Sales Helpline (Local Rate): 01827 255 500

Opening Hours (Monday - Friday): 08:30 - 17:00 

Return to the homepage
Log In / Sign Up
Return to blog list

How To Mop A Floor

10 November 2022

Jennie Hollingsworth

Mopping the floor is as easy as child’s play, right? Wrong, Cinderella! A bucket of soapy water and a cotton string floor mop may be the classic go-to for achieving a squeaky-clean floor, but in today’s reality ­– with genuine germ busting and floor preservation among the essential factors to consider ­– mopping the floor is no game. At phs Direct, we have more than 50 years of expertise in making sure our broad base of customers receives the highest standard of cleaning and hygiene product, service, and support. Here we present a step-by-step guide to achieving sparkling floors fit for a surgical ward… or a fairy-tale ballroom.


Why floor hygiene, maintenance and eco-friendliness are so important


Bacteria and germ minimising

If the global emergency created by Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that everyone must take responsibility for maintaining high standards of cleanliness. Industries from healthcare and catering to retail and manufacturing now need to take even greater hygiene precautions to minimise the spread of germs and viruses for the sake of public health. However, it is also important that different settings take proper account of the safety of products being used. Businesses with a high likelihood of skin-to-floor or product contact, including cleaning staff, must be mindful of the effect of cleaning products on human and animal health.



Maintaining the integrity of floors is a necessity for businesses as this can impact on user safety and financial expense. Wooden flooring, for example – as found in many high traffic areas such as schools, gymnasiums, and community halls – requires careful cleaning to keep it in tip-top shape and stave off costly and disruptive maintenance. Likewise, vinyl, rubber, and tiled flooring – found in hospitals, kitchens, swimming pool areas, etc – can all perish at greater speed under sub-standard upkeep. Having to replace floors is a costly outcome of poor preservation, and so best avoided.



Clean, user-friendly, and well-maintained floors are essential – but at what cost to the planet? Industries now have and want to be more accountable for their environmental impact. It’s worth considering the availability of environmentally friendly products that can get the job done, without damaging the earth.


What products you should use


With these key factors above in mind, what to use when mopping floors is a big variable. It’s also largely dependent on the type of floor you’re cleaning and the level and variety of foot traffic of your users.


A great floor cleaning solution makes short work of mopping up spillages, messes, and odours, whilst maintaining the overall condition of your floors and eliminating any bacteria or germs on the floor's surface.


Some multi-purpose formulas can handle a variety of hard surfaces, from hardwood and laminate to tile, marble and rubber, and are suitable for daily use. Others may be more suitable for specific types of floor – such as a polish or wax cleaner to clean and maintain hardwood flooring.


Consider also, the type of mess you are likely to be dealing with most consistently. Oil, grease, and bio-waste in particular, need to be carefully eliminated to maintain public safety and therefore may require a specific type of cleaner. Depending on what you’re likely to be mopping up, you may need to consider using a specialist cleaning product to get the job done. Here are some examples:

  • Degreasers – for businesses using kitchens – such as restaurants, cafés, hotels, and schools –to tackle the daily build up on surfaces.
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial disinfectants – for businesses requiring the highest degree of effectiveness – such as hospitals and clinics.
  • Ph neutral cleaners – for floors that are finished with polyurethane or wax ­– such as performance halls, schools, and commercial gymnasiums.


In addition to your cleaning solution, the type of mop you use will depend on the surface you are cleaning. Flat mops, for example, are ideal for wooden floors as they don’t use much water and are less likely to cause damage to your floor. Sponge mops are ideal for spot cleaning of small spillages, whereas string mops (you heard us, Cinders!) are great for cleaning up large areas but are less hygienic than other options available, as dirt collects in the bucket solution.


With many different products available, you may need support to figure out which is the best for your business. Talk to one of our product experts at phs Direct for friendly, practical advice.


How often you should mop a floor


Keeping floors clean is a never-ending process, particularly in high-traffic areas. Daily cleaning of hard surfaces is essential to maintain cleanliness and minimise the spread of germs.


For industries that require the highest level of hygiene – such as healthcare and the food industry – it is necessary to clean floors immediately if and when spillages occur, and generally every couple of hours to ensure public safety.


Top tip: Remember when cleaning any floor not to overdose the chemical, particularly if it requires dilution. Using too much chemical can have an adverse effect and draw more bacteria to the floor, as it will leave a sticky residue, as well as strong odours.


Best way to clean floors – five simple steps


Once you know the product and frequency of application you’ll be dealing with, we recommend following these simple steps to ensuring your floors are clean, well maintained and sparkling fresh:


Step one

Sweep up – always use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris before you mop.


Step two

Mop in the right direction ­– always start at one end of the room and work your way across and down to the other.


Step three

Two buckets are better than one – for the highest level of cleanliness, use one bucket for the cleaning solution, and one for dipping your dirty mop.


Step four

Wring it out – creating big wet puddles doesn’t make your floor cleaner and can cause water damage to your surfaces. Allow your mop to absorb the cleaning solution, then wring out as much as possible before use.


Step five

Keep it clean – always clean your mop after every application. This means disinfecting your mop head with a mixture of bleach and water, rising it out with water, wringing out excess liquid and leaving it to dry. Don’t leave mops to dry in a bucket as this will allow bacteria to build up.


For more helpful advice on how to maintain hygiene in your business, check out the rest of our blog section or get in touch with one of our account managers for direct support.