How to Mop Floors

Steve Hanson

Mopping floors seems like one of those things everyone knows how to do, but few people actually know the right way to do it. If you're not using the right technique, you're causing a lot more work for yourself and are probably taking a chance with your own safety as well.

Following are the steps to proper mopping:

  1. Mop heads come in different sizes. Choose a weight that works for your body size. If you choose one that is too heavy, you'll likely put too much stress on your back and it might be more difficult to move quickly and efficiently.

  2. Fill your mop bucket with 4 gallons of cool water.Add your cleaning solution according to manufacturer's directions. Always use a neutral pH floor cleaner to keep from damaging any finish on the floor.

  3. Before you start mopping a floor, make sure you sweep or vaccum it first. If you don't remove the loose soil, you'll simply push it all around the floor, making more of a mess. Use a putty knife to remove gum, stickers or other items stuck to the floor.

  4. Put out wet floor signs near entrances to the area you'll be mopping.

  5. Start at the farthest corner of the room and work your way backwards toward the door.Keep the mop bucket on the section of floor that has not been mopped yet in an area where it won't be tripped over.

  6. Start by mopping along the baseboards to keep from slopping your cleaning solution up onto the wall or baseboard. Then fill in the open areas.

  7. Never push the mop forward and backward. Instead, move it from side to side in a figure eight motion, overlapping each stroke as you move back and forth. Keep your back straight as you mop - do not twist your spine, as it puts stress on the back. Use your arm muscles to move the mop back and forth - do not use your back muscles.

  8. As one side of the mop gets soiled, turn it over to use the other side.

  9. Rinse the mop in clean water and wring it out.Try to wring out as much liquid as possible, but do not force the wringer and do not twist the mop head as it will break the fibers.

  10. Change water as necessary.

  11. When the floor is dry, pick up the wet floor signs. Rinse out the mop head, mop bucket and sink. Store the mop properly - hang it so it can air dry.

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