There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
On Trial: Tineco iFloor 3 Wet/Dry Vacuum
Tester: Cat Bowen, mom of two children and three pets, with tons of hardwood floors
The Brief: I adore my children and my pets, but the messes they leave in their wake can be epic — and disgusting. For years, I’ve relied on standard brooms, dustpans, and mops to clean my floors. While they worked, they weren’t efficient for spot-cleaning small messes and took a lot of effort if I wanted to clean a whole room. I wanted something more streamlined and modern to make the task easier.
One day, when I was mindlessly scrolling through cleaning videos on TikTok (as one does) I came across a bunch of videos of people throwing eggs, coffee grounds, and even spaghetti on the floor, and cleaning it up with the Tineco iFloor 3 vacuum as a part of the #tinecochallenge, which consists of recording yourself making the wildest of messes, and cleaning it all up with your iFloor 3. Video after video of parents cleaning around their kids' high chairs, pet owners vacuuming up pet food, and even cleaning sticky oatmeal from knotty hardwoods shone at me like a beacon of convenience during my endless scrolling.
TikTok hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I was excited. In fact, a huge part of the reason I was so confident in the quality of the iFloor 3 (not just because of the vids) is because of how much I love the Tineco A11 stick vacuum, another TikTok find. That vacuum lives in my pantry, and I use it all the time to clean up dry messes like cat hair and breakfast crumbs. I was hopeful the Tineco iFloor 3 could do the same for the wet messes, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was positively gleeful.
The Tineco iFloor 3 is similar to other wet/dry vacuums on the market, but it stands out because not only is it powerful, with a self-propelled motor that makes it glide across the floor with absolutely no effort, but it cleans even the stickiest messes up in a single pass. From just cleaning up some leftover oatmeal that missed the rim of the garbage, or— for instance, your kids drop an over-easy egg, or maybe an entire bowl of chicken noodle soup because kids don’t look up from their tablet when they’re putting their bowl on the table and it tips over — don’t worry. The Tineco iFloor 3 has it under control. And they can clean it up their dang selves, thanks to how easy it is to operate.
How It Works: To begin, you will add a bit of Tineco solution and water in the top basin, leaving the bottom basin empty for the garbage and liquids it vacuums into it. You hit the button on the handle and it's off to the races, using its dynamic motor and spongy roller to mop and vacuum the floors, leaving them clean and dry The LED display on the op shows how much battery life your machine has, and other important metrics — like if it needs fluid, if it’s full, or if it’s blocked.
This cordless wet/dry vacuum lasts for up to 25 minutes per charge, which is long enough to clean the 1,000 square feet of sealed hardwood and tile floors in my home for regular, maintenance cleaning. Larger messes take a bit longer, so you won’t cover quite so much space during the charge. I have used it on spills big and small, and have only managed to clog it by accidentally sucking up my daughter’s scrunchie. Nothing else has gotten the best of the Tineco, and since I have both kids and pets, that’s saying something.
Although even if you do hit a snag, you don't have to wonder about clogging or power issues, because the vacuum will tell you what is going on with it, thanks to the aforementioned LED digital readout on the top of the vacuum. It is legitimately the smartest appliance I have in my house. It might be even smarter than my shih tzu.
And I haven't even told you the coolest feature, which is perhaps my favorite part of this vacuum juggernaut. It. Is. Self. Cleaning. You read that right. You simply set it back on its cleaning and charging port, hit the self-clean button, and in a few minutes, the machine has cleaned itself, ready to have its basin emptied and onto its next big mess. If things get too out of hand, you can buy replacement rollers and filters for your Tineco, making it practically brand new.
At $250, it is priced similarly to other wet/dry vacuums, though honestly, I think it's leaps ahead. My brother and sister-in-law both have competing versions (and children of their own) and I think the Tineco does a better job at getting everything clean, and leaving the floor dry. There's no residue, no smell, and best of all, no stickiness left behind. It's a workhorse.
Closing Argument: I am now a Tineco super fan. I might start my own TikTok page just to show my daily cleaning using my Tineco. I have used this machine at least once a day for the past 2 months, and I show no signs of slowing. Combined with the incomparable Tineco A11 stick vacuum, my house has never been cleaner.