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Shark Steam Pocket Mop In Australia

Updated on February 4, 2014

Shark Steam Cleaner Review

I really dislike mopping floors. Especially having to cart round a mop and bucket. So, the Shark Steam Mop infomercial really appealed to me when I first saw it. Our eldest daughter suffers from asthma, so using just water (steam) rather than cleaning chemicals is a major selling point for us, as well as from an environmental standpoint.

This is my weekly lens where I look at a product I really want to buy and research it as much as possible before I make a buying decision. I decided against the Shark Steam Cleaner for a number of reasons that you will discover in this review. Please, if you disagree with my review just leave your experiences of the product in the comments section at the end of this review. I will correct any information I have got wrong.

The biggest shocker is that I believe Shark are dumping a cheaper version of the steam mop onto the Australian market rather than the Professional version. From my research the cheaper version has serious safety issues and is likely to break within the first few months of use. This leads onto the important consideration of how you order replacement parts.

The Shark Steamer TV Offer In Australia

In Australia, at present, you can only buy the Shark Steam Pocket Mop from the TV infomercial. I verified this by visiting Big W, Target and Kmart. BigW did stock the Shark earlier in the year (priced at around $200) but are now selling the much cheaper Piranha Steam Mop for around $50.

The advertisement advertises the product at only $20 dollars. This is not the real price, it's more like $200, as you end up making multiple payments after your 30 days are up. This is classic Infomercial tactics and allows them to change the real hidden price at anytime they wish. As you will see this version (the non pro version) of the product is not worth that much. For example in the Pro Version, the water pours in from the top and there is different settings for the amount of steam - you don't get these with the non pro version

Looking at the model advertised on the Australian infomercial and comparing with the manufacturers website, they are selling an inferior non retail version on TV. I believe it to be the Shark® Steam Pocket® Mop - S3501. As we will see later in this review there are lot's of problems with this model.

The professional versions of the Shark Steam Pocket Mop are more sturdy in construction and more feature packed.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Consumer Reviews

The shark Steam pocket mop is a household name in the US. As the previous models have sold millions over the years. But is it any good? The strange thing I discovered was that customers where mostly spread between two extremes with their reviews. They either rated the product highly with 5 out of 5 or very low with 1 out of 5, for reasons we shall see.

First The Good Points

  • The primary benefit is that you can clean an sanitize floors without the use of chemicals. In effect with just plain water. And there is no need to rinse the floor a 2nd time to get rid of chemicals from a regular mop cleaning.
  • No need to carry around a bucket of water when mopping, it is effectively built into the mop and heated up as you go.

The Problems

  • The non pro version is shoddily in design and made of cheap thin plastic . Most customers report that the mop breaks after a few months of use. People at first love the device when they first purchase it then after a few months of use it breaks. So they start out writing a positive review and then a few months later return to write a negative review. Thus the even spread between good and bad reviews I mentioned earlier. Sometimes the product only worked for 5 uses. One customer loved the product so much, despite the problems, that they kept repurchasing it every 2 months for 3 times in a row each time it broke down.
  • As with any electrical powered device having a trailing electrical cord is a real pain to deal with.
  • Don't expect the device to make moping easier. Don't believe the infomercial it requires work to push the mop. If you look at the videos you have to push the mop for the steam to come out. Also it does not produce as much steam as you might expect.
  • The swivel part that connects the mop handle to the main body has been known to snap off. It is just cheap plastic.
  • The interchangeable heads can be very difficult to detach. For some customers the detachable head as stuck on permanently..
  • The head picks up dirt no problem, but the steam pushes the rest of the dirt and lint around the sides. So, you must sweep up the floor first anyway.
  • A lot of customers reported that it leaves a filmy residue or a streaky and dull finish. For really grimy floors the trick is to do a deep clean by using a vinegar wash first. You don't have to do this all the time just once.

WARNING: A number of customers have reported that the attachment has been known to blow off the end of the mop. Some people have even suffered burns. Over time the nozel on the inside of the machine either melts or builds up salts.

Because, there is no built in water filter a build up of salts from the chlorine in the water will collect around and block the nozzle. Use distilled water if you can. The device really should have an automatic shutdown device if the pressure inside the mop gets too high.

Shark Steam Cleaner Accessories
Shark Steam Cleaner Accessories

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Accessories

Getting replacement parts and accessories for Shark products could be a real problem if you live in Australia. This is why I would recommend getting an alternative Steam Mop from a local Australian retailer instead.

Shark do have replacement parts for the Shark S3501 on their website. This appears to be the the model advertised on Australian TV. I imagine the shipping costs from the USA would be expensive however.

Alternative Steam Mops Available In US

For people living in the US there are a number of alternatives available on Amazon.

Buy Australian
Buy Australian

Alternative Steam Mops Available In Australia

Most of the major retailers in Australia such as Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Big W and the like stock alternative Steam cleaners. This would be your best bet.

How To Assemble the Shark Pro Steam Mop

Although this how to video is for the pro version of the Shark. It gives you an idea of the construction of the device.

