Dry Mopping vs Wet Mopping: What's the Difference?

Want to improve your health? You can begin by cleaning your house. For one thing, dirt and dust can easily trigger respiratory conditions such as asthma. The same thing goes for mold and mildew. What’s more, is that they can affect the quality of the air—this can lead to coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms.

Regular cleaning also helps to prevent the spread of germs. You’d be surprised to know just how many bacteria there are on each surface! This is especially true for the kitchen as there tend to be splatters of food. Crevices between appliances can also become ridden with germs. That’s why it’s so important to clean your countertops once you’re done with them. The last thing that you want is to give yourself food-poisoning!

Keeping your house clean will also help to keep the pests away. Why is that important? They can easily spread disease, germs, and bacteria. Take mice, for example—they can spread a number of illnesses including salmonella. Given that, you want to make sure that you put away all your food in air-tight containers. In addition to that, make an effort to clean up any crumbs that might have fallen onto the ground.

A messy house can have an impact on your mental health as well. For example, it can cause stress and fatigue. Over time, that can easily take a toll on your immune system. As you can imagine, that would put you at a greater risk for disease.

The Importance of Mopping

Mopping is one of the best things that you can do to clean your floor (assuming that you don’t have carpet). If anything, it’s the only way to wash it thoroughly. Sure, vacuuming is important too but it’ll only get rid of loose debris—it won’t actually clean the surface if you know what I mean. To do that, you have to use water and soap and the best way to do that is with a mop. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly efficient to use a rag and a bucket of water.

Remember, the floor is dirtier than it looks. There’s almost always a layer of dirt or dust at any given time—you just can’t see it. That’s why you want to clean on a regular basis; it’ll prevent “gunk” from building up, which will be better for you and your family's health.

Choosing the Right Type of Mop For Your Home

Mops, like most cleaning tools, come in various shapes and sizes. For instance, some use sponges to clean while others use microfiber. At the same time, there are those that are manual and those that are capable of running by themselves aka cleaning robots. While they’re all great from a cleaning perspective, it’s important that you choose one that’s suitable for your home.

For starters, you want to ask yourself, “what kind of floors do I have?”. After all, that will determine the type of mop that you’ll want to get. Take steam mops, for example—they’re not exactly the best choice if you have unsealed hardwood. While the steam will sanitize the surface, the moisture can easily cause damage to the planks of timber. Similarly, you wouldn't want to get a microfiber mop if most of your house is carpeted.

How to Mop Your Floor

In general, there are two “ways” to mop the floors—you can either do so dry or wet. Generally speaking, you want to do both on a regular basis as that'll help to keep your house clean. Want to know exactly how the two methods differ? If so, make sure to keep reading as that's what we'll be explaining below.

What Is Dry Mopping?

Dry mopping is exactly what it sounds like—it involves mopping the floor with a dry mop. Also known as dust mopping, it’s one of the most effective ways to remove dust and other particles. Essentially, it’s almost like sweeping. But instead of using a traditional broom, you use a mop with a microfiber cloth—one with a long handle. That way, you can prevent soil from accumulating on the floor.

dry mopping hardwood floor
Keep in mind, however, that not all microfiber mops are meant to be used dry. As it is, some are designed to be used with water and cleaner only. When in doubt, check what it says on the box. Remember, you can always get a specialized dust mop as well. Generally speaking, they come with a soft, fluffy head that allows you to easily collect dust from different surfaces.

Pros of Dry Mopping:

  • It allows you to easily remove dirt and debris from the surface of the floor
  • Many mops can be used both wet and dry so you don't have to buy a separate tool
  • It eliminates the need to take out the vacuum cleaner
  • The process is straightforward and requires minimal preparation
  • Most dry mops are capable of picking up animal hair

Cons of Dry Mopping

  • You have to move your furniture for the best results
  • Depending on how dirty your floor is, you might have "clean" the pad frequently
  • Only good for removing solid particles aka it won't do you any good for spills

A Step-by-step Guide On How To Dry Mop A Floor

Not sure how to dry mop your floors? It's easier than you think. If anything, you just need the right equipment. Follow the instructions below and your floors will be clean in no time!

steps on dry mopping a floor

1. For the best results, start in one corner of the room. Drag the dry mop towards you and push it away in a straight motion. Its head should be touching the floor the entire time.

