REVIEW – I remember a time when having the carpets cleaned was an event. We were told to stay out of the house for the entirety of a Saturday and not to come back until it was dark. 12-year-old me was already on my bike by first light. Coming home was surreal; any moveable furniture was stacked up almost to the ceiling and the scent of clean lay heavy and oppressive in the air. Fast forward to 2022 and carpet cleaning has become a weekly chore (gee thanks, automation!). This particular chore is infinitely easier with a quality carpet cleaner, and that’s why we’re here today. The Tineco Carpet ONE Complete smart carpet cleaner has made it even easier: it shows you when a spot needs some extra attention and in COLOR. Now, come with me on our journey to cleaner carpets; you, me, and our new friend Tineco, who goes by Tiny in our house.
What is it?
I understand that in 2022, every design magazine has these glistening hardwood and new-fangled laminate floors that boast no maintenance and easy clean-up. But what about those of us that still have that bedroom carpet? Or those HUGE area rugs that cost a limb AND a firstborn youth to have professionally cleaned? Which if you ask me is even more of a “nope” when it’s cleaning the smallest spill of salsa (that you actually know to be red wine) that absolutely does not warrant schlepping that carpet to the cleaners. But will an at-home carpet cleaner really do as good of a job? Tineco’s newest addition to its cleaning arsenal, the Tineco Carpet One Smart Carpet cleaner, is up at bat and I’m ready to run those bases.
What’s in the box?
- Tineco CARPET ONE smart carpet cleaner machine
- Two bottles of Tineco brand carpet cleaner
- Accessory hose with brush
- Cleaning brush
- Spare filter
- Replacement brush head
- Dirty water tank
- Instruction manual
Design and features
The Tineco Carpet ONE Complete Smart Carpet Cleaner is a very solid entry to the medium-sized, 1300-watt motor size category. Despite the engine size, the noise level isn’t oppressive; you’ll be able to hear the unfortunate soul that tries to tell you that you missed a spot. But wait, Tineco thought of that too; the iLoop smart sensor gives a clear, colorful indication of the level of cleanliness, moving from red to blue as it detects how clean the carpet is.
The Tineco Carpet ONE Complete Smart Carpet Cleaner is an upright carpet cleaner, so the operation will be mostly the same as the vacuum. It has four different modes of operation, one of which is used when the accessory hose brush is in use. The other three offer a range of options: auto mode, where the machine will actually sense the soil level and adjust the clean water spray accordingly. Auto high mode will maintain maximum spray from the clean water and dry mode will activate the 167-degree heater to get your carpet dry in just FIVE passes, possibly fewer, depending on the thickness of the material. That’s all you get folks; you can’t change the amount of spray manually, you really have to put a lot of trust in Tineco’s sensors.
Speaking of sensors, let’s talk iLoop smart sensor. Its purpose is to show when the area is fully clean. During testing, it felt a little random as to when it would activate and show a little red; it would be red for a split second, but go right back to blue almost immediately and any attempt to find the spot again would be fruitless. I attempted to trick the machine by spritzing water in random areas to see if it would glow red just due to the moisture. Nada. No red. I even intentionally poured my Pepsi on the carpet and on the first pass over the Tineco just sucked it up with no indication anything was even there. Now there were some spots I would have figured would be red, like the dog’s favorite napping spot or the rug at our front entrance. But I found the sensor going off in places I wouldn’t have guessed or places that get little to no traffic like our guest room, or the storage closet. I guess the machine is “doing the work” for me, I just wish I knew what was happening.
According to my partner (who assures me he knows what he’s talking about), the noise level is fantastic. It is measured at 84dB (A), which he told me means it is not considered a hazardous noise (he’s been in the business of administering hearing tests in a past life so I trust him…mostly). During use, we were able to verbally communicate without straining our voices.
Something that took a lot of getting used to is just figuring out what the display was actually trying to tell you. Without picking up the manual and taking a look, you have the iLoop, you have some sort of number line, then numbers that I’m sure indicate something.. and WiFi? Why does my carpet cleaner need WiFi?
Enter: ACTUALLY reading the manual.
iLoop: Red= Bad Blue = Good.
Number Line: This is a DRYING METER. GAME CHANGER. This little meter shows you how dry your carpet is. If you’ve ever cleaned your carpets and had to wait days with the windows open (really not optimal in the winters of New England, I can assure you) or the weird wet wool smell to finally leave your house, you will love this. Yes, as the Tineco is drying your carpeting, you will have a wafting smell of wet wool, but the fact that it dries it to the point where that goes away is, in my humble opinion, awesome.
