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How to Best Clean a Mop

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. April 21, 2021
How to Best Clean a Mop

Too often we neglect the importance of keeping our mop clean. We may think that simply putting it in the cleaning solution we use to wash the floors will keep the mop sufficiently clean. Unfortunately, since this solution will also contain bacteria picked up from the floor, it will be contaminated. While a certain level of contamination will be expected, keeping the mop as clean as possible is essential for effective and prolonged use. Another issues is that the mop will often not dry easily, resulting in the build up of mildew and bad odors between uses.

For these reasons, oneHOWTO shows you how to best clean a mop by providing tips for washing dirty mop heads. Keeping your mop clean means you will better keep the rest of your home clean.

You may also be interested in: How to Clean a Broom to Make It Last Longer
  1. How to clean a mop to stop it from smelling
  2. How to remove hairs from the mop
  3. Why cleaning a mop is so important
  4. How often to change a mop head

How to clean a mop to stop it from smelling

While it may seem counterintuitive, the products we use to clean our floors can cause our mop to smell over time. This is, of course, mixed with the dirt and bacteria which inevitably collect in its fibers. While cleaning a mop is important to maintain hygiene in the home, we also need to do so to prevent it from smelling bad. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm or cold water and add a mild soap. As an alternative to soap, you can add a mixture of bleach and a suitable detergent.
  2. Insert the mop head into the bucket. Although there are different types of mops such as cloth or microfiber, introduce this part completely regardless of the variety.
  3. Use gloves to rub the mop with your hands in the mixture made in the bucket. Do it vigorously to remove the remains of dirt and mildew.
  4. Wring out the mop, dump out the dirty water, and fill the bucket with clean water. You will likely need to rinse the mop bucket a few times to get rid of dirt residue.
  5. Add two glasses of white vinegar to the bucket. Then, pour in the juice of three lemons, put the mop back in and let it soak for 3 hours. Thanks to the mixture of vinegar and lemon juice, you will eliminate bad odors from the mop head.
  6. After three hours, rinse thoroughly in water. Wring out the mop to remove excess moisture and expose it to the sun to dry. The sun's rays help to remove excess water from the fibers.

The white vinegar will serve to disinfect, clean and whiten the mop. In addition, together with the lemon juice it will help eliminate the bad smell. Clean the mop in this way at least once a week. It is ideal to do it after each use, but this may not always be possible.

To learn more about these natural products, check out our articles on how to clean the home with vinegar and how to use lemon to clean.

How to Best Clean a Mop - How to clean a mop to stop it from smelling

How to remove hairs from the mop

One of the most frustrating issues when cleaning a mop head is the fact that hairs can get entwined in the fibers. If you are unsure of how to remove them completely, you can learn how to clean hair from your mop by following these tips:

  • Use a bucket full of water to mix it with bleach and detergent or soap. This mixture will help you remove hair and dirt from the mop.
  • Insert the mop head into the bucket and scrub very hard. The hairs should come off and remain in the water. By wringing the mop and discarding the dirty water, you will remove any remains of hair.
  • The use of gloves is a preventive measure to avoid contact with toxic products used in this process such as bleach or detergent.

Once your mop is clean, you will need to know how best to use it. Our article on how to use a mop for effective home cleaning will tell you more.

Why cleaning a mop is so important

The use of the mop has a clear objective; to remove dirt from the floor and keep it clean. With each pass over the floor, the mop fabrics capture dirt and bacteria. If the mop is not cleaned frequently, these traces of dirt get trapped in its fibers. To prevent dirt from getting on the mop, it is very important to clean it after each use. In this way you avoid making more dirt than cleaning when you scrub with it and giving off unpleasant odors.

Not only is it important to clean the mop properly after each use, we need to let is dry completely. This can be difficult in cold or wet climates, but it needs to be done as best as possible. Bacteria and mildew proliferate in damp conditions. Even if we have cleaned the mop, a damp mop can develop smells and become dirty over time.

How to Best Clean a Mop - Why cleaning a mop is so important

How often to change a mop head

Do you know how long a mop lasts? The duration of this cleaning tool will depend to a large extent on how you both use and maintain it. In general, the mop head has a usage duration of at least one month. However, this will depend on how much your use it and how well you clean it after each use.

If you combine the use of the mop with other cleaning methods such as a vacuum cleaner or even a Roomba (or similar robot cleaner), we may not need to rely on the mop as much. This is because the floors won't be as dirty. If we clean the mop after each use, dry it completely between uses and store it correctly, there is no reason it won't last for 2 to 3 months. However, after this time, it is advisable to change the mop head.

We also advise keeping separate mop heads for different parts of the home. One mop should be used on kitchen and bathroom floors, with another used for the remaining areas of the home. This is because the former tend to be dirty and have more bacteria than the other areas.

Ideally, you should also use two mops buckets when cleaning a floor. The first will have a solution of floor cleaning detergent. The other will be contain clean water. his way you can dip the mop head into the cleaning solution and then rinse it in the clean water. This way it best prevents spreading more dirt over the floor.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Best Clean a Mop, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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