What Is the Difference Between Dry Mopping & Wet Mopping?

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The difference between wet and dry mopping lies in your choice of mopping solution.

The differences between wet and dry mopping lie in the treatment of the mop head. When dry mopping, a dry mopping solution such as a polishing spray may be used, but you should spray this on and allow it to dry before using the mop. In wet mopping, water is used either alone or in conjunction with a cleaning solution.


Dry Mopping

Using a dry or dust mop on your floors has many advantages. When performed correctly it removes dirt, dust and bacteria from the floor. In addition, dry mopping is 25 percent faster than wet mopping and preserves the integrity of certain types of floors like hardwood.


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Wet Mopping

Using water and a cleaning solution on your floor is one of the best ways to get up soil that a dry mop might miss. Spills and some stains require the moisture and the cleaner to get them up. All floors should be wet mopped periodically for this reason. Care should be taken when using water and cleaning solutions on floors that might be damaged, like hardwood. Wet floors are also slippery, so warn people that it is wet to prevent injuries.


Dry Mop Procedure

When using a dry mop, the mop should never leave the floor. Use a continuous swiping motion, either in a back-and-forth pattern or a figure eight pattern. Always overlap strokes by at least 6 inches. Knock out your mop as needed, enclosing it in a plastic bag to catch the dust. Use a broom and dustpan to pick up any large debris left behind by the mop.


Wet Mop Procedure

Mix your cleaning solution in a bucket. Buckets with a wringer that fit your mop head are convenient and take the stress off your back and hands. Dip your mop into the solution, and wring it out so it does not drip. Begin mopping in the farthest corner of the room and work toward the exit, taking your bucket with you so you are not walking on a wet floor before it can dry. Use the same method as for dry mopping, dipping and wringing your mop as necessary until the floor is finished.



In furnished rooms, remove furniture when possible before beginning. Otherwise, shift the furniture around as you go to access all parts of the floor. Before using either a wet or a dry mop, use a broom and dust pan to sweep the floor and get up any large dirt and debris.


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