What’s one thing that all of us have to do? Clean the house—and that includes mopping the floor. That keeps the dirt and grime away so that everything will be clean and tidy. Not to mention that it prevents dust and other allergens from building up, which can otherwise trigger health problems such as asthma.
As you probably know, though, mopping isn’t exactly a fun task. If anything, it can be quite tedious, especially if you have a large area to clean. Fortunately, mops nowadays are more advanced than they used to be. For example, spray mops allow you to clean without having to use a separate spray bottle for cleaner—you can just press the trigger on the handle. The same thing goes for steam mops; you can use them to sanitize various surfaces with the press of a button.
Perhaps the most advanced of all, however, are robot mops. As their name implies, they’re literally tiny robots that are capable of mopping. What’s more, is that some of them have more than one function—that is, it’s not uncommon for them to be able to mop and vacuum. As you can imagine, that can make things a lot more convenient, especially for those with busy schedules. Why spend time cleaning the house when you can just get a robot to do it for you right?
Interested in getting one? How about the ILIFE Shinebot W400? It’s a floor washing robot that’ll do the chore for you. What are its features? How well does it clean? If you want to know, then read our review below!
The ILIFE Shinebot W400 Floor Washing Robot
ILIFE is a manufacturer of robotic cleaners. Over the years, they’ve come out with various models, each of which features various functions. While they’re based in China, their quality is nothing to scoff at. If anything, they’re comparable to some of the bigger names out there. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that they operate in over 30 countries including those in North America and Europe.
The ILIFE W400 is a robot cleaner that’s designed for washing and scrubbing. Not only will it spray the floor with clean water to loosen stains, but it’ll also scrub the surface with an fine roller brush. That way, you won’t have to worry about things being stuck on your floor. What’s more, is that it comes with a suction system that’ll remove all the dirty water once its done cleaning. On top of that, there’s a rubber scraper that allows it to wipe off residues and other messes.
The ILIFE Shinebot W400 includes various accessories. Here are the things that you’ll get:
- 1 Main Body
- 1 Charging Dock (with adapter)
- 1 Roller Brush
- 1 Cleaning Brush
- 1 Filter
- 1 Remote Control
Unlike other robot cleaners, the W400 comes with a dual water tank that’s integrated into the main body. In other words, you won’t be able to see it unless you detach it from the unit. Once you’ve done that, you can fill it up by opening the cap on the bottom. From there, put it back into the main body by aligning the bottom of the tank—you should hear a “click” if it’s attached properly. When it comes to cleaning the dirty tank, you can use the cleaning brush that’s included with the robot.
Aside from the water tank, you’ll also want to prepare the device by installing the roller brush. Before you do that, though, slightly dampen it with some water—that’ll increase its cleaning performance. Afterward, insert the recessed end into the gearwheel. Next, press down on the capped end and that’s it!
As listed above, the W400 also comes with a remote control so that you can control it easily. You’ll be happy to know that it also comes with batteries so you can use it right away.
Installation: The first thing that you’ll have to do is charge the robot. To do that, plug the docking station into a wall outlet. You want to place it somewhere dry and safe. Once the battery is charged, it’s ready to be used.
Here are some features that set the W400 apart from your traditional mop.
The ILIFE Shinebot comes with nine OBS detectors, which are located on the front of the unit. This allows it to detect and locate obstacles while it’s cleaning so that it’ll be able to avoid them. In other words, it’ll clean the floors without bumping into anything that’s in the room.
4 Cleaning Modes
Technically, this isn’t a real “smart feature” but it does come with four different cleaning modes that you can use. More specifically, there’s a path mode, area mode, spot mode, and edge mode. You can easily switch between the four by using the remote control that it comes with.
As you can see, the ILIFE W400 isn’t that “smart” per se. If anything, the only feature that’s worth noting is the detectors, which we’ve mentioned above. Unlike other robot cleaners, it doesn’t come with an app nor is it compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant. That’s probably why the price is as affordable as it is! Just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting the device.
Potential Issues With the ILIFE Shinebot W400 Floor Washing Robot
Unfortunately, the ILIFE W400 does have a few cons—most of which are related to the fact that it isn’t that “smart.” Here’s what you need to know.
