Shark s3501 vs Shark s3601 – Review and Comparison

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In this article, we will talk about two very popular steam mops – shark s3501 vs s3601.

There are many popular brands on the market, that offer different cleaning devices. One of the most popular ones is the Shark – They offer a wide range of products, ranging from standard vacuum cleaners through carpet cleaners to steam mops.

There are undoubtedly too many products on the market to compare all of them, and that’s why we are focusing mainly on popular, reliable brands which have years of experience in this field. Today, we will compare two very popular steam mops – Shark s3501 vs Shark s3601

Those two units are a common choice among many household owners, especially when it comes to beginners since they are quite affordable. Both units work pretty well, offering sufficient cleaning performance. What’s more, the design remains convenient and easy to use.

Based on the opinions online as well as our own experience, we will give you a thorough review of each product. At the end of the article, we will also pick a winner of this comparison.

Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of the article.

Shark s3501 vs Shark s3601

NAME:Shark s3501Shark s3601
POWER:1,200 Watts1,550 Watts
SIZE:51.2 x 12 x 5.9 in.51.2 x 12 x 5.9 in.
WEIGHT:4.87 lb.4.85 lb.
CAPACITY:450 ml. (17 oz.)500 ml. (17 oz.)
UNIQUE FEATURES:Intelligent steam control
CORD LENGTH:18 ft.22 ft.

Main differences

In the beginning, we would like to address, that either unit is a great steam mop, that shouldn’t have any problems with your floors. They both get the job done, however, there are a few key differences which you should know about before you make the final decision.

The first important difference is power. As opposed to vacuum cleaners, it can’t be measured with suction, therefore, we will use wattage. Based on the numbers, given by the manufacturer, Shark s3601 is a more powerful unit providing 1550 Watts. Its opponent, the Shark s3501 produces only 1200 Watts.

We would also like to address, that for most of the time this shouldn’t be a problem. Although, the difference may be seen in more demanding areas, that aren’t as easy to clean.

Another important dissimilarity is intelligent steam control. This feature is only available in the Shark s3601, and it allows for regulating steam depending on the floor surface. There are 3 settings: dust mode (best to use on laminate, bamboo, sealed hardwood, and marble), mop mode (sealed hardwood floor, tile, stone, and marble), and scrub mode (tile, stone, linoleum, and hardwood).

In the Shark s3501, there is no way to regulate how much steam is produced. The only way to start cleaning is by pumping the handle in a downward motion to release the steam.

The last crucial difference is water tank capacity. Since there is no battery, this will be the main factor limiting how much you can clean in one go, at least before refilling the tank. There is a small difference, therefore, if you own a big household, it may be something to keep an eye on.

Shark s3501 has a water tank, that can hold up to 450 ml (15 oz.) of water which is a pretty good score. However, the Shark s3601 can hold up to 500 ml (17 oz.) of water.

Those are pretty much all the most important aspects, that you should keep in mind. Based on the factors above, you can already make the final decision. However, we would highly recommend reading the rest of the article, in order to learn more well-detailed information.

Cleaning Efficiency

Cleaning efficiency is one of the most important aspects when choosing a new cleaning device. By this, we mean how well a particular unit does, compared to other products from a similar price range. Thankfully, both units are fairly good at doing their job.

The first thing, that needs to be addressed is the power of the units. Shark s3501 produces around 1200 Watts which is a noticeably lower power level, compared to Shark s3601, offering 1550 Watts. Nonetheless, most of the time this shouldn’t be a big problem. The difference may be seen mainly in very demanding or dirty spots. 

Another important aspect is the steam production system – In Shark s3501 the steam can be produced by pumping the handle 5-10 times in order to generate the correct amount of steam. Due to this system, there is no way to accurately regulate how much steam is coming out or its temperature.

The situation looks different in Shark s3601 which offers intelligent steam control. This system offers 3 different modes, that allow you to choose the most suitable steam production for a particular surface. In order to make it more understandable, we will give you a brief description of each mode.

Dust mode – It is best to use this mode for some light cleaning and removing dust. Since it doesn’t produce a high temperature, it can be used on many different surfaces such as:

  • Laminate
  • Bamboo
  • Sealed hardwood
  • Marble

Mop mode – This is a standard mode, that allows you to begin some serious mopping. It’s best to use it for cleaning small messes, and standard sanitization. The most suitable surfaces for this mode are:

  • Sealed hardwood floor
  • Tile
  • Stone
  • Marble

Scrub mode – The most powerful mopping mode, it’s used for removing the most stubborn and deeply embedded dirt. Some of the best surfaces to try this mode are:

  • Tile
  • Stone
  • Linoleum
  • Hardwood

A large variety of cleaning options makes the whole process more enjoyable and convenient. You don’t need to figure out whether your new unit is suitable for a particular surface with this steam mop. Additionally, all your floors can be cleaned without the use of any harsh chemicals.

