Mopping is often the best way to clean hard floors, but it’s important to make sure you are removing germs, not just spreading them. Although mopping may seem like a simple task, it can actually be confusing. What type of mop should I be using? How do I know I’m fully cleaning the floor? Am I being efficient? We’ve put together some tips, tricks and best practices for mopping.
Clean Your Mop!
Did you know research has found there is often twice as much bacteria per square inch on the average kitchen floor than the trash can?! Leaving your mop uncleaned after use can create a breeding ground for bacteria. If your mop head is machine washable, toss it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle at the hottest temperature. If the mop head is not machine washable, create a mixture of water and bleach in a clean bucket and let it soak for 15 minutes before rinsing it out. Make sure the mop is completely dried out afterwards to avoid growth of mildew.
Use Two Buckets
Using a two-bucket system for mopping will assure that you aren’t using contaminated water. Keep one bucket with plain water for rinsing and detergent in the other bucket. You can squeeze the dirty water out into the water without contaminating the cleaning solution. Just make sure you are changing out water and solution if they are becoming too soiled.
Pro tip: Using a color-coded cleaning system will reduce the risk for cross-contamination. Using different tools for each designated area will prevent the spread of disease and infection.
Microfiber vs Cotton Mops
Cotton mops are best for jobs that involve heavy duty clean up or outdoor usage, but they don’t leave a streak-free finish and also require quite a bit of wringing to remove excess water. Microfiber mops can greatly reduce bacteria, are far more durable, and offer a deeper clean. microfiber mops do cost extra, their effectiveness and number of uses outweigh the initial cost.
No matter what kind of mop head you use, make sure you are replacing it at regularly. At least every 4 months, depending on how often you use it.
Make Sure You’re Staying Safe
Mopping is a laborious task and injuries do happen. In fact, mopping is the second-leading cause of cleaning related injuries due to slips and repetitive stress injuries. Repetitive stress injuries are common due to overuse of muscles and lead to an average of 18 lost work days per injury. These injuries can happen due to the weight of the mop when wet reaching up 6 pounds. In addition, a bucket of water can weight up to 40 pounds, really putting strain on the body when being lifted and moved around during the day. To avoid injuries, always use your arm muscles, not your back to avoid straining back and shoulder muscles.