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How To Clean A Dirty Mop In 4 Easy Steps

Maid services know that a dirty mop can be a major cleaning obstacle. Luckily, you don’t need to stress over the various types of mops, as most can be cleaned using a simple and hassle-free method. The best part? No need to splurge on special cleaning products! All you’ll need is water, laundry detergent, and a trusty bucket. If your mop has seen better days and is starting to emit unpleasant odors, fear not. In this guide, we’ll walk you through four easy steps to revive your mop and restore it to its pristine condition. Say goodbye to dirty mops and hello to a fresh and effective cleaning tool!

Step #1. Clean the bucket first

Washing your mop with a dirty bucket is like doing the dishes with a filthy sponge: useless. So, make sure your bucket is clean before going any further. Some homeowners won’t admit it, but they overlook this part, and a quick rinse might not be enough to remove all the stuck-on grime.

If you do need to clean it thoroughly, fill ¼ of the bucket with warm, soapy water and rub away the dirt with a soft-bristle brush. Once done, rinse the bucket, check for more stains, and repeat the process as many times as necessary. 

Note. If your bucket is not even close to being grimy, you won’t need to go through the whole process. Just pour some clean water, swirl it to pick up the dirt, and empty the bucket.

Step #2. Wash the mop

As a dirty mop is very similar to a stained fabric, you can use laundry detergent to remove the dirt. However, you won’t use the same amount of detergent as with a washing machine.

Instead, pour a tablespoon of your preferred detergent into your bucket filled halfway with warm water. Alternatively, if the mop isn’t too dirty, you can replace the detergent with a dash of dish soap.

After you prepare the cleaning mix, dip the mop in it several times, so the loose dirt comes off. Then, let your mop soak for at least twenty minutes so the cleaning agent reaches deep into the fabric. After time’s up, shake the mop in the water again and take it out to wring it.

Once you’ve squeezed out all the dirt from your mop, you can continue.

Note. If your mop is heavily soiled, you may need to repeat the process once or twice to make sure the solution did the job.

Step #3. Rinse away the dirt

Even if there’s no dirt coming out of your mop anymore after wringing it, some of it (and soap residue) could still be stuck in the fibers. To rinse and clean your mop, put it under running water (in an outdoor faucet, preferably) at full force, so the pressure drags away the dirt and soap.

Step #4. Dry your mop

Your efforts can be in vain if you don’t dry the mop completely! So the best way is by hanging and air-drying the mop under the sun. Leave the mop in a ventilated, well-lit room if you can’t put it outside.

Note: It is not recommended to use a dryer machine because (detachable)  mop heads could get damaged.

Can you wash a mop in the washing machine?

Yes, but it depends on the type of mop, and of course, it has to be a detachable mop head. However, even removable mop heads could have specific instructions regarding machine washing—cotton mop heads can get ruined.

In short, you’ll have to check if putting your type of mophead is machine-washing safe.

What to do if your mop is smelly

Washing is not the end of the process. If you don’t sanitize the mop, it will gather bacteria and smell funny. If this is your case, or you just cleaned a very stinky spill, do the following:

  1. Fill a bucket halfway with warm water and add one cup of bleach.
  2. Soak the mop for at least fifteen minutes.
  3. Take the mop out, wring it, and then rinse it.
  4. Leave it to air dry completely. Otherwise, the moisture could make bacteria grow back.

Warning: Synthetic, sponge, and microfiber mops might not survive bleach! So try a mix of one cup of vinegar (or 3% hydrogen peroxide) for every gallon of water in the bucket, and soak the mop for half an hour before rinsing.

Also, if your mop is still smelly even after sanitizing it, that means bacteria have taken over. Change that mop ASAP!

More cleaning tips and guides are waiting for you!

WestMaids Cleaning Services is committed to making Calgary homeowners happy through our services, but we also make it our mission to teach people new ways to tackle the chores! That’s why we also offer many useful tips and cleaning advice. Check out our blog.