Well this is a turn up. I’ve already heaped praise upon the excellent Kärcher SC3 Upright EasyFix Premium which proved to be a sterling operator in the field of hard floor steam cleaning and, lo and behold, along comes a swellegant contender in the form of the Shark Klik n’ Flip.
At this current moment in time I seem to be swimming in steam cleaners which you can read all about in our guide to the Best Steam Cleaners. Hence, my home is so clean I’ve been eating off the floor – saves on washing up.
Truth is I’m not a big fan of using steam cleaners to clean an oven or even the worktops. I tried one model on an oven a while ago and it made zero impact on even the least stubborn grease. In fact all I ended up with was loads of water in the oven. So forget using a steam cleaner to do the oven and use a simple wipe for your worktops. But hard floor steam mops? Now that’s an altogether different kettle of fish, for want of a better phrase.
Steam mops are de rigueur for deep-down cleanliness with no additional chemicals. With a good bit of back and forth elbow grease they remove the most stubborn stains while killing 99% of all microbes in the process. They are, to all intents and purposes, the most environment friendly household cleaners you can use. If you you’re a bit OCD about germs – I’m personally not – and have toddlers crawling about or humans and pets that bring remnants of the local playing field into the home, a steam mop will be right up your street.
So let’s not mince our words and get straight down to why the Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop may just be the best hard floor cleaning solution for you.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop: price and availability
The Klik n' Flip isn't available Stateside but Walmart has an entire page dedicated to a wide range of other Shark steamers for your perusal.
Living in Australia? You're in luck because the Shark is available from Amazon.au for A$222.73.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop review: design
The first thing in the Shark Klik n’ Flip’s favour is weight. At 2.7kgs against the Kärcher SC3 Upright’s 3.1kgs, the Shark feels a teeny weeny big lighter which makes it marginally easier to push and pull and quite a bit lighter for carrying up stairs.
At 33cm in width and 18cm in depth, the Shark’s thick, wooly mopping pad is substantially bigger than that fitted to the Kärcher SC3 (31cm x 9cm). And that means its increased surface area covers more ground per sweep. Even better, the Shark’s mop wraps around both the top and bottom of the floor plate which means it can be flipped over and used on the other side, albeit a bit clumsily.
Like the Kärcher, the pad can be attached to and removed from the floor plate without touching the pad. It takes a while to get the hang of the mechanism – the pad-release button is very stiff to push and the unit needs to be lifted a few inches off the floor – but when the two sides magically unfold, it’s a small moment of admiration. Rather cleverly, the double-sided pad has a pocket on each corner so that when you lower the floor plate, its extended corners slip into each pocket in the mop. It’s such a clever mechanism I played with it a few times. Much like folding and unfolding a Brompton bicycle, it takes a few attempts to nail the process but once mastered you’ll be klikkin’ and flippin’ like a pro.
Another hot facet about the Shark Klik n’ Flip is that, in reverse mode, if you lean the handle backwards it exposes a steam-blast nozzle for giving obstreperous stains a bloody good seeing to.
In terms of styling, the Shark is slim and functional but it isn’t as elegant to look at as the aluminium-clad Kärcher.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop review: features
Like the Kärcher SC3 Upright, this model also features three steam levels: Low for treated wooden floors; Medium for general use on linoleum, tiles, stone and marble; and High for full steam ahead. I’m not sure why there's a big sticker on the front of the unit proclaiming ‘Intelligent Steam Controls’ because you need to press a button to activate each power level in turn. And that’s not especially intelligent, IMO. In fact I found the button to be a bit clumsy when selecting different steam levels even though there’s an LED light display to tell you which setting you’re on. The Shark Klik n’ Flip comes with 6m of cord (one metre shy of the Kärcher) and two sturdy hooks to store it on.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop review: performance
Like any steam mop, the Shark Klik n’ Flip is a doddle to use: simply fill the fixed 0.35-litre reservoir with water using the supplied plastic jug, select one of three steam intensities and push and pull it along the floor.
I have no issues to report regarding its performance – it excelled on the bathroom’s linoleum and spotlessly cleaned the tiled kitchen floor. Mercifully, it didn’t leave as much water behind as some steam mops which is a good thing for wooden floors since they are generally not that suitable for steam mops, especially if they haven’t been treated or there are substantial gaps between the boards.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop review: verdict
The Kärcher SC3 Upright EasyFix is still unequivocally five-star material but then so is the Shark Klik n’ Flip. Both models are easy to get a handle on though the Shark’s larger surface area, ingenious double-sided mop and fitting mechanism – not to say its much cheaper price – just pips the Kärcher in my opinion. At just £99, this steamer is a veritable bargain.