How To Clean (Mop) Linoleum Floors With Ground In Dirt

Cleaning linoleum floors can be a daunting task, especially if there is ground-in dirt that has accumulated over time. This article will show you how to clean your linoleum floors with the help of a mop and a simple cleaning solution.

In this post, we will go over How to Mop linoleum floors, including a basic video with easy mopping tips to help you clean your floors as quickly and as well as possible. If that’s something you want to learn, stick around.

How To Mop A Beginners Guide To Linoleum Floor Care

There’s no shame in not knowing how to mop a floor. If you’ve never done it. If you are just curious or want to see how other people mop their floors, this post is for you.

There is no ONE WAY to mop a floor. There are many. But some principles are the same.

First, SWEEP OR VACUUM the floor. We have a central vacuum system and I use this floor attachment. But a regular broom and dustpan work too. The idea is that you need to remove any loose dirt, pet hair, and large pieces of debris from your floor. Otherwise, you will drag it around when you mop. If you have small rocks and you move around the mop, it can leave small scratches and places for dirt to collect.

If you’re vacuuming use an attachment with a soft bottom, not the regular vacuum which isn’t made for hard surfaces.

Now it’s time to mop! 

We have several videos about the types of mops you can use on your floors but for now, use what you have. I’m going to use a O’Cedar mop because I just got it, and I love the idea of hands-free wringing and being able to wash it in the washing machine when I’m done. 

You need a bucket, sink, spray bottle, or cup for water. 

If you have a bucket that’s ideal. You can pick one up at Dollar Tree for $1. Just a simple bucket with a handle. You can get kinds that have a wringer like this one has, with wheels and more. 

If you don’t have a bucket, fill a sink with water. The disadvantage is it will make your sink dirty, so you’ll have to clean it when you’re done. 

You can use a spray bottle and spray it on the floor and mop it up as you go. I think that’s a lot of bending. 

If you don’t have a bucket or want to keep it super simple, you can use a cup to put water onto the floor. You won’t have as much control over how much, but it’s better than nothing.

Next, use water and cleaner. I like Lysol floor cleaners. You can make your own with dishwashing soap like Dawn, vinegar, and water. 

Some people will tell you to use hot or warm water, but it doesn’t matter. Reports indicate that nearly 70% of people believe cleaning with hot water is more effective than using cold water, as it gets rid of all the bacteria*. Cold water costs less and uses less energy. Plus, warm or hot water won’t stay that way. And you don’t need it. The cleaner matters more than the water temperature.

Add Cleaner

If you don’t know what type of floors you have, look up what the manufacturer recommends or doesn’t. If you can’t figure it out, Amazon sells a multipurpose floor cleaner called Rejuvenate High-Performance All-Floors Floor Cleaner, and it works well and is safe on all surfaces.  

But you can make your own floor cleaner too:

You can skip the rubbing alcohol if you don’t have any, but it helps disinfect,  leaves a nice shine, and helps it dry faster for less streaking.

I like to use Dawn dish soap. Don’t use fancy kinds with extra stuff in them. Just the regular one. 

Getting The Dirt Off The Floor With Your Mop

Next, put the mop in the water and wring out extra water. You don’t want it to be too wet, or it will take a long time to dry. I’d rather go over it twice than have a lot of dirty water to mop up. If you let it dry on the floor, it’ll just dry whatever dirt the mop didn’t absorb back onto the floor. 

Start at the opposite end of the floor. Put the bucket behind you so you hopefully won’t have to walk across a wet floor and leave footprints to retrieve it. If you walk across a wet floor with shoes on, it will usually create muddy footprints on your newly mopped floor.

Use long strokes, and go in a line. If there’s a grain, go with it. That will mean less streaking. So on this floor, I’m going to go back and forth. 

When the mop gets dirty, or the water is dirty, change the water.

Let it dry before walking on it. If you have to go over it with a cloth. Like a microfiber one, open the windows, etc. I’ve fallen on wet floors before, and I absolutely forbid anyone from walking on the floor while it’s still wet or it ruins all the work I just did. 

So after the kids are in bed, or the last thing you do at night, or when everyone is out of the house is the best time.

Ok, now you’re done. You shouldn’t have to rinse the floor unless it says on the instructions. With homemade cleaner, you don’t need to rinse. 

How To Mop Linoleum With A Steam Mop

Steam moping your floors is a great way to get out tough ground-in dirt. You will follow the same instructions above minus using a cleaner and a bucket.

I use a Shark brand steam mop, so I don’t add chemicals, just water. It leaves no scent or residue, but it does cost more than a regular mop. 

You can add 5-10 drops of essential oils to make it smell nice. I like a citrus blend for the kitchen. For the holidays, I’ll use a pine tree-type scent. 

I’ve gone over the basics of mopping a floor. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!

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