How to fix when roomba side brush is not spinning

The side brush is standard on every Roomba. It’s essential for gathering dust and debris into the robot’s suction channel. But what happens when you find the Roomba brush not spinning? Well, without a functional side brush, your Roomba won’t be able to clean the dust from your floors.  

Most of the time, the Roomba brush might stop spinning due to accumulated hair and dirt underneath it. Users need to remove the dust buildup by unscrewing the side brush and cleaning it from under. The side brush module should be fixed or replaced if it continues to fail beyond this point.

Roomba Brush Not Spinning?

The major reason behind the Roomba brush not spinning is hair or dirt accumulation. Therefore, frequent robot vacuum maintenance is a necessity. Regularly inspect the wheels and brushes for any accumulated debris. When using a cleaning tool, it is recommended that you clean the brush and the head module once a week. 

This guide will show you how to fix a Roomba brush that stops spinning and how to keep your Roomba maintained to avoid such issues in the future. 

Why is my Roomba Brush Not Spinning?

Several factors could be behind the Roomba side brush not spinning properly. Hair and dust accumulation under the side brush — especially if it isn’t cleaned frequently, is the most obvious reason in our experience with Roombas. This WILL happen to you at some point during your ownership of a Roomba, it only took a month or two for us before it became clogged with pet hair. Below, we list all possible reasons behind the Roomba brush not spinning.

Stuck Side Brush Module

When the Roomba side brush doesn’t spin, it’s probably because the side brush module is stuck. Hair and other impurities will cause it to become clogged. If you don’t clean your Roomba brushes regularly, debris and grime will build up below them. 

Roomba Side Brush Stuck
Roomba’s Side Brush clogged with hair, dirt, and other debris causing it to not spin

In addition, the side brush gearbox collects impurities. There are spinning gears in the gearbox, which distribute power from the motor to the side brush. With this force, the side brushes begin to rotate. Hair, grime, and other debris can clog the gearbox, causing it to malfunction. Consequently, the side brush does not operate. 

Under-lubricated Side Brush Motor

Roomba side brushes may stop rotating because of a motor that isn’t adequately maintained, i.e., poorly lubricated. A faulty side brush motor will put a stop to the rotation. However, if you approach the manufacturer, they will repair this damaged motor if it is under warranty.

Broken Brush Parts

Another probable cause of your Roomba’s brush not spinning freely is a faulty component. Run a cleaning session and check if the side brush is rotating correctly. The module may have failed, and the motor may not be receiving power. 

The side brush may have a problem with the yellow component if the motor operates, but the side brush does not spin. The yellow part is unable to spin freely because of the cracks. Replacement is preferable if you see cracks or the yellow section has worn out.

Roomba Mapping Home

If you have got a new Roomba or reset your existing Roomba, then there is a strong chance that your Roomba is now doing a test run to map your home. It is referred to as the ‘Mapping Run,’ which occurs while your Roomba tries to figure out where it will clean next. During such a run, your Roomba is not cleaning the house but just mapping it, which does not require using the brushes. 

Battery Issues

If you haven’t charged your Roomba in a while, then there’s a strong chance that the battery has depleted and does not have enough charge to spin the brushes. Plug your Roomba into its charger and check when its battery is full. 

Rombot Charging Station
iRobot Roomba i8+ Charging Station

Damaged Motor

The side brush motor runs continuously on your Roomba whenever it cleans your floor. The downside is that it is subject to a lot of wear and tear during its lifetime. When the motor overheats over an extended period, it will burn out and won’t be able to turn the side brushes. 

Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning Fixes

You can try many fixes when your Roomba brush stops spinning. We list all of these below.

Clean The Side Brush

The side brush is where most of the dirt gathers. Brushes can’t move freely if they’re jammed with debris. Using a tiny screwdriver, remove the Roomba’s side brush. You will need to clean the brush after you remove it properly. The brush can be cleaned using a soft cloth or a sharp tool. 

Restore the side brush to its original location after you’ve cleaned it. At this point, you should see if the brush is free to spin. If it is still stuck, move on to the next fix. 

How to clean Roomba side brush

  1. Remove the back cover and then unscrew the side brush module
  2. Check if there’s any accumulated dirt and clean it thoroughly using a cloth or a sharp tool
  3. After cleaning, screw it back and check if it is cleaning properly

This video will help you understand how to clean the side brush on your Roomba:

Clean The Gearbox

Remove the vacuum cleaner’s rear cover to expose the gearbox. Next, you’ll need to remove the brush from the side. Once you’ve done that, remove the screws keeping the rear cover in place and lift the cover. Upon dismantling the side cover, you will find the side brush module held in place by two screws. Unscrew the screws and pull the module out of the case. 

Using a screwdriver, remove the gearbox cover and inspect the insides, removing and thoroughly inspecting each gear. You should immediately clean the gearbox if you see dirt and debris.

Roomba Gearbox
Roomba’s Gearbox

Lubricating your gears is a good idea once you remove all the dirt and debris. The gears will move more freely if they are lubricated.

