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How to mop correctly and the best mop to use

This one tool that will make everything so much cleaner.
Mid-adult woman dusting floors in modern home.
“I haven’t found anything that cleans better than a microfiber pad mop,” Don Aslett told TODAY Home.Getty Images stock
/ Source: TODAY

If you love a clean floor, but hate the chore of mopping, TODAY Home is here to help.

Don Aslett of offered his advice to help us mop like a pro. With more than 50 years of experience in the cleaning business, he’s got it down to a science.

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The best mop to use

When Aslett first went into business, his favorite tools for mopping were a string mop and a bucket. For years, that’s how Aslett and his workers cleaned floors. In fact, if it weren’t for the discovery of one item, he’d probably still be using a string mop today.

Since the invention of microfiber, with its thousand-plus fibers per square inch, Aslett has changed his style. He now uses a mop that has a reusable microfiber pad instead of strings.

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop Cleaning System, $30 (usually $38), Amazon

“I haven’t found anything that cleans better than a microfiber pad mop,” Aslett said. "It picks up dirt fast and easily and does the job without bulky buckets."

Just be sure to use the microfiber pad best suited for each type of floor, he adds. Hardwoods and laminates clean easily with a short loop microfiber, while tile floors need longer fibers — or “noodles,” as Aslett describes them — to reach down into grout.

Find the right cleaning solution

Aslett recommends an easy cleaning solution: a quick squirt of dish detergent in a bucket of water. “Dish detergent is made to cut through grease and grime. Just don’t use too much or the floors will be dull.”

The best part about mopping with microfiber is that you only need plain water and a small amount of your favorite cleaning solution, which often saves money.

How often should you mop?

To put it simply, you should mop when the floor looks dirty. For small households, this may be every other week; for households with kids and pets, it may be once a week or more. Aslett suggests using doormats at entry doors to keep floors cleaner for longer. Makes sense!

How to mop

Start with a floor that’s well swept, vacuumed or mopped for dust. Otherwise, you’ll be pushing food, dust bunnies and who knows what else all around the room.

  • String mop method:

For lightly soiled floors, wiping just once with a damp mop may do the job. For heavily soiled floors, you’ll likely have to mop twice. The first time, wet the entire floor (don’t flood it, just get it good and wet). This will loosen the dirt and any sticky goo. Mop around the edges first, then move to the middle of the floor, using overlapping, figure-eight strokes. When one side of the mop gets dirty, turn the mop over to the clean side. When both sides are dirty, wash the mop in the bucket; otherwise, you’ll be spreading dirt around instead of removing it. If any stubborn soil remains, remove it with a scrubber before rinsing.

To rinse, go over the floor with a mop dampened with clean water. Rinse the mop frequently and don’t let the rinse water get too dirty.

Pro tip: Place a quarter in the bottom of the bucket. When you can no longer see the quarter, it’s time to change the water.

  • Microfiber pad method

Wet the microfiber pad and wring it out well. To attach it to the mop head, drop it onto the floor with the microfiber side down. Then position the mop head over the pad. The pad will quickly adhere to the head because of the Velcro-like hooks and loops. Now you’re ready to mop.

Using a spray bottle, spray a small section of the floor with cleaning solution and mop. When the pad starts leaving behind traces of dirt, it’s time to rinse it out in the sink. Each pad should usually clean about 500 square feet before needing to be washed, depending on what’s on the floor. Sticky residue may require more frequent rinsing. Mop in a overlapping pattern back and forth. That’s really it! Just mop, rinse the pad and repeat. There's no bucket or wringing out needed.

This article was originally published on July 20, 2017.