How to Mop - General Tips for Mopping the Floor Properly

Keeping your house clean is more important than you think. Sure, it might get tedious sometimes but it’s worth it—for your health’s sake. For one thing, it’ll prevent dust from building up, which can trigger sneezing, coughing, and other symptoms. Not only that, but it’ll reduce allergens. In doing so, you’ll improve the quality of the air. This is especially important for those with breathing conditions such as asthma. What’s more, is that it’ll help to kill germs. The last thing that you want is for your house to become a hotbed for bacteria!

There are other benefits as well. For example, it can help to deter stress. Because let’s face it—walking into a filthy house isn’t exactly a great feeling. In fact, it’s not uncommon for piles for clutter to trigger brain fog. Don’t forget, it’ll enhance the aesthetics of your home too. In other words, you’ll be able to invite guests over at any time!

The Importance of Keeping the Floor Clean

The floor isn’t as clean as it looks. That’s why you want to make a habit of cleaning it on a regular basis. If anything, it’s one of the most important chores that you can do. Not only is there an issue of dust, but dirt and other debris can easily be tracked in from the soles of your shoes. The same thing goes for food crumbs—chances are, you won’t even notice when they fall onto the ground. Hair can also be a problem, especially if you’re a pet owner.

how to properly mop a floor

Why You Want to Mop the Floor

Mopping helps get rid of pathogens that are on the floor. Not just bacteria, but viruses as well. In other words, you’ll be less likely to get sick. This is especially important if you have young children as they tend to crawl on the ground. Similarly, it helps to keep pests at bay (e.g. food crumbs can easily bring in the critters). On top of that, it’s crucial for your safety—that is, you’re much less likely to trip or fall if you have clean floors. Given all that, it’s easy to see why we shouldn’t neglect our floors.

Investing in a Good Mop

There are various types of mop that you can get for your home. For example, there are sponge mops, yarn mops, and microfiber mops. While they’re all meant for cleaning, they are different in several ways. Take microfiber mops, for example—they tend to be more versatile than the other types. Not only are they great for mopping the floor with, but you can also use them for other things such as walls and countertops.

Want to get something a little fancier? How about a spray mop or a steam mop? As their name implies, these devices come with extra features that allow you to clean more efficiently. There are even cleaning robots that you can get! If anything, more and more people have started to use them for their homes—and for good reason. It makes the task of cleaning the floor a whole lot easier!

At the end of the day, you want to pick one that’s right for you. To do that, you have to consider the type of floor(s) that you have at home. Do you have unsealed hardwood? If so, a steam mop is probably not the best choice. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to get a yarn mop if you have carpet. That’s why it’s important to do your research before buying a mop. You don’t want to spend money on something that you won’t be able to use!

8 Tips on How to Mop Your Floor Properly

Did you know that there’s a right way to mop? Yup, there are certain things that you want to do and certain things that you don’t want to do. Let’s take a look at some of the “do’s” below.

1. Sweep or Vacuum Before Mopping

vacuum floor

It’s important to sweep the area before mopping. Want to save some time? Consider using a vacuum. In fact, it’s even more effective than using a broom. Ultimately, the goal is to pick up all of the solid debris that’s on the floor—things like dirt and food crumbs. That way, you won’t be pushing these particles around when you’re mopping. Not only is that annoying, but it can actually damage your floors.

2. Clear the Area

Clear the floor before you mop. If possible, remove all furniture from the area including chairs and tables. By doing that, you’ll be able to reach every spot. Who knows? You might even discover a stain that you didn’t know existed! The bottom line is, you’ll be able to clean much better if the floor is clear. Make sure that everything is thoroughly dry before putting back everything.

3. Use Warm or Hot Water

For the best results, use warm or hot water. Why? It’s much more effective at eliminating bacteria compared to cold water. Not to mention that it’ll help to melt away any grease and oil that might be on the floor. On top of all that, it’ll evaporate and dry quicker. Just make sure to check that it’s compatible with your cleaner. As it is, some may require the use of cold water (due to certain enzymes in the formula).

