Today, I am reviewing a little steam mop called the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501). I’m calling it small, although it really isn’t very small. Sure, it’s lightweight – under 5 pounds – but thanks to its telescoping handing it’s about 51 inches tall. Not very large but certainly not one of the smallest steam mops I’ve ever used.
I’ve been waiting to get the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501) for some time because I was pretty excited about some of the features I keep hearing about. Particularly, the extra-large water tank, the telescoping handle and the “Steam-On-Demand” feature that it so heavily brags about. So I put this steam mop, and all of its features, to the test at my home and what follows is my experience.
The first thing that I noticed about this product was that it was a stick style steam mop with kind of a big belly. Of course, its pot belly is the water tank which has a built-in window (so you can see when it needs refilling) and holds about 15 ounces of water. That’s a pretty good amount of water for any steam mop to hold. That’s definitely a plus and puts it into the upper limit of water storage for steam mops. The next thing that caught my attention was that it had a decent length cord (another good sign). It seems like I’m always struggling with cord length with these steam mops, but this one was a lot better than some of the other ones I’ve used.
This steam mop had a swiveling mop head that was about 12 inches wide and it used a pad that was a little bit different than what I was used to using. Instead of using a pad that just attached to the bottom, it used a pad that wrapped around the whole mop head called a pocket pad. These pads are pretty thick and they can be flipped around so you can use both sides. Which I can see being a big time saver. However, if you aren’t familiar with them, then putting them on and securing the velcro pads can be a pain.
Once I filled up the XL tank, secured the pad and plugged the unit in, I then proceeded to take it on its rounds around my house. Notable, my linoleum kitchen floor, my sealed hardwood dining room and my tile bathroom floors. While it did an adequate job on all three surfaces, picking up dirt and stains, there were a couple of issues I had a problem with and need to be discussed.
I noticed that this unit only produced steam when the telescoping handle was compressed. This is because this is the Steam-On Demand Feature. A feature that is supposed to save water because it only delivers steam when you need it. However, I noticed that it also made the unit harder to use. Every time you wanted steam, you had to compress the handle, which became tiring after a while. I appreciate the idea behind this feature, but its implementation is far from perfect.
Another thing that I noticed was that with the Steam-On Demand feature and the thickness of pads, it was really hard to lay down a lot of steam. This makes this unit a lot “drier” than other units, which increases drying time, but it also increases the amount of work needed to get the floor done.
Sanitizing is another trouble spot for this unit. Sure, it will sanitize up to 99.99 % efficiency, but you have to linger over a spot for almost 10 seconds to get that benefit. If I have to spend 8-10 seconds on each spot of the floor that I want to sanitize, then I’m going to be cleaning all day. Definitely not what I’m looking forward to doing.
While this steam mop isn’t as quick or efficient as other steam mops, it has a few things going for it. One, it’s cheaper than most of its competitors – sometimes by as much as 30%. It’s also lightweight and holds a lot of water – which means having to refill it a lot less often. Another thing going for it is that it heats up pretty quickly. While the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501) wouldn’t be my first choice in a steam mop, it’s still a good choice for those looking for a budget conscious model.
While it wouldn't be my first choice in a steam mop, it's still a good choice for those looking for a budget conscious model.
- Very lightweight
- Extra-large capacity tank
- Very quiet
- Better than average cord length
- Pads are reversible
- Not enough steam
- Can be hard to use at times
- Will not clean grout
- On-Demand feature can be demanding
- Sanitizing can take too long