Keen to Clean Tips – Mopping

General/Commercial Cleaning: Mopping
Mopping is a pretty standard cleaning exercise but it never hurts to go over the basics. From knowing your equipment to understanding the principles of the cleaning you can improve the way you go about it and potentially get better results.
Things you will Need:
Cleaning Solution: Floor cleaning solutions are readily available from supermarkets. A wide range is available with different benefits but in general the main function is to break up dirt and help facilitate the mopping. Additional germ killing and germ shielding is often a popular gimmick for more expensive brands, Mop-Image the exact benefits of which are open to debate. In general we suggest you choose one that has a scent you are comfortable with as unscented cleaning solutions can sometimes be a bit on the nose.
Broom or Vacuum: An important step in the process is making sure you have something you can do a dry pre clean with.
If it is a broom then you need to ensure that the bristles are healthy and free of dirt or hair buildups, otherwise you are just going to make the floor worse. We would advise against hard bristles [the kind of brooms you use for outdoor sweeping] as they can potentially leave scratches on your floor.
A vacuum can be used as an alternative. Obvious things like making sure the bag is empty and the engine runs properly are advisable. You also need a nozzle that has a brush setting, so that it will double as a broom. Without it vacuuming will be less effective as an option.
Mop: The nuts and bolts of the cleaning process. There are multiple types.
Long string mop: Offers good absorption of water, holds in the dirty water well and can be manipulated so that you need to wring the mop fewer times. There is a knack to using them and they require a bucket with a wringer built into them but they are also cheap and durable.
Sponge mop: Cheap and versatile, they have the benefit of having wringers built into them and the ability to easily change their sponge heads so that the mop itself can be used for ages. Price variation is typically associated with the sophistication of the wringing and sponge mechanisms and their ease of use but what is most important is finding one that is a comfortable length for you.
Stick and wipe mop: Essentially a wet wipe on a stick, these have recently become popular for low impact cleaning for their speed and ease of use. The ability to simply change the wipes on the head of the mop mean they are good for floors that are frequently maintained.
Steam mops: Mops with steam systems built into them. Following the instructions is paramount but they are a popular alternative to manual cleaning.
Bucket: A bucket for water and solution mixes. Try to find a sturdy bucket: cheap buckets tend to crack and buckle under any weight. The bucket has to be wide and deep enough that you can fully submerge the head of the mop. Some buckets will have wringers built into them already; these are great so long as you have a mop head that is appropriate to them.
Rubber gloves: Many people prefer to use gloves to avoid damaging the skin and nails on their hands. The detergents used on floors are not caustic though so it is ultimately at your discretion whether you bother or not.
Things to Keep in Mind: Mopping is a wet process but in reality there should not be a large amount of water getting onto the hard floors. Avoid putting excessive amounts of water on the floor and be careful of areas where the hardfloors and carpets meet: even if there is a divider the water can soak under and into the carpets. Over time this can cause mould to form and spread through the carpets, which can be a real pain to deal with.
Start by clearing the floors as best as possible. This is both to make mopping easier but also because things like boxes and the feet of chairs left behind will have water soak under them where dirt can pool. Moving them later will potentially leave small patches of gathered dirt.
Next do a dry clean of the area. This means a thorough mop or vacuum. The logic is that the more you get off the ground now, the easier mopping will be. Any sticky areas with hair and dirt built up can be tackled as well to help loosen them up but if it is stubborn wait for the mop to take care of it.
Fill your bucket with hot water and mix in the solution as per the measurements suggested by the product. Too little and you will not get any benefit. Too much and there will be too many suds and cleaning the solution off the floor will be harder, leaving the floor looking patchy and streaky.
The basic premise is to treat the mop as a sponge: wet the head, wring it so it is not sopping, use the mop head to loosen up dirt.
Too much water and you will make a mess and spend more time mopping it up.
Too little water and you will not be able to loosen up the dirt enough.
Once the dirt is loose then you wash and wring the mop in the bucket before using the sponge to wipe up the loosened dirt and washing and wringing the mop to start again. Once you are confident you can do it all in one process.
Sponge mops with rectangle heads work better being pushed back and forth in straight lines. Long string mops work better in circles or oval motions. This can be another factor in decided which you prefer.
Slowly work your way across the kitchen floor from one corner to the other, being sure to plan it out so that once done you are within reach of a door so you can get out.
If you weren’t too gunge ho on the water or you were good at mopping it up the floors should dry relatively quickly but opening windows or doors and getting airflow can help.
Rinse the mop head under a tap until clear or throw away the sponge/wipe depending on what system you are using. Leave to dry in open air.
How Often Should it be Done?
Traffic and how quickly your floors get dirty is the major factor in frequency. If you barely use a room then it stands to reason it doesn’t frequently need to be done but bathrooms and kitchens will typically require it every couple of weeks at least.
You can be sure that when the Keen To Clean staff visits your home, you will get 100% satisfaction from our office cleaning and commercial cleaning service in all Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide suburbs. To book a cleaning day, please feel free to drop us a line at 1300-737978, 0425-758379 for 24/7 emergency cleaning, or email us at We are open from Mondays to Saturdays, 8AM till 6:30 PM, in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.