Foot traffic can cause a lot of bacteria and dirt on your floors every day. Therefore, mops are a great tool for keeping them clean.
But a dirty mop can end up spreading bacteria around on your floors instead of providing a deeper cleaning. So it is important to clean the mop head properly.
Depending on the type of mop you have, you can clean it either in the sink or in your washing machine.
Here we show you the best way to do this.
With these tips on how to clean a mop, you can effectively remove dirt and grime from your floor. In addition, you can also extend the life of your mop.
How often should you wash your mop head?
How often you should wash your mop head depends on various factors. These include how big your floor space is and how much dust or dirt there is on the surface.
For example, if you are mopping floors with a high ground level, your mop needs more regular cleaning.
In any case, you should clean your wet mop or dust mop when there is visible soil on it. Otherwise, it will spread dirt back on your floors during your next cleaning session.
Before you begin
Before you start cleaning a mop, be sure to consider how the mop is made. Mop heads can be made of a variety of materials.
For example, a dust mop can be microfiber or rayon. And a wet mop can be made of cotton or a synthetic blend.
Each of these materials has different guidelines for proper cleaning and care. So always follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions for your specific type of mop.
Some mop materials are not tolerant of hot water and certain cleaning chemicals. And you can damage your mop if you use the wrong chemicals or machine settings.
You also need to keep in mind that some types of mop heads are more delicate than others. In these cases, they may require washing in a net bag for protection.
But on the other hand, just rinsing or washing your mop too gently can also leave bacteria or dirt.
Both of these situations can lower the effectiveness of your mop. So it is important to follow the proper care for your specific mop type.
How to clean a mop
Follow these steps to keep your mop clean so you do not spread dirt on your floor.
1. Rinse your mop
First, be sure to rinse the mop with clear water immediately after the mop.
Whether you have a spinning mop, string or sponge mop, they should all be rinsed after each use with warm water. This will remove traces of dust, dirt or soap residue after washing.
Always wring out the mop as much as possible after each use. Since mops are designed to retain moisture when cleaning, especially sponge mops, it is important to wring out as much excess water as you can after cleaning.
Otherwise, dirty water may remain trapped in your mop. This can lead to mold and bacterial growth. And it can also reduce the cleaning efficiency of your mop.
Finally, twisting your mop will make it more absorbent so that it collects more cleaning solution while you mop. And this will also lower the number of cleaning passages you need to make while cleaning.
2. Wash your mop properly
Then wash your mop head in the sink or using a bucket. Or you can clean a mop pad in your washing machine if it is machine safe.
If you choose to use a washing machine, be sure to wash it separately in warm water.
Washing your mop with other fabrics will cause fluff to stick to the mop head. And this can reduce the efficiency of your mop.
You should also use a gentle cycle with a temperature below 210 degrees. And keep the dryer temperature between 120 and 140 degrees.
As we mentioned, high temperatures can damage the fibers of your mop. Then treat your mop heads as delicacies, and dry them only on low heat.
Never use a rinse aid to clean your mop as it may stick to the fibers of your mop. And this will block the mop head’s ability to catch and hold on to dirt and soil.
Because of this, some manufacturers recommend using only liquid cleaners. So it is important to keep this in mind if you are cleaning your mop in a washing machine.
Wash / bucket
Some mop or dry mops do not have removable mop heads. In these cases, you will not be able to wash them in the washing machine.
If your mop head cannot be machine washed, you can use hot water and dishwashing detergent in a bucket.
Keep in mind that some mop heads may not withstand hot water and require washing in cold water. So always remember to check the care instructions for your mop before you start washing.
Make a mixture of half water and half mild detergent in a clean bucket. Make sure you fill it with enough soapy water to cover the mop head and soak it for 30 minutes.
For a deep cleaning, you can also use a commercial disinfectant solution. Or you can use white vinegar solution for a non-toxic and natural antibacterial and antiseptic agent.
White vinegar is widely used as a disinfectant for household cleaning. However, it is important to note that the packaging cannot claim to be a disinfectant because it is not registered with the EPA.
In addition, you can brush the soil from your mop head with a stiff brush.
Then rinse the mop after soaking until the water runs clear to remove any remaining cleaning solution or residue.
And if your mop head is extra dirty, you can repeat the process until the water runs clear when you rinse it.
Whatever you choose to clean your mop head, always avoid soaking it in harsh detergents. Avoid, for example, lye, bleach and caustic solutions.
Although your mop head may still be effective after using these, it will shorten the life after a few washes. However, if you still want to use bleach, be sure to use hydrogenated bleach.
3. Let it dry
After washing your mop, it is important to let your mop dry completely. Any moisture left in the mop can cause mildew or mold growth.
So always make sure it is dry before storing it away. This will help avoid mildew and bacterial growth and keep your mop durable for longer.
As we mentioned above, different mop head materials have different tolerances to temperatures. Because of this, only some mops can be dried.
Otherwise, high heat settings can damage the mop fibers. And this can reduce the amount of soil it will pick up from your floor.
For best results, we simply recommend air-drying your mop on a clothesline.
Sunshine can also kill mold and bacteria naturally. So if you can, hang your mop head on a clothesline outside.
Otherwise, be sure to hang it in a well-ventilated area to air dry.
4. Keep your mop
Storing your mop also plays a role in its efficiency and longevity.
After cleaning your mop, hang it up to air dry in a well-ventilated dry place. If you have a string mop, store it with the threads hanging down.
If your mop does not dry completely, the chance of getting wet is reduced by hanging it up. And it is important to reduce the possibility of bacterial growth.
Even if your mop is completely dry, it will reduce mop contamination by hanging it up from the floor. And this will also reduce the likelihood of mop damage.
You should never soak your mop in a bucket of water overnight. And also avoid storing your clean mop inside a cleaning bucket or on the floor.
Tips for keeping your mop sanitary
Remember these tips to keep your wet or dry mop clean and hygienic.
- Always replace or discard worn mop heads with lost threads. Lost threads can reduce its performance and increase the time it takes to get the job done. For example, a mop with only 75% of the original threads will add up to 1/3 of extra cleaning time.
- If you wash rough surfaces, clean in a direction that reduces dirt. Uneven surfaces can cause wear on your mop’s head. So if you can, try using a specific mop on rough surfaces.
- Cut and remove loose threads to prevent pulling and hanging.
- For best results, use a clean mop bucket with separate sections for dirty and clean water. Or use two buckets when mopping to avoid contaminating your floors with dirty water.