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How to Use a Shark Steam Mop: The Correct Way

Use a Shark Steam Mop to make your floors shine with this step-by-step guide.

Steam mops are amazing devices. You can use them on many types of floors such as hardback, laminate, slate, stone, tile and carpet. Plus they not only quickly and easily clean the floors, but they also sanitize them.

However, to use your mop effectively, you will need to know how to correctly use your Shark Steam Mop. In this guide we will explain everything you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Assemble your Shark Steam Mop, fill the water tank, and choose the appropriate setting (dust, mop, or scrub) based on the floor type and cleaning needs.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor before using the steam mop to prevent scratches from dirt and debris.
  • Use the Shark Steam Mop on laminate and sealed hardwood floors with caution, selecting the driest setting and moving with the grain of the wood.
  • Do not use chemicals or cleaning solutions in the steam mop, and avoid mopping too close to porcelain fixtures to prevent damage.

How To Use a Shark Steam Mop

1. Assemble Your Shark Steam Mop

Follow your Shark Steam Mop instruction manual for detailed directions on how to assemble your shark steam mop.

Insert the front side of the handle into the body of the steam mop. Push it past the line on the pole.

Fasten the handle to the body with the large screw provided and use a screwdriver to tighten it.

Slide the mophead into the pad pocket using the lavender loop on the side of the cleaning pad. Use the quick fasteners at the top to secure it in place. Now snap the mophead into the base.

Fill the water tank with water. To remove the cap, turn it counterclockwise.

Use the flask to fill the tank. Be careful not to overfill it to prevent the steam mop from dripping while you use it.

Now replace the cap. Turn the cap clockwise to tighten it. The mop is now assembled.

2. Sweep Your Floors

Before you use your Shark Steam Mop, you will need to sweep or vacuum the floor. Make sure to remove all the dirt and debris that might scratch the floor when you mop it.

3. Pick a Setting

The Shark Steam Mop has three settings namely dust, mop, and scrub. The dust setting is for light cleaning, mop is for everyday cleaning, and scrub is for tough cleaning and messes that are stuck to the floor.


  • Activate: Press the on/standby button once.
  • Intended Surface: Laminate, Bamboo, Hardwood, Marble

This setting is for light cleaning and dusting. It loosens and lifts light dirt while sanitizing the floor.


  • Activate: Press the on/standby button two times.
  • Intended Surface: Hardwood, Marble, Tile, Stone

This setting is used for everyday cleaning. It will loosen small messes from the floor and is best used for moderately and heavily trafficked floors. It will also sanitize the floor.


  • Activate: Press the on/standby button three times.
  • Intended Surface: Tile, Stone, Linoleum; Carpet with a carpet glider; May be used carefully on hardwood floors but is not intended for continuous use.

This setting is used for tough cleaning, stuck-on messes, and stains. It will cut through the dirt and grime allowing it to be removed. It’s meant for deep cleaning heavily trafficked areas and will also sanitize the floor.

4. Turn On the Shark Steam Mop

Pull out the cord of your steam mop by pulling the quick-release cord holder. Unwrap the cord and plug it into a 120-volt outlet. The on/standby switch will flash blue.

Press it once for the dust setting. Press it twice for the mop setting. Press it three times for the scrub setting.

5. Clean Your Floors

Clean the floors with forwards and backwards motion. The awesome thing about the Shark Steam Mop is that it works on any type of floor. If you are cleaning laminate or hardwood floors, move the mop in the same direction as the grain.

When one side of the cleaning pad gets dirty, quickly flip the mophead to the other side to continue mopping your floor. If you need to change the cleaning pad, unplug the mop and wait 2 or 3 minutes for the mop to cool. Then you can change the cleaning pad or mophead.

If the water tank empties, again you will need to unplug your mop before refilling it.

To refresh or groom your carpet, place the mop head on top of the carpet glider. Use the scrub setting. You will move the mop back and forth across the carpet. This will not clean the carpet but it will groom it. Leaving it refreshed and beautiful.

6. After Use

When you are done, press the on/standby button until it begins to flash blue. Your mop will stop steaming. Unplug the mop and let it stand in an upright position.

Leave the mop to cool for 2-3 minutes before handling it.

Carefully remove the cleaning pad. You’ll need to release the quick-release fasteners and pull on the lavender loop. Avoid touching the hot pad or dirt.

