Floor Cleaning Tools, Tips & How-To covers everything you need to know to properly clean the floors in your home with advice from professional cleaners.
This is not a sponsored post. Any products or tools I’m recommending are strictly based on my experience. I have included Amazon affiliate links at the bottom of the page with my favorite products so you can take a closer look. If you make a purchase, we both win!
After owning a residential and commercial cleaning business since 1997, we have developed favorite tools, techniques and products to work smarter, not harder. We are sharing those tips with you. Let’s jump right in.
The photo above is laminate flooring. Installers warn against using water on laminate. They recommend using a dry mop or what is called a dust mop. Dust mopping is the same as sweeping except you’re using a tool which will not scratch the surface of the floor.
Different surfaces require different types of cleaning techniques or products.
Some natural surfaces are porous which means more water is required. Porous surfaces soak up water quickly. Never use bleach products on porous surfaces. Even marble will turn yellow when bleach products are used on it.
First things first. You cannot clean a floor with a dirty mop. Once your mop water gets dirty, change it. If you need to rinse the mop out, do that too. I run clean water, without the soap in the bucket and rinse the mop out then dump that water and put soapy water in the bucket.
How I clean laminate flooring
I mop it with soapy water. Don’t gasp! Here is why I don’t take the advise of the installer to not use water on laminate. I can sum it up in two words; dirt and germs. Dry mopping does not remove germs and only removes loose dirt. Warning, all laminate is not made equal. Some of the less expensive products may not hold up well to excess water so be careful.
Do not slop mop your laminate flooring! Slop mopping means to purposefully slosh copious amounts of water onto the floor which you then mop back up. You cannot get your laminate flooring that wet!
Do Use a mop which you can wring out very well so it’s damp, but not dripping wet. I always use a box fan to dry my laminate flooring while I’m mopping. That way, the floors are quickly cleaned and dried.
Natural Surfaces & Hardwood
Natural surfaces such as stone or concrete can be mopped with the slop mopping method. I would still caution you not to use too much water. Be sure to wring the mop out partially before putting water onto the floor. Concrete floors often have sealers on the surface. If that is the case, you can simply mop it the old fashioned way, by wet mopping.
Hardwood floors with a sealer can be wet mopped. Again, be sure to wring the mop out well. I also advise enhancing the drying time with a fan.
Most porcelain and ceramic tile floors can be wet mopped. You should be able to see a reflection in a clean tile floor.
Because they often look smeared after drying, you may need to go over your tile floor with a dry cotton towel. You can do this using your feet to swipe the towel back and forth across the floor until all the smears are gone. See my preferred dry mop below, you can use the smooth white microfiber side of it also which might be easier if your room is large. All that swiping the towel with your feet is good exercise though.
My Favorite Mop
My all time favorite mop is The Wonder Mop. They are not paying me to say that, I wish they were.
Two things make this my favorite mop.
- You do not have to get your hands wet to wring it out!
- You can put the mop head in the washer!
I feel so strongly about the Wonder Mop, I’ve included their 40 second You Tube video at the bottom of the page.
I grew up using an old fashioned cotton string mop which we had to wring out by hand. I would take that cotton mop outside and use the water hose to rinse it out really well. Sometimes I soaked it in bleach water to clean it then rinsed it out. I worked harder to keep my mop clean that I did to mop the floors! I do not miss the cotton mop!
My Favorite Dry Mop
The Swiffer sweeper is essentially a dry mop which comes with disposable pads. It’s awesome. I own one. They are great for picking up pet dander and loose debris and therefore good to use between wet mopping.
If, however you have a large surface area and would never get finished using the small Swiffer, consider a dust mop as pictured above. This one is made by O Cedar and is called a Microfiber Flip Mop. It came with an extra pad. The pads are machine washable and two sided. I use the dark blue chenille side for dust mopping to wrangle debris which I then vacuum up. This mop is perfect for protecting hardwoods or laminate so you don’t scratch the surface with a traditional broom.
I use the smooth side for spray mopping occasionally. I spray the floor and wipe it up immediately which picks up dirt in between wet mopping. You could also use the smooth side for polishing your tile after mopping if it looks smeary.
My Favorite Cleaning product for floors
Most of the time I use Lysol because it is proven to kill germs. We also use Lavender Fabuloso occasionally because we enjoy the fragrance. Can you tell from the photo which one we use the most? We have been using Lysol in our business since 1997.
We have also had to resort to using Mean Green when cleaning rental properties on occasion. Mean Green will cut tough dirt and grease on any surface and has been especially helpful to us on vinyl or linoleum flooring in rental properties.
We always use Murphy’s Oil Soap on hardwood floors for our customers unless they request something different.
Why I don’t recommend vinegar and water for floor cleaning. Vinegar is not a registered disinfectant and does not kill dangerous bacteria. You can find Lysol brand on the EPA list of registered disinfectants here.
Wet mopping means you will be using a mop soaked in water with your choice of cleaning products. Can be done on most surfaces.
Damp mopping means there will be no dripping water coming from the mop. Wring the mop out very well. Should be done on most manufactured surfaces such as laminate.
Slop mopping means you will distribute excess water onto the surface with little to no wringing of the mop. Only use this method on natural surfaces such as stone or concrete.
This is how Mom taught us, back in the good old days…
Did anyone, besides me, have a Mom who made you mop the floors until the water came clean. I would mop, mop, mop then dump the dirty water. Make clean water and mop until the water didn’t get dirty. That may have involved changing the water a couple of times. No I was not abused. The first time we made mop water, it had the cleaning product in it, likely Spic-n-Span. All the subsequent times the water was used to rinse the soap off the floor. You could eat off our floors on mop day!
What is your favorite mop?
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