TOP Reasons For A Shark Steam Mop Not Steaming - And How to Fix Them

Shark Steam Mop Not Steaming: Common Causes and Solutions

Mar 15, 2023
Shark steam mops are among the most popular cleaning products on the market due to their efficiency and convenience. They are perfect for cleaning hard floors, carpets, and upholstery, making cleaning a breeze.

However, even the best products can have problems, and these top-notch machines are no exception. For a Shark steam mop not steaming, there are various reasons why this might have happened. Fortunately, many of these issues can be fixed at home without the need for professional help.

In this article, we will guide you through the common causes of a Shark steam mop not steaming and provide tips on how to troubleshoot and fix them. Keep reading to get your machine back in working order.

Why Is Your Shark Steam Mop Not Steaming?

You Have Not Plugged In And Turned On The Mop

It is easy to forget to plug in and turn on the steam mop, especially if you are in a rush or distracted. Some people may assume that the mop is already on or may not realize that it needs to be plugged in. Others may simply forget to do it.

When this is the case, your Shark steam mop simply cannot find the power source to heat up the water and produce steam for you.

Your steam mop will not produce steam unless you turn it on first

Your steam mop will not produce steam unless you turn it on first

You Did Not Select The Right Cleaning Mode

Most steam mops come with multiple settings for different types of floors or cleaning tasks. Unless you select the right mode or setting, your Shark steam mop won't steam.

For a new user, it can be confusing to figure out which setting to choose. Why it is important to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and understand the different settings available on the steam mop before use, not all people do this.

Getting the wrong setting may result in less steam production or even damage to the flooring. By understanding the different settings and selecting the appropriate one for your cleaning task, you can ensure that your steam mop produces the desired level of steam and effectively cleans your floors.

➜ RELATED: The Best Steam Mop For Laminate Floors: TOP Products Roundup 2023

Empty Or Not Properly Attached Water Tank

The water tank is an important component of a Shark steam mop. It holds the water that is heated up to produce steam for cleaning. If the water tank is empty, there will not be any water to heat up and create steam, and the mop will not be steaming as a result.

On the other hand, if the water tank is not properly attached to the mop, the water may not be able to reach the heating element, which is responsible for heating the water and producing steam. This is because the water tank is located at the back of the mop, and without a secure attachment, water may not flow properly into the heating element.

The heating element is positioned in the middle of the mop, and it heats up the water that is present in the tank, creating steam which then travels up to the mop head.

All in all, it is important to make sure that the water tank is properly attached and filled with water for the Shark steam mop to work effectively. You should consider this probability and inspect the water tank when your unit stops working all of a sudden.

The problem may come from the water tank too

The problem may come from the water tank too

The Water Tank Is Leaking

If the water tank of your steam mop has leaks, it may prevent the device from producing steam. A leaky tank can cause the water to spill out or not reach the heating element, preventing it from creating steam.

Your Steam Mop Needs More Time To Heat Up The Water

When using a steam mop, always allow enough time for the water to heat up and produce steam. It is common for people to expect the steam mop to start producing steam right away, but the heating process may take longer than anticipated.

The heating element needs time to heat the water to a high temperature, and this can vary depending on the model and the amount of water in the tank. It is always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer's instructions for recommended heating times and be patient as the steam mop heats up. Rushing the heating process may result in a less effective cleaning experience.

Damaged Heating Element Or Other Internal Component

If your steam mop is still not producing steam after checking the water tank, attachments, and power, it is possible that the heating element or another internal component may be damaged.

The heating element is a crucial part of the steam mop that heats up the water to create steam. It is usually made of a metal alloy that is designed to resist high temperatures and prevent corrosion. When the heating element receives power from the steam mop, it heats up and begins to convert water into steam, which is then released through the mop head.

Over time, the heating element may become damaged due to repeated use, mineral buildup, or exposure to excessive heat.

This can cause the steam mop to stop producing steam altogether or produce less steam than usual. Other internal components, such as the pump or electrical connections, can also become damaged and cause the steam mop to malfunction.

