Robot vacuums are the epitome of modern technology making your life more convenient. Since the technology is still relatively new, though, robot vacuums like the Neato will sometimes encounter some frustrating problems. If your Neato isn’t cleaning your whole house before it turns itself off or returns to base, it can be incredibly frustrating—and eliminate the hands-free, time-saving benefits.
When everything is working correctly, pressing the “Clean House” button on your Neato vacuum should set it to cleaning all the floor space on an entire level of your home. When it’s not, it can be hard to even figure out exactly what the issue is, let alone how to fix it.
The good news is, there are things you can do to fix a stubborn Neato and make sure it gives you the room-to-room clean it promises. Read on below to find the solution to this frustrating problem.
Tip 1: Make sure its path is clear
A lot of times when you have a Neato not cleaning a whole room it’s not the vacuum’s fault. Rather, there’s something in the space itself that’s preventing the vacuum from cleaning properly. Before you turn to technical fixes, walk through your home and make sure the path is clear—and will stay clear the entire time the Neato is cleaning.
Start by propping all doors open so they won’t accidentally swing closed and trap the Neato. Look at obstacles from a Neato’s perspective. Clear away any clutter on the floor that the Neato might see as a boundary. One simple way to diagnose problem areas is to start the Clean House program while you’re there to supervise. That way you can actually see where the vacuum is getting hung up—and if it’s not, you know that’s not the problem.
Don’t forget about the human (or animal) factor. Make sure everyone in the house knows to keep the doors open and floors clear on Neato cleaning days. If you have pets that tend to take an interest in the Neato when it’s running, you may need to use some creative methods to keep them on another level of the home or in an isolated area while the vacuum runs.
Tip 2: Re-start the Neato
This might seem like one of those obvious troubleshooting tips, but especially if your Neato was working fine when you first brought it home and has only recently started having trouble cleaning your entire home. Go into the “Menu” area then select “Support” followed by “ShutDown.” Let it sit for a few minutes just to make sure it’s turned off completely before you turn it back on.
Not only will this normally clear out whatever stray programming is causing the Neato not to finish its job, it will also let you know if there’s a bigger problem at play. If you get the error message that the Neato can’t shut down while it’s connected to power (and the vacuum isn’t on its charging base) then there’s a deeper issue with the vacuum and you’ll need to contact support.
Tip 3: Make sure the Neato’s updated with the latest software
Just like any electronic device, the software within your Neato vacuum is key in making it function properly. The sporadic updates sent by the company are designed to fix bugs as well as to streamline and improve performance. If your vacuum missed one, though, they can have the opposite effect, leading to glitches and poor performance.
If you’ve just brought your Neato home, check for updates as soon as you get it out of the box, just in case something came through while it was at the warehouse. After that, the Neato should automatically receive any updates sent out, so long as it is connected to Wi-Fi. They can end up being missed, however, especially if you have issues with devices in your home sporadically losing internet connection. If the Neato starts acting erratically out of the blue, double-check that it’s current on updates.
Tip 4: Move the charging station
A Neato can only run for so long without needing to recharge. If you have a space too large to clean in a single charge, the Neato will go until its battery runs low then return to its charging station, fill up its tank, and continue the job.
The less time the Neato has to spend in transit between one area and another, the more time it will spend cleaning and the better it will be able to clean your entire home. This also limits the chance of it getting stuck or distracted in transit. Put your charging station in a central location, giving the vacuum equal access to every room.
Understanding how the Neato navigates can help determine your placement, too. All robot vacuums use a pattern-based navigation system. In the Neato’s case, it will go around the entire area then clean the inside of the space going back and forth in straight lines. In especially large rooms, it will split the space into 15’X15’ segments and follow the same pattern within each. If there are certain areas of a room that the Neato consistently misses, starting the Neato in a different place could make them more accessible.
Hands-free, whole-home cleaning
The sci-fi future of a self-cleaning home is well on its way to becoming a reality thanks to robot vacuums like the Neato. Keep in mind, though, that the technology is still relatively new, and certainly hasn’t been perfected just yet. When your Neato acts up and won’t clean your whole home, follow the tips above. You should have it back in working order in no time.