There’s a wholesome way to clean dirty floors that also makes the time spent less exhausting. Steam clears and cleanses minus detergents, leaving treated rooms fresher as a result.
The Shark Steam Pocket Mop is the latest from one of the more popular brands. This lightweight floor unit steams as it moves along in a quick and convenient fashion.
Steam mopping handles dust and grime on the ground and sterilizes the treated areas all at once. Hard floors are prime candidates for this modern technique, as these will dry faster than with normal mops. Parents like steam cleaning as no toxic detergents are used that can cause harm to children.
Its lightweight form will afford you the cleansing effect of steam at home. But, does it deliver a smart balance of versatility and power? We cover the strengths and weaknesses of this affordable steam mop.
Steam mops and their uses
The technique relies on superheated water vapor to freshen floors naturally. The steam generated flows down and out through the head and the attached pad.
Heated vapors act to reduce or disperse most stuff on the ground, which is then dislodged and taken up by the damp pad. It is the dynamic interaction of the flowing mist and heat that brings the cleansing effect, which is evenly distributed by the dual-layer cloth.
To operate, you just fill up the tank, switch on the boiler, affix a cloth pad, then steam away. Since only small amounts of moisture are deposited on the ground, what is left is quickly absorbed. Most hard-surfaced areas will be left dry in under a minute.
Laminate floors do tolerate infrequent spills, but any excess moisture that leaches through the edges and inside may eventually cause damage over time. Even so, steam cleaning will be fine if you take care not to prolong the flow too much.
Do be careful about using Industrial carpet cleaners, their heavy streams of pressurized steam leave much more dampness in the inner laminate cores than light steamers. Steam mops are a much safer option when treating such floors.
One good way to supplement steam cleaning is dry via microfiber mopping, which dusts and polishes without the use of water. This technique is safest for wood and laminate floorboards and can be applied in turn every once in a while.
Made for steaming
The housing of this lightweight steamer is of plastic construction and weighs some 5 pounds. Everything assembles in minutes and with little need for instructions. As with other portable steam cleaners, the unit is easily carried to other parts of the house and can be stowed in most tall closets.
Once the unit is filled with water, you must pause for a minute for the boiler to produce steam. You will then have to push the shaft a few times in order to get steam pumping, which requires little effort. Pushing and pulling works to pump steam as you sweep across floors, just like with classic wet mops.
Moving across the room is easy enough as you will not need to apply leverage, you only have to glide for a bit and you will be picking up stuff right off the ground. The head swivels as it moves and is readily maneuvered about corners and furniture.
Sticky and encrusted messes can be displaced using a longer stream of steam, with a little additional scrubbing for good measure. Dark stains and oily films are quickly cleared by the hot jets of steam.
You can clean a variety of fixtures as well, including kitchen cabinets, appliances, shower doors, and windows. You only have to make sure to raise the handle above the mop head itself, so that it will continue to pump out hot vapors.
The cleaning pad is reusable and washable. It covers the mop head, but the connector between its shaft and the base of the housing has a swiveling mechanism. Its entire bottom flips over to expose the other side of the pad, so it is not like you have to remove the pad then slip it back on.
The package includes a small set of accessories XL mop head, swiveling shaft and handle, washable microfiber cleaning pad, refill cup. The 25-foot cord gives you a lot of reach from any power outlet, the broader coverage reduces the need to constantly stop and plug/unplug while working.
Extra cleaning pads are available to purchase and are relatively inexpensive
Tackle twice the amount of dirt with the double-sided cleaning pads.
If you are used to conventional mopping, then steaming with this machine will feel familiar. A bigger water capacity would have been welcome, though, as it would have allowed for longer operation in-between each refill.
On the job performance
Once full and switched on, you will be mopping in 30 seconds or so. It works somewhat like a mix of steam ironing and steaming, but applied to the ground. Steam is output at a temperature exceeding 200℉, which eliminates some 99% of harmful microbes.
The operation is easy and dependable most times. There is no actual trigger, to get the steam going you simply push and pull on the handle as you move it across floors. Treated surfaces tend dry in half a minute or so after treatment.
The hot and misty action will be doing most of the work, you will not have to put your weight on the handle in order to get the floor clean. The downside is that whenever you find yourself stopping for a while, you will be leaning the handle against the wall or fixtures as it will not stand upright by itself.
The included cloth pads work well, but a fastened washcloth can work almost as well. Cheap compatible spares are readily available online, too. The fill cup is useful and it does not take long for steam to be produced either.
One inconvenience is that there is only enough water to produce about 15 minutes of steam at a time. On bigger jobs, you will need to let the boiler cool off before you can safely open and refill the tank. Then you will be waiting again, as another load of steam is produced.
Features and Specifications
- The powerful 1,500-Watt boiler generates steam at temperatures beyond 200°F.
- Lightweight housing weighs 5 pounds and is easily carried about the house
- The water volume of 450 ml enables almost 15 minutes of cleaning action
- Output temperatures reaching 200˚F kill some 99% of all germs
- On-demand steaming is triggered via natural mopping motions
- Double-sided cleaning with reusable cloths
- Microfiber pad leaves surfaces dry in under a minute
- Lengthy 25-foot power cord lets you reach all parts of bigger rooms
What others are saying
Looking beyond just our own experience, we find that Shark’s Steam Pocket Mop has garnered mainly appreciative reviews and comments on its page at Amazon. It is one of the most popular steam mops on the market, showing thousands of reviews and a very positive average rating.
See what customers are saying! Read verified reviews here.
The only gripe some people express is the tank volume. With more water on hand, it would allow longer shifts of steaming in-between each refill. But there is only so much water any mop can contain. The design does save much effort as you do not have to pump the handle or manage buttons to generate steam.
The Shark Steam Pocket Mop works well on hard surfaces and only takes around 30 seconds for steam to be produced after powering it up. It maneuvers readily, heats up in half a minute, and auto-steams with every push or pull on its handle. It clears dirt and grime as it goes and handles stained floors around the home.
The designers knowingly exchange capacity and duration for convenience and efficiency, but we think that its small tank should be enough for those working smaller spaces. Users with larger properties to maintain will still find it effective if a bit lacking in run time.
For light steam cleaning, this is one of the most effective steamers available. Its reasonable price and economical operation make it easy to recommend for use in any household worth refreshing.
No products found.