How to Mop Your Floor the Right Way

Man Cleaning a Kitchen Floor With a Mop and Bucket
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Maybe you remember freshly mopped floors as a daily occurrence in your childhood, or maybe you'd just like to keep your feet from sticking to the tile in your eat-in kitchen. Either way, mopping is the answer, and while mopping seems like a straightforward chore, there are a few tips that could help you be a more effective mopper.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies on size of the floor.

Here's How:

  1. Gather SuppliesChoose a mop based on your floor type. If you have a floor with a lot of texture, you'll want the more classic white string or rag mop. If you have a smooth floor, a sponge mop will work well.
  2. Prep the FloorIn order to prevent your floor from becoming a sticky, muddy mess, sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly before ever touching the mop to the floor. This is a good time to prewash sticky or gunky spots that you notice when sweeping or vacuuming.
  3. Fill Bucket or SinkSome people prefer to use a sink instead of a bucket. At the end, you can just scrub out the sink. If the water gets too dirty, it's easy to let the water drain out, wipe down the sink, and start with fresh water. Other people prefer a bucket because it can be carried along the path of the mop and many have built in wringers. Whichever you choose, make sure you use hot water and a mopping solution appropriate for your floor type. Check the directions to be sure. Do not think that extra mopping solution will get you a cleaner floor, it will just leave a residue on your floor.
  1. Dip and Wring OutDip your mop in the bucket and wring it out with a wringer or by hand. Too much water dripping from the mop can damage a floor or leave the floor with an extended drying time.
  2. MopMop from the top of the room to the bottom, so that you are always standing on the unmopped floor. This will prevent tracking. Mop in straight lines if you are using a sponge mop. For rag mops, mop in a figure eight shape to use the design of your mop most effectively. When you encounter tough or sticky spots, rub quickly and press down with your mop onto the floor to scrub at the spot.
  3. Rinse and WringRinse the mop frequently in another side of the sink, or a different bucket. Dip in the mop bucket, wring and begin mopping again. When the mopping water becomes cool or dirty, it needs to be changed. Otherwise, you'll just be painting dirty water back onto your floor, and making your own work more difficult. For hard to reach corners and edges, wash with a paper towel or cleaning rag.
  4. Put Away SuppliesWhen you've mopped every section, thoroughly rinse your mop and mop bucket and allow to dry completely. Let your floor dry completely before walking on it.


    1. Special floor types may need to be modified cleaning care. Know what type of floor you have, and follow the manufacturer's directions.
    2. Choose cleansers that are safe for your floor type.

    What You Need:

    • Vacuum or Broom and Dust Pan
    • Mop
    • Mop Bucket or Sink
    • Another Mop Bucket or Sink
    • Mopping Solution
    • Rag or Paper Towel for Edges (Optional)