Have you ever mopped a floor in your home, only to find that it feels sticky and unpleasant just minutes later? If so, you’re probably both frustrated and baffled. When you’ve just cleaned the floor, it shouldn’t be sticky, so what is causing this?
Sticky floors are annoying and might leave you feeling like you have to mop again, even though you have just finished. It might surprise you to learn that this could actually make the problem worse, especially if you pour more of your favorite cleaner into your mop bucket first.
Why do floors get sticky after mopping? Getting a sticky floor after mopping can be the result of a few different issues, but one of the commonest is using too much cleaner. If the cleaning solution isn’t rinsed away by the mop water, there’s a risk that it will leave a sticky residue on the floor. Using the wrong kind of cleaner or dirty water can also cause stickiness.
Why Might Your Floor Be Sticky After Mopping?
Generally, a sticky floor is the result of using too much cleaning fluid. If your floor was very dirty when you started, it’s totally understandable that you might be tempted to add lots of cleaner, but you should be very careful about this. Cleaning fluid can leave a film on the surface of the floor, and this will feel sticky.
Ideally, you should be mixing just a small amount of cleaning fluid into your mop water. The water will then dilute the fluid enough so that it isn’t leaving significant residue on the floor, and this will prevent the stickiness. You can mop and as the water dries, the floor will be left clean and fresh, with no sticky aftermath.
If you put too much cleaning fluid in the bucket, it won’t all evaporate with the water, and this generally results in a thin film of fluid that gradually dries and turns sticky. This can happen with almost any kind of cleaning fluid, so be careful and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
What Else Causes Sticky Floors?
There are a few other explanations. One is using the wrong kind of cleaner for your floor type. It’s always a good idea to check what kinds of floors the cleaner is suitable for before you apply it. For example, a vinyl floor might need different cleaning fluids from a hardwood floor. Other things can also cause stickiness, like using dirty water to mop or not mopping enough.
Let’s tackle the first issue to begin with. If you have lots of different floor types in your home but you use the same cleaning fluid for each of them, there may be a problem. Using the wrong kind of cleaner can damage the floor, as well as making it unpleasant to walk on. Long-term use of the wrong cleaning fluid might ruin the floor entirely.
For example, if you’re putting detergent and water on hardwood floors, you may be damaging the wood. Pouring bleach on laminate could be similarly harmful. You need to learn what fluids are suitable for the kinds of floors you have.
Don’t just mop your floors with water, however, as this may not be enough to get them clean. This is particularly true in kitchens, where there may be grease and food stains to tackle, or in hallways, where there is likely to be mud. Use the right cleaner for the floor type.
The other explanations are simpler and tend to be easier to solve. Using dirty water to mop your floor will almost invariably result in stickiness, because you’ll be transferring oils and grease back onto the floor even as you mop it. Always refresh the water in the mop bucket when it starts to get dirty, otherwise you aren’t really cleaning the floor.
Insufficient mopping can also cause stickiness. If you don’t actually get the existing sticky spots off your floor, it’s not going to feel cleaner than when you started. Use warm or hot water and an appropriate cleaning fluid to tackle grease and dirt and remove them from the floor.
How Can You Prevent Floor Stickiness?
The best way to prevent this stickiness from occurring is to know your floor type and understand how to clean it. For example, if your floor will tolerate hot water and soap, this is often a good and cheap way to get it clean. If you need to use diluted vinegar to cut through grease, find out. If an abrasive pad is an option, make sure you know.
Understanding how to clean your floors is an important part of ensuring they are left clean, glossy, and pleasant to walk on. If you don’t know how to treat the different floor types, you are likely to use the wrong solution, and get stickiness – or damage – as a result.
How Do You Get Rid of Stickiness?
If a floor is sticky after being mopped, you should fill a bucket with a gallon of plain water and add a cup of white vinegar (assuming the floor type can cope with water and vinegar). Plunge your mop in, wring it out well, and re-mop the floor thoroughly. The water will remove the excess cleaner fluid residue, and clean the floor properly if that was the issue.
Once you have mopped the floor completely, either dry it yourself or let it dry, and then see if the stickiness has gone. If the floor was very sticky, you may need to do this twice in order to remove all of the residue. In most cases, a single secondary mopping should be enough to leave it feeling fresh and clean underfoot.
Don’t ignore stickiness, because it means something went wrong with your initial mopping, and you need to solve this issue.
Floors can feel sticky after mopping for a range of reasons, but the commonest explanation is that you used the wrong kind of cleaning fluid, or just too much fluid. Check the suitability of your favorite cleaner and consider reducing how much you add to the water. Remember to re-mop the floor with plain water if it’s sticky.