How to Mop a Wooden Floor Properly – Plus Video

Keeping your wooden floor clean is of great importance. In addition to creating a safe, healthy environment, regular cleaning also adds life to your hardwood floors.

Sweeping and vacuuming hardwood floors gets rid of dust and loose dirt, but does not prevent buildup of grime.

Mopping is therefore one of the most recommended ways of cleaning wooden floors. It prevents spills from damaging your floor, and lifts off stains and ingrained dirt from a hardwood floor.

A home also smells fresh after the floor has been mopped with a fragrant cleaner. So, get ready: In this guide, you’ll learn how to mop a wooden floor properly.


1. Floor preparation

Clear the area before your start to mop. Remove all furniture such as tables and chairs, avoiding scratching the floor.

Rugs should also be removed and be cleaned if they are dirty before they are put back on the cleaned floor.

A clear area makes cleaning faster and ensures every spot on the floor is reached.

Get your cleaning solution, your mop of choice, and a bucket of clean, warm water. Make sure you’ve read any instructions on how to use the cleaner and make everything ready.

Open the windows or doors and start the cleaning process.

2. Sweep/Vacuum before mopping

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is a very important step that should not be ignored. Before you mop, you should sweep or vacuum to remove solid debris and dust.

Mopping before you sweep can cause scratches on the floor resulting from pushing around solids — like pebbles, for example. Dust will also dissolve to form mud, making your mopping either extremely difficult or a moot point entirely. Nobody wants to find themselves involved in moot mopping.

Use a soft bristle boom or a microfiber dust mop to sweep your wooden floor. If you decide to vacuum, use a recommended vacuum for the wooden floor that does not cause dents or scratches.

3. Mopping the floor

Mix your cleaner with warm water in a bucket. The amount of solution should be generous enough to allow the mop to completely submerge.

Dip the mop in the cleaning solution and wring it out completely so that you end up with a damp — not wet — mop. You do not want to leave water pooling on the floor.

Start mopping in small sections and from the farthest side opposite the entry. Wipe the floor in a forward and backward motion with the mop for three or four times.

The floor is highly slippery during mopping, so be careful. Do not let anyone walk across until it is completely dry.

When the floor is heavily soiled or too dirty, the mop and cleaner may get dirty after cleaning a small section.

Wring out and rinse your mop and change the cleaning solution before you proceed to the next section.

4. Rinse to remove the cleaner

Remember to rinse the cleaner from your floor before it dries out. Dip your mop in a bucket of clean water and wring it out completely.

Begin from where you started mopping and rinse the cleaner. If you forget or ignore this step, you will end up with dull or cloudy wooden floors.

Some cleaning solutions are used on the floors directly without mixing with water or rinsing out. Examples include Bona spray or Swiffer Wet Jet.

This is why it is important to understand the cleaner you are using and to read the instructions.

5. Dry the floor

Wooden floors get damaged when exposed to moisture or water for too long. This is one of the main reasons to use a damp — not wet — mop. Yes, we stressed that point again on purpose.

If there are heavy streaks or a film of water pooling on the surface, use a towel to dry the floor. If that is not the case, let the floor air dry.

Remember to hang your mop after mopping so that it can dry. If you let it stay in the bucket for long, it will start to smell bad and you may not want to use it in your next cleaning.

The bottom line

Knowing how to mop a wooden floor makes cleaning a simple process. You can either do it yourself or hire professional cleaning services.

While sweeping of hardwood floors should be a daily task, mopping can be done on a weekly or monthly basis to deal with grime buildup.

Finally, enjoy the satisfaction that comes with having a clean hardwood floor. Cleaning makes your hardwood floor to remain beautiful for years to come.

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