5 tips on how to mop the floor
Mopping the floor in smaller sections can effectively remove dirt and grime
If you love the feeling of clean floors, but hate the idea of mopping you are not alone. But to be honest, you can only get away with so much sweeping and vacuuming before stubborn dirt and grime build up. In the end, you’re left with no choice, because the only way to remove either is by mopping the floor.
Thankfully a house only needs to be mopped roughly twice a month because mopping too often can result in sticky floors that traps even more dirt and debris.
But if you have pets or children at home then it is recommended that you mop your home once a week.
1. Before mopping the floor
Before starting, you will need to clear the area of any furniture items and sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly. Most mops can’t pick up crumbs, hair, and other forms of solid debris.
However, if you intend to dust and clean any of your furniture, then do so first. I’m sure you wouldn’t want any more dust to fall onto your clean floor later.
The fewer things you have on the floor the better so that there is less obstruction when it comes to mopping the floor. You can do this by stacking your chairs to one side or overturning them onto the table.
Moving big furniture around is not really necessary unless you want to do a thorough job and mop under or behind them. But the general idea is to have your floor free of things as much as possible, including floor rugs and mats that will need to be sent to the wash.
2. Making your own cleaning solution for mopping the floor
Despite its unpopular smell, vinegar is actually a natural disinfectant that works without leaving any chemical residue on your floors. It is true that you will definitely smell the vinegar when you’re mopping the floor, but it will quickly fade away when it dries.
What you will need:
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 3.8 litres of warm water
- or 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 3.8 litres of warm water, and 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap
- or 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 3.8 litres of warm water, several drops of essential oils or lemon juice
Another great choice is mild dish soap because it can be used on most floor types without leaving a sticky residue. But when you add a little too much, you might be left with a slightly sticky film on your floors. So just a couple of drops into a bucket of warm water is already sufficient to do the job.
Usually, water and soap solution is sufficient to clean the floor quite thoroughly. But adding rubbing alcohol will give it that little extra cleaning power. It also evaporates really quickly, leaving no water streaks and lines from drying onto your floor.
What you will need:
- Dilute 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in 3.8 litres of warm water.
3. Mopping the floor with a traditional string mop
- Fill your bucket with enough water to completely submerge the mop head.
- If you’re using a specific floor cleaning product, then follow the instructions stated on the packaging and check that it is suitable for your type of floor.
- If you’re just using regular dish soap, bleach, or a similar cleaning product, then just a small amount will do. Usually, people just eyeball it, but you can always follow the guidelines above.
- Place your mop in the bucket and let it soak up the cleaning solution. If your mop is stiff from drying in the sun, then you might need to leave it to soak for a couple of minutes to loosen up.
- When you’re sure your mop is saturated with cleaning solution, lift it up and let the excess liquid drip back into the bucket.
- You can choose to wring it by hand or in the mop basket attached to the bucket. Just remember to have gloves on if wringing by hand. Mops with spinner baskets integrated into the buckets are God-sent.
4. Mopping the floor in sections
To get great results, mop your floor in small sections to properly remove all the dirt and grime. After each section, rinse the mop in the bucket, wring it and continue mopping. Before the water in the bucket start to look really dirty, dump it out and refill with clean water and detergent. It is pointless to continue mopping the floor with dirty water.
Do try to wring as much water from the mop as you can if you have hardwood floor at home. Excess water will only ruin the wood.
Just as an added tip, for polyurethaned hardwood floors, you need to mop following the grain of the wood. Whereas for textured floors, you can go about it using small figure 8s, making sure the mop gets to all varying surfaces.
Start from the furthest end of the room and work your way towards the door. This is so you do not end up stepping on parts of the floor you’ve already cleaned. But don’t sweat it too much. If this happens, you can always wipe over the area with the mop again to clean up your footprints.
Likewise with hallways, mop all the corners first then continue down the middle from one end to another.
5. After mopping the floor
- Dump your dirty water down the toilet and give your string mop a good rinse. Give it a good scrub if it is really dirty or stained or you can soak it in baking soda and vinegar to get rid of the smell. Remember to wring it thoroughly before hanging it out in the sun to dry.
- Store away all your cleaning detergents.
- Your floor should take anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour to completely air dry. To speed things up, you can always turn on the fan or open up the windows to let the breeze in.
- When the floor is completely dry, replace all the furniture you moved and put on some clean floor mats.
Do you find the chore of mopping a bore? Make it easier and even more fun with these simple tips!