Shark Steam Mop: "Does It Work?"

Published: Feb. 25, 2008 at 9:36 PM CST|Updated: Jul. 8, 2009 at 1:46 AM CDT
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Many have tried to build a better mousetrap but most of us still buy the old one. So when a company comes out with a "better mop" we take it as a challenge. This week, we put the Shark Steam Mop to the "Does It Work?" test.

It's a name you already know, now with a product for your floors. Shark's Steam Mop "sanitizes floors, is safe on wood floors and works for deep cleaning and everyday spills," it says on the box.  "The proof is on the pad," they say. No, the proof is in the "Does It Work?" test.

They pack a lot of stuff in a small box.  As usual with products like this, the handle comes in 2 or 3 parts but within seconds we have it all snapped together.   Final step, attach one of two supplied cleaning pads to the bottom of the mop. The reusable, machine washable pads are identical, except one has a blue tab, the other is plain white.

At first we thought one was for wood, one was for tile or something. But the instructions say it's just so you can tell them apart.  You can deem one for use in the bathroom and one for use in the kitchen, for instance.

If we're going to have steam, we need water.  We fill the tank and plug in the mop at an electric outlet.

About 30 seconds after we plug it in, we see our first signs of steam. Give the handle a push downward and more water is pumped into the steamer.  It's brilliant design since that pushing motion is natural while mopping anyway.  We first try to clean up some serious, intentional black shoe scuffs.  We first hover a few times to apply the heat to the rubber.  At first nothing, then one by one the scuffs disappear.  Remember, there's not cleaner or chemicals in the steamer.  It's just water, turned to steam.  It took several passes, but the Shark got it all.  We did the same with a large rust stain on the floor.  The Shark got it.  Later, we attacked some duct tape residue.  It was the toughest test, but we got most of it up.

The Shark Steam Mop has a 20 foot cord, so you'll be able to move about without a bunch of plugging and unplugging.  How hot does it get?  We used a hi-tech thermometer that registered the Shark's steam at 217 degrees.

We also tested on wood floors with no problems.

"Does It Work?"  We give the Shark Steam Mop a yes.

The Shark Steam Mop was $79.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Joe Terrell, Reporting