When I was in early high school, a good friend from my primary years—with whom I’m still friends today—would visit my place on Friday afternoons. Each time that he popped in, he’d say, ‘Martin, you’re so domesticated’. Why did he say this? Well, back then, Friday afternoons were the time for weekly family housework. Upon arrival, he’d generally see me using a vacuum cleaner. If he had visited on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings instead, no such activity would have been taking place!
To this day, I enjoy a good vacuum cleaner; there’s something incredibly satisfying about using a machine that can magically remove filth from the floor with greater finesse than any broom or dustpan and brush. Natasha and I have enjoyed our Dyson vacuum for a few years now, but recently, she was keen to invest in a device that could help with an activity that we have generally neglected to undertake: mopping.
Although we have mopped now and then, we dislike the idea of pushing a bucket of scummy water around the house. Also, we have timber-laminate flooring, which you’re apparently not supposed to get too wet. As was shared in episode 29 of the podcast, ‘Marginal Suction!’, we avoid wearing shoes in our home, so the floors are rarely dirty enough to be of concern.
Knowing that our son, Mac, will eventually be crawling around the place, we thought that we should get our act together. After some comprehensive research, Natasha found a device that deals beautifully with the problem: the Tineco Floor One S3 Series Hard Floor Cleaner, which is a combined vacuum cleaner and spray-mop-thingy. Simply push it forwards to suck up household detritus, then pull it back to activate the water function.
Before I even get into some of the features, a fun thing about this device is where we had to buy it. Rather than going to a general-purpose electronics shop in Australia, like JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman, we had to visit Godfreys, which is a dedicated retailer for vacuums, steam mops and other industrial cleaners. I have fond memories of ads by Godfreys from my childhood, as they always included a very enthusiastic man with an awesome combover, who loved to demonstrate the power of his appliances with cut-outs of flooring and bowling balls at the ready. Maximum suction was imperative. Watch the example below.
While we were at Godfreys, they even had different floor samples ready for the Tineco test, including floorboards, tiles and lino, onto which they sprayed a pre-mixed liquid concoction of oil, dirt and black instant coffee. It was great to watch, and it felt just like an infomercial!
Anyway, back to the Tineco Floor One… what I love about this device is that it’s ‘smart’ (as advertised), but does not present the complexity or confusion that can come with digital replacements for manual processes. Mopping with a bucket is easy enough, so why bother with this expensive thing? Well, you simply charge it on a dock that sits on the floor and the digital display underneath the handle clearly shows when the battery is charged and when certain functions are activated. There are two modes, auto and max: the first of which monitors the amount of dirt on your floor, and adjusts water flow accordingly; and the second of which just blasts your floor to remove difficult gunk. (On the auto setting, the battery charge lasts for about 35 minutes, which is more than enough to clean our place.)
There’s a clean-water tank at the top that you fill with tap water, along with a dirty-water tank at the bottom that you remove once you’ve finished cleaning. It’s easy to unclip these components, and the hilarious thing is whenever you switch modes or the tank is empty, the Tineco Floor One yells at you to rectify things. (It can be hard to hear what the robotic lady says when you’re cleaning though…)
After cleaning all the timber flooring in our house with it for the first time, Natasha and I were astonished to see how much dirt had been collected in the filter and lower tank. Even after this was emptied, I then used the connected app (yes, app!) to enable the self-cleaning mechanism, which flushed out even more dirt and grime from the system!
While the Tineco Floor One is intended only for hard flooring, which means that you need to keep another vacuum cleaner around for carpet, I’m not bothered by this at all. It’s so easy to use this appliance and it’s so much more satisfying than dipping a mop repeatedly into the filth that you’ve already collected, that it has been well worth the investment so far.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this piece from our final One Prime Plus Hemispheric News edition for 2021. Yes, we produce a tech podcast with extra hemispheric bits, so you can expect vacuum as a kinda tech with some Godfreys thrown in… thanks, and all the best for 2022!