The Electrical Outlet Does Not Provide Adequate Power

When the electrical outlet is damaged, overloaded, or not compatible with the steam mop, it may not be able to produce the level of power required and your Shark steam mop won't steam.

There are several reasons why this happens, which is a phenomenon not limited to just steam mops. It could be due to a loose connection, a faulty outlet, or too many devices being plugged into the same outlet. It could also be due to electrical issues in your home, such as low voltage or a tripped circuit breaker.

The Nozzle Has Been Clogged

There is a high chance of the nozzle, which is responsible for directing the steam to the floor, being clogged. This issue can occur due to debris or mineral deposits that accumulate over time, particularly if you use hard water in the steam mop.

Mineral buildup can occur when hard water is used in the steam mop. It contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that can accumulate inside the nozzle, blocking the flow of steam. If not cleaned regularly, this buildup can damage the steam mop over time and affect its performance.

Debris, on the other hand, can also clog the nozzle and prevent steam from being released. This can occur if the steam mop is not cleaned after each use or if it is used in areas with high levels of dust or dirt.

Mineral buildup is a real problem with steam mops

Mineral buildup is a real problem with steam mops

How To Fix A Shark Steam Mop Not Steaming

Check The Water Tank

If your Shark steam mop is not steaming, the first thing you should check is the water tank. This is the most common reason why the mop will not be able to produce steam.

Here are some steps you can take to fix the issue:

  • Turn off and unplug the steam mop: Before you start working on your steam mop, make sure it is turned off and unplugged. This will ensure your safety as you troubleshoot.
  • Check the water tank: Look at the water tank to see if it is empty. If it is, refill it with water. If it is not, remove the water tank and look for damage or blockages. If there is any blockage or dirt, remove it and clean the water tank. Contact Shark customer support through their phone number if you find any hole or crack.
  • Reattach the water tank: Make sure the water tank is properly attached to the steam mop. You should feel and hear it click into place.
  • Turn on the steam mop: Once the water tank is properly attached, plug in the steam mop and turn it on. Give it a few minutes to heat up and start producing steam.
  • Test the steam mop: Once the steam mop has heated up, test it to make sure it is producing steam. Hold the mop over a sink or bucket and press the steam button to release steam. If it is still not steaming, there may be another issue you need to troubleshoot.

Check Electrical Components

To check electrical components to see if they are functioning properly, follow these steps:

Make sure the steam mop is plugged in and turned on. After that, check the power switch and make sure the device is turned on.

Try plugging the steam mop into a different electrical outlet if your steam mop does not turn on or you think the outlet you are using does not provide enough power to the steam mop. Make sure the outlet you choose is functional and compatible with the device.

Inspect the power cord and the plug for any signs of damage. If the cord is damaged or the plug is loose, this could be causing the issue.

Verify that you have selected the right mode or setting for the type of floor you are cleaning. The best way to do so is to read the user manuals that come with your Shark steam mop. Find the right cleaning mode for your flooring and switch to it using the steps laid out in the manuals.

When you have a Shark handheld steamer not steaming, for example, you will not have to check many of those components.

Clean The Nozzle

Detach the nozzle and check for blockage

Detach the nozzle and check for blockage

If the nozzle of your Shark steam mop is clogged, it may not be producing steam as expected. In order to fix this issue, you will need to clean and unclog the nozzle. Depending on the cause of the blockage, the cleaning method will differ.

Mineral buildup:

  • Before you can troubleshoot Shark steam mops, turn off and unplug them from the electrical outlet. Allow the device to cool down completely.
  • Remove the water tank from the mop, and pour the remaining water in the tank into a sink or drain. If you use hard water, mix a solution of one part vinegar and one part water to remove the mineral buildup.
  • Fill the water tank with the vinegar and water solution, then attach it back to the mop.
  • Turn on the steam mop and allow it to heat up for a few minutes, then press the steam button to release the solution.
  • Repeat the process until all the mineral buildup has been removed from the nozzle. After cleaning, run plain water through the mop to rinse the nozzle.

