When it comes to mops, there are a variety of different types. If you were to head down to the store, you’d see that they sell various kinds including sponge mops, microfiber mops, flat mops, and cut end mops. Ultimately, you want to pick one that’s suitable for your purposes. To do so, you have to ask yourself a few questions—what type of floor do I have? Where will I be using the mop? For instance, you wouldn’t want to use a cut-end mop if you have carpet; wet mops should also not be used for laminate flooring as they can cause irreparable damage.
On this page, we will be taking a look at steam mops. As you may already know, these devices use hot steam to clean and sanitize the floor. Highly convenient, they truly make mopping a breeze. As you can probably expect though, many different brands make these types of products. Today, we will be focusing our discussion on the Shark Steam Mop. How good of a job does it do? How effective is it at sanitizing different floor types? These are just some of the things that we’ll be going over in the review below.
The Shark Steam Mop
Shark is perhaps best known for their line of vacuum cleaners. Established in 1998, the brand—which operates under SharkNinja—also produce irons, garment steamers, coffee systems, and more. With their innovation and competitive pricing, it’s not surprising to know that they have become a leading innovator in the home care industry in the recent years. Not only are their products available for purchase online, but they are widely distributed through major retailers (more than 100) around the world. As of 2018, the company is headed by CEO Mark Rosenzweig, who works out of Needham, Massachusetts.
The Shark Steam Mop, as you can probably guess, is among one of the cleaning products that they manufacture. Lightweight and compact, the device effectively removes grease and grime from the floor with plain water; no chemicals are required whatsoever. Designed with convenience in mind, it is great for cleaning tight spaces as it comes with a maneuvrable swivel head. Once it’s plugged in, it will be ready within 30 seconds. During that time, you’ll want to attach one of their Dirt Grip pads to the bottom and fill the tank (which holds enough water to clean multiple rooms) with water—it’s simple, just remove it from the body and bring it to the sink’s faucet to fill it up. As with most steam mops, this particular model can be used to clean a variety of floor types including hardwood, tile, stone, and marble.
The Shark device comes with a few accessories, including:
- 2 Dirt Grip Pads
- 1 Removable Water Tank
- 18′ Power Cord
Similar to other steam mops, it utilizes special pads that attach to the bottom with velcro. As part of the set, you are provided with two; for most of us, this should last at least one mopping session. Here’s some more good news—the pads are machine washable. Once you’re done, just toss them into the wash and they will be as good as new. With that said, they do have a limited lifespan. If you find that they’re permanently stained, it may be time to get some replacements. Luckily, you can buy them from several different places (more on that later).
Obviously, you’ll need water for the steam. That’s why the Shark Steam Mop comes with a removable water tank—one that fits into the lower body. While this might seem like a common feature, there is one thing that sets it apart from the other models. That is, instead of having to use some sort of container to pour water into the reservoir, you can remove it and fill it directly at the sink—this makes everything super convenient.
Lastly, the mop comes with an 18′ power cord. Depending on where you’re cleaning, you might find that it’s a bit short. As a quick fix, you can use an extension cord—one that will allow you to clean the entire room without having to plug and unplug.
Designed to be used with water, the Shark Steam Mop does not come with any type of cleaner. If you want though, you can add vinegar to the mix; this will help with removing grease and grime from the floor. Avoid using any type of commercial cleaning solution as it may damage the device.
How well is the steam mop constructed? What kind of materials is it made out of? How is the quality control? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself when you’re examining the product. After all, you want to make sure that it’s going to be reliable and durable. It’d be no good if it were to break with just a few uses.
The Shark Steam Mop consists of a metal pole and a plastic lower body. While the plastic could be thicker, it generally holds up fairly well. Given that you apply enough force, you may be able to bend the metal component. For most of us though, this probably won’t be an issue. Owing to its construction, the device is extremely lightweight and easy to maneuver around furniture. In fact, I find that it moves a lot better than some of the other mops that I’ve used.
In terms of the lower body, it does what it’s designed to do—hold the water and clean the floor. As a matter of fact, the tank is quite solid; there are no leaking issues whatsoever. There is one thing though—it’s kind of small. If your house is larger than 1000 square feet, you’ll probably need to refill it at least one or two times. Given that you can do so directly at the sink faucet, however, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Once you’ve refilled it, just snap it back into place and you’re ready to go again.
As for the mop head itself, it comes with a few velcro strips at the bottom that you use to attach the cleaning pads. With its swivel functionality, you’ll also be able to clean around corners and other hard to reach areas (e.g. around the toilet); the fact that it’s lightweight helps as well.
Some Possible Issues with the Shark Steam Mop
Before you decide to get the mop though, there are a few things that you probably want to know about first.
