How to Mop a Floor

The one method that remains ever effective for cleaning floors is the traditional damp mopping. It can clean all types of flooring including vinyl sheet flooring, ceramic, vinyl tile and porcelain tile. Though sweeping and Swiffer-type pads too can clean dust or light sand, only a thorough wet mopping can truly rid a floor of all its dirt.

Notwithstanding, it is not all floors that like water. For example, floors like laminate, bamboo, and Cork may get damaged when water is used on them. As much as a properly sealed laminate flooring can still tolerate damp wipes every once in a while, heavy mopping can ruin it.

That being said, mopping can prove quite effective for floors that can tolerate water. This article will show you how to mop your floors effectively.

How Often Should You Clean a Floor?

So, you might be wondering about how often you need to clean your floor. Well, it depends. Floors in high-traffic areas like bathrooms, dining areas, kitchens, and hallways ought to be mopped at least once a week. Don’t forget that vacuuming and sweeping are also essential to the overall cleanliness of your floors.

If you have a wooden floor, you need to be more cautious when mopping. You may use a vacuum cleaner suitable for hardwood floor as well as area rugs (if you have though). Check out this guide on Cleanthefloor for better understanding multi-floor vacuum cleaners.

Thus, as you mop, ensure that you finish things up by vacuuming or sweeping. When you notice that your floor needs a thorough cleaning, pick up your mop, and clean the floor right away.

 What Supplies Do You Need?

  1. A vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan
  2. A Sponge
  3. A Household cleaner (not necessary)
  4. A Mop
  5. Two Mop buckets
  6. Detergent for mopping
  7. Paper towels or rags

How to Clean your Floor

It’s easy to think that mopping is no big deal after all people do it all the time. However, people often neglect some essential aspects of the exercise like using a second mopping bucket to rinse. Most people use the same bucket of wash water to clean as well, and this is not supposed to be so. It is more effective to use two buckets. One should contain soapy water and the other clean water for rinsing. The following are other steps you have to take to mop up your floor effectively.

Choose a Mop and Buckets

Your floor type will determine the kind of mop you choose. A classic string mop will be more effective for a floor that has a lot of texture. A strip mop too will do. Smooth floors, on the other hand, are compatible with Sponge mops. If you’re using a strip or string mop, a bucket with built-in wringers will do. For Sponge mops, a bucket that has a handle should be used.

Choose a Detergent

The detergent for cleaning that you choose is also quite important. No one wants to use their entire day cleaning only to end up with a stained floor. Choose your detergent wisely.

vacuum before mopSweep or Vacuum First

One way to make your mopping more useful is to either sweep or vacuum before mopping. It prevents your floor from becoming muddy or annoyingly sticky while you’re moping. Besides, there’s the possibility that there are already some sticky spots on your floor, and vacuuming first will help you tackle them before mopping. A sponge and soapy water will help here.

Fill the Buckets

Each of the two buckets should be filled with hot water. Hot water cleans dirt quicker than cold or warm water does. After filling the buckets, add your detergent. Make sure you don’t add too much detergent because too much soap will not make your work more comfortable in any way. Instead, it will make it even harder to rinse the floor.

Dip and Wring the Mop

Using your hands or a wringer, dip your mop into the soapy water and wring it out. The idea is to make the mop damp enough to attract dirt. This does not mean that the mop should be dripping wet. Too much water can ruin the floor or prevent it from drying up quickly.

Begin To Mop

Mop the floor by gently working your way from one side to the other. Make sure to not step on the spots where you’ve already moped. If what you’re using is a sponge mop, mop in a straight line. If it’s a rag mop, mopping in figure-8 motions will do the trick

Stop for Stubborn Spots

There’s the possibility that you encounter some stubborn spots. Do not just skip them. It would be best if you spent extra time on them. Make sure to rub and scrub the spot in a back and forth motion. Don’t forget to apply enough pressure to move the grime. Also, corners and edges are often hard to reach and may require you to squat or bend to scrub the floor well. A sponge or paper towel is usually useful here.

Rinse the Mop

After you’ve successfully scrubbed part of the floor, the next thing would be to rinse the soapiness off your mop in the second bucket. You might want to dunk the mop up and down a couple of times to get a good portion of the dirt on it out. Wring it out to drain the dirty water.

Continue Mopping

Proceed to mop the floor. You’ll have to do a repeat of the mopping and rinsing process. Do this until you’ve covered the whole floor. Pay attention to how the wash water and the rinse water change colours as you mop. Make sure to empty and refill the buckets once the water begins to turn dingy or grey. There’s no point cleaning if you’re doing it with dirty water.

Do a Final Rinse

If you have carried out all the outlined steps above successfully, it is at this point that you do a final rinse. Though your floor should be pretty clean by now, the final rinse is to make sure that there’s no residue of soap or dirt on the flooring. Just go over the entire floor one last time. No matter how tired you already are, you’ll be glad you did this.

Let the Floor Dry

While your floor dry, rinse your mop and buckets thoroughly. Also, allow them to dry as well. Make sure they are scorched before storing them anywhere. As for your floor, avoid walking on it until it is dry.


There you have it—your step by step guide to mopping. Don’t let all the procedures scare you; the exercise is not that overwhelming. Just make sure to set out a day to do this chore. Move all the furniture away, so they don’t obstruct you while you more. Finally, keep kids away while you do this, we don’t want anyone slipping and losing a tooth, do we? All in all, you’ll be proud of yourself after the day’s work.