Before I review my Shark Steam Mop, I should confess that I have this bizarre thing for mops and vacuums. Too bad I don’t have the same bizarre affection for actually using them to clean my floors! However, I have wanted a Shark Steam Mop since the very first time I saw an infomercial about one so it was hard to admit my little mop was not entirely perfect in this review. It is a good mop but it’s not a perfect mop. I don’t know that a perfect mop even really exists.
I bought this Shark Steam Mop which is a smaller model than the one they used to advertise on the infomercial long ago. I’m sure you can still buy the bigger version but this size works fine for our home. I thought I bought it on sale for about $40 but I see now that I paid regular price. It came with 2 cleaning pads and a little “pitcher” for adding water. It did require a minor amount of assembly as it came in two pieces but it was just a matter of sticking the top handle onto the bottom cleaning part. The mop pads attach by Velcro to the bottom of the mop. It came with 2 mop pads but I did purchase a box of 3 more because I didn’t want to be using the same mop pad in the main bathroom the boys use in any other room in our house! Here is how the steam mop works (along with my thoughts on how well it works):
Attach one of the mop heads to the base. This is very easy to do!
Use the special pitcher to fill the base part of the mop with water while the unit is UNPLUGGED.
I like the pitcher! It is handy for other things such as watering plants (I have ONE potted geranium hanging on for dear life sitting on our deck) and filling the cat water dishes. It is hard to correctly judge when to stop pouring before reaching the “maximum fill” line on the base. I’ve gone over it a few times. Not a huge issue since the unit was not yet plugged into the wall.
Note: Just say no to electrocution and fill the unit before plugging the unit into the wall.
After filling the unit and replacing the cap, plug the unit into the wall. It takes a few minutes (maybe 2?) to start generating steam. If you have enough self-control, go check Facebook for 2 minutes. If not, stand and stare at your mop for 2 minutes.
The mop generates steam by the action of pressing the handle up and down. This occurs naturally during the activity of moving the mop across the floor. If you have a stubborn spot, you can keep the mop in one place and press and release the handle several times in a row to make more steam. The down side is that sometimes the handle will come apart during the mopping. It is easy to replace it but still a bit inconvenient to have the mop handle come apart while you are working.
It is, however, easy to put the handle back together and continue mopping. The handle coming apart may also be “user error” but I have a hard time thinking I am so incompetent that I can’t properly push a mop back and forth.
I promise I do clean my floors more than once a year! Here is the “after” mop head:
Here is the “after” shot of the kitchen floor:
An important item to remember with the Shark Steam Mop is you can NOT use any type of cleaner in it. It will ruin your machine. Since water is free and easy to obtain for most of us, it is nice not to have to worry about floor cleaner products. However, I admit I kind of like the smell that comes from a floor freshly mopped with Pine-Sol or Bleach (hey, if people are sick and puking…it’s what I use!). On the other hand, it is very nice to not have to worry about kitten paws walking on my freshly mopped floors and what they might be accidentally ingesting. The mop pads are washable and reusable. However, you must use liquid detergent which ended up being a special purchase for me since we buy powdered laundry soap in bulk. I will only wash the mop pads by themselves which also meant adding an extra load of laundry to a chore that is not my favorite. I didn’t feel like the laundry soap I purchased worked very well so the next time I will wash the mop pads in plain bleach.
Storing the clean mop pads was also required some thought. I ended up deciding to put them in the same nook where I keep our excess plastic bags. My son’s new shoes recently came with this neat bag which I immediately stole! It was perfect to store the mop pads.
Overall, I give my Shark Steam Mop model 3 stars out of 4. It clearly does clean the floors. I just don’t like the way the handle falls apart sometimes. One other thing that I don’t care for is that the floors do have to be VERY clear of debris or the mop will sort of make a little string of wet dirt (think cat hair clumping together) that sort of gets pushed around. On the positive side, it worked wonders in the main bathroom the boys use at getting rid of the “smell” although that scent did fill the air as the mop was working. I’m glad I went ahead and purchased the Shark Steam Mop and think it would be a worthwhile investment if you were considering buying a new mop.