Shark is the manufacturer behind a line of steam mops and household steamers that clean surfaces with heat. The smaller devices provide only 10 minutes of cleaning time, while the larger mops are strong enough for cleaning an entire room. Inside the steamer, you should use only products that the manufacturer recommends, and avoid using any type of oils.
Oil fragrances, such as essential oils, contain a mixture of alcohol and scents. You add the mixture to cleaning products and devices that leave behind a light and fresh scent in your home. The oils mask other scents in your home, including cooking smells and garbage smells. Some scented oils also appear in store-bought and homemade beauty supplies. While the oil fragrances are safe for use around humans, the oils are not safe for use in your Shark steamer.
How the Steamer Works
Shark steamers feature a reservoir that holds water and your cleaning products. The temperature of the water slowly rises, and the steamer pushes the product to the bottom of the mop or steamer. As the mixture hits the bottom of the mop, it saturates the mop head. The pad on the mop head cleans and sanitizes your flooring and other surfaces as you move it along.
The manufacturer designed the canister on the Shark steamer for holding water and cleaning products from Shark. When you add any other products to the steamer, you risk severely damaging the device. Shark recommends using cleaning products manufactured specifically for the Shark steamer. Stores that sell the devices also sell the products. If you want a scented cleaning product, look for options available from the company. Do not use any type of chemicals or oils in the machine, unless your manual recommends those products.
Fragrance oils and essential oils have an oil base with other additives. The oils have a thicker consistency than other types of liquids, and the viscosity means that the oils do not mix with water. When you add the oils to your water reservoir, the oil sits on top of the water. Once you empty the canister, the oil clings to the surfaces inside the machine. Keep in mind that even if the oils do not damage the machine, the oils may bleach or cause other discoloration on surfaces in your home. The oils are especially harmful to fabric and upholstery.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.