It Doesn’t Come with a Mobile App
We already mentioned this above but the W400 does not come with a mobile app. This means that you won’t be able to control it remotely via your phone (i.e. when you’re out). The only way would be to use the remote control and for that, you can only be a certain distance away from the device. If you want something that comes with an app, you’ll have to pay more for a smarter model.
It’s Not a Self-Charging Robot
The Shinebot W400 is not a self-charging robot. Put it simply, it won’t be able to return to the docking station by itself once the battery runs low. Instead, you’ll have to manually take it back to the charger. As you can imagine, this can be annoying if the power dies half-way during a cleaning session. Once it’s charged, you’ll have to set it up again so that it can continue. The good news, though, is that it does come with a handle on the top so you can carry it to the docking station easily.
The W400 doesn’t come with an actual mapping feature so you can’t expect it to know where it’s going. Because of that, it’s going to miss some spots. In fact, the routes that it takes are completely random. Unless you’re actually watching it while it’s cleaning, you’ll have no idea where it’s gone and where it hasn’t.
There’s no barrier system with the Shinebot. This means that it’ll go wherever it can go—even if you don’t want it to. One solution is to close the doors but that’s not always possible. For instance, some people have had issues where it goes from tile to carpet and continues to spray water on the latter.
Not Compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant
If you want to use your ILIFE W400 with voice commands, you’re out of luck. The way it’s designed, it’s not compatible with Alexa nor Google Assistant. The only way to control it is via the buttons on the actual unit or the remote control, the latter of which offers more options.
Many robot cleaners allow you to schedule cleaning schedules with an app. Seeing as how the W400 doesn’t come with an app, it’s not surprising to know that there isn’t a scheduling function. That is, you won’t be able to plan your cleaning sessions ahead of time. You’ll have to manually turn it on when you’re at home if you want it to start cleaning.
Does It Clean Well?
While it tends to wander around aimlessly, it does do an okay job of cleaning the floors. Keep in mind, however, that it only uses water so it might not be enough for some bigger messes. For routine mopping, however, it does get rid of the grime on the surface. Another thing is that the brush doesn’t come with any bristles so it’s not that effective for stains.
From time to time, the scraper will also act up, which means that there will be more water on the floors than you’d like. On top of that, you have to check regularly that the suction valve is free from debris or hair. If it’s clogged (and it can be), it won’t be able to get rid of the dirty water.
Would I recommend it? Probably not—unless you’re okay with a robot cleaner that has a habit of cleaning randomly. Remember, you also have to manually place it where you want it to clean. It’s not capable of going there itself.
How to Use the ILIFE Shinebot W400 Floor Washing Robot
Once you’ve charged the W500, install the soft brush. Simply insert it into the gearwheel. Don’t forget to wet it with some water beforehand as that’ll improve its performance! Next, add water to the water tank. To do so, you’ll have to detach the tank and turn it upside down.
Assuming that you were charging the device, take it out of the charging dock. Move it to where you want it to clean (at least 1.6 feet away from the wall) and choose the mode that you want to use with the remote control or the MODE button. When you’re ready, press the clean button to start cleaning.
There are a few things that you have to do to keep it running at peak performance. For one thing, it’s important to clean the water tank after each use (you can use the cleaning brush that it comes with). The main brush, filter, suction valve also have to be cleaned once per week. Eventually, you’ll also have to remove the filter and brush once it starts to wear out.
Cost and Pricing Information
For a robot cleaner, the ILIFE Shinebot W400 is relatively affordable at $250. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not the smartest model out there. If you want something with more features, you might want to invest in something a little more expensive as that’ll probably be more worth it in the long run.
In terms of parts and accessories, you can get extra brushes and filters from their Amazon store. The former aren’t that expensive either—you get four pieces for $15, which works out to around $3.75 each.
The ILIFE Shinebot W400 is designed to clean and scrub the floors with water. For one thing, it comes with a tank that separates clean from dirty water. With that said, its features are a little lacking. Not only is it not capable of mapping, but it also requires you to manually return it to the docking station if the power runs low. There’s no scheduling function and you also have to place it where you want it to clean—by hand. Put it simply, you will have to “babysit” the machine while it’s running. Whether or not that’s worth it, is up to you.