Household Gadgets
Review: Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Floor Cleaner

Worth Using

16

Image: Shark

Susie Homemaker I am not. I manage to do things like laundry and dishes pretty well, and the other chores that you have to do or you’ll run out of things. Floors, though, almost always get overlooked. I’ll sweep sometimes, or vacuum when the floor is clean enough to do so. But I rarely get to any deeper floor cleaning. The process is usually messy with a lot of prep and clean up.

I recently read about the new Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner and thought I’d give it a try. I liked the fact that one machine could clean both hard floors and carpet, since my house has both. The packaging claims that it is good for wood, tile, linoleum, laminate, and stone, but my review only covers hard wood floors and no-pile carpet. My floors don’t receive too much heavy traffic, but did have some difficult-to-remove pet stains.

Carpet bits. Image: Shark

I started with the hard floor cleaning setup, and was very pleased with how simple it was. The floor cleaner comes with several different floor pads, so I had to make sure the right one was on the machine. Then I mixed the cleaning fluid with cold water in the included mixing bottle (it includes one for hard floors and one for carpet), and started cleaning. It runs a lot like a vacuum. Plug it in, turn it on, lean it back, and run it over the floor. You press a button to spray the cleaner out on the floor, which you can do more or less of, depending on your needs. You can also have the machine scrub parts of the floor more or less, since the bottom of the machine vibrates in place.

On the hard floors the machine acted a bit like an electric, vibrating Swiffer Wet Jet. But after cleaning, our wood floors looked very clean and shiny. This is probably because it will do 1000 scrubs per minute, much more than my arms can handle. All of the fine dust that inevitably remains after you sweep was gone. You do have to sweep thoroughly before using this machine, though, because any stray dust bunnies will just get wet and ball up. Using the machine was smooth and easy, and felt a bit like a floor buffer. The floor dried very quickly, and didn’t require rinsing.

Hard floor bits. Image: Shark

Next I tried it on our carpet. It was equally simple. I started by vacuuming the area to pick up dirt and lint. Then I pre-treated the pet stains with the pre-treating spray, waiting about five minutes. In the meantime, I mixed up the carpet shampoo. This was also mixed with cold water. Running the machine over the carpet did feel a lot like vacuuming, except the carpet was slightly damp afterward. It also didn’t require any kind of rinse. The carpet took longer to dry than the hard floor, probably because the carpet soaked up the cleaner. And the spots I had pre-treated took a few hours to dry because I had soaked them ahead of time. But the carpet looked great afterward, and once everything dried, it was clear that my tough pet stains were gone. These were stains that I had tried to remove previously with Spot Shot, which had always worked in the past. I guess the combination of the Shark cleaners and the scrubbing action did it better.

What did I think overall? I liked the machine in general, but I think it’s more useful for carpet than hard floors. It works great for hard floors, but it is probably more machine than most people need. But if you have a house with just carpet, or mixed types of floors, this is a good machine to have. Since you mix the cleaner with cold water, you can let the excess sit on your shelf and just use it whenever necessary—spot clean, or do whole rooms. The machine is light and has very little setup time.

I also liked how there were two different reusable bottles, one for the hard floor cleaner, and one for the carpet shampoo. They are color coordinated with the scrubbing pads, which are labeled for their use. The machine came with two different pads for hard floors (one for cleaning and one for buffing) and two different pads for carpet (one for general cleaning, and one for stains). It also came with hard floor cleaner, pre-treater for carpet stains, and the no-rinse carpet shampoo. A tray was also included, to store the machine on when not in use. Since it has Velcro-type fasteners on the bottom, it’s better to elevate it off the floor, especially carpet.

Also, there are two speeds for the machine, a low and a high, depending on your needs.

When choosing what pads to use, read the labels on each one. They are clearly labeled there, but not in the instructions. When you’re done, cleaning the pads is easy. Just wash them in the washing machine with liquid detergent, and either line dry or tumble dry low. According to the instructions, you’re supposed to buy a new pad after 20 washes, which seems pretty frequent, especially if you use this to clean your floors every few days.

The Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Floor Cleaner retails for $199. If you clean your floors frequently, this might be a really good purchase for you. But if you need deep cleaning less often, you might need something mightier.

GeekMom received a unit for review purposes.