Shark Sonic Duo Review

This machine was one of the hardest machines I have ever had to review, It has so many functions, and does so many things right, yet at the same time fails at the thing it promises to do so well at. This machine will always have a place in my closet, and hopefully shark will learn from the failures of this model and craft a model to correct these problems.

In addition if you haven’t read my pre-review blogging of my experiences I would HIGHLY recommend you do that. It contains results from some of the tests I did with the sonic duo on many types of floors and in various situations. It can be found HERE.

Formula and Pads

At the heart of the Sonic Duo cleaning system is the Shark solutions and pads that are made for the machine. These formulas are concentrated (more on that later) and work with the reusable pads (that come with the refill formula). The system (at the time of writing) has four pads that can be used with it: Carpet, Carpet Stain, Hard Floor, and Polish. Each pad is unique and the pads are color coded to prevent confusion.

Here are the various pads that can be used with the machine:

Hard Floor Cleaning:

Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Solution and Concentrate
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Solution and Concentrate


Hard Floor Polishing:

Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polishing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polishing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polish
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polish


Carpet Cleaning:

Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Scrubbing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Scrubbing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Solution, Concentrate and Activator Spray
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Solution, Concentrate and Activator Spray


Carpet Cleaning Performance:

When it comes to carpet performance this machine promises the moon, claiming to get your carpets “1.5 times brighter” and to remove ground in dirt from below the surface. When I first heard these claims I was quite skeptical as they sounded far too good to be true, but their “demonstration photos” showed a very large amount of improvement, so I gave Shark the benefit of the doubt, thinking of all of their previous success and hoping that they once again hit it out of the park. I eagerly got the floor vacuumed, the solution prepared and the pad attached, going slowly to let the machine try and get anything it could, waiting to see the carpets become bright and clean again, but the brightening never happened. Although I was disappointed by the lack of  carpet brightening I was very pleased to see that some of the tough stains that have been in the carpet for a great deal of time (and resisted many attempts to remove them) have vanished.

Overall I have changed my ideas on how the machine works, thinking of it as a machine that removes stains as opposed to a machine that can be used for maintenance cleaning and brightening. In this regard the machine is significantly worse than a Hot Water Extraction machine or HWE, which never fail to brighten my carpets, AND remove all the stains. To sum it up carpet performance is my only complaint about the machine, and I think there will be many others in the same boat with me, having complaints about the Sonic Duo on carpet.

For carpet cleaning I cannot recommend this machine, which is a disappointment.

If you are looking for a carpet cleaner check out the Hoover SteamVac

Hard Floor Cleaning:

On hard floors this machine kicks butt! The Sonic Duo is almost magic when it comes to cleaning hard floors, the dual heads vibrating their way to a clean floor. This system works by first spraying solution out onto the floor which loosens the dirt and acts as a suspension buffer to get the dirt off of the floor and into the pad. The pads are designed with three different sections on them, a smooth and soft section to absorb and buff, a scrubby section to scrub tough dirt and spots off of the floor, and a noodle section to get into all of the nooks and crannies while mopping up the dirt and solution mixture. The pad works quite well and is always dirty after I am done cleaning a floor with the Sonic Duo, leaving the pad dirty and the floor shiny and clean. Every floor I have thrown the Sonic Duo at has seen great results, with the lone exception being the granite, however the granite is almost impossible to clean.

The Sonic Duo makes the task of cleaning a hard floor very easy, allowing you to get the job done quite quickly and leave the floors absolutely spotless. The machine lives up to the claim of getting the job done in half the time of a mop and bucket. the results are also better than a mop and bucket, as the sonic duo does not spread dirty water over the floor, instead spreading new solution over the floor before picking up the dirty solution in its absorbent pad.

Hard Floor Polishing:

If the Sonic Duo mad my hard floors shiny after they were cleaned, the polish makes them sparkle, after applying the polish my hardwood floors shined like they were brand new. This is a shine that they haven’t had for many years, but the Sonic Duo was able to do it. The polishing process starts by first going through the hard floor cleaning process and waiting 5 minutes for the floor to dry. After the floor is clean and dry the polishing pad is attached to the Sonic Duo and the polishing process begins. Polish is squirted onto the floor and the sonic duo rubs and buffs the polish onto the surface of the floor, making it shine and truly sparkle. Once you are done with the polishing process an hour should be given to let the polish dry before walking on the floor again.


The Shark Sonic Duo is a great machine on hard floors, but overall it just falls flat when it comes to carpeting, getting the stains out, but not doing much more than that. I will be keeping the sonic duo in my closet, as it is an amazing hard floor cleaning and polishing machine, but will not be asking any more from it in terms of carpeted performance.

