Keeping the floors clean in your home is a never-ending process. No matter how clean we try to be, dirt comes into our homes, and when it does, mopping is necessary to kick it back out.
How Often to Mop the Floors
High-traffic areas need the most frequent mopping. For most families, high-traffic areas include the entrance, kitchen, bathrooms, and hallways. Any high-traffic areas in your home should be wet mopped once a week.
Rooms in your home that are not frequently used—such as a guest room—do not need to be mopped weekly. Mopping every other week or monthly should be sufficient.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you have dogs, you may need to mop more often to get rid of muddy paw prints. If several children regularly inhabit your eat-in kitchen, the food debris may need to be cleaned up. Mop as often as needed in any special circumstances like these.
Ways to Extend Time Between Mopping
The frequency of your mopping is determined by how often it is needed. One way to extend the time between dragging out the mop, bucket and rubber gloves is to run a dry mop over the trouble areas daily. These dry mops—often covered with microfiber cloth—pick up grit, pet hair, pollen and other small debris from the floors. By spending just a few minutes each day, you can put off wet mopping until a big spill or buildup of dirt occurs.
When the time comes to wet mop your floors, you'll need a sponge or string mop, a bucket, a mild cleanser, rubber gloves, and a nylon scrub pad. Follow these general steps:
- Sweep or vacuum the area to pick up large particles.
- Wipe up any wet areas on the floor before you mop—such as still-wet muddy footprints.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and a small amount of cleaner.
- Start at the far corner of the room and work backward toward the room exit so you aren't forced to walk on newly mopped surfaces.
- Immerse the mop in the bucket and wring it out. You don't want an extremely wet mop. The areas you mop should dry quickly.
- Use back and forth strokes beginning at the wall and moving to the center of the room and toward the exit. Cover each area twice.
- When you encounter a scuff mark, use a nylon pad to remove it by hand.
- After every few passes, rinse the mop in the bucket, wring it out and keep mopping.
- If the water gets murky while you are mopping, replace it. You don't want to reapply dirt to the floor.
- To finish, mop once more with clear water and no detergent to remove any of the cleaning solutions that may linger on the floor.