Tineco iCARPET washes yucky carpets (cleaning review)
The Tineco iCARPET is a home-use carpet cleaner emphasising ease of use – it is no more complex than a stick vacuum cleaner and pretty well foolproof.
And the results – I did not know how much yucky dirt and grime was in my otherwise apparently clean carpets until I used Tineco iCARPET.
Fact: Most Australian households never wash their carpets (perhaps until it is time to sell the home or for renters to move on) – so says our local carpet expert. Sure, they vacuum them, but all that does is lift superficial surface dirt. And the reason why we are so lazy?
Well, it is not lazy at all; it is that we have never known about how dirty carpet really can be. Unlike hard floors where dirt and oils are easily visible, carpet hides that. And we wrongly think it is complex and risky.
We have never reviewed a carpet washer, so our review comes with a few Tineco iCARPET-specific observations that may not apply to other brands.
It is similar in concept to other Tineco hard floor cleaners. A clean water tank, a wastewater tank, a rotating carpet brush (hard floors use a microfibre brush) and a 130AW (about 1000Pa) suction motor to scrub carpets and pick up the dirty water. This adds a 40° heated wash and a 75° hot air blow to dry carpets. It also comes with a 2.4m accessory hose and triangle-shaped 2-in-1 nozzle for use on carpeted stairs, upholstery, and even in cars.
There is a more expensive Tineco CARPET ONE PRO that has the same wattage motor but an animated LCD screen, an App, and an iLoop sensor for smart cleaning modes. You don’t need to spend more to get an easy clean.
Australian Review: Tineco iCARPET
|Website||Tineco AU Site and Product Page and Manual|
|From||Bing Lee has it on sale at $488 making it terrific value.|
|Company||Tineco (Est. 1998) is part of Ecovacs (Deebot). In 2019, it launched in the US, then Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.|
|More||CyberShack Cleaning news and reviews|
CyberShack Tineco news and reviews
We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
First Impression – Pass
It gets a Pass, not because of any hardware/design issues but because there are no instructions, tips, or tricks for cleaning the carpet. Our test panel was initially apprehensive, and some form of carpet cleaning guide would have made that unnecessary.
It looks well-made, and everything logically fits well together. If you have used a Tineco hard floor vacuum/mop, it is intuitive – fill the clean water tank, plug into mains power (it is not cordless) and vacuum/wash carpets. Well, not entirely – there is a little trigger under the handle that you must hold down to start the water wash. While it is a pain, it is necessary as you don’t want a constant water flow, especially when idling.
It is 1110 (H) x 415 (W) x 295mm (D) x 13.5kg. Add to that 2L (2kg) water, and it is quite hefty. While the wheels are easy to use, lifting and turning can be a bit of a chore.
You should note that it is corded – it needs that for the hot air/fluid cleaner. My only issue is that the cord gets in the way, and I placed it over my shoulders.
What types of carpet can you use it on?
Too many carpet and upholstery types exist, so we can only generalise. The wisest move is to try a small out-of-sight area to test for colourfastness and suitability. That is why most people never wash carpets – they fear ruining them.
Theoretically, any woven or pull-through glued wool or acrylic cut pile carpet should be fine. In practice, you should follow manufacturers’ recommendations.
Upholstery should be rated ‘W (for ‘wet’ clean) or ‘S/W’ (for solvent/dry or wet clean).
Cannot be used on
- Silk, antique rugs, older natural fibre woven rugs, etc.
- Carpet that gives off a higher level of ‘fuzz’ when vacuumed. Some cheaper carpets pack out the weave/pile with a filler to give the impression of a higher pile for a more luxurious finish.
- Feature rugs with long strands. The carpet brush picks up and pulls at too many strands.
- Fabric marked ‘S’ (solvent/dry or dry-clean only).
Settings – Pass+
Most will use Eco mode. We did not find any carpet that needed Max, although we used it on some stubborn stains.
- Eco (default)
- Dry (hot air only)
- Accessory (when attaching the cleaning hose)
There are sensors for clean and wastewater tank capacity and roller brush tangle.
Tanks and cleaning capacity – Pass
The Clean water tank holds 2L plus two capfuls of Tineco Carpet Deodorising and Cleaning Solution. You can use water but won’t get the same results. Hint: Fill the tank first and add the solution last to avoid masses of bubbles!
It comes in a $29 1L bottle; two capfuls are about 60ml. The solution contains Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Sulfonates derived from palm or coconut oil (surfactant/detergent), Potassium CoCoate (glycerine moisturiser), c9-11 alcohols ethoxylated (alternative to ammonia), Methoxyisopropyl (solvent/grease cutter), Benzothiazolinone (Antimicrobial), Polyether modified Polysiloxane (non-ionic wetter/spreader) and perfume (smell). It is mainly organic and safe to use.