Overall, if you are looking for carpet cleaning, keep looking. If you are looking for hard floor cleaning and the occasional carpet spot removal the Sonic Duo is the machine for you.

Carpet Score: 4/10

Hard Floor Score: 10/10

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Want One?


Shark Sonic Duo
Amazing hard floor cleaner but lacks on carpet performance.
7.5 / 10 stars

41 thoughts on “Shark Sonic Duo Review

    1. I have a condo full of rescue pets some of which have litter box challenges. The tile part of the floor is easy enough to clean, but the grout, particularly where the tiles are slightly different heights because of a wonky sub-floor, is nearly impossible unless I’m down there with a toothbrush. Because it’s sanded grout there’s also a lot of hair embedded, which plenty of water will get out but then I have to work with the wet vac to get that up. Think the sonic duo might work for me ?

  1. I have been looking for something to clean my tile and grout and marble and granite floors! The grout is soooooo dirty! Ughhhhhhhh and impossible to clean unless I get on my hands and knees with a toothbrush and Tylex with my kids volleyball knee pads! What is the best offer u found on shark sonic? Thanks for ur time, kelly

    1. I bought my Sonic Duo at Wal-Mart (hard floor model) for $168, before tax. It does an amazing on my hardwood floors, and presumably it works equally well on other hard surface flooring. I’ve used my Shark steam mop on my tile floors for years, and it does a fantastic job. For really dirty grout (even colored grout) I simply spray the grout lines with a hydrogen peroxide solution, let it sit for a few minutes, then use the steam mop. I’ve also used a bleach solution. Either way, do NOT add these things to the steam mop water reservoir, just apply directly to floor. I know my floors are not only clean, but sanitized!

      1. Thank you for the infor on how to clean dirty grout I have struggled with this and was not looking forward to getting on my knees to clean it this is a much easier solution that I will try next time I clincean my kitchen floor Thanks again

  2. Yes I have my own small cleaning business and I am curious how the sonic duo works on laminate floors.would you recommend this machine? thankyou very much.

    1. The Sonic Duo is great on laminate! The only thing to watch out for is keeping the pads clean between uses. I would highly recommend the machine for hard floors.

        1. Why would you want to leave them dirty between cleaning? Common sense dictates trying to get the pads as clean as possible after use so that you get as little as possible dirt build up so that they last longer

          1. Because the pads are designed to break down after around 30 or so cleanings. You want to get the maximum life, so you need to clean them as little as possible.

  3. Thanks for this review. I wanted it specifically for my hardwood, which has been my biggest cleaning challenge for a while now. This sounds like a winner in that area.

  4. Just saw advert for this product on TV and thought to give it a try, but afraid it would join other such items as disappointments stored in the garage. We have all hardwood floors and thanks to your review I feel better about spending the money on the Sonic Duo. Appreciate the detailed, objective review!

  5. Thank you for this review! I have a hard time believing reviews because they often have a biased opinion. I do feel that you gave an honest review, and I appreciate that!

    I am on the fence about this product. I have some pet stains and other deep stains on my carpet. I am renting, so I am really stressed out about how to approach these stains. They ate NOT coming out!! I have used a bissel carpet shampooer, and even added bleach, but the stains remain 🙁

    Do you think this product could really help me out, or should I just save up for carpet replacement?? At this point with the stains being there for six months already, I don’t know if purchasing this product is worthwhile.


    1. If you have tried bleach I can safely say that this probably won’t do much for you at this point. I’m sorry to say that as great as the machine is Shark can’t sell you magic (yet).

    1. Thanks so much for the recommendation on the Hoover. What a miracle product!!! I will read more of your reviews.

  6. I just bought a sharksonic dou cleaner. Before we moved in the people before us used orange glo on the hardwood floors. It leaves a film that is very hard to get off. I have a commercial steam cleaner that I used to remove the Orange glo but it is time consuming project. We used to Shark and it does not seem to remove to orange glo and still leaves a film . What do you recommend to use in the Shark to remove the orange glo from the hardwood floors ?????????

    1. At this point I would use a steam mop, with a splash of vinegar in the water to remove the Orange Glo from your floors. The Sonic Duo can’t do much at this point.

  7. Handle keeps separating from its base during cleaning. We haven’t had luck with attaching it permanently. Also, after thorough cleaning, a “white paper towel test” showed that the porcelain tile floor was cleaner, but it’s not spotless. The scrubbing pads were stained brown; so was the paper towel that followed cleaning. Sorry … this is not a perfect performer … it spreads around dirt as do all mops that do not vacuum up the dirty water. And it has no effect whatsoever on grout. Still on the fence about taking it back because it’s lightweight and easier to use than most other systems.

