​The Best Way to Mop a Tiled Floor

Author: John Fay   Date Posted:3 March 2015 

There are around six million varieties of bacteria on an average-sized floor space. In places with children or pets, that number is likely to increase dramatically, making it even more susceptible to disease-carrying bacteria.

Tiled floors in particular can be tricky to sanitize. Using the vacuum cleaner or sweeping is sometimes not enough. In order to ensure that the floor is not only visibly spotless, but also germ-free, mopping with a squeeze mop and a bucket is the best way to do it.

How Effective Is Mopping?

Is mopping truly effective, or does it merely transport germs? The word “mop” usually brings up images of a moist and stinky mess, which is the exact opposite of what clean and fresh is.

Research has discovered that floors actually hold more bacteria after a round of mopping. The offending article is found to be the mop heads – holding more than 8 million bacteria per square centimeter.

Thus, it is very important to learn how to mop a tiled floor correctly with a squeeze mop and bucket. This will ensure that the mop heads you use are hygienic, at the same time making them longer lasting.

What to Do Before Mopping

In order to clean the floor thoroughly, and to avoid back jobs if possible, it is to your advantage to have a method or a system that will both efficiently and effectively accomplish the job with the right amount of effort and time expended.

Before picking up your cleaning materials, survey the area that needs to be cleaned. Assess the parts that need more in-depth scrubbing, and identify the ones that do not need as much effort to brush off.

Unless nearing entrances or areas that are usually walked on, wide open spaces usually need minimal effort to mop up. Other areas may not be as easy. You may find yourself flummoxed by certain hard to clean areas, such as corners and places where large, immovable furniture are contained.

Divide the area by sections. It is advisable to start with the less accessible parts of the floor. Once you’re done with those, move that bulk of the dirt out. After that, it will be easier to progress to the less dirty areas.

What You Will Need

1. Broom or vacuum cleaner

2. Warm water

3. Bucket

4. Floor cleaner or detergent

5. Sponge

6. Mop and mop head

The 12-Step Mopping Process

1. Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove small items, hair, dirt and dust, or other loose debris.

2. Using the directions indicated on the container, dilute the floor cleaner using a bucket and warm water.

3. Dip the sponge in the mixture. Go to parts of the floor that contain grease, food spills, and sticky and oily dirt that was not removed by the broom or vacuum cleaner, and gently scrub them out.

4. Dip the mop into the bucket of water containing the saturated floor cleaner. When it has absorbed the mixture, take out the mop. Wring it into the bucket to extract the excess water.

Note: Some buckets have built in wringers, which you can use. If this is not available, you can simply use your hands to squeeze the water out.

5. Start with the far side of the room. Mop the desired area in small strokes, one section at a time. Take caution and avoid walking over areas that you have already mopped.

6. Take note of the grouts, or the edges where the tiles meet. Dirt and grime tend to accumulate in those places. If they are darker than surrounding areas, you may need to scrub them by hand using the sponge.

7. Dip the mop into the bucket after you’re done with each section of the tiled floor. Be sure to squeeze out the dripping water.

8. When you are done with the entire floor, rinse both the mop and the bucket thoroughly. Replace the used water with clean water. This time, do not add any cleaner or soap.

Note: If the used water is dark or close to black in color, it is an indicator that you have gotten most of the dirt off the floor.

9. Wait for the floor to dry. Turn on fans or open windows to help quicken the drying process.

10. When the floor is completely dry, immerse the mop into the bucket of water. Remember to squeeze out the excess.

11. This time using nothing but water, repeat the aforementioned process, from steps 4 through 7. Mop up the sections of the floor again; following the sequence you followed from the first time. Remember, do not put cleaner or soap to the water. This will remove any of the soap solution from the first round of mopping.

12. Let the floor dry completely.

Some Handy Tips

1. Before reusing the mop head, make sure it has been completely washed with soap and dried after the last use. Otherwise, mildew may take hold and add more bacteria to your floor than what was already there.

2. Drying the cleaning materials in the heat of the sun, especially the mop head, prevents the growth of molds and kills off most of the bacteria. This also extends its usability.

3. Replace mop heads every two months. Even with constant cleaning, these materials are not meant to be used permanently, and will disintegrate in a short period of time. If it is not replaced, it may leave bits of its broken pieces on the floor as you are using it.

4. For dirt-prone areas such as the bathroom, you may want to use a different mop head, or a different cleaning set altogether. This is to prevent the spread of bacteria, to concentrate the heavy scrubbing on certain areas of the house, and to conserve cleaning materials.


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