With all the new products and tools out there today, it can be difficult to know which to pick. Let’s go over some things to keep in mind when buying a mop so you can get the most out of your cleaning experience!

Different Kinds of Mops

  • String Mop: cotton (yacht mop), great for cleaning outdoor areas.
  • Twist Mop & Spin Mop (microfiber): these are great for tile, vinyl, linoleum, and cement floors (not good for hardwood or natural stone floors as they leave streaks).
  • Flat Head Mops: Ideal for hard floor surfaces, since they are gentle and leave no streak or moisture behind.
  • Steam Mops: Ideal for natural stone or tile flooring.

Which Surfaces Can be Mopped?

Cork and unfinished hardwood flooring are the two most common surfaces that CANNOT be mopped. All others are good! Always go with instructions provided by the manufacturer of the flooring and not the manufacturer of the mop. The flooring people know their product best!

Steam Mop Thoughts

I do not trust steam mops for hardwood, linoleum, or vinyl flooring. The heat and moisture can potentially ruin the floor. I have asked flooring manufacturers what they think and they agree. Only use steam mops on natural stone and tile flooring.

Favourite Mop

Maker’s Clean Mop is by far my favorite mop on the market today. Known as the ‘taco-mop’ for its curved shape, it is designed for power and versatility. Its unique shape allows you to evenly focus pressure on the cleaning surface to tackle stuck-on stains and messes.

The mop also comes on an extending pole for all those hard-to-reach places. It’s great for cleaning walls, high/low corners, crown molding, and baseboards. The head swivels and locks, allowing you to clean under furniture with precision. It comes with washable premium microfiber pads which you can use wet or dry. It even has little holes for you to pop in microfiber cloths as you clean (no more wasteful disposable cleaning pads)! It’s even got a clever wall-stop so that the mop handle doesn’t slide down your wall while it’s resting. This is the best of the best and always performs great!

Mopping Mistakes

There are several things you need to be aware of when beginning your mopping journey. Mopping isn’t hard, but you have to know the tricks of the trade and what mistakes to avoid. Let’s take a look!

Forgetting to Vacuum First:

If your mop passes over a clump of dirt, it will become muddy and make an even bigger mess. Dust and hair will stick to the floor if wet, and swirl around, dirtying up your mop and water. If you’ve already made this mistake, let the floor dry completely and then sweep to remove debris, finishing with a final mop with clean water/solution.

Using Too Much Water

This will leave streaks behind and take longer to dry. It’s also harmful to hardwood, laminate, and cork flooring. It has the potential to cause serious damage to certain floors, so be careful! For hard floor surfaces use a flat-head mop with a spray bottle to control the amount of water. If using a bucket, saturate your mop head in solution and wring out until it is damp, but not dripping.

Using the Wrong Tools

This can leave streaks and too much moisture behind. This can damage the finish or even the floor itself. Stick to a flat head mop for stone and hardwood flooring, using a string/twist mop for tile and cement flooring.

Not Properly Cleaning the Mop Head

This will result in you placing dirt back onto the floor you just cleaned. I launder my mop head after each use and have a few flat-head mop pads soaking in solution ready to go for larger jobs. Once dirty, I remove the pad and replace it with a clean one. On average, I change my mop pad every room or so. If the room is particularly dirty, I’ll use more than one.

Using the Wrong Products and Recipes

If the wrong product is used, it can harm surfaces. Too many products can also leave a sticky residue behind on the floors, making them uncomfortable to walk on. Over time, too much product residue can build up and leave a sticky or tacky film on the floor. For this issue I like to remember this rhyme: “Less is more when mopping the floor”. For tile, natural stone, and hardwood flooring, I use nothing more than a quarter teaspoon of dish soap in a bucket filled with hot water.

If you purchase special floor cleaning products, follow the dilution ratios carefully. If there’s too much product built up on a floor and it’s tacky, try using an enzyme cleaner (Bio-Kleen makes one). I don’t like oil soaps for hard floors. If it’s a one-off problem, simply re-mop with water only and dry with a cloth.

Tackling Tough Stains

If you have a tough stain, using the right kind of mop and pre-treating the stain will help loosen things up. I like to use a bit of dish soap and water (1/2 tsp : 2 cups of water). Take a flat-head mop and a heavy-duty mop pad, making sure to scrub well.

Skipping the Final Rinse

Skipping the final rinse will often leave product residue on your floors. Now, you may not need to do this depending on the product you use, but in general, a final rinse is a good way to end a mopping session.

Poor Mopping Technique

The biggest mistake often made when mopping is cornering yourself. This means you have to always orient yourself from the opposite corner of the exit point of the room. Then, begin mopping with the bucket behind you. It’s always important to mop with the grain of the wood, making sure to constantly rinse and clean your mop head. NEVER use a dirty tool on a clean floor. When your mop water is dirty, dump it out and replenish it, so that you are working with a clean solution.

Soaking Wet Mop

If you find that you need a towel or something extra to soak up the cleaning solution, then you know you’re not properly wringing out the mop before cleaning. If you find there’s too much moisture left behind, use a thick cloth and sop up the leftover solution. I love the Maker’s Clean Duo cloth locked onto the Maker’s Mop for this task.

Poor Storage

When you place a wet mop in storage, it doesn’t have time to dry properly and it will start to stink! When you’re done mopping, rinse the mop head well, wring it out, and allow it to air-dry completely.

Mopping doesn’t have to be a mess! Follow these tips and you will clean faster with better results!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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