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Shark Genius Steam Mop Review

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Ever wondered what it would be like to mop your floors with steam? Well now you can stop wondering and start knowing. Say hello to the Shark Genius steam mop.

Shark is well known for their strong performing vacuum cleaners, but will this steam mop be able to wow us? The Modern Castle tests will reveal the answer!

Continue reading below to discover if the Shark Genius is the right steam mop for you.

Budget Steam Mop


Shark Genius

The Shark Genius is an inexpensive, but surprisingly strong performing steam mop. It handled most of our cleaning tests without issue (only slightly struggled with soda due to the volume of liquid). It’s easy to use, lightweight, maneuverable, and great at getting under furniture. A great choice if sanitizing floors is important.Check Price


  • The Shark Genius has a flippable head for easier steam release.
  • Touch-free technology, meaning you never have to touch a dirty cleaning pad.


  • The Genius pocket mop can be hard to push around when starting a cleaning cycle.
  • This Shark mop uses its water tank fairly quickly.

Table Contents

  1. Accessories
  2. Cleaning
  3. Maintenance
  4. Value
  5. Specs
  6. Summary

Shark Genius Design

The Shark Genius steam mop offers a simple design. Built much like a stick vacuum, this Shark mop is not too tall, but is certainly tall enough to avoid strenuous cleaning from continuously having to bend over.

Shark Genius steam mop
Shark Genius steam mop

DESIGN | This Shark has a circular handle at the top of the unit that houses the power button, along with a cord wrap hook, where the cord can be stored when the mop is not being used. As you move down the front of this mop, there is a water tank, followed by the plastic cleaning head, which holds the cleaning pad.

CLEANING PADS | On the back of the Shark Genius is a lever that users can pull to remove the dirty cleaning pad from the unit. Therefore, you never have to touch a dirty cleaning pad.

To change the cleaning pad, press down on the latch at the back of the unit and the head of the unit will open up for pad removal

To change the cleaning pad, press down on the latch at the back of the unit and the head of the unit will open up for pad removal

The cleaning pads are held on by the head of the unit, which slides into the underside of the pad and clamps down on it to ensure a secure hold.

AESTHETIC | The color scheme of this Shark steam mop is nothing out of the ordinary, but the gray and red, mixed with hints of chrome give it a nice aesthetic overall.

How Shark Genius Cleans

The Shark Genius steam mop cleans in two different ways:

  1. Steam is pressed out through the cleaning pad while being pushed around
  2. Steam is sprayed in front of the mop

Although these two methods both use steam to clean, they do differ.

STEAM THROUGH PAD | The first method allows users to continuously clean while steam makes its way through the cleaning pad. There is no spraying of steam or any other solution.

STEAM IN FRONT | Method number two gives the user the option to flip the cleaning head, spray steam directly onto the area that needs to be cleaned, and mop it up. This style is to be used on harder to reach / clean areas, such as grout lines, or for messes that are more stuck on.

A large cleaning pad uses steam to agitate and lift debris off of your floor
A large cleaning pad uses steam to agitate and lift debris off of your floor

The cleaning process for the Shark Genius is fairly straightforward:

  1. Fill the clean water reservoir tank
  2. Select the amount of steam you’d like to produce
  3. Place the cleaning head on the floor for the desired cleaning style (steam through pad or steam in front)
  4. Push the steam mop around to clean

Size & Dimensions

The Shark Genius stands at 47.1″ in height, 11.8″ in width, and 11.8″ in depth. Additionally, this unit weighs 5.78 pounds.

  • Length – 47.1″
  • Width – 11.8″
  • Depth – 11.8″
  • Weight – 5.78 pounds
Shark Genius steam mop size

Accessories & Parts

As a steam mop, it does not take much to operate this unit. Most everything is already included on the unit, such as the water tank and cleaning head.

The only extra accessories included are the cleaning pads (2) and the water filling reservoir.

Shark steam mop cleaning pad

Cleaning Pad: Two dirt grip pads are included with this Shark Genius steam mop. The cleaning pad is to be attached to the cleaning head and used to mop the floors. This pad can be washed and reused and can also be flipped over for longer cleaning sessions.

Shark steam mop water tank

Water Reservoir: The water reservoir holds water that is converted into steam for cleaning. You’ll want to fill the tank completely fill, as the water is used fairly quickly.

While there are a few other models in the Shark Genius steam mop line, none of them include more accessories than the model we are testing.

Each of the Shark Genius Steam mops come with at least one cleaning pad. That said, the more expensive models do include nicer cleaning pads and more of them.

RELATED – If you would rather not mop at all and have a robot mop your floors for you, then you may want to check out the Braava 380t robot mop or the Braava Jet 240 robot mop.

Cleaning Tests

The following tests are designed to show how the Shark Genius performs as both a mop and a sweeper.

We tested the Shark Genius as a mop on tile flooring, spreading three different debris types across the floor and attempted to mop the debris up over three separate passes.

Next, we tested the Shark Genius steam mop as a sweeper, making several sweeping passes across a dusty hardwood floor. After doing so, we took a look at the floors and made our assessment of the Shark Genius’s cleaning performance.









For starters, the mop test contains three debris types:

  • Dirt / mud
  • Honey
  • Soda

Each of these debris types offer a different level of stickiness and consistency, allowing us to test the Shark Genius steam mop against a light, heavy, and liquid substance. All three debris types are spread across our testing lane in three separate sections.

Shark Genius cleaning tests

Throughout our mopping tests, we try to give real life examples and be as consistent and fair as possible. The mopping test procedure goes as follows:

  1. Measure out 3 oz of soda and spread the soda across the back of the testing lane.
  2. Squirt honey in the middle of the testing lane, covering a majority of the width of the lane.
  3. Create a muddy substance from dirt and water then spread the mud with a shoe.
  4. Make a pass across the testing lane and compare the amount of each debris type mopped up on pass one to the untouched debris.
  5. Make pass number two across the lane and analyze the amount of each debris type mopped up.
  6. Make a third pass, if necessary.

RELATED – For additional cleaning help, see our vacuum reviews and guide to creating a cleaning schedule.

Mopping Tests

The Shark Genius steam pocket mop performed exceptionally well throughout all of our cleaning tests. Although there were times where the unit required a bit of force to lift the debris off of our tile floor cleaning lane, there was virtually zero residue left on the floor after the tests were completed.

Soda Cleaning

The soda cleaning performance was strong, but also the weakest link when it came to overall cleaning performance for the Shark Genius steam mop.

There was almost no soda left on our testing lane after all testing was complete
There was almost no soda left on our testing lane after all testing was complete

After passing over the soda once, I noticed that the cleaning pad did a nice job of absorbing almost all of the soda it came in contact with. That said, it did have a tendency to drag some soda behind.

This was not a large amount, and the mop actually did a good job of cleaning it up once I made another pass over it, but there was a little bit of soda that remained on the lane after testing had been completed. I think this is more a problem of absorption, than it is raw cleaning performance.

The cleaning pad was to soak up a vast majority of the soda
The cleaning pad was to soak up a vast majority of the soda

Mud & Honey Cleaning

Mud and honey were both 100% successes. After passing through both of these debris types, there was virtually nothing left on the testing lane, that I could see. As I continued to make passes over the mud and honey, the Shark Genius steam mop was able to completely mop up all of the debris we spread.

After one pass over the mud, the Shark Genius was able to remove ~99% of the debris
After one pass over the mud, the Shark Genius was able to remove ~99% of the debris

Cleaning the mud and honey was a bit different. When cleaning the mud I was able to make passes back and forth over the mess without having to spray it directly with steam.

On the other hand, the honey required more direct steam (not surprising), which was a quick transition with the Shark Genius. I lifted the mop up, flipped the head, and the steam spraying port was now open and ready to work.

Once I began pushing the mop the steam sprayed and helped to lift the stickier honey off of the tile floor.

Once again, the Genius was able to lift the honey with a single pass
Once again, the Genius was able to lift the honey with a single pass

All things considered, these debris were simply no match for the Shark Genius mop.

Sweeping Tests

The sweeping tests were another success for the Shark Genius. After sweeping over the hardwood floor, on the lowest steam setting, the Genius was able to lift and remove dirt / dust that was not visible.

We made quite a few passes over an average size room and found that the floor looked notably cleaner than the area we did not sweep.

If you would like a floor cleaner that can remove larger debris while sweeping, you may want to see our Review of the Bissell Crosswave, as well as our Bissell Crosswave vs. Hoover Floormate comparison.

Is the Shark Genius Easy to Use?

Using the Shark Genius is not difficult. Fill up the water tank, plug the mop in, choose the steam setting you’d like to use, and begin cleaning.

SETUP | After removing the parts from the box, you do have to snap on the top portion of the handle into the body of the unit, and then snap the body into the cleaning head. That said, this setup is extremely easy, does not require any tools, and can be completed in two minutes or less.

Shark Genius steam mop assembly and setup
Snapping the Shark Genius handle into the floor cleaning head

FILL TANK | Once you get to actually using the unit, the first step is to fill the water tank. In order to do so, you must use the included filling flask. Fill this flask up with water until it reaches the line shown on piece itself and pout the water into the tank. It only takes one filling of the flask to completely fill the reservoir on the unit.

Shark Genius steam water tank
Water tank reservoir on the Shark Genius

CLEANING PAD | Next, you have to attach the cleaning pad to the mop. Lay the pad flat (upside down) and insert the plastic edges of the cleaning head into the appropriate slots on the cleaning pad, fold the head over by lifting the unit off of the ground, and you’re good to go.

From there, all that is left to do is plug it in and choose the steam, power mode. This is completed by pressing the power button one, two, or three times, which will then light up the power mode lights to inform the user of the mode you have selected. After this step is complete, you’re ready to start mopping with the Shark Genius steam mop.

Steam Modes

If you decide to mop with direct steam applied to a mess, the head can be flipped underneath the body of the unit, opening up the direct spray port of the Genius. Once you begin pushing, the steam will spray in front of the mop. This hot steam will work to remove more stuck on substances off of your floor during mopping.

Changing the power mode is as easy as pressing the button on the body of the unit
Changing the power mode is as easy as pressing the button on the body of the unit

All in all, it is hard to come by another steam mop that is easier and more clean to use than the Shark Genius,


Maneuverability on the Shark Genius steam pocket mop is hard to beat. It is able to turn at 90°, lay almost completely flat, and it is light enough to push around without much force applied.

  • Weight: 5.78 popunds
  • Power: 22′ cord
  • Height: 47.1″
  • Modes: 3


When turning the Shark Genius, users do not have to work too hard. Once the handle of the unit is rotated a bit, the head of the mop turns almost immediately. This is a great benefit when trying to clean around furniture in your home.

Flat Lay

Additionally, the ability to lie almost completely flat without lifting up the cleaning head is impressive. This means you have the option of cleaning under furniture or other obstacles in your home, with ease. Plus, you’ll be able to reach further underneath those areas.

The Shark Genius is able to lie virtually flat while mopping
The Shark Genius is able to lie virtually flat while mopping

Movement Ease

The only con I would note about the maneuverability of this unit is trying to push the Shark Genius steam mop when starting a cleaning cycle. While the steam is trying to push its way through the cleaning pad, it can require a strong push to get going. This is not a huge negative, but I would have liked to seen the mop resist movement less when starting off a cleaning cycle.

That said, once the mop is thoroughly damp, it is easy to move around. At less than 6 pounds in total weight, it is not so heavy that you cannot mop the floors for a long period of time.

The Genius is able to make 90° turns with ease
The Genius is able to make 90° turns with ease

For a broader selection of mops see our primer on the best mops of 2018.

Maintenance Tasks & Costs

The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the mop. However, your individual experiences may vary.

Accessory / PartReplacement FrequencyReplacement Cost
Cleaning padAs neededCheck Price

Maintaining the Shark Genius is a breeze. Change the cleaning pads and replace the water, that’s really all there is to it.

  • Change the cleaning pad – The cleaning pad can be washed and reused several times, but it will need to be replaced periodically, depending on how often the unit is being used.
  • Fill water tank – Making sure the water tank is always full will help put less stress on the mop and add to its lifespan. It cannot produce steam without water.

Annual maintenance costs for the Shark Genius steam mop should cost around around $19 / year. This includes replacing the cleaning pad twice a year.

The Shark Genius owner’s manual recommends replacing the cleaning pad every 3-4 months. This feels like massive overkill to me. I think most users could replace the cleaning pad once or twice a year and be perfectly happy with the performance.

Is the Shark Genius a Good Value?

The Shark Genius steam pocket mop offers a great value, overall. The cleaning performance, price, design, and ease-of-use are all factors that help create a versatile and well rounded steam mop.

Is the Shark Genius steam mop a good value?

During our cleaning tests, the Genius had no issues with our debris types. We found that with a few extra passes, this steam mop will leave minuscule, if any, amounts of substance on your floor.

Maneuverability was solid as well. There was only one small issue with how much force is required to start a cleaning cycle, but this was not really enough of an issue to hurt the Shark Genius.

Maintenance costs are reasonable, as the only notable part that needs periodic replacing is the cleaning pad.

With regard to warranty and returns, Shark offers a 1-year limited warranty with the Genius steam mop, in addition to a 30-day return period, via Amazon.

Shark Genius Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Shark Genius:

TypeSteam mop
ModelGenius S5003D
Weight5.78 lbs.
Floor TypeAll hard floor (indoor)
Water Tank Capacity0.35 L
CordlessNo - 22' cord
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who Should Buy the Shark Genius Steam Mop?

The Shark Genius is a steam mop designed to make mopping your floors quick and easy. The simple design makes it easy-to-use and the three different levels of cleaning power deliver strong cleaning performance.

I would recommend the Shark Genius if you’re looking for the following features in a steam mop:

  • Want a steam mop versus a generic mop – The Shark Genius is a mop that uses steam to clean. This is not your traditional mop that soaks up water and uses that water to wet the floors while mopping them up. The steam is used to lift the substance off of your floor, clean the floor, and dry them quickly. Additionally, the superheated steam means floors are sanitized of bacteria and other germs.
  • Don’t mind a corded unit – This Shark steam mop does include a 22′ cord, so you will want to be sure you are okay with plugging this unit in before purchasing. Some users prefer not to have to worry about plugging in the mop every time they go to use it.
  • Want a strong performer – This Shark Genius steam mop did quite well throughout all of our cleaning tests. This unit was able to handle the dirt / mud, honey, and soda with ease. Additionally, it did great while dusting / sweeping my floors.

For more information on the Shark Genius visit here.

Great Value, Great Performance
  • Design - 92%
  • Performance - 98%
  • Quality - 93%
  • Usability - 94%
  • Value - 92%


The Shark Genius is a budget steam mop built by one of the most popular cleaning brands in the world, Shark. Its performance during our cleaning tests was solid, removing almost all debris on all tests. If sanitizing your floors is important the Shark Genius is a top contender among the steam mops we’ve tested.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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12 Comments on “Shark Genius Steam Mop Review”

  1. My genius intelligent mop hs stopped making steam. Is there a trouble shooting method I can use..? Is there a reset system.? Please help.

    • That’s a big problem. Any number of problems could be in play.

      I’d suggest reaching out to Shark. They are better suited to troubleshoot this type of a thing.

    • What do you mean by “adequate”? Is it not creating steam? Is it not hot enough? Not enough volume?

  2. I have a 5ft x 8ft oriental rug. If I put it on an adjacent kitchen tile floor can I steam clean the rug? Or take the rug out to my driveway and steam clean the rug there? Your comments are appreciated.

    • That should be fine, Robin. Just make a point to not get the carpet too wet.

      I would put it on the kitchen and then just mop up any extra water that comes through.

  3. I just bought the Shark Genius and really like the fact that I do not have to use a traditional mop/bucket. Can the Shark Genius be used to dust the floors without steam? The only real inconvenience that I have is no on/off switch, I have to unplug each time I want/need to stop.

    Thank you

    Debra Macias

    • It’s not really intended as a dusting mop, but there’s no reason you couldn’t just leave it unplugged and dry dust with the mopping pad.

      It probably isn’t as good as a standalone dusting mop, but should still be sufficient.