The Shark Professional Steam Cleaner Youtube Demo

This is the infomercial for the Professional version of the Shark . As you can see from this infomercial the product is superior to the one being marketed in Australia. For example it has three levels of steam control, whereas, the product marketed on TV does not even have an on/off switch.

Do You Own A Steam Mop? Let us know your thoughts on the Shark Steam Pocket Mop, especially if you own one. It helps others make an educated decision before purchasing.

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      rdenham10 3 years ago

      I am a NZ based customer who has a Shark portable steam pocket Model number SC630nz 11. Originally purchased october 2010, became defective 1 month later, asked for a replacement at this time, it took 4 months to do this, during which time I had collections calling me daily and even a repo man come to my house twice, to pursue debt collection procedures against me - I did decide when I 1st made contact that i wasn't going to be paying another red cent towards the faulty product until it was returned (as im sure many customers would also do especially after being advised there was no stock in NZ and we would have to wait 1 month for backorder to arrive into NZ and be customs cleared.

      Received the new replacement for this product in March 2011, and the first time i used it I noticed that steam output was still shocking same as first one and not at all like As seen on Tv's television ad that originally made me buy the product..... so with my less than satisfactory experience with customer support the first time i decided to just forget it and wear the cost of yet another not quite as advertised product from as seen on tv.

      Last month January 2014 I pulled the shark box out of storage and thought maybe ill give it another whirl and if still not happy, will try to see what I can do with my rights under the NZ consumer guarantees act about returning not for replacement but for my full purchase price as I am so deeply dissatisfied by the false advertising on tv, the uselessness of customer support staff, and also the thorn in my side i still have about being threatened with impacts towards my credit rating [i hold a 0 default a+++ credit rating] when id returned product had not received replacement, so didn't pay till i did, of which I even was a good sport about it enough to pay back the ridiculous charge of costs incurred by as seen on tv in their attempts to recover their product or payments ($394.12) Feel like shark should pay that to me for having to do their jobs for them.

      So using the shark I was, still poor steam output did anyone think about oos and rsi type injuries and having to hold the trigger down the whole time gives one an extremely sore and cramped hand for the next 2 days, after 2 minutes of use I hear this funny clicking sort of noise from inside shark then the lights in the room dimmed and i received a 240volt electric shock whilst holding product by handle with trigger depressed in my right hand, steam wand and attachment in left. Have cut the cord from this product and again called customer support, who advised me 5 days ago they would send courier ticket to me to pick item up take it back to their service repair centre and look at it or assess it to see if it can be repaired, I would have to lay down a deposit for them to do this of course and id only get this back if product is defective in which case it will be replaced with equivalent or same.

      THERE IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH A PRODUCT DESIGNED TO BE USED WITH WATER AND POWER, THAT IS DOUBLE INSULATED AS PER AS/NZS SAFETY STANDARDS TO STILL BE ABLE TO ELECTROCUTE ITS USERS WHEN THERE IS CLEALY NO SIGN OF DAMAGE OR LOOSE COMPONENTS INSIDE.

      My gripe now is after everything Ive been through I want my money back, not another product i am not prepared to go through this a 3rd time to get another product from shark that im assuming will also be below par average and frustrate me further with shark and as seen on tv (whom ill never deal with again after this). Am curuios to know others thoughts on this and am asking from anyone who can help, what do i do next? i want my cash back not a replacement, who can i complain to other than these two companies, both of whom lack competent and efficient staff to be able to deal with these issues, OR do i have grounds for a small claims case? I don't want to pursue this method but 6 days tomorrow it will be since i called and still no courier tickets, someones going to get an earfull tomorrow morning, and i wont be phoning them, i now have their physical address so will attempt a face to face contact and let you know how that went.

      I believe that as product is only guaranteed for 12 months from date of purchase that shark company and as seen on tv store nz are virtually choosing to ignore it this time as it falls well outside of 1 year warranty, but come on, both products were never used more than 5 times each, i have all parts most of which never used and what is used has been washed dried and doesn't look new but you can tell its had sweet f all use.

      Recommend to anyone considering buying one - do your research first, and don't buy a shark product. I have found another product which I bought shortly after 1st shark died, A Piranha Portable Steamer with attachments for NZD$49.99 from Kmart, and i must say this product is great. a more than adequte stream of steam under high enough pressure to blast dirt off surfaces (no need ro scrub at all) unlike the weak shark unit.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have the S3501 and used it less than 20 times before the steam started to build up inside the machine and then blow the head off. This is a dangerous defect in my opinion.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Have you tried it?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have just ordered one of these Shark Steam Pocket Mops, so will be interested to see how it works after your negative comments, and will let you know how it goes. You pointed out about the $20 cost not being correct and it being more like $200. When you call the 1800 number they tell you that then, it's not a secret, it's $199.90 if you pay the full price at the time of the call. Other options are $19.90 (delivery cost) for 30 days free trial, and if you like it & keep it, you can pay the full amount or pay 4 monthly payments of $49.98. Or if you return it, you pay the postage cost but keep the portable steam mop & the attachments for free. The operator on the phone is not alusive about the costs. I'll report back when I've tried my new mop.