One 2L tank covers about 10m2 – less if you wash backward and forwards or repeat wash. The sensor will tell you when the clean water tank is empty, and wastewater is full.
Our experience with carpet that has not been cleaned since, well, I don’t know when, is that it takes about four separate washes to get the wastewater less filthy.
Drying – Pass+
It has a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heater using ceramic stone doped with barium titanate. This is excellent as PTC cannot overheat, is self-regulating, provides constant temperature, has low energy use, doesn’t burn oxygen, and has a long life.
The PTC provides a 40°C heated wash, which cannot harm carpets. It then provides a 75°C hot air blow dry if needed.
Using a Klein moisture meter, we found the carpets contained about 15% moisture – damp to touch but fine to walk on. If left damp, carpets reach 5% in about three hours.
Or use the heated air dry, which reduces water to about 4% (typical dry carpet). This means another going over of the same area.
How do the carpets look and smell? Pass+
Revitalised – the best word for it. Underfoot, they feel far cleaner, have a nicer texture to walk on, and the pile is refreshed. And that was after the first application.
Our review washed the carpets four times over four weeks. While the carpet appearance was the same after each wash, the amount of dirt in the wastewater tank reduced significantly.
The carpet solution has a very light fragrance – it is not chemically, and some smell citrus – I cannot.
Accessory use – Pass with potential
This takes a bit of getting used to. The 2.4m hose carries water and suction. It has a triangle-shaped head and a choice of a rubber or bristled scrubbing pad.
You need to depress the trigger on the handle to wet the surface, and the head then sucks up any water. It effectively cleaned car carpets, but there was no hot air drying.
Edge clean – Pass(able)
It has a 280mm water delivery width but a 220mm brush. That leaves 30 mm on each side that cannot be cleaned, although you can get a little closer using the front of the machine. Tineco addressed this in its Tineco Floor One S7 Pro – an upgrade to an already good vacuum mop.
Maintenance – Pass
Apart from filling and emptying the clean and wastewater tanks, a small foam filter needs rinsing. The front of the cleaner detaches, and you can clean the brush, water delivery system and vacuum mouth – you need to.
The retired engineer on our consumer panel was most vocal about the difficulty of ‘proper’ front panel cleaning. He pointed to the non-removable brush (sorry, mate but it is – see image), difficulty cleaning the water delivery system and detritus removal. While I see his point, I don’t think Joe and Jane Average will be so critical. But you must clean the front panel and brush area regularly.
CyberShack-s view – Tineco iCARPET washes carpets very well.
As one who thought Mr Dyson’s stick vac was doing an excellent job, I now know otherwise. It may vacuum the surface well but does not get into the weave or pile.
Now I have seen the Tineco iCARPET in action; I have but one question. How frequently should you wash carpets?
Back to our flooring expert, and I was floored. “Annually under typical light use. A deep clean will rejuvenate carpet and lengthen its life. If you smoke, have pets, kids, or traipse dirt around the house, then every three months is advisable”. The expert added that dirt in the pile is abrasive and shortens carpet life.
Their opinion on the Tineco iCARPET? It is not a commercial-grade cleaner that uses far more heated water and stronger chemicals. But it is excellent for what it is – a consumer-grade clean, perhaps quarterly.
Our independent consumer panel agrees, and requests are flowing to borrow it again soon.
It is unfair to Tineco to provide a formal rating as this is our first review of a consumer carpet washer. Nor is it fair to compare it to a commercial carpet washer you rent from the supermarket. We will comment on the five rating criteria.
- Features: It has everything consumers need to regularly wash carpets and suitable upholstery. The 2.4m accessory hose has potential.
- Value: At RRP $799, you may hesitate, but at $488 from Bing Lee, you should not. We looked at Godfreys ‘everything carpet cleaning’ site, and it seems better value than the Bissel CleanView or Hoover SmartWash and half the price of the Tineco CARPET ONE PRO.
- Ease of Use: Fill and go. Maintenance should be performed after use.
- Performance: Each review panel member was gobsmacked by the filthy state of the wastewater.👍🤐
- Design: Typical Tineco – well thought out and well made.
- Near professional cleaning without needing a professional
- Heated washing saves dry time or use the Dry only function as well.
- It uses less water than most.
- Easy to use. Just pour water and solution and turn it on.
- Pet and children owners especially need this.
- Heavy, although on wheels
- The power cord is a necessary nuisance.
- You will use a clean water fill per small 3x3m bedroom.
- The front water delivery system is a bit hard to clean.
- Edge cleaning is an issue.