How Do You Properly Use a Mop

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You should mop at least once a week to ensure the floor is clean and shiny. There is a proper way to use a mop, though. Using the mop correctly will make cleaning faster and more effective. That leaves the question: How do you properly use a mop?

How Do You Properly Use a Mop?

To properly use a mop for cleaning means you need a bucket of water and cleaning solution ready, too. Ensure the area is clear of any furniture and dust before mopping in sections. It is also important to rinse the mop every once in a while and replace the cleaning solution once it is dirty.

Damp-mopping is the best way to clean the floor with a mop, except for some specific types of floor. Mop until there are no dirty streaks visible on the floor before the drying process. After use, it is important to clean the mop head and hang it to dry.

Woman learning how to properly use a mop

Consider the Type of Flooring

You should consider the type of flooring that you have before you begin mopping. This is one of the initial steps to know how to best use the mop. 

For some applications, you should use the mop damp. While some floors stay safe with having excess water lingering around like tiles and marble, this is not a viable option for laminate and hardwood floors.

Know the Best Mop to Use

There are different types of mops. Sponge mops, flat mops, wet mops, and string mops are the most common mops, while steam mops use steam technology for cleaning. 

When you choose a mop, make sure it suits the type of floor that you have. If not sure, you can always go for a standard mop. This is usually the string mop or cut-end mop. 

These kinds of mops are almost always ideal to use on any type of flooring. It would only depend on how wet they are and the direction of the strokes when you mop. Still, everything boils down to rinsing and wringing the mop properly when necessary.

Pair the Mop With the Correct Floor Cleaner

Most mops are not choosy when it comes to cleaning products to use with them. However, your floor could be. Do a quick research about the best cleaning solutions for your type of floor. Remember, some products contain ingredients that would damage your flooring.

Cleaning products that contain bleach, for example, will damage the hardwood floor finish. Same when you use strong cleaners with grease-cutting properties. They will remove wax and other protection.

When in doubt, you can use a multi-surface cleaner. Just follow the instructions for proper dilution and use.

Regular mop

Use Warm Water

Whether you should use hot water or cold water to mop floors is still an ongoing debate. However, there is really no reason why you would not use warm water. If you can’t decide which way to go, the safest is to use warm water

Most cleaning products are intended for mixing with warm water. Also, warm water will not alter the chemical processes, which people often think would make the cleaning product less effective.

The neutral temperature of warm water will not affect the integrity of the flooring, too.

How Do You Properly Clean the Floor With a Mop?

Mopping the floor is a basic floor cleaning process. Still, it will help you do the job faster when you know some tips and tricks about using the mop properly.

So, how do you properly clean the floor with a mop?

Things you will need:

  • broom or vacuum
  • bucket of water
  • floor cleaner

Here are steps on how to mop the floor properly:

  1. Remove all furniture and other obstacles in the area before you begin mopping. 
  2. Using a dust mop, a vacuum, or a broom, remove all loose dirt on the floor.
  3. Prepare the cleaning solution. Use the bucket and fill it with clean water. Follow the correct measurement when you dilute the cleaning solution.
  4. Soak the mop in the cleaner to allow it to absorb the solution.
  5. Wring the mop to remove excess water according to the dampness level required. Do it manually if a wringing tool is not available.
  6. Mop the floor in sections. Pay more attention to stained areas. If you notice the mop leaving dark streaks, then it is time for a rinse. 
  7. Remember also to mop in one direction. Also, always begin from the inside going out so you don’t get to step on the areas that are already clean.
  8. Repeat the mopping process until the mop leaves no dark streaks. This is important if you want to leave a clean, flawless finish once the floor is dry.
  9. Let the floor dry on its own. You can use a fan to dry the floor when it is too wet.
Man using mop

How Do You Clean and Store a Mop?

Clean and store the mop properly to avoid any mold, bacteria, and bad odor build up. Here are some instructions for proper cleaning and storage.

  1. Detach the mop head, if possible. 
  2. Wash the mop head with soap and water to remove dirt and debris. You can use the same cleaning solution or a laundry detergent. Check your mop, it could be that it is machine-washable.
  3. After washing, rinse with clean water. 
  4. Remove as much excess water as you can.
  5. Hang the mop to dry.
  6. Reconnect the mop head back to the stick once it is completely dry.
  7. Place it in the storage cabinet.

Related Questions

Before we go, we want to address some related questions we often hear about mopping. 

What Do You Mix With Mopping?

Mix the right floor cleaner with mopping for effective cleaning. You can use store-bought cleaners or make your own floor cleaner at home. Just watch out for any ingredients that could damage your flooring.

Why Are Floors Still Dirty After Mopping?

Floors are still dirty after mopping because they probably need more cleaning. Use a floor cleaner when you mop the floor and pay attention to stained areas more. Rinse the mop and change the water in your bucket as often as needed.


Cleaning the floor using a mop is easy. Still, you can do better and make the job faster when you know how to properly use a mop. Aside from using a good cleaning product, ensure the mop gets enough rinsing and replace dirty water when needed to cut the process short.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.