This article focuses on the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501), but may be able to be applied to other models of Shark Steam Mops as well.
The problem with the original design? The steam mop handle consists of two internal plastic sleeves that provide a slip connection. A screw then pulls the two sections of the handle together, clamping around the metal arm of the handle. This is the weak part of the Shark handle!
Eventually, the internal plastic mounts can break off from the main sections, leaving an upper handle that no longer secures to the metal arm. But, as the title of the article suggests, we have fixes.
- Buy a replacement handle direct from Shark.
- Buy one of the new and improved Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mops, which seems to have a stronger and better handle design.
- The last and most economical solution; going to your local hardware store and spending under $4 in hardware. Any additional costs will depend on your access to tools needed.
Depending on your region you may be able to find similar parts at other local hardware stores.
- 5/32″(4mm) or 11/64″(4.4mm) drill bit
- 13/64″(5.2mm) drill bit
- 2 ea. 3/16″ diameter x 3/4″ long aluminum binding screws (posts).
- Optional: 2 ea. 5/16″ diameter x 1/2″ long aluminum spacers.
Step 1) Drill > Deburr
If the internal stems are not already completely broken off in all 4 spots; try to remove them. There are several ways to achieve this: snap them off with a pliers, cut them off with a utility knife, or use a utility sheers.
Using a 5/32″ or 11/64″ drill bit, insert the bit through the existing holes and continue drilling through the opposite wall of the handle where the original sleeves were connected. These don’t have to be pretty. Something as simple as a utility knife will be fine to deburr the edges if needed.
** The remnants of the original plastic sleeve (circled in black) will provide a guide for the drilling phase.
Step 2) Modify Spacers
This will be the hardest part of the repair. The internal diameter of the spacer is slightly too small for the binding posts (13/64″ / 5.2mm) to slide through, so they will have to be bored out. Secure the .5″ long aluminum spacers you purchased, then use the 13/64″(5.2mm) drill bit for boring the I.D.
Q) Why not just use a larger diameter binding post and remove this process?
A) The head of the posts and screw will also get larger, which then, the parts will not sit completely flush against the plastic handle as it begins to curve.
Step 3) Insert Spacers
Once the above is completed, insert the spacers into the metal handle. These will help fill the internal void and help eliminate movement once the binding posts are installed.
Step 4) Reinstall Handle
- Slide the plastic handle back over the metal shaft, lining up the holes.
- Slide the stem (female) section of each binding post through the original holes of the plastic handle and through the internal aluminum spacers.
- Take the threaded (male) section of the binding posts and insert them through the newly drilled holes. Screw and tighten the binding posts.
** The soft aluminum material can easily mar from the screwdriver when tightening. A small file will deburr the marks if needed.