The Bottom Line: We found that the steam mop works pretty well. It is not better than all other methods of cleaning, as the infomercial implies. However, if you are opposed to using harsh chemicals and want your floor to dry quickly, the Shark Steam Mop is a good option.
Reviewed by: Mindy WeinbergReviewed on: 6/24/2009 12:58:00 PM
What it claims to do: According to the infomercial, the Shark Steam Mop will obliterate tough grime, eradicate stubborn dirt and absorb muddy footprints. According to their claims, the Steam Mop will work 1,000 better than your traditional mop, be easier and faster than any other mop and - to top it all off -will let your floors dry very quickly.What we found: The Shark Steam Mop was easy to use. Just fill the reservoir with water, attach the machine washable cloth to the bottom, and in 30 seconds you're ready to mop. You can see the steam rising from the mop when its ready to use.The steam mop definitely did clean those tough stains well... but 1,000 times better than a traditional mop? Not quite. We found it to be pretty much equivalent to a regular mop at cleaning tough spots. We had to admit, though, that the lightweight design made it easy to move around the house.One caveat - because the steam mop has a flat bottom surface, it tends to push dirt around more than a regular mop. If you leave some dirt on the floor before you mop, you'll be left with dirty streaks on the floor. Make sure to sweep the floor well first.The pads are machine washable, but will eventually wear out. We were glad to see that the steam mop comes with 6 separate pads. This is especially useful since the steam mop tends to get harder to push as the pad gets dirty. Though you could probably get away with just using one pad to do a 2-story 5-bedroom house,you may want to change the pads more often.One of the best features of this mop is that it can eliminate the need for harsh and harmful chemicals. The infomercial claims that it will disinfect justas well as floor-cleaning chemicals, but we had no way to test that. We did notice that the floor does dry very quickly after using the steam mop.The Shark Steam Mop does have to be plugged in to an electrical outlet, but we were glad to see the cord is long enough to allow for a good range of motion. The cord did sometimes get in the way as we were mopping - making it necessary to hold the cord as we worked... similar to when you use a vacuum cleaner.Another limitation is that the reservoir holds only 12 ounces of water at a time. That's only enough to clean roughly 300 square feet, which means you'll need to refill it a couple of times to cover the average sized home. Not a major inconvenience, but something to be aware of.The Shark also has an interesting attachment to steam carpets, however it doesn't actually CLEAN the carpets - it just steams. If you want to clean carpets, you're better off getting a steam vacuum (rather than a steam mop).There are similar products to the Shark on the market - for example, the Bissell brand is similarly priced, seems to have a sturdier design, and has a removable water reservoir. The Shark, however is more lightweight and therefore easier to maneuver.Bottom Line: We liked this mop. It definitely gets the job done. Is it better than any other cleaning method? We'd say that's an exaggeration. But if you're looking to eliminate the need for chemicals, the Shark Steam Mop is a good option.
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