How to Clean Shark Steam Mop (Maintenance Guide)

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Cleaning a Shark steam mop involves storing it properly, cleaning the steam mop pads, cleaning the mop head and the nozzle, as well as descaling or decalcifying mineral build-up. In this post, you will learn how to clean a Shark steam mop the right way to make it last as long as possible.

How to clean and store Shark Steam Mop after use

Remember, when cleaning the exterior of the Shark steam mop, always unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet first, and then clean the steam mop exterior with a dry or damp cloth. Do not pour water or use alcohol, benzene, or paint thinner on the Shark steam mop exterior.

Here’s how to clean and store a Shark steam mop after use:

1. Turn off the Shark steam mop and let it cool

To turn off your Shark steam mop, press the steam control button until the three lights below start to blink, indicating that you are in standby mode. This stops the unit from steaming. Unplug the cord from the outlet and place the Shark steam mop into the upright position. Let the unit cool for at least 3 minutes.

2. Remove the cleaning pad from the mop head

To remove the mop cleaning pad, lift the Shark steam mop straight up by the handle until the mop head is hanging straight down. Press the release button on the back of the mop body, and both sides of the mop head will drop open, releasing the pad. Once the pad has been released, close the Shark steam mop’s head.

3. Empty the water tank before storing

To empty the Shark steam mop tank, hold the mop next to a sink. Open the Shark steam mop water tank lid, then lean the unit over the sink. Let the water drain out completely, then close the lid.

4. Let the Shark steam mop cool before storing

To store the Shark steam mop, wait until after it has completely cooled and the steam has been released. Then remove the Shark steam mop head and hang the mop by its handle on a large hook (not included) or stand it upright. Store the filling flask by attaching it to the top handle pole of the Shark steam mop.

How to clean Shark steam mop pads

To clean Shark steam mop pads, machine-wash them separately from other fabrics (to avoid picking up lint) with warm water using liquid detergent. Never use bleach, powdered detergent, or fabric softeners as they may damage or leave a coating that will reduce the mop pads’ cleaning performance and absorbency.

Shark steam mop pads should be line-dried or tumble-dried on a low setting, as this will extend the life of the microfiber fabric. Loose fibers can indicate wearing of the microfiber fabric. Do not pull the loose fibers, as this can cause the weave to come undone. Simply trim the loose fibers with scissors.

For best cleaning results, replace your Shark steam pads every 3 to 4 months following normal use. As with any fabric, dirt particles, grease, friction, and repeated washing can cause the fibers to break down, and you may notice an increase in the effort needed to push or pull the mop.

You can buy replacement Shark steam mop pads right here:

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How to clean Shark steam mop head and nozzle

Calcium and mineral deposits can build up in the Shark steam mop’s head and nozzle after using it for some time. When this happens, Shark recommends cleaning the nozzle to maximize the steam output.

To clean the Shark steam mop head and nozzle, unplug the Shark steam mop and remove its head. You'll see a small hole -- this is the nozzle from which the mop releases steam. Insert the end of a paperclip into the hole and gently move it up and down a few times to clear away calcium and mineral buildup.

How to descale and decalcify a Shark steam mop

Calcium and mineral deposits can also build up inside the water tank and impact the performance of your steam mop over time, especially if you use tap water and not distilled water.

To descale the Shark steam mop tank, empty the remaining water from the tank. Fill the tank with equal parts water and white vinegar. Leave the cap open and let it sit for 40 minutes maximum. Drain the tank, and rinse twice with water. Using distilled water prevents mineral build up and prolongs the life of the unit.

Remember, do not add vinegar while using the steam mop. Only use vinegar when the machine is turned off to decalcify mineral build-up only. Shark does not recommend adding vinegar (or any other cleaning solutions or chemicals) into the steam mop tank while the machine is turned on.


And there you have it, the complete guide on how to clean and maintain a Shark steam mop. Learning how to store the unit, cleaning the mop pads, cleaning the head and nozzle, as well as descaling mineral build-up is all part of the process of cleaning a Shark steam mop to keep it in tip-top shape.

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