Professional Mopping Tips For Clean Floors

How To Mop A Floor Like A Pro


Mopping Tips For Clean Floors

Mopping Tips For Clean Floors

How To Mop A Floor - Best Practices

Do you know what the key to mopping your floors is? Most cleaners believe that they know how to mop a floor, just add more soap and that is the answer to all their cleaning problems. According to MaidPro's Chief Cleaning Officer, Melissa Homer, this couldn't be further from the truth. If you want to know the best way to mop your floors, see what Melissa Homer has to say on the subject. She teaches you

  • Why more soap will not get your floors clean
  • Why your floors aren't getting clean on the first try
  • 3 things you can do to correctly clean your floors

Read below and start cleaning like a pro today! 

More Soap Is Not The Answer

Contrary to what many out there believe, soap does not make more room in water or mops! The only thing soap does is lift dirt and oil into water, making them suspend (aka float) in the water by using the power of something called surfactants. Surfactants have a hydrophilic (water-loving) tail and a hydrophobic (water-hating) head and look like chemical sperm, no really! The head sticks to the oil and dirt and the tail pulls it up into the water. The longer dirt sits in soapy water the more covered it becomes with little surfactants, till it is coated on all sides. This is why when you pour dirty rinse water into a sink, the dirt does not stick to the sink and slides down the drain instead.

The water you use when mopping, whether it be on the floor, in your mop pad, or in your mop bucket will eventually get saturated with dirt. Adding to the problem, the mop pad you use when mopping will eventually get saturated with soapy water as well, often well before the water is saturated with dirt. At either of these fail points no extra amount of soap will be able to lift dirt into water or force more water into the mop pad, meaning you will just be smearing dirty water around. What this also means is that if you don't properly absorb all the soapy water on the floor, you aren't removing all of the dirt and soap residue and it may then form streaks on your floor.

2 Reasons Your Floors Are Still Dirty After Cleaning

Forgetting To Rinse

Many cleaners spray a ton of floor soap, believing "wet equals clean". Thinking that wet equals clean, they then forget to rinse out their mop pad, resulting in a mop pad that is fully saturated with dirty water. Continuing to use the mop pad on the floor leads to smearing dirt, not lifting it. The end result, dirty water dries back onto the floor.

Forgetting To Check Their Mop Pad

Many cleaners, when they encounter a very dirty or porous floor, correctly spray more floor soap to capture the higher dirt load, but forget to increase their rinsing to match the increased soap and soils. Rinsing out their mop pad at standard intervals, instead of checking to see that their mop is full faster than usual, results in an excess of dirty water being left on the floors.

3 Ways To Correctly Clean Floors

Rinse Your Mop Pads More Often

  • Dampen and wring out the microfiber mop pad in the sink
  • Spray and mop the floor in 3’x3’ sections.
  • Flip the mop to inspect the pad every 2 sections.
  • Rinse the pad at least 2 to 4 times per floor (more if very dirty)

Make Rinsing Easier

  • Use a waterproof bag or bucket.
  • Dampen and ring out multiple microfiber mop pads at once.
  • Swap mop heads fast and easy without leaving the room.

Do The Napkin Test Yourself

  • Use a white paper or microfiber towel.
  • Occasionally swipe the floor as you mop.
  • “If the towel is light grey, you’re done for the day!
    If the towel is black, it’s time to go back!”
    (and rinse more, duh!)
  • For a true indicator of a clean floor, once you have finished give the post mopping White Sock Test a try!

Bonus Tip! Know When To Call In The Big Guns

Despite best efforts, some floors are beyond the reach of standard mopping. Inform your manager immediately if you encounter a floor too dirty to mop well! Your manager will explain to the customer that they need a deep scouring of their floor and standard mopping will not work till all embedded dirt has been scrubbed out. Your manager will send you or a coworker with a motorized scrubbing tool (like the MotorScrubber or Oreck Orbiter ) to deep clean the floor so that it can be mopped normally going forward.
The basic steps of a motorized scrubbing tool deep scour are:

  • Apply a heavy concentrated solution of floor soap and hot tap water.
  • After soaking, scrub up dirt with your motorized scrubbing tool.
  • Remove dirt-filled water with wet vacuum or mop.
  • Mop floor again with fresh hot tap water to rinse residual soil and soap.
Melissa Homer MaidPro

Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro Franchising


  • Wet does not equal clean! More soap and water does not mean you are cleaning more effectively.
  • Always use the Napkin Test to see if your floors are clean.


Here's What Microfiber Products Melissa Uses:

The best way to mop a floor is to use the best products! We've listed what products Melissa uses to mop her customer's floors below. They are available on our website or on Amazon.

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