2. Slowly work your way towards the center of the floor. The key is not to apply any pressure on the mop—you want to let the friction of the mop head do all of the work for you.

3. After a while, check the head of the dry mop. Remove any dust, dirt, or lint that has accumulated on the fabric. You can do this easily with your fingers (feel free to wear gloves if you want to).

4. Place the mop in front of where you were standing and resume your up and down sweeping motions. You should be dusting the section that’s parallel to the area where you last cleaned.

5. Continue to dry mop the floor until you’re finished sweeping the entire room. Don’t forget to check and clean the head every once in a while. Repeat the process if there are still signs of soil on the floor.

6. When you’re finished, remove the pad from the mop (assuming that it is of the reusable type). Brush off any debris and place it in the washer. Afterward, hang it up so that it can air dry. If you’re using disposable cloths, you can just put them in the trash.

What Is Wet Mopping?

Wet mopping is when you mop the floor with water and or cleaner. Generally speaking, it’s done after you’ve dry mopped the area—that way, you won’t have to worry about encountering loose particles, which can scratch and ruin the finish of your floor. While there are various mops that you can use, we recommend those that use microfiber pads, such as the Turbo Mop. For one thing, they're much less likely to leave streaks. With that said, you do want to make sure that you get the right type of cleaning solution—the wrong kind can easily leave residue on the floor.

wet mop a floor

Pros of Wet Mopping:

  • One of the most effective ways of removing dirt and soil from the floor
  • Great for cleaning up spills and other liquid messes
  • You can use whatever cleaner you want to use (you can even create your own)
  • Helps to eliminate bacteria and other microbes from the floor
  • You can choose between a standard mop or a fancier one (e.g. steam mop, spray mop)

Cons of Wet Mopping:

  • Requires a bit more effort than dry mopping (you have to rinse the pad and add cleaner)
  • You have to consider whether or not the cleaner that you have is suitable for your floors
  • The process takes longer than dry mopping
  • You can easily leave streak marks on the floor if you're not careful

A Step-by-step Guide On How To Wet Mop A Floor

Wet mopping requires a little bit more effort compared to dry mopping, but still, it's pretty straightforward. Here's what you want to do.

1. Start by preparing the area that you want to clean. For example, it’s a good idea to move all obstacles away—things like chairs, tables, and other furniture. That way, you’ll be able to clean the entire room freely.

2. Dust mop the area if you haven’t already done so. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, debris, and other particles.

3. Assuming that you’re using a microfiber mop, you’ll want to start by dampening the pad under running water. Be careful not to get it too wet—the last thing that you want is to over-wet your floors. From there, attach it to the mop head.

4. Apply cleaner onto the ground using a spray bottle. Wipe the area with your dampened mop in an up-and-down motion. As with dust mopping, it’s best to start in a corner of the room.

5. Continue with your mopping, applying more cleaner whenever necessary. Remember to move towards the door—that will help prevent streaking.

6. Rinse the mop pad once it starts to get grungy. Assuming that you’re using a Turbo Mop, you can peel it off the velcro strip and rinse it at the sink. Once it’s clean, you can reattach it to the head. Alternatively, you can switch to a new pad.

7. When you’re finished, allow the floor to dry naturally (unless your cleaner requires rinsing). Remove the pad from the mop and put it in the wash so that you can use it again next time.

Tips For Mopping In General

Want to improve your mopping game? Here are a few tips that might help!
  • Consider getting a mop with a swivel head—that way, you can easily reach and clean around furniture and other objects
  • Using a mop with an extendable handle will allow you to clean without having to bend your back
  • Check the mop pad regularly (you don't want to continue mopping with a dirty mop!)