do not have an “automatic self-care” program. In this article, we’ll tell you how to take care of robots so that they work longer.
Products from Amazon.com
At first charge the battery Fully in accordance with the instructions
The battery of the robot vacuum cleaner needs to charge correctly at its first time. It also requires proper storage if the vacuum cleaner is not used for a long time. For different types of batteries (nickel-metal hydride, lithium-ion), these rules are different. The duration of the first charge is also individual: it is calculated from the capacity of the battery and also depends on its type.
The correct parameters for your model are prescribed in the instructions. However, the general rule for each is that – the first charge should be complete. In case you want to test the robot more quickly and it seems to you that “half an hour has passed; the battery is half-charged; it should be enough for this?” you’re literally taking wrong decision. Here is what the famous manufacturer of robotic vacuum cleaners iRobot recommends: “For the first time before using, you need to connect the robot cleaner to the charger or install it on the charging base and charge it for at least 16 hours. If the charge indicator turns green after 3-4 hours of charging, this will indicate that the battery is fully charged. However, it is necessary not to interrupt the charging process and to maintain the first charging cycle exactly 16 hours.”
Full discharge of the battery
NiMH-batteries have a so-called memory effect. For example- it “gets accustomed” to the process of work capacity that it obtained during the last charging cycles. So, it’s not safe to conduct short cleaning program by disconnecting the battery before it’s fully discharged. What happens to the battery? It gets used to this half “give away” and loses the capacity.
If this happens, then you just need to fully charge and discharge the battery several times, gradually it will “recall” its capacity – so you can even get a very tempered battery. In other models, such a “course” is provided, and the robot periodically picks up a cycle of prolonged charging, usually by giving special signals – flashing of indicators, for example. In order to identify these actions and not to interfere with the robot, we also need to look into the instruction.
Lithium-ion batteries are less affected by the “memory effect”, and still require full first charge and following the other rules prescribed in the manual.
Proper storage of the battery for a vacation or long break
Any batteries – both lithium-ion and nickel-metal-hydride batteries – must be removed from the robotic vacuum cleaner. Before storing separately in a dry and cool place, don’t forget to charge it up to at least 40%. Concerning the advice to keep the battery in the refrigerator there are different opinions. On the one hand, low temperature in the refrigerator is ideal conditions; on the other hand, in many modern refrigerators, high humidity is maintained, so caution is needed.
Care for the “eyes” and “ears” of the robot vacuum cleaner
The robot is guided in the room with the help of sensors and cameras – which we call its “eyes”. So, don’t let them cover with dust or stained. To connect the robot with the floor, sensors are also used. Therefore, wipe the robot’s body and the base a soft cloth, a microfiber cloth or a special napkin to keep them clean.
Care of brushes
Dirty brushes with coiled hair and animal hair not only impair the quality of cleaning, but also make the vacuum cleaner work at maximum power unnecessarily. Because it has to spend more energy on rotating the brushes “through force” then.
Recently, many models have appeared without a central brush-roller. Such robots simply suck garbage and dust through the hole and accumulate them on its “abdomen,”. For sweeping and pushing debris, the side brushes, aka “helicopters” are very helpful. Perhaps, for those who don’t want to be fooled by a turbo brush, this is the best option.
Timely cleaning the dust bag and replacing the filters
The volume of dust collectors of robotic vacuum cleaners is 600 ml on the average, and after almost every cleaning, it needs to be freed from debris, even if it did not fill completely. The container can take the load of only two cleaning. Constant ignorance to this fact will lead to a deterioration in the quality of cleaning. It may result in a faster discharge of the battery. With the passage of time, the structure starts losing its rigidity. consequently, the vacuum cleaner pours some of the garbage onto the floor.
Motor and exhaust filters need cleaning and replacement. However, the timing may vary depending on the model and intensity of operation. As a general rule, these small requires to clean within every 3-6 months on average.
Preliminary cleaning of things and wires from the floor
If this feature is not required for the time being, then isolate the messy area with a tape-limiter or a virtual wall. Constant entanglement in the wires may stop its functionality, and if, anyhow, it swallows socks, there’s a sure chance that the motor will cease working.
The correct choice of location for the charging base
Choose a place that’s far from heated batteries and equipment. When it is on the base, make sure that the sun does not fall on the robot.
Let it work!
The more often you use a robotic vacuum cleaner, the better a life it’ll lead. Even a break in work for a week negatively affects the battery condition.