How to clean Roomba gearbox

  1. Unscrew the back cover and side brush module
  2. Take out the gearbox and side brush module
  3. Clear out all the accumulated dirt and debris
  4. Screw the parts back and check if everything is working properly

This video will help you understand the process of cleaning the gearbox on your Roomba:

Lubricate Side Brush Motor

If you want your Roomba to work smoothly, you must lubricate its side brush motor. Inspect the motor and give it good lubrication where necessary. Brush action can be improved with just a little grease to run it smoothly.

Afterward, clean and lubricate the shaft and gearbox of the motor, then reassemble and reinstall them.

Inspect Wires and Connections

Check all cables and connectors on your Roomba if the side brush still does not spin after you’ve tried the above methods for fixing it. Corrosion or damage to the connectors is a possible cause of a malfunction. Replacement of the side brush module is necessary if worn out or damaged.

Changing or replacing the side brush module is not expensive. A new side brush module will help your Roomba to perform flawlessly in the future. 

Loosen Brush Screws

For some reason, some people screw the brush in too firmly while reinstalling their Roomba. It might cause the brush to spin ineffectively. Over-tightening the screws can cause damage because the brush and the wheels are sensitive to this.

How to loosen Roomba side brush screws

  1. Start unscrewing the screws of the side wheel completely.
  2. After taking it out, start screwing back but not in one go. Check the brush’s moving speed in intervals and after every screw rotation. 
  3. Ideally, your brush should be able to spin up to 3 seconds after a little push by hand. Once it is at that stage, you have screwed it right. 

Perform A Reset 

Roomba’s software may be at fault if all of the fixes have failed and the Roomba’s side brush is still not spinning. No worries, we have the greatest solution for software problems, and it’s called a factory reset! Remember, this will wipe all your settings from the device, and you will have to set it up again from scratch. 

Now might be a good time to check out our list of the most hilarious Roomba names if you’re going to have to (unfortunately) give it a name again anyway!

The easiest method is to reset the Roomba via the iRobot app — all you have to do is navigate to Settings > Remove/Factory Reset [Your robot]. But if you want to do a factory reset from the device itself, the steps are listed below.

How to hard reset newer Roombas (S-series and I-series) 

  1. Press and hold the Home + Spot + Clean buttons on your Roomba 
  2. Release as soon as you see a swirl on the LED indicator of Roomba. This means that the reset has initiated
  3. Wait for your Roomba to restart, and then check the brushes again

How to hard reset older Roombas (700 series, 800 series, 900 series)

  1. Press and hold the Home + Spot + Clean buttons on your Roomba 
  2. Wait for your Roomba to play a tone, and as soon as you hear it, release the button immediately.
  3. Your Roomba will now restart after completing the reset. Check the brushes after it restarts

If even the reset cannot fix your Roomba, it is time to contact Roomba’s technical support and get it fixed. 

Follow this video to reset your Roomba: 

How to Test the Roomba Side Brush Motor

Is your Roomba side brush still not spinning even after you have tried every method, including charging it fully, cleaning the side brush, lubricating the gearbox, and more? This means that the problem could be with the motor, and you need to test it. 

You can test the motor on your Roomba by using a 9V battery. Just wire the battery terminals to your Roomba motor’s “+” and “-” terminals. If the brush starts spinning, the problem is with the motherboard, and if it does not spin, it means that the problem lies with the brush’s connection with the motor. 

Contact Roomba’s customer support and get the motor replaced for free if your Roomba is still under warranty. If it is out of warranty, check the replacement cost and make your move. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some related queries about the Roomba brush not spinning. 

Why is the Roomba side brush clicking?

The side brush on your Roomba makes a clicking sound when it has difficulty moving the components inside. Users must lubricate it properly to ensure that it functions without making any clicking sounds. 

Does Roomba work without a side brush?

Yes, Roomba can work without a side brush, but the cleaning quality won’t be as good. 

How long does a Roomba brush last?

The brushes on your Roomba need to be cleaned regularly and replaced after visible wear and tear. Users must consider replacing the two primary brushes every six to twelve months, according to iRobot.

What does the Roomba side brush do? 

Roomba’s side brush cleans around the edges of the robot to remove dirt, dust, and debris. It is essential for all-round cleaning of your house by Roomba. 

Why is Roomba’s side brush squeaking?

The spinning brush on Roomba creates a squeaking sound due to the friction between plastic and metal pieces. Users must lubricate the moving parts of the brush to stop this sound.


​​We hope this guide helps you with steps to take when you find your Roomba brush not spinning. Remember, the most common cause behind this issue is the accumulation of dirt, pet hair or carpet debris. Regular cleaning of your Roomba and proper lubrication of the brush components can help fix this problem. And if nothing works and your Roomba brush does not spin, get in touch with customer service at iRobot to get it repaired or replaced. 

Looking to buy a new robot vacuum cleaner? Check out our comparison between Roomba and Eufy.

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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