Twine wrapped around the bottom leg tubing of a laundry rack; raising it high enough off the floor to trigger a robot vacuum’s collision sensor. 🅭

How to stop a robot vacuum from getting stuck on the laundry rack

My robotic vacuum loves to ram itself onto and get stuck on my laundry drying rack. It has been doing it for years, and I’ve not had a good solution to the problem. Until now.

I’ve kept the Roomba out by putting boxes and other obstacles underneath the laundry rack. The robot is surprisingly strong and often manages to push them out of the way.

I’ve also attempted disastrous solutions involving lots of duck tape wrapped along the length of the bottom tubing. I essentially tried to form an admittedly soft physical barrier with the tape. It looked hideous and didn’t even work all that well.

Last week, I stumbled upon a much better solution. While looking for something completely unrelated, I found the 3D-printing recipe for a freely licensed laundry rack raiser. It’s just a set of feet you can camp on to the bottom tubing on a laundry rack.

It’s an ingenious solution. The laundry rack just needs to be lifted up from the floor enough for the bottom tubing to form a barrier tall enough to trigger the robot’s collision sensor.

I don’t own a 3D printer and the first available slot at the community 3D printer was in eight weeks. However, I didn’t need this precise plastic gadget to solve my problem.

I explored different other options for feet and adhesives. The best and simplest solution that got the job done turned out to be twine. I just spun a twine ball around the existing tiny plastic feet to pad the height about 20 mm. This raises it enough to trigger the collision sensor.

Success! The solution is completely obvious in hindsight but yet it managed to avoid me for the 13 years I’ve owned a robotic vacuum cleaner.