Is the Shark Genius steam mop your floor’s new best friend? Let’s break down the details in our 2023 review.
We select, test, review and suggest the best products. We may earn a commission, if you buy something through our links.
The Shark brand is hugely popular for floor cleaning. Innovative products designed to work efficiently while minimizing physical effort have made it a go-to brand for many homeowners. Their lightweight, affordable, intuitive technologies take some of the dread out of floor cleaning.
The Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop (model # S5003D) is a next-gen model with some impressive features that minimize your contact with wet, dirty cleaning pads. New, better absorbing pads and steam blaster tech help to break up dirt and sanitize sealed hard floors with only the power of steam.
Why choose a steam mop
If you dread mopping as much as most of us do, you need a reliable mop that can do most of the work with as little effort from you as possible. If you don’t want to invest a lot in a robot mop or a housekeeper, then a steam mop is your next best option.
While the old mop and bucket system is still the cheapest route, steam mops aren’t a huge expense. When you take into account that you won’t have to buy extra cleaning solutions and the time saved with no wringing and rinsing, you’ll see why a steam mop is a good investment.
What do you get with a Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop?
You’ll get three easy-to-assemble pieces, a quick start guide, user manual, two washable dirt grip pads, and a water filling reservoir. This is pretty standard for all Shark steam mops. Replacement / extra cleaning pads are readily available online.
- Touch-free technology: The mop head opens with the push of a button, which releases the dirty pad without you having to touch it (until you have to put it in the washer). This saves you from potentially burning your hands with steamy water, not to mention all the icky grime.
- Steam blaster: A powerful jet of steam can be directed right on dried or sticky stains to quickly break down the dirt.
- Dirt-grip pads: A step up from your humble microfiber pads, these are designed to grab and hold onto dirt. Plus they’re double sided. All you do is flip the mop head to take advantage of the clean side of the pad.
- Steam channeling system: Evenly distributes steam throughout the pad to maximize the cleaning width.
- Intelligent steam control: 3 settings so you can customize the level of steam needed for each cleaning job.
The Genius mop head with pad is narrow enough depth wise (7”) to scoot into small spaces such as behind toilets. The 13” pad width is wide enough to make good progress in fewer swipes. It swivels well and can lay almost flat to get under low-clearance furniture.
- Length – 47.1 inches
- Width – 11.8 inches
- Depth (body + mophead)- 11.8 inches
- Cord – 22 feet
- Mop head with pad – 13 x 7 inches
The on-board water tank holds 350 mL (11.8 oz) of water. It should clean approximately 1000+ sq. ft. of floor on one fill on the lightest steam setting. Heavier dirt or larger areas will require one or more refills.
Even though there is a water filter within the machine, you should always use distilled water to both minimize streaks and to not leave mineral deposits that can clog the spray nozzles. You will not need to add any cleaning solutions to the water tank. That’s one of the selling points of steam mops in general. For those who want to cut down on chemical residues, that’s a BIG selling point.
The downside to the water tank is that it’s not removable. To fill it, you have to hold or prop the machine up, lean it over, uncap the tank and fill it with the included refill cup. The user manual says to drain all the water from the tank before storage, so that means you have to turn it over a tub or sink to empty it. This is an inconvenience we really hope Shark improves upon in future models.
The “dirt grip” pads are designed to lock dirt in their fibers better than regular microfiber pads. Two of them come with the machine, and they are washable, so you can always have a clean one on hand. The great thing about these is the touch-free technology that allows you to apply and remove the pad without touching it.
The pads are dual-sided, but don’t confuse this with reversible. They can go on the mop only one way. But once it’s on and the mop head is closed, the pad has two sides, top and bottom. So when the bottom is saturated, just flip over the head and voila! Clean side!
There are a couple downsides to operating this mop. One is that there’s no on/off switch. Plug it in for on, and unplug for off. It also doesn’t stand on its own. So, unlike other steam mops, leaving it to move furniture or shoo away a kid will require more vigilance on your part.
Here’s a walkthrough of the basic operation. Follow the user manual for more detailed instructions and illustrations.
- Setup – When using for the first time, snap the top part of the handle into the body, then snap the body onto the mop head. That’s really about it. No tools required.
- Fill the tank – Pop open the top on the water tank of the mop. Fill the included measuring cup with distilled water until it reaches the fill line. Carefully pour the water into the tank. It should be totally full at this point. Don’t add more water.
- Attach the cleaning pad – Lay a clean pad flat on the floor (striped side down). Insert the edges of the mop head into the slots on the pad, lift the unit off the ground and fold the head over.
- Start it up – Plug in the machine to turn it on.
- Choose your steam level – Simply push the power button one, two or three times for the various steam levels. You’ll see lights to indicate what level you’ve chosen.
- Now get to mopping! – After plugging in, it will take about 30 seconds to fully heat up. The steam will reach about 212 degrees F and will automatically start to move through the cleaning pad. If you want to use the Spray Blaster to target a stubborn stain, flip the mop head, and aim the steam spray at the dirt, then flip the head back over and mop it away.
