How to Use a Sponge Mop

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Sponge mops provide better cleaning control than the bulkier string mops. The smaller head of the sponge mop is also better for cleaning small areas. It’s also easier to wring out sponge mops than string mops, which makes sponge mops better for damp mopping surfaces that shouldn’t get too wet, such as wood floors. Sponge mops may also be used to clean walls and ceilings or apply finishes. Lightweight, easy to use, versatile and inexpensive, this mop has a place in almost any household.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge mop
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Floor cleaner
  • Sink or bathtub

Sweep the surface well with a broom before mopping with a sponge mop, as you would with any mop. Sweeping removes large particles of grit or dirt that may scratch or smear when wet.

Attach the sponge if it is not already attached to the handle. Most simply slide or snap on.

Mix warm water and your floor cleaner (follow directions on the bottle to see how much water, if any, you should mix the cleaner with--it varies) in a clean bucket. It doesn’t matter if the bucket is a mop bucket or a generic bucket, as long as it is wide enough for you to submerse the mop head.

Lift the mop head from the fluid. Squeeze out excess water. Most sponge mops have either a lever or a button you can pull or push that activates a squeezing mechanism--you don’t have to touch the wet sponge.

Scrub the floor using a back and forth motion. When the mop head is soiled enough to re-deposit dirt on the floor, rinse it out in the bucket of cleaning solution. Squeeze out the excess fluid again and continue to mop.

Rinse the sponge mop head well under warm water when you are finished mopping. Mop the clean sponge over the floor to rinse the cleaner residue from the floor, if necessary (some products don’t need to be rinsed off).

Rinse the mop head again before storing. It’s easiest to do this by holding the mop in a sink or bathtub and allowing water to run over the sponge.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use sponge mops dry to remove dust or cobwebs from walls, ceilings and other hard-to-reach areas. Hang the mop on a hook to drip dry in a well-ventilated area when you are finished. This helps prevent a musty odor from developing on the mop. You can usually reuse the mop head several times and change it when it is either too soiled to clean well or has started tearing. Vinegar and water make an easy cleaner for tile floors, both vinyl and porcelain tiles. Use one cup of white distilled vinegar to one gallon of water--your floors will sparkle. If floors are greasy, add liquid dish washing detergent to plain warm water (one tbsp. of detergent per gallon of water) for a grease-cutting floor cleaner.
  • Check the mop head each time you mop to make certain it is fastened tightly. If the mop head is not on the handle properly, metal or plastic components may scrape the floor. For this reason also, replace mop heads whenever they show signs of tearing or falling apart.

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