Another great feature, that is present in Both Shark s3501 and Shark s3601 is a 2-sided washable pad. During the cleaning process, you can use the pad upside down, in order to clean more area with the same pad. There are 2 cleaning pads, that come with the steam mops, and they are fully washable.

Those are pretty much all the important aspects when it comes to cleaning performance. Of course, there may be more indirect factors, that can alter the cleaning performance, however, we will talk about those in the latter part of the article.

Tank capacity

Tank capacity is the main aspect limiting maximum cleaning time as both units are powered by a cord. This is something to keep an eye on if you want to clean as much area as possible in one go. That being said, you can always refill the tank multiple times during the cleaning process.

Shark s3501 has 450 ml (15 oz.) water tank capacity while the Shark s3601 can hold up to 400 ml (17 oz.) of water. Additionally, both units come with a special filling flask, that will make refilling easier.

Since we are talking about maximum cleaning time, you should also keep in mind, that the mopping pad can be switched or turned upside down. Thanks to this, you don’t need to worry too much about getting the pad too dirty in a single cleaning.


Design is an important part of every steam mop, as they need to remain comfortable, easy to use, and convenient. Thankfully, the products from this comparison meet all the requirements above. They boast an ergonomic design, that shouldn’t cause any problems, even after long periods of cleaning.

If you would like to learn some more technical information, Shark s3501 measures 51.2 x 12 x 5.9 in. and weighs 4.87 lb. while the Shark s3601 measures 51.2 x 12 x 5.9 in. and weighs 4.85 lb. As you can see, both units are pretty portable, what’s more, they are even lighter than some robotic vacuums.

Cord length

Cord length is definitely something to double-check if you own a bigger household. Some people like to rely only on the base cord length, as they don’t use any extension cords. Having outlets in all standard spots is also very important.

Shark s3501 has a cord length of 18 ft. while the Shark s3601 has a cord length of 22 ft. Either one should be enough, however, you can always take some basic measurements if you are not sure.


Price is another crucial aspect when choosing a new cleaning device. Although, it’s also usually the first thing people check when comparing different steam mops. Nonetheless, we still decided to touch on this aspect as it’s essential.

Shark s3501 can be found on Amazon for the price of $89.99 (Click here to see the price!) while the Shark s3601 also can be found on Amazon for the price of $87.99 (Click here to see the price!). Both models are very affordable and are great entry-level steam mops.

You also need to remember, that the price tends to fluctuate a lot. This is why we highly recommend double-checking the price before you make the final decision. Even now, you can find one of the models discounted 22%.

Package content

Both models come with some extras, that can be found in the package. There are quite a few useful items, that make both models more appealing. Below we will list all the items, that can be found in either steam mop package.

In the package of Shark s3501, you can find:

  • 2 Washable microfiber pads
  • Filling Flask
  • Quick Release Swivel Cord Wrap
  • Rectangle mop head

In the package of Shark s3601, you can find:

  • Rectangle Mop Head
  • Triangle Mop Head
  • Shark Washable All-Purpose Rectangle Pocket Pad
  • Shark Washable All-Purpose Triangle Pocket Pad
  • Filling Flask
  • 22 feet Power Cord

Necessary maintenance

The necessary maintenance is another aspect that is, unfortunately, often skipped by the people who are choosing their new cleaning device. In order to keep your new steam mop operating at the desired level, and to prevent any permanent damage, you should always take basic maintenance steps.

We won’t be getting into details here, as it would simply make this article too long. However, we would like to give you some basics tips, which should work with most of the steam cleaners.

  • Regularly rinse the water tank
  • Regularly check the attachments/tools for any stuck dirt and/or debris
  • At least once a week clean the cover of the steam mop, attachments, and wash mopping pads
  • Replace any used or damaged elements as fast as possible

Those are some basic tips, which should work for most of the steam cleaners, however, we highly recommend reading the user’s guide, in order to learn all the crucial details about the maintenance.


In conclusion, both units are quite efficient and reliable at sanitizing and cleaning small messes. Either one should be sufficient for beginners to this type of cleaning, as both of them are affordable entry-level steam mops. However, there are a few key differences, that you should keep in mind.

Some of the most important differences are power (Shark s3601 is more powerful), intelligent steam control (regulating steam is only possible in Shark s3601), and water tank capacity (Shark s3601 has a larger water tank).

Based on the factors above, it’s easy to say, that the Shark s3601 is a winner of this comparison. It beats its opponent in almost every aspect, providing more powerful and more versatile cleaning performance.

We hope, that after reading this article, you will be satisfied with your final choice.