- Shutting down – When finished, simply unplug the machine to turn it off. Remove the pad by engaging the release lever below the handle. You can release it right into a hamper or the washing machine so it’s ready to wash. Look, ma! No wet or dirty hands! Loop the cord around the storage hook on the handle. Empty any leftover water from the tank over a sink or tub, and store the machine away.
As far as maneuverability, some users said it was hard to push upon startup (too much friction). However, if you dampen the pad with water before you begin, it can help that a lot. Also, the swivel feature was a toss-up: some customers loved it for getting around bed posts and corners, but others thought it swiveled too much and was hard to control.
The manufacturer warranty is listed as 1 year and should cover all normal wear and tear issues.
- Touch-free tech keeps hands dry and clean
- 3 levels of steam control
- Steam blaster for tough stains
- 22 ft. cord
- Washable, reusable cleaning pads
- Easy swivel and maneuvering
- No on/off switch
- Water tank not removable
- Doesn’t stand on its own
- Can be hard to push when first mopping
- Swivel can be hard to control
- May leave streaks on darker floors
That depends. If your wood floor is completely sealed, as in an engineered wood floor, it’s probably safe. You may want to avoid using on wood floors with gaps, however, as the steam could penetrate the gaps and cause warping.
That being said, many people still use steam mops on their wood floors. The important thing is to not let excess water come in contact with the wood for too long. Here are some tips:
- Don’t leave your mop and damp cleaning pad sitting on the floor.
- Use the lowest steam setting, and avoid the steam blaster unless absolutely necessary.
- Dry up any visible water after mopping.
- Run a box fan to move air across the floor to dry it faster.
Just note that if you do use a steam mop on a wood floor, and experience damage, it could void the floor’s warranty. So double check the warranty for your flooring before you take the risk.
Is the Shark S5003D Genius Steam Mop made in China?
I misplaced my in instruction book how do i open the part to he in part we with in the pad which is button do it i in pop u see what fo do nrxt in to get it to go? How do i open on the in pad part im getting as aggrevated with this mop !
not able to find replacement shark genius replacement mop heads for S6004CC0 12. will the mop heads for S6003 fit on the S6004 model?
This Shark is garbage…$139 and in les than a year stopped making steam heats up I can feel to touch the back were the tank may be…but no steam out.
Mine too i have had to call customer service 4 times to replace it
I need a new handle for Shark Steam Mop Model #6100W 40
Don’t feel that the steam is concentrated enough to clean quickly or properly. Feel that the head should be smaller. Not very happy with this mop.
Absolutely the worst company. I have had my unit 1 year and 10 days. Product stopped working. Called and they want to sell me another. No help whatsoever. Will never by another shark product. Buy shark at your own risk
I have lost track of the Shark steam mops I have thrown out as at one point they just stop working, When they work they are great. I have tried all the tricks to get them working again if there is an issue with hard water deposits. Never works. I am so frustrated with this product at this point when I started to mop my floor tonight and there was zero steam – which is the same story I have seen before.
I have used the Shark Genius Steam Mop for over a year. It is by far the worse steam mop I have ever used. This mop is heavy and cumbersome, the color of the water fill tank makes it difficult to see the level of the water. Additionally, you cannot just flip over the mop head to use the other side of the pad while cleaning without removing the pad and manually flipping it over. Difficult to remove left over water in the tank without turning the entire steam mop upside down. I also noticed after several uses, it takes quite a while to get enough steam to clean the floor while you are mopping, I have to wait until it starts steaming again. I would not recommend this steam mop!
I bought the Genius steam mop after I burned out the motor in my beloved three-year-old Shark Professional steam mop. I thought I was buying up at the time. Very disappointed in the Genius. I see most of the reviews are excellent, so, perhaps, I just got a faulty model. It doesn’t put out anywhere near the steam that the Professional steam mop did. Just doesn’t clean as well. My next mop will be another Shark Professional mop.
Mine stopped heating up just after 1 year. No more warranty. This is the third shark steam mop I’ve had break after the warranty period. Pure garbage.
Happened to me to. However, didn’t know to use distilled water and didn’t completely drain water after use every time.
Can the mop heads for the Professional Shark Steamer model S3601D be interchangeable with the Genius? They appear that they will snap/click in, but I don’t want to push/click all the way for fear they won’t release back out.
I’ve owned the Professional since their first release and love(d) it. I went to use yesterday and it heats, but does not release steam. I tried cleaning with paper clips and pipe cleaners to no avail. In searching Internet I found a couple DIY videos to replace steam hose; however, after seeing that there are a million and one screws ( just kidding) — but there is A LOT, I made decision to get a new one which would be cheaper than divorce court, or my husband throwing it across the room in frustration.
I have a lot of heads and pads for Professional, and don’t want to throw them out if they are interchangeable. Thanks
I use my lift away heads with my genius oh and btw call sharp customer service they replace the steam mops