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The rise of the robot vacuum has definitely saved many a homeowner’s precious time and effort when it comes to the daily or weekly vac-up.
Hassle-free, full of nifty features, and (relatively) autonomous, these little devices effectively suck up dust, debris, and all manner of dirt from practically every corner of your home, even when you’re not there!
However, even the most sophisticated robot vacuums are prone to accidents like drops and bumps.
One of the most common problems that robot vacuum owners face is the issue of their robovacs getting stuck under furniture.
One way to prevent robot vacuum from becoming stuck is by adding raisers to each chair leg. This will give your sofa additional height so that your robot vacuum has enough clearance to roll underneath without becoming wedged between the sofa and floor.
But there’s more to know about preventing your robot vac from getting stuck, read on to find out.
When your robovac gets stuck results in a complete stop to the cleaning tasks assigned to the robovac for the day, as once they get stuck, there is no way they can get out unless someone nearby hears the blaring alarm coming out from the machine and renders the necessary assistance.
In the event that nobody is around to help, that just renders a whole day of productivity lost – just like that.
As advanced as the technology is on some of these machines, there are still times when they just need a little human help.
We dream of a world where robots are smart enough to solve problems like these by themselves, but let’s be honest, it’s probably still a long time before that dream can become a commercial reality.
Until then, here are some things you can manually do to prep the furniture around your home in order to avoid these annoying issues from happening to your robovac.
Speaking of furniture in a recent article I wrote I talk about the possibility of some types of robot vacuums causing damage to furniture.
How to stop a robot vacuum from going under the couch
● Use Pool Noodles
If you have a few spare pool noodles lying around, here’s a little home hack that might solve your problem.
Cut them according to the length of your couch (or join them with glue if your couch is long) and slot them in the gap between the floor and the base of your couch.
If you don’t have any pool noodles, you can easily get them at the nearest Costco or outdoor store. Note that this only works for couches that have bases that don’t go too far off the ground.
● Use 3M command hooks
To be honest, this is a super nifty hack and a uniquely clever use for 3M hooks.
You basically install two 3M hooks on the top plate of your robovac (with the hook side pointing backward) on the left and right side, and there you have it – no more stuck robovacs crying out for help in the middle of your day!
Remember to try not to get too upset when your borvac becomes stuck. The benefits still outweigh the minor issues.
Robot mops are also highly effective when it comes to battling household chores.
Check out this recent article where I discuss how robots mops can replace 95% of your mopping duties!
According to the video, there are several options for this hack. Because 3M hooks have a quick release function, using the hooks pointing backward (relative to the main direction your robovac faces when it travels) may lead to the hooks popping off backward on a strong impact.
You can rectify this with a little super glue between the base plate and the hooks.
Otherwise, you can mount the hooks facing the direction your robovac moves forward in to stop any quick release from happening on the hooks.
How to stop a robot vacuum from going under the bed
● Install Bumper Extenders
These little rubber feet things can be installed on the bumper of most robovacs (most makes and models have a little protruding knob on the top plate of the unit) to really make sure that your robot vacuum doesn’t go under furniture where it can’t come out from.
Standing at 14.2mm (a little over half an inch) tall, you can rest easy knowing that your robot vacuum will be smart enough to automatically reverse out of the area under your bed once this rubber bumper extender tells it “no entry”.
Plus, these bumper extenders are multipurpose and can be used on other electronic devices as lifters as well. You get to solve a problem, save time and your money, too – that’s a good deal. You can find these on Amazon.
● Utilize Furniture Risers
Furniture risers are a great way to give your furniture a little height boost off the ground.
This is by far the most economical and easiest way to avoid issues of robovacs getting stuck under things like beds and couches.
You can pick these up from Amazon here or at any hardware store local to you.
The rubber risers let you choose how high off the ground you want your furniture to be – in 3”, 5” or 8” increments, and once installed, they support up to 1300lbs of weight, giving you complete peace of mind that you’re going to be safe and your robovac won’t ever get stuck under your bed or couch again!
One major drawback to your robot vacuum getting stuck is the battery draining.
In this recent, I discuss how to replace and maintain a robot vacuum battery(Neato Botvacs).
How to stop a robot vacuum from getting stuck under the dining table
● Lift chairs up on the dining table
If your robovac constantly gets stuck when cleaning around your dining table area or doesn’t clean as well as it should when it travels there, it might very well be because it has gotten confused.
Let’s imagine an average family home with 1 dining table and 5 chairs – at 4 legs per piece of furniture, that’s a whopping 24 legs that your robovac has to maneuver around.
And that might lead to it giving up and getting stuck in between legs, or not doing a very good job cleaning as it spends more time avoiding bumping into the chair and table legs.
The simplest way to get around this problem is to take the chairs out of the scenario altogether.
Just like how you would in a regular vac-up scenario, lift the chairs off the floor, and place them upside down on the dining table before your robovac arrives to clean.
It’s a little bit of manual labor at first, but you’ll be saving yourself the headache of a stuck robovac (and the extra time spent programming it to re-clean the remaining crumbs off the dining area floor).
Also, I highly recommend checking out this recent Essential Maintenance Guide I wrote to keep your botvac in tiptop shape.
More articles on protecting your home from robovac
If your robot vacuum is causing damage to other parts of your home, check out some of my other articles.