Now empty the water tank by removing the cap and holding the tank over a sink. Replace the cap when done.

Remove the mophead once it’s cool enough to remove safely.

Store the mop by hanging it up on a large hook.

Can You Use a Shark Steam Mop on Laminate Floors?

Normally you would not want to clean laminate floors with a steam mop because the water may damage the floors. However, you can use a shark steam mop on laminate floors.

First set the shark steam mop on the driest setting possible by setting it to the highest temperature and the least amount of water possible.

Now, move the mop with the grain across the floor and clean in sections rather than trying to clean the entire floor at once.

Can You Use a Shark Steam Mop on Hardwood Floors?

You can also use a shark steam mop on hardwood floors if the floors are sealed. Make sure that you use a highly absorbent microfiber pad. This will ensure that the floors are thoroughly dried.

Choose the dust setting on your mop for a gentle clean and do not use any chemicals that might break the sealed barrier protecting your floor or cause damage to the floor itself.

What To Avoid When Using a Shark Steam Mop

Do not plug the Shark Steam Mop in before you’re ready to mop. The mop heats up quickly so you may burn yourself while preparing it for mopping.

Do not let the steam mop go idle or stay in one place for too long. The steam mop will build up heat and steam quickly. This may damage your floor.

Avoid packing the steam mop away with a dirty cleaning pad. Mold and mildew may grow on the pad which could ruin the cleaning head.

Avoid using the mop with bare feet. The steam mop becomes very hot and could burn you if you accidentally mop your feet.

Do not use the steam mop without water. The mop may overheat and be damaged.

Avoid using cleaning solutions, perfumes, scented oils, and other chemicals in the Shark Steam Mop. These chemicals may damage the machine.

Avoid mopping too close to the toilet and other fixtures. The porcelain tends to be cold. The abrupt temperature change from the steaming hot mop may cause the porcelain to crack.

Do not handle the plug with wet hands. You could give yourself an electric shock.

Do not use the steam mop before you have vacuumed or swept your floors. The dirt and debris may scratch your floor.

Steam Mop FAQs

How Long Does It Take for a Shark Steam Mop to Heat Up?

It usually takes 30 seconds for the shark steam mop to heat up. However, it may take longer than 30 seconds the first time you use the mop.

Can I Add Vinegar to My Steam Mop?

Yes, you can add a vinegar solution of 2 cups rubbing alcohol, 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, and three drops of dish soap to your steam mop. Mix the solution in a bowl before adding it to the steam mop.

Just be careful when doing this as the acidity of a high concentration of vinegar will damage your steam mop.

Also, do not use the vinegar solution on hardwood floors unless the floors are sealed. This is because the acid in the vinegar may damage the chemical finish on the floors if they’re not sealed.

Why is My Floor Sticky After I Steam Mop?

If your floor is sticky after using your steam mop, then you are using too high a concentration of cleansers. When the soapy water dries, it leaves a sticky residue behind. To prevent your floor from being sticky, use only water in your steam mop.

Another reason the floor may be sticky is that a liquid with sugar spilled on your floor such as juice or a soft drink. Find out what sugary liquid was spilled so you can clean the mess properly.

A third reason your floor might be sticky after steam mopping is if you washed the pad with fabric softener. The microfiber cloth from which the pad is made can be damaged by fabric softener or dryer sheets.

How Do You Refill the Shark Steam Mop Cleaner Bottle?

The manufacturer recommends that you only use distilled water in your shark steam mop. To refill the shark steam mop water tank, turn the cap counterclockwise and remove it. Use the filling flask that came with the shark steam mop to fill the water tank.

Be careful not to overfill the tank.

When you’re done filling the tank, replace the cap and tighten it by turning the cap clockwise.

Do You Put Hot or Cold Water in Shark Steam Mop?

You put cold water in a Shark Steam Mop because the heating element inside will warm the water to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to create the steam. What’s more, it only takes about 30 seconds to reach the correct temperature.

Why Does My Shark Steam Mop Leave Streaks?

Knowing why your Shark Steam Mop leaves streaks is crucial if you want the cleanest floors. The main culprit might not be the steam mop but you stepping on previously cleaned areas that are still damp.

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About the Author

Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a coffee-loving freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and mom of six kids. In her free time, Sara loves reading books and researching more efficient and effective ways to keep a clean house, homeschool her children, and blog better while making a home for her large family.