Dashboard Confessional: I Don’t Know How to Mop

Can I tell you a secret?  Just a little one.  I have no idea how to mop.  It seems simple, right?  How could you not know?  Don’t you just dip it in, give it a twirl, and come out with clean floors?  Apparently not.

Well, actually, let’s start over.  If you live in the US, purchase a swiffer, follow the instructions, and voila!  You’re done.  Not so much in Germany.  For starters, surprise! They DO have swiffer.  But, those little pad thingys are no match for my institutional-grade floors.


My first attempt at mopping the floor.

I never really had to mop before.  A weekly vacuuming and daily spot suctioning with a Dirt Devil was sufficient.  But what if you don’t have a Dirt Devil, let alone a vacuum?  And your floors are icky-sticky, put-three-pair-of-socks-between-you-and-the-plague gross?  My whole house is some kind of linoleum over concrete so ignoring the mopping issue is not an option.


The first time I mopped, I think it took over 3 hours for my bedroom to dry.  Ooops.  I’m also pretty sure I just pushed the previous occupants’ hair all over the house and never actually picked any up.  Totally disgusting.  I also filled the bathtub with a small beach’s worth of sand.

Residue from my first mopping experience.


Now that I have internet, I decided to find out, how in the world do you actually mop?

I first went here for instructions.  I thought it was a little too simple, but I did note a few things.  I love how they tell you to sweep or vacuum the floor twice.  I do have a little hand broom and dustpan.  Would you like to sweep your entire house with that – twice?  I think not.  But what else would you do if you had no vacuum?

Wring out the mop using your hands.  Seriously?  Does anyone really do this?  Maybe if your floors are clean enough to use as dinner plates.  But wow, the thought of wringing the mop with my hands has me gagging and running for the hills.

I then went here for more detailed instructions.  Ahhhh wiki how I love you.  Let’s use their instructions.

1. Clear the area.  Simple enough.  Including children and spouses.  Huh.  So this will need to be done around midnight when all munchkins big and small are in dreamland.

2. Sweep or vacuum the floor first.  Grrrrrr.  This again.  “Mops generally do a terrible job of picking up crumbs, dust, hair, and other solid debris. If you mop an unswept floor, you’ll just end up pushing this stuff around.”  Good to know.  Lesson learned!

3. Add cleaner and hot water.  Ooops – I used cold.  However, they did offer a thrifty tip!  “It is possible to use ordinary dish-washing detergent. Just a squirt added to the water is adequate.”  Will do!

4. Dip the mop and let it absorb the cleaner.  Simple enough.

5. Wring the excess solution out of the mop.  Definitely need to work on that.  Three hours is a long time to ask children and spouses to keep out.

6. Don’t mop yourself in a corner.  Unless the corner happens to have your computer.  Or a large fudge sundae.  In that case, it sounds like a lovely place to be mopped into.

7.  For seriously stubborn dirt, mop the area twice.  So, I have to sweep twice and then mop twice?  At midnight?  Don’t the cleaning experts know that a mama needs some sleep?!

8. Do the whole floor this way.  Duh.

9. Don’t step on the wet floors or you’ll make mud.  Sounds like a cool art project for an almost-three year-old.

10. Let the area air dry.  Preferably while enjoying a large fudge sundae and catching up with friends on Facebook.

11. Replace furnishings.  And children and spouses I assume.

12. Hang the mop to dry.  Well, I might have to be a rebel and not hang it.  Drilling in the walls here is verboten.  So I have to prop it up on the balcony.  Interesting tip though – put the water in the toilet so you don’t have to clean the tub afterward.  Brilliant.

I might just learn how to rock a mop.  And, it might help that we now have a loaned vacuum.  =)

Are you an expert mopper with more better tips than listed above?  Leave a comment – I would LOVE to hear them!


2 thoughts on “Dashboard Confessional: I Don’t Know How to Mop

  1. I definately do not have any mopping tips to share – but TOTALLY admire you trying to keep those institutional-looking floors clean! What great memories you are making with your family, all the while entertaining those of us that are following your adventures!

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