Robot vacuum not picking up dust? Clean your HEPA filter!

Updated on February 22, 2022

Imagine that you just had a party and there is a lot of mess and crumbs around. And that day your robot vacuum cleaner just does not work. You clean the main brush, the side brush, and also the dust compartment, but still, it does work 100%. What did you miss? Maintenance?! So this is not just an imagination, it has happened to me and I suppose it has happened to you now! My Viomi robot has been handy all the time, and I did maintain it well whenever I find the time. But the HEPA filter cleaning was an oversight and was missed to be cleaned the way it should be.

What is a HEPA filter?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air is a type of air filter consisting of an interwoven matrix of densely packed fibers that form a small pathway for air to pass through. The net of fibers helps capture particles of all sizes and theoretically, they remove at least 99.97 percent of 0.3-micron particles. It is mainly used in air purifiers and vacuum cleaners.

How to clean a HEPA filter?

You can always opt to replace the HEPA filter since that’s the general recommendation. Refer to the device manual on where the filter is located and how it can be removed. If your filter is mentioned as washable, then it can be washed with water. Don’t touch the filter material. After removing the dust with a brush run it under cold water. Keep it to dry for at least 24 hours and reinstall only when it’s completely dry. A wet HEPA filter would accumulate and allow mold to form on the filter surface.

Your filter might also contain layers of activated carbon to remove odors and pre-filter for larger particles, you can clean them using the same methods

On Viomi S9 UV robot cleaner, you need to remove and open the 2-in-1 dust compartment and pull the HEPA filter cover as shown in the below image.

Viomi s9 uv hepa filter removal

Clean HEPA filter

How often should you clean?

Usually, they are required to be cleaned every three to six months. But it’s a good recommendation to clean them when required. If the vacuum is used daily, the filter will get dirtier much earlier than 6 months and thus would require cleaning. If it’s dirty, clean it. It’s perfectly safe, and keeping your HEPA filter clean will enable the vacuum to work efficiently and pick fine dust.

Other troubleshooting ideas

  • Clean the main brush and side brush
  • Clean the main brush compartment
  • Wipe the dust collector with a damp cloth
  • Clean around the wheels
  • Wipe and clean the sensors
  • Clean the auto-dirt disposal outlet and inlet

For more detailed tips and tricks read Maintain a robot vacuum cleaner? How to and more tips!

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