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Cleaning

Shark Steam Mop review

We tested this steam mop with over 35K Amazon reviews to see if it's the key to clean floors

A split image of the Shark Steam Pocket Mop's microfiber pad with dirt on it and the mop resting against a wall. Credit: Reviewed/ Cheryl Fenton

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  1. Product image of Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop

    Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop

    Pros

    • 18-foot quick-release power cord

    • Ready to use in just 30 seconds

    • Sleek, comfortable design

    Cons

    • Water tank can be a hassle to refill

Living in New England brings several things to my door. Some are welcome: an amazing sense of community, a love of our history, and diehard sports fans on game day. Some are not: looking at you, snow and mud. Because let’s face it, our seasons hit hard.

When you live in Colonial country, there are hardwood floors galore throughout your home (even new construction loves a good throwback to a wide plank white oak). Cleaning these all-natural beauties can become an issue. The list of don'ts is certainly a long one—no wet mops, vacuums with beater bars, polishes, oil soaps or waxes, or vinegar.

Also, getting on your hands and knees a la Cinderella isn’t optimal. Which is why my intro to the Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner (available at Amazon for $69.95) was a welcome chance to get down and dirty with floor cleaning. Here’s how it went.

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What is the Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner?

The Shark steam mop claims to turn ordinary water into superheated steam that removes everyday dirt and grime. It’s also supposed to sanitize 99.9% against germs and bacteria, leaving behind the days of messy mops and heavy buckets thanks to the washable microfiber pads that lift and lock-in dirt.

What we liked

It is safe to use on many different types of flooring

A split image of the Shark Steam Pocket Mop resting against a wall and a close-up of its handle.
Credit: Reviewed / Cheryl Fenton

The mop heats up fast and is easy to handle.

I used this Shark steam mop on my ceramic kitchen floors, but it is also rated for use on sealed hardwood floors, marble, and stone tile.

It is easy to maneuver

While the Shark steam mop wasn’t the lightest cleaning appliance we have shlepped around the house, it wasn’t the heaviest either. The swivel steering was great for maneuvering in tight corners, and the circle handle (perfect for storing it in your cleaning closet) makes it easy to shift hand positions as you work.

You can also adjust the height of the handle, so there’s no excuse for everyone in the house to wash the floors.

It has a long power cord

The 18-foot cord is a blessing for when the outlet is across the room, but the “quick release” part was lost on me, as it seemed to just be a simple latch that moves aside to drop the cord (the spot to attach the end of the cord to itself was defective in my unit).

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It heats up fast

After you plug it in, the Shark heats up very quickly (30 seconds), and you’re ready to go. The ability to flip the pad over to a clean side without touching it is a great idea, as no one is a fan of touching a dirty mop pad mid-cleaning session.

What we didn’t like

There is no power switch

A split image of the Shark Steam Pocket Mop being run over a hardwood floor and the dirty underside of the microfiber pad.
Credit: Reviewed / Cheryl Fenton

The makers encourage using distilled water over tap water, which is inconvenient.

There isn’t an actual on/off switch, so that was confusing at first. Once I got cleaning, I realized this was going to be the least of my worries.

The water tank is hard to fill

While filling was easy thanks to the filling flask, the water level window was so frosted it was very unclear how much water was actually in the tank. To get the steam moving, you have to “pump” the Shark.

It took me a few to realize that the instructions meant start pushing the mop back and forth to release the steam to the floor. Unless you sat in one spot for a while, it didn’t really remove spilled coffee splashes until I had pushed it back and forth five or six times. While it does remove stains, it took more work than I would've liked it to.

Distilled water is preferred over tap water

Beyond its cleaning, the company recommends you use distilled water or the water filtration bottle that it sells in order to avoid calcium and mineral deposits that can build up over time and impact performance of the mop. I’m not a fan of purchasing something that requires more purchases.

When it comes time to store the mop, you have to remove all of the water before putting it away. I had better become zen with having dinged cabinets because I found myself holding the mop horizontally over the kitchen sink to drain it when I was done.

Should you buy the Shark Steam Pocket Mop?

No, it's more work than it needs to be.

While it had a few good selling points, overall this Shark steam mop was more of a hassle than a helper. And if there’s one thing I don’t want at my door, it’s something that makes a chore out of chores.

When it comes to the Shark Steam Pocket Mop, I’m planning on leaving this one out in the cold.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Product image of Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop

    Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop

    Pros

    • 18-foot quick-release power cord

    • Ready to use in just 30 seconds

    • Sleek, comfortable design

    Cons

    • Water tank can be a hassle to refill