A Homeownerman Home-Honesty Review: Shark Professional Steam Mop
When I saw an infomercial for this product, I was sure immediately it would be a homerun. Watching the people in dingy clothing on the commercial kick over full buckets of wildlife-destroying chemicals with long faces and sweat on their brow, push around a dirty string mop on a floor so muddy that you could grow herbs in it, and finally throwing their traditional mop and bucket in the trash can, I could relate with all, well maybe some, no really none of it. But those same people were better dressed, fully made up, and had huge smiles on their faces when they bought the Shark Professional Steam Mop. I wanted my life to be as happy as theirs at those few moments a year when I was mopping floors. So I pulled out the Homeownerman line of credit, dialed the 800 number (it was actually an 866 number, but let’s not flash back to simpler times when 800 numbers were 800 numbers), and even sprung for the extra head cover, a $19.95 value for only shipping costs of $19.95.
First, let me describe how I used to mop the floors so that you will have a frame of reference for how much better my life has become. I used to don the dingy Homeownerman spandex suit, the old one that fits really tight and accentuates my beer belly because of its lack of chevron stripes. Then I would commence sweeping the floor with one of those old straw brooms, the type that the wicked witch of the west used as her Uber vehicle, until most of the dog hair, Wifegirl hair, and crumbs that I brushed off my supersuit were in a small pile, shooing away Underdog from it. Usually there are one or two previously unseen spiders crawling out of the pile. I sweep them up too. Next I would take a mundane, ordinary plastic bucket and fill it with hot water and a little bit of ammonia. (Normally at this point I would bore you with my knowledge of general chemistry and mention that ammonia comes from the ancient temple of Ammon, where the elite would park their camels while they went to worship their gods. And they had a lot of gods, so it would take a long time to worship them all. In the meantime their camels, who were crossing their legs trying to keep their urine in, would finally unleash, allowing it to flow. It had a distinct odor which comes from the nitrogen-based waste. But I won’t bore you with that here.) I then would repeatedly dunk the sponge-mop in the ammonia water, clean small segments of the floor, re-dunk the mop to wring out all of the dirt, and repeat. It would take me about 10 minutes, the floor would sparkle, and the house would smell pretty good (they put perfumes in the ammonia these days so that it doesn’t smell like camel piss.) Do you see how inefficient this method was and why I had a long face and a dingy supersuit on?
But now, with the Shark Professional Steam Mop the process is much simpler. I change into my size-appropriate supersuit with the chevron stripes. Everyone looks at me and asks “Did you lose weight?” or “Did you get new glasses?” I pull the newly washed, dazzling white, cloth microfiber pad on the steamer head. I should mention the cloth head needs to be washed with nasty, wildlife-killing detergents, thereby negating the first reason for using the Shark in the first place. I locate a convenient source of distilled water. There is usually an empty gallon near the Aero Herb Garden (see future product review), so I go to the back-up source at the grocery store. Once I return, I fill up the reservoir on the steamer through the ridiculously small opening. Fortunately Shark has provided an unlikely tall and narrow pitcher with which to fill the reservoir. I plug in the unit, which immediately dims the lights on my side of the neighborhood, and this is even before the unit is turned on. Once powered up, the Shark begins to make a quiet, mechanical noise like a 1970s clock, and almost immediately steam starts to flow from the head. I begin gliding the Shark lightly over the floor, allowing the steam to kill any bacteria to sanitize the floor while the microfibers scrub stubborn, baked on stains. This is the theory anyway. In reality, the dirt is rearranged on the floor, redepositing it in the hardest places to reach. I then frantically twist and turn the pivoting head, trying to recollect the dirt with the microfibers. After ten minutes in the first section of the floor, I give up trying to get up the dirt and figure I’ll just sanitize the floor with the steam so that I’ll have a very sanitary, organized layer of dirt on the floor. By this point the unit has run out of water, and so I must go through the filling procedure again.
Three hours later, I have a nice, hazy finish on my tile, a filthy pad which needs to be washed, and an electric bill that looks to the NSA like I have been burning sodium lights in my house to grow pot.
So, I am giving the Shark Professional Stem Mop three bent nails (out of a possible four.) I should mention that the more bent nails, the worse the product. I am not gleeful like the people on the infomercial, and come to think of it I have never seen any professional cleaners using one of these. So, call Homeownerman old school, but I’ll keep my mop and ammonia, thank you.