How to Stop a Mop from Smelling

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Using a mop is an effective way to get rid of dirt and germs and keep your home clean. But one of the biggest problems with mops is that they can get dirty and smelly easily.

It usually happens when your mop stays moist or in water for an extended period. Using such a mop to clean your home will be counter-intuitive as it will make your home smelly and spread germs.

If you’re experiencing the same problem, read this article to learn how to stop a mop from smelling.

How to Stop a Mop from Smelling

The smell of a dirty mop isn’t only overwhelming but it can also be dangerous for your health. That’s because it can have bacteria and mildew buildup and you must never use such a mop to clean your house.

Use the steps listed below to clean a mop thoroughly and stop it from smelling.

Step 1: Clean the Mop

The first step is to clean the mop using the standard cleaning process. The purpose of this step is to get rid of dirt particles and bacteria and grout buildup from your mop. Here’s how you can achieve it.

  1. Grab a bucket with a four-to-five-gallon capacity and fill it with warm water. The water should be as hot as your hand can easily stand.
  2. Add a few drops of mild detergent to the water to create a cleaning solution.
  3. Place the mop head in the water bucket and spin it several times using the handle. It’ll allow the detergent to get mixed with water evenly and create foam.
  4. Now, touch the bottom of the bucket with the wet mop head, pull it up, and give it a spin. Repeat these steps for 40 to 60 seconds.
  5. Let the mop sit in the cleaning mixture for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. After that, wring the mop head out using your hands and remove it from the bucket.
  7. Discard the cleaning solution and fill the bucket with fresh water.
  8. Repeat the same spinning technique mentioned above to remove the cleaning solution’s residue.
  9. Wring the mop head again and discard the water.

You’ll need to repeat the same step if you still see stains and dirt on the mop. But if the mop’s strands are clean, you can move to the next step.

Important Note: It’s not advisable to wash the mop head in the washing machine if it’s not machine washable. That’s because all the strands on your mop head will become tangled up and you won’t be able to use it to clean floors properly.

Step 2: Remove Bad Odor

Once you have cleaned your mop thoroughly, you can use the steps listed below to remove bad smells that it might have acquired from cleaning off smelly messes such as pet urine.

  1. Add two to three gallons of hot water to a bucket, along with one tablespoon of baking soda. Make sure that you don’t use bleach for this purpose as it can deteriorate your mop head.
  2. Mix the two ingredients well using a spoon. If you’re using your hands, make sure that you wear rubber gloves. That’s because baking soda can cause skin irritation.
  3. Place the mop head to the bucket so that it touches the bottom, pull it up, and give it a spin. Repeat this process for 40 to 60 seconds.
  4. Leave the mob head sitting in the solution for 20 to 30 minutes to soak.
  5. After that, use the same spinning technique for about 30 seconds and remove the mop from the bucket.
  6. Rinse the mop head using fresh tap water and wring the strands out multiple times. It’ll allow you to get rid of the residue of baking soda.

We recommend you clean your mop properly before placing it in the mixture of water and baking soda. Otherwise, you won’t be able to remove dirt particles and germs from your mop properly.  

Step 3: Dry the Mop

The third and last step is to hang dry the mop. Make sure that you don’t place it in a closet, or ground as it’ll prevent air circulation. You can hang it in your outdoor space under direct sunlight to speed up the drying process.

If you don’t have outdoor access or it’s a rainy day, consider hanging it indoors over a bathtub or shower. You can also set up a fan to increase airflow and help the mop dry quickly.

Using these steps will help you clean your mop thoroughly and it’ll stop giving bad odors.


Tips to Prevent a Mop from Becoming Smelly

The following list of tips will help you prevent your mop from becoming smelly in the future.

  • Give your mop head a quick wash after each use. Place it under tap water and rinse it thoroughly to remove loose dirt particles. It’ll take a couple of minutes but prevent bad odors.
  • Never store your mop until its head is completely dried. Let it hang dry and then place it in a closet or any other place.
  • Always store your mop in a dry place and an upside-down position. You don’t want the mop head to touch the ground to keep it from catching dirt.
  • Use a scented floor cleaner instead of a simple one. Not only will it prevent your mop from becoming smelly but it’ll also improve your house’s atmosphere. You can also add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to your cleaning solution if it’s not scented.
  • Your mop can become smelly over time even if you follow these prevention tips. Therefore, you should follow the method in this guide to deep clean the mop once a month.

Final Words

While mops are specially designed tools made for cleaning, they need to be cleaned as well. They can become dirty and smelly over time and it’s important to use the right methods to deal with this problem. We hope this guide will help you understand how to effectively stop a mop from smelling.

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.