  8. Less then a year ago, I purchased a Navigator NV 352 vacuum from the company. With shipping the cost was $215, except I found an online code dropped my code to $185. What really sold me was the company doubled the warranty to 10 years and threw in a Shark floor cleaner S3102.

    Now the floor cleaner is a steamer cleaner that one fills a reservior tank, place a pad on the bottom and plug in to heat the water. The small areas (50-60 sq feet) in both the kitchen and bathroom have (1″ sq.)small tiles and the machine fails to clean the grout lines. After usage, I clean the dirty pad by hand with Shout and mild soap.

    IMHO, the real problem with cleaning a carpet is that once an area is wet clean, it must be dry before another attempt. There’s a believe that a Rug Doctor can clean a rug to a professional level in one day. What does happen is your carpet is soaked to the pad and typically fans are used to get the pile dry. The commerical companies with a unit in a van can heat up the water to break up the dirt and then have the suction through a hose to pull most of the liquid from the carpet and pad. Bottom line, you can rent a machine with solutuion for $50-$100 or call a commerical cleaner and probably spend around $200.

      1. I bought the carpet concentrate and the pre-treater in a bundle but it did not include a new pad. I had to buy the carpet pads separate. The only bundles that include a pad are The Hardwood & Floor clearer and The Floor Polish. They sell these at Wal-Mart and Bed Bath & Beyond.

  9. We have dark laminate wood floors. Our dog droops a lot and we find dog saliva to be like glue. We have tried so many types of mops and solutions. Soul the shark sonic pro work for this problem?

  10. Can you recommend a decent lightweight vacuum? I have the Oreck XL but wonder if there is something with more power. Ease of use (fibromyalgia), allergies and something that moves easily from carpet to hardwood are primary concerns. I have been looking at the Dyson cordless & hoped the Rocket might be good, but am disappointed by your experiences with them. Thanks so much. Your videos are very helpful.

  11. I read many reviews before I decided to buy the Shark DuoSonic but even before I got the machine, I realized it needed an additional wet cleaning machine which can pick up the left behind dirty film that the pads on the Shark apparently cannot totally pick up! When I got the Shark I tried it with a paper towel and I was right, it was on an antique hardwood floor! I was lucky to find a new Hoover Floormate Spinscrub for a cheap price and bought it, because the TV ad also made me curious to try one of those! I am now very happy with the results and did also some testing, Floormate only and than the Shark and again the Floormate and the combo is the best for totally clean floors! I tried it on mosaic tile (even with the grout cleaner solution for the Floormate by Hoover) and also Linoleum floors and it works great! Have not tested it on a carpet yet, I was too busy cleaning floors! I think any carpet steamer could also do the work of the Floormate for the additional work to wash off the dirty film and suck it up, that the Shark DuoSonic leaves behind. I really love the Shark DuoSonic, it’s a great scrubbing tool for floors, but I also love the new Floormate by Hoover that it can also vacuum first, than wash and scrub and than dry!

  12. I saw this product on Sharks infomercial. I was very excited to use it, especially since it provided a 60 day return policy. When I received the product we were excited to try it out on our carpet. We have approximately 2300 sq feet of carpet and have tried several different products in the past. The product is very good for brightening and lightly cleaning carpet that is already in good shape. However, it is not good at deep cleaning. The infomercial is deceiving in that aspect. If you have several spots or high traffic you will find yourself on the floor spraying and cleaning by hand which defeats the purpose of an upright cleaner. This product didn’t work well for me and my needs therefore I called the No Hassle Return number provided with the product. I called and spoke to a representative who tried to persuade me to keep the product with a one time 20% discount which I declined but thanked her for. She asked why I wanted to return it and I politely replied, “It just doesn’t clean spots quite like I thought it would.” She then proceeded to tell me about the process of the return including emailing me a return slip to put on my box. I double checked that I would be receiving the full amount of my return. She paused and said yes except for the 49.99 for shipping. I told her I didn’t feel as though I should have to pay for shipping since the product didn’t meet my expectation as shown on the infomercial. She told me if I read the return policy on the internet I would see the that I would not be refunded shipping. I told I ordered off of TV and that it didn’t not state that in their advertising nor did the representative tell me about it when I ordered it. We ended up getting into a huge argument and she told me that I should be “grateful” that she decided to tell me about the $50 loss instead of being upset when I received my refund showing only a partial refund. She said she did it because I started out not “complaining” about the product. I adamantly argued that I should not have to flush $50 down the toilet because their product didn’t meet the standards that the infomercial deceptively displayed. She stated that the company was not willing to cover the shipping costs paid to UPS when they sent it out because I decided to order it. Are you kidding me?????????? It’s not like I ordered myself a wrong size of shirt and have to eat the $5.95 I paid for shipping because I have to return it. It’s $50 and I was not satisfied with the product!!! Shark should have to write the shipping off as a loss, not to mention that it didn’t cost them $50 to ship it. UPS contracted for money with them to be able to be their shipping company, I know how that works. She abruptly put me on hold for a minute, came back and said the manager was unwilling to do anything about my loss. Unbelievable, if they would have just done the return and fully refunded me I would very possibly think about trying one of their other products in the future but not after having this terrible customer service experience. Long story short, don’t order their product online. If you do so, try it out by buying it from a store so you can easily return it and not have to go through what I went through.