4. Always Mop In Sections

Don’t mop the floor all at once—you want to do it in sections. That will allow you to spread the cleaner thoroughly, which will give you better results. Put it simply, what you want to do is this: mop a small area, rinse out the mop pad, wring it out, and proceed to the next block. Continue until you’re done the entire floor. It might sound tedious, but the results are worth it.

5. Make Sure To Rinse Your Mop

rinse mop

It’s important to rinse your mop regularly while you’re cleaning the floor. Generally speaking, you want to do this as soon the mop pad gets dirty (certain mop heads will require more rinsing than others). There are multiple ways that you can do this but the easiest is probably to just use a bucket. Alternatively, you can rinse it at the sink.

Why is this important? It’ll prevent you from spreading dirt to other areas of the floor. As you can imagine, that’ll defeat the purpose of mopping in the first place.

6. Use the Right Cleaning Solution

Plain water won’t be enough to remove dirt and grime from the floor. For that, you’ll need to use a cleaner. Don’t just blindly get something from the store, though. You want to make sure that it’s suitable for the type of floor that you have. For instance, some products are only meant for hardwood. Get the wrong product and you can easily do more harm than good to your floors. It might leave streak marks or even worse, it can impact the finish! Fortunately, it’s easy to tell which cleaner is meant for what. All you have to do is look at the label—chances are, it’ll be written right on there.

7. Start in the Corner

As a general rule, you always want to start in the corner—the one farthest from the exit. That way, you won’t have to worry about walking over the floor that you’ve just cleaned. As you can imagine, that can undo your work (the dirt from your feet/socks can get back onto the area that you’ve mopped). Working towards the exit will help to prevent that so you only have to clean an area once.

8. Use A Mop With An Adjustable Handle

If possible, get a mop with an adjustable handle—that way, you can adjust it so that it’s the proper length for your height. Not only will that prevent injuries but it’ll also make cleaning a whole lot easier. For example, you can make it longer if you’re cleaning a hard-to-reach area (e.g. corners).

4 Common Mopping Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we’ve gone over what you should be doing, let’s take a look at some of the “don’ts”.

1. Do Not Soak Your Floors

Avoid the urge to soak your floors with water. You might think that it’s better for mopping, but it’s actually the opposite. For one thing, there’s a high chance that it’ll leave streak marks. It’ll also take forever to dry, which means that it’ll become a safety hazard. You can always dry it manually with a cloth, yes, but then you’ll just be giving yourself more work. Depending on the type of the floor you have, the excess moisture might also damage the planks.

2. Do Not Dry the Floor Too Quickly

Give your floors ample time to dry. Avoid the urge to dry them immediately with a towel. You want the cleaner to be in contact with the floor as long as possible—that way, it’ll actually be able to kill the microorganisms that are on the surface. To speed up the process, you can always open a window, which will help to improve airflow.

3. You’re Not Refilling the Bucket

Make sure to refill the bucket every once in a while if you’re using one to rinse the mop. The general rule of thumb is to refill it as soon as the water looks murky. That’ll prevent you from spreading dirty water back onto the floor when you’re rinsing the mop.

Ultimately, the number of times you have to refill the bucket will depend on various factors such as how dirty your floors are and how absorbent your mop pad is.

4. You’re Mopping in a ZigZag Pattern

Avoid the urge to mop the floor in a zigzag pattern. Not only will you end up using more water but you’ll also increase the chance of streak marks. On top of that, it’ll be hard to keep track of where you’ve already cleaned so you might end up doing double the work. What you want to do instead is to work in straight lines. Make sure not to oversaturate the mop with water and you’re good to go!

5. You’re Using Too Much Cleaner

Using too much cleaning solution can make the floors sticky. Over time, that can cause it to attract more dust and debris. Not to mention that it can leave pesky streak marks. There’s also a chance that it’ll affect your floor’s natural finish. Given that, it’s crucial that you follow the instructions on the cleaner. If necessary, dilute it with water first.