Wanted: effective and efficient floor mopping device

Do you use a mop? I have always washed my bathroom and kitchen floors the way my mom did: on hands and knees. I think this is a superior method, especially at detecting and cleaning random sticky spots or the debris that collects along cabinet bottoms.

However, this new house has a lovely stone tile that goes from the front entrance, down a hall, into a bathroom and a laundry room, and then covers my generously sized kitchen, eating area and family room. I think there is more square feet of tile in this house than there is total living space in my house in New Jersey. I have washed this floor on my hands and knees, because I do not own a mop. And I have concluded: I need to own a mop.

But the choices are overwhelming. Do I go retro and use a cloth string mop that needs be be hand wrung? Do I use a modern version of the same with a built in wringer? Do I use a sponge mop? How about these disposable swifter mops?

I’m all about learning from other people’s experiences. I don’t want to waste my money only to be disappointed. If you mop, tell me what you like and what works well.

25 thoughts on “Wanted: effective and efficient floor mopping device

  1. I have a swiffer type mop with washable terry cloth covers. I love it.

  2. Don't laugh but I use the towel method. I wet two old dish towels with water and scoot my feet around on the floor, flip, rinse and repeat as needed.

    Kids can get into it too so long as they don't get crazy and slip.

    We are a homeschooling family too. We are also doing a postcard exchange if you are interested.

    Enjoyed your blog.

  3. I really like my O Cedar mop I got at Target. It looks like a Swiffer, but has a cotton pad that slips onto the bottom. It is rectangular so you can get in all the corners and then just slip it off and throw it in the washer. I bought one for Maine where we have pine floors that I have to mop 3 times a week, it is wonderful! (You can even get an extra pad and go over the floors with it after mopping so it will dry faster)

  4. I use a steam mop. I love how it leaves the floor feeling perfectly clean and doesn't use anything but water.

  5. I really like my old fashioned mop. I like being able to twirl it and make it cover more area in a shorter amount of time. I really didn't like my swiffer mop, but to each his own. I think I might have liked it better, if it weren't for needing to buy refills for the liquid thing.

  6. we've got the stone tile in all the places you have it, except our family room. we use the swiffer with wet swiffer pads. but the tile is light colored so every so often, we get done on our hands and knees with a scrub brush and pine-sol, and that does it!

  7. Swiffer didn't do it for me, b/c our ceramic tile has bumps in it… very small, but there. Swiffer isn't spongey (is that a word?!?) enough to get in those places.
    So, I use a sponge mop and make my own solution using hot water, vinegar, a bit of oil and lemon juice. I find that the soapy solutions can make the floor sticky, necessitating another mopping way too soon!

  8. I do the Parsley method. It's better than hands and knees because it is easier on the bod and you have more weight behind the scrub. I have taken to giving each child a section of the floor and an old dishtowel. They go to the sink which has pinesol in it and rinse and keep “skating” across the floor. I also hand them a bread knife for those stubborn, black, sticky spots (what ARE those things?) and stickers/tape. It works so much better than a wimpy mop!

  9. The best mop I've found is a Libman mop from Target. Sort of like a string mop, but more absorbant. I have a Swiffer wet jet that I use for “small” spills and quick clean up, but I find it doesn't clean the kitchen floor very well in terms of getting all the tracked in dirt off the floor. Still feels dirty to me. I REALLY hate mopping – my most hated chore, so I've actually purchased a steam mop (last week) to try. I've heard great things about them, and to echo a previous poster – they only use water, and maybe some vinegar. For the bathrooms (where I have tile), I prefer some vinegar/water spray and a Quickie brand sweeper that has removable cloth heads. I have dry ones that I use to dust the hardwood floors and a “wet” one that I use for mopping the bathroom floors.

  10. Shark Steam Mop. I have a lot of tile and this gets my floors really, really clean. No chemicals; just steam.

  11. This year I splurged on a Shmop with multiple terry covers.

    *large rectanguler head covers more surface area than all other mops I've had.
    *terry covers can be flipped inside out once they are dirty, and then changed until you feel you've gotten the dirt up.
    *easy to wash and reuse
    *no bucket to be knocked over
    *easy for kids to use

    *more laundry
    *not very scrubby. I occasionally find I need to put my foot on the mop to get enough power to get tough spots out or use a pampered chef scraper to get a sticky spot
    *$$$ investment
    *not as good as hands and knees, but it is vastly superior to all others I've owned

    Bottom line, be prepared to be less happy with the overall final product no matter what kind of mop you pick. Happy shopping!

