How to Mop Vinyl Floors without Leaving a Sticky Residue

Lead Image
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 40-120
What You'll Need
Sponge Mop
Warm Water

Low cost vinyl floors are a great way to get a decent look to your kitchen, bathroom, or entryway while staying within a tight budget. While vinyl floors are relatively inexpensive, they do require a lot of cleaning to keep them free from stains and dirt. After several years of use, cleaning on a consistent basis will still leave the floor looking slightly dirty. One of the problems with mopping a vinyl floor is that the water, soap, and vinyl work to create a sticky residue. Here are some steps to take in order to mop without leaving a sticky residue.

Step 1 - Sweep Floor Clear of Dirt

The sticky residue is a combination of the vinyl coating, the dirt, and the water. When all three are combined together then what is left over is a sticky residue that causes the floor to look like it is still dirty. Anyone who walks across the vinyl floors after they have been mopped will leave dirt tracks as it sticks to the floor. To help to get rid of this you will need to sweep the floor before doing any mopping.

Step 2 - Use Adhesive Broom

cloth mop on kitchen floor

A new innovation in floor cleaning products is a type of broom that has a static pad that dust and dirt clings to. After sweeping the floor of most of the dirt, go over the floor with one of these brooms. Make sure to use a clean pad and change it in the middle of the process if the vinyl floors are large or very dirty.

Step 3 - Mix Water and Bleach

Vinyl floors need to have some bleach added to the cleaning solution to get rid of the stains, embedded dirt, and break down any residue that can build up. Mix warm water and bleach into a pail. The water must be warm, and even a little hot, in order for the dark stains to be lifted off the vinyl flooring.

WARNING: Open windows before doing this step to make sure you have proper ventilation. Also, put on old work clothes and move any fabrics on the floor or hanging off furniture so the bleach doesn't stain anything.

Step 4 - Use Sponge Mop

A mop that has stringy cloths are only going to trail dirt behind it. A sponge type mop, that has a built in strainer, is the best option for cleaning vinyl floors. Dip the mop into the cleaning solution and squeeze the excess water out. Push the mop in a back and forth motion and then dip into the water again. Using a mop that has dirty water on it can scratch the vinyl flooring or leave dirt streaks.

Step 5 - Use Rags to Dry Floor


The sticky residue can also be avoided with the use of clean rags. Wipe the floor until it is dry so that none of the water can settle on the vinyl flooring.

Step 6 - Strip and Wax

Another way to keep your floor from having a sticky residue is to periodically strip the wax coating off the vinyl and then apply new wax. Use some ammonia and use a mop to apply it to the floor. This will remove the old wax. Make sure to keep the room well ventilated. After the floor is dry, apply new wax with a small floor buffer, or with a hand buffer.