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Don't make the mistake of using a mop and bucket on your hardwood or laminate (e.g. Pergo) floors. Wooden or laminate floors are better with gentler mopping techniques, such as spray mopping (also known as damp mopping).
And even though you can safely mop tile or vinyl floors, there's no need to bother with the mop and bucket if you've just got a small to medium sized area to mop. Damp mopping is a convenient and easy way to clean this type of flooring too.
How to mop the floor quickly and easily - without damaging the flooring
Damp mopping is safe for all types of flooring. In damp mopping, you simply use a spray-on floor cleaning solution that you spray onto the floor. You spray this from the bottle directly onto the floor, similarly to how you'd spray Windex on a window, for example. You don't need to cover all the floor with it since the mop will spread it around.
Make sure you use the appropriate floor cleaner for the type of flooring you have. Spray-on floor cleaning solutions will state on the bottle which types of flooring they're meant to work with safely. For example, the best floor cleaner for tile will be different to the best floor cleaner for hardwood.
After spraying on the cleaning solution, use a Swiffer-style dry mop on all parts of the floor to spread around the cleaning solution and soak up any liquid. This ensures that your floors don't have prolonged contact with moisture as they would if you were using a mop and bucket. For hardwood and Pergo-style laminate floors, this is particularly important. Your dry mop uses disposable sheets or washable cloth covers to spread the floor cleaner around and pick up dust and hairs.
That's all there is to damp mopping! Fast, safe and easy.
Advantages of damp mopping
- Very fast and easy to do - you'll have the floor sparkling clean in no time!
- Safe for all types of flooring
- Use YOUR choice of cleaning solution that is appropriate for your flooring. If you want to use natural floor cleaner, you can
- Damp mopping ensures a streak-free finish (which is hard to achieve with other cleaning methods, particularly on laminate)
- Doesn’t require electricity or batteries - eco-friendly, and no cords to get in the way
- All modern Swiffer-style dry mops have a good swivel on the mop head which can get into tight spaces and under overhangs
- No bucket of water which pets and kids could knock over
- Need to keep Swiffer-style sheets in stock. Alternatively buy several washable re-usable cloth mop sheets
- Like most mops, it won’t pick up large particulates, e.g. bits of cereal, so you'll need to vacuum first
Tips and tricks for floor mopping
If you get a small amount of pet hair or dust on your floors between mopping sessions, don't break out the vacuum! Instead just use your dry mop but without the cleaning solution - it's a faster easier way of picking up dust and hairs between mopping sessions.
If you have a large space of tile or vinyl, you could still choose to use a traditional mop and bucket. The larger the area, the more efficient a mop and bucket can be. That said, you might also want to consider instead using larger-sized dry mops designed especially for this purpose. They have a bigger footprint so you can clean the area faster than the smaller Swiffer sized mop.
With this damp mopping technique you have the flexibility of using different spray-on cleaners for different types of flooring inside one home. For example, you can use a spray-on hardwood cleaner for your wooden floors and a spray-on tile floor cleaner for your tile bathroom floors. But you still only need one mop.
If previously your floors were getting dirty too quickly (but you didn't have time to break out the mop and bucket more frequently), you'll probably find it much easier keeping them clean with damp mopping. You won't have to worry about dirty floors any more, now that it takes barely any time to clean them.
The bottom line
There's no need to dread floor mopping again! The best way to clean floors is using the damp mopping technique explained above. It's fast, safe and easy - you'll have nice clean floors in no time.
For more time-saving tips, you might also like these 10 tips for faster bathroom cleaning. Think how much more time you'll gain when your chores are streamlined like this!