Number Count down/up/ constants: Ok, this could have used a bit of a quick start guide. On this Machine, 100 means spray all the time, Auto means it will vary the spray therefore the numbers will count up or count down, and 0 gives you the indication that you’re in dry mode. This was a bit of a learning curve because I do try to test how intuitive a gadget can be without the instructions; this one had me RUNNING to the manual.
Setup and use
Upon unpacking, the user must assemble the handle arm into the top slot until it clicks in. Then, just pop in the dirty water tank and you’re about 90% of the way to a surprisingly cleaner carpet: just add water (and Tineco brand cleaner)!
The Tineco Carpet ONE also comes with a handy attachment for upholstery which clicks into its designated spot and performs exactly two functions. Spray when the trigger is engaged and suck when pressure is applied to the object needing cleaning.
I tested this out on an old basement chair (c’mon we all have them) and without going too crazy because it’s a basement chair, I tested the cleaning power on the arms the most heavily soiled.
For what this attachment does, it did leave a pretty clean trail despite no drying function or heated water. Solid 8 out of 10 here.
What I like
- Easy to use: It will automatically spray when it goes forward and engage the suction when the machine is pulled back. Two buttons on the handle make it foolproof and the voice commands help to know what the machine is doing.
- Drying function. I would repeat this over and over if I could, but I think you get it.
- Easy to clean: The design of the water tanks is clearly influenced by the goal of putting the user at risk of touching the dirty water, and the pieces are effortless to rinse. As a consumer, the longevity of a product is important to me, so I appreciate the inclusion of cleaning devices designed specifically for the machine
- Relatively quiet, but especially so compared to other brands of carpet cleaners we’ve used
- I am consistently amazed that I can ever see my carpet at all, based on the amount of dirt and hair this machine picks up. I might be telling on myself there, but it does its job well
- I really appreciate is how easy it is to manipulate the dirty water tank; it is released from the unit with a foot pedal and the cover is easily removed with one hand, making the chore of emptying it an appreciably dry affair
What I’d change
- More title information on the display screen would be nice. Iconographies could be confusing without repeated references to the instructions.
- Somehow making the handle arm adjustable could make the machine more comfortable for users of different vertical persuasions. I’m 5’7 and this works well for me, but my partner noticed a twinge in his 5’9 frame.
- The power cord. I would increase the length, but I would also like it if the pivot points used to wrap it up were spaced further apart. As it’s designed now, the cord is wrapped around just the lower half of the unit. How thick the cord causes it to bunch up and pop off the pieces meant to hold the cord taut.
- The water tank is a little on the small side, but since the machine sprays automatically based on what mode it is in, you won’t find yourself constantly refilling it. Not a big change, but if I’m going to be using this on multiple floors, refilling is a pain.
- Manual spray mode. Since I can’t tell what the iLoop sensor is catching, I want the ability to drown a stain I KNOW is there. Or not have the water spray at a full 100 for say, spilled sparkling water. I might just have trust issues.
- The App. I get that there’s a lot that can be done with an app. I can even give Tineco that this is a good maintenance feature. But does my carpet cleaner really need to be “smart”? Sure, the app will allow you to run the machine in different modes, but I found the button to be MUCH easier to handle while cleaning instead of also juggling my phone in addition to cleaning.
Priced at a somewhat steep $499.99, the Tineco Carpet ONE Complete Smart Carpet Cleaner will be a serious investment in your home. However, I find it to be worth it. The suction and basic carpet cleaning functions are great and that dirty water tank sure does give me loads of proof my carpets are clean. That confidence is worth the price of admission when you have pets and nephews that spend a lot of time on them. The drying function is still my favorite. Company coming over and Fido (*HEM* Abigail) has an accident on the rug? No problem. Cleaned, dried, and no one’s the wiser. The handle design where your hand sits is very comfortable and doesn’t contribute to a large amount of hand cramping or fatigue. If you’re on the fence about getting a new carpet cleaner (or even just within sight of the fence), heavily consider the Tineco CARPET ONE; not only will it remove dirt as old as the carpet at a 104-degree heated wash, but will then pamper your rug with a 167-degree power dry. I think all the carpets and upholstery in your home would be very into the Tineco Carpet ONE Smart Carpet Cleaner.