When properly cleaned, both wet and dry mops efficiently clean your floors. A neglected mop, however, spreads more dirt and germs than it picks up. With proper rinsing and storage, and periodic deep cleanings, your floor mops will give you dependable cleaning power that lasts.

Wet Mops

Regular Rinse and Dry

After every use, rinse the mop thoroughly in hot water until the water runs clear. Squeeze or wring it to remove excess water. Set it out to dry in a well-ventilated area -- outdoors and in full sun, if possible. Make sure the mop is thoroughly dry before putting it away.

Deep Cleaning

After every third or fourth use -- or whenever a wet mop starts to look or smell funny -- use one of these deep-cleaning approaches to freshen and sanitize the mop head.

Soaking solutions

  • Make a bleach solution to clean cotton string mops by adding 1 cup of household bleach to 2 gallons of hot water. Soak the mop head in the solution for 10 minutes, then rinse well, wring out the excess water and hang the mop to dry.
  • Use 1 cup of white vinegar or 3 percent hydrogen peroxide per gallon of hot water in a similar manner to clean sponge and synthetic mops. Don't use bleach with these mops because it can cause the materials to break down, especially with sponge mops.

Use your washing machine to clean cotton mops and your dishwasher to clean any type of wet mop with a removable head:

  • In the washing machine, use hot water and regular detergent. Add 1/2 cup of bleach if the cotton mop heads are mildewed. Wash mop heads separately from other laundry. Make sure to remove all metal parts from the mop head to prevent scratching the washer drum.
  • The dishwasher is especially effective for cleaning sponge, synthetic and microfiber mops. Empty the dishwasher and place the mop heads in the top rack. Instead of detergent, add 1 cup of vinegar to the detergent container. Run the dishwasher on the hottest temperature cycle.

After washing, remove the mop heads from the dishwasher or washing machine, wring or squeeze out the excess water, and hang to dry.

Dry Mops

Dust mops and dry mops need care, too. After every use, shake out the mop to remove dust, and vacuum as needed to remove excessive dust and large dirt particles. If a dry mop becomes very dirty, launder it by hand with mild detergent, or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Rinse it thoroughly, squeeze out excess water, and hang to dry.