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Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner Review

Home Test of Shark Sonic Duo

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Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner Review

Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner

Photo © Shark
The Shark Sonic Duo is not a steam mop, nor is it a steam carpet cleaner. In fact it doesn't use steam at all, but utilizes cool water and solution combined with a scrubbing action to clean all floors. I was most anxious to try it out.

Product Despcription

    Shark® Sonic Duo™ Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner 613A
  • Safe for all floors including wood, tile, linoleum, laminate, stone floors and carpets or area rugs
  • Sonic Trap & Remove™ Technology
  • 1000 Scrubs per minute
  • Airglide maneuverability
  • Comes with 3 pads (green trim) and no-rinse wood and hard floor cleaner, for hard surface floors; plus low moisture-no-rinse-carpet shampoo and 2 pads (purple trim) for carpets and area rugs; pretreater carpet spot remover; wood and hard floor polish and buffing pad; 2 colored cap reusable bottles (to mix concentrated solutions); and a tray.
  • Swivel steering with 180deg of maneuverability
  • Lit cleaning path
  • Non-toxic and biodegradable; safe for family and pets
  • Learn more from the manufacturer
  • Available at retailers nationwide April 2013
  • No-rinse solutions will be available where Shark® products are sold
  • Wool safe approved
  • $249.99 MSRP

How the Sonic Duo Performed

April 15, 2013
There's minimum assembly required to get this cleaning tool set up and it comes with lots of accessories, so you can do your carpets, area rugs and all hard surface floors. Pads and bottles are color coded to eliminate confusion - green for floors; purple for carpets. There's a fair amount of important information in the manual that you need to know before using this machine. I've emphasized some below, but please read the rest too:
  • Always vacuum or sweep before cleaning and vacuum rugs again after carpet cleaning
  • Always put water in the bottle first, followed by solution
  • Use only Shark® Sonic Duo™ solutions
  • Carpet spot cleaner is used manually to pretreat stains
  • Do not use without a floor pad attached
  • Set up machine with solutions, pad before plugging in and turning on
  • Remove pad and bottle when done; unplug unit
  • Machine wash pads with liquid detergent; hang or lay flat to dry; do not bleach or use fabric softener
I've gotten used to using steam or water with a small amount of vinegar for my floors and have shied away mostly from solutions that are overly scented. So I approached this test somewhat skeptical that I would like this type of cleaner. I worried about soap residue too, especially when it comes to laminate floors. But as the test went on, scents were not a problem - solutions are mild, and this Shark tool proved to be a good performer.

I started out on the kitchen vinyl linoleum that I knew was way overdue for a cleaning. I was very surprised at how well this machine handles. You cannot help but love the amazing swivel that gets into the corners easily. It also was able to go under the edge of the fridge and right up to the cabinet kick plates. This is a spray-as-you-clean operation, where you apply the solution by trigger on the handle, before your pass and not as you pull the machine back. The spray ends up about 6" in front of the tool. You use a back and forth motion which is easy, given the way this thing glides. The Sonic Duo does all the work - with a rapid dual scrubbing action. If the pass looks a little dry, you simply spray more solution.

I was so impressed with how the dirty kitchen floor turned out that I continued onto the living room laminate. I purposely did not change the pad for this test. The trick with this type (laminate) of flooring is not to use excess moisture, so I was lighter on the spray trigger and curious to see how it would dry if I was skimpy with the solution in some places. It dried nicely with minimal smearing - even with the dirty pad and I couldn't detect any residue or definitive line where I had only partially cleaned. The pads do a great job of holding the dirt.

Continuing to the bathroom and hallway vinyl, I still got the same good results. The only place I couldn't take this 9" wide floor tool, was in the narrow area between vanity and toilet. In the bedroom, it cleaned just a few inches under the bed, turning off when I tried to lay it down completely to clean further underneath, so reach there was limited.

Changing to the carpet solution and proper (purple trim) pad, it was on to carpeting and the entrance mat. The mat is thin and worn, so I expected it to move around too much with the vibrating pad, but it stayed put fairly well. The low pile carpet was easy to shampoo after pre-treating manually for one stubborn stain. On carpeting, the Sonic Duo is very easy to move around - almost has a self-propelled nature with the scrub action, so not hard at all to use. The stain required three applications to reduce it to a very faint, barely noticeable spot. I knew it would be difficult to remove entirely.

Whether it removes allergens or not from carpeting is debatable. Being allergic myself, I know pet allergens tend to go deep into carpeting, so I would expect some surface dander to be picked up with the damp pad and more with a good vacuuming afterwards, but not entirely removed. It did however freshen and brighten the carpeting, which was the main objective.

The reusable solution bottles can be removed and you can keep the rest of the diluted solution for another cleaning day - I like that there are two bottles. I was surprised at how little solution I used for cleaning all these areas. Note that the machine has two speed settings - I for low speed for hard surfaces; II for higher speed for rug cleaning.

As for performance - it does an impressive job. I certainly wasn't looking forward to cleaning these dirty floors but this tool made them easy to clean - not labor intensive. And cleaning was also quickly done. My steam mop would not have given such good results, even if I would have changed the pads often.

Overall Impression and Related Resources

The Shark Sonic Duo is one of the easiest and most versatile floor cleaning tools I've used. Handling is outstanding. No-rinse solutions leave the floor clean and streak-free with no residue if you change the pads as needed. You can even do a small patch when you have a spill and cannot tell where you left off. Even in areas where I purposely sprayed excess solution leaving it wetter, it dried cleanly. It dries fairly quickly, not as fast as a hot steam mop of course, but quicker than when using a floor mop and bucket.

When it comes to carpeting, this cleaner does a good job of freshening the fibers. But remember that you must vacuum first and again when dry, to remove the dirt and debris the scrubbing lifts up. This kind of carpet cleaning reminds me of the Electrolux® floor polisher/carpet cleaner I had decades ago. Unlike today's steam carpet cleaners that add hot water and solution to the carpet and removes it by suction, the rotating brush action would clean with a gentle formula, and vacuuming later would complete the task. And it did a good job.

The Sonic Duo™ does the same kind of thing, only with dirt-clinging pads and a different style of scrub. This kind of cleaning was thought to be much gentler on carpet fibers, since it didn't remove all the natural lanolin. So I'm not surprised to see a new tool with this kind of rug cleaning. Steam carpet cleaners are handy when you have lots of higher pile carpeting and deep down dirt, but the Shark Sonic Duo works well to remove stains and refresh to clear odors from carpeting. It's also easier on the back for spot cleaning, than using a handheld carpet stain remover.

Though I love my steam mop, when the floor is very dirty, you need the scrubbing action of the Sonic Duo. Using this tool was painless, it produced good results on all my floors. Even my hubby was impressed at the nice handling. I highly recommend it. It's a worthy cleaning tool that is easy to use and store. It even has lights and Shark was certainly not cheap with accessories. For those wondering about the scent of the solutions, they have a mild fragrance that reminds me of dish soap. I had no problem with these solutions.

Shark® has a good array of floor cleaning tools including vacuums, as well as garment care and steam appliances. They offer affordable prices and good value.
Read more about Shark products

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Can't say it's amazing, Member hotsundaytoday

I can't say it cleans any better than a swiffer does with cleaning solution. It does not scrub surface dirt off very well.I also cannot say it's any faster than using a swiffer. I am conflicted on whether I should have bought it or not. It's fun to use, but it should be amazing for this price...

1 out of 2 people found this helpful.

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