    1. Thankyou so much for the warning. I bought mine at Costco so I would be able to easily return it if I needed to. But I found a notice inside the box that says it must be returned through the mail….I don’t think so.

  13. I used the cleaner and then the polish for the first time and the floors looked great. The second time I used the cleanser there was a white film on the floors. They have never been polished with anything besides the shark polish product, any clue why they did this or what I can do to keep this from happening.

      1. I just used the hard floor cleaner and polish on my armstrong tiles and they look great! But if I am going to get a film on the floor the next time I use the cleaner, that cancels out any benefit. Did you ever figure out a way to use the hardfloor cleaner again without having the same problem with the film? I wonder if it is the cleaner or the polish that is underneath it that is causing the film.

        1. I have not, it’s gotten to the point I don’t even bother with the Sonic Duo anymore. A shame because it’s a good cleaner the first time…

          1. well, I still have mine. so I will try going over the polished area with a different cleaning solution and let you know what happens. fingers crossed cause I sure don’t want a big mess for my steamer and I to clean up.

  14. Please don’t write off the Sonic Duo – with some creativity it’s a great machine.

    We have a large, white kitchen floor with a texture. We have two large dogs, two cats, and live in the country. Cleaning the floor would take hours with a mop and multiple buckets of water and it still would not get really clean. In desperation, I bought the Shark Sonic Duo on sale.

    I have allergies and didn’t trust the perfumes that could possibly be in the Shark hard floor cleaner. I know KrudKutters doesn’t bother me. I put plain water in the bottle on the Sonic Duo and sprayed a section of the kitchen floor with undiluted KrudKutters. I started the Sonic Duo and sprayed a little water as I cleaned. It was a miracle – our stained, dingy floor returned to sparkling clean.

    I received two green hard floor cleaning pads with my Sonic Duo. When they got saturated with dirt, I had some microfiber pads which came with my Reveal mop. I attached one Reveal pad to the front and one Reveal pad to the back of the Sonic Duo. I continued to clean the floor with no problems.

    My husband also speculates that you could use two Swiffer Wet Jet pads on the Sonic Duo. I haven’t tried that yet. My only concern would be that the Wet Jet pads might not be strong enough to stand up to the scrubbing power of the Sonic Duo.

    I’m very pleased with this machine. But, I think the cost of the pads and cleaning liquid is much too high. A gallon of KrudKutters is very inexpensive compared to the cost of the Shark green hard floor cleaner. I currently have several Reveal mop pads I can use so there’s no extra expense there. Also, on sites like Amazon and E-Bay, it’s possible to buy microfiber mop pads (plain or scrubber) that are much cheaper than the flimsy Shark hard floor cleaning pads.

    I also have some duster pads that I bought for my Reveal mop. I noticed that Shark sells duster pads for the Sonic Duo. I’ll attempt to use my duster pads on the Sonic Duo on our Pergo floors to see how that works.

  15. Thank you for your very thorough and honest reviews. I have one question about the Sonic Duo’s performance on carpet that I didn’t see you answer. My question is, did you notice any improvement in the “fluffiness” of the nap in high-traffic areas? We have a bi-level with carpet (newly installed by us when we moved in 7 yrs ago), on the top level and tile on the first level. Since we have a no-shoe policy on our carpet, it doesn’t have much dirt on our high traffic areas, but you can tell the high-traffic areas by the amount that the carpet is squished down. I’m very hesitant to buy a carpet cleaner that shoots water down into the carpet and sucks it back out again. We rented a carpet cleaner from our local hardware store once when we had a big coffee spill on the carpet, but I was not impressed. It took forever to dry, and the carpet was left with a lingering mildewy odor. I don’t want to repeat that. I think the Sonic Duo would be a great solution, as it can clean my carpet and clean my tile. I’ve exclusively cleaned my tile with a Shark steam mop ever since it was installed, and have been very happy with it’s performance. So if this Shark sonic duo could make the nap of my carpet look new again, I would be a super-fan of Shark.

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