  12. Since I have a mixture of real hardwood, linoleum, and tile floors in my new-ish place, I purchased a steam mop. I love my Bissell steam. I used to use the Swiffer wet jet when I had a smaller area to mop. But I was never happy with the fine details and did not like the disposable nature of the pads. The steam mop is my favorite cleaning item.

  13. I love my swiffer paired with the wet pads, but I don't know how well it would get into the grout- grooves on tile floors.

  14. We also “skate mop”. Each child is given two dish rags (or old towels that have been cut up). Usually I spray the floor with cleaner, and they put one damp rag under each foot and “skate” around the floor. They think it's fabulous!

  15. Maybe because I am a guy and love tools/toys, but I say get a Scooba from I-Robot. I let the robot do the drudgery, while I read and sip coffee. (Part of my standard Saturday morning routine.) Save the hand scrubbing for corners and other places hard to get to.

    Remember, the best way to do something is not always the way our mothers did them for the last three hundred years.

  16. Bissell steam mop. Best thing I have ever had. First vacuum the floor with hard floor attachment. Steam mop. I lived in Florida in a 2,000 sq ft house that was entirely tile. I could clean the floor in the whole house in less than an hour. With one hand. While talking on the phone. If you go to the Bissell website they have a video showing how the mop works. Very cool. (I am not affiliated with Bissell in any way, just a happy customer!)


  17. I like the Swiffer for quick-and-dirty clean-ups, but not so much for in-depth cleaning. My mother-in-law is a clean freak, and loves her Swiffer, but her floors are all quite smooth – linoleum and wood. No stone.

    For your purposes, I would probably try a sponge mop or the “scooting” method described. Just my two cents.

  18. I'm with my hubby – love the Scooba. And the Roomba! These were Christmas presents at different times.

    It's wonderful to have a “maid” that you don't have to pay. By the time the Roomba & Scooba are done, I have the house dusted & the bathrooms cleaned.

    I do stll love the Swiffer Wet Jet for the small stuff.

  19. I use a dry mop instead of a wet mop. The tops are washable.

  20. I have a Hoover floor mate and love it. It puts the water/solution on the floor with a pull on the trigger and it scrubs the floor with the brushes and it sucks up the dirt & water. That's to clean the floor.
    In between — in the kitchen –I let the dog hoover do his job for washing and clearing until I get to it!
    Towels under feet for wet days, spills etc. Nothing like a combination method in a busy lots of tile floors house!

  21. Cracking up that this post has generated more comments than your smart posts…maybe we're not smart enough for you, or maybe we just go, “yep, she's right.”

  22. Proof that what really matters to us is the most mundane of topics, eh, Rachel?

    Update on the mops: I did the foot and towel method the other day because I still had no mop. It WAS better on my back than hands and knees, but still physically taxing.

    Bill has been pushing for my favorite floor cleaning method: a maid. What a guy.

    Intrigued by the steam mop suggestions, I checked them out at Amazon and read the customer reviews. I did make a selection and purchase and am eagerly awaiting the UPS guy tomorrow. I'll do a review when I see how it works. Big turn on: hot hot water. I've got a 2 year old who is currently shedding stinky diapers with no warning or permission. We'll be quickly moving into potty training mode here and I like the notion that my floors can be germ free with just water.

  23. Steam mop all the way! I love it and my sisters have all converted too. On occasion I get down and scrub on my hands and knees just to get that under the cabinets and corners throughly cleaned again but steaming with water to sanitize is the best method I have yet to find!

  24. I got a Swiffer wet jet before my surgery but I'm unimpressed. The cleaning solution is good–but the mop has a weird center of gravity and is pretty unwieldy. However, it's fun to spray the stuff, so it might be good for when the kids do the mopping. So–I'd skip that.

  25. I use the Sh-Mop, too. I do have a razor blade and scraper to use, and have to remove the terry cloth to use the scrubby on the floors. but I do like that I can use clean cloths and not putting more dirt back on the floor. I'm never completely satisfied, like Rachel said, but it's gotten my floors the cleanest. And since I was buying so many other mops, I figured it was okay to invest in something else.

    And I'm a big bleach fan, too! We'll go down together! I bleach the heck out of my used terry cloth covers. I bought tons extras, so I can have two cleanings, or one big dirty floor clean-up I can use lots of covers without worrying about running out.

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