Other debris:

  • Turn off the steam mop and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Allow the device to cool down completely.
  • Check the nozzle for any visible debris. If there are any large pieces of debris, gently remove them with tweezers or a small tool.
  • Mix a solution of mild detergent and warm water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into the solution, wring it out, and wipe the nozzle thoroughly. Be careful not to damage the nozzle.
  • Rinse the nozzle with clean water and dry it with a clean cloth.

Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals to clean the nozzle, as this can damage the device. When the nozzle is severely clogged or damaged, you may need to contact professional repair services.

Ask For Professional Help

In some cases, the component may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional technician. If you suspect that the heating element or another component has been damaged, get in touch with the retailer to file a repair request.

Tips On Using And Maintaining Shark Steam Mops

In addition to following this Shark steam mop troubleshooting, you should also pay attention to regular maintenance. It is key to keeping your steam mop working efficiently and preventing common issues like leaks, clogged nozzles, and other problems.

Start by regularly cleaning the water tank and replacing the filter if your model has one. Also, clean the nozzle of your steam mop regularly to prevent mineral buildup and other types of debris from clogging it.

The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you use the steam mop and the hardness of the water in your area. To prevent mineral buildup, you can also consider using distilled water instead of tap water in the steam mop.

Treat hard water to protect other appliances as well

Treat hard water to protect other appliances as well

To ensure that your steam mop receives adequate power, use a properly functioning outlet that is not overloaded and is compatible with the device. If you experience the same issue with other appliances in the house, you may need to consult an electrician to determine the cause of the problem.


A Shark steam mop is a useful tool for keeping your floors clean, but it can be frustrating when it fails to produce steam. We have provided an overview of the common reasons for a Shark steam mop not steaming, including issues with the water tank, electrical components, and nozzle.

By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can troubleshoot and address these issues to ensure that your steam mop is working properly and producing steam as needed. With regular maintenance and attention, your Shark steam mop can be a reliable and effective tool for your cleaning needs.


  • 01. When Should I Contact A Professional When My Shark Steam Mop Stops Steaming?
  • If you continue to experience issues with your steam mop after trying all the above solutions, there may be another underlying issue that needs to be addressed. In this case, contact customer support for further assistance.

    Also, keep in mind that attempting to repair your Shark steam mop on your own can be dangerous and may void the warranty. Go directly to the retailer or manufacturer when you are not confident in your DIY skills, or it looks like the broken component can be easily fixed at home.

  • 02. Can You Use A Steam Mop On Laminate Floors?
  • The general idea is that you should not steam mop laminate flooring. The heat and moisture can seep into the floor, especially through unsealed seams, and warp or buckle it. However, with the best steam mop for laminate floors, the right methods, and plenty of caution, you can still get the job done without damaging your flooring.

    ➜ RELATED:  Can You Use A Steam Mop On Laminate Floors: Basic Laminate Floor Care Tutorial 2022

  • 03. How Can I Know If I Have Hard Water?
  • Look for signs of mineral buildup in your sinks, faucets, and showerheads. You can also purchase a water test kit or send a water sample to a laboratory for analysis. Additionally, you can contact your local water utility for information on the hardness of your water supply.

  • 04. How Can I Tell If My Electrical Outlet Is Not Providing Adequate Power To My Steam Mop?
  • You can check this by testing the outlet with another appliance or by plugging your steam mop into a different outlet to see if it produces steam. If the steam mop works fine in another outlet, then the original outlet may not be providing adequate power.

  • 05. Why Is It Important To Use Distilled Water In A Steam Mop?
  • Distilled or filtered water is recommended for use in a steam mop because it contains no minerals or other impurities that can clog the water tank and nozzle over time. Tap water may contain minerals like calcium and magnesium that can accumulate in the water tank, reducing the effectiveness of the steam and potentially causing damage to the unit over time.

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