Compared to some other models, the Shark tends to have a weaker output of steam. Depending on the type of cleaning that you’re trying to do, you may find it a little disappointing. If you experience this issue, wetting the pad with water might help. Unfortunately, this would mean that you’d have to do so continuously during your cleaning session. While it might be a problem for just some units, there is a possibility that the issue is due to a design flaw. If you plan on steaming a large area regularly, you might want to consider getting something with more power; it may be suitable, however, if you’re going to work in small areas.
In addition to that, you have to pump the handle continuously to generate steam, which can be a hassle when you’re trying to navigate around furniture. While it works for its purposes, it would have been more convenient if the steam simply turns on with the machine. The way it is, it does take some effort to clean and sanitize your floors. Luckily, the device is fairly lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Although the mop is good for surfaces such as tile and hardwood, it’s generally not very effective at cleaning the grout—this might have to do with how the pads are designed. If cleaning the grout is your main purpose, you might want to get a dedicated brush for the job instead. For general hard floors though, the device does a relatively great job.
Another thing that you might want to consider is the size of the water tank. Compared to the ones used in some of the previous models, it’s a tad smaller. If you have somewhat of a large room, you’ll probably have to refill it at least once or twice. There is good news though—as mentioned earlier, the tank can be filled directly at the sink after being removed from the unit. This way, you won’t have to worry about using a bucket or container to pour the water in. Also, a smaller tank means that the overall device would be lighter, which is great when you have to push it around the house.
Rarely, the Shark may also stop producing steam. Fortunately, this only occurs in a small number of units. Nonetheless, it can be frustrating to know that your device has stopped working after a while. If this happens though, you may be able to get a free replacement with their 1-year limited warranty. For more information, be sure to check out their official website.
Does it Clean Well?
With the exception of grout, The Shark Steam Mop is great at sanitizing various floor surfaces. Personally, though, I find that it’s especially effective at cleaning tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. However, it can also be used for linoleum, hardwood, and vinyl, among several other floor types. As far as what it picks up, it’s ideal for both dirt and dust—even pet hair. For the best results though, it’s recommended that you first vacuum the area.
For those who are wondering how well the pads work, the fabric—which is made out of a textured material with tight loops—makes it easy to clean most surfaces. If anything, they are excellent at locking in dirt from the floor—this becomes obvious when the pad begins to turn grey halfway through your cleaning session. With how thick it is though, you might have to wait a minute or two before the steam is able to get through to the floor. Here’s a tip from us—if you want it to perform even better, get the pad a bit damp first before steaming.
Given how compact it is (it literally takes up as much room as a broom), the Shark is an ideal choice for those who have limited storage space (e.g. apartments, studios, condos). However, it’s ability to clean and sanitize also makes a good option for houses—you might just have to refill your water tank a few times when you’re cleaning.
Cost and Pricing Information
The Shark Steam Mop is relatively affordable compared to some of the other steam mops out there. Currently, the model sells for $64.95 on the official website (along with free shipping and a 1-year limited warranty). Of course, you can also find it on Amazon—it’s just a little more expensive (at the time of this writing, it is listed for $84.91 with free shipping). If you’re not in a rush to snag it though, you might be able to wait for it to go on sale. That way, you’ll also be able to take advantage of their two-day shipping.
Since the cleaning pads can be washed, you won’t be needing many refills—that is, unless the two pads that they provide you with are not enough to clean your house; in that case, you might want to buy a few extras. As an alternative though, you can also use a bucket to rinse them during the cleaning session. If, however, you do need more, they are available on Shark’s official website for $15 (a set of two). On Amazon, they also have a few off-brand options (e.g. Keep, Boichen) that are a bit cheaper.
As a plus, though, the Shark Steam Mop doesn’t require any type of cleaner, so that will definitely save you some money. To put things into perspective, a bottle of standard cleaning solution can run you at least $10; assuming you use six bottles, that’s already $60. With this particular mop, though, you won’t be needing any of that, so your wallet will be safe. Having said that, the device can cost you a bit extra if you decide to use distilled water instead of tap water (some people claim that the electrolytes in the latter can damage the mop over time).
It’s also worth mentioning that you can buy replacement parts on their official website. What this means is that if a section of the steam mop stops working, you can simply swap it out instead of having to replace the whole thing. For instance, you can get a new water tank for $11.95 or a replacement pole for $10.95.
Shark Steam Mop Overall – Is It Worth It?
Lightweight and compact
Easy to maneuver
Water tank can be refilled at the sink
Cleaning pads are reusable
Steam output can be a bit weak
Water tank is on the small side
Not very effective at cleaning the grout
The Shark Steam Mop is great at sanitizing and cleaning various floor types, especially tile. Relatively affordable, it’s a good choice for someone who’s looking for something both compact and lightweight. As an extra bonus, the pads are also machine washable—this means that you won’t need to buy many refills. Having said that, the steam output can be a bit weak for some people. When you’re cleaning, you also have to pump it continuously, which can be tedious depending on what you’re used to. Overall though, it does a good job as a steam mop—especially at its price point.