How To Clean Steam Mop Pads (Shark & Bissell)

Steam mop pads are an economical solution to your housekeeping needs. Since you use them repeatedly, you’ll need to clean the pads sometimes to keep from dragging dirt around. But what’s the best way to clean them, and is there anything you shouldn’t use to clean your steam mop pads? 

How To Clean Steam Mop Pads

The safest and easiest way to clean steam mop pads is by handwashing them in warm water with a little bit of laundry detergent. If the pads are excessively dirty, you can let them soak for half an hour, then wash them, rinse them, and lay them flat to dry.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not you can put your steam mop pads in the washer and how often you should clean them to keep them in peak performance.

We’ll also provide a step-by-step guide detailing how to clean steam mop pads that works for all brands including Bissell and Shark, and give you tips for getting them as clean as possible with little effort.

Can You Wash Steam Mop Pads?

Although the best solution for cleaning your steam mop pads is to wash them by hand when they’re only a little dirty, severely stained, or soiled pads can go in the washing machine.

Just set your washer to a delicate cycle and add enough laundry detergent to clean them. If your appliance has a heat setting, you should set it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria on your mop pads. After cleaning the pads, be sure to add a rinse cycle to remove all the laundry detergent.

How To Clean Steam Mop Pads: Step-By-Step

Although throwing your steam mop pads in the washing machine is handy when the pads are heavily soiled, you should avoid making this your go-to cleaning method.

Mop pads will last much longer if you wash them by hand when they are only moderately dirty.

Follow these simple steps to quickly and efficiently clean your steam mop pads.

1. Fill A Basin With Warm Water

Fill your bucket or sink with warm water to wash your steam mop pads.

2. Add Laundry Detergent

Add a tablespoon of laundry detergent to the warm water. You can also add a tablespoon of baking soda for extra stain-fighting power. Be careful not to add too much detergent to the water.

Extra detergent won’t get your mop pads any cleaner, but it will take longer to rinse the excess soap from them.

3. Soak If Necessary

If your mop pads are relatively dirty, you may want to soak them in the detergent. 30 minutes should be long enough to make it easier to remove stubborn stains. 

4. Wash Your Steam Mop Pads

When you’ve finished soaking them, wash your steam mop pads. Gently scrub the material together and dunk it repeatedly under the water to get out as much dirt as possible.

If your mop pads are particularly dirty, you may have to empty your bucket and refill it with fresh water and detergent to get them clean. 

When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of each pad, wring out as much of the water as you can and lay it aside. Repeat the process on each mop pad.

5. Rinse Your Steam Mop Pads

When all of your steam mop pads are clean, empty your bucket, rinse out the soap and dirt, and refill it with warm water.

Rinse each pad by dunking it in the water repeatedly until all the detergent is gone. If you use a lot of detergent, you may need to empty the water and refill the bucket with fresh water at least once to remove all the soap from the pads.

6. Lay Flat To Dry 

When your steam mop pads are thoroughly rinsed, wring out as much water as possible, then lay them out in a single layer on a clean, white towel.

Roll them up in the towel and squeeze gently to remove as much excess moisture as you can, then get a fresh towel and lay them out again to finish drying.

If you’d like to speed up the drying time, you can place a fan near the mop pads to aid in drying.

How Often Should You Clean Steam Mop Pads?

You should clean your steam mop pads after every use to prevent excessive dirt and bacteria from building up.

That doesn’t mean you have to wash them immediately after you finish mopping each time, but you shouldn’t use a soiled mop pad to clean your floors.

For this reason, we recommend having 5-10 replacement mop pads so that you have enough clean pads whenever you want to clean your floors.

Are Shark Steam Mop Pads Washable?

Shark steam mop pads are washable. In fact, you can clean them in the exact same ways that we’ve outlined above. Those cleaning methods are perfect for all mop pads regardless of the brand. 

Tips For Cleaning Steam Mop Pads

Here are some cleaning tips to keep your steam mop pads in tip-top shape to make your floors sparkle.

  • Clean them every time you use them: Cleaning your steam mop pads every time you use them will keep dirt and bacteria from building up on them. It will also reduce how often you need to throw them in the washer since they are easier to handwash when they’re only lightly soiled.
  • Let them cool: If you want to clean your steam mop pads right after you mop your floor, give them time to cool first. Steamer mops get very hot, so touching the mop pads directly after use could cause burns.
  • Don’t use bleach: Bleach can stain your steam mop pads and break down the material. If you don’t rinse them thoroughly, the bleach could also potentially stain the flooring you clean with your mop pads.
  • Avoid fabric softeners: You shouldn’t use fabric softeners on your steam mop pads because they can reduce the absorption of the pads and ruin the material (the same goes with floor cleaners).
  • Don’t put them in the dryer: Putting steam mop pads in the dryer could shrink them and keep them from fitting on the mop head properly. If your dryer has an air-dry setting, you could probably use that with no ill effects, but we recommend erring on the side of caution and allowing your mop pads to air-dry.


Using steam mop pads is an environmentally friendly way to get your floors sparkling clean. They’re also effortless to care for. If your Shark or Bissell steam mop pads are only moderately soiled, you can wash them in warm water with laundry detergent. 

If your mop pads get really dirty, you can throw them in the washer on a gentle cycle. Either way, you should always avoid bleach and fabric softener and lay them flat to dry. 

Washing your steam mop pads after every use will prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria and preserve the integrity of the material so they will last longer. 

Shauna Stone