Roomba automated, robot vacuums have been around for a long time and they are designed with quality and longevity in mind. However, even the best device can wear down over time. One of the malfunctions often experienced with Roomba vacuums is the spinning brush.

If your roomba brush isn’t spinning, it’s probably down to dirt or debris caught up in the device. It’s a vacuum, after all, and it’s bound to get dirt and other debris caught up in the wrong area.

There are a few other things that can go wrong as well. Fortunately, there’s a solution for almost anything.

Roomba vacuums are designed to vacuum your entire room while you are gone or otherwise occupied. They feature automatic mapping, return-to-home, auto-docking, and many other cleaning features that help you cut down on all of the housework after you’ve been working all day. 

That also means that your Roomba gets to experience the nastier side of a home, cleaning up after cats, dogs, kids with muddy shoes, etc. The best way to combat a potential malfunction is preventative maintenance.

4 Ways To Fix Roomba Brush Not Spinning

The spinning brush serves as a kind of mini broom. If you’ve ever watched a crab as it detects its environment and pulls different organisms into its mouth to eat, you’ll notice that the Roomba function is definitely similar. 

The brush pulls foreign objects in to be vacuumed. It also helps to move things off of the floor that might be semi-stuck and wouldn’t normally get sucked up in the vacuum, including heavier particles. 

When it comes to the spinning brush, you’ll find that 90% of the time it all comes down to human hair, especially long hair. It gets wrapped up in the brush and slows it down, often stopping it entirely.

1. Jammed Side Brush Module

This is where preventative maintenance comes in, especially if you have kids, adults, dogs, and even cats who have long hair living in the house.

You will be shocked at how much hair, dust, and grime get caught up in the side brush. 

The Brush is mounted inside of a detachable gearbox. It’s not enough to clean the hair and grime off of the brush. You need to remove the gearbox and get down in there to properly remove everything. 

Once you remove the gearbox, you’ll notice that the base of the brush is really just a gear, that also happens to be detachable.

Remove the entire gear from inside the gear box and go over everything with a fine-tooth comb.

Remove all of the hair and meticulously go through the gearbox to remove all signs of dirt, debris, and hair. Once everything is out, replace the gear and snap the gear box cover back on before replacing the screw. 

2. Side Brush Motor Failure

If this happens early on in the life of your Roomba, it’s likely to be covered under warranty. You can check your device against the iRobot warranty page here to find out whether or not your Roomba is covered. 

If it’s not under warranty or you just don’t want to have to send the Roomba in or wait for a replacement, you can always shop for a replacement motor, like these, found on Amazon.

They’re very easy to replace as well. 

  • Flip the Roomba over on its back
  • Remove the wheel spring from the holder that contains the gearbox
  • Use a screwdriver (Phillips Head) to remove the side motor holder
  • Disconnect the side motor from the motherboard
  • Now, you can pull the side brush motor out
  • Replace it with the new one
  • Reconnect it to the motherboard
  • Replace the holder and screw it back into place
  • Reconnect the wheel spring

That’s it and the best part is, a replacement motor is relatively inexpensive. Just be sure to match your Roomba model to the brush motor before you jump the gun and purchase it. 

3. Side Brush Stops Spinning After Cleaning

If you notice that the side brush is no longer spinning directly after the Roomba has gone through its cleaning routine, it’s a sign that the brush was either very recently damaged or something is jammed up in there. 

We’ve already covered cleaning the brush mechanism—both the gear and the brush—along with removing and replacing the motor. This is just something that you want to look out for when it comes to knowing what the problem is.

If your side brush is not working, it’s likely down to the fact that it’s damaged or restricted and has little to do with the rest of the Roomba. 

4. Preventative Maintenance

The best way to take care of your Roomba and avoid any issues with the brush motor is to practice preventative maintenance. That doesn’t mean that you have to remove the entire gearbox mechanism every time your Roomba is finished cleaning. 

In fact, if you clean the outside of the brushing mechanism routinely, it will rarely get so bad that hair, dirt, debris, and other grime make their way down into the gearbox, which will cause more problems, including causing the motor to fail.

Debris and hair are 90% of the problem when it comes down to brush motor problems on your Roomba. Of course, since it is a vacuum, it’s bound to drag in plenty of hair and debris, which will eventually make its way into the brush. 

The best way to avoid anything going wrong with the motor brush—or anything else for that matter—is to come up with a weekly maintenance schedule where you run your Roomba through the gamut, cleaning out the motor brush and any other vulnerable parts underneath.

It’s also important to frequently change the container out, dump the vacuumed materials, and the water (if your Roomba also has a mopping function).


If the brush motor is having trouble on your Roomba, it almost always boils down to hair and debris getting caught up in the brush, the gear, or into the motor itself. Either way, if you leave it alone long enough, it’s bound to fail and necessitate a replacement. 

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts