Shark Steam Mop Leaves Streaks – What To Do?

Having streaks on your newly mopped floor can be frustrating. What could've gone wrong when it should be flawless and stain-free from all the steam-cleaning? We have researched this for you, and here is what we found out:

If you notice your Shark steam mop leaving streaks on your floor, you can carry out any of these remedies:

  • Remove the dust or dirt on the floor.
  • Mop at a constant pace and direction.
  • Do not use any cleaner on the steam mop.
  • Use a new or clean cloth.
  • Use the steam mop on a dry floor.
  • Control the mop's temperature.
  • Get a compatible mop for the floor.

Why does a steam mop leave streaks on your floor? How can you prevent it from happening again? What type of mop should you use for your floor? All these and more are coming if you keep on reading.

close up photo of a steam mop steaming on the wood tile floor, Shark Steam Mop Leaves Streaks - What To Do?

Things To Do When Steam Mop's Leaving Streaks

The good news is it does not cost a lot to stop your steam mop from leaving streaks. But it might take more effort and observing proper caution to be able to solve your problem. Here are the things you can do so you do not have spots on your floor when steam mopping:

smoking steam mop on the floor to remove dirts and sterilize the germs on it

Cleaning Before Mopping

If you are the type of person who lets the mop carry all the work in removing dirt, you should start changing. One of the possible reasons your floor has streaks is due to the dirt and dust still present while you mop.

You get the dirt wet when you steam mop. So, if the mop cannot hold the dirt in the cloth, it will remain on the floor and stick once dry.

To prevent this, you should vacuum the floor before mopping. That way, you can eliminate the large dirt and hair strands present.

Tips To Vacuum The Floor Properly

We do not want the vacuuming to add to your stress. That is why we offer some tips for doing the task properly. The first thing you should do before vacuuming is empty the canister or dust bag to enhance suction. A weak suction can affect the power of your vacuum to suck in debris.

Second, remove the objects on the way, like toys and clothes. Then, use attachments that will suit where you're vacuuming. Also, take a slow, steady pace in sections of the floor. Your device needs time to suck in the dirt.

Is your vacuum leaving marks also? Read this: Dyson Cordless Vacuum Leaving Marks On Floor – What To Do?

Mopping In Constant Pace And Direction

house owner cleaning the floor using a wet mop to remove stains

If you need to stop mopping to attend to other matters, make sure you turn off the steam mop instead of leaving it working on a spot.

You will most likely have streaks or damage to the flooring, causing even a burn mark. The damage may be due to heat applied to the area when you leave the steam on longer. Same while you're mopping. Maintain a steady pace and avoid wiping a spot for too long.

Another way to avoid streaks is to do the mopping in a uniform direction, not zigzag or random wiping. You can move backward as you make push-and-pull straight motions in a straight line with the steam mop. That way, you lift the dirt along with the cloth.

Use Plain Distilled Water

Did you know that your shark steam mop heats up to 217 degrees? Germs and bacteria die when the temperature exceeds 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you do not need to use any special floor-bacteria-killing solutions or soapy water in your mop.

Also, if you do not rinse the soap, detergent, or cleaning product on your floor with plain water, the residue may result in a streak or soap marks. It can also make the floor surface sticky and collect more dust.

So, use plain distilled water. Why distilled? Because hard water that we can often get from the faucet leaves mineral buildup. That is what forms the streaks on the floor. You may have noticed this on your glasses and dishes when washing them with hard water.

Use A Clean Cloth

Have you ever tried cleaning your wall with a dirty cloth? You got an unideal result, right? Same with mopping. If you notice dirt buildup on the cloth or it is already soiled even before you start cleaning, replace it with a clean one.

A soiled cloth will spread the dirt on the area where you are mopping and double your work. Of course, the streaks will make the situation more stressful because they can be hard to remove.

So, before you start the steam, make sure you have a clean, spare cloth. Also, replace the cloth when you notice dirt building up. But make sure to wait until it's not too hot anymore. You do not want a burn from 217 degrees of temperature.

This is why it's essential to vacuum first to reduce the debris your steam mop needs to remove.

Mop On A Dry Floor

Another thing you should do to prevent a streak is to avoid steam mopping a floor with too much water in it. A steam mop produces steamed water, which evaporates in a very short time. The mop does not dry the floor. So, using it on a wet floor's not ideal.

Make Sure The Mop's Not Too Hot

If you use a mop producing too much heat, your floor might get streaked. Check if the device needs to be repaired or replaced already.

Use The Right Mop

Please be keen about using a suitable device when cleaning. Your mop could leave a streak on the floor if it is the wrong choice for that floor type.

Using a steam mop on a wooden floor is not advisable because it can cause warping. Other floorings which you may think twice before steaming are:

  • Engineered hardwood floor
  • Laminate
  • Painted
  • Vinyl adhesive tile floor

Meanwhile, ceramic, porcelain, solid hardwood, and concrete floors can withstand and enjoy the cleaning benefits of your steam mop. We will talk more about finding the right mop in a little while.

What Is The Right Mop For You?

man using floor mop top clean the floor of the living room of the house

This section will cover the different types of mops and the surfaces they work best. For sure, you will find the right one for your floor. This is not only to prevent streaks but also other damages.

  • Flat mop - Hard floors, hardwood, and vinyl
  • Sponge mop - Hard floors, tile, and laminate
  • Dust mop - Hard floors
  • String mop - Hard floor, tile, and marble
  • Strip mop - Hard floor, tile, and marble
  • Steam mop - Hard floor, carpet, tile wall, and surfaces
  • Spin mop - Hard floors
  • Microfiber mop - Hard floors
  • Static mop - Floors, blinds, ceiling, and surfaces
  • Brush mop - Hard floor, carpet, indoor, and outdoor surface
  • Robot mop - Hard floors

Are you having trouble with your floorboard? Read this: How To Fix Floorboard Not Resting On Joist

How To Clean Steam Mop

Your floor is not the only one that needs cleaning. Shark steam mop can last from 1 to 3 years. Maximize that life span by taking care of it.

Before you start, it's better to wait for the device to cool down to prevent skin burn. Here's how you can thoroughly clean the steam mop:

  1. Remove the steam mop from the electrical outlet.
  2. Pour out the remaining water in the tank.
  3. Clean the water tank using a water-vinegar solution.
  4. Remove buildup in the nozzle.
  5. Replace the mop pad.
  6. Wipe the steam mop's exterior with a dry cloth.


close up photo of a steam mop steaming on the wood tile floor

To keep your Shark steam mop from leaving streaks, you should first vacuum the floor and then the mop at a constant pace and straight direction. In addition, avoid using hard water and soap.

Remember to use a clean cloth and avoid mopping a wet floor. Also, control the temperature, and make sure that the steam mop is compatible with your floor type.