How to Mop Floors Better

Here is Why You Have Streaks on Your Floor After Mopping

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Have you ever spent time and effort mopping your floor then tiptoeing so you don’t mess it up, but the instant it’s dry you discover streaks?

A few different things can lead to streaks on your floor after mopping, but none of them are hard to remedy.

1. Did you skip something?

Pop quiz: what happens when you mix dirt and water? Mud! Now, doesn’t it make sense that if you skip vacuuming then mopping’s going to turn any dirt on your floor into mud? Well, maybe not mud but streaks.

So, be sure to vacuum or at least use a dust mop to pick up debris. And if you’re using a vacuum, use the hard floor attachment with the felt roller or soft, flexible fins, not hard bristles.

2. Product Overload.

In cleaning, more is not always better, and one of the most common reasons floors look streaky after mopping is using too much floor cleaner.

When you use too much product, it leaves a residue which dries to a dull, streaky finish. To avoid this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or cleaning recipe exactly, don’t just guess.

Pro Tip

If you’ve been overusing floor products for a while, try mopping your floors with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap in 1 gallon of hot water one time to remove the residue. And rinse that mop often!

3. Poor Technique.

When you first go over an area, clean the floor in a figure 8 if you’re using a string mop, or short scrubby strokes for other types of mop. This lifts up the grime.

Then, rinse your mop and go over the area in long straight strokes—with the grain if you’re cleaning hardwood floors— to lift any dirt you’ve loosened. Don’t forget to rinse your mop.

4. The Critical Step.

Are you sensing a theme here? Rinsing your mop is essential to keep it from leaving streaks. So, if you’re using a mop and bucket, rinse the mop frequently and change the rinse water when it starts looking cloudy.

If you’re using a washable mopping pad, rinse or change it at least once per room. Disposable wet mop pads should be turned over over when the pad looks dirty and replaced when the second side shows signs of dirt.

Pro Tip

If you wait to change your rinse water until you can’t see the bottom of your bucket, you’ve waited too long.

5. Match the Mop to the Floor.

Different floors require different mops. With laminate flooring or wood floors, too much water can cause damage so opt for a microfiber mop and spray bottle.

For tile, stone, and vinyl floors, use either a spray mop or a mop and bucket, but keep the water away from any cracks.

6. Hard Water.

If you have hard water and use a lot of it, letting your floor air dry will leave mineral traces behind that can look like streaks. To avoid that, don’t get them so wet. They’re floors, not splash parks.

Then, once you’ve finished mopping, use a clean dry mop or a towel to buff the floors dry. You can also speed up the drying process by running your ceiling fan as soon as you’ve finished.

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